Skitch Hitchcock – 2021

Whenever the history of skateboarding is discussed, filmed or written about, the name Skitch Hitchcock is almost always criminally overlooked. His main claim to fame is popularizing the gorilla grip, which was a method of catching air on flat ground or launch ramps (by gripping the nose and tail of the deck with the toes and leaping upward) that preceded the flat ground Ollie by at least five years. Skitch was also responsible for several other important innovations, including the first small portable launch ramps, the first fairing and skate car for downhill speed runs, small hand skates for handstands on flat ground and in bowls, fiberglass / foam core decks, and conical wheels. He was also the first pro to design his own trucks, Hitchcock Trucks, and helped design and develop several skateparks.
Born in Long Beach, California in 1952, William Skitch Hitchcock grew up near the beach with a passion for sports. He started skating in ’57 in the steel wheel period, promptly quit, then started again around ’63, making his own decks in woodshop with wood and fiberglass. Blendng his background in gymnastics with skateboarding, and inspired by the likes of Bruce Logan and Torger Johnson, Skitch was a force to be reckoned with in the mid-’70s, when he was a prominent member of the Hobie team (he was also sponsored at other times by Bad Co. and Stinger). In fact, he won the freestyle division at the 1975 San Diego World Contest. In 1978, Skitch designed a skateboard attached to a rail that permitted him to be the first to consistently make the loop featured in a theatrical show called Skateboard Mania. After lagging for years, Skateboarder Magazine finally honored Skitch with an interview in their February 1979 issue. In 2008, Skitch worked with Dale Smith to release the Hitchcock model deck by Skate Designs, Inc. Skitch Hitchcock passed away in 2013.

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