While I was geeking it up at Dallas Comic Con two weeks ago, Overground Skateboarding was hosting their 2nd annual tribute to legend Jeff Phillips. I was really bummed that I didn’t hear about it until afterwards (probably would have skipped DCC) because it sounded like a cool event and it was benefited The Suicide and Crisis Center of North Dallas.
Back in the 1980s, when Dallas was a skateboarding hot spot, Jeff Phillips was one of the biggest names. He gave Christian Hosoi and Tony Hawk a run for their money and proved that you could win a vert contest without pulling a McTwist. The Phillips 66 (an inverted flip with a fakie approached) is named after him, and the tribute name, Boneless One, comes from his signature trick: a frontside boneless. Jeff ran his own skatepark and dedicated his life to the local skate scene. In 1993, Jeff committed suicide.
Rolling Stone did an feature on his life and the circumstances surrounding his death (personal troubles and the decline of the sport). We’ll never know what happened, but in the end, that’s not what is important. It’s his life and his love of skateboarding that everyone who came out to Boneless One celebrated. Even if the Dallas scene is not what it used to be, I’d like to think that it is very much alive and that Jeff would be proud.
Jeff Phillips doing a frontside boneless on the Jan. ’85 cover of Thrasher
A personal note I want to add: I am here for anybody who has thought about taking their own life and needs someone to talk to. I may not know you or know what to say, but I’ve been in that dark place and being part of the action sports community did help pull me out.