INTERVIEW BY DAN LEVY
INTRODUCTION BY DAN LEVY
PHOTOS BY DAN LEVY and BRIAN FICK
Pools – got em. Parks – got em. Street – got it. Cudlipp is a skateboarder 100%, and he destroys any terrain you put under his wheels. With the ability to make anything look easy on his board, off his board he’s all heart. Think of him like skateboarding’s Rocky Balboa, Doing it for his family and his Hawaiian roots. Cudlipp is a true contender.
“I like skating everything. I like street skating, because you can learn more tricks, but I love the feeling of frontside grinds in pools and skating all kinds of weird tranny. It’s good to skate everything that’s put in front of you.”
Cudlipp, this is your life. Welcome to it.
All right. See you later.
No, man. How’s it going?
Good. How are you doing?
I’m just relaxing. I just got back from skating. I’m about to heat up some hot dogs.
Let’s start at the beginning. Where were you born?
I was born and raised in Kihei, Maui. I lived there for 18 years, and then I came out to California.
Were you considered a haole in Hawaii? How was that?
Yeah. I’m a haole, but growing up in Maui was good. The high school over there was kind of like a big jail yard. The white guys got to grow up and earn it. It was pretty good place to grow up.
Did you date the local island girls?
Yeah. It was mainly little Filipino chicks.
Yeah. They like money, and they like to cause drama.
When did you start skating?
When I was about eleven years old.
What got you into it?
I was surfing a lot, and skating just came with it. Skating was more motivating, because in surfing you can only do the same tricks on bigger waves. Skating is always different. You can learn a new trick every day.
How old are you now?
What was there to skate in Maui?
We started making a bunch of ramps. Then they finally got a park in the town I grew up in. Then they got another one by the airport in a town called Kahului. Now there are three good skateparks out there.
Are they all concrete?
There are two concrete parks, and one that is half cement and half wood.
Did you ever go to any of the other islands growing up?
I skated the Hickem Airforce base on Oahu.
That bowl is super fun.
Yeah. The vert ramp is sick, too.
When did you realize you were a talented skateboarder?
I got some help from some sponsors.
When did you get sponsored?
Tom Miyao hooked me up when he was the Black Label team manager. He hooked me up through High Tech Surf Shop. I rode for this shop called Local Motion before that. Then it just kept on going from there. I was scooping up sponsors here and there. They helped me try to get to California, because that’s where they said it would happen.
When did you move to California?
Were you riding for Scum at that point?
No. I was getting flow from Black Label. Then I was getting a Roll Model board out with Neil Heddings. I was riding for his company until Neil went to jail. It was Neil, Swanson, John Ponts and me. That team had to be the best team in the world. It will be good once Neil gets out. Swanson just got out of prison, and my friend Fuzzy, too. Once Neil gets out, it will be back on track.
What’s up with the perfect irony of the Roll Model skaters going to jail?
Skate junkies. Trouble comes to the people that get involved in shit, being in certain areas. You always end up doing some bullshit. Guaranteed.
Do you skate mostly pools and backyard stuff?
I like skating everything. I like street skating, because you can learn more tricks, but I love the feeling of frontside grinds in pools and skating all kinds of weird tranny. It’s good to skate everything that’s put in front of you.
What’s your favorite spot to ride?
I like San Pedro. Washington Street is another favorite. I like to skate up in Santa Cruz with some of the locs up there like Emmanuel Guzman. They have good stuff to skate up there.
Have you ever skated Burnside?
Oh, yeah. Burnside is sick, too. The Kihei Park in Maui, the one that grew up skating, has the most obstacles to offer. I think it trains you to skate everything and to think quick.
Tell me about the first pool you ever skated?
The first one was in Hawaii this place in Maui. They actually drained it, to rebuild it. It was huge I ended up finding about it from my tweaker friend. He called me up and told me it was drained. We ended up skating the shit out of it. That was the first real pool I ever skated.
Were you hooked since then?
Yeah. It’s a different kind of skating. It makes you work for your tricks
What do you think about all of these new parks going up and stuff?
They’re doing good right now. They have fucked up on a couple of them. Chino and Fontana are jacked. Oregon has the best cement raw shit.
How would you describe your style?
I’ve got Cudlipp style.
That’s what I like about you. You’re humble. What kind of music are you into?
I grew up listening to a lot of gangster shit like Too Short, old Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg, but I like skating to punk and death metal.
What do you think about Skatopia?
That place is out of hand. It’s ridiculously sick. It’s crazy how you can walk up, get shot with a paintball gun, go shred a pool, get free beers, get barbeque and then go get shot again. They had the potato gun going, too.
What are you doing in California? Where do you live?
I’m living in Anaheim with Cholo from Scum. I’m doing good, just chilling out here.
Who are your sponsors?
Scum Skateboards, OL84 clothing, NSS shoes, and Destructo trucks, and basically my Mom and Dad. I’ve got to mention Mom and Dad. Everything that I do is pretty much for them, and for Neil. My parents and Neil are 100% down.
What happened with Neil? He got like six years, right?
Yeah. He’s already four years into it, so hopefully he will be out this year. He’s going to get out and shred.
Neil is good people.
Yeah. He needs to be on a skateboard.
Nobody else in the world can do a frontside ollie in a pool like Neil.
He’s got the liens like crazy.
He ollies so early on the tranny, and then he boosts it four feet over the coping.
He totally smacks the tail like crazy. Neil is one of a kind.
Who else do you skate with?
I skate with everyone from the Scum crew, and the Fullerton crew, and my boys from Hawaii. I usually skate with Cholo from Scum, and Lloyd and Sal from Thee Indigents. There’s this kid Mister and Frankie, and all of these little locs. I skate a lot with that kid Skreech, of course, little scratcher.
Talk about some of the people you have met through skateboarding.
Chris Swanson and Neil Heddings are two of the most motivating people I’ve met through skateboarding.
It’s just because of the motivation and the aggression. They showed me a lot about the business side of skateboarding, too. I got a lot of basic knowledge from skating with those guys. They’re just all-around shredders known for skating anything you put in front of them. I just try and learn from those people.
What do you see in the future for skateboarding?
Hopefully, it stays where it’s at, because it’s getting good.