By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
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By Melanie Asmar
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
From the curb, Saba grumbles that even with this MTV pilot supposedly coming up, they seem to be skating together less than ever. Still, the show could represent one last chance for major fun. If it gets picked up, there's talk of setting the Wetboys up in some sort of warehouse near downtown. "We could drag in couches, set up some random ramps, instead of MTV finishing it with what they think is cool," says Saba. And then they could film at spots like this and show the world how the Wetboys roll.
Micah Hollinger, the original Wetboy, could fly up from Tucson. "Naughty could do his wacky foot-plant thing," says Saba, admiring the wall. "William could fly off the side and ride off the fence. It'd be crazy."
Get wet with Sweets: I'm from Denver, grew up on the west side and the north side. When I was really young, I lived on an Indian reservation with my dad, in Arizona, but mostly I've lived in Denver.
I started skating when I was eight years old. I'm 27 now. In 2000, I was living with Paul and Saba and like ten other dudes in a two-bedroom apartment across from the old 303 skate shop in Arvada. We had two guys sharing each room, and then everyone else slept wherever they could. Some of the guys were still in high school, just living on their own. None of us really had parents we could go to, so we kind of like took care of each other. Some of the guys, their moms were into drugs or alcohol, so we figured a lot of these kids were better off staying with us. We all lived together just so we could go skating and not worry about anything else. We weren't the Wetboys or anything then. Just super-tight friends.
To pay rent, a bunch of us worked at this telemarketing firm selling timeshares. Paul isn't the most outgoing dude in the world, but he was crazy good at selling timeshares. Saba and I sucked so bad, it was pathetic — we hardly sold shit. Then one day there was this skateboard demo going on at the Denver Skatepark, and we told Paul we were going to quit so we could go to it. He didn't want to lose the job because he was so awesome at it. But then he just said, "Fuck it, let's go," and we all quit together and went skating.
Fourth. The Wetboys are not a skateboard team. Nor are they a skateboard club. They are a crew. Homies who like to skate and party, that's all. You cannot join. No offense, bro. You might be a really awesome skater, maybe the best in your city. It doesn't matter. While the ranks of the Wetboys comprise some really great skaters, some of the top street skaters in Colorado, they are not interested in having the best and brightest as part of their lineup, the way a skateboard company or shop team would.
Consider Tall Kan, that big, lovable mope from California — he doesn't even skate, and he's like the Wetboy mascot. Or the not-to-be-identified graffiti writer who became an honorary member of the Wetboys a couple of years back and started spray-painting the odd name across the city, baffling taggers and property owners alike. And then there are the random associates and groupies who float around the circle, people who look wet, skate wet and party wet but not are not technically members.
Ask — as many have — and you'll get this reply: "You've got to kill a Wetboy to be a Wetboy."
But in reality, explains Adam Crew, a Wetboy needs to "just be a dude that we're down with." Ask what, exactly, this means, and you'll get a blank stare, maybe a shrug. The particular Wetboy you put the question to will slouch into the couch, stare into his cigarette or disappear into the kitchen in search of a fresh drink. Still, you can figure out much of the formula yourself: Mix one part personality with one part skate skills, a dash of don't-give-a-fuck and shake. Oh, and don't forget this:
Fifth. You have to make out with a Wetboy to be a Wetboy.
Make out, as in close your eyes, part your lips, lean in and just do it. Meaning you set down your beer, grab some hair and, like, stick your tongue in another dude's mouth.
This ritual has nothing to do with being gay, the Wetboys assert. A little homoerotic, sure. But not homosexual, because they are not homosexuals. They're homies who like to skate and party. That's all!
"We're really just some dudes chillin', trying to smoke herbs, watching skateboard videos," says Crew.
To really understand this, you must go back to 2001. Saba and Micah, both in their late teens, were on a return flight to Denver from San Diego. Saba had grown up here, moving between his mother's and father's houses before barely managing to graduate from an alternative high school in Lakewood. Micah had fled his home town in Alaska and bounced through various cities before meeting Saba and a bunch of the other skaters who hung around 303 Boards — people like Paul Azevedo, Sweets and Styles. Now Saba and Micah were coming back from a skateboarding trip and looking at a porno magazine, one of those glossy publications that features breasts the size of volleyballs. In the back, near the bottom of the page, was a small advertisement featuring a bare-chested, penis-gripping male model who bore an amazing resemblance to Mike Vallely, a legendary professional skater and belligerent meathead best known for pounding the snot out of security guards at skateboarding demonstrations. Call 1-800-WETBOYS, urged the look-alike. It was hilarious. It was perfect.