Griffiths, who weighs about 215 pounds, skated with Robbie 25 years ago. "I dropped out of it for a long time," he says, his long hair dripping sweat. "But a lot of guys hooked up again because of this place. I love it."
Gelfand, a slight man who looks like the love child of Jamie Kennedy and Ad-Rock, saunters up the stairs and starts slipping on pads.
Signature tricks like the layback air (shown here) earned
Robbie spots skating in videos for estimable artists like the
The Lost Boyz
During a single day in 2001, Robbie hit his highest high
(competing against legendary skaters like Lance Mountain
and Tony Hawk at the Soul Bowl in Coconut Grove)
And his lowest low (laid out in the hospital after breaking
Then Robbie limps over to say hello. It's clear the skating accidents, stunt work, and wakeboarding a more recent hobby have begun to take their toll on Robbie. Doctors tell him he'll need new hips in ten or fifteen years. But he still goes to Olliewood once a week or so, and tonight he is as good as anybody in the place, landing handstands and layback airs like he was fifteen again.
Tomorrow he'll spend the day with his family. His parents, though divorced, are living together again. Scott lives with them. Robbie's father was recently diagnosed with cancer. "It's pretty advanced," he says. "I'm really starting to hate hospitals." He'll take his dad to the hospital for treatment tomorrow and maybe spend a couple of hours revising his memoir, a self-published tome called Miami Inverted (www.miamiinverted.com) that his buddy Miller co-wrote.
"Watch this, watch this," Griffiths says, pointing at Robbie as he drops in and carves across the bowl. "See, he's always had that style. Even back in the day, he was one of the guys with a distinct style. Some guys look like they're using a lot of effort or straining to do tricks. Robbie always looked like he was just floating across the bowl, just floating up into the air."
Robbie goes up on one hand as Lillo snaps a photo. The assembled skaters clomp their approval. Then he slices across the plywood and grinds across the lip at the other end.