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Honourary Canadian: John Cardiel

May 21, 2013


We take pride in the skateboarders who call Canada home. But there are plenty of skaters from outside our borders who embody the same heartiness, humility and—in this case—sheer respect for the game of hockey that we admire in our fellow Canadian shredders. And when this happens, well, we’re happy to think of them as our own. So let’s consider this story from John Cardiel the first stamp on his honourary Canadian passport. —Andrew Norton

This must have been ’94—it was when Bob won—in ’94 or ’95. Possibly ’96 [laughs]. We were at the Vancouver contest [Slam City Jam] and Steve [Van Doren, Vans founder] had tickets to go to the game. I was with Andy Roy at the time, and it was walking distance from the contest. So he goes, “Hey, you guys want to go check out the hockey game?” And I had never been to a hockey game, so I was like, “Sure, let’s go check it.”
    We got into the arena and we gave them our tickets. We didn’t even look at our tickets or where to go or whatever, we were just in. We grab a couple beers and we get down to the very front, to the glass where you can see the skaters, and we’re tripping. And as I take my first sip of beer, I look over, and bam, this dude comes through and shatters the glass. It was right there. Honestly, I want to say 10 feet away, maybe. Which is pretty close, you know. It was insane. I was just tripping on how intense that was. And I didn’t really understand the sport or anything before that. Like, you’d see it on TV, guys kinda roughing up each other or whatever, but to see somebody come through the glass, and there’s glass on the floor and they just kept going—it was just kind of insane.
    It was kind of a wake up call to the sport. We just kind of finished our beers and were like, “Whoa.”

 

As told to Andrew Norton
Photo by Will Jivcoff


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