Jake Phelps RIP

(September 24, 1962 – March 14, 2019)

Jake Phelps and Jeff Grosso
Jake Phelps and Jeff Grosso

This just sucks. I met him through Joe Lopes and Fish. We went to skate his ramp and at first he said I couldn’t ride. Joey talked with him and after some brutal heckling and a frontside roll in, we settled into a very memorable session. Everyone ripped and I remember being impressed by his efforts to get a nollie to fakie. We had our ups and downs over the years. The phone calls at all hours of day or night. We’d talk about life, our livers, the dope game, and always skating. Danny Webster’s inverts, Mike Smith, he called me when I was going through my divorce. Just to make sure I wasn’t going off the rails, when I was. He spoke with biting wit and brutal honesty. His truth. I’ve never known anyone that loved skating more than Jake. From the day I met him, until the last time I saw him, I was always seeking his approval, his respect. The last conversation I had with him was about Oliver skating, and our responsibility to skating, to “get it right” for generations to come. The stories, the history. He said he was there for me, and quickly went back to ignoring me. Ha! He could be frustratingly hard to like, but easy to love. My heart goes out to his family, the Thrasher folk, and all the Hell ride crew. He was a rare and beautiful individual and he lived an uncompromisingly full life. Scorch the heavens black my friend, fuck the bastards…

Jeff Grosso – March 2019