INTERVIEW BY STEVE OLSON
INTRODUCTION BY STEVE OLSON
PHOTOS BY PAT MYERS
Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah, See what I’m saying? From Mountain to shining C, Brigade to PRESIDENT, Father of a son, Husband to BABY, FIRM. . . position. Welcome to: LANCE MOUNTAIN’S WORLD!!!
What’s your name?
My name is Robert Lance Mountain.
Okay, Bob, when did you start?
Oh, I was born in June 1964.
“SKATEBOARDING IS FOR EVERYONE, NOT JUST FOR THE SPONSORED SKATERS. IT’S ABOUT TRYING THINGS AND PUSHING YOURSELF. IT’S ABOUT FRIENDS, ENTERTAINMENT AND FREEDOM.”
Why did you start skateboarding?
I started skating because my friend, Enrique Esporza, got a new board with urethane wheels and he gave me his old board.
What kind of board was it?
It was just a no-name board with clay wheels. Shortly after, I got Metaflex urethane wheels, too.
That was loose ball bearings still?
Yeah. We got into this phase where my dad made boards out of plexiglass. My sister dropped mine and it shattered It didn’t work too well.
What was it like going from clay wheels to urethane wheels?
I remember realizing that I had a toy skateboard and my friends had real skateboards. The edge of the clay wheels were really flat and then after skating there would be all this stuff on them. I remember peeling it off because it started squashing over the side. As soon as we had urethane wheels, we started going down the hill standing up.
What about your local crew?
There was a really famous bank in the back of an Arby’s in Alhambra. Seventy kids would skate at once. Our friend, Chris Genevees was a really good skater and he had a driveway that was a bank. We’d skate that and then we started building little ramps in the yard. It was mainly freestyle stuff until we started seeing the bank riding and pool riding in the magazines. Soon after that, those dudes built a halfpipe.
What about Montebello?
We bought memberships to Montebello skatepark from the magazine in ’76, but the park didn’t open until a year later. We’d keep going there and see an empty lot. Then our cards came and we went to opening day. There were big lines and guys wearing police shirts that said ‘skate patrol’. When we got to the door, they checked our trucks. They would say your trucks are too loose and they would tighten them up. It looked like heaven with all the snakeruns.
Were there any pros riding there?
We saw Laura Thornhill, Bobby Piercy and Tommy Inouye. We saw Stacy Peralta. Enrique talked to him and asked him how to do frontside airs.
Did he come forth with the information?
I’m sure he did. There was a whole group of local dudes that were amazing like J.R. Monkey and Leonard. They were the guys that tortured me. The first contest I entered at Montebello was a high jump contest.
Do you remember how high you jumped?
It was like 3′ 8′. We thought it was amazingly high. My friend reached four feet. But the main snakerun was the only thing that anyone rode. Leonard set up the contest and he had these little boxes taped through the course. You rode down, carved the bottom bowl and then pumped over the bumps. He taped a box on the first curve with a number ’1′ on it. If you rode over it you would get one point. He set up the box on the second curve with a number ’3′ up higher on the bank. He had one box up on the deck and it was ten points. He was the only one that could do roll-outs so he would ride the hip, then do a roll out on the deck over the ’10′ box over and over. He had 170 points and everyone else had like six. I got second in that contest and tied for first in the high jump.
What kind of equipment were you riding?
Orange Jay Adams Z-Flex, and Bennett trucks. Tunnel rocks with the ACS base plates. The Montebello days, I rode that G and S wedge tail.
What about the Dust Bowl?
We started skating this pool called the Dust Bowl, or Leonard’s Pool because it was on Leonard Street. It was a permission pool, so I brought my parents because I wanted them to see it. They had seen the park, but this was the real thing. We pulled up, and I ran in while they got out of the car. They came in and I’m lying in the bottom of the pool knocked out.
And they didn’t even get to see it?
No. I didn’t wake up for five hours, in the hospital. I don’t have any memories of it at all. I was only 14 and they said I couldn’t ever skateboard again. But I had to skate, so they told me I had to wear my helmet. Monkey (Montebello local) had this rad square pool but they wouldn’t let me skate. They tortured me. They made me wear my helmet even if I just wanted to watch.
Did they finally let you ride the pool?
No. It was Monkey’s pool. I got that other pool closed. No one could skate it any more. I was banned.
Tell me the story about London.
My dad was born in London, so he wanted to go to England for a trip. He wanted to see some museums and I wanted to go because I’d seen all the skateparks in the magazines. So, my dad and I went to England for the summer to see museums and skateparks.
How did that work? Hit a museum one day and a skatepark the next?
Or I’d skate the park and he’d go see a museum. And my dad and I started making boards with actual marine ply. We had these stupid wedge things and we’d clamp them down, and soak the board in the bathtub. We didn’t know that you glue them that way. The tails would last about a week, then they would slowly go away. We would route them out so they looked like the original Lamar boards. We painted an American flag on the nose turning into a union jack on the tail. Cubics had just come out and I was riding a 149 in the back and a 109 in the front. Everyone over there thought I was sponsored, because I was riding these new wheels. I made friends with this guy, Seth Parker who lived around the corner from my dad. His dad was the owner of the Mad Dog Bowl. So, we just went around and did our stuff. We skated Romford and Gillingham. I skated Rolling Thunder; I met Jeremy Henderson, and John Subloski.
What kind of tricks were you doing then?
Rock and rolls, inverts, backside airs, frontside airs, grinds with my hand touching. I never did laybacks; I did rampbacks.
What’s a rampback?
I would just do a grind and touch it with no extension. Lucero called them rampbacks. So, I was at that age where they were basically saying you’re good enough to be sponsored. When I came back from England, Skate City had just opened and they asked me to be on the park team.
What was the deal for their sponsored skaters?
You’d get in the park for free, and you got stuff when you needed it. But we never went through stuff. I’d have a board for two months or more.
It’s a little bit different now.
Now I give skaters 20 boards at a time and they come back a week later. Our boards were special to us.
Who did you meet at Skate City?
I think Lucero was on the team. My friend Enrique was on it. I skated against Bob Serafin, and Eddie Meek. Eddie Meek was always good. We were battling for first and second all the time.
That was A.S.P.O. [Amateur Skatepark Organization]?
Yeah, we did A.S.P.O. for two years, which was cool. It was Ray ‘Bones’ Rodriguez, and Darrell Miller. I met Miller at Lakewood. When Skate City opened, he used to give me boards.
Darrell Miller invented super long rock n’ roll slides, right?
He didn’t really invent stand-up grinds, but he used to do them. And the Miller flip, he didn’t invent it, but he was one of the early guys to do footplants.
But the Miller flip was wild the first couple of times you saw it?
I thought it was great. I thought he was great.
Darrell Miller does the Miller flip, and Bobby Valdez does the invert.
I remember his friend doing them first and I remember this guy named Norm doing them.
A lot of us hung out at Lakewood.
I remember Mini Shread, Terry Lourence…
Bobby, Terry, Darrell, Dezzie, Ray Bones…
I remember all those guys. I went to that Lakewood Pro/Am, and shot photos. I have photos of Bobby, Jimmy Plummer, Johnny Walker and Ray Rier. I have a photo of when they raffled off an Alva board, for a grind or frontside air. I remember going to Upland and just being blown away. We saw Kevin Anderson ride down the bank run to the 15-foot bowl, backwards, and then carve the whole bowl backwards. My friend said, ‘That’s the future of skateboarding. He can skate both ways.’ I just thought, ‘what a moron’, totally blowing it off. I told Anderson, ‘My friends claim you’re the first person to skate switch.’
So it was time to get sponsored?
George Orton asked me to ride for Variflex but I didn’t really want to so I just blew that off for a year. I remember thinking if I ever got sponsored I wanted to ride for Powell. That’s when Stevie had just come out. They were the raddest guys. I went to a contest at Upland, and my board got stolen the night before the contest, and Steve Hirsch gave me a board. So I rode his board in the contest and then he asked me if I wanted to ride for Variflex. Potato asked me if I wanted to ride for Indy at that contest too. That was the final contest of the year, so for next year I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll ride Variflex, and for Indy.’ Then Variflex said I couldn’t ride for Indy. They just wanted me to ride their trucks. They asked me if I wanted to be on the team, and I said, ‘Well, kind of’. But Steve was really cool. They said they were going on a U.S. tour and they would take me. I called my parents and they were like, ‘Whoa, you get to go around the United States?’ So, I said yeah.
Did they pay you to go on the road?
No, I was just an amateur.
[David Hackett calls with a question for Lance]
D.H.- Do skateboarders who surf have better style than those do that just skate?
In my opinion, yeah. It’s a different style. There are obviously rad skaters who surf and there are rad skaters who have never surfed that don’t have the same style. That style to some people is bad style or no style. There are guys that have never surfed, that have better style than guys that do surf but it’s a totally different style. That just gets into a discussion of what style is. I think the guys that surf have what is commonly known as style. But now, there are guys that do boardslides down big rails that have great style but it has nothing to do with surfing style. . . Hello? I think he hung up on me.
[Olson interviews Lance]
Skateboarding and surfing have nothing to do with each other now.
I think for the early guys, it did. It looked rad. But, it’s totally different now. You can’t frontside flip down fifteen stairs with surf-style. You just can’t do it. It has nothing to do with it.
What I think he’s getting at is, if someone went off a 15-foot stair and pulled a nollie heelflip quadruple whatever, landed it and then drug his hand like he was in a wave, then it would be ok.
The modern guys are determining what style is, and to drag your hand off is bad style, but landing it perfectly clean is good style. The whole concept of style has changed. It was changing around the time that I was on Variflex. Everyone that was on Variflex was hated for not having style. They were robots.
They were learning all the new tricks.
They were pushing the tricks, but I was stuck in another realm because I skated with ramp style.
We’re not answering the phone anymore. That question is over.
I liked that question. Hackett just wanted to know if I like him better than the Pissdrunx.
I was getting there.
The same thing is going on with the Pissdrunx. Those guys are probably considered to be ‘slash dog style guys’. Those guys have more style in some ways than other guys, but a lot of dudes are saying they’re no good. People are confusing fashion with style.
I wouldn’t even ask that question.
But Hackett did.
That’s because he just wanted to hear his name.
He had good style. Did Hosoi ever surf?
I don’t think so. But he had good style.
He skated like a surfer. I think Rune Glifberg, who never surfed, has some techniques that Hosoi had. Whereas, Bob [Burnquist] surfs a lot but has none of that style. He’s just all over the place. He does whatever he wants to do. Make it at any cost.
He has a ‘make it’ style.
You can’t say one is style and the other isn’t style. Style is more about what kind of clothes you are wearing. Do the guys that play basketball have better style than the guys that wear punk pins?
Hackett, thank you. So you got on Variflex?
I got on Variflex and went on a U.S. tour with everybody but Eddie.
You took over Mike Hurch’s position?
I got a little grief from it because I think he was going to go but I went and he didn’t. It was like I took his spot but I didn’t know any of that. Sorry Mike. So, I went with Steve, Eric Grisham, Allen Losi, Gill Losi, and Patty Hoffman. We were all together in this van going to all the skateparks – Mobile, Alabama, Huntsville, Kona. . .
You rode Huntsville? That was supposed to be good.
They were all good. I hadn’t been outside of our area, but actually they were nowhere as good as ours were. I don’t know what I was thinking. It was terrible. All the concrete was all sandy.
Cherry Hill was the best skatepark in the world.
That’s what they say.
Everyone used to say that Winchester was the best pool, but I went there and I didn’t really like the big kink that went all the way around that one wall. I think Whittier was by far the best skatepark.
The scene was rad. It was our scene.
Whose scene was that?
It was Neil Blender, Lucero, and this guy Hago. It was a fun time. Whittier had the clover and the keyhole, a fullpipe, a bank area, a kidney and a capsule. I met you there.
Yeah, I was stoked. You don’t remember obviously. I was skating the halfpipe and your friend, Pat Brown told you to come check me out. It’s embarrassing for me to tell this so I won’t.
And then we were all happy.
I didn’t have a clue what you were thinking, but I was happy. It was a very important time in your life obviously.
Right now is more important than any time.
I live in the past. I like that stuff. I live for it; it’s the best. It’s what skateboarding is.
What about the band?
We had a band that ruled.
What was the name?
We had a bunch of names. The Republic was one.
Who was in it?
It always changed. Neil was in it sometimes, my friend Hago, this guy Louie, and a bunch of different dudes. We’d play at the park, upstairs in a little loft and we were really terrible. I had a Gatorade bottle for a cymbal. Brian Brannon came in one day and told us we were terrible, then just closed the door. He won’t remember it either, but these are the things I live by.
He might remember.
He might remember some band playing that was terrible. We were terrible though, that was the whole point. Every time we played, it would be different. This one recording we had was five different songs and one was basically a Duane Peters’ interview. I was just reading his interview to the music. ‘Me and Barkley were riding on our scooters. We saw a hippie and said, ‘Oh no. Am I dead?” It wasn’t called Duane’s interview, but it should have been.
So now you’re skating for Varibots?
Being hated upon by you guys.
No one really hated the Variflex guys.
We got spit on all the time. Steve Alba blew his nose on me. All those dudes hucked spit all over Eddie during that one contest. I was standing right there with Fausto when it was head to head with Duane and Eddie. Eddie was doing a sweeper and he missed his tail and Fausto and his whole crew were making everybody stoked. Then he jumped on it and made it and they just shut up. It was rad rivalry. I remember Duane telling me I was the only one they liked out of the crew. I remember seeing Duane kicking some dude at big O, and just thinking, ‘These guys I like are kicking people in the head’. I went with my dad to Marina to practice for some contest, and my dad’s really conservative, so we pull up to Marina and the Circle Jerks are playing. It was a full punk show and my dad is like, ‘What is this craziness?’ And Duane comes up with dyed hair and sits down and starts talking to my dad. I was super scared thinking I’m not going to be able to skate again because he said something crazy.
But that’s what makes Duane cool is because he’d just sit and talk to someone’s dad.
He was stoked on my dad because he was English. He thought that was interesting or something.
But we were talking about Variflex.
It was the greatest. I have to thank Steve Hirsch. So right when I got on, skateboarding died. All those guys just stopped skating. There were like 70 guys at Hester’s and the next year, it was gone. Grisham, Hirsch, and Eddie, all stopped skating. Tony Hawk and I entered amateur at Pomona, pipe and pool, and did really well, like top five. Then we turned pro. The next contest was at Whittier and I went head to head with Duane.
How was that transition?
We just realized that everyone was gone. All the guys we loved to watch skate were gone.
Then you’re skating against guys like Duane?
People like Duane were still there. At Whittier, we just mimicked people. Lucero and I would just spend our time rolling around the park. We had this game where we would roll in on people while they were skating. ‘Out of the way!’ We would just acid drop on them pretending we were Duane. We’d try to skate like different people with different styles. Somehow, Duane’s name just turned into Suzanne. We faked his voice and rolled around screaming at people, ‘My name’s Suzanne. Get out of the way!’ Then all of a sudden I’m in the contest with the guy and he looks at me and says something like, ‘Rip it up, rookie.’ He was trying to psyche me out. He had one Vans and one Converse on. I imitated his voice and said, ‘Okay, two shoes!’ Another thing he wouldn’t remember, but I love.
Who won that contest?
I think Billy Ruff won. I got second.
You beat Suzanne. Was that the changing of the guards?
No, they still ripped on us. There was a lot of changing of the guards, but for me all of a sudden I was pro, getting $15 a month.
So it wasn’t even about money?
It just wasn’t that big of a deal. It was cool because you got to do cool things in skating. You got to go places or go to parks, but I still had to work because it wasn’t anything like a job. We weren’t even getting paid.
Do you think these pros today would skate if the money were gone?
Some would, some wouldn’t. It wouldn’t even be an option to the majority of them. There are so many kids out there being allowed to skateboard because their parents think it’s a sport.
Jason Dill says that skateboarding isn’t a sport, it’s an art form.
To the ones that will skate all their life, yes. To the ones that are skating for a little bit or to make a living off it, it’s not an art form. It still is in a way, but it’s skateboarding. It’s neither.
Do you see differences between pros now and then?
There are all sorts of differences. The differences are that some of these guys can actually make a living. They can buy houses in one year; they are on TV right off the bat. For me, I wouldn’t trade being a pro today, for what I got to do. I got to experience it growing and evolving. I got to see it all. I think that’s neat. I think that’s radder than being able to make a $100,000 in a year; to be able to see you guys skate and know why you skated.
How about in attitudes as well?
I think the attitude is a lot like it used to be. I think I even skated for a different reason than most guys. I think most guys skated because they wanted to rage and party. I skated because it was the thing to keep me out of raging and partying.
You don’t drink?
And you don’t do drugs?
No, I just wasn’t interested in it. My sister did and I saw what it did to her. Skating was my escape from everything. For most, skating involves raging and partying, and it’s still that way.
When you bring money into anything, it changes the core of it. The pros are making more money now than ever.
The guys that are making money right now, most of them have skated for a long time.
They’ve paid their dues.
But there are so many kids coming into it right now. I’m dealing with amateurs that have skated for a year or two and they film and do everything the pros do. They have their own little posses. They have generators and they go out and film. And they have their sponsors already. They have their sunglass sponsor, and clothes sponsor, and they’re getting all hooked up. But none of them are sponsored. It’s just this fabricated thing. They just mimic what they see, and they think that’s what it is. There’s a lot more to it than that. That’s what they missed. That’s the difference. They missed finding out what it’s all about for themselves. They see it and think that’s what it’s about, so they go straight there and try to get it. It’s tricks, it’s sponsorship, it’s money, and it’s what’s popular. They think vert skating is lame because it’s not popular. Before, there was no vert skating or street skating, it was just skateboarding. If a kid sees Jamie Thomas grind a 20 stair handrail or Koston do a switch flip they are more likely to relate to it by trying it on the flatground or a small rail. They video it to show others that they did what Jamie did. But what Jamie and Koston have done is different then what others are doing. That’s why they’re standouts. For some kids, it’s the drive to be sponsored that keeps them from skating everything. It’s not based upon trying it for themselves and knowing if it’s lame or not. Ask Anthony van England, known for one type of skating, but who can enjoy the feeling a grind in a pool. It’s all skating. But, now a skateboard is kind of like a tennis racket. You just go to the store and buy it. Now, it’s just a sport item.
I don’t think many of the kids now, would ever think of making their own skateboard.
Yeah, I feel sad for them. They get their twenty boards, and I feel sad for them. They miss out on all the good stuff. When my friend talked to Stacy [Peralta], we were like, ‘Whoa, he talked to a pro’. If there was a pro, we were in awe. We weren’t like, ‘Do you have a free board?’ We would sit and watch, and study the mags. It’s different now because there are so many pros. Skateboarding is for everyone, not just the sponsored skaters. It’s about trying things and pushing yourself. It’s about friends, entertainment, and freedom. Sponsorship is not about free stuff; it’s a job. You’re hired to turn others on to skateboarding.
It seems like it was harder to be a pro back then.
It’s starting to be that way again. There are rad guys that are obviously a step above. In the ’90s you couldn’t even ask for an autograph, it was so uncool. It was retarded. You couldn’t wear your sponsor’s shirt, nobody would ask for autographs. It was a weird time in skateboarding. Now kids are swarming for autographs. I don’t think it was the kids, I think it’s the magazines and all the stuff we feed them. The magazines became businesses of their own. They’re not reporting the news, the way I thought Skateboarder did.
Skateboarder was as political as anything was.
I think now it’s harder for kids to sort out what’s good. Like, you’ll see one of the best photos of [Eric] Koston or Tony [Hawk] and across the page or on the cover is a skater you never saw before and will never see again with the same type of photo. All these things play into it. The magazines tried to say that Tony wasn’t rad. He was almost shut out of skateboarding in the ’90s.
How can that be?
Because it wasn’t cool. ‘Tony Hawk is not cool. He’s a vert guy. It’s all about street now’. They just shut him out of skateboarding and he was like ‘Whatever. I’m just going to keep doing my thing’. Now there’s a whole new breed of kids that think he’s the best. It has all been paid back to him, no matter what skateboarding tried to do to him as an industry. But the magazines during that time said, ‘Tony Hawk is no good’. They said all the guys that do flatland are the best.
It seems as though it’s segregated.
That’s what the magazines did, they segregated it. It was a business thing. And there’s some people to blame for it.
Well let’s blame them.
It sorted out by itself, so it doesn’t matter.
But it’s still like street is street and vert is vert. I don’t see any guy who does street and vert.
Both of them have become so refined that you can’t really be both. You can’t be elite in both categories anymore. There are actually three categories: street guys, vert guys, and overall guys. There are guys that skate everything but don’t really skate vert the way that the guys would who win a vert contest. They don’t skate street the way that street skaters would want to see them in videos, but they are just ripping skaters.
I think one day there will be a kid that dominates both.
There will, because contests and money will play into that. The guys that were really good on banks, were the best guys because they surfed and they skated banks. That was a whole direction of skateboarding. And out of that, those were the best guys. The guys that did the gymnastic freestyle stuff before them, they just said, ‘That’s retarded, get rid of that’. But there were some guys out there that were really good skateboarders. And then it changed to the pool guys, and the guys that skated the banks, were like that’s not cool. It’s just the terrain. There’s not going to be any street skaters, the way that they skated street in the 90′s, just skating blocks and stuff, because there is a new breed of skaters that are taking the blocks and moving it to handrails, and then they say the handrail thing is stupid. And now that skateboarding is so illegal on street, there’s a whole new breed of park skaters, which is going to be a more overall skater. And that’s only because the terrain has changed where the kids are coming up. Daewon Song, Marc Johnson, Eric Koston, guys like that are the elite dudes for that type of street, and there’s not going to be new kids that do that. People aren’t going to ride ramps or pools the way we did. Like when Alva rode a pool. When we came along they thought it was retarded because we didn’t use the whole pool. We would just do backside airs. They would say, ‘Where is using the pool? Where is using the walls?’ We just wanted to go high. People would tell us we ruled but the guys before us would say we were lame because we weren’t using the pool. Then ramps came and everyone started doing 540s. Then everyone said ‘Who cares about using a backyard pool? You don’t ride that. It’s retarded’. It just keeps evolving and people get left behind. Slowly but surely, they will get more well rounded, but I don’t think vert and street will really cross over, because to be a good vert skater you have to spend 24 hours a day trying to skate vert. To be a really good tech guy you have to spend 24 hours a day skating blocks and the same with the handrail guys. Eight years ago, someone like Rick McCrank didn’t exist. He can ride vert, he can win a street contest, he can skate bowls, he can skate normal street, and he can do any flip trick. He can do everything. Before, if you were really good at street, you didn’t even touch a contest. It is changing.
I just think that there’s going to be a kid in the future that’s going to be vert and street and just destroy it. I watch Burnquist, and these kids in the parks and they can get that high off a hip, and I think it’s going to get crazier. It will get to the point where it won’t be a vert contest, or a street contest; it’s going to be a park contest.
It’s already there. There’s that whole other group of Burnside-style parks. I agree with you, it will be more of a mix. There are no kids coming up right now out of vert or street. They are coming up out of the parks.
How did you get on Bones?
My mom got me on Powell. My mom asked Stacy. When I was on Veriflex and everyone stopped skating, I just wanted to skate. I ended up taking the bus and hanging out with Caballero. I thought he was the best skater at that time and I wanted to skate with the best. I just ended up barging into being his friend somehow. Most of the time that I went up there I didn’t even skate. I’d just go up there and get hurt, and get bummed out. But I’d watch him and be really motivated when I came home. Then there was the Palmdale contest by my house, and Stevie and Stacy came by to pick me up to go to it. My mom came out and said, ‘Excuse me Mr. Peralta, my son has been skating and he’s on this team Veriflex and all the guys quit. He mentioned that you have done something more in skateboarding and that’s what he wants to do. I was wondering if you have any advice for him’. Basically he said, ‘Would he want to ride for Powell? Come aboard under us and he can maybe do what I do later?’ And my mom said yes. Stacy ended up asking me because I think he was looking for a guy to take care of the team so he could get more in the background. So that’s kind of why they got me on. I had a model on Veriflex, but when they asked me to get on Powell, it was for no board. I’d just get $200 a month which was a lot of money at that time, because I had been getting $15.
What year was this?
Like ’83. I got on and rode the sword and skull board; no model. Before that, I was getting last in every contest because I didn’t care. There were eleven pros and I would just get kicked out of the contest because I was trying to cause havoc.
So you’re a little mental?
I remember there was a freestyle contest so I thought I’d enter just because it was a contest. Mr. Hawk put it on. So, I got all my friends and told them what I wanted to do. They started the timer and I just stacked up all these boards really slowly, then I just came in and ran into them. I told all my friends when I ran into them to throw their boards in. So, everyone throws their boards in. And then they had to sort it out. Everyone had to find their boards and it just wasted like a half-hour. Then they said that was it. I could never enter a freestyle contest again.
I say you’re mental because usually guys would do those things because they were on drugs.
Oh. I wasn’t sure why they did it, but I wasn’t on drugs.
You’re totally into religion too right?
I’m a Christian.
A lot of dudes became Christians because they got fucked up so hard. It’s saved a lot of my friends’ lives.
I never went through that. That’s not why. I’ve always believed ever since I was little.
Because you are Christian, do you think that gave you some kind of structure or foundation to not go and ruin yourself?
I was never really taught not to, but I saw my sister. That was the difference. My sister had it bad. I saw my sister struggle and I just didn’t want to struggle with that stuff. So I was just more of a goofball.
Mental. You know what I’m saying? Most freaks that would have their friends throw their boards on them in their run, were wild men.
The hard thing is that that’s attractive. Those dudes that are doing all that crazy stuff, it’s funny. That’s what I struggle with. I found it really hard for me in high school because it’s hard to be like that without destroying your life. The guys I looked up to in skating were the eccentric, crazy, wild men. I guess I just played it out without having to be like that.
It’s too bad I did drugs, because I lost my train of thought. When did you get your first picture in the magazine?
It was in Action Now. It wasn’t Skateboarder. It was a photo at Whittier. A ‘Who’s Hot?!’ thing. That is so typical for me. I finally get in there and it’s Action Now. You just know it’s no good. Two minutes too late. That’s like my whole life, almost, but not quite. I get my name in Skateboarder, I won the Big O Gold Cup, but it was Action Now already. Billy Ruff won Oasis, boom, he got the centerfold. Christian won Marina, boom, centerfold. I won Big O; I was looking for my centerfold, boom, horse jumping over a rock.
What was the feeling like getting your photo in the magazine?
It happened so quickly, You live, wanting to do these things, but then it’s like not a big deal. You win a contest, and you want more. You’re all high for about fifteen minutes, and then you’re down.
So you’re on Bones.
Yeah. It with four times as much money, and a future. So I got really involved in doing ads and helping with tradeshow booths.
Kind of learning from the inside out?
From Stecyk and Stacy. It was seriously the best experience. I wasn’t really focused on it, being a skater, but just being able to hear about it all the time. When I got on, I was all of a sudden super scared because there was Cab, McGill, and all these dudes and now I gotta keep up. McGill was bummed that I got on the team, I believe the words were, ‘Why are you letting riff-raff on the team?’ Because I was the goofball that would just get kicked out of the contests. I wasn’t really trying to win. Instantly, my goal was to beat this guy at every contest. Otherwise, I just didn’t think I deserved to be there.