I totally love Ed Templeton. I first met him in 1990 when I was working at TransWorld Skateboarding. He showed up one day to design his Pro Spotlight with a bunch of little cartoony drawings and a blinding yellow background. No one else had ever designed their own Pro Spotlight before. What a cock, I mean, cocky young kid. But, he had a right to be. Ed was a hot young rookie. On fire, actually. He won four pro street contests in a row that year. Yep, count 'em: one, two, three, four. Ed was one of the new breed of kids ushering in the street skate-dominated scene of the 1990s, pushing most of the old '80s vert pros into retirement.
Ed is multi-talented and does so much, it's hard to know where to start with this man. He began skating on the sidewalks, launch ramps and schoolyards of Huntington Beach, California in 1985. In the late '80s and early '90s, Huntington High School became the eye of Ed's storm, a proving ground where he and friend Jason Lee began to make benches, staircases and handrails sing the joys of abuse. These boys became well-known for effortlessly mixing tech and gnar skating simultaneously. Ed's sponsored career began in 1988 when he got flow boards from Madrid, followed by a quick stint at Circle A, eventually settling into Schmitt Stix in 1989.
1990 was Ed's banner year. He turned pro, Schmitt Stix turned into The New Deal and, in addition to the aforementioned four victories and coverage, he made the covers of both TransWorld Skateboarding and Thrasher. Ed Templeton's time had arrived. He was blowing-up big-time. He tried to one-up himself in 1991 with another win at the Spanish Championships, netting a cool $5000 in the process (a huge sum back then)--and marriage to longtime girlfriend Deanna.
Raw Info: Ed Templeton and his wife Deanna got married in 1991 and are still happily married to this day.
In 1992, Ed teamed up with Mike Vallely to start their own ill-fated deck company called TV (later Television). After Television fell apart, Ed and Mike parted ways. Ed started Toy Machine the next year through Vision, wisely moving it to Tum Yeto the year after. It was around this time, 1994, that Ed turned into a Renaissance man, starting his forays into the art world by pursuing drawing, painting, graphic design and photography.
Ed began designing graphics and ads for Toy Machine, as well as setting up his own solo art shows--and participating in group art shows--with Aaron Rose at Alleged Gallery in New York. Ed's early work was quite garish, filled with caustic words (satirizing cheesy, modern day American culture) dripping paint, and loads of nudity, sparking a "love it or hate it" controversy in the skateboarding world.
Ed's art show shenanigans snowballed over the next several years, culminating in a $50,000 Grand Prize in an Italian art contest for his Teenage Smokers series in 2000 --which was also made into a small book--and a solo art show called Situation Comedy in 2002 at Museum Het Domein in Sittard, Netherlands, complete with a color catalog. Ed's Golden Age of Neglect book came next, followed by numerous solo and group shows around the world in the years since.
High-brow followed by low-brow: two of Ed's characters--Transistor Sect and Robot--have even been made into small action figures. Skateboarding is lucky to have such a colorful charcter as Ed in this era of bland followers that's been running a decade or more.
Raw Info: Ed Templeton turned into a vegetarian in 1990, a animal-friendly a year later and has not touched meat or dairy products ever since.
Through the mid '90s, Ed Templeton's skating continually progressed, his sporadic major contest wins continued, and he released the Toy Machine Welcome To Hell video to wide accolades in the skateboarding world. Ed joined a new shoe company in 1996 called Sheep, who gave him his first pro model skate shoe, a non-leather, all animal-friendly model.
After Sheep folded, Ed went on to make the wisest choice in his entire skateboarding career: he joined Emerica, a skate shoe outfit that he helped develop into the world's premier true skateboarding company. He has designed three popular pro model skate shoes for Emerica, and filmed a buff part Emerica's This Is Skateboarding video.
In recent years, Ed has experienced a few of the major curve balls that life likes to throw at you. He was plagued with pneumonia in 1998, suffered a major blow in the form of a fractured neck at a Switzerland contest in 2000 (which knocked him out of commission for three months) and then became the reluctant recipient of a memory-swiping concussion on a mini-ramp.
But Ed's all good now. Despite these and many other lesser challenges, the Tempster soldiers on just as he always has, and will for a long time to come. Through thick and thin, Ed Templeton remains one of skateboarding's greats. He's a lifer, sure to keep charging hard even after he's evolved into a salty old puss.--Post King
Ed rides for Emerica, Toy Machine, Thunder trucks, Ricta wheels and RVCA.