From Z-Boys To Z-Boiz

"We tried to emulate those guys." - Bob Harper

Mike Fortin

Mike attended Bishop Kelley High School and graduated in 1978. He passed away in January 2011.

My friend Mike Fortin was an extraordinary guy, I met him when I was 16 years old. We were part of a small group of Boise teenagers in 1977 who loved skateboarding, and because of that bond we will always be connected. Mike was an incredible skater, absolutely fearless, aggressive, and much stronger than the rest of us—when Mike skated, everyone watched. When Mike talked, everyone listened.

Mike had a tough exterior, but underneath he was a friendly guy, extremely loyal, with funny observations about ordinary things. We were very close friends for a couple of years, and in 1979, I lived with him for a month when he lived in Oceanside, Calif. During that time, Mike graciously took me to skate the Vista, Carlsbad, and Del Mar skate parks. When I broke my wrist while skating with Mike at Del Mar in La Jolla, Calif., he took me to the hospital and later to the bus depot so I could return to Boise.

Mike insisted we try to surf before I returned to Boise, so we grabbed his board and laughed all the way to the beach, after all, I had a big yellow waterproof cast on my wrist and elbow, and being Idaho boys we didn't know how to surf, let alone swim in the ocean.

That was just Mike though, always ready to take a risk, have a good time, make the best of things, never letting what other people thought hold him back. Although we drifted apart over the years, we shared some of the best years of my life, laughing, skating, and just hanging out together.

I miss you my friend, rest in peace.

Mitch York

Bob Harper

Bob graduated from Boise High School in 1980. He passed away in 2014 at the age of 53. Bob moved like his legs and arms were barely connected to his body. His style was loose, with a lot of surprises. If you thought Bob was going skate one way, he would spontaneously shift to the direction exactly the opposite of logical and pull off a move in a tangle mess of arms and legs.

Mike Neal

Mike attended Capital High School and graduated in 1978 and currently lives in Missoula, Montana. Mike was perhaps the most stylistic of the skaters. He commanded the pool, his skating was precise, he knew exactly what he was going to do, and he did it in one precise, fluid motion.

Ian Smith

Ian graduated from Capital High School in 1981. Smith lives in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Ian had amazing board control, like his board was an extension of his body. He skated tight, quick, and controlled.

Mitch York

Mitch attended Capital High School and graduated in 1979. He never lost his love of skating. He skated with his son, Henry, throughout California. They skated some tough skate parks, including Protero Hill in San Francisco during his early 50s. He was still skating the month he died. On October 29, 2016, Mitch was hit and killed while riding his bike across the St. Johns Bridge in North Portland. He passed away at the scene. While Mitch's first love was skating, cycling was a close second. He touched many people and will truly be missed.

Mitch York skating at the Portrero Skatepark San Francisco in 2000.

Jeff Magallanes

Jeff attended Seaside High school in California. He graduated in 1980. He resides in Seaside, Calif., where he continues to skate. Jeff skated with a tremendous energy with what seemed like an invisible force pushing him forward. His skating was raw, fast, and hard.