Today marks seven years since Andy Kessler passed away at age 48. I never knew Andy Kessler, but I feel his impact everyday that I wake up in New York City. When I walk into KCDC Skateshop and I see his Vans Syndicate Skate Hi’s I’m reminded that he is an icon. When I’m pushing down the street and I’m reminded of the famous photo of Andy pushing down the street, and secretly hope my push looks even a fraction as stylish as he did. And every time I skate a park here I am reminded of Andy Kessler, the pioneer of NYC Skateboarding that helped shape the city’s opinion of skateboarding. He designed the pool at Owl’s head. He designed the original Riverside Skatepark. Like they say in the movie The Sandlot, “Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die…”
In skateboarding, especially in New York, we’ve got our cliques and our crews, our kooks and our weirdoes. Despite that, there’s a common respect for other skaters…a bond that connects all of us no matter how different we may be. So when we lose one of our own, we honor their life, their memory, and the things they accomplished on and off the board. If you were lucky enough to have known Andy I invite you to share your memories today so that those of us that didn’t may honor his legacy. If you didn’t know him, watch some footage and read a little bit about the man who came before you and paved the road (and the skateparks) so that you may benefit from it. May you rest in peace Andy Kessler, and thank you for all that you did in your lifetime.