Pool King Founder/Owner

(1 week younger than D. Hackett)
Skating since: 

Originally from the midwest, I found transition skating and got hooked. Having a 1940's backyard pool similar to the V.C.(Valley Center) bowl, it became my afterschool playground. With the rise of skateparks I started to travel to skate places like Apple, Cherry Hill, The Turf, Endless Summer, Skateboard USA, and some other more obscure parks. My two home parks were Cosmic Waves, K-zoo Michigan (they had a replica of the Original Dogbowl - a Wally Holiday pool in the midwest) and Astro Speedway in Grand Rapids, Michigan which I helped design, dig, pour and then worked there for 4 years. Then came the Great Lakes Skate Association (GLSA) that Chris Yandall started which really pulled the skate scene together.-Even to the point of visiting pro's (the Sims team, Haut team, Variflex, Wentle Ruml, Dave Andrect, photog's Ted Terrebone, Glen Friedman and more on a monthly basis. This exposed me to some of the best skaters in the sport and pushed me in defining my style and ability.

1979 was a highlight for me. I won the overall GLSA series and the last contest at Skateboard USA Detriot by doing big airs, carve grinds and frontside roll ins in the big and vert keyhole pool. Yeah! the judges were Tony Alva, Steve Olson, Brad Bowman, Bert Lamarand and Fred Blood! These guys were our hero's! There were lots of skaters to come out of that series and the midwest had, and does have lots of talented skaters now. Most of our parks were indoor so we could skate every day. Then came the demise of our fun and the parks started to close due to a bogus insurance scare.This resulted in my relocating to the mecca of skating, southern Cal. Since I was already a Great Lakes surfer, this wasn't to hard for me. So, in Jan. 1983 I moved my wife Lisa and baby girl to San Diego. I skated Del Mar(mainly at night and usually alone) and took trips to Marina Del Rey, Upland and whatever ramps I could. A skate buddy from Michigan, Bill Danforth(aka Mr. Hate and later the American Nomad) hooked me up to the Prescott bros. ramp and the Imperial ditch. I crashed big there and separated my shoulder- (out for 6 mo).Then the concrete started to get jackhammered and I had to resort to skating ramps or ramp parks, better than nothing I guess. An occasional pool or trip to some park or something else kept me alive. I NEVER QUIT SKATING!
Then Ocean Beach, Clairemont, Vans and other parks opened. I realized I was in SKATE HEAVEN again! I met Buddy Carr from Tracker Trucks and with a little custom changes I started riding the legendary Tracker Darts! Then came the idea to start Pool King Skateboards - I was sick of modifying "popcicle" decks into something ridable. Being a finish carpenter, general contractor and interior designer by trade, I knew there was a lot more to skating than one shape. So I set out to develop the best skateboards I could - no holds barred. Starting with one board, we have grown to 8 models with more on the way. Along with other skate products with the same concept - the best!

Hooking up with Jeff Tatum(JT) was a super cool dream realized. Jeff is a very gifted skater, a true core skater and eccentric original. Jeff does a lot of the original art you see on our products and only available from us. So our company keeps expanding faster than we can keep up sometimes!
We have a vision of inclusion of young and old but mostly for those like us who crave concrete and vertical, check out our growing crew of disciples and see for yourself! By the way, I have heard the Astro skatepark is still there in the basement of a mall waiting for us.
There is lot's more but I have tons to do as we set out to rip the mantle of skating out of the hands of the posers, hair dye companies and shoe co's and return it to it's rightful place of core skaters blazing new skate frontiers with style as the next generation steps into the pool for the first time.
Also, I need to mention some skate pals who were on this trip through skating with me: Kit Shigur, Jon Bishop, Tommy Cox, "Herod" Ansorge, all the Detriot rippers, the dudes from Apple and the Turf. Skate On! 

- Michael Early