Here's how three Act in Public partners back in 2014 met with Jake Phelps, the now late editor-in-chief of Thrasher Magazine.

We have met many charismatic people in our time, but few like "The ambassador of stoke" aka Jake Phelps, who was epitomized by raw coolness and authenticity.

We were 4 aging Danes who turned up at Thrasher Magazine in San Francisco and asked if Phelps was in the office. He wasn't. He had some business downtown. We talked with the sales director, Eben Sterling, while we waited. Eben had relatives in Denmark and spoke nicely about our city and its status in global skateboarding.

Hanging out with Eben

Shortly thereafter, Phelps was back in the building and he came rushing into the office. He looked like a combo between a worn-out truck driver, a tired music critic and an old punk band roadie. However, still with his special glow, coolness, and radiance, which gave associations to David Carr of the New York Times. But Phelps's voice sounded a little strange, which we suspected was due to skating back to the office. But it wasn't. He was just tired or hungover and at the same time spoke so blatantly loudly. 

Jake in the office

He shouted "..Soren Aaby - Frank Messmann !!!" to whom he showed great rejoicing. The two others, Kim Carlsen and Lars Bernt, also got a firm handshake and afterward, he asked about how Copenhagen was threating us. We were a little overwhelmed by all the Copenhagen attention and thought it had to be due to excessive American courtesy. But the truth was that Copenhagen as a skateboard metropolis had a very special place among the Thrasher Magazine staff. Then the talk went on and suddenly Phelps lit up completely. He thought of a new indoor ramp that he had just built in a warehouse down the street. We should go see it, now that we have come on this unannounced visit. We went off to experience the delights of the new Thrasher mini ramp/street complex, while Phelps and Søren Aaby could catch-up on various things in the world of skateboarding.

Jake's leading the way to the ramp complex

We looked at the constructions and of course, praised the initiative. At the same time, Aaby mumbled something about "the other warehouse". Phelps responded aloud "Ohh, that warehouse - you wanna go to the other warehouse. Sure, we can do that ..". A little later, we were over in another warehouse on the same street where Phelps opened the door and greeted a warehouse worker with the words; "Give these guys whatever they want .." Then he turned around ... "You got 30 minutes, guys".

Jake at the complex

When you haven't been a professional skateboarder, you may well have some doubts about what precisely that exercise was all about. But when we had practiced the scam discipline at Santa Cruz Skateboards the day before, we just nodded and understood. Phelps had, for old time sake, just give us 30 minutes of free passes to collect what we could from t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, books, videos, bags, stickers and various Thrasher merchandise. On the house. Which, after all, can become quite a collection. A gesture that's usually reserved for professional skaters and special guests or people whom Phelps wanted to be generous to when they shared his passion.

The warehouse

By the time we got back to the office, tugging on enough Thrasher gear to open a small skate shop, Phelps was gone. We never got the chance to say proper thanks or goodbye. But he made an everlasting impression… again, with a generosity and openness that contrasted with his raw punk rock attitude.

We all send him a friendly thought - not just for the merchandise but also for his lifelong passion for skateboarding, for keeping it real and for the tremendous importance of his and Thrasher Magazines' style for more than twenty years, to so many skaters around the world.

May Phelps rest in peace and Thrasher Magazine live forever.

Later skater...