My name is Mike Grabowski. I grew up skating Long Island in the 90’s with my business partner Juan Norberto also known as Paco. He stopped skating and started a family in 99 and I spent most of my 20’s playing music not skating much.
In 2005 I started skating again, taking it more seriously and met a group of younger skaters at the Brentwood DIY. Felipe Caiceda was one of them. I became very close with him and we started to go out with a crew filming in the city all the time. We always talked about building a crew and making a statement here on Long Island. I wasn’t filming at the time but acted as a team manger setting up sessions and trips for the group we skated with. He ended up passing away from cancer a few years ago, right around the time I started to take over filming. So I always told myself if I made a video I would dedicate it to him. He would have been siked on everything thumbs has become, we just weren’t organized before he got sick. After he passed I started organizing groups of skaters that I could travel with and film. We would travel on the weekends and I would stack the footage hoping to put a video together during the winter while it was too cold to skate. As time went on I would procrastinate and the spring would come and I would say next winter I’m really gonna make a video. This went on for 5 years and here we are.
4 years ago Paco got back on his board after 18 years and I invited him on a trip. He saw what I was doing and decided to get involved. We started to put money into the project and over time we turned it into a legit business. We started with T shirts and stickers and then we made boards and it grew from there. However we still didn’t have a video and most of the people I had footage of had moved on or lost interest in what I was doing.
Last year I decided to give myself til the end of year to put a video together no matter how I felt about the footage. This video is what it is. It’s raw and it’s honest and keeps it real. The average skater can relate to what we’re doing. We’re just a group of skaters who work real jobs and travel in our free time for the love of skateboarding. This is not a team, it’s a crew that has been grown organically in the streets. The thumbprint symbolizes leaving our mark/impression on everyone we meet and every place we travel to while also sticking out like “sore thumbs” by marching to our own beat. Thumbs is a collective of like minded skaters spanning the island from Brooklyn to Bayshore Who are Not interested in fitting in or buying into the cool guy vibe Seen all over skateboarding today. ( www.thumbsnyc.com )