January 25, 2010
Festivus: Tampa Am ‘09
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, March 2010
This year’s Tampa Am contest may have been the most incredible Tampa Am ever … seriously. “Why?” you ask. Well duh! Obviously because all sorts of history was made!
As you all know, Luan Oliveira won. And that makes him the first person to ever win Tampa Am twice! History in the making! You should be excited. One might assume that after two Tampa Am wins, he won’t be am too much longer, eh? Or maybe he’ll win next year as well! Three-peat history! Luan beautifully flipped his board really fast and high and spun around a lot. That kid sure has one hell of a pre-trick windup. Hit pause next time you are watching his footage and check it out.
You know what else? More history was made when Ben Hatchell took second. Yes, indeed, Ben is the first person to ever get second place at Tampa Am twice! Insane! Furthermore, not since Daewon has someone exerted so much authority over the blunt kickflip out. And Ben’s cab flips … fuggitaboutit!
This year, for the first time in history, there was a high ollie contest at Tampa Am. Luis Tolentino made history by tying the history-making high ollie world record of 44.5 inches set by Danny Wainwright in February of 2000. Whoa … that record is ten years old and no one’s beaten it yet? That’s historic in itself! Possibly even sadly historic. Can someone just do it already? Beating his record would mean more history could be made! And we all like making history, don’t we? Lots of history. Historical amounts of history.
Alongside high ollie record-matching history also came high jinx history. You see … there’s this guy, Stalker Steve. He’s a local down in Tampa and shoots photos. One can only imagine why his name is “Stalker Steve,” but that’s beside the point. Anyway, a challenge was posed to him—the challenge to jump, on foot, over the high-ollie bar at 44.5 inches.
Steve accepted, crowds gathered, chants began, and Steve approached the bar at a speed not unlike that of a 101-year-old Galapagos Island giant tortoise and ultimately achieved a vertical leap of approximately 1.6 inches as he crashed through the ollie bar. It didn’t appear Steve put much effort into his attempt, but I think he did, and that’s what made it amazing. Hats off to you, Stalker Steve, for allowing us to laugh with you. Lord knows we all need a good guffaw or two these days.
Could anything possibly trump the aforementioned history made by Luan, Ben, Luis and Steve? Well, how about local Skatepark of Tampa femme fatale, Sierra, having a historic increase in size to a certain area of her anatomy? Now that’s some history that we can all enjoy. In fact, let’s just go ahead and shut this one down by awarding Sierra and her new boobs “the most important historic event of the Tampa Am ’09 weekend” award.
January 21, 2010
Mike Anderson: Behind the Ad
Words: Rob Brink
esfootwear.com, March 2010
Was this a spontaneous session or did you plan this spot and trick?
I wanted to skate the pool but I didn't know I was gonna do feebles.
Where do front feebles fall in your hierarchy of favorite tricks?
They’re fun sometimes.
Where’s this spot?
My friend Squeak’s house.
What’s the 7-10-1975 stand for?
That’s Art’s pool. Squeak’s uncle. 7-10-1975. RIP.
How come you didn’t shoot a fakie thruster for the ad?
My knees couldn’t get stylish enough.
Are big-cuffed jeans back in style or were they just too long for your legs?
Are they in style again? Awesome! Woooo Hooooooo!
You have a Krooked Square One colorway now. Tell us about that.
éS asked me to do a colorway and I was really stoked! Really wanted that Krooked logo on it. RIP Van Wastell.
How about the custom insoles and photos?
At the time, I was spending a lot of time with my friends in my garage after Van passed. Just had a lot of good memories together. The other insole is just random funny and cool photos of Van.
So when’s the baby due?
According to the baby tracker, how big is she now?
Says she’s as big as a head of lettuce (18 in, 3.2 lbs)
Tell us the story of going to Paris. It’s kinda romantic. Skateboarding needs more romance I think. You and Daisy can start a revolution.
A romance revolution? Well, I was in Europe on The Great éScape tour for a few weeks before Daisy flew out. She a 4D ultrasound while I was gone, so we decided to have the doctor write down the sex of the baby and seal it in an envelope so we’d open it in Paris together. We planned to open it under the Eiffel Tower, but were too anxious and did it right when we got to the hotel. It’s a girl!
How has the journey to fatherhood changed you?
I’m trying to learn how to be a better man. I want to raise my daughter to be a good person. I definitely try to think twice before I do stupid shit now. I’m really excited. I’m sure I’ll have a better answer for you in a couple months.
What’s been the best part?
What’s been the hardest or scariest part?
She doesn't like daddy.
Are you bitter at Nieratko at all for getting your girl pregnant?
Stoked he convinced me to not wear condoms... yes. Bitter? No.
Does he get visitation rights?
Just saw him today. His baby boy isn't allowed near my daughter!
Any plans to get married?
Very personal questions, huh?
Have you practiced changing diapers yet?
I changed my little brother and nephew’s diapers a bit.
Are you working on any interviews or video projects at the moment?
Skateboarder interview just dropped and I think I’m filming for an éS video.
Any talk of going pro? It’s gotta be coming soon, no?
I’m actually not sure.
Who are your favorite skaters at the moment?
Jake, Justin and Aaron.
What’s the best thing about riding for Krooked?
What’s your favorite thing about the Gonz?
Favorite YouTube video of the moment?
“Stop betraying me!” And Aaron Loreth.
New Years resolutions for 2010?
To make it to 2011.
January 21, 2010
Rick McCrank: Behind the Ad
Words: Rob Brink
esfootwear.com, December 2009
Didn’t anyone ever tell you that regular belts are out and you’re supposed to be wearing a shoelace around your waist?
I wore a shoelace belt for a while. It kept digging in to my side and it looked like a G-string so I went traditional again. Chocolate makes a nice belt. I've been wearing it forever.
Do you feel weird about the amount of underwear showing in your ad?
Yeah that's a bummer. That ledge has a nice sized drop off of it. I guess I caught the wind.
Where do you buy your boxers?
I don't need to buy boxers because Matix makes really good ones.
How about those chicks in the upper left corner? Were they checking you out?
I don't know? They were there for a really long time. I think one of our dudes was chatting them up and got a number.
Did the naked statues on the wall distract you at all? Perhaps inspire you?
Definitely inspired me. I love the old architecture in Paris and I don't mind a nude body either.
So where is this spot and what do you like and dislike about it?
It's in Paris at what is now an art gallery called Palais de Tokyo. Ed Templeton had a show there! I really like this spot. It has a perfect three stair with really nice ground, a tall ledge that Biebel switch back tailed, a small double set, a huge double set, the hubba and the massive one above it. I always have fun there. The hubba is wide and has a perfect slope. It slides and grinds great. I guess I dislike how beat up the ground has gotten over the years. It's a main skate spot in Paris so the ground at the bottom of the three-stair and the double set is all smashed up. Oh and it always smells like piss where you start for the hubba.
Was this a spontaneous thing or was the 50-50 backside 180 planned prior to the arrival?
It was spontaneous. I wanted to try another trick on the backside one but didn't have the nerve that day. It was Bobby that suggested I try 50-50 backside 180. Thanks Bob!
Have you ever had any other ads at this spot? I know in Menikmati you 50-50'd it.
I think I had an éS ad doing 50-50 kickflip out over the kink. I've done a couple other things on it over the years.
What’s your favorite trick that you’ve seen done there by someone else?
Colt Cannon frontside nosegrinded it. That is insane! I heard a rumor that Tom Penny almost frontside noseslide it but that's unconfirmed.
Is it more intimidating to skate this thing now or was it harder back then? I’d think back then it would have been a higher ledge by common standards… but now maybe the trick you were trying was harder?
It was harder now because I have bad ankles.
I heard you battled a bit. Did you know you would eventually land it?
Yeah it took some time because I'm rusty with the bigger things. I did have faith I could do it though ... just had to put the time in. My ankles are jacked. I'm getting some clean-up surgery in a few weeks. I didn't even think I would street skate that whole trip. The good thing about that trick was that it only really hurt my ankles when I landed from the impact, so if it felt wrong I could just run or slide down the ledge on my ass.
Did you land it more than once?
Nope, luckily it worked out the first time I rode away.
Can you describe, person-by-person, what’s going on in that other photo?
Terps was trying to do a blunt over me while I got hippy. Manderson was pretending to be a Sasquatch and Josh was puking up the poison from the night before.
Quote from Seb… “He did it for liberté I think. I’m sure égalité and fraternité came in to it too.” What’s that all about? Did you indeed do it for all those things?
I did it because skateboarding is all I've got.
This was during the last leg of The Great éScape tour… what was your favorite part of that trip?
Being in Paris was my favorite part. I love skating there and just being there. I'd like to spend most of next summer there.
Are you working on any interviews, video projects or more film stuff at the moment?
I think I've done enough interviews for a lifetime. I'm not that interesting.
Will you have a part in the Chocolate video?
Yeah. I'm going to have a part in the Chocolate video and I might do a skate project on film with a friend of mine.
You’ve been on éS a pretty long time now! When did you get on?
I think it's been ten years. Crazy! I wonder if I get a watch or a plaque?
Any New Years resolutions for 2010?
Get my ankles in order and skate my ass off.
January 7, 2010
Festivus: Damn Am Costa Mesa ‘09
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, February 2009
On October 24, 2009, a landmark event occurred: the Skateboarding Hall of Fame was created.
Democracy reigned supreme and four dudes were inducted—one from each decade of skateboarding’s existence thus far. You might have heard of some of them… but we’re only gonna discuss one. His name is Tony Alva and he is the Skateboarding Hall of Fame inductee for the 1970s. Congrats, Tony.
But this isn’t about the Skateboarding Hall of Fame or Tony Alva. It’s about something waaaaaay bigger. I simply told you that story so I could tell you this one: On October 25th, the 8th annual Damn Am contest was held at Volcom headquarters in Costa Mesa. As the finals commenced… some leathery-skinned dude in a red shirt and fedora, carrying a brand new Alva cruiser board, complete with colorful and authentic-looking Alva logo griptape, arose from the crowd.
He chugged from his liquor-filled sippy cup while weeble wobbling back and forth before belligerently “not giving a fuck” and stumbling onto the street course… all the while proudly waving his Alva board in the air… as if to say, “I’m here to let you know what elements of skateboarding’s history resonate with me! All hail Tony Alva! Inductee into the all-new Skateboarding Hall of Fame! King of 1970s skateboarding!”
Which got me to thinking, that Hall of Fame party in Orange, California the night before must have been pinnacle, because this guy just may have attended, pulled an all-night rager and somehow relocated his pickled self to Damn Am Costa Mesa (11.8 miles away according to Google Maps) and was still going strong at four in the afternoon at Damn Am. Impressive. This is the very stuff champions are made of.
But not nearly as impressive as Brian Schaefer’s nonchalant and almost-instinctual ability to let the Alva-crazed boozer have his moment of shine on the course before politely (and while donning full “Florida white trash” Halloween regalia) convincing him to head back to the sidelines so the contest could continue.
Schaefer’s foresight, which resulted in a five-minute-plus, “we’re not laughing with you, we’re laughing at you”-esque intermission for everyone in attendance, is a valuable life lesson.
This might not be news to you, but there’s so much more to skateboarding than skateboarding. Skateboarding is far too grand to ignore the peripherals, which are usually as entertaining as the skateboarding itself.
Whether it’s the hammered Alva dude lurking the course, the bloodbath of the best trick contest (just ask Dylan Perry, who lost a few pints and ended up with a grip of stitches in two fingers), Luan de Olivera qualifying first and then winning the whole shebang, or Clint Walker coming from out of Nowhere, Oklahoma and taking first in the best trick, second in the finals and the Zumiez Destroyer award.
The moral of the story is life is a quest for fun. Don’t deprive yourself, or others, the opportunity to fulfill that quest by kicking the sloshed Alva guy off the course too soon. Let him go for it. Savor his presence. Laugh a little. And be thankful skateboarding brought him there so you could smile one more time during the day.
January 7, 2010
Flick: Strange World
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, February 2009
Despite the fairly common “I’m so cool and I don’t give a fuck” exterior and attitude of skateboarders these days—many of them, believe it or not, frequently get just as warm and fuzzy and sensitive and sappy as your mom, grandma, great aunt or girlfriend do.
For skateboarders, though, it takes something a little different than say, a dozen roses, pictures of you as a baby with a bowl cut and birthday cake frosting on your face, a box of chocolates, a teddy bear, a moonlit walk on the beach or a platinum-set 5.98-carat oval-cut diamond ring for the butterflies to start twitterpating in their tummies.
The new Zero video, Strange World, is most likely one of those things. But it’s more than the mere existence of the long-awaited flick that’ll have kids across the globe triumphantly jumping out of their seats as if they just witnessed Ivan Drago hitting the mat in Rocky IV or Daniel taking out Johnny with his special crane kick in the finale of The Karate Kid for the first time.
It’s more than Garret Hill’s getting-very-easy-on-the-eyes style. It’s more than promising debuts from Tom Asta, Dane Burman and Jamie Tancowny or Cole’s board-breaking ender. It’s more than Keegan Sauder’s long awaited first pro part or Ben Gilley’s nail-biting handrail attempts. It’s more than the fact that what Strange World showcases is a different and evolving aspect of Zero that many viewers might find unexpected when compared to past Zero productions.
“Well, what the hell is it?” you ask? “Get to the fucking point already!” You say?
Marisa dal Santo. Period.
Skateboarding is a man’s world. There’s just no two ways about it. Doesn’t mean it should stay that way… it just is that way. Every so often, a young lady comes around and blows the roof off things in a non-novelty kind of way.
From the day everyone first saw Welcome to Hell back in the ‘90s, the appeal of Elissa Steamer wasn’t that she was “good for a girl.” It’s that she was just plain good at skateboarding. And thirteen years later with the release of Strange World, the same goes for Marisa—she just fucking rips.
And thank God. Because the world of skateboarding gets a bit bland sometimes. The “diversity” we often wear on our sleeves like a badge of honor gets lost in the shuffle of trends and crazes and conformity and the unwritten laws and rules and protocols of coolness we create for ourselves.
The song doesn’t matter. The place in the video where her part falls doesn’t matter. The tricks don’t matter (but the smith grind tail grab down a rail is pretty damn impressive). What matters is that Marisa’s skating made a whole theater full of hundreds of the toughest critics and most cynical people in the world—i.e.: skateboarders—go sincerely and absolutely ape shit. Congrats, Marisa.
January 7, 2010
Storefront: Push X-Change
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, February 2009
On August 15, 2009, Craig Glover decided to put his livelihood in fate’s hands and open up a skateboard shop in Santa Clarita, California… smack dab in the middle of the sketchiest economic climate of our lifetime thus far. Of course, having a brand new 40,000 square foot skatepark less than five miles from the shop helps out a bit… but still. As if that’s not enough of a feat… the shop’s construction… to opening day, complete with ordering inventory, took less than 30 days.
Interestingly enough, Push is a reincarnation of a now-defunct Chicago skate shop that closed in 2002. Glover met Push owner, Reggie Destin, in 2001 on a trip to Chicago and the pair have been tight ever since.
“I asked Reggie if it was cool if I could carry on his legacy with Push,” says Glover. “He was super hyped about it and now Push is alive and representing true skateboarding. I have noticed a few other shops named Push in the US, but I got the rights from the OG!”
Located 20 minutes north of Los Angeles and five minutes east of Magic Mountain, Push does things slightly differently… one of the more noteworthy being a thrift store-style business model.
“I kind of modeled it like Buffalo Exchange,” says Glover. “We let kids trade in used stuff for store credit and we sell the used stuff for cheap. But that part of the shop is small and we limit it to a certain amount a month. I mean, where else can you find a Girl zip-up hoodie from 1996? We also have a lot of historical items in the store… like Kennan Milton’s first DVS pro model.”
Glover is choosy about the brands he carries at Push. “We back pro decks and companies that are giving back to skateboarding. We carry stuff the other stores in the area don’t… like Roger, Cliché, Black Label, Sk8mafia and Traffic. We will never carry blanks and mall stores that sell kids overpriced shit can eat a dick. I will never sell a pro’s board who I don’t believe deserves to be pro. I will never censor a skateboard graphic by taking it off the wall ‘cause someone finds it offensive… not even for my own grandmother.”
Apart from the obvious economic climate, Glover sites not getting opened by certain shoe brands as a bit of an obstacle. “Just because we don’t want to carry four skus from each of their lines. Step up shoe brands!” Glover says, “Help those small core retailers who want to support you in any way possible.”
According to Glover, the goals of Push will always be providing good product and customer service. “I’d like to thank Val Surf for teaching me that when I worked for them,” he says. “We just want to keep our doors open, stay happy, keep skating and promote real skateboarding to the kids in this town! Making kids psyched seeing them smile is awesome. The local skate community has been pretty supportive and I am forever grateful! If you’re not in an area with a great park and a supportive community, then you better think twice about opening a shop these days.”
Push X-Change Skateshop
26557 Golden valley rd
Santa Clarita Ca, 91350
December 12, 2009
Words: Rob Brink
This was the original 2008 Year's Best Am Nick Trapasso interview for The Skateboard Mag. When all was said and done, Nick asked that the interview be redone with someone he knew better and it ended up being assigned to Mike Sinclair. No hard feelings or anything like that. It's not drama. It just is. Nick's amazing. I'm a fan. Enjoy.
“I wish I knew Nick.”
“Nick has been one of my favorite skaters since Suffer the Joy. It always confused me that I won Years Best Am last year when Nick should have easily got the award. If he didn't win this year I’d whoop someone’s ass! Well deserved. Congratulations, Nick.”
“Nick stands out from the herd because of how original he is. He's not a new version of this guy or an amalgamation of these two types of skaters or part of some skate trend movement—he's just Nick. Skaters, young and old, pick up on this refreshing originality and relish it.”
Nick Trapasso is a quiet fellow who doesn’t seem to trouble himself worrying (or caring, for that matter) about much in life. He doesn’t have answers to many of the questions presented to him… not because he’s clueless, but because he seemingly knows that none of it really fuckin’ matters in the grand scheme of things—which is somewhat admirable actually. It’s apparent he’d rather be kickin’ it with his crew or out skating than sitting on the phone talking about himself. Which is just fine, because in the last year or two, his skating’s been speaking volumes anyway. So make Nick proud: Grab a beer or twist one up and enjoy a glimpse into the modest world of 2008’s Year’s Best Am… “fo’ sho’.”
So Nick, how’s Mexico so far? Is this your first Converse trip?
Yeah. Shit’s sick.
Who else is there with you?
Sammy, Anthony, Raymond, Ethan, my brother and Dave Hoang.
Anything crazy happen yet?
I got some bunz last night in the van. We went to some RVCA party. I don’t even know how I did it. I was faded and somehow made it to the van and bunned it up.
Front or the back of the van?
The back. She was just a ho trying to get a skateboarder that night. She didn’t speak any English so I don’t know how that went down.
How do you end up communicating then?
Fuckin’ sat next to her and got some shots and one homie who spoke Spanish just asked her name and how old she was and that was it.
Ah… the international language of sex.
Yeah. A lot of bunz out here. Just probably ho’s that’ll do anything. Too bad I don’t speak Spanish.
How do you feel about doing interviews?
What’s the worst thing people ask you?
Just when you hear the same questions over and over. You’re like, “sheesh.”
Every Trapasso interview I've read, people asked you about your pants.
That shit is annoying fo’ sho’. I’m pretty sure no one cares about my pants.
Everyone’s always freaking out about tight pants or baggy pants or plaid pants. For such a heterosexually dominated activity, skateboarding sure is concerned with boys’ pants.
Yeah, it’s stoops.
People were really into your Suffer the Joy part. Do you feel pressure to produce something as good as that now?
Not really. As long as I keep going on trips and shit, there’s always something to fuckin’ do something on.
Is it different filming a part now than it was back then?
I skate with the same people pretty much. Same fuckin’ shit.
Did you pick the music for your parts? It’s not typically what someone would put in a video part but it compliments your skating really well.
I picked John Lennon, but Kevin [Barnett, Toy Machine filmer] found that one song for Suffer the Joy and I was down.
Are you aware that you’ve won the Years Best Am award from The Skateboard Mag? That’s what this interview is all about.
Yeah I heard. I was fuckin hyped fo’ sho’. That shit’s crazy. Hell yeah!
If you had to give your award to another am who would it be?
Woooo! Fucking Slash is tight. Eric Fletcher… that fool’s crazy as hell.
I skated with Fletch last night! Who can roll a joint faster? You or him?
I dunno! Fletcher is my fucking right hand man, dude. We’re probably about the same. If we had a twist off we’d probably tie.
How ‘bout quality-wise?
I think whoever rolls a joint, likes his own the best, ya know? But his seem pretty much identical and shit. Shit’s sick! Fletch is good.
How much weed do you smoke in an average day?
It depends if you’re fucking going out at night or something—maybe twelve joints or something?
Are joints your preferred method of smoking?
Yeah, fo’ sho’.
Does anyone smoke out of bongs anymore? Seems like a lot of work.
And some fool will just break it probably. None of my homies do. I don’t even own one.
When was the first time you smoked? Did anything weird happen?
Probably like 14 or something. I didn’t get high and I was fuckin’ over it. Then I smoked some actual good weed and I got extra high.
Has weed changed your life?
Shit, I don’t think it’d be the same with out it.
Are there any downsides to the amount of weed you smoke?
I guess when there’s no good weed to smoke. You just end up smoking a bunch of cigarettes. It could be seen a downside.
Other than weed and Halo, what else are you up to when you’re not skating? These are the only things people tell me about you.
Just getting faded and chasing buns.
I think a lot of people are strangely envious of how simple you are.
Hell, I’ve been wanting to do something else. Play guitar or some shit. That shit is complex. Playing pool is tight.
Are you afraid of dying?
Shit, kinda. I’d just like to live long. That’d be sick.
How much time a week do you spend doing griptape art?
If I actually have fuckin' paint pens… until they run out I guess.
What’s worse? Running with your board to jump on it and clipping the tail with your foot and eating shit or hauling ass and hitting a rock and slamming?
The first one fo’ sho’. That shit looks sloppy.
What kind of name is Trapasso?
Are you full-on Italian?
No, my mom is Polish. So I’m like half Italian.
I’m half Italian too. There’s not a lot of good Italian food on the West Coast. It sucks.
Yeah. I eat pizza. That’s Italian and shit.
How is living in California compared to Arizona?
I’d say California kills it. It’s tight to go back to AZ too ‘cause you got a lot of homies there. You know where all the goods are at. Lots of great parks. But I like California. It’s the goods.
Do you ever see kids biting your style? Skating like you? I’ve seen a bunch.
Yeah, it’s tight. As long as I’m not hanging out with them they can do whatever they want.
Do you have any good Ed Templeton stories?
Hell yeah, that fool’s crazy! On King of the Road he got a fuckin’ tan. That shit was pretty funny. He just got fuckin naked. They put all this shit on you before you get tanned and afterwards you just stand there and look funny as hell.
He didn’t go in a tanning bed? Just got tanning liquid sprayed on him?
Yeah. He’s crazy.
You once said you only wanted to ride for “OG companies” and that you wouldn’t want to ride for Nike. Now you’re on Converse, which is owned by Nike. What changed for you?
Some shit wasn’t going good at Vans and they did some weird contract stuff. I was like “Fuck it.” And Converse, even though it’s not like, an OG skate company, it's still OG.
I heard a story that you showed up at a Vans photo shoot wearing Converse and Geoff Rowley wanted to kick the shit out of you. True?
I think it was at a fuckin’ Volcom catalog shoot and I was wearing Converse instead of Vans ‘cause we weren’t skating anything. I guess a photo came out and you could see the Converse and they got all butthurt.
I remember a bunch of drama because you said shit about Darkstar once. Is it weird that something you say becomes all controversial?
Yeah. I wasn’t even being serious. But I think Darkstar’s kind of funny, though.
They even wrote about it on their site.
Yeah, I never even looked at that. I just heard. My brother would give me updates and shit.
That’s funny that you just get web updates from your brother. So who in skating right now do you like watching?
Fletch is dope, fo’ sho’. Slash. That last part [Ride the Sky] was tight. I just like watching crazy shit go down in person. David [Gravette] is crazy. I still like watching fuckin’ Tom Penny and fools like that.
Who do you usually skate with?
Mostly Fletch and Dave Hoang’s posse. The whole Toy Machine team lives in Long Beach so I go skate with those fools whenever.
Do you envision being with Toy Machine for a long time? Does that feel like home to you?
Yeah, I mean, that shit is sick fo’ sho’. I go on trips with all those fools too.
Who pushes you to skate better?
Whoever I’m skating with that’s trying some crazy shit. Pat Pasquale gets me hyped up. He’s always thinking about where he wants to go skating and shit. Just getting hyped.
The Sinner. That dude’s awesome.
Yeah, the Sinner. He’s the shit! That fool’s the best person you could chill with.
Who’s had the greatest impact on you over the years?
That’s fuckin tough, but I guess whoever I looked up to and whoever pointed me in the right direction. Everybody at Cowtown helped me out a lot—let me know what’s the goods and what’s not.
What will you miss the most about Van Wastell?
He skated so light-footed. One time he wrote me a letter. It was fuckin crazy. None of my homies write letters. So it was tight getting that. Just going on trips with him and Andrew Allen. Talking shit to each other. He’s sick... just a nice fool.
I hear you have some pretty extensive slang. What’s a munson?
Just a mark. Somebody stoops. You’ve seen Kingpin right? Roy Munson. Just like a fuckin munce... a loser. Someone you wouldn’t want to hang out with.
What bothers you about our little skateboarding world?
Just fools being fake sometimes. Being extra nice to you and shit like that when they were dicks before.
I heard you always roll with a large crew.
I hate skating alone. Unless you’re the last one trying something and there’s mad homies on the sidelines… then they buy you a tall can if you make it!
What’s the gnarliest thing you’ve ever seen in real life?
In Thailand I saw a lady just fuckin’ drop her pants and take a shit on the side of the road. She was extra faded. She, like, couldn’t make it anywhere. That was pretty gnarly.
So what’s the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?
Uh… I dunno.
How about the best and worst decisions you’ve ever made?
Oh sheesh. It’s tough on the spot. I dunno the worst decision I’ve ever made!
Something you did when you were a kid that’s embarrassing to admit?
Shit! I’ll have to call you back or something. This shit is tough. I gotta think.
I’m stumping you? We’re almost done. Don’t worry. Before you were sponsored and pro, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Na, I pretty much wanted to be a pro skater since I was in fifth grade.
So now that you’ve made it to the big time, pro and all, what are your goals?
I just want to learn how to play a tight instrument and just keep chillin’. Fuckin’ stay happy, make duckets somehow and try to live with homies. Then once I become a geezer... get married or something.
Go through the mandatory motions of life...
Get a sugar momma.
Have you ever dated a sugar momma, being that we’re in Southern California where they all fester?
Hell no! I wish, dude! That would be the fuckin' key... a hot mom or something. Hell yeah!
December 1, 2009
Words: Rob Brink
Another one that was supposed to be for the Berrics over a year ago... enjoy.
Are you at The Berrics filming your part right now?
Ya. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m trying some tricks I’ve never tried before.
Back in the day, when people were doing stuff on ledges and flatground, Pat Duffy hitting huge rails and stairs... way ahead of his time... and some people didn't get it. By the time people were starting to do what he was doing you were in the midst of coming up with some of the hardest ledge combinations of the time. Flip in, flip out... tailslides to noseslides, etc. A lot of people are just now catching up to you. At the time, were there mixed reactions to your bag of tricks? Did people hate on you? Was it accepted?
It was definitely respected, because you can’t knock it. Once you spend that amount of time trying one trick you got to get respect for that shit, homey. ‘Cause that shit’s fuckin’ like a battle. It’s a mathematical equation to just deal with the weight, balance, gravity, speed... all that shit mixed into one thing... one moment of time... one movement. I mean, ain’t nobody really hatin’ on it, but it took them a little while to catch up and shit.
When you see something like all the ledge tricks in Fully Flared, do you get psyched? Get frustrated? Seemed like a ton of stuff in that video, you and Daewon and some other guys did ages ago.
All of that comes into play. And it hypes me up at the same time cause it’s like, “Damn I want to increase my skills and do some shit I haven’t done, and that nobody’s done.” And those motherfuckers in that video... they did some shit nobody’s done either. And that psyched me up because it’s always good to see a new trick go down in the vocabulary of skateboarding.
Of course. So do you feel like you need to do those old tricks again or do you feel like you've already covered that ground and just need to keep it moving?
I mean, it’s all part of one trick. It extends into the next level. You could do the same trick every time but you could do a flip out of that motherfucker and get to the next level so you can accomplish more for yourself.
So to come up with a new trick, where does your brain go? ‘Cause it’s harder to come up with a new trick now than ever, right?
Yeah. I got a couple of tricks up my sleeve. But I think it’s just about really being in contact with the right obstacles. You don’t have to worry about being kicked out. You can have a consistent slide or whatever. I think that’s what it’s more about. You get in the zone.
I got a bunch of tricks, but they’re super difficult. And sometimes I don’t even want to try ‘em around people ‘cause I want to get that shit out first! I don’t want those motherfuckers biting my shit like that, you know?
So does stuff just come to you while you’re skating or are you up at night in bed and something pops in your head and you’re like “Dude, I should try that!”
Always. I can be skating or I can be chilling at a bar or something like that. And like, grab a pen and napkin and start writing down tricks in secret codes and shit.
Some people find crooked grinding a rail a lot more mentally challenging than say, a fakie tre, fakie manual to fakie flip out. So what makes a great skateboarder? Style? Speed? Difficulty? What do you prefer?
I would say the diversity in your skateboard mentality. Like your style and being able to adapt to your surroundings pretty much. You can’t just always do manuals and shit. Because maybe your crew is over going to manual pads! You can’t always go rails because how long is your body going to last on the mother fucking rails every day?
With the ledges you get bored as fuck skating a mother fucking ledge all day unless you’re creating something new. But I think it may have to do with the body too, because I could be doing a four-hour session on one maneuver and try to come back the next day or something and I can’t do shit. Like my pop isn’t consistent enough, because I’ve been using those muscles so much. I’ve worn out those muscles, so maybe if I go skate some tranny before that or the next day, I’ll work my leg muscles so they are nice and fresh. You’ve just got to play the game a little bit smarter nowadays.
Name some great skateboarders?
There’s a lot of great skateboarders. That is a complex question but Daewon Song’s a fucking maniac.
Going back to your older video parts, what was going through your head when you started doing some of the things you were doing. Like did you specifically want to do stuff that no one had done or were you more just like, out skating?
I mean, I was definitely plottin’ and plannin’ maneuvers. Always. I gotta be ready to fire off. Always looking for the perfect spot to do it at. I always like to be original and shit. You could have a list in your head and be like “Oh shit I could do this trick at this spot!” Because you feel it that day. And sometimes you don’t even need to be skating and you can create like that. Or sometimes you need to go to the spot knowing that you need to get that trick there, but maybe it’s not the day for you, so you learn a different trick or something.
Was there anything really sick in one of your parts that was a one-time trick and you never did it again?
You know what? I’m not even sure. Once a trick’s already been conquered you can always summon that skill up again.
Is there a crazy trick you’ve done but never got on film?
Oh, there’s been days. I don’t know what trick it was, but there’s been days when I pull that shit and the cameraman’s fuckin’ sleeping and shit. And then you spend another three hours trying the same trick you fucking pulled a second try or something... like some crazy-ass spontaneous shit.
Your parts in The Storm and Fulfill the Dream seemed far more technical than Guilty. Did you tone it down consciously?
That’s when I started skating schools up here in LA. I would see fucking kids trying to slide and flip in and out of everything like all crazy. It kinda got trendy and shit. I already conquered that portion of the obstacle or whatever you want to call it. I conquered that realm. Not all the way, but for that moment. So I just started skating shit that was fun. Like boosting off gaps and shit like that. Skating whatever because you can go all over the world and there’s some weird-ass obstacle that will confront you and you want to get a trick on it.
When I go out of town on tours or whatever. mother fuckers are always taking me to a ledge! I’m just like “Uhhh, I could skate this shit in San Diego, homey! Where’s the ill shit?” So, yeah, in Guilty I was just skating different shit to have fun.
What do you miss about skateboarding back then?
I don’t even know. 10 years ago it was the same shit as it is now in my eyes. It’s the funnest thing on Earth.
Who were your influences then and now?
It kind of depends on who I was skating with or the videos I would see. I would be like “Okay I’m going to do some shit that nobody is doing.” Like even now, to this day, I’m just like “Yeah I’m going to do some shit that nobody’s ever done before.” So, I kind of influence myself in that way, you know? ‘Cause I get motivated when people pull their tricks. It’s like a positive battle. Just like “Okay let me see if I can top that shit.”
Did you ever think you’d still be a pro skater at 30, say when you were 20?
Oh, hell yeah, dude. Once I started skating I knew I was going to be in the game for life. That was really my mentality. I’ve always wanted to have my own company like I do now with Sk8Mafia. It’s probably because back then I would look at magazines maybe when I was younger like 14 or something like that and be like “Damn this mother fucker’s 30 and he’s still skating? That’s sick!”
Age doesn’t really matter in skateboarding because the vocabulary of skateboarding is unlimited. There’s no possible way that you can ever stop learning on a skateboard.
It almost seems like there’s more dudes over 30 and beyond in the game now than there was like 10 years ago.
Oh yeah for sure, dude! Because it’s more accepted, you know? And I guess motherfuckers are healthier. I can’t explain that one. It’s a good thing. Skate for fucking life, bro.
After Guilty, you sort of disappeared and laid low for a bit. What were you doing while not in the limelight of skateboarding?
Hahah. It’s kind of weird because when you’re filming all the time you never get a chance to practice something like a five hit combo or something, you know? You’re like always filming shit and you can’t go skate—like it’s just too much fucking filming.
So basically I was just like “I’m just going to skate.” I never stopped skating ever. Not for fucking one day, unless I got hurt or some shit. I got hurt and fucking Shorty’s kicked me off their team, dude. I was just like “Fuck this!”
I was just like “I can’t wait till I get better.” Got better and then started collaborating… started focusing more on Sk8Mafia because back then it was just a way of life. It was a mentality. But I made the fucking connections and I was like “Okay well I got a bunch of underground homies that I know are very talented and it’s our turn to shine! To create something a fucking mentality or it’s a movement.”
So basically I was just plotting and planning on how we were going to actually get Sk8Mafia out there. I would still skate like a motherfucker with no money and just live to bring up Sk8Mafia.
I guess there are a lot of people who think you had a "comeback" in skateboarding. Which might not be the case. Just that you weren’t in everybody’s face filming and shooting interviews and stuff for a few years.
Exactly, I mean a comeback from where? I mean, where the fuck did I go? I’ve been in San Diego the whole time. There’s different ways to play the game of skateboarding. You can get in magazines all the time or you can do some ill-ass shit and pop in and pop out real quick.
These days you’ve gotta have photographers and filmers at your convenience all the time, you know? It’s kind of hard to do that when the photographers got to do their job taking pictures of everybody. Unless you got a staff photographer and when you got a staff photographer, I go skate for my photographer and the magazines are like “He’s not a part of our staff.” So they wont accept the photo ‘cause it’s not one of their photographers on a payroll or something like that. It’s all these stupid-ass fucking reasons. It’s the politics of skateboarding.
So tell us about Sk8Mafia.
Basically I came up with the name because it was like a movement and shit. I would go to a restaurant and some kid’s mom would own it. And I would trade skateboards for fucking food and shit like that.
I was like “Hey, sick! What if I could do this shit all over the fucking world?” My boys Dan Connelly and Josh Priebe are part owners too.
We just collaborated and actually turned it into a business. So we got Kellen James. Larelle Gray, Brandon Turner, Wes Kremer, Jamie Palmore, Tyler Surrey. We got a bunch of little homies too. It’s pretty tight because our whole team is from one city—San Diego That’s what skateboarding is. They probably have Sk8Mafia’s in every city. Like, just the mentality. It’s like a skate crew, but it’s for everyone. And I want to be able to have like spot lists or some shit like that on the website. So everybody can get shit done instead of getting kicked out.
It seems like you guys have worked really hard and built it up from the ground up—totally grass roots. How was that different for you than when you became a part of the Shorty’s thing?
It feels fucking really good. That’s just what I’ve always been doing and shit. You know what I mean? Fuckin’ being with the underdogs because it feels better. Kind of pushing you to accomplish. It feels better because you could do whatever the fuck you want and you’re not told what to do. You make the fucking rules. If you bring it from the ground up people have more loyalty towards it. My heart is in this shit. And that fucking reflects upon the image of the company and the way it presents itself.
You’ve got a ton of SD pride. What do you love about San Diego, other than the fact that it’s home, of course.
“We’re from a town way down that never gets any props. Some seem to think that LA is where California stops.”
You know, it’s that type of mentality. It’s like it’s just super fun down there man. They got the ocean breeze, the beaches and the skate spots. It’s just chill. Just representing and having a good time I guess.
You were on Shorty’s in its prime, Osiris too. What was the biggest check you ever got? Or the most outrageous thing you ever bought?
Fuck dude. I got a Suburban. I got a fucking 1996 Chevy Suburban 4x4 as a signing bonus. I still got that beast but she’s been sleeping for fucking two years.
That’s pretty sick to get a truck like that. Tell me about LACED. What is it? Who's involved?
That’s me, Jake Brown and Dan Murphy. It’s our clothing company we just started. We set it off at the X Games. Jake got third with the Laced shirt on!
It came from us just being like brothers—the same mentality. We love to have fun and we like to create. It’s basically in the same as Sk8Mafia. I’m an underground fucking street skater. And Jakey Brown’s a crazy-ass vert mega jump skater. And then Murphy, he’s killing it too. So it’s just a company for skateboarding because there’s no segregation in skateboarding. Skaters are skaters… they set tasks to accomplish and create for themselves. And they understand that and that’s why the brotherhood of skateboarding is so strong.
I saw you with a light up Sk8Mafia skateboard a few weeks ago. What’s up with that?
Were in the process of figuring that out right now. We’re still skating the shit out of the prototypes.
Does it feel the same as a regular board?
It’s skates the same. You’ve got to kind of land bolts a bit more with the Sk8Mafia one. But the actual Photon light boards are the ones who are putting it out and Sk8Mafia is just collaborating with them. Those are a lot stronger than the ones with the Sk8Mafia House logo because the holes are drilled all the way through and it can break easier. It kind of makes you land bolts more. It’s a fun fucking around with shit. Imagine bombing a hill with all your homies at night and that shit being all lit up, you know?
What else do you have coming up?
We got a Sk8Mafia am video dropping. I might even just come out with a video of my own damn self with a teammate or something, you know? I kind of want to do how the Wu Tang did that shit. Let each motherfucker shine at a different time. I don’t even know what’s cracking with it but my boys are filming like mother fucking maniacs. And they kill it. There’s going to be some good footage coming out soon.
Anything else you want to add?
Add something, homey. Add this. My sweat ain’t made out of barbecue sauce so quit bitin’ my shit, son! Hahaha.
That’s an ender if I’ve ever heard one.
Well there you go. Have fun out there.
November 24, 2009
Thanks for the photo, Evs!
Words: Rob Brink
About a year and a half ago, some people at The Berrics and I had an idea for me to do monthly "Clinical Research" interviews for their site. Well, sometimes people get busy, ideas change and things fall to the wayside. And that's exactly what happened. Not one to waste a good interview, I figured I might as well post it. So here's a Daryl Angel interview that was intended for The Berrics the week he got the boot from Skate Mental and got on Habitat. An unseen Peter Smolik interview is to follow...
Daryl! What’s up?
I just found out Michael Jackson died.
And Farah Fawcett…
Really? Both in the same day? What the hell? Everybody is dying. I’m so bummed, dude.
Were you a Michael Jackson fan?
Nah. Have you seen the Nike video yet?
Just downloaded it and only saw your part so far.
You liked it?
Hell yeah. You’re kinda hot right now.
I haven’t skated in a month. I rolled my ankle pretty bad.
Debacle, Nike ams "United Nations," Slap web interview, Crailtap guest poster of the week, Skate Mental-to-Habitat gossip and now you’re the first Berrics interview I’m doing.
Really? That’s pretty cool. I guess I should feel honored.
Are you gonna go film a "Bangin’" to make up for your lack of skating in the Nike "United Nations?"
I should. It’s hard though. Everyone’s demolished that place.
Did you see the Biebel "Battle Commander?"
Yeah, it was like a full video part!
It’s so good right? I was trippin'.
Did you know that Matt Evs was gonna use all that little kid footy of you for the Tilt Mode: Bonus Round video?
I knew he had something up his sleeve ‘cause Am Chowder came out and a lot my footage went to that and he was like, “Alright where’s our footage?” I told him I didn’t have any and he was like “It’s cool. We’ll get you a part… you’ll see.” I’m like “What the fuck, dude? What are you gonna do?” I got pretty worried he was gonna put in some crazy footage of me doing something stupid. I mean, look at the enjoi ads.
One time he Photoshopped a photo of Jose blowing me.
What the fuck?
He put our faces on these gay porn stars, and he’s like, “I wanna jokingly kick Jose off enjoi the day after he turns pro. I’m gonna send this photo to the message boards as that’s the reason we’re kicking him off.” And I was like, “Dude, I think you’re kidding. But are you really kidding?”
He didn’t send it out right?
No. I’ll send you the photo. It’s so offensive.
He definitely knows how to offend people. I think he’s awesome.
Definitely awesome. Do you ever say “hecka” or are you more into “hella?”
I like saying “hella.”
I heard Cardiel say “hecka” in his Epicly Later'd and I was psyched. It was a new one for me.
It’s kinda like how on the East Coast people say “mad.” Like “That’s mad tight, yo!”
What’s your least favorite interview question?
That I’m an asshole or a prick or something like that.
I knew you weren’t a dick ‘cuz when I wrote you on Facebook asking you about this interview you remembered meeting me once before. You weren’t too cool to remember me.
I wasn’t like, “Yeah bro, who are you?”
So when everyone thinks you’re an asshole, what do you do to change that perception?
This isn’t really an excuse or anything, but I grew up with four brothers and I’m the youngest. I got fucking picked on all through my fucking childhood and I’m a defensive dude. To a certain extent I care what people think. I work on it. But I’ve been doing this thing where I trick people. You have to be super nice to them so that they’re like, “What the fuck?”
Who’s a bigger dick than you?
I think Jose is a bigger dick than me honestly.
But I love the guy. I’m not trying to throw him under the bus or anything.
I love him too. We hug a lot. Do you think since skateboarding is so much bigger and mainstream these days that part of the business side is knowing how not to be a dick and playing the game better?
It just seems that there’s so many dudes that fucking rip, you know? And you obviously have to have a good personality to get hooked up. If your personality is being a dick and everyone likes it, then just go with it.
Have you ever had anybody in skateboarding kinda mentor you when you were younger?
Actually, Evs told me… “When people land a trick… get psyched, dude. Clap for ‘em and give ‘em a high five or something.”
Good advice. So you’re at your moms right now?
Yeah. She lives down the street. I made her some food.
What did you cook?
I bought this marinated chicken form Trader Joe’s and made some broccoli, cauliflower and rice. With these Iranian cranberries in the rice. Pretty good.
Are you into cooking?
Yeah dude. After skating I’ll probably be in the kitchen in a wheelchair.
Get a Food Network show. “The Wheelchair Chef.”
“I used to be a skateboarder, but now I’m a professional cooker.”
Do you have a girlfriend?
Who’s the hottest chick out right now?
My girlfriend is so hot, but I’m pretty psyched on that chick from Twilight.
I just saw her on trash TV. She was walking in some leather cat suit and ate shit on the street.
Oh my god. Like in LA somewhere?
When girls fall down walking or running, it’s funny.
Yeah, cause they’ve never fallen in their whole life.
It doesn’t look hot at all. It’s such a turnoff.
I don’t like her anymore.
If you could skate like anyone else for a day, who would it be?
Oh man, I hate that question. Probably Grant Taylor. He’s fucking gnarly, dude. He just looks so sick. I’ve never seen anybody skate fucking tranny that causal.
Especially how young he is.
He’s like 17 and I’m idolizing him.
I feel like that too. Around Tyler or Malto.
Dude, Tyler is insane. How’d he get so good?
I always knew he was good but I never really paid much attention. Then I went on a couple of etnies trips with him and I was blown away.
He was getting shoes from Nike for a little while but you guys stole him. You guys stole Davis too so we had to get Koston. Haha.
Yeah, dicks! Do you remember the most embarrassing day of your life?
Yeah. I was playing tee ball for the first time. I was probably 10 years old. I didn’t know anything about baseball really. So I hit the ball and I made a home run. I was running around the bases and everyone was like, “Run home! Run home!”
The park that I was playing in was a block away from my house. And everyone is screaming, “Run home! Run home!” So I’m like, “Run home? Alright.” So I just kept running. And they were like “What the fuck?” I ran all the way to my house.
Did you ever look back and see what people were doing?
I thought you hit the ball and they were supposed to chase you or something. My brother came after me and he was like, “What are you doing, dude?” He took me back and everyone was laughing at me.
Tell me something that bugs you about skateboarding right now.
There’s a lot of corny ads in skateboard magazines. Lights on your board and stuff.
Skateboarding is just getting pretty weird.
Yeah, it’s getting really weird.
So you’re Habitat official now?
When I was in China with them I was just asking Brennan Conroy if I could get a few boards and he was like “Shut up dude, you’re on the team!” And I was like, “I am?” I saw the first layout of my ad today so I think it’s pretty much official.
How did it all come about? Stefan?
I never really expected to get hit up by anybody because everyone thinks I’m a fucking jerk or whatever. I went to China on this Debacle am trip and Stefan came too. I was rooming with him and he goes… “Hey, you wanna ride for Habitat?” Like so randomly. I was like, “Are you serious?”
Plus, Stefan’s never serious.
Yeah, I thought he was joking. I sent a sponsor-me tape to Habitat a while back, after I quit Think. I got no feedback at all.
Pretty cool that it worked out. Danny is a friend of mine and I grew up with Tim. I have no choice but to be a Habitat fan...
In Jersey? You know Pancho?
Ya, he went to my high school for a year and then transferred to Tim’s school.
That’s sick! Pancho kinda hooked me up on Think.
He’s a good dude.
Have you ever seen that kid Tsim Fuckis on YouTube?
How crazy is that shit? Jose just showed me his videos yesterday.
We saw that and we were fucking dying. Like, “What the fuck is going on?”
He’s so severely deformed but crazy at the same time.
It’s like you wanna feel bad, but he’s so crazy and funny.
He seriously rules. So, outside of skateboarding, who inspires you?
I dunno, dude. All I fucking do is skate.
Some people will be like, “Bob Dylan.”
Yeah, I’m not really one of those dudes. You’re stumping me. The questions are getting harder.
I’m almost done. It could even be the chick from Twilight.
Fuck, I’ll hang out with her. Threesome! Nah, kidding.
Would your girl be down?
If your girlfriend knew that you’d spend only one or two hours with the Twilight chick and hook up, one time only…
I’ve already talked about this with her.
Would she let you?
No! I mean would you let your chick do it? If she was like “Oh I wanna fuck Brad Pitt so bad.”
If it was gonna be a one time thing…. I’m kinda into the idea of letting people have those experiences. Does that make me a pushover?
It’s the chance of a lifetime, bro! Nah, I don’t know if I’d be down for my girl doing it.
Who are your favorite skateboarders?
I like Jake Johnson’s video part. Once again, Grant fucking rips. Matt Beach rips. Theotis is a fucking cool ass dude.
Theo is the best! That dude is so ripping at being nice.
I think he was raised really proper. I’ve seen him get outta his shell a little. I’ll talk about boning chicks and he’ll be like “Ah yeah!”
Stefan. Guy Mariano. Gonz. I’m definitely into the newer generation of skaters. Who are you psyched on right now?
Tyler. Jake Johnson. Mike Anderson.
That guy is cool.
Hell yeah! Vincent Alvarez is exciting to watch.
Vince for sure.
Are there any tricks that you hate?
Nollie big spins. Everyone has one in their part.
Any tricks that you suck at?
Nollie 180 switch crooks. I can’t figure it out. I’ve done a couple in my lifetime and I just can’t get it. It does a nollie tailslide every time.
Get closer to the ledge before you pop.
I never actually tried that. I always come at an angle.
What kind of stuff are you looking forward to with Habitat?
Probably just having footage in one of their videos. They put out the sickest videos. And going on more trips with them. I had fun in China.
I think a lot of people, until very recently, didn’t know what you were all about. You’ve been around for a while but all I’ve ever seen was your iThink part and your Ty Evans part.
Yeah. A lot of people don’t really know too much about me. I’m a pretty awkward dude. It’s easy for me to talk on the phone like this, but if I was hanging out with you in person and didn’t have a couple beers, I’d be super quiet. But if I feel comfortable I definitely come outta my shell.
Well I think everyone’s figuring out what you’re about now. I thought that part in Debacle was so sick, man.
Appreciate it, dude! Jason and Joey hooked it up.
There were a couple tricks in that where I gave an out loud “Whoa!” I’ll send you a text when I remember what they were.
Yeah, and I’ll send you a text when I land a nollie half cab crook. I’ll be like, “I just landed it dude!”
November 23, 2009
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.