Sunday, January 22, 2012

N-Orbit revisted

there's been a buzz in my little internet world lately. it all started earlier in the week when chad minton and greg the mayor got the crazy idea to have reunion party for N-Orbit. unless you lived and skated around here before 1992 you probably have no idea what i'm talking about. N-Orbit was a skateshop/outdoor skatepark located in greenwood just south of the mall on fry road (the OG shop was on main street in greenwood). they had a street course out front that you never had to pay to skate. it was fresh smooth asphalt. there were ollie bumps, a flat bar, and probably the first bank to jersey barrier ever made. inside the fence was a 4 and 6 foot mini and a huge vert ramp. the only covered ramp was a 2' tall 8' wide "dork ramp" that was under the awning. pretty simple set up, but that was standard in those days. looking back, it's about as romantic as any skateboard memories are for me. the boards that lined the walls are ones that collectors would kill for today. it was when i fanned out on visiting pros and nervously asked them for an zine interview. it was a time of skateboarding innocence, oblivious to the inner workings and dynamics of the industry, friendships, egos, drama and anything else that taints us. jim and bruce were 100% skateboarding with out knowing or even claiming it. it's been fun to revisit these memories and images. here are just a few.

adam beltz on the last day that n-orbit was open.

kein lieu.

OG card.

bruce barnett on the vert ramp. photo unknown.

ad that was in my first zine.

christian hosoi. photo greg the mayor

OG sticker.


Say Whatttttt ?!?! said...

My grandparents lived in Homecroft. I have a very faint memory of driving by the skatepark to go to Kohls at very young age. Well before I "really" started skating. Of course, this memory may be fabricated...

Mid 90's, my friends and I would skate a flatbar that was in the remnants of the skate park when on the south side. I never knew if that flatbar was put there by somebody, or part of the original skate park. I don't recall the bump still being there during this time.

hutch73 said...

the bumps and barrier were removed soon after closing, but for some reason the flatbar stayed.

nathaniel russell said...

broke my arm there twice!
seeing rob dyrdek's first contest as a pro there was the first time i saw somebody do a blunt.
and jim chasing a geo tracker full of preppy dudes away with a baseball bat.
great memories.

Bruce Barnett said...

Some great memories and great friends....If anyone truly had known I was living a dream! N-Orbit shaped my life forever. Met my wife in those days, learned a ton from Jim and experienced the bliss of doing something I truly loved.

1.21roots said...

Man, N-Orbit was a great place! I was 10/11 years old (I'm 34 now), I remember my Mom taking my oldest brother Chad, his friend Jason and me there a number of times. I loved looking at the boards and seeing the "older" guys skate. I would skate out on the street course and climb up and sit on the very ramp to see guys fly through the air. I remember distinctly sitting up on the very ramp next to Christian Hosoi, both our legs dangling down (his about 2 feet longer than mine). He asked me a question, but I was so quiet in those days, I don't think I answered him! I remember one day my brother wasn't home, and I wanted to skate so bad, I went over to Jason's house to see if he would go with me. No one was coming to the door, so I kept ringing the doorbell! Finally his Dad opened the door and chewed me out (I deserved that). But he must have told Jason I stopped by, because he came over later and we headed over to N-Orbit to skate. That was the first time I dropped down the 6' ramp. I looked up to the owner as much as an 11 year old boy could to someone. He was a really good guy. My Mom felt so comfortable with him (he would even say hi to her by name when she came in) that she would just drop us off, do some shopping and pick us back up after a couple hours. All that to say, I have some really nice memories of N-Orbit. : )

Doug Davenport said...

Just bumped in to this blog. N-Orbit was a great experience. Being the older member of the team and having started my skating life at 10 in 1976, When I met Jim, Owner of N-Orbit, It was a new beginning. After Building Ramps at My House and partnering with Eric Schroeder on a Larger one at his house, Jim approached us to help with the Ramps at N-Orbit. What a great deal!

The Time with N-Orbit will always be at the top for me. Skating with so many greats that I looked up to and others that became great. Being with my friends, Eric Schroeder, Bruce Barnett, Chad Minton and others. I spent a lot of time there skating, hanging out, working on the ramps and helping some in the shop. My time with N-Orbit started when Jim had a small display case at the Target mall in his satellite TV shop. From there it grew. I am very thankful for Jims desire to chase the Skate scene. Allowing me to be a part of the N-Orbit team and for his trust.

Doug Davenport
Skater, Rally car driver and builder, dad and all around good guy!