Lance Mountains Vert Ramp!

….We couldn’t believe he came to our ramp to skate with us. He even gave us his phone number to call to come skate his ramp. Fuckin eh! that kinda shit doesn’t happen every day! I think it took us several weeks to even get the balls up to call the number

I consider myself lucky to have gone certain places, skated certain things, skated with certain people. That’s what skateboarding is about. We all have our own history that gets deeper and richer the longer we persist, the more we travel, the more people we meet along the way. I remembered I had these pictures buried deep in my archive and pulled them out to add them to the photo gallery because the Vert Gallery is pretty lacking. Once I scanned them in I had a better idea to share a tiny piece of my history, part of a seriously bigger place in skateboarding’s history: Lance Mountains Vert Ramp!

lances vertramp The ramp in it’s full metal glory!

I remember the locals skaters who’d been skating a lot longer then me and my friends always talking about Phils Ramp, Eagle Rock Ramp, and Lance Mountains Ramp. I’d already had my life changed by my first look into Thrasher Magazine a few years prior. Me and my friends built several back yard ramps when we were in high school (84-88) and the biggest and best one was a 16 foot wide, 9 1/2 foot high, 1 foot of vert, ramp in Shale Whittingham’s back yard. We skated that thing religiously like everyday. Somehow the Schroeder’s talked Lance Mountain into coming over to ride this little ramp squeezed into a Monrovia CA. back yard. We were star struck!

lances nathan Nathan Schroeder could blasted some big airs

He ripped it up and was a super cool guy. We couldn’t believe he came to our ramp to skate with us. He even gave us his phone number to call to come skate his ramp. Fuckin eh! that kinda shit doesn’t happen every day! I think it took us several weeks to even get the balls up to call the number. Finally I gave a call and Yvette his wife answered. We’d heard she hated skaters calling Lance all the time and it sounded like it. It went like this:

Me- “Hello – Is Lance there?”
Yvette – “No!”

This happened several times until one time we actually got through and Lance said ‘sure come on over and skate’. So we went as soon as we could. It’s not easy to get around when your 15 or 16 and have no car or money but we managed. We’d seen this place in several of the Powell Bones Brigade Videos, Thrasher, & Transworld Magazines, and it was like the Holy Grail of Skateboarding at the time. The first few times we took in every breath thinking it could be our last. Lance was always cool about us coming over to skate. If he was home you could skate. He wasn’t always going to skate with you but he usually had company for us to ride with. Skaters like Mark Gonzales, Neil Blender, Kevin Foster, Eric Castro, Bod Boyle, Steve Douglas, Eric Nash, Ben Schroeder, Steve Caballero, Paul De Jesus, Christian Hosoi, Steve Salisian, Ray Barbee, Ray Underhill, Pat (Garcia) and Ron…the list goes on forever. Most of the time though it was just a few of us at a session. Like 4-8 people at a time.

lances Steve Salisian Steve Salisian ripped everything. Still does! F.S. Invert in this picture

When we really first started riding there it was all covered in sheet metal. We used to bomb the hill to the liquor store/deli and grab a poor boy sandwich and 2 liters of Coke to mop onto the ramp. We’d mop it then eat our food as it dried. Then it was always too sticky! If you came back a day or two later it would be perfect. Then it would turn back into ice skating. We helped Lance take off the sheet metal on the top of the ramp and replaced it with masonite (top up of course) so this wouldn’t happen any more. My friends and I logged a lot of hours in Lances backyard on that vert ramp.

lances - eric nash

The caption from Power Edge Magazine’s Photo Annual #2 reads perfectly – “Politely holding an invisible champaign glassis a very imaginative Eric Nash standing upon a grind a Lance’s. Photo Kosick.

Towards the end of the vert ramps life Lance bought his neighbors house and lived next door to his vert ramp. Having another backyard he promptly filled it with the Nickelodeon Sk8 TV miniramp. I remember helping Lance assemble it when no one else would, but sure enough when it was all done everyone came over to check it out. I can even remember helping Lance Jr. (Cyril Mountain) learn rocks to fakie on the extra mini section.

Shortly after that vert was dying and Lance decided to sell or give the ramp to Lipslide Skatepark down the street from Lances house. I got roped into helping move that too, I guess since I had logged enough hours in Lance’s yard. The ramp didn’t want to go. It was harder then hell carrying the steel and lumber up the hill from the back yard. The night the ramp was reassembled at Lipslide some local vato’s burned half of it down. It never recovered even though it managed to be reconstructed and died shortly thereafter when the landlord of the skatepark freaked out and closed the place.

Man I have a lot of memories of the place.

Thanks for Kicking Ass Lance!

lances matt

Matt Schroeder – F.S. layback at Lance’s Ice Rink