This up-and-comer’s secret to success is always skating for the fun of it

By Leslie Muirhead


Photo Tod Fuller

The sun is slowing starting to drop toward the horizon as I walk into Mike Fox Skatepark on a recent Tuesday. I make my way past the street skaters and over to a giant speaker playing punk rock, where 14-year-old skater Marco Chavez greets me with a warm smile beneath his green helmet. He isn’t alone. His mom and dad are sitting against the chain link fence with their skateboards and helmets on, too. This family skates together every day. The studious Santa Cruz High student, who plays the snare drum in the school band, finds a way to fit skateboarding into his schedule. “My bandmates didn’t believe me when I said I had to leave practice early for an interview,” Chavez says, staring down the 8-foot face he is about to drop into. “They don’t even know I skate. I kind of keep it to myself.”

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Photo Leslie Muirhead

He may keep his skating skills on the downlow at school, but Chavez is making a name for himself at the skatepark with his growing array of tricks. He’s even gained a fan in longtime Santa Cruz skateboarding star Keith Meek, who is also one of Chavez’s biggest inspirations. “Marco’s skating is far beyond his years,” says Meek. “He skates with an old soul, like he should have been skating with us decades ago: he is smooth, fast and stylish.”  Chavez truly skates the way he wants to skate, which is to say he skates for fun. After the sun finally disappears that night at the skatepark, Chavez and his parents head home, where he will pick up his guitar to play for awhile before heading to bed, eager to do it all again the next day.

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Photo Leslie Muirhead

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Photo Leslie Muirhead


Date of Birth:  Jan. 20, 2005
Home Skatepark:  Mike Fox 
Sponsors:  Pacific Wave, Dogtown Skateboards, Ace Trucks, Lakai Shoes, Meekster Brau, Padron Designz, Merge4

Age you started skating: Nine

Biggest inspirations: Scott Foss, Keith Meek, Rick Blackhart and Steve Caballero

Passions other than skateboarding: Playing guitar and drums, Santa Cruz High School Band and doing good in school.

Something you have been working on lately with skateboarding:  Frontside inverts 

Favorite pump up jam: “Raining Blood” by Slayer

Dream skate trip: A West Coast road trip, hitting up all of the skate parks from Washington to San Diego.

Favorite food spot in Santa Cruz: Upper Crust Pizza on Mission Street.


2 comments on “GROM SPOTLIGHT | Marco Chavez

  1. Marco and his parents are such good people. There raising a young man that is already showing others that he is into skating for all the right reasons it’s fun and will put a smile on your face with each step of accomplishments.

    I meet Marco in 2014 in San Diego at a legends event. Was right away impressed with his style he is endowed with. I asked Marco where he was from. He stated San Jose. Oh I replied my friend Scott Foss is gonna be here and is also from San Jose. Marco stated that Scott worked at his school. Was only a few minutes later that I meet Junior and Jill Chavez.

    This is why I skateboard today! I get to see skating with a fresh view point that many my age thought would never be here as it is today. Moms, Dads and there kids sharing the stoke of the energy that skating holds.

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