The Chronicles of Deadcat and AZ-Boyz

Steve Pingleton: I lived in North Phoenix, but our crew were still considered West Siders. I remember my Mom used to drive me & my brother out there, drop us off in the mornings, then pick us up in the evenings, usually we were usually pretty baked going home but she was cool. Once I was old enough to drive, I recall us making “beer runs” at a nearby convenience store with Morgan & Jimi (go in, grab the beer, then RUN) then heading out to the pool. Deadcat pool was unique because it was so HUGE, we could have sessions with 5-10 guys in the shallow end snaking each other. I remember sessions so big, half the people would be partying in the shade, then after the skaters got tired, we would all switch. I also recall I got 9 stitches in my forehead from a frontside air off the loveseat, the last thing I remember was dropping my back trucks into the death box on the side wall. My bro’ Joe drove me to the hospital, Deadcat spilled a lot of our blood, but it was worth it. It was our own private skateboard club, and the West Side ruled it, good times for sure.

Deadcat pool was the AZ skaters “Dog Bowl”, the huge pioneer monster pool out in the country, like the giant pipes out in the desert we rode too. Perfect plaster, sometimes slick as ice, a sweet 10′ ft. + bowl, lots of vert with knarly “rocks” for coping, and a big stone fence to keep it all secret. The sunsets out there were EPIC, I still have dreams about Deadcat pool 30+ years later. There will never be another place like that for AZ skateboarding…

Steve Shelton: DEADCAT – the ultimate proving ground, you either tore it up or had to sit and watch. You got hurt. We dropped in on you anyways – always staying aggressive. With every transition imaginable – four love seats, one past vert. The main bowl facewall – perfect surface for slides and huge airs. Steep and deep straight sidewalls, but watch out – four filter drains and two main drains would stop you in your tracks for a major slam. Squared coping with chopped-off facewall edge for savage grinds and tailslides.
You would dream of new lines at night that became reality by day – if you dared. Locals only – Westside Rules – you’re not one of us? Then go home!
The fact that Dead Cat existed through the 70’s and 80’s is a testament of it’s importance. The frontier of poolriding and its rapid evolution. The music changed and so did the ride. More committed & aggro pushing the limits on a daily basis, we lived as if only for another to ride her. R.I.P.



Donnie ‘Ho’ Crist: I grew up in Maryvale, Arizona. Deadcat pool was my local spot. Before I was old enough to drive I would skate to Dead Cat, rip it all day then skate home. I learned fronside and backside airs there. I also learned how to drop-in in the deep end. In my opinion Dead Cat was the best pool in Arizona, ever. The Dogtown crew had the Dogbowl, we had Deadcat. I remember riding with Todd Falcon and Steve Shelton. They would roll up in Todd’s truck, crank Double Live Gonzo and it was on. To this day I still miss that pool.

About Lob Rocker 94 Articles
Shred Sledder since 1977, never stopped skateboarding, never will.


  1. I used travel from Tucson to stay in Phoenix for several days at a time a couple of times each summer between 1977-78′ through around 1981. My cousins Frank and Danny lived maybe two miles at most from Deadcat. We would bicycle to the pool before sunrise then skate as much as we could handle until the sun blaze was too much. I remember seeing some of the slightly older guys who ruled that place. The names mentioned… I remember them and my cousin Frank telling me how so and so hit a huge air or what have you. Between Deadcat and High Roller…. well, those were some pretty magical times. I just spoke with Danny (and Frank) this weekend who told me about a recent Deadcat reunion of sorts he attended. I thought that was very special. Danny was really young when he would come down to tucson and hit a our skatepark. There was one really nice pool there and the then 9- 10 year old Danny would rock that bowl. The Tucson locals would get blown away at seeing this little kid work that coping! He had learned those skills at the infamous Deadcat – little would they have known! I am now 50 years old and last toyed around at a keyhole pool at Santa Rita skatepark here in Tucson about three years ago. I ride a longboard and take it with me anytime my family and I head to San Diego on vacation. Skateboarding has never really left my mind. Thank you vey much gentlemen for putting together this retrospective.

  2. I used to skate at the Tucson Skate Park after the Desert Wave closed down in 1977 and hung out at AnA Class Skateboad shop down the street iam also 50 now and still skate every Sun morning at Ott skatepark with other veteran skaters

  3. I rode that pool from the beginning to the end I rode with Craig Shields Mark Lewallen Jeff Nelson Tommy Carson and a lot of other people from day to Day I love that pool I had so much fun the best time of my life I learned so much so many skills so many tricks it was the best time of my life to everyone that I’ve ever met riding much love and respect to all of you and thank you for sharing and keeping The memories alive I’m 52 years old and not one minute goes by that I don’t think of that pool and the memories that it holds again thank you for all the good memories and keep it alive okay much love and respect to you!

  4. I grew up 1 street over on san Miguel. I remember being a little kid catching glimpses of skaters. was so cool. I remember dead cat being spray painted on the front of that burned down house. cool memory

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Monday Morning Stoke |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.