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What becomes a legend most? How about early vertical pioneer Kevin “The Worm” Anderson! Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1955, Kevin was a military brat whose family moved constantly. Ending up in Hermosa Beach, California, Kevin started skating in 1959 on a 2” x 4” with his sister’s roller skates nailed on after he saw the surf movie Gidget. He got nicknamed “The Worm” for his funny style of paddling out to surf. By 1971, Kevin was employed by ET Surf Shop (where he still works today) and ripping a drainage bowl called the Funnel, as well as a 12-foot diameter full pipe and lots of backyard pools. One time, he even got shot at for jumping a fence! Another time, he got into trouble for skating a pool that was part of a murder scene. Kevin was one of the first to kickturn on vertical and ride switch stance, and invented the tail drop. He first rode Mt. Baldy in 1973, then the L-Pool; both spots inspired Upland Pipeline skatepark, which opened in 1977.
Turning pro in 1975, Kevin was sponsored by ET Surfboards, Powerflex and ACS. Mainly skating banks and vertical, he was one of very few to pull off one-wheelers in Paramount’s infamous Vertibowl, which had an extremely intimidating eight feet of vert on top of its eight-foot trannies. He also floated fence-high no-handed airs over a hip at the Upland Pipeline before the Ollie existed. In fact, that is one of his favorite tricks, along with “thrusters pushing as high as I can in the pipe while whipping my tail out.” One of the highlights of Kevin’s career was when he out-skated the Free Former team on their own plexiglass halfpipe in front of 350,000 people during a set by Ted Nugent at the California Jam II rock concert back in 1978. Some of his favorite guys to skate with have included Jim Noble, Tony Botello, Doug Schneider, Greg Ayres, Mike Carol, Kenny Means, Howard Barela, Dave Forest, and Steve Vargas. Not surprisingly, Kevin still rips today, and also enjoys fishing at Santa Catalina Island. Shout outs go to Linda, Deb and Kelly Mayham.