Corey Duffel's "People I've Known" Article

Duffle Photo31 750pxPhoto: Zaslavsky


Duffle Intro 750px


Duffle photo1 750pxI broke into his backyard with Heath Kirchart, Josh Beagle, SkateTalk Bob, and some babes to go swimming. Tod came out furious and tried to kick us out while we were doing cannonballs off the neighbor’s wall. Bob was walking around naked at 2 am looking for his lost glasses, yet somehow Heath turned the situation around and Tod invited us inside. Swankser, I love you and thanks for the Dodge Dart and everything.

Duffle photo2 750pxI was not patient as a teenager. I was probably too ignorant to even know what patience was. I always wondered what would have happened if I waited it out and rode for Toy Machine. I used to leave messages on Tempster’s answering machine about babes I was hitting the bone zone with and telling him that I did my first nosegrind down a handrail.

Duffle photo3 750pxThe dude put me in his video game and made me never want to eat Bagel Bites again.

Duffle photo4 750pxHe’s always had a thing for sausages. In 2001, he put me on Pig and later Foundation. He now sends me The Meat Men salami. Beagle is one of the best people I know and without his support I never would have gone pro. Skateboarding and I miss you, Beags.

Duffle photo42 750pxYou don’t win friends with salad.

Duffle photo55 750pxThe John J. Rambo of handrails. He can grind things that would make a billy goat puke.

Duffle photo46 750pxEveryone should watch his 101 part and buy his ankle guards. Who remembers the 50-50 nollie flip out down the grass hill?

Duffle photo47 750pxLance is proof that skateboarding is all about style and soul. Hands down, he is the most inspirational skateboarder of all time.

Duffle photo65 750pxI fan out on her and bore her with the same story of how she’s one of my favorites every time I see her.

Duffle Photo32 750pxNot known for his free-loving vibe, Corey breaks the mold and hippy hops from an oblique line     Photo: Zaslavsky

Duffle photo5 750pxThe sanest of them all.

Duffle photo6 750pxBK was the first one to help me out during my confused teenage times and mentor me about skateboarding and music. He taught me that punk was about more than just chaos and
shock value. He got me a cover of Heckler and a Thin Lizzy CD. SF misses you and so do I.

Duffle photo7 750pxI went skating in Sacto with him when I was 12 and remember him eating shit and saying, “The concrete has no love today.” Twenty-one years later, I still say that when I slam. Cards has been one of my biggest influences.

Duffle photo8 750pxHow will he talent manage at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when he doesn’t fly?

Duffle photo9 750pxI almost died filming a trick for one of his videos—and it still didn’t get used.

Duffle photo10 750pxThe all-time best skateboarder from the East Bay and the best spine skater of all time. Old man Speyer always gave me shit. Recently he told me that he liked my one-footed ollies, while also reminding me that Salman will always have a better one.

Duffle photo53 750px“I see a woman in the night.” Thanks for the years of laughter, Jamie.

Duffle photo41 750pxAsked me to get Dave Wakeling put him on the guest list for an English Beat show in LA. Dave gave a proper shout out onstage to the homies from Girl skateboards. The only Girl board I bought as a kid was a Rick Howard one.

Duffle photo36 750pxI beat him in a game of skate once. The E came from a hardflip. If it was a switch bigspin or frontside flip, I imagine he would have slapped my ass. Later that day he asked if I could ollie the Davis gap for his blog. Anything for Mike. He’s a true Bay Area powerhouse.

Duffle photo58 750pxI’m still waiting for my royalty checks.

Duffle Quote1 750px
Duffle photo11 750pxHe’s on a mission to crush my dreams one spot at a time. The younger, better Corey.

Duffle photo12 750pxHe needs to respect his elders, like Pat motherfuckin’ Duffy! Stick to skateboarding because there is only room for one Bob Dylan.

Duffle photo13 750pxI once asked Peter who his favorite skater was. His response, “Matt Hensley, you stupid-ass bitch.”

Duffle photo64 750pxHe fell off of a three-story roof and still skates better than I ever will. He also taught me how to make crepes in Paris and how to enjoy a three-hour French dinner after midnight.

Duffle photo43 750pxWe were record shopping in London and I was surprised to see him buying Blink 182 records. I love that he is 100 percent himself and does what he loves.

Duffle photo44 750pxThat Swedish meatball can fly! Airing the Mega Ramp at 50, but still can’t air out the scent from that tipped-over porta-potty in ’92.

Duffle photo49 750pxI really thought he was trying to commit suicide while bombing Dolores.

Duffle photo35 750pxI can still remember the smile and high five he gave me in 2002 after doing a fakie flip over a rail. No one dances like Ray, and to get a compliment from the king of cool was real cool.

Duffle SkatePhoto1 750pxOverseas and over a maze of a monster gap     Photo: Chadourne

Duffle photo14 750pxMy first and only kiss from a man; it was a very strange night in Moscow. He is my all-time favorite skateboarder and was a huge inspiration to my skateboarding. In 2003, he had his wisdom teeth removed and stayed with my parents as he recovered. They cooked him soup and made sure he was comfortable until he was out of pain. Years later he was too cool to say hello to me when his band opened up for Graveyard.

Duffle photo15 750pxI heard he used to make the dudes watch my video parts on Alien trips.

Duffle photo16 750pxLet’s be honest; I was an ignorant kid and said some fucked-up things a long time ago thinking I was cool and funny. I never meant it maliciously, but I learned a hard and very valuable lesson on how we can hurt other people. Stevie was really cool about the whole situation. I am humbled by his way of handling it. He knew I was a stupid kid, let it go and acted like a man. A true G. Seriously, what a cool dude. You taught me to be aware of my actions and taught me about forgiveness. Let’s go skate soon, dude!

Duffle photo45 750pxHe has more style while pushing down the street than anyone. Watch his Tincan Folklore part for the proof.

Duffle photo59 750pxStill waiting for you to get me on Converse and Fender. “Do it!” The words he yelled moments before I crushed a bicycle with the van. So many good memories with my homie the Nuge.

Duffle photo60 750pxHe sold me his Triumph Bonneville. Arto is the only pro that I have a photo fanning out with. It was at Slam City Jam in 1999 and Deanna Templeton took it.

Duffle photo38 750pxIf you haven’t seen the clip of him slamming on his DIY Mega Ramp, you’re missing out. Will we ever see him pushing? Big Boy kills it. And congrats on SOTY!

Duffle photo61 750pxI met him at a contest in Amsterdam that I was judging and was instantly a huge fan. A couple years later when he was in Oakland I introduced myself to him, because I didn’t recognize him. He looked annoyed, and the second he told me I gave him third place in the Amsterdam contest I remembered him and the fucked-up shoes he was skating in. It’s amazing to see the little kid from the contest is now doing stuff no one else in the world can do.

Duffle SkatePhoto2 750pxBusting egos and people’s property, Duffel don’t give a fuck     Photo: Zaslavsky

Duffle photo17 750pxWhen he told me I was his first favorite skater it made me feel very special. Evan Smith is everything I love in a skateboarder—he is an artist! Years ago he asked me for one of my rings, so I put out my hands and said, “Pick one.” He chose a cool Indian chief and I was stoked to give it to him.

Duffle photo18 750pxWhen I was 13 and riding for Think, the Duffman was on the team as well. I skated a demo with him at Benicia park. All my friends were there and they saw me skating in a demo with pros for the first time. Duffy is the most important skateboarder from the Bay Area.

Duffle photo19 750pxThe happy curmudgeon? I love Matt. We got off on the wrong foot because he was my counselor at Visalia skate camp in ’97. I was a 13-year-old crybaby and didn’t understand why this guy who hated kids was a counselor. Now that we are both old and grumpy, we love each other.

Duffle photo63 750pxDeserves a trophy for gnarliest grind ever done.

Duffle photo54 750pxOnce upon a time at a demo, I did an ollie over a barrier. He told me he thought it was a sick ollie and he didn’t know if he could do it or not. Later that day he 180d it. One of my favorite skaters to watch.

Duffle photo39 750pxI was beyond stoked when he gave me props for doing a frontside half Cab over the Mason Street gap.

Duffle photo48 750pxYou ever seen his Instagram video of him riding a bicycle backwards and singing Louis Armstrong’s "What a Wonderful World"?

Duffle photo57 750pxI was a huge J Wray fan growing up. Ethan Fowler once asked me who some of my favorite skaters were and I mentioned Jeremy Wray. Ethan laughed hysterically and bent down into a squat and stuck his thumbs out and said, “Yeah, great syle.”

Duffle Quote2 750px
Duffle photo20 750pxThanks for drawing a giant dick in my wedding guestbook, Brad.

Duffle photo21 750pxLike Dustin Dollin, I never know if he’s going to be too cool to say hello. I guess it just depends.

Duffle photo22 750pxStacy Peralta in a Supreme sweatshirt.

Duffle photo56 750pxDisco sucks. Jerry Garcia is dead. Give me rock or give me head.

Duffle photo40 750pxHe tried to trade me shoes when I was 16. He said my adidas looked better than his. I denied him and kept the pair of Jack Purcells I was wearing.

Duffle photo34 750pxI watched him fall in love at a strip club in Amarillo, TX, on a rainy day. Matt Mumford ordered two large pizzas to the place. Route 66 with the big dogs was one of the sickest trips ever. P-Stone frying on mushrooms convinced the cops that everything was okay as we were spray painting on Cadillacs.

Duffle photo52 750pxWhen we were in England, Daniel tried to buy some weed, but it was just a napkin wrapped in cellophane. He’s one of the best dudes to ever ride a skateboard. Happy retirement, Daniel. We are all going to miss your grace.

Duffle SkatePhoto3 750pxTaildrop and ride the slide, Duffel takes another leap down     Photo: Zaslavsky

Duffle photo23 750pxWhat would happen today if a team manager left a 14-year-old kid at the Milner Motel in Tampa with a canceled flight home?

Duffle photo24 750pxHe use to beat me in every CASL contest with the ultimate benihana. He is my homie for life—even if he is the one that told Ed not to put me on Toy Machine.

Duffle photo25 750pxI’m guessing one of the few that wasn’t stoked when I got on Foundation, but Strub’s and Rusczyk were half the reason I wanted to ride for Foundation. A Nor-Cal powerhouse.

Duffle photo26 750pxI was on a trip with him in and some other guys on Think in 1998. They had fun beating up on the little kid, farting in my face, pissing in my soda, cutting the pockets off of my cargo pants, throwing a pie in my face, giving me dead arms and just some good old-fashioned pros-picking-on-the-little-kid stuff. I loved it and I wish pros today would still beat up the up-and-coming ams. Ams don’t get to ride shotgun.

Duffle photo51 750pxI was mad jealous when he got on Foundation as a kid. Hope to see you soon.

Duffle photo37 750pxJaws and Dakota attended the 88 video premiere at Cowtown in Arizona when they were just kids. There is a photo of me with them somewhere. I don’t know if they are still fans.

Duffle photo50 750pxMy first time in Philly I was skating around and checking out some historic sights. I was on a crusty street with trash bags piled up on the sidewalks and was thinking to myself, This is such a Ricky Oyola spot. A minute later I hear someone pushing hard and popping ollies. I look down the road and it’s Ricky. He introduces himself and says, “These people have no idea they are making skate spots down the road.” It was fucking brilliant and hilarious. Ricky, you’re the real deal.

Duffle SkatePhoto4 750pxIt’s amazing that the Duffy rail is still a go—suicide Smith in the sunshine     Photo: Zaslavsky

Duffle photo27 750pxI beat him in a contest once and he started crying. It was the only time I ever got first place in a pro contest. Do I need to mention that he was only a kid?

Duffle photo28 750pxThanks for helping me get home from the aforementioned Tampa trip. I used to buy boards from him back in ’96 when he was my neighbor. Love you, BA.

Duffle photo29 750pxThe first day I met Gary, I watched Josh Beagle shoot him in the face with a pellet gun. It broke Gareth’s tooth. He was one of my favorite people to travel with. One time he pissed himself in the night and instead of taking a shower or getting new jeans, he used a blow dryer to dry the piss. We headed to the airport and I was stoked I wasn’t sitting next to him for the next few hours. Sober Gareth was one of the best skaters I’ve ever seen. He’s a legend, even if he does smell like weasel piss.

Duffle photo30 750pxI stayed at his house in 2003 and ate all his vegan cookies, drank some orange juice that he offered me and brought back a lady friend. A week later, Lance Conklin said Kris wanted me off the team because I ate all his food. When I was 16 I went to his wedding, and I don’t even remember this happening, but I told someone the salmon sucked. This comment was the reason I couldn’t get on Foundation a year or two sooner. He hated my guts. I imagine it’s all groovy these days.

Duffle Photo33 750pxUp and over, then back down for a vibrant sea-level grind     Photo: Zaslavsky

Check out these other "People I've Known":

PIK sinclair

PIK hsu

PIK Gerwer

  • Orbs Wheels' "Scorched Orbs" Video

    Orbs Wheels' "Scorched Orbs" Video
    Aaron Goure, Jon Pierce, Shawn Hale and more Orbs affiliates session the spillways and streets of Vegas before an encounter with the Duffman changes everything.
  • Vans Skateboarding Presents: Cher Strauberry

    Vans Skateboarding Presents: Cher Strauberry
    Cher charts her journey from touring with punk bands to starting Glue skateboards. Elissa Steamer, Jeff Cheung, Duffel and more add to the experience for Vans. Respect.
  • Corey Duffel for Adored Skateboarding

    Corey Duffel for Adored Skateboarding
    Duffman drops the needle on some feel-good tunes before hitting the dusty trail to kick off his new brand Adored.
  • Thrasher Valentine's Day Cards 2021

    Thrasher Valentine's Day Cards 2021
    If you forgot a Valentine's Day gift this year, you can always go to a gas station and pick up some candy. But why spend so much money and effort? Instead, you can send your loved one a screenshot of our crappy V-Day cards.
  • Frank Gerwer: People I've Known

    Frank Gerwer: People I've Known
    Gerwer is one of skateboarding’s most colorful characters and he sure as hell doesn’t disappoint while dishing on the homies who have crossed his path over the years—from the Aug 2020 issue of the mag.