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Legendary skateboarder Bob Biniak, one of the original Dogtown Z-Boys, dies

March 3, 2010 |  1:22 pm

Bob Biniak in 1976 at a skateboard park in Carlsbad, Calif. Legendary skateboarder Bob Biniak, one of the original Dogtown Z-Boys, has died at age 51, reports Times staff writer Valerie J. Nelson.

Here's an excerpt from the obituary:

Bob Biniak, whose daring and innovative skateboarding style as one of the original Dogtown Z-Boys helped revitalize the pursuit in the 1970s, has died. He was 51.

Biniak died at Baptist Beaches Medical Center in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., on Feb. 25, four days after having a heart attack, said his wife, Charlene.

To his fellow Z-Boys -- a ragtag group from Dogtown, a rough beachfront area wedged between Venice and Santa Monica -- Biniak was simply "the Bullet," a nickname that saluted his affinity for speed.

"Bob Biniak was a major legend," said Michael Brooke, publisher of Concrete Wave magazine. "He was absolutely one of the key Dogtowners . . . and really set the stage for aggressive skateboarding. He was fierce."

As he pioneered vertical skateboarding in the then-new terrain of empty swimming pools, Biniak's favorite spot in the mid-1970s was a pool behind a Beverly Hills mansion that was called keyhole, for its shape. It was one of dozens the skaters essentially commandeered.

"He was very cool and really fun to be with," said Stacy Peralta, a filmmaker and fellow Z-Boy who chronicled their exploits in the 2001 documentary “Dogtown and Z-Boys.”

Their skateboarding "was an extension of surfing, and because it was so new, we certainly wanted to see what we could do," Peralta said. "We were all driven by wanting to be the best."

In the film, Biniak put it more bluntly: "We were all punk kids, we were tough kids, and we wanted to be something."

Read the full Biniak obit here.

A celebration of Biniak's life will be held March 27 at Venice Beach Skate Plaza, 1800 Ocean Front Walk.

Photo: Bob Biniak in 1976 at a skateboard park in Carlsbad, Calif. Credit: Warren Bolster / courtesy of Concrete Wave Editions' "The Legacy of Warren Bolster"

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