“Being a skater most of my life, I was naturally drawn to the event. The energy of the event felt much like how it was when I was a kid skating. I was leaning over the railing when I ran into and met a local Surrey skate legend: “Hippie Mike,” founder of Protest Skateboards. I asked Hippie Mike if I could try his skate. He of course was more than willing. So there I was, in full uniform, my duties for the moment forgotten, skating. I was trying old tricks, as much as I could do with the 30 extra pounds (of uniform). Within a short time, people were all around, filming and taking pictures. It was foreign to me, as I am not the smoothest skater around (especially in full uniform), but I recognized I was in a position of my duties and a Mountie. The skate high dropped back down to reality. People noticed I had tattoos and asked what they were. I pulled up my sleeve and they immediately recognized the Skull Skates logo on one arm and then the Harris graphics on the other. Hippie Mike was floored by the idea of a skating cop with tattoos like that and immediately called Kevin over.”
- Troy Derrick
Somehow I always end up being part of historic events and this is truly one of the most historic articles that has ever been published in a skateboard magazine. It started out at World Round Up contest last May while I was interviewing Freestyle Skateboarders for the website and a cop in full uniform came up to me and asked if he could ride my skateboard. I said sure and handed it over. He was with another officer that I knew from working in the City of Surrey and he let me know that he worked closely with my events DJ Jordan Wiebe all the time and knew all about me. I’m not sure if I was more impressed by that statement or the fact that he jumped on my board in full uniform and started manualling and popping ollies and nollie 180’s. My first thought was “Jesus, don’t let him fall on his gun…” but my second thought was “Who is this guy?” I was straight up surprised and he pulled up his sleeves showing me that he was pure to the core with a Skull Skates tattoo on one arm and a Kevin Harris Mountie graphic on the other. Right away I called Kevin over and got them to pose for a photo. Little did I know that photo was going to make history. When Michael Brooke from Concrete Wave Magazine caught a glimpse he was instantly attracted and wanted to know more and it ended up becoming something amazing. Kevin and Troy started hanging out together and conversing about so much life and we all realized that there had to be an article to teach that cops and skaters don’t have to separated anymore, and show the world that they can actually unite and be one. When I grew up I was a cop hater in my own senses and part of that came from being a pure street skater and having to deal with them on negative terms all the time, but another part came from always being prejudged by the police by my appearance and believe me I have been through some serious uncalled for harassment from these so called “Peace-Makers”. I hated on Police for a long time and always dealt with any situations myself instead of ever calling on them for help. My opinions of cops changed when I started working with the City of Surrey Parks and Rec and worked tightly in the community. I started meeting all kinds of members and found out that some of them were into being police officers for different reasons than just going out there and throwing there weight around. Some people become cops to work in community development and support those who need help and put all their concentration and focus towards providing positive opportunities for kids and other people in need. I’ll always be weary of Police because of the way I grew up but I learned over time that they aren’t all bad, and cops are people too. So this was a great experience to see a cop who had skateboarding in his blood and still itched for it, and once I knew there was going to be an article about it I couldn’t wait to read it. The crazy part about it was we were totally focused on the aspects I had just talked about – a cop that skateboards, and how skaters and cops can get along, and just all about the persona – but the article turned into so much more. As Officer Troy Derrick began to spill his guts to Michael Brooke about his upbringing and the abuse he went through as a kid and the hard times he lived out growing up as a First Nations person he kept coming back to one thing – skateboarding. Skateboarding basically kept him alive, and kept him happy through the toughest of times, and no matter where he went and how he got there all he cared about was his freedom to skate. This tear jerking story that Troy wrote sparked some serious memories in Michael Brooke and he began to write his story of how skateboarding guided his life to where he is today, and that created a whole new article involving so many amazing Canadian Legends who all had one thing in common – they found a skateboard to be the key to a successful and happy life.
This article is so historic, from the uniformed Mountie on the cover of the Magazine, to the different yet so similar life stories of multiple skaters that are all considered mentors, to the sole facts that skateboarding can change anyone’s life forever….
It took 13 pages to tell this story with write ups from Troy Derrick, Kevin Harris, PD, Les Robertson, Bricin Lyons, Ryan Theobald, and Michael Brooke himself. Articles like this do not get written often, as they only happen when they write themselves.
This article is a must read for anyone who believes in their freedom to be who they are without being judged, and especially for anyone who has ever called themselves a Skater for Life