Sean Malto

July 20, 2008

sean malto slap rob brink

Sean Malto
Words: Rob Brink
Slap, July 2008

A few years ago it was “Everybody loves Leo.” And, don’t get me wrong, we all still do. However, as of late, it seems Sean Malto has taken the “Everyone loves” title by a mile. His energy is infectious. Watching him, you can’t help but smile. Sean makes skateboarding look really fun and really easy. The former is true for all of us. The latter, for most of us, not so much. The best part about Sean though, is that he doesn’t really seem to care how fun or cool or talented he is… he’s just humbly enjoying the ride. In fact, he’d probably just smile at this sappy little intro, deny it all, saying someone else is cooler and better and more fun, then push off and switch flip a 12 first try.

Do you get weirded out when I say you have the best hair in skateboarding?
Uh, a little bit. I don’t know why you say that. My hair kinda sucks.

Your mom cuts it still?
Yeah.

If I ever come to Kansas City, I’m having your mom cut my hair. Do you think she’ll be down?
Oh yeah, for sure. Whoever comes to Kansas City, free haircuts.

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In Barcelona you started the chai tea latte with a shot of espresso craze for the entire etnies team…
Oh yeah, the grandé chai teas. I just get one shot.

Someone started getting like three after that.
That was Heath [Brinkley, etnies team manager]. I just really like the chai teas and people ask me “What do you get?” and I tell ‘em I just get the chai tea with one shot of espresso. I don’t know what happened but he was getting three, four shots at a time in his drink.

It happened in a matter of two days. And Tyler Bledsoe and them were getting two, three shots.
Seriously, I don’t know what happened. Everyone started going overboard with shots of espresso and I was feeling kinda guilty. I was talking to Heath and he was like “Yeah I know, it’s getting kind of bad and stuff.” I was like “Yeah.”

I talked to him recently and he was at Starbucks getting another chai tea with like 15 shots of espresso in it. He’s hooked.

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What’s the lamest thing anyone’s ever said about you?
There’s a story in Oklahoma or Omaha that some kid made up. I don’t know who it was but it was like “Sean Malto came to Oklahoma and was skating this handrail and rolled up and was stressing over it and was like, ‘why am I stressing? I am Sean Malto! I can do this!’” Which is completely untrue. That story spread to Kansas City and people were asking about it and I was like, “No I haven’t been there in so long and I wouldn’t say that.” Then it just became a joke and all my friends would be like, “You’re Sean Malto. You can do this!”

What about the first thing Pat Channita ever said to you?
We were at Carl’s Jr. and Pat Channita walks up… it was me and Heath at a table and he says to Heath, “Hey, tell your boy over here to loosen up his pants,” and walks away. I’m just like, “What?” I did have tight pants on at the time but there was no need to say that. I was like “Who is this guy?”

You didn’t even know him?
I knew who he was. He didn’t know me. I was just some flow kid on DC back then. He’s a cool dude. Me and Heath still laugh about it.

How much money do you spend altering your pants?
I just blew out two pairs of cords this month so…

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Is that because you didn’t get them altered or was that after you got them altered?
No. I will alter some pants if I don’t really like how they stretch. It’s usually ten dollars a pair, which is pretty sick. I blow out cords for some reason. I can’t keep a pair of cords. No matter what I blow them out. Like the crotch to the inside of my kneecap, so I get both fixed a lot. I just think my body is different or something.

Do you have short legs or longer legs or something?
Probably. I’m getting fat I think.

You still have a girlfriend?
Yeah.

You been taking to the boneyard or what?
No comment there.

What’s your favorite trick to do?
There’s a lot of fun tricks. Powerslides are pretty fun.

What’s a pancake flip?
It’s like that frontside flip but where the board goes straight between your legs.

Oh, like an illusion flip? A phantom flip? Is that how you do yours?
Yeah. I can’t do real ones. My frontside flips just go straight between the legs. And I can’t spin for some reason.

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What, like a 360 ollie or something?
Yeah, it’s hard for me to do 360s. When I try backside flips or backside bigspins, it’s hard for me to turn my body that way.

So two video parts and two big interviews this year. You’re going to be “Skater of the Year” and you’re not even pro yet, dude!
Yeah right. There are so many people better than me at skating.

What’s the last book you read?
Oh wow. I don’t even know. Probably To Catch a Mockingbird.

To Kill a Mockingbird, you mean?
To Kill a Mockingbird. Whatever. See! That’s how long it’s been since I’ve read a book.

How do you feel about Mikey Taylor’s man crush on you?
He has a man crush?

Totally. Does that change your friendship?
Yeah, well now I need to call him up and tell him I’m not coming over to his house anymore.

What’s weirder? Man crush or hair envy?
Man I don’t know. That’s pretty crazy. Man crush or hair envy? You’re giving me some hard questions.

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I’m not making this like every other interview.
Man crush seems pretty bad. I don’t know that Mikey actually has a man crush, but obviously I’m not looking at it from another person’s perspective.

How about hug envy?
Who has hug envy?

When you showed up at the Tempe park and you and I had a bro hug…
Because I came up to Mikey and gave him a high five and then I was like, “What’s up Brink?” and I gave you a hug, and like, yeah, he got bummed.

I’m just that kind of dude. I’m down for hugs. Does Mikey get bummed when you beat him at stuff?
He’s really competitive. The thing about Mikey is he’s a cheater. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. Whatever it takes. I’ve seen him in wrestling matches, biting people and stuff. I think he races cars a lot and I think he really wants to win and he always wants to get the best stuff. Mikey’s just competitive.

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Do you ever tell him he is cheating?
No. He’s actually pretty funny.

You just let him have it so he feels good?
It’s always one trick too. Last time it was impossibles. He’ll try impossibles all day until he can do it and then he’ll keep doing it until he gets better than you at it. Which is sick. It’s really fun just being around him. He’s always trying to start something, too. Like the water balloon fight in Phoenix. Do you remember that? He had to get the last throw in. It was all over and he had to take Vince outside and smash a balloon in his face.

The ender. What’s the worst advice anyone ever gave you?
Lizard King had real cool advice. He goes, “You know what? When you get money just go and spend it all as fast as you can.” I think that was his advice, which is pretty sick, but not my style.

Who do you think is the weirdest dude on Girl/Chocolate?
Marc Johnson probably. He’s awesome, don’t get me wrong. He just reads a lot and he has a lot of theories and stuff. It gets crazy… like galaxies and Bigfoot and going outside of your body. He studies on it and I have no idea what’s going on.

He’s just trying to enlighten you.
Maybe.

Back in the day, did you ever send a sponsor-me video to any companies and get rejected?
Yeah, I did actually.

Who turned you down?
Zero turned me down. Twice. I was really hyped on Jamie Thomas. He was my favorite skater. I had his shoes and stuff and he came to a demo and I handed him a tape and never got that call back. I’m glad it worked out the way it did. Zero is cool but Girl is obviously so fun.

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I guess you going over to etnies caused a little stir in the industry, huh?
I don’t think people knew I wanted to be with Heath and Mikey and stuff. They didn’t know Mikey was getting on. I think people thought I was going over there for no reason at all. It’s changing a lot. We get to do a lot of cool stuff. I’m pretty psyched.

Is it weird feeling that pressure that everyone thinks you’re making a mistake?
That was so hard to deal with. I had so many people talking to me like, “Why are you doing this? You should do this and you should do that.” It was hard to stick with what I was just trying to do, but I’m glad I did.

Why do you think your slam at Tampa Am is so famous?
They gave me a big intro and I just blew it. They were like “Sean Malto rides for Girl Skateboards!” And then someone was like “Yeah this kid is good I’ve seen him in practice!” And then, bam! I was on the flat bar on my stomach teeter-tottering back and forth. It was my first trick.

Then, later, I was watching this video of Tampa footage and they were showing all these guys make tricks and then my part came on and I slammed so hard and that was it for me. They didn’t show my makes. So I was like, “cool.”

Do you know you smile, even while you’re slamming?
Yeah. I’m really bummed in my head but I try to just laugh it off and hopefully people will forget about it.

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How about you knocking your teeth out?
That was fun. Yeah.

Fun?
It was such a difficult process to go through. All those dentist appointments and everything. I was just skating a three block into this pool and it starting misting out and it got wet and I bailed and my feet just slipped out from under me and my face hit the ground. My tooth just busted out. Half my tooth shoved up into my nasal cavity and I had to get wired shut and stitches in my lip and my gums. I had half a tooth for so long and I just got it fixed. It seriously took like three years to actually get my teeth back in my mouth.

Were you smiling after that slam?
When I first did it, it scared me so much I didn’t even know what was going on. Ten minutes I calmed down and it was okay. It’s like one of those things, when you get hurt, you’re not really bummed on the pain so much as you know you’re not going to be skating for the next four weeks.

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How about the moped incident in Hawaii?
I’m so embarrassed of that. I was skating this demo… me, Devine and Brian Wenning. And Devine had stopped skating early and I didn’t know why. I just kept skating and he comes back and says he was riding a moped all around the city and I was like “What! That’s so sick! I want to do that!”

I had never rode a moped before. So Devine takes off and the guy was telling me “To start it you have to twist the handle back and turn the key.” So I did that and the bike just took off and I was flying. My feet were dragging and my stomach was on the seat and then on the ground. And because I slipped out I pulled the handle even faster and I started wobbling and smashed into this truck and the bike got wedged between two cars and I fell over.

I was just lying on my back with my eyes closed. Just so embarrassed. Everyone thought I was hurt but we all just laughed it off. I think it was Jeff King’s moped rental and I heard he had to pay like 300 dollars for the repair and that kinda sucks for him. Sorry, Jeff. Next time I see you I’ll try to make it up to you.

Sucks that nobody filmed it.
I know. That would’ve been cool.

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Olly Todd

July 20, 2008

olly todd skateboard mag rob brink

Olly Todd
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, August 2008

“Olly is small and skates obscure things that can be only be skated by a similar diminutive person with magical elfven qualities. He's a one of a kind. Get him drunk and he will not stop dancing, but may occasionally get angry and bite your toes off, so wear protective footwear when partying with him. He reads and writes extremely well, which means he's less likely to be homeless than most pros when all is said and done. I think he lives under a bridge somewhere in London, and like most magical elves, he has no phone (he just appears when needed), so getting a hold of him may prove extremely difficult. Not to fear though, Todd Mate is emerging on the scene and making quite the name for himself stateside these days. I think he may even be able to afford a phone by the time you read this.”

—Chris Pastras

They say you’re into reading and writing…
I don’t take it too seriously. To be honest, I don’t like to talk about it in the skateboard media. I prefer to keep it separate.

So then how do you feel about being interviewed?
I hate it! I don’t like being put on the spot. I always freak out about what I’m gonna say and it being taken the wrong way.

Last time you were in the States you had a knife pulled on you?
Yeah I did. I was basically stranded in LA trying to find my friends house where I was supposed to stay, but I couldn’t find it. I heard this house party going on so I went up and knocked on the door. These two guys opened the door, put a knife to my throat and kicked me down the stairs.

After that, I finally found my friends house, go inside and he’s passed out on the couch. Then his dog attacks me so I have to race through the house and out the back door and was stranded again. So I started walking, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was pretty cold, so I broke into a hospital and slept in a stairwell.

Did you break a window?
No, I planned it for when a staff member had to swipe his card on the door to get in. I hid behind this pillar and then I shimmied my way in there after him. Luckily the guy behind the desk was reading a mag and didn’t see me.

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That’s some James Bond-type shit. Were you scared?
Well, I was drunk so I wasn’t scared. All I was thinking was that I needed to get somewhere warm and I was tired and cold. Survival.

Did anybody find you?
Eventually security guards found me. I basically came around from my drunken slumber. I guess they came to the stairwell where I was on the fourth floor and dragged me down to the reception desk. They were yelling at me, wanting to know why I was in there and I said my friend just had a baby and we were partying. I was making up all this shit and they just let me go.

Is this something you would’ve done if you were sober?
No way. Absolutely no way.

Does this happen frequently?
Sometimes. I’m not opposed to being opportunistic. If there’s a hotel and you don’t need a swipe card to get into the lobby then I would find my way into the laundry room and make a little bed out of sheets. I do that quite often in London. Like if it’s raining and I can’t walk home or if I can’t catch the bus. It’s interesting to see what you can get away with ‘cause you are not actually doing anything wrong.

Is it possible to get away with more than what most people think?
Totally. People don’t realize that if you push the boundaries a little bit more you can get away with a bunch of stuff.

You eat at homeless shelters too?
On the way back from that escapade in the hospital, walking to Clint’s [Peterson] place, I saw a line of dudes queuing up to get coffee and soup, so I got some.

The general vibe from your friends is that you drink their booze and eat their food without replacing anything.
That’s not entirely true! Clint’s place has a fucking bar in it, you know? There’s always all this booze and it’s too tempting not to drink. But the last time I definitely replaced it.

People make you sound homeless.
I like to be out there in the street, prepared to do what it takes.

What are some funny things about Americans?
Lack of geographical knowledge and how they don’t know the difference between London, England and Europe. They think London is a country. I’ve been asked if I speak European as a language. My friend has been asked if we still have unicorns in England.

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I hear you drink lots of milk.
Yeah. All my life I’ve drunk milk and if I’m not drinking booze I will go through a couple pints of milk. That’s just what I do.

I don’t think most people see that as refreshing. If I drank more than a glass of milk I would vomit.
Afterwards I’ll just brush my teeth and it won’t feel weird.

How do you take your tea?
Normal English tea. Milk no sugar.

I do it completely black.
Yeah, that’s how my Dad did it during the war. Because they had to ration everything and you couldn’t get a hold of milk and sugar.

Clint says you’ll leave two pairs of shoes at his house for ten months and then get pissed when you come back and they’re gone.
That happened once because Benny sold them and I didn’t see any of the money!

So that’s the other half of the story.
Yeah, exactly.

I heard you’re into Ashlee Simpson?
I just like to wind Clint up because he really gets offended at stuff like that. Like yeah, she’s a pretty girl, but she has no talent whatsoever. And you say you like her music as a joke and he gets offended because he can’t believe you’d like shit like that and that you’d sink that low.

Must be the artist in him. Explain “It ain’t gay if it’s mates.”
Who said that?

I talked to a bunch of people before I talked to you because there isn’t that much dirt on you out there.
I like to keep it that way. That’s just something me and my friends used to say—just being funny. I’m not gonna say anything else about it.

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As far as skaters go, who inspires you?
It’s gonna sound obvious, but Ricky Oyola, Puleo and Dill. Paul Shier is a big inspiration to me as well.

People seem to say you like to skate “obscure” things.
I just think if a spot is skateable you should try to skate it—simply because it exists—even if it’s just a basic trick. If that means something’s obscure, then yeah.

Carl Shipman is also one of your favorites? I feel he had the first proper popped and flicked frontside flip. At least that I ever saw in person.
He doesn’t skate much anymore. He’s got a family and a job near Sheffield. As far as British guys go, he was the best and has the best style of all time.

Anything you dislike about skateboarding as a job?
No. Simple fact. No.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
I was at my Dad’s housewarming party the other day and he told me I have to listen more.

If you could skate like anyone else for a day, who would it be?
Reese Forbes, because of how much fun the guy must have just skating down the streets. He’s incredible.

Agreed. You mentioned earlier you like to keep certain things in your life separate from skateboarding?
I just want to be a skateboarder. When I was a kid and reading interviews with my favorite skaters I would get real bummed if they were into girls, or drugs, or drinking and I would think those things took away from their skating. So I just like to be a skateboarder to the skateboard media.

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The Weenabago Projekt 2: Tosh Crosses America

July 19, 2008

tosh townend weenabago 2 rob brink

The Weenabago Projekt 2: Tosh Crosses America
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, April 2008

Back in 2005, Tosh Townend and a friend from high school had the grand idea to bring a low budget skate tour up the West Coast, from Huntington Beach to Vancouver, and do it wild style. Instead of waiting ‘til Tosh’s sponsors initiated and funded a trip, they took it into their own hands, pooled their money together, bought an RV, called a few friends (Wes Lott, Jake Rupp, Brent Achtley), hit the road, had a great skate and a great time and called it the Weenabago Projekt. Shortly after, they released a video of the trip. Somewhere during that time, they knew they’d do it again one day. Then, “again” happened in August 2007…

I saw the trailer for your new video… the Girls Gone Wild vibe…
Yeah, it’s gonna be pretty good. Comedy for sure. We got a lot of good footage. I think it’ll be out in April.

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What was the route this time?
From Cali to Vegas to SLC, Denver, Kansas City and Chicago. We went up to Milwaukee. Then went from there straight to Philly and then to NY.

Damn. How long did that take?
35 days. All of August. We had five or six days in each city. Some were shitty, so we’d just go to the next. The whole time, we were selling the Sin Habits video. It’s our little crew’s video. We bought 2,500 copies and sold over 1500 on tour. Every shop in every city, I just full on sales pitched it and every shop pretty much bought ten.

Straight hustlin’!
Pretty much.

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You got the nice hot, humid months for Philly and NY…
Yeah, but it was still fun. The two ams, Pat Pasquale and Neen Williams… it was so hard to get ‘em to skate, ‘cause they’d be like, “Dude, it’s too hot outside! Why don’t we wait ‘til nighttime and light shit up?”

I was like, “Whatever, that’s cool.” Chris Senn was there, so we’d just be out skating during the day. We had the Hyphy Twins too. I think they made it to Denver before I was like, “You guys gotta fucking leave.” I kicked ‘em off the tour because they weren’t pulling their weight [laughs].

You gotta boot people if they’re slackin’…
Well, it was a friendship thing. I told ‘em they could come to Vegas. And them being so fuckin’ hyphy, they ended up struggling along. Like, “C’mon, dude! Just let us just go to the next city. We’re trying to get to mom’s house in Iowa.” And I was like, “Alright, you can come to Salt Lake.” But I wasn’t going through fucking Iowa for the fucking Hyphy Twins.

How do you choose people? Homies? Like, “Hey do you wanna go do this thing?”
Yeah. People I either grew up skating with, or friends of friends. Our friend Rehab who does a lot of the artwork for the Sin Habits videos is friends with Pat and Neen. They are all from Chi-Town. We were always skating together so I was like, “You guys should come on my tour. It’ll push your career.” I pitched it to ‘em like that and it worked out. Then Senn flew from Hawaii into Denver, skated, and left from Kansas City.

tosh townend weenabago 2 rob brink

When did you decide you were gonna tour a second time?
During the first tour. And there are definitely plans for a third one. I’ve been talking to Boost Mobile and we’re gonna end up getting their bus.

So it’s a stepping stone thing… like do a ghetto tour first and then see where you go from there?
Yeah, I’m psyched, dude. I got a lot of backing from the second one. Element, CCS, Map Cargo and Boost gave me money.

Did you guys do demos or was it strictly for fun?
Just strictly for fun. Street skating the whole time. We would show up to parks and it would end up being like a little demo, but more just for whoever was there. We’d go to a skatepark and kids were like, “What the hell are you guys doing here?” We’re just like, “Dude, we’re just on our fuckin’ own tour. Wanna check out our video?” I’d do street sales too. [Laughs].

tosh townend weenabago 2 rob brink

Worst part of the tour?
Just clashing heads with everyone. After a while, everyone just breaks down like, “Fuck dude, this is strenuous!”

Shit’s just not going right. Fucking arguing with those fools all the time. Trying to get ‘em motivated to skate because sometimes they just wouldn’t be. I’d be like, “I’m paying you fools! You gotta get out there and fucking skate!” It ended up working out. Pat fucking killed it and Neen got some fucking really good shit. People were hyped on Neen.

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I remember like 10 years ago, seeing your Element sponsor-me tape at Tim O’Connor’s place. You were a little kid and now you’re organizing tours and handling business at 22.
I’m taking it to the next level. I’m trying not to just be a skater. I don’t see my career going that much longer with all these kids coming up killing it. So I’m like, “Dude I might as well get in the game like Jamie Thomas or something,” you know?

So what was the highlight?
My homie got suplexed by a security guard. We had his little mini camera rollin’ the whole time. The guard’s hat fell off and I just grabbed it, put it on backwards and kept filming while I was running away with the other guards chasing me.

You gotta see the video, man. There’s tons of chicks shaking their titties. Just good comedy tour shit. I went to jail twice [laughs].

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For what?
The first night in Denver I got arrested for wylin’ out in the street, trying to hail a cab. Out of nowhere this undercover broad just goes like, “Sit on the curb right now, you’re drunk in public!”

They got all my information and put me in an insane asylum. It was a white room with white walls. They’re like, “Handcuff your hands to this bench and wait here!”

Then, the last night we were there we did a Sin Habits premiere at a bar and this fucking bouncer was talking shit to me while I was playing pool. I was like, “Fuck off, man, I ain’t doin’ nothin’ wrong.”

He just came up and tackled me and head-butted me on the ground. Then he picked me up by my hair and threw me outta the fuckin’ bar. Right before he threw me out he fucking head-butted me again, right in the nose. I’m just like, “Fuck you! This is bullshit, man! I put on this fucking party and brought you all this fuckin’ business!”

Then, outta nowhere, this stupid little spiky-haired, fuckin’ dyke bitch comes out, like, “Fuck you! Who do you think you are?” She’s got a skateboard and she’s swinging it at me. I just fucking apprehended her. I grabbed the truck and pulled the board from her and threw it in a tree. Like, “Go get that now, bitch!”

I didn’t touch her or nothin’. Then all those bouncers just came running after me. I fuckin’ peaced out and the cops caught up with me. The girl pressed charges. I spent the night in jail.

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What was your favorite city of the tour?
Probably New York. We all just balled out. One of the homies got laid. I got a number from this little cutie. It was just a good time.

Why is traveling so important to you?
It just gets me motivated. When I’m at home I’m kinda laid back, not really trying to go out and skate that much. I skate but I ain’t trying to film and shoot photos as much as if I’m on a tour.

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Who was tour MVP?
I’d have to go with Pat because he’s gonna have the last trick of the video. Everything we went to, he would kill. Definitely Tour MVP.

What’s one thing you learned on this tour?
Just keep the positive vibes up. No matter what brings you down, you can always turn it around with positive action.

tosh townend weenabago 2 rob brink

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Flick: Toy Machine's Lurk Fest

July 7, 2008

toy machine lurkfest rob brink

Flick: Toy Machine’s Lurk Fest
By Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag June 2008

So I guess Nick Trapasso is the hot shit these days. He can make even the biggest tour video haters actually like a tour video because he’s in it. And we all know tour videos are total throwaway footage, right? That’s why they are free! No, it’s true. I read it on the message boards.

This new Toy Machine tour video, Lurk Fest, is hereby proclaimed officially cool and acceptable in the skateboarding industry. Ed, Turtle Boy and crew can totally rest easy tonight, knowing they got the stamp of approval from some of the most intelligent, all-knowing finger-on-the-pulse and important aliased people in skateboarding.

So now you have to go get it. Then, shortly after, you’ll feel a strange magnetic pull towards the Toy Machine decks on the wall at the skate shop. That’s just how it works. And after you buy one, grip it, set it up and stand on it, you’ll feel this strange sensation working it’s way from your feet up to your head. It’s called “total coolness.” Because you’re riding the same board the pros in the video ride. And you just might actually get better and learn new tricks or gain more social acceptance in certain circles because of it. Or at least you think you will.

I like that thing Trapasso does with his body after he lands a trick (or bails one for that matter). You know the thing I mean. The nonchalant bounce-up, “I don’t give a fuck and coulda’ landed it better” dazed and confused springy motion thing. Where his hair flies all over and his neck snaps back and stuff. That’s pretty rad. It must be, because I already see kids all over the place copying it. How you going to copy someone’s style? Really. What’s that all about? Go make your own, kid. When you are done writing your trick list for your next sponsor-me tape, brainstorm yourself a non-ABD style.

A few months ago there was all this footage on YouTube of Billy Marks playing with ping-pong balls. It’s pretty tight. Some more of this footage is in Lurk Fest. Billy should be careful that his zany ping-pong antics don’t overshadow his skating. He’s pretty good at both. I often wonder how many tries those ping-pong bangers take. I wonder if because they are in a tour video, if they are any less relevant? Like, because it’s an artificial setup, not natural terrain, does this discount the difficulty, laws of physics and bewildering randomness it takes to pull off one of these maneuvers?

Oh, and the subliminal messages. They made me laugh. I like laughing. Laughing is pretty cool. A lot of skate companies try to be funny, but Toy Machine’s always been, ya dig? I even rewound the messages so I could watch them again and laugh some more. Did you know there are healing qualities to laughter? No, really. Ping-pong balls, bouncy styles, laughter… Lurk Fest.

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Sklog: Bobshirt.com

May 21, 2008

Sklog: BobShirt.com
By Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag May 2008

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Sklog: Jonhumphries.com

May 4, 2008

Sklog: Jonhumphries.com
By Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag April 2008

It's a no-brainer that Jon Humphries is a talented and accomplished photographer. Go to his site and you'll see dozens of easily recognizable and lovely photos. Shots you've seen over the years in various skateboarding publications.

You've heard this stuff before. Why I'm really here is to apologize to Jon for ripping a horrendous "silent but deadly" fart next to him during finals at Tampa Am this year. What better way to make reparations than to give a gleaming website review!

I had something really rank going on inside me. Can't say if it was undigested meat, gut rot from drinking or what. It was bad. Toxic. Deadly. You could taste it. I thought I could just deny it, but a friend called me the fuck out. I should have just been a man and fessed up from the get go. But I was embarrassed. And they all knew I was lying.

A horrible first impression. I wouldn't be surprised if Jon never spoke to me again. So please check out his site and help me make good on my horrible, inhumane, inconsiderate actions while I make an appointment for a colonic.

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Ronnie Creager Interview '08

April 27, 2008

Here's a little interview I did with Ronnie earlier this year for the new etnies skateboarding blog.

So, you and I were skating the ledge at GvR last October and you were trying frontside flip tailslides, when all of a sudden I saw you crawling off the course... what happened?

Ha ha, just a minor miscalculation I suppose. I'm not really sure. I'd been trying frontside flip tailslide to 360 out for a while. The lame thing about it is that I was in a zone and felt really confident that I had it that try. When I think back to all the times I've gotten hurt, there's been a sense of overconfidence I think. I can usually spot or sense it and take a couple steps back, slow down and start over. Weird!

You know the reason Goofy lost this year is because you didn't skate, right? You fucker. I lost 100$ too.

What? No way. I would have tried my best that's for sure. But to say that we lost cause I didn't skate is just not right.

So then, what was the exact injury you sustained?

Well, I forget all the technical talk that the doctor told me. I took two sets of X-rays a couple weeks apart that came back negative on breaks or cracks. The M.R.I report was a bit different and the sports doctor said it showed bruising of the bone. I basically bruised the inside moving parts of my ankle. I thought I twisted it just like all the other times.

How long were/are you out of commish for?

It's been too long. GvR was in October and now were at the beginning of Feb. I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent, but it's close.

Have you been skating much yet?

I skate a bit every day. My control level is good… not good enough to start filming and shooting photos, but I'm going to wait a bit longer and make sure the aches that scare me are out of there.

What's it feel like when you try tricks now? Are you 100 percent? 50 percent? Any tricks you can or can't do?

I can skate and do all the flatground tricks that I had before. I think my regular hardflip is flipping better now. Just the flip. I haven't actually been stomping them. I have a bit more power back for nollie stuff, so I'm getting that stuff back slowly.

But there's a pain when I land hard or bend down too low. The problem I was having is that when I bend down and my knee goes in front of my foot. Ouch! I'm almost there. I'd say two more weeks and I'll have my feel and confidence back.

When do you expect to be skating 100% again?

I'll be out there March 1st. Let's do this.

What were you doing while you were hurt to help the injury and what were you doing when you weren't skating to kill time?

I've been paying a fortune in physical therapy. I don't need to go in anymore but I wanted to refresh my memory on what to do. I wake up, stretch out my muscles, get warmed up and do some strength training stuff. It's really boring. Other than that, just been building some off-road toys for the sand dunes.

I saw a little teaser for the new Blind video, how is filming going and when can we expect to see it?

I have some footage already. About two-and-a-half minutes, but I want to phase some out with better stuff. As for when the video drops. Hmm. I'll have to find out. The video is going to be pretty good, especially with the riders and the tricks being done.

Tell us a little about your new etnies pro model, the Creager. I had a pair on my feet and they were comfy as all hell. The tongue and padding feel great.

The shoe is pretty comfortable and breaks in pretty quick. Not as quick as the Faction but definitely holds up way better and offers more support and technical features, while still looking pretty clean and basic.

Tell us about the insole art as well. Where'd that inspiration come from?

Inspiration? Skateboarding of course!

How's the golf game coming along these days?

I haven't been playing golf. My time has been spent taking care of my foot and building toys. I've been playing video games too.

You moving to the OC yet? You've been telling me you're gonna for over a year now. I need someone to go skate with. Plus our new indoor etnies TF is being built as we speak!

What? Did I just hear the secret word? "Indoor TF." Where's my key? I'm in OC all the time!

What else is new and exciting in the world of Ronnie Creager?

Hmm. I'm pretty much just excited to be back on my board and shredding.

How you feeling about the new dudes coming on board? Malto and Mikey Taylor and stuff?

I'm stoked. It's going to be hard to do a demo with those guys, that's for sure. I think it says a lot about the brand. etnies must be doing something right. I'm for sure going to be getting some autographs when I see them. Ha, ha. That's lame but I don't care. I'm a fan.

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Amber Heard: Pretty Girl Makes Good

April 22, 2008

amber heard rob brink missbehave

Amber Heard: Pretty Girl Makes Good
By Rob Brink
Missbehave March 2008

Actress Amber Heard is hot. She's also agnostic, fascinated by the death penalty, equally into bowling and libraries, and is going to be a star.

"I need to look at your wardrobe on Xanax," twitters 21-year-old actress Amber Heard as she approaches the stylist and his racks of clothes, before effusively hugging him. She eagerly fingers a bubblegum pink pair of patent leather shoes. "I love a man with a great pair of heels," she remarks and moves on to ogle other fineries. Heard has bed head, and from the looks of her, you'd swear it was about 8 AM on New Year's Day. But we're all smiling—about eight of us, as she grabs a coffee and perches on a stool. "I love my gays!" Heard squeals while gesturing to the room. She bobs her head in time to the tugs of one of the aforementioned homosexuals. He's pulling insistently on the matted knots while another commandeers her feet for a pedicure. Yet another grooms her brows and with every third pluck, her eyes spring tears but so goes the strife of a budding starlet.

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Austin-born Amber Heard is suitably ecstatic. 2008 is looking exciting with three movies coming out in 2008, starting with Never Back Down with the Oscar nominated Djimon Honsou, then Pineapple Express with Seth Rogen, then The Informers, the Bret Easton Ellis movie with Winona Ryder. The actress' star is rising which not more than three years ago seemed impossible to everyone in the Lone Star state. Her family was adamantly against her pursuit, citing odds, probabilities and the cost of mistakes so the bullheaded actress skipped town and just left for L.A. She hasn't looked back.

Today, on her first cover shoot, Heard happily basks in the attention and in a coyly exaggerated Texas accent regales them with stories of going to the shooting range with her dad and again apologizes to her beauty swat team for her hair. They, however, are far more interested in exalting her soon to be "it girl" status, and that she was the "belle of the ball" at a recent fashion party. It was among this melee that we conducted our interview and by the time it ended, she was changed from the undeniably beautiful but tired Amber to the scorching hot version you're about to see in these photos. Maybe it's cause I'm a guy but if you'd undergone this transformation, dude, you'd love your gays, too.

You transitioned from modeling to acting, how did you make the leap?
My father persuaded me to take classes, and my first agent in Austin paid for them. I'd always wanted to be an actress. I did it in high school and fell in love with it, but I was distracted by the modeling industry because I wanted to travel and get out of my hometown. It was the easier ticket.

Friday Night Lights was your first movie; it must have been comforting that it was a football movie based in Texas.
Yes, there was an honesty to the character that made it easier for me to connect with. But after I did that I was ready to get the hell out. [Laughs]

Did you always want to move to Hollywood?
Not specifically Los Angeles. I love Texas and my hometown, but a lot of the reason I do this job is because I want to travel—do what I love, but travel.

Did the prospect of leaving high school to pursue acting scare you at all?
It's not scary at all. In retrospect, I think, "God I don't know how I did that." But now that I'm mature—well more mature [laughs]—I know how silly it must have sounded to everyone else. But at the time, the more people kept telling me not to do it, and that I should be scared, the less I cared. I just did it. It was the right time, and I knew I wasn't making a mistake. Turns out I was right.

Wow, you say that so decisively.
Well, I headed out to L.A. during Friday Night Lights and met with an agent that I'm still with. I told my parents I was leaving the day before I got on the plane. I left the next morning and haven't looked back once.

That's pretty ballsy. You moved your sister out here afterwards, too didn't you?
I made sure she graduated high school, then I put her on a plane, moved her, and put her in school. I'd been in L.A. about two years and felt there were more opportunities out here—not just in acting. You have access to so much more in a city like Los Angeles. Austin, on the other hand, it's felt like the place that people go to when they're comfortable and settled. To be honest, I care for my sister more than anybody else on this planet. I wanted her with me for selfish reasons also.

Do you get to spend time with her given your schedule?
I'm always working and traveling. When I'm not traveling I'm working and when I'm not working, I'm traveling. I just immersed myself in the job. And then I don't stop working, ever. I love it. If I do get some free time, I am an avid reader. I read all the time.

What are you reading right now?
A really great book by Christopher Hitchens called The Portable Atheist, US News about some discoveries on some secrets of Christianity, and a book about Pakistan.

I saw your profile on the website "Friendly Atheist." So, that's your thing huh? I mean, that you're um… practicing atheism?
Ha. Yeah, that's a great oxymoron. No, I'm not a practicing atheist. I'm a practicing human and I know how that sounds but I'm learning everything I can about being human. I was raised in a strict Catholic environment but the only thing I feel comfortable saying that I know is that I can't know. I will never prescribe to an organization that claims to tell me how to do anything. I'm not anti "higher power" so you could call me agnostic. Whatever, call me anything but I will never be a "religious" person.

There was an open letter on the site asking you to be the Atheist spokeswoman. Pretty goddamn funny.
You have to love the irony—an organization based on the belief system of telling you not to believe in any organization based on belief systems...

Do you think if you weren't raised in that crazy Catholic environment you'd feel the same? Anyone I know that grew up Catholic is so against it now.
I'd like to thank the way I was raised for giving me enough knowledge about organized religion to make the adult decision to live the rest of my life without it. I don't think you can believe or not believe in anything unless you know a lot about it. I know Christianity, especially Catholicism, like the back of my hand. And my education has given me the freedom to know that it is completely absurd for me to believe it.

Since you're not walking with Jesus, who do you hang out with out here? True friends, industry acquaintances, or do you have trouble mixing work with a social life? Amber, do you play well with others?
I've lived here for like three-and-a-half years—maybe longer, and [laughs] I don't really have many friends. I don't have time to make a bunch of fair-weather friends. I'd rather have a few great friends than a bunch of people that I call "friends." It's a pretty popular practice in L.A.

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Do you want to be famous?
It's my goal as an actress to have a performance that the audience likes. And I imagine that if I become "popular" or "famous," or whatever you want to call it, that it's partly because people enjoy the work that I do. But a lot of times when people become famous there's too much other bullshit that goes with it and sadly it pulls them off track. We all know who these people are—girls, especially young ones. I don't want to be those people.

How hard is it not to be?
It's hard. You have a lot of opportunities to stray away from your career. It's easy to get distracted in a place like L.A. This is an industry for distraction.

Does it bother you to read about yourself?
No. I'm an actress. I've chosen roles because I appreciate that they're a written character and unlike myself. I choose and take on roles that are nothing like me so there is nothing a stranger could say about me that I would take seriously.

But that's not how things work these days, especially with tabloids and TMZ and all that. They're not talking about your performance they're talking about you.
Again, if I'm going into this line of work, there's a certain part of me that I'm ready to give and show the world. The things that I want to keep private—and I do have a private life—I will try to make it so that no one will write about it.

What role has presented the largest challenge?
I did a movie called All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and it's as far from myself as you can get. It takes focus, concentration, and understanding to prepare for taking on someone else's life that's nothing like you. My character Christie in The Informers is completely different from how I really am, too.

I read somewhere you once had to drop 25 pounds for a role. Has that been one of the most physically grueling things you've had to do for work?
It's my job. I'm happy to change how I look, whether it's my hair or my weight, for my characters. I hate to diet, but you have to take on the character properly.

You have to be strong and very careful. This industry is based on rejection. Build thick skin—it's important. I guess it's important no matter what industry you're in, but especially this one.

So now you're the "hot girl."
I get pigeonholed into a look or character. Now all I want is to escape that. I want to do ugly or hard-to-swallow roles because it's always more interesting. Everything is based on looks. I hate that everyone is so jaded and cynical that people think you can understand someone based on how they look.

Mandy Lane has been completed and gotten rave reviews at film festivals, but is only just being released. How frustrating was that?
It's hard. It's like you've worked on a project or a painting that even you can't see.

Does that dissuade you from selecting larger roles in smaller movies like The Beautiful Ordinary versus smaller roles in larger films?
If all of small, independent, art house, low budget—but artistically fulfilling— movies were all the best ones, then, that's all I would do for the rest of my life. And I would be poor. But it's whatever script that I most connect with at that time.

How did you end up getting the role in The Informers?
I read the script and halfway through I called my "representatives" and said "Yeah, this might be a go." By the time I'd finished it, I was 100 percent on board. People were nervous for me because the movie is so strong and based on a book that was hard to swallow for a lot of people. But I loved the story and nothing could've stopped me from doing it.

Yeah, people have problems with Bret Easton Ellis. He wrote American Psycho, which was banned in Canada. Did you read The Informers?
No. I was told I shouldn't and I've heard the book was more graphic, more intense, more violent, and much darker than the screenplay.

Lame.
But it's shot so beautifully and it's great. I'm really excited about it.

Let's talk about your comedy.
I'm really excited about Pineapple Express. It was the most fun set I've ever been on.

The Missbehave girls are obsessed with marrying into director Judd Apatow's crew. Burst their bubbles; give us the real dirt on them.
[Laughs]. Like I said, I have a very small group of actual friends. But Seth [Rogen], Judd [Apatow], Jonah [Hill], and Michael [Cera] are every bit as great off screen as they are on. They're amazing. And hilarious. Honestly, they're just all the funniest people I've ever been around.

Is there anyone you fantasize about working with one day?
I got to work with Niki Caro a couple years ago in North Country. That was the one director who before I became an actor I said I would do absolutely anything to work with. I also love Tony Scott. There's so many good directors I can only hope that someday I'll have the opportunity.

How about actors or actresses?
I really appreciate Hillary Swank and Charlize Theron... women who I look up to and admire. Of course I wouldn't mind working next to a couple good looking guys either [laughs].

Ha. So other than acting with hot dudes, why else did you want to be an actress?
Movies are powerful. And these days, they're so effective at getting messages across. People don't read anymore. If I can be in movies and influence people… I can only dream of some day moving people the way I've been moved by film. I just want to do good work and I want to be a good artist. I saw Whale Rider recently and whole movie is brilliant but something about that performance…

Let's do James Lipton rapid fire. Best professional advice you've ever gotten?
Peter Berg, a director and friend said that I was in the position to do what I love and that I just had to go for it. Commit. He said, "Don't listen to anything anybody says and go for it." I think it was the way he said it. But the advice changed my life.

Something about you that people don't know?
My bowling skills. I don't wanna brag or anything but they're crazy.

Favorite pastime?
Reading about religion. I'm fascinated by every religion out there because it's changed the whole world. Religion shapes government and starts wars. I'm obsessed with the non-fiction section of the Beverly Hills Library.

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Whoa. I haven't heard the library mentioned in ages.
The day before yesterday, I spent five hours there. Read a little about the death penalty. The Supreme Court has reviewed the constitutionality about lethal injections for the first time since the 1800's or something. So now I'm obsessed with the death penalty. I get into these topics, like that or whatever random thing it is and I spend hours in the library learning about it.

Favorite food?
Any kind of alcoholic beverage [laughs]. Um, no, I'm kidding.

Last movie you saw?
Atonement [making suicidal, wrist slitting motions].

I take it you didn't love it?
Hated it. I loved Juno. That was the last movie I will admit to watching. I love that movie. I think it's brilliant and hilarious.

Last lie you told?
The previous 45 minutes of my life.

Ha. Last thing you broke?
I'm the biggest klutz in the world. I've never met a more klutzy person. I break anything I touch. Whether its bones or high-heels or cars or things I hit with cars. I'm not kidding. I break everything … or lose it. If it's not lost… well… if it's lost it's probably safe. If I haven't lost it, I've broken it.

Most horrifying or surprising thing you've experienced in Hollywood?
Nothing surprises me in this industry anymore. I don't think I've been surprised since the moment I got to Los Angeles—or after about a week of being there. Hell, I'd love to be surprised.

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What's the Story? Evan Hernandez

April 2, 2008

What's the Story? Evan Hernandez
By Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag May 2008

"One time," says Terry Kennedy, "I sold that dude a fake Jacob watch for like a G. I told him my cousin jacked it from somebody at a rap concert. He was running around showing everybody, but that shit was fake."

"Did you feel guilty?" I asked.

"Nah! I was bad then. I was from Long Beach. I was looking at Evan like, 'You're makin' money! I don't got none, so fuck it, I'll sell you this watch if you'll believe it.'"

"What did he say when he found out it was fake?" I asked.

"He was like 'That's fucked up man!' He wasn't even mad or anything," Terry exclaimed, laughing the whole way through.

Evan isn't the easiest to read. He probably prefers it that way. After all, a total stranger is hitting him up for personal info to be run in a magazine article after he's already had his fair share of bad interviews and people talking shit. But hearing Terry say Evan wasn't even mad about the watch incident is revealing enough that, despite word-of-mouth, his share of hard times and a long while off the skate scene, Evan is a solid and good-hearted dude.

"He got me into skating," says Kennedy. "I used to see him at school. He used to skate in front of the school every day after class with all the other little white kids. He got me a board and shoes and all that shit. Then he'd be like 'Meet me at Cherry Park.'"

Seems Evan did a lot for his friends, even as a young kid. What did he get in return? Well, they ditched him.

"Evan was one of those people… you know how you always hated on the kid that was so good?" Says Kennedy. "He was always so good that we didn't want to take him to the spots. We'd be like 'Man don't bring Evan!' 'Cuz he would go to the spot and do all the tricks before anyone would do them."

"I was skating Huntington and saw Andrew [Reynolds] pull up in his Red Civic," says Evan. "I was just skating and watched him do some tricks. Then he came and sat next to me and first thing he told me was, 'That was a proper switch flip.' He was always my favorite skater, so I was like, 'What the fuck?'

"The best part about that day was that my other friends ditched me cause they thought I was cocky. There was only one spot in the car and they purposely filled it up so I couldn't roll. I called those dudes up later and thanked them for ditching me, cause that's how I got sponsored. I forgave 'em though."

"We all met the next day," says Kennedy, "and Evan was like 'I was at HB ripping. I met Andrew and he's gonna send me a box.' We were like 'Yeah man, whatever.' Before you know it, Evan showed up at Cherry Park all Birdhoused out. We were like 'Where'd you get all that shit from?' He was like "I told you Andrew was gonna send me a box.' We were like, 'Damn!'"

Evan began skating in his hometown of Long Beach, California, after all the bikes his dad used to buy him got stolen. He was forced into it as a mode of transportation.

"I just got tired of lifting my board up the curb, so I learned how to ollie," says Evan. "I used to get up like an hour before school started just to skate back then. I loved it so much I would go skate by myself. I couldn't wait for people. The feeling of learning tricks got me so stoked 'cause I wasn't good at school, so I felt like I was going somewhere."

Anyone attentive enough might have noticed a huge leap in Evan's ability and progression on a skateboard between the Baker2G and In Bloom videos—released only two years apart.

"He's always been like that," says Kennedy, "he's ridiculous! He's the reason why all these kids now skate like they skate. Ask Paul [Rodriguez]. Evan was the first motherfucker front boarding 18s when he was like 15-years-old. His little ass wasn't no joke, man. That's what made Paul and me start jumping down big rails. Evan would just hop out the car like… no games. It was ridiculous."

"I filmed In Bloom at 13 and 14 and once that hype hit, I was getting offers from all sorts of other companies," says Evan. "But being on Baker was the shit. That's why I went all out through all those years. I was just trying to make an impact, 'cause I knew how much of an impact my whole team was having."

So at age 15, two years after he began skating, Evan went pro.

"It all happened so quick. Kind of spoiled me a little bit," says Evan. "I think I was pro for Baker for three years. Once you turn pro you kind of feel like you made it. Like you proved your point and now it should be easy. But the truth is that it's not like that at all. You have to be just as hungry as you were when you were trying to go pro. I just had some growing up to do and was dealing with stuff kids shouldn't be dealing with."

Evan wasn't surprised when his run with Baker came to an end. "I seen it coming," says Evan, "but at that time I didn't care if the whole world forgot about me. I needed to concentrate on other shit. As far as my emotions, I didn't give a fuck. I was really stressed out with my personal life. Getting into some trouble. Spending all my money. Everyone was yelling at me—telling what was up and what to do. Truth is, I wanted to be with my baby, Janea's, mom and handle that. It was stressful. Under that stress I smoking and drinking too. Those were my rock star days I guess."

"Early in he didn't take it seriously, says Kennedy. "He was spoiled and had everything coming his way. You don't know to appreciate things when you're young. I didn't appreciate that Andrew [Reynolds] used to come pick me up to go skate and get me out of my neighborhood. That's how I ended up getting shot. 'Cuz I still hung around instead of going with Andrew. If you don't learn one way or another, life will kick you in the ass and help you learn.

"Evan went through shit that anyone could have possibly gone through in life," Kennedy continues. "We've all been through stuff, whether its been public or not. You can't fault someone for that. Dealing with Baker, then having a kid at a young age. And being in the spotlight and a number-one pro where motherfuckers looked up to him, it was just too much pressure for him."

Contrary to popular belief, Evan never stopped skating. However, his time both in, and out of the spotlight, served as valuable lessons.

"A lot of kids still tell me that they were psyched on my In Bloom part and that makes me glad I did it," says Evan. "But when I was out of the spotlight, I got to look at everybody from a normal point of view again, instead of a competitive one. 'Cause once you're in the spotlight sometimes you feel like you're trapped. Now I don't feel trapped because I feel like I've shown myself that if I work hard I can get back on my feet, even through the worst times. My sponsors told me they knew I had the talent. I just needed to focus again."

And focus he's done. With a full lineup of sponsors (DGK, Kr3w, Ice Cream, Fury trucks and Boost Mobile), and a DGK pro model on the way, Evan is back in the game and currently on filming missions for both DGK and Ice Cream's up-and-coming videos.

"We got his back," says Angel Cabada, another close friend of Evan's. "He's finally growing up and starting to be a little more responsible. His future is up to him. Those years of him being a part of the whole Spanky, Bryan Herman, Mikey Taylor, P-Rod am legacy a few years back… that's what kept his name alive. The kids know who he is and love him. I think that's what keeps him going today."

Skateboarding moves fast these days, though. Roll an ankle and stay off your board for two weeks, or skip an issue of a mag or ignore the web for a few days and you feel clueless. Older, wiser and more experienced—things are certainly different for Evan now—on many levels.

"It's the best feeling to be loved by Stevie [Williams] and the rest of the DGK team. I really respect him for believing in me and giving me another chance," says Evan. "I appreciate it a lot more this time because I had to work a lot harder for it. I feel more at home with guys like Lennie Rivas, Stevie Williams, Marcus McBride, Jackson Curtin, and the rest of the crew. I relate to them better. We're some Dirty Ghetto Kids.

"Being a father makes you like a front line soldier. You want to do everything you can for your family. You have to become the ultimate hustler to provide," says Evan, who is adamant about ensuring his daughter doesn't have the same Long Beach childhood that he experienced.

"What I've learned is to try to avoid problems and stay away from stupid shit," he continues. "The environment my daughter is in right now is good for her. She's growing up in a nice neighborhood; her mom and grandma are very protective of her.

"I've been jumped a couple times, once by like 15/20 deep," Evan explains. "When I was running they took a stab at me but I got away. Another time I got robbed at gunpoint—had a big .45 pointed at my face. That was basically over some dumb shit too. You don't want to get stuck in that. It's what you do when you have nothing. I'm glad skating gave me a second chance. Just rollin' and landing shit, makes you feel like a kid again."

After all this back and forth and reflecting on his career thus far, Evan seems to have been around for ages. So long, with so much that's happened, in fact, you forget he's only 21-years-old.

"I actually don't feel like I've been in it long enough," Evan says. "I'm still hungry. I feel like it's just begun."

"Evan's always gonna be the best skater to me no matter what," says Kennedy. "He got a lot of people in his corner that love him and wanna see him do it. I still love him, Angel, Stevie… Andrew still loves him. It really brightens him up at the end of the day. I guarantee he's gonna come back and do what he's supposed to do and continue that legacy he's supposed to live.

"You don't get mad at people. You just go out and do your job," Kennedy emphasizes. "Evan taught me to be like that. Like, 'All right, you ditch me? I'm gonna go out and do this and this and that and now you gotta see me in a magazine. Deal with me like that.'

"Those are the people you gotta be scared of in life," Kennedy concludes, "the people that got that dedication."

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Festivus: Lord of the Lines '08

April 2, 2008

Festivus: Lord of the Lines '08
By Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag May 2008

Does anyone want to read contest articles anymore? I mean, really… it's kinda like having your friends tell you about this awesome time they had at a spot or some party or whatever, but you weren't there. You really don't care to be reminded about the great time and great skateboarding you were unfortunate enough to miss and you pretend to listen, but really your head is off elsewhere, wishing your homey would shut the fuck up.

Or … contrary to that, perhaps people like reading about contests sometimes because they couldn't, in a million years, ever be there. Maybe they live across the country—or world, for that matter. Maybe they like to be filled in on all the happenings and yearn to live vicariously through the perspective of the mag. Maybe their friend or teammate or favorite pro skated in it. Maybe they work for the company who hosted it or sponsored it. Maybe, just maybe, they are skate nerds and will read anything and everything they can about skateboarding. And that's probably the main reason this article exists right now.

In that case, we should cut the shit and start telling you about Matix's second annual Lord of the Lines contest, held at ASR in San Diego in January of '08.

Technical blocksmith wizardry was abundant from the likes of Enrique Lorenzo, Jack Curtin, Danny Montoya, Malcom Watson, Jereme Rogers, Billy Marks, Benny Fairfax, Dyson Ramones, JB Gillet, Kurtis Colamonico and more. Most people weren't surprised to see Joey Brezinski in the finals, as he got second place to Ronnie Creager last year, but am, Torey Pudwill and Bobby Worrest were probably two people most wouldn't have guessed to make it. Not that dudes aren't great, it's just, well when was the last time you saw Bobby in a contest? And Torey is an am in a mostly-pro contest. Ah, the element of surprise—making life exciting.

Tre flip noseslides, frontside flip tailslides, kickflip back noseblunts, nollie flip crooked grinds, bigspins in and out of noseslides, flip in flip out mannys and nosemannys galore and on and on… the finalists were all worthy of a Lord of the Lines crown, but Torey ended up with the sword, the staff, the crown, the 10 grand check and the glory.

To Matix's/SPoTlight's credit, Lord of the Lines is a fun and unique contest… that doesn't take a whole day or weekend to commence. Its relatable, as the average skater watching most likely has access to a ledge and can do or go learn the tricks he's seeing in front of him. You see some atypical dudes, who might not enter park contests, skating in it. Did I mention it's short? Yeah, it's only like an hour or two and it breaks up the mundane borefest that is the ASR tradeshow.

Plus, while you are watching and some random industry dude is trying to network you, you can just be like "Shut up dude, I'm watching the contest."

Lord of the Lines Final Results

1. Torey Pudwill: $10,000
2. Bobby Worrest: $3,000
3. Joey Brezinski: $2,000

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