INTERVIEW BY STEVE OLSON
INTRODUCTION BY STEVE OLSON
PHOTOS BY P.D. AND RUDY MANHEIM
State your name and age.
David Hackett. I am 40 going on 22.
Why are you so sexy?
Oh, that’s easy. I sleep naked. My girlfriend’s a dancer and chicks dig me.
“Guys like me are not going away. We’re keeping track of every magazine, every photo and every word. And just when you think we’re gone, we’re going to write the real history of skateboarding.”
Bingo. Tell us, the general public, what’s really going on.
Let me tell you what’s really going on. What’s really going on is the cat’s out of the bag
and everybody has finally discovered skateboarding! We’ve been waiting 30 years and now everybody is an expert, it’s unbelievable.
Tell me about your contest results in skateboarding?
1st place – Jr. Men’s Slalom 1975 Hang Ten World Championships, 1st place – US Open Men’s Bowlriding 1978 Kona Skatepark, 1st place – Men’s Pool riding 1979 Oasis Skatepark, 1st place – Men’s Halfpipe 1979 Oasis Skatepark; 3rd place-Men’s Pool Marina Dogbowl Pro 1979 Marina Skatepark, 3rd place-Men’s Pool Winchester Shootout 1979 Winchester Skatepark
Tell me about your first amateur contest.
The first contest I ever won was in junior high school at Malibu Park in 1973. There was an adjacent bank in the parking lot in the school yard and I pretended it was a wave. I was surfing that bank on my skateboard and then I busted into a handstand and no one had ever seen that before. So, I won that and the next two contests after that.
Who were you skating against in that contest?
Actually, I went to school with Sean Penn and I think he was in that contest and my friend Jeff Higginbotham, this idiot Matt Palmeri and friend Mark Buck. All the cats that surfed were also the best skateboarders. And then I went to amateur contests like Steve’s South Bay.
At Steve’s South Bay who did you skate against?
Well, I was the same age as Jay Adams so I was always going up against Jay. Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta were always in the Men’s Division. Then my first real contest, I won a World Title. I went to the 1975 Hang Ten World Skateboard Championships Pro Am at the LA Coliseum. I ended up winning the Jr Men’s Slalom Division.
Were you sponsored back then?
I wasn’t. I went as a self sponsored guy. And the next Skateboarder Magazine that came out, these guys from Santa Cruz who had actually stolen my trophy at the contest, were advertising that they had swept the Jr. Men’s Slalom Division 1st, 2nd, and 3rd! They stole my trophy.
They stole your trophy? Name names.
Scott Summers, Tony Carter and one other guy. These three guys who rode for Santa Cruz. They thought they were bad and I kicked their ass, I mean bad. I was riding a handmade board. I actually made it in wood shop. It was a nine stringer, full-on Gerry Lopez style. It had Chicago trucks and clear RollerSports Urethane Stoker Wheels.
And those were loose ball bearings?
Yeah, and they were all riding Road Riders with precision bearings on Bennett trucks and I kicked their ass. It was so funny, I grew up in Malibu in the hills and I’d been running downhill races and speed runs since I was 9 years old. At the time of the contest I was 15 and I just rolled in. It was held on some piece of shit wooden ramp, the Bahne Cadillac Ramp and they also held the downhill and the slalom course on it. When I got there, I looked at that thing and I was like “Are you kidding me? This is the slalom course? This is the downhill?” I could have done a handstand on the thing it was so slow. And these guys came in and tried to pull a fast one. They ran the ad for Santa Cruz saying they had won this title. And my mom got wind of it and she called up Santa Cruz bitching and she threatened to go up there and kick their ass. My Mom did not let up, she was a gnarly woman. She called them and said “You better send that trophy back or I swear I’ll personally drive up there and rip your fucking throat out.” And they sent my trophy back and reran the ad. The ad had to state that they had won the preliminaries, not the finals. So, I won that World Title and I was stoked. From that I got a call from, I guess it was Novak who asked me to ride for Road Riders Wheels. So, Road Riders were my first sponsor. Then I got sponsored by Bennett Trucks.
Tell me about the revolutionary things that happened in the mid ’70s.
Well, my first skateboard was a metal wheel skateboard, a red Roller Derby with metal wheels and metal trucks. Then I got a Hobie Super Surfer with compressed sawdust wheels. That was a big breakthrough from metal. Those were all loose ball bearings wheels and then the first urethane wheels came out. Frank Nasworthy invented the first Urethane wheel – The Cadillac Wheel in 1973 and that really revolutionized the whole sport. All of a sudden we could really lean into turns and really go fast and not wipe out all over the place. I rode Cadillac Wheels for a long time. I actually made my own Cadillac Wheels shirt and wore that in that first school contest.
Did it say ‘Team’?
[laughing] No, it just said Cadillac Wheels, I wrote it in pen on the front of my shirt. That was literally my first graphic design. I wanted to be on the Cadillac Wheels team, you know. So, I just made my own shirt and went, fuck you, I’m sponsored. So, we all rode Cadillac Wheels for a long time on Chicago Trucks, then we started putting them on SureGrip Trucks, Bennett Trucks. Then Tracker Trucks and when Bennett Trucks came out the Road Rider Wheels came out. And they had Road Rider 2’s, and Road Rider 4’s and I had Road Rider 6’s. And then I started seeing you riding Road Rider 5’s. Those were really popular, so I got a set of those and a set of Henry Hester Road Rider Wheels, cause I was a big slalom racer back then. That was one of my things besides riding vertical.
Who are your heroes?
Elvis, Bruce Lee, Muhammad Ali, Matt Kivlin, Miki Dora, Gerry Lopez, Joey Cabell, Larry Bertlemann, Andy Warhol, Man Ray, Jackson Pollock, Ed Ruscha, Craig Stecyk III, Jay Adams, Peralta, TA, Shogo, you, Christian Hosoi, Pacino, Brando, Gandhi, Michael Jordan, Hendrix, Nugent and Jimmy Page.