About

About The Mighty 4 Wheel Backscratcher

 

Strange upbringing results in strange adulthood

Strange upbringing results in strange adulthood

What the fuck is a 4 wheel backscratcher? In the practical sense It’s when you have a itchy ass back and your skateboard handily doubles for a sweet backscratcher. However in my case the answer would also be that it was the name of the first and only zine I did in my younger years. My late buddy Tim Mulgrew and I had the brilliant idea to create a skate zine where every cover had a naked person scratching their back with a skateboard. In our youthful exuberance we decided the content of the zine didn’t matter as much as the photo on the cover – and as long as the photo on the cover always had a hot girl scratching her back with a skateboard we were going to be super successful publishers of the skate worlds hottest zine…………. You guessed it, we smoked a lot of weed back then.

 Our venture into the zine world was much easier said than done though. Whether 4WBS would have gone on to be a smash hit or not would ultimately never  be fully realized. After our initial offering we called it quits and sadly 4WBS never made it to round 2. Making zines back in the late 80’s was a whole hell’uva a lot of work that we weren’t prepared for and our true passions were better served shredding on a skateboard than writing and taking photos of other people doing it. Almost as quickly as our wonderful plan was hatched it was brought to it’s death.

 

baby_bruce

Baby Brodela Cultivating Deep Roots at the Blood bowl in Oakland – circa 1978

 

   As the years advanced though I developed somewhat of a yearning to be a skateboard photojournalist and I embarked on what would ultimately be a half hearted attempt for about a decade. I eventually was truthful with myself though and admitted dealing with editors wasn’t my strong suit so a career at a “real” skate mag never quite materialized for me either. I guess handling creative differences wasn’t my strong suit during this period in my life? Also in the back of my mind I always knew that as long as I could still skate at a certain level my hobby of shutter bugging and verbal diarrhea would never be taken to a “serious” place. It was a fun part of skateboarding but the act of riding my 4 wheel backscratcher during this period just took precedence over everything else. During this period though I did end up doing ad work for a few different companies and a few freelance articles for most of the major mags and   ended compiling a shit load of photos during this era. Eventually I put the camera down all together and the work I gathered over these years (a killer time period in skateboarding by the way) just sat in negative and slide boxes. As the years went by there was a growing want to put this stuff on my own site but it always seemed somewhat self masturbatory. Who wants to just live in the past right?

 Then a few significant things happened as more years flew by- digital photography advanced dramatically, the internet and instagram came to be and my fucking body started to fail me! At some point you have to pay the piper and the physical karma that is skateboarding has come full circle. Fun and excitement up front has turned to pain and misery in the end. I can’t skate anymore……. well not like the old days. Combine the failing body with the modern day fact that photography is so much easier now, the passion has grown immensely over the past few years to accept the role of skateboard documentarian. Then A couple years ago while on a trip to the famous Mushroom Mountain near Shasta California – a vision came to me not unlike the burning bush in the days of Moses. It was time to create something like that first ill fated zine but with a modern day crew of rippers and technology. Not just a website showing my collection of past photos but a modern day version of what 4 Wheel Back Scratcher could have been only with the ease of use of modern day tools plus a new crew of unusual suspects. A site built on some past skateboard history and our bright future chalked fresh with blogs, videos, photo galleries, shit talking and top notch skateboards for sale. Get scratching bitches or get lost cuz we’re rolling till the wheels fall off.

Yours (Mostly) Truly

Bruce Rodela

I Can Hit The Coping Now! Smithgrind at St Helena circa 2011

I Can Hit The Coping Now! Smithgrind at St Helena circa 2011

 

About The Wood We Hustle:

 We have special secret access to the top skateboard factory in the industry. Our wood is from the great lakes (best maple in the world), cold pressed, franklin glue (specifically designed for skateboards) and we use more pressure in our presses than other manufacturers (creating a longer lasting board board with better pop). Combine all that along with the hottest shapes around and our boards our the best in the industry!

All proceeds go to 4WBS photo missions so buy often and in large amounts! We might just come to your town to shred your spots and close down your bars.