I read with interest the article "15 Most Love Skaters." There was a sidebar in it called "The Five Most Love-Starved Skaters." And it caught my eye because you had Justin Lynch as one of the skaters listed. The two-sentence blurb mentioned he talked shit about Cab and then got clotheslined from Phillips, and something about how he always wondered why nobody liked him. I felt the need to write you and set the record straight on this guy. In the interview you referenced he didn't talk shit about Cab at all, and was right on regarding what was happening in skateboarding at that time. To make my case, I actually dug up the 1990 Thrasher issue in which you referred to, re-read the interview, and was amazed at how people came to the conclusions they did regarding Justin. The quote that was talked about actually went like this: (on competing with the big guys) "It feels like, what am I doing here? I never expected anything from this sport. I just expected to have fun. Then I was skating with Chris Miller and I was beating Cab and all these guys. And I'm going 'Am I that good?'" That was not at all someone talking shit about Cab. That was a guy wondering if what was happening was real, since he turned pro so quickly. It was a guy who was questioning his own ability to actually compete and beat the guys he has always looked up to. I have no idea how people looked at that quote and concluded he was talking shit. It amazes me to this day how far off people were in their assumptions about him. One thing Justin was always about was the truth and simply calling things like he saw them. If you look at his other quotes in that same interview, you'll see the Justin people knew. He was a straight-up guy, someone who told the truth, even when it hurt. If you knew how skateboarding was in the early '90s you knew that there was a whole generation of skaters that were getting pushed out of the door kicking and screaming by a newer, younger generation of skaters. Justin talked about the jealously from the older guys in his interview. "That's why old pros are getting bummed out, because they are getting tipped over by young guys like us. They're going, 'Man, I wish I had 18-year-old knees.' They would give anything just to be young again. I can understand that because when I am in that position I'm going to feel the same. I have a lot of respect for all of the veterans in the world." So when Justin had talked about it openly and blatantly, suddenly he's a bad guy because he's honest about what's going on? If you ever needed proof, then you can try and explain why Phillips ended his career on purpose and then tell me when Justin talked about jealously. It wasn't even true. The worst part? It's that everybody gave Phillips a free pass on what he did--but then condemned Justin for not respecting his elders. Even though in his first interview he goes out of his way to say that he respects those that came before him. How fucked up is that philosophy? Justin was a guy who spoke his mind. If you respected him and what his abilities were, then he returned that respect in spades. When you started talking shit about him, he was quick to confront you. Not in a magazine article and not behind your back, it was to your face with no BS. It's sad to see a guy who was so honest and straight up get a bad rap because what he was saying was true and it ruffled a feathers in the process. The guy put Minnesota and Minneapolis on the map. Without him, there might not be any John Muldoons, no Dave LeRouxes or no Darren Navarrettes. Maybe no Clint Petersons or Steve Nessers, either. The guy had broken down all the doors and then allowed a bunch of guys to come through after him. Justin just wanted to have fun and get the respect he deserved. So, how is that different from any of the other pros out there? It's crazy to see a guy who tipped as hard as he did, invented some of the hardest tricks out there, and he still can not get any respect from the community he gave so much to over the few years he was pro. That's the saddest thing of all.
I'll bet on LeRoux anyday.--T-ed