1995 – 1997 were some amazing years for aggressive inline street skating. God, I fucking hated that term. Stupid MTV sports, and their dumb shit Dan Cortez. While the inline world was focused on Venice and Hungtion Beach, things were brewin in Arizona… namely Kevin Gillan and Dustin Latimer. Household, iconic names at this point, but back then — GROMMITS!
Legand has it they were discovered by Roadhouse, Arlo and Brooke at a NISS in Arizona. As the story unfolds, the Senate crew where keen on Kevin, and suggested Dustin send a video to Senate Pro Shane Coburn, who was starting his own wheel company, Medium Urethane and Cloth.
Fast forward about a year. I’m in downtown SLO at a court house rail and my friend Chris rolls up. He was at Jake (Elliott’s) the night before. Jake had just gotten back from being on tour and had the first Medium team video with him.
Chris proceeded to tell us about this kid Dustin, who was better than anyone he had ever seen, and he was wearing a helmet. I was suspect to these claims… Better than Arlo? Better than Roadhouse? Better than Jake? Sure!
“Holy Shit!” was pretty much my reaction when I finally saw what Chris had been talking about.
Even during his grom days, Dustin showed signs of not just greatness, but something more epic. He has this natural ability to simply shred.
The most insane section in the video was Dustin’s. And it was basically his “sponsor me” tape.
Even as a grom, he was turning the physical act of rolling into something more along the lines of being straight artful.
I always said that when Dustin came along, he instantly began shaping the way the rest of us roll. He has such a style and ability that we all wish we could channel. But at the same time, if you look at his skating closely, you can see some his early influences in there. I see some TJ Webber, some Julio, some Petty, but he is fully Dustin Latimer. A fluidity and style we all wish we could render.
Dustin is such a great guy. I remember meeting him for the first time. I was on tour with Salomon, and we stopped off in Tempe. Dustin and I had a long convo about flat vs anti. The dude got me to switch to anti, and I haven’t rolled flat since. Then he took me to his house, just me and him in that super sick Honda he had (Chirp’n in 3rd gear!) and gave me a pair of his USD Psirus skates. Shell a size down! That got me into riding down-sized shells.
This fishy photo is a perfect insight to the mind of a genius. This was towards the end of the day as I remember. When everyone else was trying to bounce, Dustin saw much more than a crack in the ground. That was the way he seemed to approach everything he shredded. It wasn’t a forced approach to his skating — this is simply the way he is programmed. When the rest of us see things in black and white, Dustin sees it in technicolor. Watching him skate is so cool, but watching him do something weird and so technical like this fishy was amazing.
There are a handfull of shredders that shaped the way we roll. There are even less considered icons. Dustin Latimer has brought so much into our sport, WORDS just aren’t good enough to describe whats he’s done.
Instead I’ll just say thanks.
— Juan Mosqueda