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.