By Cyrus Shakeri
At my house, I have a GX1000 skateboard with the name Pablo on it. I recently purchased this as a tribute to Pablo “Psplifff” Ramirez, a skateboarder whose life ended April 23, 2019 after a collision with a dump truck on Seventh Street.
I was saddened and surprised at the news of Ramirez’s death, and my reaction was especially strong because it came right after the death of Jake Phelps, editor of Thrasher Magazine. Both men were significant figures in the San Francisco skating community.
Pablo “Psplifff” Ramirez was an inspiration to many helping with the San Francisco skate scene, with his daring stunts featured in videos from skate crews and magazines such as GX1000, Awaysted and Lowcard Magazine.
See below for footage of Ramirez captured by Lowcard Magazine:
Ramirez was an artist and musician who through his 20s became a professional skateboarder and inspired people through his fearless daredevil stunts on the San Francisco streets.
Ramirez gained fame through his presence on social media, like his Instagram account, which he used to post videos of him skating. He also posted videos of him and his crew on YouTube skating around San Francisco.
As said by Ramirez’s mother Loren Michelle in an interview by the San Francisco Examiner : “‘One of the things Pablo always said was when he came to San Francisco, he was reborn, it was the start of his new life,’ said Michelle. In a city of one-way streets that some find confusing and others take for granted, Ramirez took on every direction at once, with one foot helping to shape the lives of those he touched, while the other tested the limits of skateboarding itself.”
Tahoma sophomore Elijah Quincy said, “I think Pablo was a good skater and one-of-a-kind individual, and he definitely changed the way people see skating with his stunts and tricks on the San Francisco Hills.”
See below for a compilation of his best skating moments:
Despite his love for skateboarding, Ramirez found painting to be the best way to express his thoughts, creativity, and feelings. The SF Chronicle states, “He explored through abstract greenism and used Instagram as a way to share his art.” His art was very unique through his bright colors and descriptive painting.
He honored his craft, spending numerous hours working on his skill, studying art books and exploring the museums around him. He used Instagram as a way to display and share his art.
Ramirez used drumming and jazz music as a way to express himself too, going to watch the greats in New York and playing in venues such as Carnegie Hall Main Stage and the California Jazz Conservatory. Music was a necessity of Ramirez’s daily life, and, when living in New York, he was at the center in the Brooklyn DIY Jazz scene as well as in San Francisco.
Ramirez had a huge influence on the history of San Francisco skateboarding, the community and the local art scene in the city.
He tried skate tricks and stunts that had never been tried before. He would go down hills people had never skated down before. He always tried to improve as a skater by trying new tricks.
Honored by skateboarders, artists and musicians alike, Ramirez’s influence and legacy still remain significant to individuals all over the world as the Pablo Ramirez Foundation spreads his positive message of encouraging others to “give more and take less.”
Featured image (at the top of this post): The skateboard in the photo was a skateboard made in honor of Pablo Ramirez. PHOTO CREDIT: Cyrus Shakeri