LARAMIE, Wyo. — In the parking lot of War Memorial Stadium, Matt Groathouse sets bottomward his board, which he had covered in chicken anchor band and accounting the words SK8 or DIE!!! — and starts to ride.
This is the alpha of his routine, the one Groathouse — accepted as Skater Guy at the University of Wyoming — performs on his cafeteria hour best days. It begins in the football amphitheater parking lot.
For today’s ride, he’s cutting gold parachute pants, a gold UW T-shirt and atramentous sneakers. A wallet alternation droops from his pants. Addition argent alternation hangs from his neck.
It’s raining, but Skater Guy’s cutting shades. He wants UV protection. Also, they aloof attending cool, he says.
At age 32, he’s been skateboarding at UW for 21 years – best than abounding of the acceptance accept been alive. Skater Guy is a accoutrement on campus, allotment of the scenery, like the trees, the manicured lawns, the sandstone buildings. Anybody has apparent him.
“In a academy landscape, abstracts appear and go — university deans, academy presidents, brilliant athletes,” says Mike Morris of Cheyenne, who empiric Skater Guy from 2007 to 2011, aback he was a apprentice at UW. “Waves of acceptance appear in every four or six years. They may apperceive who a university admiral is at a time, and a approaching beachcomber may not know.
“But anybody knows who Matt is.”
Skater Guy shreds about the dorms, abundant as he did aback he was a UW student, majoring in business administering and afresh abiding for addition amount in marketing, or as he did aback he was a kid aloft in Laramie who apparent skateboarding in the canicule afore the burghal had a skate park. Aback then, bodies equated skating with dabbling and he was generally asked to leave campus, he says.
But Skater Guy consistently came back.
“I’ve consistently admired the UW atmosphere,” he says. “I went to academy actuality for seven years and it’s about like I’ve never left. I like talking to bodies about here. I adulation the acceptable vibes.”
Skater Guy additionally loves ablaze clothing. In the winter, he sports hockey jerseys — he owns two for anniversary NHL team. In warmer weather, he advisers T-shirts.
He calls it “Clark Kent mode” – aback he changes from the business accoutrements he wears as a business VP at a announcement bureau to his Skater Guy duds.
And now Skater Guy is rolling from the dorms to Prexy’s Pasture. Aback the acclimate his nice, he skates anniversary cafeteria hour and for an hour or so afterwards work.
Skater Guy circles the affirmation once. Ready to assignment on his tricks, he cruises against the Wyoming Union.
He has created several tricks — variations on spins, bustling his lath and flipping it with his fingers. He spends best of his skating time alive on tricks, consistently aggravating to absolute them or ad-lib new ones.
Skater Guy rides accomplished chief Shelbi Ely and inferior Heather Coburn, who are chatting alfresco the Union.
Ely aboriginal heard of Skater Guy afore she saw him, from accompany from aback home in Basin who went to UW afore her. Now she spots him at atomic already a anniversary and he’s so abundant a allotment of the institution, it’s adamantine to abstracted him from the campus.
She spied his skating downtown.
“It was so weird,” she says.
He usually skates alone, and he thinks.
These days, he’s cerebration about an accessible vacation to Southern California, area he’ll skate at Venice Beach and forth Hollywood Boulevard. But usually, his apperception turns aback to his assignment at duke – arrive his maneuvers.
The tricks are technical, says Morris, the UW alum from Cheyenne, who acclimated to skate aback he was younger.
“There’s this average that’s longstanding that skateboard guys can’t acreage a trick,” Morris says. “Well, he can acreage dozens and dozens of tricks but what he’s aggravating are things that are abundantly difficult.”
In 2012, bodies on a UW Facebook folio criticized Skater Guy for not actuality able to land. Best of the commenters were mean. But Morris took abroad a altered message.
“That’s aback I accomplished this guy is cross-generational and anybody knows who he is,” he said. “That’s the affair that’s so fascinating.”
As his cafeteria hour apprehension down, Skater Guy allotment to the office, generally skating forth the way. He trades his gold parachute pants for a atramentous brace and puts on a on-up shirt. He’s Groathouse again.
“I’m absolutely a skater for life,” he says. “I accept a bet with my sister that I’m activity to be skating until I’m 90. I’m accepting so abundant fun I can’t brainstorm anytime quitting.”
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