“If Vic could have made it to all the big contests, he would have been the best in the world. Vic and the Winnipeg crew would have been rock stars if they were in California.”
“As you know, he spun 112 spins at the 1986 Vancouver Expo contest. He holds the official World skateboard spinning record. Although others including myself, have spun more, it was not within an official contest. Thus, Vic holds the official world record and deserves much credit for it.”
You may not have heard of Vic Ilg, but if you have you’d know that he is the 1986 World 360 champion. He came in first, ahead of more well-known skaters like Rodney Mullen and Russ Howell.
Vic grew up in Winnipeg and got into skateboarding like so many of us do: a friend had a board and suggested Vic try it too. Vic was hooked instantly. He was able to get reasonably good, quickly, so he found that his junior high school bully stopped picking on him as a result of his skills on a board.
Winnipeg had a few indoor skateparks in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which Vic frequented– one of them he even worked at. There was a small, poorly executed concrete park in the neighbourhood he grew up in but Vic and his friends preferred the ramp they built.
Ramps were fun for Vic but he had a passion for freestyle and in particular a specific niche– spinning 360s. Remember, this was a time when events at competitions were high jump, barrel jump, and maybe launch ramp. Vic got so good at doing 360s that he entered local and regional competitions and eventually qualified for the Transworld Skateboarding Championship at Expo ’86 in Vancouver.
Watch Vic’s winning run here:
The results from that competition:
- Vic Ilg (112)
- Rodney Mullen (86)
- Russ Howell (82)
- Kevin Harris (78)
- Pierre Andre Senizergues (49)
- Daniel Gesmer (46)
- Primo Desiderio (41)
- Per Welinder (24)
Watch the various competitions from Expo ’86 in the (slightly bizarre) Radical Moves documentary:
Vic moved to Calgary shortly after graduating university with an engineering degree and still works as an engineer in the city. He lives in northwest Calgary with his family and enjoys cross country skiing and biking, both out of his place in Canmore.
The board that he rode at Expo is still in great shape. Skaters that were into doing 360s realized the harder the wheel, the easier it was to spin so most, if not all, of the top 360 spinners used steel wheels on the back. Vic’s board has custom wheels that were made for him by a machinist that he knew.