"The perfect board to learn on." Speed. Weightlessness. Freedom. Something clicked into place. He quickly graduated to a Veriflex Chaos, and soon after a hand-me-down Schmitt Stix Ripsaw—his first pro board. He tagged along with a pack of older kids, mastering his boneless, and skating around from parking lots to schoolyards. Back then, there were only a handful of tricks.
Come junior high George plopped down his savings on a Vision Gator and then a Santa Cruz Rob Roskopp and then a SMA Natas. He remembers every board he ever rode. He loved all of them. Well, maybe not that Vision Gator. Something about that one wasn’t quite right.
One day after flipping through a Thrasher magazine, George began tinkering in his driveway, trying to replicate the terrain seen in those pages. Soon he had an array of launch ramps, boxes, and quarter pipes. There wasn’t many other skateboarders around, but word got out, and soon kids from the next town over came to skate the Rocha driveway.
Soon he was volunteering to help anywhere a backyard ramp, contest or skatepark was being built, and from there he built a career of nearly two decades crafting wood and concrete parks all over the country. "Too many to count," he says. Among the gifts he has offered the skating world: Thrasher’s Double Rock, the annual FTC pop-up in-store competition park, and a string of concrete gems during a dozen-year run with Breaking Ground Skateparks.
George is a skater’s skater. He has built his life around his passion for the sport and he knows he’s fortunate to be able to fully pursue that elemental bliss he first felt as a 5 year old. "Ever since I fell in love with skateboarding, it’s been on my mind," says Rocha. "It still is today. I’m still that kid."