The no-comply has been enjoying a renaissance for the past several years. The trick is roughly 30 years old, but it’s just as popular today as it was during its heyday in the late ‘80s. The original was invented by Neil Blender and done over curbs. Ray Barbee is widely credited as being the person to revolutionized the flat-ground version and its many variations. He breaks down how that came about in his new interview with The Chrome Ball Incident.
I got turned on to what I call the “step-hop” by my friend Randy Smith and the Go Skate Crew, out in Sacramento. They were the ones who turned me onto those ideas. Back then, there was a big interest in skating flatground, which I think had a lot to do with finding yourself in lit-up parking lots and tennis courts at night. Finding yourself where there were minimal things to skate but because of the lights, you could skate, so you got creative with whatever you could. Even if it just meant getting creative on the ground.
This is back when I lived in San Jose. My friend Robert Torres and I started going out to Sacramento a lot to skate because we’d met a bunch of people from there. It was a 3-hour Greyhound ride but it was like an adventure. Leaving right after school and hopping on the bus. By the time we got there, it would be 9 or 10 at night so we’d usually find ourselves at Quimby Park because it was the only spot lit. There were a few benches there but it was really just a tennis court with smooth flatground. It wasn’t much but since it was Friday night, everybody would be charging anyway.
*Of all the tricks everyone was doing, I really gravitated towards all the step hops that Randy was doing out there. *
For us, “step hops” is where you hit the tail off the ground. “No Complies” were when you used something else, like bonking off a curb. Even though we’d seen Blender doing those off curbs, it didn’t excite us as much as what we saw Randy doing. We were more into doing it off the tail because you were cutting out the middleman. You didn’t need a curb. You could do it wherever. So from there, we all started coming up with as many different variations we could think of.
For on Ray, head over to Chrome Ball and read the full interview.
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