September 11, 2009
New Jack: Marquis Preston
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, October 2009.
Marquis Preston is a very talked about subject amongst his fellow Emerica team riders. No one seems to know much about him, yet they’re constantly trying to put the pieces together. He carries a general obliviousness vibe, sees the world in a different way and is certainly misunderstood. However, he also possesses many savant-type qualities, like playing the piano, taking photographs and skateboarding—which he is a complete natural at.
Check his legs on the bigspin clip on the Emerica Stay Gold site. That trick alone and you’ll be sold. Seriously.
On a skateboard or off… hearing his interpretation of the world as it buzzes around him (over a slice of pizza and root beer like we did for this interview)… Marquis is just plain amazing.
People tell me you talk to yourself a lot. Have you noticed that?
Not at all.
You always walk in front of the camera while people are filming, huh?
Really? I hadn’t noticed.
I’ve actually seen footage of you doing it.
No way! [Laughs].
So you admire Oprah Winfrey?
Oprah’s awesome! She gives away so much free shit. Dude, one day she fuckin’ she gave everyone in the audience a fuckin’ Toyota. Like a modern car. I was just like, “Wow! That’s so sick!” She’s ballin’. I’m sure if I asked her for some money she’d be like, “Alright, no problem.”
Where does all your money go?
I’m paying someone else’s debts. My fuckin’ brother stole my car and got into a hit and run accident. I hid the keys in my clothes in my drawers but somehow he got ‘em and took off with it while I was in France a while back.
He also got a speeding ticket that month. He used all my information out of the glove compartment and the cop believed it. No picture ID or nothing. Just wrote up the ticket. So I got a “failure to appear” and $800 in fines.
That’s identity theft!
Yeah. I had no idea it was my brother all along. I found out about both of these situations four months after they happened.
Are you and your brother tight?
It’s whatever. We haven’t been together in a long time ‘cause I came home and the house was up for auction. My mom went to jail while I was gone. So I come home and everybody’s all separated.
Wait, what? Your mom went to jail?
Yeah. Got out like two years ago.
With all that stuff going on, are you trying to distance yourself from your family or are you guys cool?
Nah. Our family is tight. If I had the money I’d go see them.
How about getting lost before Blingfest a few years ago and then coming back and winning Best Trick?
I don’t know what happened. I was just spaced out listening to music or something. I just missed the exit and ended up in San Clemente. It happens.
That’s pretty far, though. Like an hour away? At least you won.
Yeah, I was psyched. Paid my car off with that money
You were once ranked high in Call of Duty?
I was top 200 in the world actually. I think 98th.
I just learned of a recent intervention between your friends, your X Box and you…
That was this guy. [Points to his friend Max.] I bought the game when it first came out. It was my first online gaming experience and I was hooked. I played it for like, two years straight.
One game? And it affected your skating and your life that much?
Max: It was seriously like an eight-hour workday for him.
I wouldn’t even eat or go outside. I would just wake up and play for hours. Fuck Call of Duty. It ruined my life.
Max: So finally one night we’re all drinking and I was like, “Yo, Marquis, you need to stop playing that shit. You need to start skating more. I haven’t seen you skate in weeks.” And he just broke down. He grabbed the X Box and was like, “I’m gonna sell this shit.” And I’m like, “You can still play it… just go skate more. And he’s like, “Nah, fuck that!” Slams it down on the floor and just starts stomping on it. Then hid it in his roommate’s closet.
Did it feel good, Marquis?
It felt great.
So are you gonna have a full part in Stay Gold?
I hope so. Still filming. Depends on how much footage I have.
Are you nervous?
Kinda anxious. My first part is gonna be in an Emerica video, ya know? I really want Brandon Westgate’s part to come out. Collin, Leo, Andrew, Bryan… everybody. Fuck, it’s gonna be a good video.
I heard you recently got taken away from a bar in an ambulance…
Yeah. I went to a G.O.A.T. show in Arizona. This local guy was talking down on me ‘cause I was a black skateboarder. He was bumming me out. Called me a sellout. And then I said to him, “I’ll buy you out.”
That’s a pretty good comeback, except that you have no money.
Yeah, I was stoked on that. Then I walked away from him and he taps me on the shoulder and as soon as I turn around he just uppercuts me. Straight up lifted me off the ground. I blacked out and woke up on the floor, like, “What the fuck just happened?”
So the ambulance gets there and they’re like “Do you know what day it is?” And I was just like, “I dunno.”
He was like, “Do you know where you are?” And I was like, “I’m in Arizona but I don’t know exactly where I’m at.”
I was okay; it was just a fat lip. So they were like “You didn’t answer all the questions fluently so you’re gonna have to jump in the ambulance for some type of fucking diagnostics. We gotta take you to the hospital, do some screening on your head.” I was like, “Okay, fuck it.”
Jeff [Emerica TM] said when he asked you why you let the ambulance take you, you said, “I guess I answered the questions wrong.”
That’s exactly what happened. I answered them wrong.
That’s hilarious. So how about the next day when you jack shacked in the Emerica tour van?
Oh man. So everybody had this funny idea to get porno mags from the liquor store. I got myself a mag and seen this hot-ass woman in it. She was seriously stuck in my head for hours. Like, I couldn’t even skate around without thinking about doing her or just being with her. So I decided to go rub one off in the van while everybody was skating. And it did the trick.
Jeff said you soiled one of Braydon’s mags?
Braydon had his own mag and I had mine. He seen my mag and he was like, “Oh, who got this one?” I was like “Oh shit.” I didn’t say it out loud but I already knew it was mine. I knew I fucking jacked off in it. I busted on her. I just wanted to wait for him to see for himself. So he was just looking through it and was like “What the fuck? No!” I was like, “Hell yeah.” I wasn’t all that embarrassed, which kinda surprised me actually.
Do what you’ve gotta do, man.
I was like, “Yeah, whatever. I masturbate.”
September 9, 2009
Festivus: Maloof Money Cup ‘09
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, October 2009
On the weekend of July 10, 2009, deep within the Orange Curtain, buried inside the OC fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California, alongside funnel cakes and giant turkey legs, white trash, reality TV stars and Kobe Bryant, Botox and silicon-injected numbskulls, imitation Ed Hardy attire, Snoop Dee-Oh-double-Gee, tribal armband tattoos, tramp stamps and pill-popping swingers with Bentleys; amidst a skateboarding spectacle like no other, one of the best disposable short-term skate plazas on the planet and a whole lotta money; between the shadows of a bevy of contest heavies like Chris Cole, Ryan Sheckler, Greg Lutzka, Nyjah Huston, Chaz Ortiz and Paul Rodriguez… something very memorable was brewing…
The aforementioned cluster of skateboarding super-pros all semi-frantically and systematically did what most contest onlookers would expect of them. They ripped hard. Consistently throwing down trick after trick after trick and jumping off roofs with barely any roll away before picking up their board and charging back up the stairs for another go… stacking up points with the judges while wooing cameras and crowds.
Then night fell… and Peter Ramondetta happened. The “speak softly and carry a big stick” ideology epitomized.
It came from out of nowhere. And suddenly, everything else seemed pale.
These feelings… they don’t happen very often. Especially in skateboarding. But from up above and behind and off to the side and below, from those who’d been relatively quiet all day because they’ve seen it all before, came the sincerest stokeage you’d ever hear at a skateboarding contest from those who wanted Peter to know they watching and loving every second of it.
“Fuckkkkkk yeahhh Peterrrrrrr!” It was contagious. Others couldn’t help but join in.
Jim Thiebaud once told me of Peter’s skating:
“Then you see him bust and it's like, 'Holy shit where did that come from?' And not in a totally aggro 'Look at how big I'm going' way. It's natural. It's clean. It's subtle and huge. Like a freight train coming out of the fog and heading right at you."
Have you ever heard “Baby Please Don’t Leave Me” by Buddy Guy? It’s slow and steady and menacing and massive. It’s a sonic hurricane. There’s no wasted space or airtime. And that was Peter. He was skating and ripping and sweating and gasping for air and slamming and puking and just flat-out murdering it. Similar to Leo Romero at Maloof in 2008, Peter was the silent, slow-motion sock to the face that everyone needed to see coming right at them, but be unable to dodge, in order to wake the fuck up and realize that hidden within our new and inevitable narcissistic, materialistic, generation bling, peacocking, squeaky-wheel-gets-the-grease, celebriphiliac skateboarding world are certain undeniable truths that keep the “I don’t give a fuck, just get out of my way and let me skate” spirit of skateboarding alive.
The internets already informed you about Chris Cole winning the damn thing by a mile… and boy did he deserve it. Alex Perelson being the fourth human to throw down a 900 (in his run, mind you) was pretty damn impressive too. It’s not every day, or even every five years, for that matter, that a new vert kid pops up and you actually like watching him.
So, when was the last time you skated ‘til you puked?
September 6, 2009
Words: Rob Brink
After his victory at the first Dew Tour stop in Boston last month, we gave Bucky Lasek a call to see how he felt about it. We also inquired about his thoughts on gearing up for the Portland stop this weekend and also being positioned to win his third overall Dew Tour championship. The byproduct of that conversation was a slew of other discussions… including the long lost VW Corrado, screaming children, vertical skateboarding’s immortality, street skating, Tibet, NASCAR and more. Yes, indeed, on or off the board… Bucky’s always worth paying attention to.
I thought of you just the other day because I saw an Old VW Corrado like you used to have.
Ah you did? That’s funny I was just having a conversation in the last couple weeks about the Corrados. They’re getting rarer and rarer—a dying breed.
Yeah. So what are you driving in for fun these days?
I have a BMW M3. I’ve had it for six years now.
What’s the most played out interview question you get?
Probably asking how I got started.
People still ask that? I have your first Powell Pro board hanging on my wall. Sealed. The one with all the cartoon people in the stadium. It’s dated 1998. Did you ever think in 1988 that 20 years later you’d be pro still and winning contests?
No. I never really look into the future that far. It’s kind of hard to accept… hard to get that perspective going. It’s always easier to look back than it is to look forward.
If you had to guess right now what you’d be doing in 21 more years, what would it be?
Hopefully retired and watching a session going down in my bowl.
What was the big paycheck for a contest win in 1988?
I think I won $500 bucks in my first pro contest.
And then how much do you get for winning dew tour in Boston?
I think it was $15 grand.
If you could pick one guy to knock out of the contest to make it easier for you to win, who would it be?
It would definitely be Pierre. He’s mister consistency. Him and Andy.
Do you feel like winning the first Dew event is a good sign or do you think winning that makes it harder to go to the second stop and having to maintain the lead?
I think it’s harder to win the first one. You don’t really know with the first contest, so it’s always so nerve-racking going into it. Knowing that you’ve got to do good. I guess once you set that pace it gets easier.
You also won Pro Tec this year, right?
Yeah. I won Pro Tec and Bondi.
Oh nice. You’re the first guy to win Pro Tec other than Rune and Omar, right? They kept going back and forth.
Yeah. They skate that thing all the time. I basically had to put some time into it. So I was skating it a lot before I won.
So does something like that come as a more proud victory because you put a specific amount of effort into it prior?
Well, I think it’s a different contest so it’s a different vibe. There is no bad win. Whenever you’re winning, there’s nothing bad about that. I don’t really think one’s necessarily better than the other. As long as you’re still winning.
Are you ever bummed if you don’t win something? Or if for some reason you’re not in the top three or five in a contest?
Yeah, I mean, it stinks, you know? You spend all this time skating and trying to do good. Especially last year. I did well pretty much the whole year then I fucked the last contest. But it’s not like, life-ending. It’s said and done and you move on.
Do you think Chris Miller should be bumped up to the pros for the Pro Tec contest? He hasn’t lost yet, right?
Uh huh. I think he could definitely do good. I think he has the lines but I don’t think he has the bag of tricks. He’d be top five.
Before you drop in for a run that ends up winning a contest… can you feel it? Do you know?
A lot of times you know you’re capable of doing it. You know you can make your run—you know you’re stoked on your line. The only thing that sucks is I’ve had times when I’ve skated great the whole weekend and then when it comes time to making a run, I bail every run. It sucks because you could fall on a frontside air and that just totally blows you away. You’re thinking, “Okay well I didn’t fall on my hard trick but I fell on a frontside air…” so it’s definitely a mind game.
You’ve won two overall Dew Tours. 2005 and 2006… I’m assuming you’re confident you could do it again this time, right?
The level of skateboarding is so high right now. Anybody can win any contest at this point. They could have the ride of their life… there are so many things that can pan out. It’s not like I’m out to win the championship. I just take it contest by contest and if it happens it happens. If it doesn’t then I’m not stressing over it. It seems more like in the vert world, because there’s less guys and they’re all really good contest skaters, that almost any one of them could win on any given day. Whereas if you go watch a street contest you know there’s certain guys who aren’t going to win… they’re just going to do their thing, you know?
Right. So, who would be the guy to prevent you from winning this year?
Most likely it’s going to be Pierre. That’s his bread and butter, you know? He hasn’t been skating all these other concrete contests and he hasn’t really been skating a lot of Mega Ramp either. He’s just been skating vert so he’s pretty on point right now. He’s the machine right now.
How are your knees? You’ve had a bunch of surgeries over the years…
Yeah. It comes and goes. I’m good now.
Because you won Boston are you pre-qualified for Portland?
Yes, I go straight into the finals. The top three go straight in. So that’s nice. I don’t have to stress over putting together a qualifying run and then putting together a finals run. In Boston, we didn’t really have a lot of practice time and the little bit of time I had, I had to put a qualifying run together and then with barely no time I had to put a finals run together.
Other than the obvious fact that it increases your odds of being knocked out… is there a benefit to not going straight to the finals and skating all weekend and working your way up? Like more practice… getting a rhythm going?
It depends on the situation. It depends on if there’s time. I prefer the qualifying and getting my rhythm going. But given the fact that we don’t have a lot of time this next stop, I’m all for just going straight to the finals.
When is the last time you went outside and skated street?
About two weeks ago.
Nice. So do you just cruise?
Yeah. Usually I’ll play a game of S.K.A.T.E. with whoever. I just skated with Alphonzo Rawls and went to Black Box and skated with Dan Murphy Rob Welsh and Jamie Thomas.
What’s more likely these days? A handful of street skaters who can do a trick or two on vert or a bunch of vert skaters who can do a trick or two on street?
I think I’d much rather see some street skaters skate vert than I see some vert skaters skate the street. There’s only a few vert skaters that can kinda get by on the streets these days.
I just read with Adam McNatt in Skateboarder. He said a true pro skateboarder can and should be able to skate vert and street and everything in between. Do you agree with that?
I do, but the only time it really bothers me is when someone who is only good at one thing hates on something else. I think that’s lame. It just shows they know they’re not well rounded.
I was just reading an interview with Darren Navarette in The Skateboard Mag. He was saying that he was glad “vert is dead.” Which, I totally understand his mentality in a way. But for someone like you or Pierre or Bob… you’re doing great and vert is thriving… so I was wondering what your take is on that.
The whole “vert dead thing” is kind of like a big joke to me. I mean, street’s getting dead now too. You didn’t hear? Park skating is in. Street skating is dead. Freestyle is making a comeback. Slalom is in X Games 18 and Olympics are gonna have... You know where I’m, going with that. People just need to shut up and skate…Texas-style. That’s the way I see it.
Would you rather see vert share the same stage in popularity, commonality and media coverage as street or are you okay with it being a little off balance?
I’ve always said that vert skating is like the NASCAR of our sport. It’s got more sponsors and not everyone likes NASCAR. I’m a fan. I enjoy NASCAR. I see street skating as more of a “hush-hush” kind of thing. People like to just skate it doesn’t really have a competitive side. This is a conversation that you could write a book about. It’s all hearsay, you know what I mean? Who am I to voice my opinion? Some things are just easier to market than others. There’s not a whole lot of vert ramps around. They’re hard to come by. I’m not saying that street skating is easier, but it’s a lot more convenient.
So how about having a young guy like Alex Perelson come up in vert? There’s a new hot shit street skater out there every month, but in vert it’s so rare. Is that exciting for you?
Oh I’m stoked for Alex. Alex rips. He does everything and that’s the way it should be, you know?
How important are learning new trick for you nowadays?
It’s pretty important. I get pretty bored with myself. So, if I’m not progressing I’m pretty much over it.
Is it possible to progress without learning new tricks?
For me, it’s just if I’m not learning or progressing then I better be having fun. Otherwise, I’m not really into it.
I saw you you’ve been riding your “Free Tibet” Element pro model. Why was that something you were drawn to as far as a cause or charity to support?
Well, because the Chinese government is just so inane. It’s unbelievable that people aren’t more aware of it because everyone buys all this stuff that’s made in China… and what the Chinese government is doing to these Tibetans is just seriously like, unheard of. They are just like, shooting ‘em. They’re the most peaceful people in the world. It’s kind of sad to say, but it’s similar to what we did to the Indians in America back in the day. So it’s just one of the charities that I support.
Do you bring your family to the contests or do they more often watch it on TV?
Depends on where it is. If it’s in Orlando I always bring them ‘cause we can go to Disneyworld. They’d much rather stay home and go horseback riding or something with their friends. [Baby crying in the background.]
You have three daughters… Does it ever get scary having to support a family off of skateboarding? You’ve adapted to so many different ups and downs in the industry over the years…
Well yeah, but the good thing about skateboarding is that kids are going to do it no matter what the economy looks like. Kids are still going to go out and buy skateboards.
Do you think if you weren’t supporting a family right now, your career in skateboarding might be different? Like you’ve may have been more lax over the years because you would’ve only had to worry about taking care of yourself?
I skateboard because I like to skateboard and I’m just so happy to be good enough at it that I can make money. If I didn’t have a family I would still be skating. I’d probably be skating better because I would do it more often. Being 36 and having three kids is not the easiest thing when you’re competing against 18 year-olds that having nothing else to do but skate, you know?
Do you ever envision moving back to Maryland or is California home?
Nah. I’d say California is home. It’s where every day is 70 degrees. I don’t see how I could ever give that up.
Surely. If you could bring one childhood memory or experience back to your life and have it with you now, what would it be?
Maybe just being 18 again. Without a screaming kid on my hip.
What’s the most strange or outrageous rumor you’ve ever heard or read about yourself?
Vert is dead.
September 6, 2009
Words: Rob Brink
When all was said and done at Dew Tour in Boston a few weekends ago, you might have noticed someone different up there on the podium. Not because he’s a stranger to placing high or winning contests… but because he’s relatively new to the pro contest scene. That person would be Ryan Decenzo.
With his new Globe United by Fate part having just dropped (nollie down El Toro, anyone?), a second place finish in Boston and a free ride to the next stop in Portland… things are looking pretty good for Decenzo. Take a few minutes to get familiar with him because he’s not going away anytime soon.
Ryan! Where you at right now?
Corona, British Columbia.
Right on. Are you still on tour?
Yeah, I’m on the RDS tour right now. We were just in Alberta and now we’re doing BC.
Who are you rolling with?
Me and my bro. Paul Trep, Ryan Oughton, Sascha Daley Micky Papa and Machnau.
Are you guys doing demos or filming?
We’re filming. We’ve been street skating but we’re shooting with Nick Scurich from Thrasher. We’re doing demos and stuff. Doing it all.
So, was Dew Tour Boston your first pro contest?
No, I went to Slam City Jam last in Calgary a few years ago. I got third place or whatever. I like pro contests because it’s fun to be with dudes who are better than you and pushing it. Sometimes when you’re stuck with people in a lower level, it’s like you’re just doing your own shit and being lazy because it’s easy or whatever.
Have you ever skated against guys like Cole, Sheckler and Rodriguez before?
I dunno if I’ve skated with all of those heavy hitters in one place like Dew Tour, but for sure I’ve skated with them all in different contests.
Do you skate a differently when you’re going against these gnarly contest pros or is it the same as you would at Tampa Am or something?
It would be the same thing except you get more fired up when they’re landing more shit and you’re seeing them do it. So you want to land your stuff more consistently and have your tricks on lock better.
How much did you win in Boston?
I was supposed to win ten grand but I didn’t have a social security number or whatever they have in America, so I had 35 percent in taxes taken off. It’s still fucking awesome and I can’t complain.
So, you’re automatically qualified for the next Dew stop in Portland?
I think I’m automatically in the finals for the next one. I hope so. It was a struggle getting through all that qualifying. But if I have to do it again, I’ll do it again!
So, you and Chet [Thomas] are talking about going pro for Darkstar?
Yeah, I don’t really know when it’s gonna happen. Maybe when we figure out some graphics and stuff. Things are kind of stagnant right now with the economy. Chet’s not in any hurry. We’ll figure it out. We wanna come out with a sick, solid graphic. We don’t want to just throw anything out there.
So that’s the end of am contests for you!
I’ve been kind of over them for a couple years now. A couple people convinced me to skate Maloof so I did.
You were in the am contest there?
Yeah, I got third. But we had to skate in the middle of the day and it was like a million degrees and I was like puking the whole time.
Oh, you were one of the pukers! There were a lot of them. It was awesome.
I was probably the first person to puke. It was just that hot.
I was actually keeping a running count of everyone who was puking all weekend. Peter Ramondetta, Torey, Dyet… a bunch of people.
Everyone was pushing it man, if you’re not skating ‘till you’re puking, then you’re not skating hard enough.
So do you prefer a plaza course like Maloof or more of a transitioned skatepark course like Dew Tour?
On the Dew Tour course you can flow a lot better. You don’t have to worry about always running back up the stairs to try another trick. That wears you out a lot.
Where you living now?
In Huntington Beach with Dyet. It’s pretty sick. Haven’t been up in Vancouver too much lately.
How old are you?
So how is living with Dyet?
It’s pretty good. We don’t see each other all the time. We’re on trips… I’m in Canada and he’s in Utah. We’re pretty all over the place.
He’s got good energy.
Yeah, he’s pretty funny.
When he won the bronze at X Games he was just running around cheering all day afterward. It was rad.
He should be psyched. He’s always telling me that. “I’m gonna kill it at the X Games!” and I’m like, “You better kill it and you better quit smoking for a couple days before or whatever will help you win.” I’m pretty stoked for him.
So do you have any good stories from Boston when you guys were there?
There was one night where Gentry was super wasted and saying, “Follow me, follow me!” He had a chant going and there were like, twenty people coming out of the bar just following him.
Just wiling out. Did you see in Tampa this year when he started a riot?
Who, Gentry did?
He like, smashed some girl’s windshield in the middle of the street and jumped on her car. I hadn’t heard from that dude in years and all of a sudden he’s shattering windshields in Ybor City. It was pretty cool.
So what’s a trick that your brother can always get you on in a game of S.K.A.T.E.?
Man, there are so many. Switch backside flips. He’s got those every try and I don’t have those like he does.
How about one that you can always get him on?
For sure a nollie impossible.
Oh man. Is he younger than you?
Three years younger.
How does his skating differ from yours
He can approach stuff switch with a lot of control. Which some days I can, but he can do it every day of the week so it’s pretty sweet for him. But he really doesn’t jump down stairs as much as I do, so like if I’m skating some stairs and he’s trying to skate ‘em with me, he’s like, “Fuck man, I’m not used to this shit!”
Were you skating before him or did you guys pick it up at the same time?
We picked it up the exact same day. We were always into the same hobbies. It went from cruising around on BMX bikes to grabbing skateboards, which was way more fun.
What do you like better about Cali than Vancouver and what do you miss about Vancouver that you don’t have in Cali?
There are a million things that you don’t have in Cali that you have in Canada. You’ve got a lower drinking age here and all the outdoor skateparks and no helmet laws. Just way more lenient street skating here… those sorts of things. But like, when it rains or when it snows… it sucks. So being in Cali I can just wake up every morning and know the sun is shining. Sometimes you wake up in Canada and you look outside and it’s just a bummer.
It’ll rain for weeks.
So do you have a girlfriend?
Yeah. She’s from Montreal.
What’s the difference between American or California girls compared to Canadian girls? I used to have a girlfriend in Vancouver and it seemed that Canadian girls were a lot friendlier.
Yeah, I think they are for sure. The girls in Cali are kinda stuck up. They don’t wanna talk to you or they think they’re too cool. I don’t know what it is.
How does a Red Dragons tour differ from a Darkstar or Globe tour?
Let’s just say that there’s a lot more beer flowing. Since RDS tours are always in Canada we get pretty wild. We have homies here and stuff.
I’m thinking way back to the old Whiskey series of videos. That was the beginning of the RDS crew right?
So are you like, third generation Red Dragon?
We’re the third generation for sure. Maybe we even got the fourth generation here.
Are you guys recruiting and training the fifth? Do you have some 15-year-olds ready to go?
Yeah, we got some.
You just had your Globe United by Fate part drop and it’s pretty sick. But are you filming anything else right now or was that the last one?
Yeah, we’re filming for another RDS video. Everybody’s got parts. I think I almost got a part.
What was the most embarrassing day of your life?
Hard to tell. Maybe when I’m skating around at the Dew Tour and people are just yelling “Ryan!” all the time and I turn around and Sheckler is standing right beside me and I’m like, “Fuck! I always keep forgetting.” And I’m looking directly at these people who are yelling “Ryan!” There’s probably just some awkward situations where I was looking at these people and they’re like, “Why the fuck are you looking at me?”
Kind of like if you yell, “Hey asshole!” in public and a bunch of people turn around.
Yeah, for sure.
That’s all I got for you. Thanks for taking out the time to do this.
No problem, I’m just shopping at Wal Mart… getting socks and boxers for this trip.
Mandatory tour supplies! What’s been your strangest purchase on a tour so far?
Probably a little potato gun. It was pretty awesome while it lasted… until it got clogged up with potatoes.
September 4, 2009
The Legend of Boxton Square
Skate and Create II: etnies
Words: Rob Brink
TransWorld Skateboarding, October 2009
According to English legend, just outside of Sherwood Forest, where the fog breaks and the mountain breeze carries in the songs of the sparrow, lies a small and curious little village known to the locals as Boxton Square...
As the story goes, eighty-six years ago today, at the stroke of midnight, a great storm came upon Boxton—twenty-three full days and nights of rain and wind and hail fell from the heavens. Tremendous floods engulfed the entire village. Houses, shops, farms and families were destroyed. In the tumultuous aftermath, those who remained built small temporary shelters out of leftover cardboard and metal supports donated from a neighboring town. However, the people of Boxton Square all lived in constant fear of the next great storm. As a result, a unanimous decision was made by the townspeople that a new and permanent village wouldn’t be built until the residents were certain it would not be destroyed by the weather again.
As time passed, fear of another flood remained, but life needed to carry on. So, with the little money they had, the Boxtonians began constructing more of what they needed out of the available cardboard and metal. Small groceries, banks, offices, pubs, roads and trains began popping up. All of this construction occurred during the day, as the locals feared nighttime because that’s when the last devastating storm struck.
But one young lad, named Sean Malto, wasn’t afraid of the night at all. In fact, he preferred it to the muggy, noisy, crowded, busy Boxton days where he rode his skateboard throughout town helping his father—a local postman—deliver packages. He was a happy kid that most everyone in the village knew and liked. And although they could never put a finger on exactly what it was… they always felt he was a wee bit strange.
As dinner was ending and the sun set each evening, Sean would wait for his father to fall asleep. And, as a loud snoring eventually came from the corner of their cardboard home, Sean would quietly grab his skateboard and creep out the back door.
Once outside, while the rest of the town was sleeping, Sean could ride his skateboard through Boxton Square at his leisure. All the spots he would see being built during the day were now his own. There was no hot sun beating on him and the temperature was perfect. The full moon and clear starry skies lit everything up perfectly. There were no people in the way or police to tell him where he could and couldn’t be. The ever-changing and growing Boxton landscape of offered limitless amounts of terrain to be skated on—transition-sided buildings, metal monorail tracks, infinite configurations of ledges and manuals and embankments all just waiting to be sessioned.
But, as with all things in life, there was a catch. The perpetual reconstruction of Boxton Square meant that something that was perfectly skateable one night, may not exist the following evening. In short, when night fell on Boxton Square, it became Sean’s own secret world for the taking. However, taking advantage of it quickly was a must.
Oh… and there’s one more thing. As the story goes, a handful of other skateboarders also sometimes appeared at night in Boxton. No one knows where they came from or where they went once the sun came up. In fact, they were as unpredictable as the terrain was on any given evening. Their names were Kyle Leeper, Mikey Taylor, Tyler Bledsoe and Davis Torgerson.
Some lore depicts them as ghosts of boys lost in the flood. Other stories suggest they were imaginary friends Sean daydreamed up so that he wouldn’t have to skate such a wonderful city alone. Supposedly the five would venture out at night in search of their long lost friends, Ryan Sheckler, Jose Rojo and Devine Calloway, who may have also been victims of the flood... or figments of Sean’s vivid and youthful imagination... or even youngsters from a neighboring town who would sneak over to Boxton while their parents were asleep too.
But, in the spirit of any true skateboarder, they did what came natural to them… the group converged on Boxton Square and skated everything it had to offer as if it was the last time they’d ever skate it, or skate together, again.
Frontside ollies on rooftops, disasters on skyscrapers, fakie 5-0s on train tracks, backside tailslides and backside noseblunt slides on footbridges, carves around overpasses, tailslides on rooftops, hardflips and switch heels off of buildings.
They took turns leading the way as the others would joyfully follow. They laughed together. They learned new things from one another and helped anyone who would fall down or become injured. All this, and they wouldn’t stop until the sparrows began to chirp… their first reminder that daytime was on the horizon.
And by morning, when the heat of the early sun would dry the morning mist off of the city’s surface, the boys were nowhere to be found… except for Sean. By then, he’d be asleep, next to his skateboard, in his cardboard bed as his father was waking up for work.
The people of Boxton Square would be going about their business. Houses and buildings would be moved, rebuilt and taken down. After a few hours of rest Sean would join his dad for a few afternoon deliveries. He would skate about town, keeping his eyes peeled, quietly hoping that his favorite spots from the night before might remain in tact, while also witnessing the birth of new spots that he’d be able to show his friends come nightfall.
Over the years, some have even speculated that all of this was a dream. A dream of a legend that Sean experienced one night in his sleep. Layer upon layer of one young skateboarder’s fantasyland, passed on by word of mouth through the generations of those who choose to believe that such a magical world can, and has, existed.
There’s a common saying in skateboarding… some of you may have heard it before, but it goes, “Skate today because tomorrow it might rain.” And if you’ve ever wondered where it came from, well… The Legend of Boxton Square might just be the answer. But, like many of skateboarding’s other best-kept secrets… you didn’t hear it from me.
July 28, 2009
By Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, September 2009
You might not know too much about Kenny Hoyle, but that’s not his fault. He can’t be blamed for a half dozen prior interviews talking about his missing finger and the Celtics. If it were up to him, he would’ve spoken about real shit… grown up shit. Because Kenny Hoyle is officially an adult now. You know why? ‘Cuz he’s developed anxiety, he’s over hating on other skateboarders, he wants people to stop sweating the small stuff, he knows Britney Spears shouldn’t be on the news unless she finds a cure for cancer and he’s completely secure with the fact that he’s still an amateur skateboarder, putting in his time underneath pros he’s got tons of respect for.
I hear you think you’re the worst dude on Altamont.
I really do. Drew puts all these different kids on with different styles. Like Garrett Hill, Slash, Sammy, me, Theotis, Herman, Figgy… Theo’s fucking awesome. Everyone loves the dude. Then I’ll watch Garrett fucking three flip five-o a fucking hubba the first night of the Altamont SXSW tour we just did and I’m like “Fuck! This dude’s already putting down hammers.”
I always saw you as the clean-cut kid on the team.
Yeah, me and Theo. I got a phone call from Reynolds two years ago and he asked me to ride for Altamont and I’m like “Fuck yeah, I’m down!” Altamont is the best fucking clothing company. So then I go on these tours and I wanna produce and be myself and skate, but everyone’s super sick and I get gnarly anxiety about getting tricks. It’s been two years that I’m feeling this way—ever since I’ve been traveling more.
Isn’t it weird how it develops? You’re a kid and you hear about it in other people and you’re like, “Whatever! Life’s good, old man! Just deal with it.”
Yeah. Until you actually feel yourself tripping. I’m around the team, Reno, Beagle… fucking all these dope-ass people, but at the same time I don’t know why I’m feeling this. Anxiety is fucking crazy.
What do you and Theotis get up to when you room together?
He has to watch skate videos. He just loves skateboarding. That’s exactly why I room with the dude, ‘cause there’s way too much hating in skateboarding. Being on tours, you go from one company to the next and one company will have things to say about the next company. It’s kind of crazy ‘cause I just wanna skate and chill.
Then a few days later you end up chilling with the dude everyone in your van was baggin’ on.
Exactly. I don’t even know what to say right now ‘cause I don’t want to say anything bad about anybody.
It’s kind of old. Nobody ends up saying anything to anyone’s face anyway. They see it on the web or in a mag and then hate on it anonymously.
Yeah, O’Dell was just saying how people were watching his videos and they’re like “I bet O’Dell doesn’t even skate.” And O’Dell, for the record, was fucking killing it at the Albuquerque park on this tour.
There’s no way he could do Epicly Later’d the way he does if he didn’t skate.
Exactly. You think Reynolds, Heath, Guy and Cardiel would put up with him if he was a mark? He knows his shit.
So are you religious and celebrating Easter this weekend?
I was raised Catholic. I went to a private school from kindergarten through the eight grade, then to public high school. I’m more religious than not, but I don’t go to church every Sunday. I just live my life and try not to be bad.
You seem to have a really good family life.
I do. And I’m grateful. In skateboarding there’s a lot of broken homes.
Everyone’s a mess. It’s the new “normal.”
When I was in high school, kids I skated with were all from broken homes. One kid hadn’t seen his mom in three years. I’m like “Damn. I’ve got a good family.”
Do you remember the most embarrassing day of your life?
I was a freshman. Standing there with all these kids waiting for class at like 7:30 in the morning and my dad shows up right next me. I’m like, “How did you find me? You were walking around the whole campus looking for me?”
So he gives me my lunch in a brown paper bag in front of everyone and I’m like, “Oh, thanks.” Back then I didn’t want people to see that.
My first day of high school… straight outta Catholic school... new in town… I was in first period gym class. No one knew me and some jock comes and yanks my pants down. I was wearing green briefs and I came to be known as “Aqua Brink” for a while.
See! That’s a gnarly-ass story. I can totally picture me being in the crowd and seeing that. You gotta just look back on that one and laugh.
Hell yeah. So you’re almost 23? Man am age!
Yeah. I’m getting there.
But you’ve had more interviews than any am I’ve ever talked to.
It seems like time flies and you don’t realize everything you’ve done. You’re just going through the motions. I’ve been am on Expedition for three years now. I’m psyched. I like being like under Richard Angelides, Welsh, and Chany ‘cause I go skate with these dudes and I can’t do some of the shit they do. I still got a lot more to learn.
What’s the worst thing people ask in interviews?
About my finger. Shiloh’s got a missing finger and I’ve read interviews with that dude and no one’s ever asks him.
I read seven interviews with you and six asked about your finger. I thought skateboarding was supposed to be original.
Yeah, that’s how everything works. That’s how every line from every shoe company is made. Everything is like, bootlegged from something before.
The other night I called and you wanted to talk about “real shit.”
I was hanging out with the homies, just talking about life and drinking, you know?
So if I were to ask if you ever pee sitting down, is that dumb?
No. Don’t you pee when you take a shit? On the Altamont trip we were 20 miles outside of our destination and everyone wanted to just get there, but I had to pee so bad ‘cause I drank two tall cans. So I’m trying to go in this bottle and people are in the van and I just can’t go. Talk about anxiety. It was a fucking mental block. It was like, the worst thing in my life.
Catholic school… peeing… anxiety… this interview is getting real!
More real than fucking talking about my finger, dude.
You played roller hockey?
Just for half a semester. I didn’t even have my own skates. I played mad ice hockey between third and seventh grade. Roller hockey sucks; ice hockey is the shit. Have you ever been to a hockey game before?
I had season tickets to the NJ Devils when I was a kid. It’s not like football or baseball…
Football is the fucking worst man! Its like, “Oh, here we go! Oh, now we stop.” Baseball is even worse. Hockey and basketball are the fucking best.
So you’re in Palm Springs with your girl’s family… do you bring your board on these little vacations?
No. I wanted to take three days off.
I skate better if I take a few days off.
It’s proven! The biggest influence on my skateboarding is that, when I’m not skateboarding… I want to be skateboarding.
That shit’s deep, man. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Reda will be like, “Just stick with the people you feel comfortable with. When you got a good thing, just know that you got a good thing.”
What bums you out?
Bullshit. Shit that shouldn’t be an issue. Shit that doesn’t matter the next day when you’re not gonna fucking care or remember it. Quit making a fucking big deal of it. Just fucking let the small things go. I also can’t stand the people who care about celebrities’ lives and not their own. You’ve got some shit that’s really happening with your own life and you buy US Weekly and get lost in some shit straight out of celebrities’ lives. That’s the worst thing in the world.
The evening news used to be about war and murder and robberies. Now they talk about Britney Spears.
Like, unless she cures cancer, she shouldn’t be on the news.
What’s your favorite trick to do?
180 no comply. Like right out the car. Or nollie heelflips.
Weird! Justin Regan just told me that Herman showed Andrew your It’s Official video part and a 360 no comply and a nollie heel over a trash can sealed the deal for getting you on Altamont.
Really? They told me about the nollie heel. Herman was psyched on that and I was like, “You’re fried fool.” But the 360 no comply up the curb… that was probably one of those things that wasn’t supposed to make it and people are psyched on that.
Everything happens for a reason right?
It totally does and that’s the weirdest part.
July 28, 2009
Pro-Tec Pool Party 2009
By Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, September 2009
Frosted, dirty blonde white trash mullet wig; allover print Speedo with the image of a woman’s face across his genitals; shirtless with a large bleeding cross carved into the center of his chest. (Safe to say the procedure wasn’t done with a precision, sterile, pain-minimizing instrument like a scalpel either.)
Apart from a watch, socks and red Vox shoes, this comprised Mark “Red” Scott’s Pro-Tec Pool Party contest attire. Shocking, hilarious, disturbing, absurd, brilliant… and he hadn’t even dropped in yet.
And no… he wasn’t wearing pads, you pussy.
Slayer was most likely blaring out of the speakers, filling the entire skatepark and mall parking lots with dissonance, while hundreds looked up from their iPhones, stopped talking to the person next to them, ceased chewing their free hot dogs, stood up, screamed, applauded… in other words… respected.
But if I had to take an educated guess, I’d say something other than Slayer was playing in Red’s head when he dropped in. Something way gnarlier than "Angel of Death" or "Reign in Blood." Perhaps the sounds of Boeing 747s colliding in mid-air while hundreds of passengers on board were screaming and puking. Or nuclear bombs detonating and nearby houses exploding and disintegrating into dust. Or dinosaurs scattering, stumbling, running for their lives, wailing and burning to death, as an asteroid was about to hit the Earth.
Or maybe there was nothing playing in his head at all—like an absolute peace. Silent.
Or, you know, like those scenes in movies when you’re supposed to be experiencing an attempt at the juxtaposition of utter turmoil mixed with serenity for some sort of dramatic effect? All sorts of people dying and suffering and crying while Louis Armstrong’s "What a Wonderful World" plays? Ya… that sorta thing.
Red’s complete disregard for just about everything in the building, including his own well-being, was easily the number one highlight in Pro-Tec Pool Party history… and dare I say a fine example of skateboarding in it’s purest form. He landed a few tricks, carved and grinded a bit, bailed a few tricks… but it really didn’t matter. Even better, the look on his face the entire time seemed to say, “Fuck you skateboarding. I love you.”
He pushed as fast as he could around the deck of the entire pool with a fervor unlike most have ever seen, taking out photographers, bloggers, videographers, industry infiltrators, women, fellow skateboarders and himself. Then sealed the deal by bailing some sort of strange mach 12, haywire air to boneless-type thing that wouldn’t, and couldn’t, have been landed in a million years. Breathtaking.
In "Northwest," a film by the Rick Charnoski and Coan Nichols about hand-sculpted concrete skateparks in the Pacific Northwest and the skaters who build and ride them, skateboarder and skatepark builder Red says:
“If you build a skatepark and it’s just the same old shit… it sucks. But if it’s different and it’s got some unique features… there you go… it’s different and it’s unique. That’s what people need to do. Make stuff that hasn’t been done before. We gotta take it to new levels.”
July 28, 2009
By Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, September 2009
Tony Tave is 22 years old. Apart from his obvious knack for catching flip tricks in a very enviable way, he has an equally desirable Utopian view of the world. “Life is like a dream… just have fun… why can’t we all just be happy?” aren’t uncommon utterances from Mr. Tave. These qualities might be the result of his sunny Orange County, California upbringing, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Tony’s the kinda guy who’d say, “Why not?” while everyone else is saying “Why?” And he’s definitely the type of guy you want to roll with if you’re looking to round up a cougar or have a thing for your neighbor’s hot wife.
Where you been since the last Circa and Element videos?
Just skating, dude. Having fun for myself. That’s what life’s all about. It’s more than just riding a skateboard, even though skateboarding is the most important part.
Can we talk about chicks or will that bum out your girlfriend?
Nah, we can talk about chicks, dude. I’ve been around the world.
Last time we spoke, you and Windsor were going out in Laguna to pick up some cougs and you wanted me to roll.
That was a good day actually. I met a chick at this bar called the Wicked Garden. She was like 33. She hit me up the other day randomly. I was like “Damn, a little too late.” I would have smashed. She was bangin’.
Where are the best spots to pick up cougars and MILFs in Orange County?
Laguna Beach. You gotta get the rich ones. Go to where all those mansions and the MILF bars are. Salt Creek Grill is the one I was calling you from. Me and Windsor were drinking red wine. Just being high class. But only having one glass ‘cause they’re like 20 bucks each.
Are you hitting on the cougars or are they hitting on you?
Dude, the cougars hit on you! That’s the beauty of it. They’re genetic time clock is ticking so they’re ready to pounce! The next thing you know you’re rolling in her ex-husband’s Ferrari.
Have you ever had any situations with married couples or swingers?
Yeah, my neighbor. She’s probably like 36 or something.
No way dude…
Dude, it was fucking crazy. She was married and used to hit on me. She came over asking for me one night when Windsor answered the door. Started talking to me about some barbeque she’s gonna have and salsa she’s making and shit. I just didn’t really pay attention. But we started talking more and one night she was like, “Hey do you wanna come pick up this computer table?”
I figured something sketchy might happen so I put Dennis Durrant’s iPhone in my pocket so I could record the conversation. We talked for a bit and I went to leave and she just slammed the door on me and threw me against it and started making out with me. She was humping my leg where the phone was. She just got buck wild and shit. You can hear her moaning on the recording. I definitely copped a feel and she was telling me to fuck her. I should have, but I was like “Hey, you can’t fucking do this! Your kid is upstairs. You got a husband.” She was like, “Just use my toys on me.”
That’s like every teenage boy’s fantasy. Do you prefer fake boobs or real boobs?
I hate fake tits, man. They’re the worst things ever. You look at them and you’re like, “They’re not real.” These chicks have so much insecurity that they cake on makeup and then it comes down to fake tits. You’re not supposed to have fake tits if your tits are nice.
Everyone’s wearing a mask. They’re all liars. They have to cover themselves up behind fake tits, which is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
What’s your favorite part of the female anatomy?
Dude, the entire female anatomy is.
So tell us about your girl.
She runs a drive through coffee stand with chicks in bikinis near the Bellevue Washington skate plaza. I’m psyched on her. She’s one of those chicks that gets it and she’s doing her thing.
So Circa sponsored a Bikini contest, the team judged it and that’s how you met her?
Hell yeah. It was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. While we were there, some dude committed suicide ‘cause his wife cheated on him. He overdosed on pills in one of the suites. Marriage is kinda crazy. He was in there dead for a week and his body exploded. All his guts and shit were everywhere. I was smoking a joint with the custodian dude from the hotel and he told me how he had to throw the body in a river. In Mexico, once you’re gone, you’re gone. You don’t get your ceremony. You don’t get shit.
How about the time you were dating two ladies and told them each about the other so they could decide who got to be with you?
I’m just a chill person. I feel like life is a dream so you’re just on a path of doing whatever you want. If someone wants to come on the ride with me, then let’s go. I don’t like drama. So if people get it they get it. And that’s what it came down to with these chicks. It was funny. They pretty much bailed. But it’s all good. There’s plenty more out there. Chicks are crazy man.
At least you were honest. But it couldn’t have ended well.
It was seriously eating me up alive. I finally told them each about each other and they were just like, “What the fuck? I can find better!”
But instead of choosing one and dumping of the other, you made them choose? That’s ballsy.
Yeah. Like, figure it out. We can all live together. I mean… I know those people got busted for polygamy in Utah or something… but I don’t see why a girl would get mad at another girl for loving the same person. If we all had love everything would be balanced. Its life, man. Don’t take it so serious. Enjoy it.
July 22, 2009
3 Minutes with Devine Calloway
By Rob Brink
etnies.com May 2009
Top three frontside bigspins in skateboarding:
Top three backside bigspins in skateboarding:
Top three favorite tricks to do:
1. Switch tre
3. Switch flip
Top three that you suck at:
1. Nollie heel
2. Front board
3. Tre flips
Top three reasons (or excuses) you missed your flight to the Europe tour:
1. Don’t wanna go
3. Didn’t wake up
First three things you did once you got there:
1. Got off the plane
2. Went to spot
3. Took a shower
Top three things you hate right now:
3. No one
Top three things about having a brother who skates:
1. I always have a buddy to skate with
2. I always have some one to have my back
3. I always have some one to play skate with
Top three things you love right now:
Top three favorite Chocolate riders of all time:
Top three things about being low-key in skateboarding:
Top three favorite skate videos:
1. Any Girl
2. Any Chocolate
3. Any FTC
Top three favorite people to skate with:
Top three things you are afraid of:
1. My mom
2. My mom
3. My mom
Top three favorite foods:
1. KFC (You want the CHICKEN!)
Top three good things about living with your girl:
1. She sexy
2. She makes me happy
3. And I love her
Top three memories of your first etnies tour so far:
1. Davis getting lost
2. Kyle’s laugh
3. And being with the team
Top three things to never leave home without:
Top three reasons you decided to ride for etnies:
Top three favorite shoes:
Top three things you want to do before you die:
Top three movies:
1. How High
2. Half Baked
3. Fast Times
Top three ex- City Stars riders:
Top three embarrassing things you do:
Top three things about Anaheim:
Give one favorite or funny thing about Mikey, Malto and Heath:
1. Too many
Top three things that you could be doing instead of this interview:
1. Smoking some trees
Top three favorite hats:
2. New Era
3. Top hats
Top three ways to end this:
1. I’m out
2. Holla at me
3. Kick rocks
July 20, 2009
By Rob Brink
Last weekend, Chris Cole played a huge part in making one of the greatest contests in skateboarding history, just that—one of the greatest contests in skateboarding history. But, with the Maloof Money Cup ’09 title, $100 grand and a new Les Paul under his belt, Cole only has about a week to recover and relax from the intensity that was the MMC before shipping out to Boston for his first-ever attempt at the Dew Tour contest, against Dew veterans like Lutzka, Sheckler, Chaz Ortiz and former Maloof Money Cup champ, Paul Rodriguez.
Whilst making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for his son Wyatt, and strumming his new guitar, Cole took a few minutes to talk to us about his Maloof experience, his soon-to-be Dew Tour experience and the state of the skateboarding industry in general.
How much of the 100 grand that you won at Maloof do you lose to taxes?
I didn’t even add it up yet but it’s a pretty good amount. It’s probably like 30 grand or more.
Seems like every time you win a contest these days you end up getting another guitar for your collection. How many does that make in your collection now?
Like high 20’s maybe 30’s. I was actually playing the one I won at Maloof when you called, but yeah, most of them I have in storage. Right now I have seven out.
So when you win a new one is it like a new toy? Are you like, “Oh I wanna get home and play with this?”
Yeah, totally. I came home and it was really busy for the first couple days, but right when I got around to tuning it and stuff, I started playing it. I don’t have a Les Paul as of now, I have an Epiphone, which is like an early Les Paul, it’s a little different but it’s pretty cool to play this one. It sounds totally different. It’s a pretty guitar.
So when you’re out there skating a contest like Maloof for that much money, how much of you is thinking about winning versus having fun on the course and skating with people?
It’s almost like a “self contest” where you’re like, “How much stuff can I get done as fast as possible? Can I make all of it? “How fast can I make it and how good can I make it?” And then it’s almost like, you’re not bummed if you don’t win because of the money or because of anything except you’ll be bummed that you didn’t do your best. ‘Cause if you do your best and you didn’t win that’s fine. I was out there and I had an awesome time.
Well it’s interesting that you say that because when you started the first heat in the finals, you rifled out like 30 tricks within a minute and a half. It was gnarly.
You only have a little bit and everybody is going for it. They’re not gonna let up so you can’t either. When your heat alone… just your heat… is P-Rod, Sheckler, Nyjah and Malto, how do you slow up? ‘Cause they’re gonna be right behind you with those switch kickflip back tails on the rail.
I always think the first burst is so funny, ‘cause you have either five dudes all land a trick in a row or it’s a jumbled mess…
It’s like a car crash. Yeah, it’s actually really funny. It’s almost like you see the dudes too… when you’re standing up there and they’re like, “Let’s count it down! Nine, eight, seven…” and like right when they get to “four” everybody is like pumping their front knee, like, “How long is it gonna take me to ride to the obstacle?” So right at “one” the dudes wanna be about to pop their first trick.
As far as Maloof is concerned, what is the funnest part of that contest for you?
Honestly, warming up for the contest is the funnest part because you get to skate this totally awesome setup and you’re pumped and you’re motivated to rip. So it’s almost like you’re doing a demo on this totally awesome course…
Except that you don’t have to impress anyone like you do at a demo?
Yeah, I do Unfortunately.
During warm ups?
Yeah, always. It’s almost like first impressions... Kids are there all day. There were so many people there before the contest even started. This sounds like a “goody two shoes” answer, but the reason I even skate the thing as hard as I do is because I want to win the contest, but also because I wanna skate super hard for everybody that showed up. Like a demo.
Oh, that’s rad.
They’re sitting in the heat too. If I’m just sitting there and kicking it on my board acting like I’m too cool for this thing or not trying, it just does a disservice to them and myself.
For sure. So, as a fan of other skaters, when you’re at something like Maloof who are you watching and getting psyched on?
Well, all those contest dudes rip. I mean they’re undeniably good. But Paul Rodriguez, the way he skates, like his style and the tricks that he does, to me, are really hard. First go. Switch heel switch manual. And things like switch back tails on the hubbas first go. I’m really impressed by that. I love to watch it. I also love to watch Lutzka, I like that he’s so talented turning frontside. Frontside seems retarded to me. Like, to do a frontside 270 noseblunt seems crazy to me. To do a switch frontside 270 to bluntslide seems way more logical to me. Because that’s the way my body turns.
I can see that.
But with how much ease he has. Maloof is awesome because you get to see other dudes you don’t usually see. Because I’m gonna see Sheckler and P-Rod and Lutzka and everyone like always… but to see Tommy Guns; to see Ramondetta, and Dennis and Pete Eldridge.
It’s like a surprise… a real treat.
Yeah, and I was rooting for Pete from the beginning too. “Like, you gotta get this dude in! Vote him in!” And he got the wild card and got in, I was psyched.
It was also sick to see people like Mike Vallely out there too. Because Mike’s not out there to win the contest. He’s out there to represent his style. While everybody might be getting a taste of skateboarding regularly, they’re not getting a taste of his side of skateboarding. I thought that it was cool that he came out and showed people there’s a different type.
Yeah, for sure. I thought that was a good segway coming from The Battle at The Berrics match with you.
Yeah, exactly. I think it’s really rad and different. He’s coming into what everybody else is doing, but doing it his way. I think that’s sick.
Prior to the Maloof or Wallenberg or any big contest? Do you have an interaction with Jamie Thomas? Is there any sort of conversations or pep talks or anything like that?
Yeah, I know what you mean, almost like coach-style.
Yeah, but not so jockish…
Yeah… no we don’t. I didn’t talk to him for a couple days prior to Maloof and he’s definitely a good person to talk to about that stuff. But it’s not something that we normally do. I usually try to talk to nobody. Something like Maloof where you know everyone is bringing the heat… the more someone talks about it, the more nerve-wracking it is. That’s kind of hard. My family… my in-laws were in town, and they’re awesome, but they’re so awesome that they’re trying to accommodate me make me feel good and they’re like “How do you feel? Would you like us to make you breakfast?”
And I’m like, “That’s awesome, but let’s just pretend it’s not happening.” I Just don’t want to be bombarded and pampered before the thing.
Where does something like Maloof rank as far as a proud moment with you?
Well, it’s almost like, as time goes by there’s things that lessen or increase in your mind depending on the day. Some days I’m like, “It’s cool, I won the X Games!” And other days it’s kind of surreal. Like one point in my life I was able to do it. Even if I’m not able to tomorrow, at some point in my life I was… and without the use of steroids. [Laughs].
I was thinking back to early footage of you, maybe eight or nine years ago. At City Hall in Philly. Your World Industries days. Would you ever have thought back then that you would be on this level? You win this contest and you’re on the phone afterwards for days, for lack of a better term, doing press with people like me…
No, that really never, ever occurred to me. I didn’t even think that that was like…
It didn’t even exist back then.
Exactly, there wasn’t even an option. Skateboarding is a legitimate sport almost like basketball and football and baseball now.
So you’re headed to dew tour next weekend? This will be like your first time skating Dew Tour and I hear that there are a lot other of dudes that haven’t been in it. Busenitz and Dompierre and you will be joining the regulars like, Sheckler, Chaz, Lutzka and P-Rod.
Oh, really? That’s awesome.
So how did it come about? Dew Tour has been around for a while now.
Well, you know what? I was never invited.
Oh, is that all it was?
It’s funny; people are like, “Oh, how come you didn’t do the Dew Tour? And I’m like, “I never knew when it was.” But then I actually thought about it… skateboarding as a whole, you need to support it. And you can wish that skateboarding was better off and the economy wasn’t hurting skateboarding so bad…
I think we’re kind of getting to a point where you have to accept that skateboarding has changed and you cant just keep crying about who’s going into the X Games and who is “keeping it real.”
You know what? I feel that way too, and I’m actually very surprised that you said that ‘cause I’ve had that conversation a couple of times recently.
I’ve always turned my back on non-skateboarding sponsorships and drink sponsors and things like that, and you know the hats that everybody wears to promote their drink sponsors at contests? I see kids wearing them on the streets or in Target and I’m like, “That hat is what people wear to get paid.”
And then I realize that skateboarding has changed. These kids are growing up now and they don’t know any difference between the old school core and dudes wearing big logos. I still don’t wanna wear a big logo on the front of my body that I don’t really believe in. Like something I don’t even like the taste of… but I mean, having a sponsorship from someone who is willing to put money into skateboarding is a pretty good deal, and to walk away from that to quote unquote “keep it real…” well you end up keeping it real for the dudes on the message boards that don’t buy anything. And they’re like “Hey, remember that guy? He was tight, what’s he doing? Oh, he’s a road rep now for some company.”
I remember I really liked a couple skateboarders back when I was coming up and I asked a couple of people, “Where the hell is that guy?” And they’re like, “Oh, well he’s our sales rep. He calls us up and sees if we need any stuff,” and I’m like, “Dang! That dude was sick too! He didn’t make any money from skating. He didn’t make any to invest… nothing.”
I’m always shocked at the ex-pros that I meet, that work at all the skate companies… I’m like, “God, I sweated your video part so hard when I was 14.”
And they’re so humbled by that. Or most of them, because they’re like, “No way man, really?” They didn’t get compensated for it back then, you know what I mean?”
I guess we’re the last generation to see the actual core world. But I think anyone who can’t accept it now is just gonna suffer business-wise. I see companies that people would consider “mainstream” doing more for skating or just as much as the supposed “core” companies.
Oh, absolutely. I totally agree. And I think it’s important to keep mom and pop skate shops around. But there’s definitely a line between selling out and getting paid for doing what you love. And if somebody wants to put some money into skateboarding, I’ll take it. I don’t have to do something that I feel is compromising and that I’m spreading myself too thin, or I just feel embarrassed about. And you know what I’m talking about… some of those things have to be off the record, but a couple of those fools, it’s harsh when you’re watching it and you’re like, “I wanna quit skating right now.”
It’s like that shirt: “I love skateboarding so much I want it to die.” It’s like that push and pull, love and hate about how I feel about skateboarding on any given day, depending what I’m watching.
Oh, absolutely. When you see some dudes, or some stuff… or when you see actors pretending to be hardcore skaters… but they’re like, super pretty actors, I’m like, “I don’t know how I feel about that.”
Second hand embarrassment.
I love "The Office," but sometimes I gotta turn away cause the second hand embarrassment is so bad it’s just I wish I could disappear… like I wasn’t watching it.
So you’re looking at X Games, and four or five other big Dew Tour contests in the next two or three months?
Yeah, it’s pretty gnarly. It’s gnarly to come off of Wallenberg and try to skate like a normal professional skateboarder. I go out and try to shoot photos and get some tricks for the videos im working on or whatever and then go to the Maloof and then one week after that go into Dew Tour and then it’s X Games and then it’s Dew Tour again… it’s pretty gnarly. I didn’t really think about that when I planned out my summer. ‘Cause I jammed it. I have a Cayman Islands trip this week and then those contests and some stuff at Woodward East.
That’s another conversation I’m constantly having… I cant say no to going on tours. It’s completely exhausting, but hard to say no.
Oh absolutely. And how long are you gonna be compensated for traveling the world? You’re like, “Okay, where are we going?” And if it’s like Australia, you’re like, “Well, I’ve been to Australia six times.” So that’s something you might pass up, But like Japan, I haven’t been to Japan in six years or maybe more…
And you certainly don’t wanna spend out of your own pocket when someone is willing to send you.
Oh my goodness, yeah. Imagine that. Imagine paying for the flight to Japan, just because you wanted to go, that’s like unheard of…
It’s like a few grand.
Yeah, just breaking the bank to get there. Especially after all these years of having someone fly you there, you’re like, “Wait, how much is that?” I lose track of how much I spend because I fly my family. Like we fly back and forth from the East Coast a lot. Plane tickets aren’t getting any cheaper, I’ll tell you that. Well, they try to pretend they’re cheaper and then they charge you per bag.
Last question and I’m gonna let you go eat peanut butter and jelly with Wyatt. Do you think the Maloof Money Cup was the catalyst for things like the X Games and Dew Tour changing up their courses, formats, list of riders and obviously their prize purses?
I think that those things wouldn’t have changed if someone hadn’t stepped up to the table. Because skateboarders are gonna skate for peanuts and corporate America will give you just that. They’ll give you peanuts, and you can sit back and battle and argue with corporate America as much as you want. But if you’re gonna show up and skate for a bad course and whatever else, they’re gonna continue to do it.
So for the Maloof brothers to step up before anybody had to like, boycott and freak out and make a big stink out of it… They just stepped in and said “We’re gonna do something awesome.” And I’m not one of those dudes that’s kissing their butt because I’m a basketball fan or because they have money… but I think that what they do is awesome. I think that they knocked it out of the park.