- Dave Vanderspek
Starting the Curb Dogs
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Magazine coverage and tours of the BMX Action trick team prompted freestyle riders around the country to make their own trick teams and do shows. Dave wanted something a little different. He wanted to make the Curb dogs a bike and skate team with a less "factory" look. We didn't have much of a budget and none of our parents were making ramps for us or anything. Dave got it off the ground and put everything he had into it.
Our first show was Saturday, February 18th, 1984 about 3 blocks from
Vander's house in San Leandro, CA at Pizza Marina. That first show was
a pretty simple setup - just a jump ramp us riders and a small crowd.
No PA, no quarter pipe, no sticker toss just us riders in jeans
and a Curb Dogs shirt. We were paid something like $25 each
and got some free Pizza. Our first coverage came a few days later as
a writeup in the local paper - The Daily Review.
For a brief period of time there was a Curb Dogs van. And, what a van it was... I think it only made it to like 2 shows before we came to our senses. It was one of those mail delivery vans all primered out with a crappy looking "Curb Dogs" spray painted on the either side. My brother Ray bought the heap for like $500 but it would have took 5 times that to get the thing anywhere near ready for the road. We drove it anyway though. I remember feeling like a guy in a world war 2 bomber that was going down in flames. Wind coming through all around, no seat belts, everything rattling and brakes that were a total crap-shoot. I don't think Dave's parents or the neighbors were too into it being parked in the area either. It was cut loose within like 6 months.
Or, like Marc Babus in this picture from the first issue of Freestylin'
- just get a wife-beater and a marker! Total scrounge operation.
We put our name up fat on our number plates. Yeah, we rode number plates
Everyone on the Curb Dogs had their own thing going in their respective sports of course. We were rarely all together in any coverage so I doubt many people really knew who was on the team. And with Vander annointing Curb Dogs left and right none of us really did either!
My older brother Ray rode pro for Santa Cruz and had a couple different freestyle boards produced. The most memorable was the second one with a montage of things from his life like sleeping in bed, a peanut butter jar ('cause that's all he ate) and a picture of him in a business suit riding his board. He worked on computers and although Santa Cruz always wanted him to work there, it was hard to match the pay he was getting.
Rick Anderson was as smooth as glass on a half-pipe landing front wheel just under the coping, gyrating and alley-ooping chanels in a Blyther-like fashion. He was one of the few people to get a poster shot in Freestylin'.
Tommy Guerrero of course went on to be a top pro street skater as a
member of the Bones Brigade. Not a lot of people know that Tommy also
spent some time riding BMX. When one guy at the skate shop heckled him
for it he replied "I'll blow you away on either one."