The Backstory

Date: July 20, 2017 Author: King Writer Categories: features
Tylergeurts 01 morleyphoto web

The Backstory

Words and photos by James Morley

It was the last day of an extended long weekend trip to Las Vegas, and everyone was eager to try and skate as many spots as possible before catching our flights in the evening. Waking up at 8:30 a.m., we were all nearly ready to go, but Tyler Geurts was nowhere to be found. We had both been gambling at the blackjack table in our lobby until about 4 a.m. when I returned to our hotel room, but it appeared as though he hadn’t been back yet at all.

Our puzzlement didn’t last long; Ty texted us saying he was finishing one more hand then coming upstairs. We quickly packed our bags and brought it down to the car, but Tyler forgot something in the room. While he ran back to pick it up, he left us with $100 to bet on red at the roulette table. A couple of us added in some smaller bets along with Tyler’s, and we were stoked when we won—doubling all of our money. Thinking it would be funnier than just surrendering his winnings to him immediately, we decided to tell Tyler that he lost, and would hold onto his money until he got a trick that day.

We spotted this recognizable out-and-down hubba on the way out from the hotel, and Tyler mentioned that he might have a trick for it. A few of us got out of the van while the rest of the crew picked up coffees, and Tyler began trying a Boardslide across and down the whole ledge. It didn’t take him very long to roll away, and I ran after him to present his two fresh $100 bills. Riding off of the stoke from both surprise winnings and rolling away, Tyler decided to start trying to do a Frontside Boardslide on the adjacent ledge.

This variation required Tyler to work harder, encountering issues with speed, angle, and where to pop, and it meant that he was taking more tries than the previous move. On one try, his wheels stuck at the end of the flat, and Tyler got pitched to the bottom, hitting his head on the curb. As everyone rushed to make sure he was okay, we saw a small puddle of blood accumulating under him, and it quickly became evident that the source was Tyler’s dome. I guess the others had all seen this happen before, and they calmly helped him to his feet, where he cleaned the dripping blood off of himself as well as he could and kept trying. I, on the other hand, had not seen anything like it first-hand, and I was shitting bricks, questioning if he should still be skating while Tyler started rolling up at the spot again. Despite my fears, he rolled away soon after, making the whole thing worthwhile.

The rest of the day’s events continued to be just as strange as everything up until that point, whether it was Tyler’s makeshift, half-bloodied headband he crafted in a 7-Eleven bathroom, or the nap he took at a line spot later on, where any observant bystander could have found enough visual evidence to think he was dead. As we rode to the airport in the back of the car rental agency’s shuttle, discreetly finishing any beer we had accumulated throughout the weekend, it’s clear that the whole day could be summed up by one word: unpredictable. Everything had been affected by chance in one way or another, but only in a way that it kept things exciting, interesting, and ultimately, more fun. It was the perfect example of what I know will continue to keep me around skateboarding again and again. With plenty of other elements in life governed by strict schedules and mundane, repetitive tasks, it’s always great to incorporate just enough chaos to keep things spicy.

Tylergeurts frontsideboardslide morley web
Tyler Geurts, Frontside Boardslide