Episode Four of the Another Chance Podcast is about former professional skateboarder, Joe Gruber. In the Nineties, Joe skated on a team assembled by one of the “godfathers” of skateboarding, Lance Mountain. During our interview for this podcast, Lance told me, “Skateboarders are disgustingly honest.” Lance was referring to the in-your-face attitude of the skateboarding party life that Joe found himself in as he stiff-armed God. However, eventually, in large measure thanks to an evening that involved drugs and demons, Joe took up Jesus’ offer of another chance–at life.
Joe skated in “The Firm,” a legendary skateboard team that was founded by Lance mountain in the 1990’s and lasted for the better part of 15 years. Joe and his brother Kieth were skating in a Southern California playground when the happened to meet Lance. It was a divine moment which would change Joe and Kieth’s life forever.
As you’ll hear, while touring the world as a pro skateboarder, Joe ventured into the dark side of the skate culture, but fortunately responded when God stepped in to place him on a different course.
Joe retired from pro skating, dedicating his life to serving people–and especially young people–with the love of Jesus, eventually going to work for the Billy Graham Association in youth outreach.
Joe now lives in Santa Cruz, California with his wife Katrina. He is a pastor at Santa Cruz Hope Church in Santa Cruz, California.
Joe can occasionally be seen charging down a steep street on a skateboard (and every once in a while, can still be seen with a fresh case of “road rash”).
Thanks to MS Skate Ministry for their contribution to this podcast.