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Chris Strople is widely recognized as one of the primary vert skateboarders of the late 1970s, inventing such basic moves as the alley-oop, and rock ’n’ roll boardslide. Chris was also among the first to pioneer bionic aerials. Born on February 5, 1960, in Pasadena, California, Chris started skating in ’66, when he would secretly borrow his neighbor’s Vita Pak skateboard. “He caught me borrowing it and kicked my ass, but I kept at it and learned how to roll pretty good. He caught me several more times over the next couple years and exacted justice each time. I loved to skate,” Chris commented. The first stick Strople could call his very own was an old used ’60s stringer Hobie with white composite wheels. “I think that I traded some baseball cards for it,” Chris recalls.
Turning pro in 1975 for Sims, Strople was also sponsored by Tracker, Robinak, and SIO. Soon after, he found himself on Caster, who gave him a pro model, along with a move to Gull Wing, Hang Ten, Nike and Gyro. Unbeknownst to many, Chris stayed pro all the way until 1993. In the contest arena of the ’70s, Strople rode all the municipal events, including freestyle, slalom, downhill, banks and pools. At the end of that decade, he placed second in the first Hester Series contest at the Upland Pipeline. In addition to a Who’s Hot! and an interview in Skateboarder magazine, Strople also scored the cover of Modern Photography, and was featured in the Silver 25 Year Anniversary Edition of Wide World of Sports. In February 1981, he was also the first human to appear on the cover of Thrasher. On the commercial front, he even did spots for Perrier and Wrigley’s.
Strople’s best skate buddies over the decades have included local Sierra Madre skaters, Waldo, Brad Strandlund, Wally, all the early Badlanders, Worm, the early San Diego crew, including the Kona Boys, Sonny, Murray, Gunnar and Bill. Continuing to skate today but at a far reduced rate, Strople still feels the same stoke as when he was younger. Living in the hills of Monrovia on the front end of the San Gabriels, Strople rides his mountain bike and works in Pasadena as a commercial insurance broker.