Brianna Biniak 529 Scholarship Fund

To donate to the Brianna Biniak 529 Scholarship Fund, please make checks payable to: Brianna Biniak. Checks can be mailed to: 1261 Military West
Benicia, CA 94510

Brianna Biniak General Fund

Friday, March 19, 2010

Memorial update: Venice, CA

March 27th
Venice skate plaza
There is limited seating so please bring beach chairs to sit
If you wish to be on the program to speak let Charlene know ASAP, programs will be printed soon. If you wish to speak during open forum and not be on the program that is great too!!

There will be photos presented via slide show, Charlene will be doing an opening and reflection, Mitch Kaufman will present a short life tribute film, and speakers thus far are Jeff Ho and Nathan Pratt.

Open Forum
Closing: Charlene Capitolo

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Missing Bobby B

From the Marin Independent Journal and Vellejo Times Journal.

With great sadness, we said goodbye to Robert Edward Biniak, 51, beloved husband, father, son, brother and uncle who passed away on February 25.

Bob Biniak leaves a rich legacy as both an incredible athlete and person. He was a leading member of the Zephyr Skate Team, known as the Z-Boys, the group whose aggressive, surfing-inspired approach to skateboarding during the 1970’s reinvented the sport. Bob was simply known as "the Bullet," a nickname that saluted his speed and innovative skateboarding style. He is a skateboarding legend and pioneer. Bob was featured in two well-received films, the documentary “Dogtown and Z-boys” and the feature film “Lords of Dogtown”.

Bob loved surfing and the ocean and lived most of his life near the Santa Monica-Venice Beach neighborhood called Dogtown, until moving to Benicia two years ago. After leaving skateboarding, he pursued a career as a professional golfer where he toured South Africa and Europe. As recently as 2008, he played in the sectional qualifying round of the U.S. Senior Open. When not traveling with his job in legal advertising sales, he could often be found on a local golf course, sometimes with his daughter or nephews. He especially enjoyed time spent with family at Sea Ranch where he was married 12 years ago. Bob’s gregarious nature, sense of adventure and infectious grin assured that he had many friends no matter where he traveled.

Bob is survived by his wife Charlene Capitolo-Biniak (formerly of San Rafael) and daughter Brianna (5) of Benicia, his mother Dolores Levy of Encinitas, two sisters, Mary Ellen Barnett and Kathy Higgs and many members of the Capitolo family in Marin and Folsom.

A memorial service will be held at the McGinnis Golf Park Center on April 17th at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Brianna Biniak 529 scholarship fund, checks can made to Brianna Biniak and mailed to Brianna Binak 1261 Military west Benicia, CA 94510. Further information about services and donations is available at Words cannot express how much Bob will be missed by so many.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Daddy's little girl

MY life is like a stroll upon the beach,
As near the ocean’s edge as I can go;
My tardy steps its waves sometimes o’erreach,
Sometimes I stay to let them overflow.
My sole employment is, and scrupulous care,
To place my gains beyond the reach of tides,—
Each smoother pebble, and each shell more rare,
Which Ocean kindly to my hand confides.
I have but few companions on the shore:
They scorn the strand who sail upon the sea;
Yet oft I think the ocean they’ve sailed o’er
Is deeper known upon the strand to me.
The middle sea contains no crimson dulse,
Its deeper waves cast up no pearls to view;
Along the shore my hand is on its pulse,
And I converse with many a shipwrecked crew.

--The Fisher’s Boy

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Upcoming Events

March 27, 2010: Celebration of Bob "The Bullet" Biniak's life. Venice Beach Skate Plaza at twilight.

April 17, 2010: Family and Friends Memorial. Benicia, CA

June, 2010: Jacksonville Beach, FL Memorial. Details to follow.


Please donate to the Brianna Biniak Fund in lieu of flowers. The donate button is located at the top of the page! Thanks to everyone for their love and support during this difficult time.

Bob Biniak NY Times Article

Bob Biniak, a leading member of the Zephyr Skate Team, a California group whose aggressive, surfing-inspired approach to skateboarding during the 1970s reinvented the sport and was celebrated in two films, died Feb. 25 in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., where he was visiting friends. He was 51.

Biniak died at Baptist Medical Center Beaches four days after having a heart attack, said his wife, Charlene Capitolo.

Until moving to Benicia, in Northern California, two years ago, Biniak lived most of his life near the Santa Monica-Venice Beach neighborhood called Dogtown. Growing up there during the ’70s, he and other members of the Zephyr team — operating out of the Zephyr surf shop in Santa Monica and known as the Z-Boys — began by treating skateboarding as a cross-training activity for surfing.

“We all started skating at Bicknell hill, trying to get real low,” Biniak said in “Dogtown and Z-Boys,” a well-received 2001 documentary that had a wide theatrical release. “We would be like looking at the surf and riding this hill and dropping in and sliding like we were riding a wave.”

Biniak was known as Bullet for his fast, fearless approach to skating.

“The basis of his strength was to go as fast as you could, and do it with grace,” said Tony Alva, a Z-Boy and world champion in skateboarding.

But Biniak also cultivated a reputation as a tough customer.

“He wasn’t somebody you would want to come up against in any kind of competition,” Alva said. “He could be very intimidating.”

When the Z-Boys entered their first formal competition, the 1975 Del Mar Nationals, skateboarding was based on a 1960s model that was gymnastically oriented with a standup style. With their low-slung approach and ripped jeans, the Z-Boys caused an uproar among competitors.

“It was like a hockey team going to a figure skating contest,” Biniak said in “Dogtown and Z-Boys.”

A nationwide resurgence in skateboarding catapulted the Z-Boys into the spotlight. They popularized riding in empty swimming pools and invented many of the maneuvers that laid the foundation for modern vertical skateboarding, a discipline performed in pools and on ramps.

Biniak pioneered professionalism in the sport.

“He was the first skateboarder to demand compensation for his image,” said Skip Engblom, a co-owner of the Zephyr shop.

By 1980, skateboarding had plummeted in popularity, and Biniak drifted out of the scene and began golfing, playing in tournaments in Europe and South Africa, his wife said. He had worked as a salesman since the 1990s. When he turned 50, he tried to qualify for the United States Senior Open golf tournament.

Robert Edward Biniak was born June 2, 1958, in Chicago and moved to Santa Monica as a child with his mother and sisters. In addition to his wife of 12 years, Biniak is survived by a daughter, Brianna, 5; his mother, Dolores Levy; and his sisters, Mary Ellen Barnett and Kathy Higgs.

In the 2005 Hollywood film “Lords of Dogtown,” a fictional treatment of the Z-Boys, Biniak appeared as a restaurant manager. In the documentary, he played a more prominent role, recalling his teenage exploits.

“If you look at some of the still shots from back then, you’ll see that I’m on the wall, with nothing on,” he said about not wearing pads or a helmet. “If you fall then, you’re going to get hurt.

“We didn’t care,” Biniak said. “We just wanted to get radical.”

--Taken from the NY Times by Matt Higgins

--March 7, 2010