Teddi Dean grew up in Huntington Beach, California where he was deeply involved in surfing and skateboarding culture. He competed extensively and was sponsored by Vans and Powell and Peralta. He was a member of the iconic Bones Brigade team during the late 70’s and early 80s along side Tony Hawk, Mike McGill and Steve Caballero. Teddi had a deep interest in spirituality, which led him to yoga and mindfulness meditation and has deep appreciation for the Dharma and the teachings of the Buddha.
Currently, Teddi leads the Mindfulness component at the Modern Elder Academy in Southern Baja, Mexico, a middle-age wisdom school started by The Making of a Modern Elder best selling author Chip Conley. Along with his work at the academy, Teddi has done multiple workshops at Clif Bar and healthcare companies like Vocera.
Tune in to find out what it was like being on Stacy Peralta’s Bones Brigade, addiction, how he got introduced to yoga and mindfulness, the ups, downs and lessons learnt along the way.
Oli Russell-Cowan: Was your goal to see how far you could push skateboarding?
Teddi Dean: Yeah, early on. I was competing early on. There was a skate park in Fountain Valley that we went to. It had no pools. It was just banks and they did have a big huge plexiglass halfpipe that wasn’t very wide. You could always fall off the side of it. I did alright at the contests there.
Vans was the first real team I was on. Vans at the time was a demo team. We would do demos everywhere at amusement parks, county fairs, schools. A lot of schools all over California. That was when I was in junior high. We had a big van that all the team would all crawl into with the logo on the side and we would pull this plexiglass ramp on a trailer with us. We’d have to build the ramp, put it together to do our demo, and then we’d have to break it down.
It was super fun. I was very young at the time. I was still competing back then when I was on Vans and I wanted to do more competing. I was always dreaming about being on Stacy’s team, the Bones Brigade.
I loved Stacy’s vibe. He was just always super supportive, helpful and encouraging. It took a few years before I finally slithered onto the team. I watched the Bones Brigade slowly form. I saw when Caballero, Scott Foss, McGill and Alan Galvin got on. I watched that evolve.
It was interesting seeing that and I wanting to be on that team even more. Eventually I did get asked to come on. Stacy used to choose people in pairs. Scott Foss and Steve Caballero, Alan Galvin and Mike McGill.
When I got asked to come on with with this very exciting skater named David Z. He was blasting ollies so high back then. Very exciting skater. Always on the edge. He’s one of the few people that we don’t know what happened to him. Nobody can find them. Nobody really knows what he’s doing these days. David Z, you can still Google his name and find some amazing pictures of him.
Stacy back then live with his parents because he was always on the road. So he just lived at his parents till he was quite older. All of us on the team would also stay at his parents in the guest room. His mom was amazing. His dad too.
I think there was two twin beds in this room and then the rest of us are just side by side on the ground. Me, Cab, Rodney Mullen sometimes Alan Gelfand, Tim Scruggs. Scott Foss, David Z, J. Smith.
Oli Russell-Cowan: Was this before Tony Hawk was on the team?
Teddi Dean: The last year I was on the Bones Brigade Tony got on the team and was a part of the Bones Brigade. Tony still hadn’t hit puberty. He had all these crazy wild tricks, but, but just not enough power. After I decided to move away from skateboarding and go to college I think he grew so much in one year. It was game on after that. Everything was a few feet of out of the pool or the ramp. The rest is history.
I also watched Christian Hosoi in Marina Del Rey skatepark just ripping these bowls which aren’t vert and was doing inverts, boosting airs both frontside backside Ollies, lip slides, all this stuff. Then literally within a week I show back up to skate and he’s doing all of that in the upper keyhole.
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