Steve Olson X Lance Mountain

Steve Olson and Lance Mountain

STEVE OLSON X LANCE MOUNTAIN

PHOTOS BY TED TERREBONNE AND MRZ

Steve Olson and Lance Mountain interview each other about skateboarding and life as they live it…

It is not fair sometimes. “You’ve got 15 minutes to write Olson’s introduction. We are going to press. Houston, are you there?” I just read over his intro for me and I love it. How can I compete with that? Steve has a way with words and making you feel good about yourself. Charming, maybe, but I’m not a girl. There are many words to describe people who have done and loved what they do for so long, but to have the ability to pretend that none of it matters is the hardest, and it comes so easy for Steve, as does his skateboarding. He has shown us how to turn on a skateboard better than anyone. He has won multiple contests and awards. He has turned down more sponsorship opportunities than most have been offered. He brought in a new wave of style, thought and look to skateboarding. Some called it punk. We called it Olson. – LANCE MOUNTAIN

When one plays King of the Mountain, you try to get to the top, right? But when you play the same game with Lance Mountain, it’s hard to win…Competitive, that’s an understatement… Passionate, his picture is in the dictionary… Talented, well, that’s easy… Yes. Committed, slightly, and very…”til death do he part ways with his skateboard”… Goofy, Disney owes, know what I’m saying? Loyal, ah yeah, duh, I mean… Should he be the first man knighted in skateboarding? Just think of the way it would sound… “Sir Lance Mountain”… Off with his Head… – STEVE OLSON

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OLSON: Okay, Lance ask me a question.
LANCE: Okay, Steve, here’s my question to you. Why are we going into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame before all these guys from the ‘70s should go in?

We shouldn’t be going in. That’s the truth. That’s reality.
There are about 70-100 guys that should go in before us.

Yeah, before me, before you…
Definitely before you. [Laughs] No. I meant me.

[Laughs] No. Before you.
When you started skating, who were the guy’s names that you heard?

Dogtown. [Laughs]
No way. That’s ridiculous.

[Laughs] There were so many great skateboarders back then.
Was Ed Nadalin a popular name?

I started skateboarding in 1967 and Squeaky Haynes was my idol.
That name rules. It’s like a Shreddi Repas name. It’s just a rad name, Squeaky Haynes. I’m so bummed I didn’t grow up on Squeaky Haynes.

There were a lot of guys that were really good. You’d get your information from the magazines that were out like Skateboard and then you had Stevie Monahan, Ty Page, Russ Howell and Ed Nadalin.
Skitch Hitchcock.

Did you just put one in for me?
Yes. [Laughs]

That’s amazing.
Those are the same names I grew up on.

You had Bob Mohr and Bob Neishi from Huntington Beach.
You weren’t a Skitch Hitchcock fan?

There was Mike Weed, Skitch Hitchcock… That list goes on. Who was the epitome of the blond-haired blue-eyed skateboarder? Gregg Weaver. Who was on the first cover when Skateboarder came back? It was Weaver riding a swimming pool, a little below the light, but who was worried about that at that moment in life?
Did Mike Weed get the second cover, kind of falling off the hip?

The second one was Bruce Logan doing a nosewheelie into the sunset.
Did you have a lot of friends that skated or you just found the magazines yourself?

How did this happen that you are the interviewer?
I thought I was supposed to ask you questions.

We’re just having a conversation.
Oh. Okay. I’m going to talk about myself then. [Laughs]

No. I had my brother who was four years older and we had surfing. Everything was related to surfing when we started skateboarding.
Did you live within walking distance of the beach or did you have to take a bus ride?

No. We had to drive. We lived four miles from the beach.
Where did you surf? Seal Beach?

I like how you just slide these questions in. Yeah. Duh. We surfed Seal Beach.
Why aren’t you asking me questions? I feel left out.

I’m just answering your questions.
Was this before or after water polo? I think it’s very interesting that you played water polo.

Michael Phelps. Here’s the deal. Where did you start skateboarding?
I lived in Alhambra, California, and my friend Enrique was five years older…

I remember when I came to Whittier and Pat Brown brought me over to the halfpipe to see you skate.
Wait. I was in the middle of answering your question. You don’t even remember that day. That was the first time I met you at Whittier. [Laughs] You only remember that because I told you.

[Laughs] I remember it like it was yesterday. Pat was like, “You have to see this kid from Alhambra skating the Whittier halfpipe.”
Now I know you’re making stuff up because everyone thought I was from Whittier. You’re always making fun of me.

“I built a ramp in front of my house. It was a 4′ x 8′ sheet on an angle a little less than 45 degrees and we sessioned that thing for hours. The thing that we sessioned the most was the driveways in front of our house.”

[Laughs] I’m not making fun of you.
You didn’t even care because you were Olson.

Wait. You’d gone to England before that. How was it when you went to England?
We’re jumping all over the place.

Of course, and we’re just going to keep doing it that way.
I started skating when Enrique gave me a board, and it was all about those guys doing the handstands, the L-sits, the nosewheelies, the tailwheelies, 360’s and catamaraning down our hill. I wasn’t very good at it. Enrique was a lot better than me. Then there was a bike shop at the corner and that magazine Skateboard came out in 1975 with Stevie Monahan going through the water.

That’s one of the best photos.
I just remember thinking at the time that maybe skateboarding isn’t about all these hard things. It’s also very visual and emotional and it makes you feel something, and that looks fun. I remember that very clearly. I wasn’t very good at the stuff that was considered hard. I could do handstands really good and a lot of stuff though.

Could you push up into a handstand?
Yeah. I could push up and come back down. I could never do more than nine 360’s.

How about a V-sit?
I could not do V-sits or L-sits.

What about a headstand?
I couldn’t do nosewheelies or any of that stuff. I couldn’t do daffys. I still can’t do a daffy. I wanted to do that stuff really badly. I remember seeing that photo and thinking that it’s not only that. Then it was Evel Knievel time and everyone started pushing their board off things and that’s when it became more fun and I became a little more daring.

Were you more daring than the guys you were skating with?
Yeah. I lived in San Gabriel Valley and there were all these guys skating at this place called Arby’s where there were banks. It was right when the urethane wheel came out and there were like 60 guys riding these banks. Do you remember that period? There was this huge boom.

Yes. I also remember where the runways and spillways and the riverbed met at the end of Long Beach. It was two spillways that came into one, so there was a spine down the middle. On any given day, after junior high school, there would be at least 100 people skateboarding.
There was that weird boom, but it dropped off fairly quickly around ‘77 or ‘78.

What were your first loose ball bearings?
The board Enrique gave me had white clay wheels. As you rode them, they just crumbled away. He got urethane wheels. I think that’s why he gave me his old board, so I had white clay wheels and just an oak deck. I don’t even think it had a name. Quickly after that, I went down to the bike shop and got my own urethane wheels too because his board was so much better. I had Metaflex wheels.

Metaflex had good color wheels though.
They had that rad little lip, kind of like a Powerflex 9 almost. I still have them actually. Those were the first urethane precision bearing wheels that I got.

What trucks did you have?
I don’t remember the trucks. I just remember those wheels. I remember that name. I bought the wheels and probably used the old trucks off that board. Then my dad made me a see-through board out of plexiglass and my friend’s dad made his boards out of aluminum.

Tell me about the plexiglass board.
As soon as I got it, my sister dropped it and it broke. I was so bummed. The bearings were rolling down the street and you had to collect them all, but you were always missing one, and you think you could use a friend’s BB, but it didn’t quite work. The BBs were the wrong size. Did you ever try to put BBs in there?

I tried everything. [Laughs]
Yes. It was terrible. It was rad. We skated around the house for a long time.

How long was it before it was like, “Hey, you guys, let’s go skateboarding instead of chase girls? [Laughs]
[Laughs] Let me ask you that question. What about when people ask you to go skateboarding instead of chase girls?

I’d be like, “What’s a girl?”
What do you say now? [Laughs]

Where are we going? [Laughs]
As a kid, I had to be in when the lights went on.

You had a curfew.
I had to do my homework and I had to be able to squeeze my skating in between. I hated Day Light Savings time because I could never skate. We could only skate on the weekends or on the block.

Was this at the house with the ramp?
Yeah, it’s up on the hill. We would go down around the corner where there was a little bit less of a hill. It was all about going down that slight hill and cutting up on the driveway and pumping down the hill. Once we were allowed to go around the block, it felt like we were going so far from home. Skateboarding was my little escape. It felt like we could go around the world.

We used to skate from Los Alamitos to south Long Beach because there was a bush there that was like getting barreled. That was a long skate on Roller Derby boards, and we would session this bush at this mall for hours. It was hours of just going in and getting hit by the branches. It was insanely fun.
How many were in your group of guys that would go skate?

Three. We were called the Bearded Clam Team. The BCT.
[Laughs] No. How old were you then?

I was 12 or 13. It was also a surf team. It was our little team. It didn’t mean anything. It just had a clam with a beard on it with B.C.T. underneath it.
You even had a team. We had about five guys: Enrique, me, Stewart Fong, Chris Genevees… These guys were all on the block and they were all older and they were all really pretty good. A lot of them had Brewer boards with the little beam. They were solid oak, but they were cutting the slants out. That’s when we started going up to North Alhambra to skate the banks and stuff.

“Okay, Steve, here’s my question to you. Why are we going into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame before all these guys from the ‘70s should go in?”

We made our own boards. I also surfed for Wayne Brown Surfboards and they were kind of early on. “A kick in every tail.” I’d go to the factory in Costa Mesa.
How old were you then, 16?

No. I was 13 or 14.
Really? How did they see you?

It was because I surfed Huntington Pier all the time. I wish I could find that surf ad. I was in one of their ads surfing.
Really? I don’t believe you.

That’s okay. I have a private detective looking for it right now. [Laughs] I had an older brother and I used to make boards really wide so that I could knee paddle on them like a surfboard. I really enjoyed kneeboarding skateboarding because you could get really low.
Was your brother better than you on a skateboard?

My brother roller-skated.
He would go under the bush on roller skates?

No. He would skateboard then, but that was back in the pool days.
Were you better than him?

No. There was no better or worse.
Did he get sponsored by Wayne Brown Surfboards?

No.
Why did you get sponsored and not him?

Because he was surfing somewhere else.
He was better than you?

It was different.
There is no better we’ve known.

He surfed differently. It doesn’t matter. Here’s the deal. He went backwards.
I wish I could say that I was better than all those guys, but I was way worse.

We didn’t care who was better. Obviously, there were guys that were a little more advanced.
It didn’t come into play until people started talking about it, right?

Well, I went to a skateboard contest at the Los Alamitos Youth Center and saw guys like Johnny Walker, Scott Hostert, Richy Carrasco and all those types of dudes from the inland version of Orange County and it was solely 100% about freestyle skateboarding and wiggling a little bit through the slalom cones. Freestyle was the huge thing and it was a turn-off.
It was a turn-off?

Yeah. Being a surfer, I thought, “Who cares? You can’t spin 360’s on your surfboard.” It was not happening, so there was no relationship, but I have mad respect for all those dudes that can do all those things.
They were so great. I went to a Cadillac/Bahne contest at a school in Tujunga with my friend Enrique. We went to this contest to watch these guys skate, and there was an obstacle course with a little bank and a little tube. The guys were freestyling or doing whatever, and then we wanted to go skate. In the lower parking lot area, some guys had put a piece of wood up against the wall and started riding this bank, but they wouldn’t let us ride it. They were really protective of it.

How old were you then?
I was probably 13.

I built a ramp in front of my house. It was a 4’ x 8’ sheet on an angle a little less than 45 degrees and we sessioned that thing for hours. The thing that we sessioned the most was those driveways down in Laguna Nigel and Dana Point. We’d skate at the beginning of the driveway, right by the curbs. We used to drop into driveways, and one was steep and we called it Pipeline, one was big, and we called that Waimea and one was more slopey, but there was section of it that was a little steep, like the inside part of Sunset, so that was Sunset, and you’d commentate, “Dropping in now is Jeff Hakman. Dropping in now is Gerry Lopez! Here comes a cutback by Barry Kanaiaupuni. Oh my God. It isn’t! It is! It’s the style master, Reno Abellira! Oh my god! It’s a drop knee cutback by Billy Hamilton! He’s hanging ten like David Nuuhiwa! It’s unbelievable. He’s pearled. He’s down. He’s hurt! He’s drowning!” And your friend is over there pretending like he’s drowning on the grass. It was insane.
[Laughs] We sat in the boxes that the washing machine came in. We put five boards under it and three of us sat inside it and just went down the sidewalk until we hit the ivy and flew out. There was no surfing involved with us. There was maybe a little Evel Knievel thought, but we didn’t have any water. I never thought about surfing at all.

“Being a surfer, I thought, “Who cares? You can’t spin 360’s on your surfboard.” It was not happening, so there was no relationship, but I have mad respect for all those dudes that can do all those things.”

I was totally all about the fact that the urethane wheel came out. We thought that was one of the most amazing things to ever happen. From Roller Derbys to Black Knights, the Roller Derby seemed like it was a little better quality than the Black Knight in the wheels and trucks.
Was that a Vita-Pak?

No. It was just straight Roller Derby. It was insane when those urethane wheels came out. I have no idea how we got turned onto urethane wheels. It was probably from a surf shop. Then the precision wheel came out. The precision wheel was another big deal because it completely made you stealth and ninja-like because all you could hear were the cracks and not the sound of the wheels.
Were you going to skateparks by the time the precision wheel came out?

Yeah. For sure there were skateparks.
Montebello was open by then and precision bearings were out by Montebello.

I know we rode pools with loose ball bearing wheels. We just thought it was amazing when we saw Gregg Weaver on the cover of Skateboarder in a pool. We went out and found a pool that day. It was all about surfing for me.
When you skated for Wayne Brown Surfboards, when did you get sponsored?

I think I was 13. I was surfing Huntington Pier and I saw this guy in the water and he says, “Come by the shop. I want to talk to you. I think you surf pretty cool, so come by.” I didn’t really pay attention to what shop he said, but he said it was on PCH between Main Street and the next street. At that time, Greek Surfboards had a team of guys, like John Davis, Bobby Burchell and all these dudes. They had this great looking wetsuit with a collar that popped up with a Western kind of back to it with a picture of some dude surfing. I thought, “Whoa. Maybe I’m going to get on that team and I’ll get one of those wetsuits.” So I rolled into Greek Surfboards. I was maybe 13 or 12, and I was a shrimp. I was like “I’m totally down to get a surfboard.” The dude helping me at Greek Surfboards was Bob Ballou.
Oh, really?

Yeah. So I’m in Greek Surfboards and Bob Ballou is just this straight salesman from Massachusetts. He was like, “Yeah, buddy, I saw you out there surfing. You surf great!” I was like, “This is pretty fantastic, so how do I get a board?” He goes, “Here’s what I can do for you. I can give you that board for a little bit over cost.” He quotes me the price and it’s the same price as buying a board off the rack. I was like, “Wait a minute. What do you mean you’re going to charge me?” He was like, ‘Yeah, it’s just a little bit over cost. We’d love to have you on a Greek Surfboard.” I was like, “Well, that’s not what you were talking to me about when we were in the water. You were talking about giving me a surfboard.” He said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, kid.” I was like, “I don’t get one of those wetsuits either?” He was like, “No!” It was like, “Get out of here, kid. You’re bothering me,” after he realized it was some weird misconceived thought I had that I was going to get on the Greek Surfboard team. Then I went next door to Wayne Brown Surfboards and I was like, “I got the wrong shop at first.” They said, “Oh, you weren’t dealing with Ballou were you? That guy probably tried to sell you two boards for the price of three.” It was funny.
So that’s how you met Bob Ballou. Who did you get sponsored for skateboarding by first?

I rode for Wayne Brown, bro. I couldn’t skateboard to save my life, but if you were on the surf team, you were on the skate team. I got my own blanks because I didn’t like their shapes. My brother was a craftsman and he made his own surfboards and then we made our own skateboards, but they were flexi and they sucked.
Did you ever have wide skateboards?

I had wide skateboards long before those other cats.
When did you get on Powerflex? Was it right after that or was there stuff in between or were you ever on Powerflex?

I wasn’t on Powerflex until much later, after the skatepark craze started.
Who did you ride for after Wayne Brown?

We made our own stuff.
So your first sponsor really was Powerflex. Did Bob Ballou remember that you were the kid that walked into his shop?

No. He said he does, but he’s lying. He’s probably drunk.[Laughs]
How did he meet you later? Was it at the skateparks?

Yes. It was probably like, “Okay, the kid can do a little backside turn at Skatopia.” I just remember I always wanted one of those net jerseys.
I still want one. I’ve been trying to get someone to make one for me now. I want to wear them now.

That was like you made it.
People thought they were lame, but now everyone loves them. G&S had gold and burgundy jerseys.

Powerflex had the white. Logan Earth Ski had the red white and blue. They also had yellow and black and maybe orange. Bahne had theirs. Sims totally had them. Sims was on fire.
Those were red, white and blue. Makaha had the yellow and white ones.

Do you remember Pro Am Gold? They had a jersey. No one wanted that jersey, but they still had a jersey.
Did you ever hear of California Hardwoods? They were based on Fremont in Alhambra.

Did you get hooked up by them?
No. I didn’t know it was there until years later when it was way out of business. I looked it up and it said, “Alhambra.” The address was walking distance from my house. If I showed you the sticker, you would recognize it. It was a yellow C with blue and it said California Hardwood and it was a Tracker-shaped sticker.

I know California Hardwoods, now that you explained the sticker. Makaha was in Los Alamitos by the naval base and I never knew that and that was in my neighborhood. We would have figured out how to break in there and steal the shit out of some boards.
Gonz was telling me that he used to go to the old Variflex factory and take everything out of the trash. He would take all the seconds and all the stuff in the trash.

Did you guys like catamaraning?
Yeah. I still love it. We used to catamaran with a bunch of people. We’d catamaran and then our sisters would get on the board too and we’d go with as many people as we could on skateboards.

Skateboarding was so wickedly badass. It was about having as much fun as possible to me and my friends.
To everybody. I guess it’s still the same, but it’s not the same. It was about just having fun, but it was so simplified back then.

Now we’re totally different dudes. We’re old and mature.
Yeah. The kids are having fun in a more advanced way now. I don’t think they can just catamaran for hours. They might now because they see it and it’s funny, but I think, because other things have been advanced, they have to go there first to have fun.

I really enjoyed skateboarding from belly boarding to knee boarding to standing up. We used to make longboards too. We used to get the Indy 500s and chip away a couple of layers so they had a little flex to them because we were little guys and we would get pulled around on mini bikes with big long ropes. How did you get to go to Montebello? Was it by your house? I never got to go to Montebello.
I remember the magazine had a thing about the opening in Montebello, and Carlsbad had just opened. Montebello was the second park that opened. It was ‘76. In the magazine, it had this form and it said, “Send away for memberships.” We signed the thing and sent it away.

Where did you get skate magazines?
We got them at 7-Eleven. That’s where I got Skateboarder and I then got a subscription to that. At first, we went to Dick’s Bike Shop and then I got stuff at Dennis’s. So I signed the form and sent it away to get the membership to Montebello and nothing came in the mail, so we just went down there and it was open. There were thousands of people. It was so crowded, and it was so small, but we would go there quite a bit.

What pros did you see there?
I saw Stacy Peralta there. I saw Bobby Piercy there. Conrad ran the team there. I saw Laura Thornhill there. I saw Wally there. Piercy was there quite a lot at the beginning.

What did you think of their skating abilities?
I wasn’t that good, but we’d already been skating pools. There was a pool across the street and up the hill a little ways, so we could kind of ride pools. Montebello only had one place that had vertical with a little edge, and Leonard was a local and he was probably the best skater there. I remember Skateboarder came out with a centerfold of Piercy doing a kickturn on that wall frontside, bailing. The caption said, “He made 19 out of 20 this day.”

They ran the one that he didn’t make?
I don’t know. I didn’t know that Piercy was a slalom guy. I was thinking, “Leonard and these guys that we are skating pools with are way better than these guys in the magazines.” I saw this guy named J.R. and we were skating this pool up by Montebello. We hadn’t really seen real vertical skating yet. We had seen Alva in photos, but we didn’t know how it translated. I went over the light and I could kickturn and stuff, but then we saw J.R. doing forevers and pumping wheelers. He was kickturning with his hands behind his back. We were like, “Oh, this is how it’s done. This guy is better than the guys in the magazines.” Here’s a photo of this guy bailing on this little wall. This was before we had seen anyone do it. That’s when it kicked off and Montebello became kind of obsolete. Pools were way better.

What about when you took your parents to see you skate a pool?
That was the pool that we had skated it a few times. I told you this story before, but now I have new information, so that story has been adjusted. I took my aunt and my dad to the pool. It wasn’t my mom. My aunt said that she came in with me while my dad was parking the car and I walked around to the deep end. I was riding a Z-Flex board at the time, so I didn’t drop in, but she said that I walked around to the deep end and dropped in.

What kind of Z-Flex board?
It was actually an orange Jay Adams Z-Flex board. My aunt says that I walked around to the deep end and just went in. I said, “Did I fall and trip?” She said, “No. You tried to go in.” I hadn’t learned to drop in yet, so I think her story is wrong, but she said, “You fell in and you were laying there. My dad came in and they were like, “Get up!” They thought I was goofing around like I normally do, but I wasn’t. I got KO-ed. My dad was freaking out. He just lost it. He picked me up and put me in the car and took me to the hospital and I was still out. I didn’t wake up until five hours later in the hospital.

Five hours?
Yeah. My aunt said my dad was losing it. I didn’t know she had seen it happen. So that pool got closed.

You got the pool closed by showing off.
Yeah. I closed the pool by falling on my head. All those guys were like, “You’re the guy that got the pool closed. Now you can’t skate our pools.” At this one pool, they let my friend Monkey skate, but I had to sit on the shallow end steps with my helmet on to watch them skate.

[Laughs] Yes.
Now who’s in the Hall of Fame? [Laughs]

[Laughs] Who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? Helmet Boy!
Not them. [Laughs] Wait. I’m just joking. I think that’s why I tried so hard.

[Laughs] I have to tell you a story about trying to show off. I told my parents that my friend was selling a mini bike.
C’mon. Stay about skateboarding. You don’t want to talk about skateboarding ever. Go ahead.

No. The mini bike was about towing our friends behind it on skateboards. It was amazing. We were having BB gun fights with goggles on and full facemasks. My friend was selling the mini bike, so I was like, “Yes. Now I can get a mini bike and I don’t have to rely on these other dudes that don’t always want to go. They couldn’t really skateboard like me, Steve Thomas and the Alvarez brothers. I get this little mini bike with the Briggs & Stratton 2.5 horsepower, and I was riding it up and down the street. Both my parents come out and they’re standing on the sidewalk. I’m riding it and I’m going in circles trying to show that I totally have it wired. The next thing I know, the throttle sticks just as I’m coming into the turn towards the curb where they are standing. I panicked, hit the curb and got thrown up onto the grass right in front of them, and my dad looks down and says, “Absolutely not.” They both walked in the house. That was it. I bought the mini bike anyway. It was good. We used to get a big rope and kind of waterski skate.
At Concrete Wave, were you better than Gnu or was he better than you?

[Laughs] Oh my god.
We thought he was the best in the pool there.

He for sure was, right?
I thought so, but you won the contest there, right?

I wonder why.
Why? Were you more consistent? You went into the deep? He fell? You won the first pool contest at Concrete Wave. Was it because you could carve and he could only kickturn?

Maybe it was because I could carve and grind and kickturn both ways, and I could do rock n’ rolls before anyone knew what they were. All of a sudden, there was the invert that we did on the hips.
You said you’ve never done the invert.

I hate the invert. No. I love the invert. Who was your first sponsor?
I never got sponsored. I entered a high jump contest at Montebello and won.

Oh you did? How high did you go?
3’6”. It was pretty high for a small kid.

It’s a little more than a yardstick.
I was tiny. My friend could go 4’2”.

Like Ernie Martin out of the East Coast?
Yeah. That was the first contest I entered.

Did any of the guys out of Thrashin’ come up and say, “We want to sponsor you”?
That was at Montebello. They asked me if I wanted to be in a Highway Patrol film. It was a safety film. I think Curtis Hesselgrave was in it. I was the kid that had to put the pads on and then I would have to fall.

“We sat in the boxes that the washing machine came in. We put five boards under it and three of us sat inside it and just went down the sidewalk until we hit the ivy and flew out. There was no surfing involved with us.”

Can you imagine being a little older during that whole craze and realizing that there was money to be made in this industry that was just booming and all fresh and brand new?
No. I can’t imagine that.

[Laughs] You can too. There were a lot of weird characters back then that were like, “Oh, look at this toy that we can make a lot of money off of.”
Yeah. There was a lot of weird stuff going on then. There was a lot of weird product. It was really cool, but weird. The wheelie board was always my favorite.

I couldn’t do a nosewheelie, so I would go to the hardware store every day after school and try to figure out some contraption that would let my nose hit the ground and not stop and just continuously roll.
Did you put a little roller on the top?

I did. I tried every kind of roller they had to do a nosewheelie because I was totally influenced by Bruce Logan’s nosewheelie, or anyone who could do a nosewheelie. I put this little invention together, not to make money or anything, just to find that balancing point. Finally, I got good enough to where I could just nosewheelie.
I never did. I’m going to make that wheelie board right now and I will sell it, actually, because it will sell right now. [Laughs]

It will never sell. [Laughs]
I went through that weird period where I wanted to get all the good boards of the guys that I liked. In ‘79, I had no money for some reason. Then my dad and I started making boards in the bathtub again. We would get plywood and just warp them. That’s when I went to England with these pieces of junk homemade boards. I had learned inverts already, and then I lost them, and I think it was because the product was so bad. When I came back from England, I got a K-Beam. When I got good product, it really helped.

How did you get the K-Beam?
When I got back from England, I went to Upland. I had already skated Upland a bunch, but when we got back from England, I went with Subloski and Henderson. It was right after they poured the combi.

That was long after. I never saw you at Upland.
You never saw me at Lakewood either and I used to go to Lakewood all the time.

Did you see me there?
I don’t really remember you.

[Laughs] Yes.
I knew who you were, but I don’t remember seeing you there. I saw Mini Shred all the time, and I saw  Terry Lourence all the time. I actually really liked her, but everyone did at the time.

What do you mean you liked her? Did you have a crush on her?
Yeah. She was a girl skateboarder that was tough.

[Laughs] Oh, yes. And she was cute.
Yeah, but I was like four.

You were not four.
Whatever. I saw Bobby Valdez there all the time.

What about Darrell Miller?
I saw Darrell Miller and Bobby’s brothers. I saw Pat Brown there. Then I went to that contest there.

Let me ask you this question. When you first started skateboarding and then you became sponsored, did you ever have any thoughts in the back of your head like, “Yeah. That’s right. I should be getting sponsored”?
No. I always had that little beat down feeling because I didn’t get sponsored until late.

When? You got sponsored by Variflex.
Yeah, but that was late. I was 16 or 17. I didn’t get sponsored until really late. I went to Whittier right when Skate City opened. My friend and I went to Whittier and it happened to be the day that they were having park team try-outs. We went in and they had these little contests. Lucero and these guys were the locals I guess. They were hanging out there while it was getting built, so they already knew the people that ran the park, so they were probably going to get on the team, but my friend and I came in and took their places basically.

Oh. Was there a little animosity?
No. We just took their places. This was right at the beginning of ‘80. Greg Tai was managing it, and Taters would always hang out there. George Orton, Ray Bones and Darrell Miller were the local pros. At that contest, George Orton asked me if I wanted to be sponsored. I remember I actually told him, “No. Not really.”

[Laughs] No.
I did. I hadn’t done anything yet. I was like, “Park team? Cool I’ll be on the park team.” I kind of did what my older friends did. I got the impression that they thought I would always act or dress like other skaters that I looked up to. When Shogo Kubo had a headband, I had to get a headband. When Alva had his hat, I had to get an Alva hat. My friends would always make fun of me like, “What are you doing, you poser? Why are you trying to hold your arm like Wally?” I didn’t even notice that I was doing this stuff. I just loved that stuff. I thought my friends thought that being sponsored was not something you’d do as a skateboarder, but when I came back from England, they were all not skating anymore. They all got jobs or whatever. I was going to the skatepark and I was thinking that I should get on the team and keep going. When George asked me to be sponsored, the first thing I thought was that I just wanted to ride for Ray Bones. This was right when Ray Bones board first came out.

You told Orton, “You’re not my top choice.”
I think I really thought that or I just didn’t want to be sponsored. I don’t know. I just remember telling him, “No. I don’t want to be sponsored.” Greg Tai shopped me around. In 1980, He took me to Big O for Steve Cathay to watch me skate. I remember them shopping me around, but no one thought much of me. I remember physically feeling that they were bringing me around like, “Here. What do you think? No? No?”

Greg Tai shopped me too in ‘77.
Oh, he shopped you around too?

Yeah. I rode with Arnie Hoag who was probably one of the best dudes and he tried to shop me to McIntyre. We even lied about my age and said that I was younger to make me look better, but McIntyre said, “No. That kid sucks.” He kicked my skateboard at Skatopia and I told him I would shove it down his fat throat. We were playing Grand Prix racing and my board was there and he came in with a guy on the team and, all of a sudden, he kicked my skateboard. He was like, “Get this piece of shit out of the way.” I was like, “Listen, fat man, I will shove that skateboard down your throat!” I was a little guy too, and I was pissed already. I thought his team was whack.
I was 16 already, so I wasn’t going to get on a team. Nobody wanted a 16-year-old kid. I was always at the wrong place. Then Ray Bones gave me a couple boards and I was thinking, “Okay, I’m going to ride for Ray Bones.”

How psyched were you?
Well, I don’t know if he even knew me. I just thought it might happen. That was right when Stevie and Foss were coming up and they were the kids that were going to be pros. Lucero and those guys were at Whittier, and Greg Tai was gone by then. It was hard for me to get to Whittier because I didn’t live around there.

How did you get there?
My sister would drive me or I would take the bus. We used to have skatepark team days and there would be contests at different parks every month, so I’d just go wherever the contests were. Once you’re on the skate park team, you had to do that. They were like, “Stacy is bringing Stevie and those guys down.” I was like, “This is my chance. I’m going to show them I can ride.” I was a total dirtbag with boards that were smashed to pieces. I was thinking that because Ray hooked me up, Stacy would just take me on, but Ray was already on his way out, so I knew I had to do this on my own, so I showed up and rolled around. To this day, Stevie tells me that they hated me. He said, “You were the local kid that just followed us around and wanted to show us that you were good.” I was like, “I wasn’t trying to show you anything. I was trying to get Stacy to put me on the team.” They were completely not interested in me at all. They actually ended up talking to our friend, Jeff Briliak, that skated there, who could talk better to people, and Stacy ended up giving him product. I was just crushed. I felt like a scumbag. Then Darrell Miller started giving me boards.

That’s when I saw you ride the half-pipe.
I was a full Darrell clone at that point. Then Jerry Hurtado gave me some Indys. This was ASPO days and I did good. I won a lot of them.

Did you skate the USSA contest circuit?
I skated two of them, but I didn’t skate the whole circuit. I skated Escondido and the Marine one. There were so many people at that time. There were so many groups.

I skated USSA. It was crazy. That was so badass. I had to skate against Salba. He was a dirty little scumbag.
He was good, right? He could go really long. He has a lot of energy.

He could rip, and he still can.
To me, that skatepark against skatepark nonsense was the only way I ever got into anything. I wasn’t seen or known by anybody and I was always under the radar. Ngoho tells this story and it makes me feel good. He came to this Paramount contest, and they had so many weird divisions. It was 10 and under, 12-13. 14-15, 16-17 and 18 and over, 1A, 2A, 3A, which was unsponsored, shop sponsored and team sponsored. They had all these groups and there were hundreds of kids skating in these things. I remember my dad took me to Paramount to practice the night before the contest. Nogho was there practicing too and he said, “What group are you in?” I said, “I’m in 14-15.” He said he was thinking, “Oh, darn. He’s going to beat me.” We got to the contest the next day and I was in 1A and he was in 3A. I was unsponsored. I wasn’t even shop sponsored. That’s why I liked Ngoho. He was already in the Gyro Dog Bowl before that. He was already in that pro event and I was sitting in Alhambra, like nothing. I had that weird chip on my shoulder because I missed all that, but I’m glad I missed all that.

Do you feel like you’ve gotten even yet?
It’s not even like that.

[Laughs] Okay. It’s just a joke.
I feel like if I had been there at all the right places, I wouldn’t look at skateboarding in the same way. I still look into it like, “Oh, that’s so rad!” That’s how most of the Whittier guys are. We’re retarded. We’re fans of skateboarding. We’re goofballs. I’m not like Salba.

[Laughs] What does that even mean?
He won the first pool contest, so he has a different look at stuff. He’s like, “I won the first pool contest. It doesn’t matter what any of you guys think.” Do you know what I mean?

No. I don’t know what you mean because I didn’t win the first pool contest.
You guys think the same. You guys don’t respect what it was to other people because you were doing it. You were like, “Whatever. We’re doing it.” People talk to me about the ‘80s, and they’re like, “Oh, you did this demo or this contest.” I’m like, “Whatever. I don’t even care about that.” I’m like, “The Variflex days were the raddest days.” That’s when I felt like I was better.

Why were the Variflex days so much better?
Because I was good. I thought I was good then.

You were happening.
No, I mean… Okay. Stop.

Did you say, “Stop?” Wait. Did you think you were skating at your personal best?
I thought I was better than people thought I was then. I always thought everyone thought, “Oh, he’s lame. He’s not very sponsor-able. He’s not very good.” You know what the industry does.

I know very well.
A lot of people were like, “So you got on Powell and you became good?” I’m like, “No. I was better when I was on Variflex.”

You’ve been on two big teams.
I’ve been on a bunch of teams.

We’re talking about that era. You were on Variflex and Variflex had a big team.
Variflex was huge. They had guys that were dominating. They were good.

Who were the dominators?
Eddie won a bunch of contests and invented a bunch of tricks at that time. Then you had Steve Hirsch and Eric Grisham that won every doubles contest. Grisham was so gnarly. He was even gnarly early on. Patty Hoffman, the girl, won all the events. I did pretty good that year. I got third over all. Billy Ruff and John Gibson destroyed me because they were way better actually.

[Laughs] Tex and Billy Ruff smoked you?
I choked at Marina. I got tenth. I could not skate keyholes. Keyholes are more trick-oriented than line-oriented and I always had an advantage in something that had a line. The contests that I did good in were more line-oriented than trick-oriented. I always did better in the line-oriented stuff. I would do good at Upland. People would come to Upland and have a hard time because it was really line-oriented, but I would go to Marina and it was wall-to-wall tricks and I would choke. I struggled at Del Mar because it was wall-to-wall tricks. Whittier’s clover had a lot of lines. I don’t know. I got on Variflex late. Variflex was already established and had this reputation. When I got on, just like my whole life, I really didn’t fit with the original guys. It was like, “Why are you on Variflex? That’s kind of weird.” When I rode a K-Beam and I rode the combi with Subloski, Salba and those guys were blown away. They thought we were British and they were like, “Those British guys are all into British punk.” Salba was really cool with us. The first time I was there, I did inverts on that north wall. Then I went back there and I was trying it again later and they were like, “Hey, you can’t do stuff on that wall. It doesn’t really work.” I don’t think I ever did a trick on that wall again. I remember that I started going there a few times more and Salba said, “Why are you still here? Why aren’t you in Brittain?” I said, “I’m not British. I live here. I just came with them.” Then I was riding in this contest and my Darrell Miller board got stolen the night before and Steve Hirsch was there and he gave me his board, so I rode his board in the contest the next day. The connections are crazy. That’s when Steve was like, “They want to put you on Variflex.”

“I remember my dad saying, “Just get everything on paper with your skateboarding deals.” After becoming that kind of skateboarder dude, I was like, “He’s so stupid. This is not like that. He doesn’t know anything.” I should have listened.”

I thought that George Orton put you on?
No, that was the year before, when I said, “No.” I didn’t get on Variflex until over a year after that. George wasn’t even on the Variflex team when I got on. He was on Santa Cruz.

Don’t say that.
[Laughs] Yep. You guys were all on the same team together.

[Laughs] Wow. Did you have to skate all the different disciplines in those contests or was it just bowls?
I had to skate everything. It was rad. I got on Variflex and I went to Upland and that was it. I was on Variflex, so Salba blew his nose on me and I wasn’t the same kid anymore at all.

No way! He just blew his nose on you?
Yeah. I was on Variflex, and there was that heavy rivalry with Santa Cruz. I always played neutral. I was proud of the team we had. We had Allen Losi. I didn’t even mention Allen Losi. He was insane.

Didn’t they run Colton?
Yeah. They bought it from Lou Peralta. Lou Peralta owned Skatercross and he was going to close it and that’s how Allen’s dad got in there. He bought it. Allen Losi was insane at that point. I loved and respected those guys and they were doing what they were doing. I didn’t fit that Variflex mold because I wasn’t really from that era. I came in late. I remember Duane telling me, “You’re the only dude I like on the team.” I was very much more after his kind of approach in my mind. I saw both worlds. I saw that Eddie might win the contests because he had a better take on how to compete, and he invented these tricks, but Duane was more of a theatrical show that connected to people and made them want to be him. I realized that skateboarding was more about that because tricks kind of just go away. When people don’t know, they don’t know. It was less about being good and having tricks and it was more about touching people and really affecting them and making them have an emotional connection to it. I learned that early on. I saw that from looking at the photos in the magazine and seeing what I wanted and what I didn’t want.

It’s weird that both of those dudes came from the same team.
Yeah. I always tripped out on that. You’d see the magazines and there was a heavy Santa Cruz against Variflex vibe going on. I think a lot of it stemmed from Variflex dudes riding Variflex trucks and not Indys. If there were Variflex dudes riding Indys at that time, I don’t think it would have been like that.

It was probably something Fausto had brought into it because he was such an amazing marketer.
Well, everyone turned it into style against robots. Everyone turned it into Eddie vs. Duane. Then it was old surf style vs. brand new robot style. That was kind of absurd because Eddie and Duane skate exactly the same. Technically, they skated the same. They had the same style. Duane didn’t really surf. He didn’t have surf style like you. Duane is very aggressive and more theatrical, but it turns you on. It’s not surf style. It’s not old style and new style.

Do you think Duane picked up that whole theatrical thing from Skateboard Mania?
[Laughs] He’s a performer. He was so exciting to watch. He was aggressive. Then you have Neil Blender, who was the third kind of those guys, which is another realm that was influential to us.

How so?
Neil is a thinker. He thought things out. He was like, “What can I do with it? Maybe I can push it this way.” Neil was constantly messing with things, and trying to do things differently, and that was hugely influential to us. Neil was influential in a lot of different ways. I’m sure he was just like a big weird kid to you guys at Big O. I don’t know. Those days were fun. It died and nobody was skating. It was just ten people and we were just trying stuff on skateboards for no reason. I would do pretty badly at contests and I couldn’t care less. I knew I could do good. I remember at the Palmdale contest, I didn’t really care about doing good. I had learned invert channels at my house and no one had done them because no one had channels. It was like a year before everyone was doing invert channels. I remember Palmdale had a channel, so I was doing this invert channel to show people. I was focused on trying to do an invert in the channel because I thought it was new. I got fifth in that contest, but I got a centerfold doing an invert in the channel, so that’s all that really mattered to me. I didn’t really have anyone telling me that I had to win to really get people to care about what I did. I always thought about that when I thought of David Z and Teddy Bennett on Powell.

[Laughs] I love this. What did you think of them being on Powell and you not being on Powell?
I was jealous. David Z was rad.

[Laughs] You are so amazing.
Well, I wasn’t as jealous of that as Jeff Briliak getting Powell stuff from Stacy.

You were really pissed about that.
Yeah. I couldn’t understand it. Ray was giving me stuff. I couldn’t figure it out. That all makes me like it more. Foss always tells me that he got on and he was charging it and then it became this thing and he just wasn’t interested in it. In the Gold Cup contests, the Oasis contest was the first real contest I entered. I was an amateur and Foss was an amateur and I beat Foss that day. I thought he was the best, but he was over it already. He burned out and didn’t really want to do it. I probably could have burned out early on if I would have done anything, but by not having it, it made me still want it. I always thought that. I could be wrong. The next contest was Big O and I won it.

As an amateur, you won the Gold Cup?
Yes.

Who won the pro?
Duane.

Boom! Sharing it with the master.
I was sharing it with Duane. I remember feeling like I had arrived, but there were no photos of me in the magazines. There was nothing.

Oh, no way.
Why would they shoot photos of me? They were like, “That kid isn’t going to do good in this thing.” That was the reality. I knew I had to swim uphill.

You’re still swimming up hill.
Yes. I am.

No, not now. I mean then.
No. I mean now. I’m still swimming uphill now. [Laughs] It becomes a mental state of mind of how you think you’re perceived. I love that. I want to be there. What about you?

I don’t care.
You pretend not to care, but you care. You love skateboarding.

I love skateboarding for sure.
You would have stopped skateboarding, like everyone else, if you didn’t care.

I absolutely care. It’s fun. Are we talking contests? I can go and smoke anyone in a contest if I were up to par because I can compete. I don’t mean that in an egotistical way, but more in strategic way.
Yeah. Here’s the difference though. Here’s why you look at me sometimes and think I’m too crazy about it. Here’s the way I look at it. Here’s what always affected me about it. I was not going to let what happened to all those guys before me happen to me. I was not going to let it happen.

What dudes?
I’m talking about every one of you guys that had a two-year window of compensation for what you did. You had a two-year window and then the companies decided they didn’t need you anymore and they got someone else or they said, “Oh, skateboarding has changed.” A lot of skaters saw it that way. They thought the companies bailed on them. I saw it in a different way like the whole thing just bailed on them. You had to figure out how to make it happen. Someone like Ray Bones looked at it like, “Those guys bailed on me.” But the whole thing changed. I was like, “I’m not going to let anyone decide how long I get to do it and how much I’m going to get paid for it or if I get to keep doing it or if there’s a place for me. I’m not going to let that little window disappear.”

I thought it was the coolest when that went away and it didn’t matter about the competition or any of that. When it died, it was totally badass and that was the most fun time because then you were skating for the pure joy of skateboarding and not to win a contest or sell boards or any bullshit like that.
I’m not sure if that’s why those guys quit or moved on. Who knows?

When your board sales go down, it’s over.
I was making $14 a month on Variflex. I think I got a $50 check once. It didn’t matter. That wasn’t the point. The point was that I was not going to let it die. I was not going to let it not let me be involved in it the way it didn’t let other people be involved in it. Everyone says it’s their choice. I would love to see Jay Smith still getting photos and being involved but, for some reason, he thought there was nothing there and he had to go figure life out. I wasn’t going to go figure life out. [Laughs] I was just going to keep skating and I was going to figure out how to make skating pay because I had a family. I think I come from a very desperate position, which is pathetic. I just love it where you’re a lot more relaxed.

I grew up with the fact that these dudes could not produce something that they could make a lot of money from and they just lost interest in that side of the world of skateboarding. They couldn’t make what I was designing, so I was like, “Okay, if they can’t do that than why bother?”
Are you talking about designing boards and stuff?

I’m talking about the business side of the industry. It’s part of skateboarding, but that ruined it a little bit, I thought.
As gnarly as the ‘90s got, it was rad. We fought through the ‘80s to survive and not let this thing that we loved just disappear. We tried to hold onto that big era before us, and then it boomed again and we were like, “Yes! There’s a payoff.” Then it died again and got worse in the ‘90s. It just went down to nothing again. For me, the ‘90s proved to me what I was thinking as a kid. It doesn’t matter what anyone says you’re capable of or if you can sell product or you have value or no value. It’s so easy to do it yourself. I’m just going to do it. I don’t care what those guys that run companies think, and then I ran a company, so I saw both sides of it. Those kids didn’t care what I was doing. Some of us can do it ourselves and some of us can’t. It’s that whole thing of doing it yourself. It will probably happen again. What do you think? Besides not caring about any of it, was any of it any fun?

I loved every bit of it.
You just like to pretend you didn’t care about it? Wait. You were asking me if I skated all disciplines, freestyle, slalom, bank slalom, cross country and pools. Yeah. I was good at all of them except for freestyle.

Bowl riding was happening. I wouldn’t think you had to do all the disciplines.
Well, it was parks against parks and the overall score was based on all disciplines. I think the parks put together teams with guys from all disciplines. I think Eddie Meek was the guy from Big O and he dominated slalom and he was a really good bowl rider and he could bank slalom, so he really had an advantage because I could not tight slalom. He got first that year and I got second. I could not freestyle at all and I could not tight slalom as good as him. Okay. Wait. Did you go to college?

Yeah. I went to college in New York for two weeks.
My semester turned into two days, actually.

[Laughs] Wait. I want to know more.
Do you think you should have won Spring Valley?

I don’t know. No. The guy who won won.
I was just joking. Of course, he won. He beat all of you. [Laughs]

I’m not joking. Did you just say that?
I could never go back and say that I should have won a contest.

No. It all happens for a reason. You’re at a skateboard contest and they’re going to have a bowl riding contest. They really hadn’t had a professional bowl riding contest yet, so they didn’t know what they’re doing. It was run by a slalom racer who was crazy enough to go for it, which is amazing in its own right. There was no bowl rider guy having a bowl riding contest. It’s a slalom guy having the first bowl riding contest, probably egged on by his sponsors, who were helping fund the whole contest.
Before they got pushed out of the whole industry.

Yeah. C’mon. It was amazing. Then you were skating against all the guys you would see in all the magazines.
Did you feel like you were coming into someone else’s thing with all these guys in the magazines and you get to skate against them? Did you feel like that?

I was coming in like, “Okay. Now we get to prove who is better than the other, based on someone else’s opinion.”
So you felt like you were coming into it from the outside? You said you were coming into this contest and you were going to skate against all these guys in the magazines, as if you had never been in the magazines yet, so you might not have been.

I wasn’t really in the magazines yet.
So you felt like you were coming into it as an outsider and you thought you could take this.

No. I just thought, “Oh, wow. This is a little crazy. We’re going up against these guys that are so great and amazing. Then you come in and you’re riding with them.
And you felt like you could beat them or lose?

I thought, “I can win!” [Laughs]
I love it because that was Salba’s year for Skater of the Year that you took away from him.

It happens. I’m kidding. It was his year?
It would have been, right?

That would have been his year for Skater of the Year because he won the contest?
Yeah. He came in and won a few of the contests and then you came in and won the other few contests. It was like a shared year almost.

Who did he ride for?
At that time, he rode for Kryptonics and you rode for Santa Cruz. It’s like you said, “It’s all bought and paid for.”

Some of us are more strategic than others.
Yeah. Didn’t he ride for Kryptonics then?

Let me see. They made millions of dollars off of Road Rider and these guys were trying to get into the skateboard industry.
What board company did Salba ride for?

He rode for Alva.
Yeah. He bounced around. At the first Hester contest, he was riding a G&S board.

I don’t think he was riding a G&S board. He was riding a wood board with a sticker on it maybe.
He was riding Yo-Yos.

Everyone was riding Yo-Yos at that contest. I was riding the old reliable 5-ply rocker. I liked the rocker.
Who were the guys you thought were good?

All those guys were good. After watching contests and seeing how it went down, I was thinking that to go and compete was pretty simple.
The strategy to competing was one thing.

Yeah. The first runs were two minutes long, so it was an endurance test.
It was just a little exercise event. Were there guys that you thought were good?

Dennis Martinez was really good at Spring Valley. Doug “Pineapple” Saladino was really good. Mike Weed was really good. A lot of dudes were super good.
Was it different at the Upland Hester where you had to ride the pipe and the bowl thing?

That was good too.
Who was good there? Was that more of a localized place where the locals were really good?

Every place was a localized spot. Spring Valley was a favorite to the G&S dudes. Then a couple of them slammed hard and I was like, “Wow.”
Who?

Settle down. I think Martinez knocked himself out. Pineapple got slammed, so all the favorites were out and it was wide open. The next thing you know, we were going to Upland and Upland was fun. I remember T.A. saying, “I just try to go anywhere and rip. I thought that was a good approach. So thanks, Tony. I owe you one. It was totally amazing. You’d go to all these contests and see all these guys and you’d go to these skateparks and it was totally fun because you’d meet new dudes from different areas. It was the camaraderie of riding skateboards and who had the same sense of humor. It wasn’t as serious as it started to get. Spring Valley was amazing because the first weekend it got rained out, so everyone met and knew what was happening. It got rained out twice, so by then, everyone knew the bowl. It was like, “Okay, let’s see who is going to rip.” It was fun. I was thinking, “I’m 16 and I’m skating against all these dudes and I can actually maybe win.”
Yeah. That is awesome. It would have been fun to experience that. I’m not that much younger than you. I think it would have been fun to experience that rather than to experience it a lot later. To me, when we got put in that position, the locals had their place wired, so everyone had their skill set and knew what they had to do. After the first year, people learned the technique and the theory behind it and they figured out what they had to do. A lot of people were just good only at their own park, but being good everywhere really started to matter. After the first two Hesters, that whole skill set was developed and then it could just be seen. After the two Hesters, there were 30 or 40 kids at every park that could have been or should have been in there. Skating with kids now, they adapt so quickly. There was a period when people didn’t adapt. They were just good at what they were doing because they did it over and over and over.

“All those guys were like, “You’re the guy that got the pool closed. Now you can’t skate our pools.” They let my friend Monkey skate, but I had to sit on the shallow end steps with my helmet on to watch them skate.”

You had to adapt. That was important.
I think it’s important again, and these young kids adapt so quickly now.

They adapt beyond.
Yeah. It’s so rad.

It was still fresh and new then.
I just couldn’t imagine those kids that are really good now having that experience. There’s no chance whatsoever to experience what you experienced because it’s 30 years later.

That’s just evolution. It was amazing. We made great friends and it was totally fun.
Who were your best friends?

I skated with Gregg Ayres and Rodd Saunders a lot. I saw those dudes at Skatopia and they made fun of me because I had on leopard skin swimsuit shorts.
It wasn’t a one piece?

No. It wasn’t. [Laughs]
Was that your take on punk rock?

No. Punk rock wasn’t even happening then. I just liked leopard skin. I wish I had those shorts still, and the shoes too.
Where were Greg and Rodd from?

They were from South Bay. We skated with Kevin Anderson and this guy Dave Forest from E.T.
Kevin Anderson was so good.

He just charged, super gnarly. He’s just a gnarly human being. He ripped. He was the Worm. Anyone who would edge out at Paramount’s big bowl was insane to me.
I saw him skate it too and we were tripping. He was gnarly. What does Gregg Ayres do now?

He’s a CPA.
Are you in touch with Rodd nowadays too?

I talk to Rodd Saunders. He works in the movie industry as a grip.
What was skating to those guys?

Life. Everyone skated because they loved skateboarding.
Why do you think skateboarding ended for them?

I think it ended because things started to advance. I got chucked to the curb because I hurt my ankle and I was out for 4-6 months, which was insane.
Back then everything was happening so fast.

By then, things swapped, Miller flips, inverts, rock n rolls, and all of those things started to roll and tricks were starting to advance and go above the coping.
How did you get hurt?

I got hurt before the second Hester contest. I rolled my ankle at the infamous San Antonio demo.
I want to hear that story.

We went to San Antonio and it was amazing. It was 30 pros, no supervision on the plane. It was Strople, Martinez, Blackhart, Stecyk, Hackett, myself, Salba, Bobby Valdez and the list goes on. We went to a skatepark and Big Bob, the promoter was there and they were having the Texas State Championships. He was like, “I need a little help putting this contest together and, the next we know, he just disappeared and we were running his contest. He had promised us this deal where he flew us down, which was completely insane. We got there and he was like, “You’re going to be staying at this all girls school in the dorms.
[Laughs] Perfect.

We were supposed to be getting paid this certain amount of money and all these promises, which fell through except for one thing. “You’re going to help run my contest.” He had nothing but a huge supply of Nike Blazers, so I had this idea, and I turned everyone one else on to it too, because we were into hustling people at that moment. I said, “Hey, Bob, my shoes are a little bit worn out and I don’t have time to go to a shoe store and get new ones. Could I possibly get a pair of shoes for helping you do all this?” He was like, “Of course, help yourself, Steve.” I went in and grabbed a pair of shoes and put them in my bag. Then I decided I would go back with an empty box and put in another pair of shoes. I did that a few times. When you look back at that era, you can see my shoes change in the pictures in the magazines.
I don’t really remember seeing much coverage of that event in San Antonio.

It was where Blackhart rearranged the sculpture in the hotel and then they split and went to the Amarillo pipes.
Which magazine covered it?

It didn’t get that much coverage. I’m talking about the shoes I was wearing in photos in the magazines later.
Was that around the time that Schneider got his cover in Amarillo? [Olson’s phone rings] I can’t even have a conversation with you between the phone ringing and the neighbors visiting.

I have to answer this. This is for my son.
Okay. You’re the first professional skateboarder to have a professional skateboarder as a son, right?

I’m sure there were dudes before.
Who? Tony Hawk is the only one after. My son never went pro.

He could have if he had chosen to.
He didn’t want to.

My kid thought, “Oh, my dad is such a loser. I know I can make something out of this.” [Laughs] What about when you and I went to give that talk at the MOCA in Virginia? Did you have fun doing that?
Yes. That was pretty good. Can we do another one of those? It was bizarre.

Okay, I’m going to tell the story. I got a call from this dude and he says, “I want you to come out here and speak about the transition from being a skateboarder to making art.”
At a museum in front of people…

Yes. I was like, “That’s crazy. I can’t do that by myself.”
Oh really? That’s why I got pulled in? [Laughs]

Yeah. No. I said, “I think it would be more interesting if we brought in someone from another generation. It would be smart to bring in a guy like Lance Mountain.” He said, “No way.” I said, “Yes way.”
Oh, you mean he said “No way,” like he couldn’t believe you knew me? Or like, “No way. We’re not having that guy here?”

[Laughs] No. It was like, “No way. You can get Lance Mountain here?”
Wait. You didn’t explain it to me that way. It sounds like I could have charged more under those circumstances.

[Laughs] Oh no. They had a budget. I definitely work a budget well.
[Laughs] When are we going to do that again?

That was the longest flight home ever. We went from Virginia to Baltimore to Tennessee on AirTran.
That was rad. I wish we could just do things like that all the time. We could do that and go skating and get paid for it. That would be insane. That would be so fun.

I thought that was amazing. We were like, “What airline are we flying on?” The itinerary said, “AirTran.” I was like, “Have you ever heard of AirTran before?” And you said, “No. We’re going to be flying with livestock. They’ve got a couple of jump seats next to the chickens and the cows.” They said we could only bring one bag that was 15” x 15” because that was all the space left.
What’s going on with the skate-able sculpture you did in Louisiana? Is it still up?

“We even lied about my age and said that I was younger to make me look better, but McIntyre said, “No. That kid sucks.” He kicked my skateboard at Skatopia and I told him I would shove it down his fat throat.”

It’s up. Okay. I’m telling the MOCA story. So we get to MOCA in Virginia and we’re there for three or four days for an hour-long speaking engagement. We’re cruising around and we ride some new park out in Farmdale, or somewhere, and we see Henry Guiterrez. And you’re sick.
Oh yeah.

We get to the museum and we’re talking to the guy and asking if there are images or what and he told us that he had pulled some stuff off the Internet, but if we had photos, he could use them. We were like, “What kind of photos can you use?”
At that point, I was like, “What are we doing here?”

[Laughs] Never mind that. That was fine. The guy was like, “Well, if you have photos on your phone, I can use those.” Then it was just this bombardment of photos from the phone. I really had a blast. I really had so much fun doing it.
It was rad. People were actually sitting there listening. It was absurd. Most of them were art students trying to figure out how to turn their passion into making a living. They were probably really good artists and we’re up on stage telling them how to do it and we can’t do anything compared to them. Our thought was that if you turned professional skateboarder and you win the first pool contests and do a few of those things, then you can sell your art later. You could get in the first video ever made for skateboarding perhaps and parlay that right into fine art. I think a lot of them went away thinking, “Those guys are nuts.”

They thought, “Those guys certainly know how to hustle.” [Laughs]
I think they loved it though. I’ve talked to a ton of people about skateboarding and all that stuff has defined some part of people’s culture, so it is art, but I don’t think I ever looked at it that way. Being in those situations, you realize it is.

“They asked me if I wanted to be in a Highway Patrol film. It was a safety film. I think Curtis Hesselgrave was in it.”

It’s a big giant collective.
I see it now. I never saw it then.

I still don’t see it.
Really? You showed me it.

We were up on this huge stage with this giant screen. We’re sitting at this table, and I’ve had a few beers. [Laughs] The mediator guy is asking questions and it was kind of like “Good cop, bad cop.”
No. It was like “Bad cop, bad cop.”

It was about following your passion.
We were sitting in the hotel room and I said, “Steve, what are we going to talk about?” And you said, “Don’t even worry about it.” I was like, “What are we going to say? What are we going to do?” You said, “Don’t worry about it. I got it covered.” We get up there and they ask a few questions and you were like, “Oh, I don’t even care.” Someone was trying to be serious, and you’re just laughing the whole time and making jokes. I was trying to answer their questions and be serious. Isn’t that how it went?

“He took me to Big O for Steve Cathay to watch me skate. I remember them shopping me around, but no one thought much of me. I remember physically feeling that they were bringing me around like, “Here. What do you think? No? No?”

Maybe.
It was good. It was kind of like Laurel and Hardy.

It was nice. They would ask a question and I would say, “I think Lance should probably handle that one.” Then we got another gig at MODA, the Museum of Design in Atlanta. That’s another one I reeled you into.
Yeah. There have been a lot of good ones. Let’s do another one.

“I was the kid that had to put the pads on and then I would have to fall.”

It’s on. I want to talk about Atlanta. We fly into Atlanta and the hotel needed a credit card for incidentals, so I gave them my credit card and it was declined. You had to put it on your credit card and I was like, “I’m not going to use any incidentals.”
I was like, “Please don’t use any incidentals because I don’t have much money.” I got the bill later and it was $360.

Oh, it was $360?
Do you want to see the bill?

Yes. It was $334.
It may have started at $334, but there’s interest after six years. [Laughs] What did you get for $360?

I didn’t buy anything. It was a guest.
Oh, be my guest, guest. [Laughs]

It was not, “Be my guest.” [Laughs]
It was looking for love in all the wrong places.

[Laughs] Oh, yes. We were out in Atlanta and all these couples were walking by all hammered. It was groups of people. You looked at me and said, “Look. They’re all looking for love in all the wrong places.” [Laughs] I was like, “Whoa.”
That one chick was throwing up on the curb and they were holding her hair out of her face. She had on her high heels and couldn’t walk. [Laughs]

The best thing is we’re on this museum trip and we’re thinking this is bizarre, but the exhibit looked pretty nice with all these board graphics. They flew us in, but they weren’t paying us a dime, but it’s cool. Skateboarders aren’t worth a penny anyway. [Laughs]
Just to be here is an honor, still… [Laughs]

[Laughs] Yes! We’re sitting there and we’ve been at this place for hours. The people that ran the museum didn’t want to do this show at all, but the guy who set it up was totally down and he skated and he did a great job of curating the whole thing.
Yeah. It was great.

We’re sitting there for six hours and then we go to get something to eat down the street and the guy gets a text from the director of the museum that said, “How dare you leave?” Then you lost it for a second. It was the best. You said, “How dare she ask us that!”
I think I was playing. That was when I met Load Warrior.

Is he the guy that knocked you out? [Laughs] Oh, tell me that story please!
I don’t know. I got knocked out. I got sucker punched and I don’t remember any of it.

Why did you get sucker punched?
I shot my board into the crowd at a contest and I guess it hit someone. I went back to get it and I said, ‘I’m sorry. I feel bad. Sorry about that.” I felt bad, but I guess his girlfriend was egging him on for the rest of the contest, saying, “You’re not going to let him get away with that!” Then I was putting my stuff in a bag and I was leaning up against the fence, and then I just remember waking up and Christian Hosoi and all these guys were standing around me saying, “Who did it? We’re going to get him for you. We’ll get him!” I was like, “Whatever. It doesn’t matter.” It was their buddy, so they weren’t going to do anything. It was Load. He was an Atlanta rager and still is. He was there at the MODA show and that was cool. It was rad because his daughter came up to me and said, “Hey, my dad knocked you out.”

“I got on Variflex and I went to Upland and that was it. I was on Variflex, so Salba blew his nose on me and I wasn’t the same kid anymore at all.”

[Laughs] Yes!
I was like, “Yes.” I had met him before that too. It was cool. I liked that. Wait. That art show you did in Shreveport with the skate-able sculpture, are they going to do anymore of that stuff?

I don’t know, but we did the wall ride too.
How is the skate-able structure? Is it still up?

Yep. It’s up. It’s there for everyone to ride, for as long as it lives.
That’s rad. Is the one in Houston different?

Yes. I built an art project down there with Dennis McNett. I’m doing another art show there with some English people.
Why didn’t you invite me to that one?

I’m not running that one. It’s not a skate show. It’s an art show.
What do you think I do?

[Laughs] It’s not like that. I can always get us into any skate show. How did you get into building skate pools?
I build stuff all the time. I always built stuff to skate because I couldn’t go anywhere, so we built stuff. My friends and I started out by building a half pipe right after the Rampage in ‘77. We put flat bottom on it and everything. Ramps didn’t even have flat bottom then. Ever since then, we’ve always built stuff to skate or altered stuff. Back when street skating was really happening in the ‘90s, we built ramps after ramps. We built the Animal Chin ramp. We did all sorts of stuff just to have stuff to skate.

Tell me about the Animal Chin ramp.
Stacy wanted to build a ramp. He wanted a very impressive ramp for the end of the video, so he asked if we had any ideas. He said, “Every ramp is 24 feet wide, so what if we built a wider one?” We started throwing out ideas like, “What about two ramps and extensions and channels?” We started throwing ideas into it.

Was it a collective of everyone’s ideas?
I think it was. At the end of the day, I drew up the little idea that was made. It’s always a collective. I don’t really think of anything. I just take everyone’s ideas and put them together.

That was a pretty impressive ramp.
I guess it was, for the time.

I don’t see ramps like that nowadays.
That’s because it doesn’t work really good.

[Laughs] Why not?
Well, we built a spine ramp. It was the first spine ever built on a vert ramp. It’s more of a mini ramp type thing. I hate spines. We were just building stuff out of wood because we didn’t even think about building with concrete. We didn’t even think that was possible. I was sick of just going back and forth. I wanted to ride snake runs. We didn’t have many options, so we had to build options into stuff. Then I helped build and design that Kevin Harris mini ramp, and then the second one. It became a trend to build mini ramps with a bunch of options. We’ve always built stuff to skate. When street skating kind of took over and I had a team, I was always altering spots to be rideable. I remember the kids going, “This is kind of stupid.” But that’s completely what everyone does now. You just run out of stuff to do, so you just keep building. The way I got into building pools was I wanted to build a pool at my house. Realistically, I didn’t like any of the pools that people had built at their houses over the years, because they didn’t feel like a mini ramp, six foot shallow and ten foot deep and you just drop in. It didn’t feel like the old pools for some reason, so that’s how I got involved. I just started barging in and saying, “What about doing it this way or that way?” I have to admit that I physically don’t do any of the work. I don’t want to take it away from any of the guys that do the labor side of it. I do design and overseeing of pools and building the template.

“I saw that Eddie might win the contests because he had a better take on how to compete, and he invented these tricks, but Duane was more of a theatrical show that connected to people and made them want to be him.”

What’s your favorite one you’ve done?
I know the worst one that I’ve done.

That’s not the question. The question is what is your favorite one that you did?
I don’t know. They’re all different. I don’t have a favorite one. They’re all different. I think Arto’s is the most successful in terms of making a real pool that’s understandable for the street skaters to make this type of skating interesting, because of the place. They can see you ride it or see someone ride it with a different technique than they ever knew of. They can see Oster skate it. Because of Arto’s and because of the place and because of the group of kids that are going to ride it, it’s the most successful in my mind.

What is your favorite to ride? Yours?
I think mine was the most skate-able, but I rode it the other day and I can’t even get to the top now. When I rode it a lot, it seemed like the one.

That’s where you did your part for the video.
Yeah. The only reason is because it has a little more vert than most of the other ones, but I don’t even ride mine at all anymore. It’s so boring. It’s because you need people to skate with. Moorpark is really good. No one rides there, but it’s really interesting because it’s more of a hybrid of a backyard pool and a skatepark pool. I really liked it because it had line options. The idea of it came from the Buddha bowl. I want to do another version of that. Which one is your favorite? Do you like any of them?

“I absolutely care. It’s fun. Are we talking contests? I can go and smoke anyone in a contest if I were up to par because I can compete. I don’t mean that in an egotistical way, but more in strategic way.”

I like all of them. I really like Arto’s too because it’s really close to my house, and it’s totally fun. I also like that clover down at the Vans park.
It’s really different.

I like Angelo’s. I know you didn’t do Johnny O’Shei’s, but I really like Johnny O’Shei’s just because of the difference of it. I like backyard pools. Rusty’s is pretty fun, even though I didn’t get to skate it because of some prior obligations and getting sunburned.
What pools did you like in the skatepark era of the Hester/Gold Cup days?

I liked Big O. I liked all the skateparks, but I really liked Big O.
Did you like it because you won the event there?

[Laughs] That too. I liked the pool. I liked the endless lines.
Usually, when you win there, you like it. I liked that one too. Didn’t we both win in that pool?

[Laughs] I think we did.
What other pools did we win in?

Wait. You won the Gold Cup there?
You won the earlier one. What other pools?

Winchester was amazing.
Did you ever jump the channel at Winchester?

[Laughs] No. I did not. You did?
Yeah. I was riding a Variflex.

I really liked Lakewood’s halfpipe and Del Mar’s halfpipe and Paramount’s halfpipe.
I saw footage this morning of Ray Bones, Micke and Grisham at a halfpipe contest. It looks like Lakewood, but there’s this building in the background.

Maybe it was Campbell.
That came in from both sides though and went straight. It didn’t have a slant like Lakewood. Was there a pro contest at Campbell back then?

I don’t know.
It’s weird. It looks like Lakewood.

I liked the moguls. I liked the skatepark period.
We have to build some moguls. Those are fun.

Do you know that I really became friends with you through our kids?
Yeah. You never talked to me when you were on Santa Cruz and I was on Variflex.

[Laughs] That is so not true. I was not one of those Santa Cruz dudes that didn’t talk to the Variflex dudes.
I won all the Am contests and you were one of the judges, so you must have liked me.

You know what? We’re even. [Laughs]
[Laughs] I first met you through skateboarding. You were a top pro and I was an amateur. I just started beating you at every contest, and then you started judging the contests. I knew of you for years, but I didn’t do a lot of drugs, so I didn’t hang out with you that much. [Laughs]

[Laughs] Like I was a drug addict?
No. I was being silly. We really met when our kids started skating together and then we’d end up skating together.

How did our kids become friends?
They were skating together at the Vans skatepark. It was more through Ed Templeton, because they both wanted to ride for Toy Machine at one time, so I think that’s how they started spending more time together. It was mainly from skating Vans, because we lived really close to that.

“There was no bowl rider guy having a bowl riding contest. It’s a slalom guy having the first bowl riding contest, probably egged on by his sponsors, who were helping fund the whole contest.”

Right. We’d always session Vans.
Then they wanted to skate all the time, so they’d go off and go street skating.

Then Alex would go down and spend the night at your house and I had no problem with that. I knew he was totally safe there.
We were living in such a ghetto. We were in a two-bedroom apartment.

It was so amazing. I always wondered why Cyril never came up here and then I realized that you didn’t trust me.
[Laughs] My son wasn’t allowed to go anywhere until he moved out and got married at 18. He could do whatever he wanted then.

You wouldn’t let him come up and spend the night at my house though.
I don’t think he even asked.

He came up once, just so you know.
He did? At some point, we started letting him do whatever. We let him start experiencing doing stuff. We went to Europe and let him go to Copenhagen and stay with those guys. It was the wrong thing to do, but we let him do it.

What do you mean?
I don’t know. It’s not the wrong thing to do. It was the right thing to do, but the stuff that he was exposed to was just lame. It was going to happen somewhere.

Well, my kid and your kid became good friends and I was like, “Wow. That’s kind of ironic.”
Yeah, especially with you being on Santa Cruz and me being on Variflex…. [Laughs]

[Laughs] That’s how we started out again. Then I was riding for Black Label and you were riding for the Firm.
Those were fun times.

We skated a lot more then. How old were our kids when they met?
Alex was 15 and Cyril was 16.

Alex was 15 because he was like, “Can you give me a ride down to Orange County?”
It was cool. We skated a ton then.

What about your wife, Yvette, hearing Alex and Cyril talk about taxes?
That was great. My son and Alex were talking about making money.

They were talking about what it might be like if they made it big and made some money.
Yeah. So my wife was saying, “Well, when you make money, make sure you take 50% of it and put it away for taxes. Be smart. Don’t spend it all. Put 50% of it away.” When you get taxes it will usually be 30% of what you have saved.” She just piped in and then went out of the room, and she overheard Alex say to Lance, “Your mom is so stupid.”

[Laughs] Oh no.
Saving! Taxes! What?!! Wasn’t that the story?

[Laughs] They’re like, “What is wrong with these old people? I can’t believe they’re still alive. How did they make it this far?”
That’s when my son was 17 and he was hanging out with my friends like Ed Templeton who was 30 and I was 40. My son was telling Ed Templeton, “My dad just does not understand me.” It was that whole thing. Templeton was like, “What are you talking about? You guys are the same person. You can’t give me this story.” It was good. [Laughs]

You told me one time, “I just don’t get it. Cyril doesn’t talk to me anymore.” I was like, “Oh, that’s not cool.”
You said, “That’s because you raised your kid wrong. You should have done it like me.” I believe that’s what you said.

[Laughs] No. I said, “Of course, he’s not talking to you. Would you talk to you?”
That’s because I’m lame. You said, “You’re not a cool dad like me.”

[Laughs] No. I wasn’t saying that. I said, “I just don’t know if that is going to happen with me and Alex. It seems like we’re pretty tight.”
I said, “Just wait. It’s going to be the most painful thing to ever happen to you.”

You said, “Okay. Sure. Whatever. You’re just as lame as I am.” [Laughs] I was thinking to myself, “No way. It’s just because you’re way too strict.” That’s what I was thinking, whether it’s right or wrong. I was definitely wrong.
Yeah. I wasn’t strict enough.

Yeah. Then Alex turned 17 and he just stopped talking to me.
[Laughs] Crickets.

Yes! Totally. I was like, “Hey, how’s it going?” Usually, it would be, “Oh, you know, I’m not doing anything.” It was always that. Then it was like nothing. I found a note I wrote him when we lived up in Malibu. I left him a note that said, “I went to the store. Blah, blah, blah. Love, Dad.” Later, I went in his room and I found this note and underneath where it said, “Love, Dad,” he wrote, “Biggest Dick Ever Idiot!!!” He stopped talking to me. I was like, “This is unbelievable. This is the most painful thing I’ve ever dealt with.” So I called you and I was like, “What’s going on?” You’re like, “Oh, Alex stopped talking to you.” I was like, “How did you know?” I knew you were thinking, “You aren’t that cool. It happens to every one of us lame ducks!” [Laughs] It was funny, but it just crushes you because you go from being this kid’s little mentor teacher kind of guy to being the biggest lamest jerk out there. It’s just separation and individuality, I know, but I was laughing so hard like, “Oh, it’s actually happening to me.” It was a mad ego check.
It’s funny because you don’t think about this stuff until it happens to you. I was thinking about it and when I was a kid, my dad and I didn’t really hang out or talk or do anything. I wanted to play baseball once and he swung at the ball and missed and fell down because he was used to playing cricket, and he just went in the house. Skateboarding was out. It was cool though. We’d build models together and do silk-screening and stuff like that, but I didn’t really communicate with him at all. He was just the way he was because of the war, I think. I never asked why.

“When it died, it was totally badass and that was the most fun time because then you were skating for the pure joy of skateboarding and not to win a contest or sell boards or any bullshit like that.”

They were just different.
Yeah. Well, when my wife was pregnant, I was on one of those walkabouts where I was freaking out like, “What am I going to do? How am I going to make life happen? I make $200 a month. I want to be a pro skateboarder that makes $14 a month.” I’m driving out to Chatsworth to silkscreen boards for Variflex, trying to make extra money and be a pro. I was working for my dad to make real money, but I was only making $200 a month. So he comes to pick me up in the car and he just wanted to be there for me and talk about it and I was losing it. I remember I jumped out of the car when it was moving and I didn’t get out of the way and it rolled over my foot. I was just screaming at him like, “I don’t want to talk about it!” I was having a meltdown. I did that to my dad and it was the same thing. It was crazy. I knew I had to do it without his help if I was going to do it. I didn’t even want to talk about it.

I just remember my dad saying, “Just get everything on paper with your skateboarding deals.” After becoming that kind of skateboarder dude, I was like, “He’s so stupid. This is not like that. He doesn’t know anything.” I so should have listened to him. He was saying, “You might think they’re your friends, but…” His buddy had just burnt him. He was like, “You just need to get contracts.” I was thinking, “Dude, that’s just old ways of doing business. You’re so far removed from reality.” I wish I had listened.
What is Alex doing right now? Do you talk to him?

I talk to him every day. He talks to me again. He’s going to Australia for some art thing, not that we got invited…
[Laughs] Right. Why didn’t we get invited?

It’s because we’re old. We invented art. We invented everything. How about going to a contest and screaming for your kid and him just looking at you like, “You are such an idiot! Quit making a scene!”
Well, the thing is you weren’t screaming for him. If I remember correctly, it was the X Games. You weren’t screaming for him in the contest. You were screaming at him because he wasn’t trying hard enough in the contest.

No. That wasn’t the X Games.
Well, I remember you being very frustrated because he didn’t even try hard. You made a career of pretending not to try and your son actually didn’t try and you were freaking out. You were like, “No! That’s not how it’s done. You have to pretend you don’t care, but really try.” Are you saying that conversation didn’t happen? [Laughs]

I guarantee it did happen. I was thinking of the Downtown Showdown when he was an amateur and we were yelling. I was psyched! It was a proud moment.
That’s so weird because every time we go skate, and I clap or yell, you’re like, “There is no clapping or yelling in skateboarding.”

Not at some weird session, but at a contest, yeah.
Sessions are way better than contests. Yeah! There’s lots of clapping!

You’re so weird.
You’re right. It’s all about shutting the guy down.

[Laughs] Oh my god. It’s not about shutting anyone down.
Oh yes, it is. It’s all about shutting the guy down. Every time a guy steps on a skateboard, it’s about making the guy feel as humiliated as possible about his ability on a skateboard.

[Laughs] Yes.
That’s not it? [Laughs]

No. [Laughs]
This is awesome.

[Click HERE for part two of Lance Mountain X Steve Olson in Juice Magazine #74.]

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY, ORDER ISSUE #72 BY CLICKING HERE…

Steve Olson and Lance Mountain

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JUICE MAGAZINE | 319 OCEAN FRONT WALK #1, VENICE, CA 90291 | (310) 399.5336 | [email protected]
Juice is an interview magazine featuring skateboarding, surfing, art and music. Since 1993, Juice has been independently owned and dedicated to the core. Juice Magazine specializes in coverage of core skateboarders, surfers, musicians, skatepark builders, artists, photographers, rock n roll, metal, hardcore, pools, pipes & punk rock. Keep Skateboarding A Crime.
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© 1993-2018 Juice Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means; electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the copyright owner, photographers, writers, or artists named herein. Trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.