New Jack: David Reyes
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, December 2009
Imagine you get called to the principal’s office one day and get told that your estranged father, who you hadn’t had contact with in years, has died. Then, a few years later, find out he’s trying to contact you. It happened to David Reyes. Isn’t that reason alone to continue reading about him?
If you need further coaxing, consider that David carries a dictionary with him at all times. He likes to look up words that he doesn’t know when he reads or hears them. The number of skateboarders, or even people in general, who actually do that can most likely be counted on three fingers. And no, Dictionary.com on your iPhone doesn’t count.
Contrary to much of what we see in skateboarding, you don’t have to go to great, contrived, labor-intensive lengths to be an individual. Sometimes it’s the little things that provide a world of differentiation. Here’s your chance to get to know a little more about David and a few more of those “little things.”
So Leo Romero is one of your favorite skaters?
I heard he just took you to Disneyland.
Yeah! Me and him and Julian Davidson went. It was my first time. So sick!
What was your favorite ride?
Space Mountain for sure.
How old are you?
You were born in New York?
How long did you live there before moving to Colorado?
I was six or seven. I remember random little stuff like walking down the streets and looking at buildings. Our apartment was under the ground and one day it was raining really bad. You could see the worms and bugs on the window.
How would life be different if you were still in New York? Would you have started skating?
I never actually thought about that. I could’ve seen myself doing a lot of things if I stayed there.
Why did your parents move to Colorado?
My mom and dad weren’t doing too good with each other so we moved to get away from him.
Was he gnarly?
I didn’t know him that well. I didn’t give a shit about him. From what I’ve heard, he was abusive. When I was in fifth grade they called me to the principal’s office and told me he died. But then, about two years ago he tried to contact me.
So he wasn’t dead? That’s crazy.
No. He still calls my mom and stuff. I’ll forgive him for whatever he’s done but I heard that he was a bad guy. It’s the past. I don’t really care about it.
Where are you living now?
Denver is where my bed is, but I’ve been staying in Long Beach with Leo. I think me and Angel are getting a place.
Aren’t you living with Angel in Colorado?
I lived with him there for a little while—in his closet. That shit was tight.
How much rent did you pay for a closet?
I didn’t pay anything. He was generous.
How big was the closet?
It was big. It was a walk in closet to a bigger closet and in that bigger closet.
So you had a two-bedroom closet?
Yeah, it was huge. But the one section turned into my friend Bucky’s room.
Would moving to Cali be better for your skate career? Do your sponsors want you there?
They’re cool with the back and forth ‘cause I do it a lot. I like going back to Denver because when I come to California again I’m more motivated. In Denver I know all the spots and where everything is. I’m in a different mind state than in California. I’m more laid back in Denver.
Seems like a more laid back place...
Yeah. And the ladies don’t seem like robots. I’ve never met a cool girl in California. They all seem fake to me.
If you walk into a crowded bar or party, what are the odds you can pull a chick by the end of the night?
I can pull a chick. Doesn’t have to be a cute chick either… you can just go for anything. I could probably get a number. I’ve hooked up with chicks before at Angel’s old place when I had the closet.
They can’t resist the closet, huh?
They were down for it. “Ohh! Look at the big closet!” I had a bed, a fan, a little TV in there chillin.’ It was pretty much easy living.
Do you ever get skate groupies on tour?
Nah. Julian gets all those. They love him.
They like Corey too.
Duffman gets mad hoes. They love him.
If you could skate like any pro for a day who would it be?
Probably Heath. His board was at Leo’s house. It was a beast board and I kickflipped on it. It was fun.
What’s a trick that you see people do that you don’t like?
The fucking dancing on ledges… like in the Lakai video. Remember everything from the old Deca video?
I thought that was sick ‘cause it was one of the first videos I ever had.
Chris Ray told me you were at his house and wanted to sleep in his backyard?
He had a hammock I wanted to sleep in but it was too cold. I’m down to sleep in tents. If anything he saved me from hypothermia by telling me not to. Besides, I had this perfectly good blow up bed on his floor in his house.
You’re really into Bob Dylan…. what do you like about him?
Dylan just did what he wanted to do and tried new things all the time with his music. Just shows that if you try new things you can decide which one works best for you.
Did you see I’m not there?
Yeah. You gotta watch that like 100 times to actually get what’s going on. I think that’s another reason I really like Dylan. ‘Cause I really listen to him. All the songs… you have to listen to them a hundred times because of how many words he says and how many different things he hides in certain words. He gives people different names and shit like that.
Cate Blanchett was my favorite version of Dylan in that movie. She nailed it.
Yeah, she definitely did a good job.
What’s the last book you read?
I’m reading three books at the same time. I Used to Know That, which is a book of just standard things you learned in school that you probably forgot. I carry a dictionary around and whenever I read a word I don’t know I’ll look it up. That’s been helping out a lot lately. I’m reading The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell by Aldous Huxley. It’s two books in one… about mescaline and peyote. I started reading Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test too.
You’re into the psychedelic stuff…
That shit is so sick.
What’s the last lie you told?
I don’t even know. I used to lie a lot when I was little. Shit was fun. I’m sure I’ve lie about something. My memory is shot.
Why is your memory shot? You’re only 19.
Nah, it’s not shot, I’m just joking.
See… you just told a lie.
There you go.
Why do people call you “the poor man’s Malto?”
I used to go to Kansas to see Aaron and Matt Chilen and their crew. I got stuff from DC back then and so did Malto. Since we wore the same shoes, Aaron and Matt’s dad Tim saw me and him one time and said, “Who’s the poor man’s Malto?” And that’s pretty much how it started.
It’s not ‘cause of the way you skate or anything?
I don’t think so. He’s nuts. That fool is a pimp.
Yeah, he’s awesome. Were you offended?
Nah. It was a joke. It’s actually way cool ‘cause Malto’s a fucking G.
And how did the nickname “Diggler” come about?
When I first started skating I was a really dirty kid that was always at the skatepark. “Dirty Dave” to “Dirty D,” and that turned into “Dirk Diggler.”
So it isn’t a penis reference?
No. I hope mad fools think that though. That’d be tight.
I’m sure everyone assumes you have a huge dick ‘cause of it.
Hell yeah. Too bad I don’t ever get bunz or anything.
What’s something lame about the skate industry?
Gatorade is lame?
Yeah, Gatorade sucks. I think all these people trying to make skateboarding what it’s not. Corporate.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
When I was 13, me and Angel were sleeping at a friend’s house. I was super sick and I shit myself. That was probably the most embarrassing thing ever.
More often than not, when I ask someone that question, the answer involves shitting themselves.
I’m supposed to be an adult and I’m just shitting myself.
Have you ever had any near-death experiences?
On King of the Road I slammed and hit my head. It took two-and-a-half weeks for me to get a concussion. I seemed completely fine but everything felt like it was repeating itself and I couldn’t get my thoughts out of this weird cycle—like the same 30 thoughts. Déjà vu-type feelings. I thought I was pretty much done. That shit was scary. I was in Russia and I flew home early cause I was freaking out. I was about to turn myself into a mental hospital ‘cause I thought I was going crazy.
I hear you have a pentagram tattoo. Are you into Satan or something?
It was just for kicks. Gives me a story to tell one day.
So you woke up one day like, “I wanna get a Satan tattoo!”
No, on June 6, 2006 my friend was giving out free tattoos, but they had to be Satan-oriented. I got a pentagram on my wrist, my friend got one on his chest and a few of my other friends got “666.”
Did your mom see it and freak out?
No, she didn’t care. I think she was probably psyched on it.
Are you still trying to get your own Nuggets jersey?
Yeah, I’m down. Just trying to copy Biebel. How sick is it that he got a Sacramento Kings jersey?
Biebel is fucking amazing. He didn’t even try. His life is just like that.
That’s the best way for anything to go down. ‘Cause you know he didn’t even plan to get a Kings jersey with his name on it. Shit like that happens ‘cause it’s meant to happen for the person. He deserves everything though.
What do you picture yourself doing 40 years from now?
Probably be that old guy living in the forest.
Oh yeah, you like sleeping in tents...
After that first Foundation trip I came back up to Sacramento, and driving up here that time and seeing all those valleys and stuff… I think it would just be so cool to wake up and see that every morning.