Twenty years of Danny Way
I grew up not too far from Danny, he lived only a couple towns over. My group of friends I skated with had heard of a group in Vista who all skated super good. Looking at the list of people he grew up skating with, it’s no wonder that we heard of them 20 miles away (which is a pretty long distance in an 11 year old’s world). Little did I know that in a couple years, that group would revolutionize skateboarding as the world knew it.
A twenty year career as an athlete is one thing but twenty years being a professional in a sport like skateboarding is a whole different ballgame. A baseball player might last twenty years and the last time I checked, they sit around a lot and don’t fall ten to thirty feet to flat too often.
Danny Way isn’t normal person, I’m pretty sure he’s a robot. He’s had more career ending break off’s than anyone can count and somehow he’s still on top of his game 20 years later.
When he does something, he does it. While working for him at Plan B about 10 years ago, I went with him and Ryan Hughes to Glamis to scope out an idea he had. What the hell does he want to do out there on a skateboard I remember thinking when he asked me. Basically, it was a launch ramp turned at least 100 past 11 with a plywood clad sand dune as a runout. I thought he was insane. Fast forward a couple years and you have his mind-boggling part in The DC Video and the ensuing Big Air competition at the X Games.
While working at Plan B, the DC / XYZ / Plan B ramp was literally on the other side of my office. During a failed blunt to fakie attempt on the extension (which was on the edge of the ramp; 17′ tall, 4′ wide & 4′ of vert), he managed to knock our clock, dry erase board and bookcase off the wall (and finishing off one of his knees). I stood up on top of that extension a few times and was scared just standing there.
There’s a million other stories just like these when it comes to Danny and skating but they all end the same, Danny just does things different. Whichever sport he chose, he would have been the one of the best and skateboarding it was his choice. Here’s to twenty years Danny, congratulations.
As a fitting celebration none other than Wes Humpston (the original artist for all the old Dogtown boards) did Danny’s twentieth anniversary graphic. Looks like my wallet’s going to get a bit lighter and my skate deck collection a bit bigger.
If you want to read about Danny’s career, the latest issue of the Skateboard Mag has a very interesting timeline and Plan B’s website has a lot of photos, all his video parts and other mish mash to check out.