If any there is any New York Skate Story that must be told, it is the story of Nimbus Skates.
As the leading East coast team Shut reached its peak and came to its demise, a new company was brewing. A knew generation of skaters were evolving and two young passionate skater entrepreneurs Charlie Butterly and Ian McCarthy were carefully picking the best.
Charlie Butterly was a rad skater who had a solid glue foot ollie, and arsenal of street ramp maneuvers as well as a bag full of HO HO maneuvers. A Ho-Ho was a popular trick of the mid to late 80's when the skater would go upside down, put the board onto his feet and walk around on his hands doing different poses with the board on their feet. Street ramps and street ollies were the newest aspect in skateboarding. Charlie was a master of the Ho Ho and Street Ramp, and again, had a solid ollie. He began receiving decks from the infamous Shut Skates, but had a falling out with one of the founders Bruno Musso
He decided to start his own company Nimbus Skates with friend Ian McCarthy.
Ian was business prodigy, who much later became schizophrenic and disappeared from he face of the earth. More importantly prior to his mental illness. Ian had an eye for talent. Together Charlie and Ian hand picked the next best skaters in the New York and surrounding metropolitan area.
As all the riders of Shut skates moved to bigger and better companies,
The Nimbus team began to form. These riders would later be the foundation of riders for Zoo York, the biggest skate company to come out of New York.
Who rode for Nimbus?, Jefferson Pang, Peter Bici, Peter Hyun, Jim Lynch, Qulon Douglas, Bobby Puleo, Brian Loki, Ryan Hicky, Dan Zimmer, Jon Burk, Pablo Fuster, Giovanni Estevez, Rich Arbitell, Justin Pierce, Matt Obrian, ? from Boston, and myself, Manny Pangilinan. If I missing anyone, please let me know, if you are out there reading. Although I never felt completely on the team because I never got completely free boards, I can say I was by default because, I only rode Nimbus Boards, received the Homeboy Discount of $15 per deck and the occasional free set of Alva wheels, and Jim, Ian, Jeff, and Charlie, and the whole team were my closest friends and skate brethren during the time. I never realized or thought about how much better my bros were than until I watched rare Nimbus Skates footage. I skated because I loved to skate and that I believed I was good. I don't know about how everyone else felt, but there's no doubt in my mind, when I skated anywhere I was sure to try and show everyone up, and let them know I was riding a Nimbus deck. Maybe one thing I contributed was a proper spirit, as well as invent one staple trick the nose slide which I'll tell you about later.
More importantly Nimbus Skates held down the fort while the New York Street skating scene was trying to figure itself out. Nimbus didn't have much money, but It had the riders who stayed together (for the few years that it did) for the love of skating and the new decks with the fresh shape, fresh pop, and fresh graphics that kept coming out ready to ride.Charlie as the elder owner, for the most part, gave his home as the headquarters for Nimbus first in Paramus NJ then closer to NYC across the Hudson river in Hoboken NJ.
No one really knew where street skating was moving to. No one knew that it was going to become a multimillion international industry.
Another way to look at it : Nimbus was the transition between Shut and Zoo York.
While Shut was coming to its demise, Nimbus was finding the next best skaters and developing the next street skating board shapes. Each new batch of boards that came out of Ian or Charlies' basement shop came a new shape feature, and a new graphic drawn by one of the riders. Peter Hyun, Rich Arbitell, Dan Zimmer, Charlie? ( If you guys are out there please help me with these memories) These were the brothers who had the skills to create the graphics, for boards with names like, "The Homboy" (Charlie... or any Nimbus Bros out there, Please help me remember.)
The team began to disperse as Ian began to lose his mind to Schizophrenia. And the riders began to realize bigger dreams like getting casted to star in Larry Clarks new movie "Kids" (A movie about youth skater life in NYC).
Things were evolving fast...
I have to cut this story short and continue probably after the holiday. I have to work tomorrow morning at 7:30 am and it's already 1:16 am.
Don't let me forget about details about all the rider, like
Jim Lynch who did a legendary maneuver, "Boards slide to Fakie on the Marriot Banks Fat Rail" and how he would pull other insane maneuvers like riding up curbs into grind (Slappying), going so fast you were sure he was going to eat shit, and rail sliding double sided curbs going way too fast down spiral parking garage ramps.
Pretty much all the skaters named above were the most talented, and stylish skaters in the New York Area. And they were all carefully hand picked by Ian and Charlie, who would soon become the foundation of riders for the biggest Skate Company to ever come out of NYC Zoo York The riders deserve there credit simply for being the most radical and stylish street skaters on he East Coast.
Charlie and Q and Rich and any other Nimbus Bros out there, please let me know your thoughts additions or corrections in a comment or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me know know if I should cut out details like stuff about drinking 40's
To be continued.