Jeff Phillips is widely recognized as one of the most powerful vertical skateboarders of the 1980s. More beast than man, he relentlessly shook the ramp, pounded the coping and launched way above it with the utmost force. Starting out buttboarding in Dallas, Texas at age 10 on a 4” x 10” Shark skateboard with steel wheels, Jeff blew through a slew of equipment in his early years, including Tight Spot Sticks, which he laminated himself. Training at his home spot, Wizard Skatepark, Jeff acquired his first sponsors, Zorlac and Independent, at the beginning of the ’80s, followed by a move to G&S and Gullwing when he turned pro in 1983. Jeff also enjoyed a subsequent stint at Sims, and at one point even joined the Bad Boy Club over at Life’s a Beach.
On the contest front, 1986 was a banner year for Jeff, as he defeated the usually unbeatable Tony Hawk for top honors at Mt. Trashmore in Virginia Beach, placed first in the Shut Up and Skate contest in Houston, and also won the NSA Finals in Anaheim, California. During contests, “Philpod” would throw on a tie-dyed t-shirt topped with his famous self-painted skull and crossbones helmet, and unleash a startling display of skateboarding genius including his signature tricks, the frontside Elguerial, better known as the Phillips 66, and the straight leg frontside air. He was also known for riding his board backward (nose first).
As far as vert ramps go, Jeff listed the Clown Ramp in Dallas as his favorite. In 1989, he even opened up his very own indoor ramp park, called, appropriately enough, the Jeff Phillips Skatepark. In magazine interviews, Jeff would not hesitate to call out all of the bullshit he witnessed in the skateboarding scene and industry. In his free time, he enjoyed building models, as well as masks of Japanese animation characters like Devilman. Jeff ended his own life on Christmas day in 1993. He is sorely missed by everyone who knew him.