Old School Sundays with Gerry Smith

As it’s our 11th anniversary this week here on Flatmattersonline, I figured this weeks OSS would be dedicated to a run that helped inspire me during my younger years. This run from the 88 AFA Masters in Kansas was talked about for years and indeed we are still talking about here on FM in 2019. So ahead of the time, Gerry Smith! Hyped to watch this again this morning..

12 thoughts on “Old School Sundays with Gerry Smith

  1. ahead of his time indeed, created a few tricks as well. his run at Palmetto AFA ’88 was pretty sick to witness. although most of us call it the Smith Decade, he actually named it the Cow Maneuver, and apparently some of you Brits & Aussies call it the “Catapult” …

  2. Gerry was WAY ahead of his time and certainly a forward thinking when it came to flatland and this contest routine is evedence of that. The dude went all in on this run…and this was 1988!!! This run still holds up 30+ years later! The funny thing is, he didn’t evening win this contest. In fact, he had a run off for 1st place with John Huddleston, if I’m not mistaken (who had a clean routine, but it was all tail whips & boomerangs and lacked, in my opinion, the creativity & difficulty of Gerry’s run). Sadly, Gerry lost the run off and was awarded 2nd. If you watch the pros, Gerrys run was harder and more progressive than what DMC laid out (no disrespect to Dennis, who was/is/always will be a bad ass. And what Dennis was doing at the time on Flat was super dope).

    I appreciated seeing this…made my day!

  3. I was lucky enough to spend a few days riding with Gerry in Oklahoma 1988…he was original, smooth and had super-difficult tricks. At the top of the heap of riders at that time. Next to Kevin, he was probably my favorite.

    He also got me into punk rock, for which I’ll always be grateful. At the ’88 Austin Masters, he rode to “Salad Days” by Minor Threat. I hadn’t heard it (or them before), and hit him up on what the song/band was. He kinda gave me a quick crash-course, and they’re one of my all-time favorite bands to this day.

    Props to Jay Marley on the history – Jerry called it a “cow maneuver”, and over the years it morphed into “Smith decade”.

    • Thanks everyone for the comments on this one, pretty interesting to hear all this years on. I do recall a repo on the 88 AFA where Mark Noble was referring to the “cow maneuver” in Freestyle BMX magazine here in the UK. We had no idea what it was, the trick then was known as a catapult here in the UK when we knew what it was. In the US I hear mostly smith decade, which makes sense as Gerry’s trick. There are so many tricks that have multiple names. (few that came to mind right away below)

      Gerator, lard yard, dick trick.
      Stick Bitch, Caboose.

      The list goes on.

      Thanks everybody for sharing the knowledge.

    • The other interesting thing for me, and I. am sure many others. The expert riders were more progressive than the pros. Its pretty well documented now, a lot of names spring to mind. Track choice was and is so important, can imagine that Minor Threat for his riding. DMC used to use Salad Days a lot too, he mixed multiple tracks into his run almost like as pointers for himself where to do certain tricks.

      • I agree BigE that the experts were more progressive than the pros back on those days in contests,i noticed that in videos.Kevin Jones is a classic example when he was bringing originality in his runs and then lots of others doing Kevin’s tricks against him!!but then again it was the very beginning of the sport…i understand that.

  4. That was nuts!This run still holds up for sure…i call it catapult but after that ‘flat snitches’ you did guys i will call it cow maneuver!!Thanks E for the post.

  5. Being a Florida rider back then and Marley can probably back this up, every rider I came across or knew all called Gerry’s trick the Cow Maneuver. Wasn’t until many years later I heard it referred to as a Smith Decade. Was actually a little weird hearing it called that even though it makes total sense. I always thought 88 was Gerry’s year. About a month before this KC run I saw Gerry at a local contest (Astro Skate Tarpon Springs) lay down the single greatest contest run ever for the era. He would have been about 17 or 18. I only saw Gerry ride in one more contest after that in June of 89 in Tampa. Wasn’t the most solid run but I remember him dropping a few hammers and a hitchhiker. I ran into Gerry twice in 1991 and haven’t seen him since. Once in a parking lot in Pinellas Park riding with Tyson Godfrey and Chase Gouin and a few months later hanging out in Ybor City after a show by the band Insted. Looking back his original riding spoke volumes and when he turned it on it was crowd stunning. Off the contest arena I always felt Gerry wasn’t really wired for the attention or “fame” so to speak his riding brought to him. He was always cool to me but I think a lot of people wanted to interact with him and he wasn’t into it and just wanted to ride and not be a “hero” or something. Definitely was my favorite rider in that era. Also as Brandon stated Gerry’s musical choices for sure influenced many of us to dig deeper into hardcore and punk rock music. Myself included.

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