#17 TWS April 1998

James Riff

James Riff, 50-50, San Diego, CA 1997

Art Director: Ted Newsome

“James Riff has never been a household name but for a brief minute he was finding and skating some of the hardest, most unique spots in San Diego. I think I’d already shot the Rifty-50 at Scripps before getting this night session going. At the time, I was a bit hesitant to roll out with up-and-comers because I was already spending tons of time out in the streets with the hot shots of day. Whatever, I was down to check out this spot before anyone else got it and because Riff seemed to have his shit together enough to land the moves he was claiming I found myself in the midst of a night skate in Mission Bay. This Hubba was at a Cadillac dealer (no longer there), so we had to meet up after all the salesman had gone home and before the lights (which were on a timer) went out. Remember, this is a year or so before every Filmer owned a generator. Riff took awhile to actually start getting into this grind but once he finally did it didn’t look like it would take him long to roll away. on his final attempt, he grinded through the kinks, came off the end and just as he touched his wheels down on the ground the lights shut off, leaving us all in complete darkness. I think he might have rolled a few feet before falling at the curb. As far as I was concerned it was a make and he claimed he was going back. Famous last words I tell you. Well, it was a cover and I doubt it was ever actually landed.”