Words & Photo by Brian Blakely
I shot this photo of Pat Duffy at a pool in the outskirts of Arizona near the border of New Mexico back in 2011. I was on a little trip with the Vox Footwear dudes and we got word that there was a perfect pool to skate at a hotel that was still in service. When we arrived, the dude at the front desk was a little surprised and unsure of how to respond to our request. Initially he said we weren’t allowed to skate the pool and basically wasn’t budging whatsoever. After some relentless efforts from pretty much all of us in the van, he ended up making a deal with us: We could skate the pool for one hour as long as we paid the rate that it’d cost to rent a room for the night. Luckily the hotel was a serious piece of shit, so the room wasn’t very much. Without much thought, we gave the guy a card to run and purchased ourselves an hour of skate time.
I can’t remember the actual name of the town, but it was a small, hole-in-the-wall town with a few rundown motels, a couple fast food restaurants and some liquor stores. Our group consisted of Duffy, Dan Drehobl, Darren Navarrette, Ryan Smith, Shawn Hale, Bryant Chapo, photographer Brian Fick and one of their flow dudes. I wasn’t there to shoot photos or anything… that was Fick’s job. I was more or less just along for the ride and happened to have my camera. I was shooting skate photos of my friends a lot at the time with hopes of becoming a skate photographer (just kidding) but I did have my shitty Nikon D3000 with me at all times and had recently got a shitty fisheye to compliment it, so it was an honor to step out of my element and shoot some pro skaters. Being that it was Duffy made it that much cooler. Fick ended up getting a real photo of this that was used on the cover of one of Vox’s catalogs, but as he was setting up his flashes I would hop in and snap Duffy attempting these front feebles. This pool was amazing. If I recall, this was the first frontside feeble grind that Duffy ever did in a pool! I might be wrong, but if it is, I’ll take that one to the grave!