Don Bostick - 2024 Skateboarding Hall of Fame Inductee - Photo by Bill Golding

Don Bostick

Don Bostick – born August 1, 1950 – Honolulu, Hawaii

I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. My father was in the Navy and married my mom, a local Hawaiian girl from Hilo, Hawaii. My father was of Dutch/German decent and grew up in Texas. I have an older sister, Esther Jewett and a younger brother, Jack Bostick. At 4 years of age we moved to San Diego, CA.

BEFORE SKATEBOARDING:

In San Diego, at the age of 8, I rode a scooter around my neighborhood of National City. It was made out of old steel roller skates, a 2 by 4 piece of wood and it had a handle. In 1958, because my dad was in the Navy, our family moved to Subic Bay, in the Philippines Islands. The neighborhood there was very nice Navy housing, and the area was very hilly. We had an outdoor movie theater. I lived in a cul-de-sac where a bunch of us kids would roller skate around on the steel skates that attached to your leather shoes. One day, I broke one of my skates, so I took a flat piece of wood big enough to sit on and I put it on top of my skate and I started riding it around the neighborhood sitting on it. Soon, all my friends made a butt board as that’s what we called it; and we would just jam everywhere on our butt boards flying down the hills. It became our transportation to the outdoor movie theater. The movies were all free! Not sure, but I’m thinking I’m the first to do this, thus possibly the first person to try land luge? Which I take up many years later.

SKATEBOARDING:

In 1960 we moved back to San Diego.

1962 – At 12 years of age we moved from San Diego, CA to the San Francisco Naval Shipyard (which years later became the home of Thrasher Magazine and Independent Trucks). It was there on the Shipyard that I started skateboarding on steel wheels. There were lots of hills in the neighborhood and we had a crew that would basically see who could make down without falling. One day while trying to show off for a couple of girls, my friend was giving me a push as I was riding a homemade skateboard with steel wheels. He pushed me running as fast as he could. I ended up getting the woobs and we both fell. We flew through the air for a good while before I landed on my face, chipping my front tooth. To this day, I still have that chipped tooth. I can also remember setting up coke cans and doing slalom for the first time. That Christmas I got a Makaha Skateboard with clay wheels and loose ball bearings and my skating greatly improved.

  • 1964 – My dad retired from the Navy and we moved to Daily City, CA – I was a sophomore at Balboa High School. I hooked up with some friends that also were in skateboarding. We started up a little team known as the Wipe Outs. We skated all over the city. Best spots were Playland by the Sea in Ocean Beach and also the parking lot at City College. There was an elementary school a couple blocks from my house and skateboarded there pretty every day after school.
  • 1965 – I tried my best to talk my parents into letting me to go to the National Skateboarding Championships in Anaheim, CA. However, I was not successful and I was so bummed. That year I saw the Hobie Skateboard team at the Sports and Boat Show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. It was the first time I had seen anyone doing kickturns. It blew my mind. I went home and practiced and practiced until I became pretty good at spinning 360’s frontside and backside, kicking turning and doing wheelie variations. I also learned how to do handstands and I made a high jump.
  • 1967 – Skateboarding pretty much died! The companies went out of business and equipment was no longer available. I stopped skating and spent all my time on Surfing! We also moved to Vallejo, which was north of San Francisco. I met one other skater/surfer at my high school, Gary DeGario, who to this day we still surf together. I had my driver’s license and we spent almost every weekend surfing Santa Cruz, Pacifica and Bolinas.
  • 1974 – I bought a skateboard at Mervyn’s with the new Urethane wheels and started skating again. Then one month later bought a Bahne and a Hang Ten skateboard. I was playing music for a living and my band was touring Utah and Colorado. I ended up skating several drainage ditches along the way and in Colorado Springs, I ended up skating in a demo in the parking lot at a shopping mall that had a Winter Promotion going on promoting skiing. I was the only one there that could do multiple 360’s and handstands.
  • 1975 – I was now living in Sacramento, having moved there to be in a band, called Slo Loris. Skateboard City opened a skate shop in Carmichael and there was a big boom in Skateboarding. It was there that I first met Wet Willie, William Koepp. He was one of the few old-school skaters from the 60’s. We hit it right off. I starting skating downtown Old Sacramento at Stoker Hill, which became the spot to hang out. Skaters from all over Sacramento would go there. Stoker Hill was a long asphalt bank underneath the freeway in Old Sacramento. There I met Doug Jones and Gary Cross, future N-Men!

We used to surf skate and emulate all the dogtown boys that we see pictures of in Skateboarder Magazine. (See the movie, N-Men – the Untold Story, just released and now available on all social media outlets for 2024.)

  • 1976 – California Pro Skateboards opened a shop in Carmichael and I became great friends with the owner. At one time I was going to open a store for them in the Sacramento area. Roy Jamison of the California Pro Team, who was from Hawaii came to town. He did the first frontside lip slide I’d ever seen at Stoker Hill going full speed! His low surf style was so rad! He also showed us how to skate Jeff Will]s backyard kidney pool. He had been skating the Pearl City Pool in Hawaii and was already hitting coping while the rest of us, were just learning to carve and do kickturns. We became great friends. He was an amazing skateboarder and human! California Pro also had some great skateboarders from Southern California that hung out in Sacramento: Steve Ship, Ed Nadalin and Ellen O’Neill. They had a great impact on the local skaters. All of them had just won the California State Championships in Ventura.
  • I opened my own skate shop – Skateboards Etc. (1976 – 78) – I was 26 and owned a Dodge Van that transported the Skateboards Etc. Team to skate spots, skateparks, ditches, ramps, pipes and demos all over Northern California and up to Reno, NV. Team riders included; Thom Merrick, Doug “Black Dog” Jones, Felix Hernandez, Rich and Billy Maile, Tyson Voland, Mike Waggoner, Curtis Bryant, Mitch Hudson, Tom Bixby and Ross O’Shea.
Don Bostick-1977-Sierra Wave Skatepark, Sacramento CA- photo Bill Golding
Don Bostick -1977 – Sierra Wave Skatepark, Sacramento CA – photo Bill Golding
Don Bostick -1977 - Sierra Wave Skatepark, Sacramento CA - photo Bill Golding
Don Bostick -1977 – Sierra Wave Skatepark, Sacramento CA – photo Bill Golding
  • I met Steve O Brockway and his brother John outside of Vacaville, CA at the Sun Bowl. I had a van full of skaters and we were just returning from skating a backyard park in Pacifica. Steve and John were ripping the place and all of us immediately hit it off. Steve O is one of my closest friends to this day. We’ve skated, snowboarded, mountain biked, partied and worked together over all the years and still continue to do so. He’s a key judge every year on the WCS Bowl Competitions! There more to tell later in his bio.
  • I skated in the Am Division Slalom at the Northern California Skateboard Championships at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA. 2nd
  • Black Dog aka: Doug Jones discovered a kidney pool in the backyard of an abandoned house a block away from where he lives in South Sacramento. Soon, the sessions were going off! You only skated there if you were down with Black Dog or John O’Shea. It was there I did my first grinds on coping. Black Dog named the place the “Nigger Bowl”, which we ended up calling the N Bowl. Now Black Dog was a huge fan of the Z Boys and the fact that they were ripping backyard pools, he very much respected them. So, the way I remember it, Black Dog one day just said, hey we aren’t Z Boys we are N-Men! And thus, the birth of the N-Men!
  • 1977 – 80’s – I was doing well competing in Downhill and Slalom competitions. I end up skating for Santa Cruz Skateboards and was also a member of Fat City Racing. I won the Masters Division 2 years in a row at the National Skateboard Review’s Championships in La Costa. That first year I beat Denis Shufeldt and my teammate Cliff Coleman, who both are already in the Hall of Fame. I’m pretty stoked to finally be joining them.
  • The following year, I placed 1st in the masters and 5th in the pro at the Henry Hester Slalom Championships also at La Costa. I actually posted the fastest time in qualifying. I was pretty stoked skating with Hutson, Scolberg and the boys!
  • Rich Novac from NHS hired me as Amateur Team Manager for Santa Cruz Skateboards. I drove the crew all over N. Cal for contests. Once the team skated in the 4th of July Parade at Mammoth Lakes. I will always remember John O’Shea doing slalom turns through the ROTC guys marching in the parade. At the end of the parade they all wanted to kick John’s ass, but somehow he talked them out it. During this time skateparks were going off! The Skateboard Palace was the first one in Sacramento and we use to skate the indoor park all the time. When the Sierra Wave opened in Rancho Cordova, skateboarding in Sacramento was at its best! Randy Katen was the man! He ended up being the manager and resident pro skater, as I remember it! Randy with his flowing skating style and even better flowing personality, became a figure head in Sacto Skateboarding!

Once the parks closed due to the Insurance Companies no longer offering Liability Insurance. Skateboarding went underground. I went back on the road playing music, I was still skating, but kind of lost touch with many of the crew. I remember around 1985 I ran into Steve O. We ended up skating the Carpet Banks together and he was now living in Sacramento. It wasn’t that long after I ended up working with Dale Smith from Go Skate and I opened a Go Skate Store in Citrus Heights. Steve O was the first guy I hired. It was a rad time. We had the School Banks just down the street and skateboarding was once again going off! It was cool seeing many of the old crew again. Katin, Cross and Bixby were back at it! A whole new generation of N-Men were now coming on. I had this one kid that hung out at the shop that became like a son to me and Steve O, his name was Jeff Toland. What a talented skater! He went on to turn pro and definitely is a N-Men Hall of Famer!

Don Bostick -1977 - Sierra Wave Skatepark, Sacramento CA - photo Bill Golding
Don Bostick -1977 – Sierra Wave Skatepark, Sacramento CA – photo Bill Golding

In 1988 I help to organize the Sacto Burnout Mini Ramp Pro Competition. It was a group project with all of the Sacto crew skaters and N-Men being involved. Dave Berthold from Blockhead Skateboards designed a killer mini ramp set up, which Steve O and a crew built in my backyard on our tennis court in Granite Bay out by Folsom Lake. The comp was held at the Sacramento Raceway. We had a few different crews that torn down the ramp at my place and then another that set it up at the raceway. In the end, we pulled off what was later called the best event of the year! Tony Hawk won!

1989 – A few weeks later, I was at Go Skate working when I received a call from Tom Cozens, the new president of the National Skateboard Association, who I hung up on when he told me they wanted to hire me as the new NSA Competition Director and that my first event was in Hawaii in one month. He ended up calling me back and we talked. Turned out that Fausto (Thrasher Mag) and Rich Novac (NHS) suggested me for the job! Two days later I was on a plane to San Diego, where Frank Hawk (Tony’s dad), the founder of the NSA picked me up from the airport and I spent a few days with him and his wife Nancy learning about the NSA. One month later, my wife Danielle and I were in Hawaii producing our first NSA Pro Mini Ramp Event. I hired Steve O to be the announcer and then soon, we were traveling around the country running comps and eventually we went to Europe. In 1990, I was invited by Titus Dittman from Munster, Germany to help out with the World Championships that he started a few years earlier. He was Europe’s largest distributor, and the US skate companies were very supportive in sending skaters there. The first year I was blown away at how large skateboarding was in Europe. Skaters from the US were treated like rockstars. It changed my whole way of thinking and that an international tour could be a reality.

1990 – I left Go Skate and start working full time for the NSA with Danielle. We opened up a home office in Granite Bay, CA. At first, I worked with Frank Hawk on the National AM Series. Then, Steve O became the Amateur Director. We started to organize different NSA Affiliate organizations around the country. There was a clear path of being an amateur and turning pro as the National Am Series became the path to turning pro. We had a great system of district contests, regional contests and then a National Championship.

1993 – Things got real tight with the NSA, as the skateboard industry, was in big financial trouble. Most companies lost their ass and my board of directors all just kind of disappeared. Meanwhile having gone to Europe for a few years, I came up with the idea of World Cup Skateboarding.

I was named N-Men of the year in 1993. I miss the party that year, because of a snow storm that hit that day, I was living in the mountains. Katin and Cross gave me my award a few weeks later. It took me a while to figure out the pool that was pictured on my award. It was a shot of Katin standing in the deep end while Cross did a backside grind on the coping. Well, it turned out to be my backyard pool. They took the picture while Danielle and I were in Europe. The pool had just been painted and they put copers on and kept everything clean and didn’t say a word. The thing is I got in big argument with Danielle about how I was going to skate the pool, but she wouldn’t have it. Then these guys pull it off while we were gone. Our son Ian, had let them come in and skate.

1994 – Danielle and I officially started World Cup Skateboarding. We had learned a lot by running the NSA. We started out concentrating on Pro Skateboarding Events and tried to not make the same mistakes. We had great support from the skaters! The first WCS World Tour consisted of: Slam City Jam, Vancouver B.C., Canada, Back to the City, San Francisco and the World Championships in Munster, Germany. We slowly grew the tour over the years, covering over 20 events that encompassed the United States, Canada, England, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, Malaysia, China, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Belgium and Holland.

1995 – I got a call from ESPN and started working with them in formatting the Skateboarding events for the first Extreme Games in Rhode Island. WCS then continued to organize all the skateboarding events for the X Games, Asian X Games, Latin X Games, European X Games, X Games Mexico, X Games Dubai, B3 Series and Destination Extreme Series with ESPN right up to 2012.

I also started organizing all the skateboarding and snowboarding events for the Dew Tour, working with NBC from 2004 until 2014.

In 2004 during the Skateboarding World Championships in Dortmund, Germany I was elected as Vice President of newly formed International Skateboarding Federation. I held that position until 2016. I then went on to be a part of the International Events Committee that would be formatting the skateboarding events for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Also in 2004 was elected as Vice President of the USA Skateboarding and continued in that position for several years before USA Skateboarding had to reorganize everything in order to be recognized by the US Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body. I then continued as a member of the Board of Directors.

In 2019, I took on the role as the Chairman of the Downhill/Luge Committee and was in the leading role of qualifying and naming a USA team of skaters for the World Skate Games in Barcelona, Spain. The team ended up doing very well, as Emile Pross won the Women’s Downhill and Ryan Farmer placed 2nd in the men’s Luge with Daniel Engle 4th the in the men’s Downhill. In 2022, I created a new Slalom Committee for USA Skateboarding and bought in Di Dootson Rose as the Chairman. Our first goal was to have Slalom added to the World Skate Games for 2023. We were successful as we ended up naming and sending a team for Downhill/Luge and Slalom to Argentina for the World Skate Games.

Not too long after the Olympic in Tokyo, USA Skateboarding lost the title as the National Governing Body for skateboarding. Chairman of the Board, Gary Ream resigned not very long afterwards, and I was voted in as the new Chairman of the Board for USA Skateboarding. In 2023 I then moved forward and was successful in having the board name a new CEO, Johnny Schillereff. With hopes for a fresh start for USA Skateboarding with a new CEO and new Board of Directors, I resigned as Chairman and took on the role as Demonstration Sports Director, representing the non-Olympic disciplines of skateboarding. I did this for a few months until both Slalom and Downhill/Luge both created National associations and are now both recognized by USA Skateboarding.

Back in 1993 I broke my back snowboarding while launching of a cliff at Donner Ski Ranch. I had titanium rods in my spine for 3 years, and lost feeling in parts of my lower body. The result greatly affected my skateboarding. I couldn’t skateboard other than just cruise. I haven’t skated a pool since before my injury. I did continue to snowboard and mountain bike. Since I have bindings for both and my feet were locked in, I didn’t have any problem. But skating was tough. My back foot would sometime slip of the back of the board, I’d eat shit. I couldn’t feel that anything was happening until it was too late. It spooked me for a long time. Here I am traveling around the world to some the best skate spots and I can’t skate, it was a bit frustrating! At most events, I cruise around on my slalom board, still able to pump. I did end up competing slalom in some of the Fat City Racing events that took place, but I never regain the level I was at before my accident. Due to the abuse over all the years that I put my body through skating, surfing, snowboarding, skiing and mountain bike riding I have had both hips and both knees replaced. All has greatly affected my skateboarding. For a while I would go to a school and cruise around on my board, just trying to get a feel for skating again. It’s so weird as I felt completely like a beginner. Just pushing and stepping on the board was so difficult. A funny story is that one day after a successful session at the school I was heading back to my car barely moving and I hit a rock that completely stop me and I went down injuring my right wrist, which I had broken back when I was 27. I just shook it off and went home. However, a few hours later I was in great pain and ended going to the emergency room.

Turns out it was serious sprain! When my wife Danielle asked what happened I lied and told her I slipped on an oil spill in the parking lot of the grocery store. It took a while before I confessed I had been skateboarding.

Each December what started out as honoring both the N-Men and Randy Katin’s birthday, the N-Men Christmas Party has become an annual event. I can’t remember how many N-Men Parties I’ve been to over the years, but the greatest thing is that due to Randy Katin and Steve O Brockway, the parties have continued and in the past few years, a summer get together has also been added to the calendar. The fact that so many people have remained good friends for over 40 years due to skateboarding is fucking amazing!

I’m now 73 years old and to think that I was 26/27 when the whole N-Men thing started, it still seems like yesterday. Since I no longer live in Northern California I have missed a few N-Men Parties, but I will continue to attend as long as I’m able. I’ve played acoustic guitar and sung at twice at the Christmas Party. In 2010 and again in 2012. I missed the 2013 party where I was honored with the N-Men OG award, so each time I’ve been honored, I miss the party and personally receiving my awards.

To this day, I’m honored to be an N-Men and feel blessed to be a part of a family of friends that respect and love each other and continue to do so! N for life! Last year 2023, the movie/documentary, N-Men the Untold Story came out. It is now available on all social media platforms. It has won numerous awards and has been viewed and received very successfully around the world.

SNOWBOARDING: When I owned Skateboards Etc., I bought a Sims Lonnie Toft Snowboard in 1977

1993 – I got a job as the Marketing Director at Donner Ski Ranch. When I was working for Go Skate, I was also selling and promoting snowboarding. I use to run bus trips from Sacramento to Donner Ski Ranch for snowboarders, so I developed a nice relationship with Norm Saylor the owner of Donner. I ended up working for him for 5 years till 1998. Along the way I developed the North Tahoe Snowboard Series for USASA, was President of USASA 1995 – 97, created North and South Tahoe Snowboard Series, was a certified ISF Technical Supervisor, a consultant for the ESPN Freeride Tour 1999, Competition Director of the Vans Snowboarding Triple Crown 1999 – 2004, Head Technical Supervisor USASA Nationals 2001 – 2012, Competition Director World Superpipe Championships at Park City, UT 2003 – 2010, Organizing Committee member of the “Legends of Tahoe Snowboarding” 2005 to present, also honored as a Legend of Tahoe Snowboarding in 2008. I organized and formatted all the snowboarding events for the ESPN Winter X Games 1997 – 2010.

MOUNTAIN BIKING: I went to Mammoth in 1995 and was certified by the National Off Road Biking Association as an NORBA Official. I ran the Mountain Bike Series at Donner Ski Ranch for 5 years. I built trails there and rode every day in the summers. I competed in the local Tahoe Mt. Series and also worked in Forrest Hill with Danny Magog Chandler on his Mountain Bike Series a few years as the announcer. I worked Mt. Bike events in the Bay Area and up to Redding, CA.

SURFING: I stared surfing at Kelly’s Cove in San Francisco, when I was 14. Through high school, I surfed all over California and spent most weekends in Santa Cruz surfing. I surfed my first contest at Pedro Point when I was 15. I’ve surfed Hawaii, Mexico and the East Coast. In 2004 I moved to Aptos and became a regular at Privates and Capitola. I soon became a member of the Big Stick Surfing Association, Santa Cruz, CA. I’m known as the Voice of the Log Jam, which is the annual Vintage Long Board Competition. I continue to announce the event each year and will be there again this April 27 & 28, 2024. I also for the past 6 years have announced the annual Longboard Union

MUSIC: The son of a Hawaiian dancer, singer and performer, I learned early in life at age 10, what it was like to perform before people, playing drums in Hawaiian shows produced by my mother, Helen Leilani Bostick, at many yacht clubs in San Diego, CA. Then moving to San Francisco, I was honed on the music of the Flower Power days as well as influence by the great jazz and blues players that came through the Bay Area. Catching shows as a teenager at the Fillmore, Avalon Ballroom and Winter Land, I witnesses music history and soon found himself traveling all over the country playing rock, funk and soul music in a variety of bands.

In 1970 at the age of 20 I moved Sacramento to join the band, “Slo Loris”, a 7-piece jazz-rock band that was on the verge of a recording contract, working with Mike Botts the drummer from the popular recording group “Bread”. They headlined many shows around Northern California and backed up Chuck Berry at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento. Sacramento became home for many years to follow, as he continued to travel around the country, Hawaii and Canada playing music. I started singing and soon was fronting bands as well as playing drums. My last band before giving up the life as a professional musician in 1988, was promptly called “Bostick”.

Since those days, I taught himself acoustic guitar, started writing songs and basically just played for myself and on occasion for friends. Just a few years ago I was watching some friends playing acoustic music at Fins Coffee in Santa Cruz, CA and the thought wow, “I can do that”. I asked if could play a few of his tunes the next time they played during one of their breaks. I did and was then asked by the owner to play there on his own. 4 years later with a dozen original songs and over 50 popular coffee cover tunes, I’ve become a performer at the Seascape Sports Club in Aptos, CA on their First Fridays. I’ve has since preformed at the Beach Hut Deli in Granite Bay, CA next to Folsom Lake and was the opening act at the N-Men Party at the Blue Lamp Club in Sacramento (attached photo) and was a featured artist at the Santa Cruz Street Fair and New Leaf Green Fair as well as playing the Donner Summit Lodge near Lake Tahoe on many occasions. I continued to play around Santa Cruz and Capitola, CA at the Wine Tyme Wine Bar, the East Side Eatery and the New Leaf Cafe. From old school classics to current hits, I love to play your acoustic music afternoons and evening showcases!

For the past 3 years my wife, Danielle, and I have been living in Cherry Valley, in Southern California and I’ve become a regular playing a few times a month at the Grand Oaks Steakhouse and Bar at the local Highlands Springs Resort and at Victors in Beaumont, CA. I also makes the drive over to the coast playing the Beach Hut Deli in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Dana Point. In 2015, I also started playing gigs in the Phoenix, AZ. The summer of 2016, Don played the Sausage and Beer Festival at the Highland Springs Resort in Cherry Valley, CA. Don in September, he traveled to Nevada City, CA and played a set at the Ol Republic Brewery. I was the host and a performer for the Highland Springs Village Talent Show in 2016. I started finding gigs thru two different online social media companies: Thumbtack and GigSalad – as a result I have sung, DJ ’ed, run Karaoke for hundreds of private parties and events around Southern California and at 73 years old continue to do so, remaining very active most weekends. I am a featured entertainer the first Friday of each month in the Bar/Restaurant at the Palm Desert Greens Country Club where we live. I have performed all around the Palm Springs area at various Country Clubs and night clubs.

– by Don Bostick