This post was originally published in 2012. It’s still relevant today.
We recently contacted City of Calgary aldermen and urged them to watch the video below, titled “Share Path Skate Path“.
The simple fact is, we need more places to skate. Did you know that Calgary has the most extensive pathway network in North America? And skateboarding IS allowed on the pathways, provided all other rules are being followed.
Wouldn’t some little skate spots and skateable art pieces be a nice addition to the pathways?
SHARE PATH SKATE PATH from Skate Sculpture on Vimeo.
You might know him as “the old guy who rips” or the guy that does all the crazy hand flip tricks. Neal Unger is his name and he’s been skating since the 1960s.
He has worked all over the world and lives in California. But he has a Calgary connection– he went to high school here and lived in Bowness!
Neal tell us that he “cried for two years” after he moved from California to Calgary, until he realized he could ski at Paskapoo Slopes (now known as Winsport) right near his home. “I froze my fingers for two years!” he tells us. He also remembers going to a skatepark with a snake run but it was “pretty hairy and scary”.
Neal has filmed commercials in Central America, South America, Europe, and Africa. He’s also been in a few movies.
This video features Neal at Millennium Park, showing his stuff and skating with his grandson and some locals. Watch for the vintage footage of Neal surfing on the Bow River (2:20):
He says he hopes to visit Calgary again soon and is excited at the prospect of surfing on the Bow river again. Neal is a dual Canadian/American citizen and his parents still live in Calgary.
When did you start skating?
I started skating in grade 7 I do believe!
Were you born in Calgary?
Yep I’m a born and raised true Calgarian.
Tell us about Skate for Phillipines. How could someone get involved or donate?
Skate For Philippines is a thing my friends and I started, basically we just wanted to be able to give back to the skate community by collecting skate gear. I helped a friend who’s from the Philippines last year and he was able to bring down a bunch of skate stuff for the kids out there! He said it went great but they needed more, so that’s when I got the ball rolling for this.
You can donate any gear to Mission or get a hold of myself and I usually go meet people for donations. Yeah I plan to go out to the Philippines and hand deliver the gear myself, I can’t wait to see all the smiling faces. I’m also trying to start a thing where you can sponsor a child and send them a complete and other stuff along with it!
Where are your favourite places to skate?
My favourite place to skate would definitely have to be California, but skating Calgary with the homies is always the best!
Any trips planned this year?
As for trips, me and the boys are going to do a lot of travelling this summer. We’ve got a few projects in the go that we’re all pretty stoked on!
Big thanks to all my sponsors! Almost, Globe, Tensor, Dwindle Distribution, Remind Insoles via Trading Post sales, Artical Clothing, and Mission Skate Shop! And a huge shout out to my homies Steve G, Ryan, Riley, Adrian, Rob, Steve and everyone else who I skate with– you all kill it!!
Rob Thorpe’s fourth Calgary skate video, 4 Down (2005), is now on our Vimeo page. Please watch, enjoy, and share!
4 Down from Calgary Skateboarding on Vimeo.
Rob Thorpe’s third skate video, featuring Calgary skaters Devin Morrison, Brett Rehman, Sean MacAlister, Trevor Miller, Keegan Callahan, Beau Larson, Jonathan Lachance, Justin Cahill, Kyle Lovstrom, Ryan Curry, Ryan Oughton, Olara Obina, Luke Callahan, Bill Cowan, and more. Originally released in 2004.
Collective (2004) from Calgary Skateboarding on Vimeo.
We’re happy to present Rob Thorpe’s second video, Still Down. This one is from 2003. Enjoy.