The day Lance Mountain came to town

By: Cam Nikkel

In the age of social networking, I am often surprised to only find about an event after it already happened. Thankfully this was not the case when I heard Lance Mountain was coming to town.

I was checking my inbox one week prior when I found a request my friend Mike sent to me, asking to borrow a lens for the following Wednesday. He wrote:  “I want to get some shots of Lance Mountain skating the bowl!”  I had not heard or seen anything about Lance Mountain coming to town so I simply asked him if he was kidding.  He was not! If he never mentioned it, I may not have hunted down the e-flyer, but I did and I found it.

Flip Skateboards Canadian Tour! Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver with Lance Mountain, David González, Curren Caples, Ben Nordberg, Louie Lopez, Arto Saari and Matt Berger on the bill.

I may be caught “living under a rock” from time to time with the current affairs of the skateboarding world, as I know more about the people skateboarding ten feet around me than I do about any current pro skateboarder out there in the industry today. Despite my low interest for the who’s who of skateboarding, even I know that David Gonzalez was named Thrasher Magazine’s S.O.T.Y (Skater of the Year) for 2012. So needless to say I was looking forward to seeing him tear up The Plaza at The Forks.

Lance Mountain? Well he’s been gracing the pages of Thrasher magazine since I started reading them back in 1986. My generation of skateboarders (the pre-internet generation) grew up watching Lance Mountain grow up. He got married and had kids. Back then; one could assume that was the same as retiring. Dads are old and old people don’t skateboard, right? Wrong!

Photo: Cam Nikkel

When Lance Mountain and the rest of Powell Peralta’s Bones Brigade crew were in their teen years during the late 80’s, catching someone in their mid-to late forties on a skateboard would have been a rare sight for sure.  Thankfully times changed and although it’s twenty-five years later, you can still catch “The Masters” in action throughout the year at different public events and competitions.

Despite the fact that Lance Mountain can still shred bowls and vert-ramps at forty-nine years old, he chose not to do so while in Winnipeg. He spoke of his most recent knee surgery still healing. He also mentioned that in his position he can choose what he prefers to skate and that he didn’t prefer to skate anything while in town.

David González was nowhere to be found either, which was disappointing as the bowl was not used during the demo, but Matt Berger, Curren Caples and Louie Lopez put on one of the best demos I have ever witnessed.  Not only did they provide next level skateboarding entertainment for the huge crowds in attendance, they didn’t just pack up and leave once they were done. They all stuck around for autographs, photos and some conversations with their fans.

Louie Lopez | BS Nose Blunt
Curren Caples | FS Melon
Mat Berger | BS 270 Lipslide to Fakie
Photo: Cam Nikkel

Growing up immersed in skateboard magazines and punk rock zines is a large part of what inspires me to publish the P/S (Pancakes and Skateboards) Zine today. So it goes without saying that I was just simply stoked to be able to offer the latest issues to Lance Mountain himself, cause if it wasn’t for growing up learning about their skateboarding world… I wouldn’t have been so inspired to share our own!

Lance Mountain reading P/S Zine. Photo: Cam Nikkel

Part of our own story is bringing my own son down to see “the demo” and to meet Lance Mountain. Instead of joining the crowd of skateboarders of all ages and other curious onlookers to catch the Flip Skateboard Team in action, him and his friends took advantage of the portions of the park not being used to skate! Once the crowd was gathered around, he felt it was appropriate to “barge” the demo and get in on the action.

Daniel Nikkel | FS Bonelss
Daniel Nikkel | FS Bonelss

As a parent I was thinking, “don’t interrupt the demo.” As a proud father I was thinking, “nice trick.”  As an “old man” I pondered what I would have done in the same situation at 10 years old? Oh wait, that was 1982…I still had another four years to go before being introduced to my first skateboard.


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