TEAM MANAGERS

TEAM MANAGERS

Team Managers: Only the Strong Survive

We have a new-found respect for team managers after our recent trip across country with seven skaters in one van and felt they deserved space in our mag.

Name: George Nagai
Co: Shorty’s
Age: 25
Home: Santa Barbara, CA

Tell us a road trip horror story.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the East Coast! But, we went through some serious shit on last year’s East Coast tour. In Philadelphia, The Muska tweaked his ankle and had to fly home early. Sammy cussed out the maids at one of our hotels because he thought they jacked his CDs. I had to apologize to the hotel staff because they wanted to get little Sammy outside and whoop his ass. Mean-while, his CDs were tucked away in his bag the entire time.  I also ran our van into a car in the tight streets of Philly and had to deal with an irate Asian lady while I tried to give her and her husband $200 for her troubles. In Boston, I sprained my ankle which took me out of skating for six months.  But the butter on the toast took place in New York City where our van got broken into and we got jacked for $2000 cash, three video cameras and over half of our team’s luggage. And that was on my birthday!

What goes into planning a roadtrip for your team?
First, I have to figure out where we want to go and route what spots we are going to hit.  Then I have to call everyone to see who can go, who wants to go, and what their personal schedules look like.  I have to organize places to stay, per diem, promo product, transportation, photographers, filmers, demos, etc. Finally, I have to budget it all and then get an approval from the powers that be. If they don’t like my proposal, then I have to go back and start over again. Dope!

Does your team get into a lot of fights?
No. Our team has a lot of different personalities, but everyone gets along really well.

Tell us a weird fetish or oddity you discovered about a team skater.
I just have to say that Steve Olson is the most unique and amazing person I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet.  Aside from being an amazing skateboarder, he has so many personal interests and hobbies that I find really interesting.  He studies various religions; he’s an artist and avid reader.  He has so much knowledge lodged under his afro and glasses and his outlook on life gives him a God-like aura. The best is when he spits his knowledge on the mic.

Have you ever done a kickflip to shit your pants?
What?!? No, I’m pretty sure the last time I shit my pants, I didn’t know how to do a kickflip yet.

Who’s the biggest bitch on your team? Why?
We don’t have any bitches on our team anymore. When the kids were younger they used to stir up some trouble, but now they’ve all matured into fine young men.  Do I sound enough like an old man now?

How many hours of bitching do you deal with a day? What gripe do you hear most?
My team riders have nothing to bitch about. I’m a good poppa.  No, actually there’s a little bitching going around. It may not be from a team rider, though.

How much money have you had to lay out for bail? Who’s been arrested most?
I can proudly say that I’ve never had to bail any of my riders out of jail, knock on wood.  As far as being arrested, I think a personal record would either go to Smolik or The Muska when he was younger.

How many cars have you/your team wrecked?
Erik Hatch (Shorty’s filmer) has seen my sloppy driving techniques, but we’ve only really wrecked one and never got caught for it.

Do you feel you get paid well for the work you do?
Well, we’re negotiating that right now. But actually there’s no other job I would want right now.

What made you want to be a team manager? How did you get your job?
Well, this is kind of a long story. As far as wanting to be a team manager goes, I was a sponsored skater for over eight years. There was always a team manager there to take care of me and my skating career. I learned a lot about the industry and got to experience the life of a sponsored skater.  I felt that because of this knowledge, I could make someone else’s experience as a sponsored skater better.  About three years ago, I was touring Japan doing some skating and I ran into an old friend of mine. Back when we used to hang out, he was a guy who used to rage all the time and got into his fair share of trouble. Seeing him in Japan, he had totally matured and was trying to get his life together and open up a restaurant. We went out skating one evening and got to talking about our lives and futures. He kept telling me how he was getting his shit together and that I should be doing the same soon. What he told me really stuck in my head because I didn’t really expect to hear those things from him. I went back to America shortly after and knew I had to figure things out. I didn’t really skate for about three months and instead went to the beach every day just to kick back, go skimboarding, and do some thinking. (Shorty’s owner) Tony Buyalos would go with me a lot and he kept telling me he needed some help at his company. He was telling me I could do sales for Shorty’s but I wasn’t into doing sales and instead I wanted to be the team manager. After some time, he finally agreed that I could enter the company doing whatever, and when the Team Manager position opened up, I could take it.  So I started working at Shorty’s and was a shipper for two weeks, a sales rep for around nine months, and finally ended up as team manager.

Top three things that piss you off about being a team manager.
1. I hate saying no to my riders. Sometimes there will be things they want to do, but as a company we just can’t and it’s my responsibility to tell them no. I hate that!
2. Now that I deal in the business world, I don’t like dealing in bad business. If my shit is together, I expect those people who I work with to have their shit together as well. And if they don’t, then fuck ‘em.
3. Man, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m jealous of the talents of my riders. I take them skating and watch them do the craziest shit on their skateboards. Then when I go skating, I’m restricted to doing 50/50s and other basic shit. I wish I was as good as those guys.

Tell us about the highlight of your career so far.
I don’t know if there has been any particular highlight, I was really proud of our team at the Transworld Readers’ Awards where Shorty’s won five different awards.  What brings me the most happiness are the days we just go skate together. Like for example, I just went skating with The Muska last weekend. He took us to a sixteen-stair-handrail and when we watched him destroy it. To me, that’s the equivalent of a motorcycle kid who gets to go ride with Evel Knievel on any given weekend and gets to watch him jump crazy shit. It’s truly amazing.

Top three things that stoke you out about being a team manager.
1. I like to see the success of my riders. Those guys are all super individuals and I’m stoked to know I can contribute to their lives.
2. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to have met and worked with these guys. To me, they are not just Shorty’s team riders; they are my friends and we are a family.
3. I have a job where I get to travel and skate with some of the best skaters in the world. I’m a skater first, and a team manager second. So, I’m really lucky to still have skateboarding as a major part of my life.

At what hat angle is true dopeness achieved?
Couldn’t tell you. You’ll have to ask The Muska or Smolik. They seem to have it pretty good.

Shoutouts.
Much props goes out to the Shorty’s posse. Thanks to Venture Trucks, Church of Skatan, and all my sponsors, both current and previous. What’s up to Manabu, T2, Jake and all the homies. We’ll be drinking soon. Thanks to Jun Kim for lecturing me in Japan and to Jen Rojas for balancing me out. Peace!

Word ASSOCIATION
porn - played
hangovers – death
quantum physics – graduate school
year 2000 – just another year
toilet paper – necessary
sex – in hallways
drugs – ‘shrooms
juice – cranberry
fame – stay level headed
hell – Church of Skatan
heaven – Laetitia Casta
public restrooms – toilet soaps
airplanes – stewardesses
batwing – black
pro hos – jailbait
New York – Giovanni Reda
Los Angeles – Guy Mariano
Gator – frontside rocket airs
cops – fuck ‘em
street – Chad Muska
vert – Phillips 66, please
polydipsic – copacetic

Name:  Abe Smith
Company: Axion
Age:  26
Hometown:  Long Beach (da’ L.B.C. yo!!)

Tell us a road trip story.
Crossing the Canadian border with conviction records.

What goes into planning a roadtrip for your team?
Complete chaos.

Does your team get into a lot of fights?
Naw, everyone’s pretty mellow at this point in time.

Hours a week do you spend on the phone?
I couldn’t even make a guess at it.

Tell us a weird fetish or oddity you discovered about a team skater.
No comment.

Have you ever done a kickflip to shit your pants?
Skating?! What’s that?

Who’s the biggest bitch on your team? Why?
No comment.

How many hours of bitching do you deal with daily?
I couldn’t even make a guess at it.

How much money have you had to lay out for bail?
No comment.

How many cars have you/your team wrecked?
I couldn’t even make a guess at it.

Do you feel you get paid well for the work you do?
No comment.

What made you want to be a team manager? How did you get your job?
It’s something I always wanted to be as a kid.

Top three things that piss you off about being a team manager?
Absolutely nothing. It‘s allowed me to get in touch with my spiritual side; reach a more Zen way of life.

Tell us about the highlight of your career so far.
Sending out promo packages.

Top three things that stoke you out about being a team manager.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

At what hat angle is true dopeness achieved?
To the side, yo, in full effect.

Shoutouts.
Kareem Campbell, Axion & City Star Riders, Amir, Tony the stress pony and all my brothas in lockdown for ‘99.

Word ASSOCIATION
porn - Pamela Anderson
hangovers - Rum & Cokes
quantum physics -Master P
year 2000 – no more student loans
toilet paper – quantum physics
sex – Y2K
drugs – honestly . . .
juice – Dan, the man
fame – porn
hell – doesn’t exist
heaven – doesn’t exist
public restrooms – George Michael
airplanes -mile high club
batwing – Say, what?
pro hos – gotta love ‘em
New York – the place to be
Los Angeles – my home
Gator – no comment
cops – #@?!!$*!
street – Kareem
vert – Rune
polydipsic – public restrooms

Name:  Eric Dressen
Co.: Dogtown
Age: 32 going on 22
Hometown: Venice, CA

Tell us a road trip horror story.
Neil Heddings dog Joe farted about 60 times in the van in six hours drive.

What goes into planning a roadtrip for your team?
Make sure we got enough weed and we’ve got a floor to sleep on when we get there.

Does your team get into a lot of fights?
Yes, can’t take em anywhere.

How many hours a week do you spend on the phone?
A lot of pretending I’m doing stuff.

Tell us an oddity you discovered about a team skater?
Wee Man shaves his pubes.

Have you ever done a kickflip to shit your pants?
I hershey squirted once.

Who’s the biggest bitch on your team? Why?
Me bitchin’ about how dumb my team is.

How many hours of bitching do you deal with a day? What gripe do you hear most?
I don’t have any griptape, I don’t have any coffee, I don’t have any weed.

How much money have you had to lay out for bail? Who’s been arrested most?
I am saving up, now.

How many cars have you/your team wrecked?
Six rental town cars and one Ford Bronco.

Do you feel you get paid well for the work you do?
I am stoked, I can eat all month now. I am priceless.

What made you want to be a team manager? How did you get your job?
Got bored of sitting around, I wanted to put my years of experience in to someone else.

Top three things that piss you off about being a team manager?
Unprepared to go skating; without grip tape, every weekend.

Tell us about the highlight of your career, so far.
Getting Wee Man on the team. He’s the biggest man in skateboarding.

Top three things that stoke you out about being a team manager?
Showing up at skateparks, taking over like we own the place.

At what hat angle is true dopeness achieved?
Backwards

Shoutouts.
My team managers from the past, Gavin O’Brien, Zach and Jim Muir. Present day managers, Sean at pornstar, Joey at Indy, Jim Thiebaud at Deluxe.

WORD ASSOCIATION
porn – star
hangovers – morning
quantum physics – Paul
year 2000 – boycott
toilet paper – none
sex – addict
drugs –  addict
juice – got it
fame – Muska
hell – Bent for Leather
heaven – Japan
airplanes – stewardesses
pro hos – cuties
New York – Dolls
Los Angeles – X
Gator – buddy
cops – avoid
street – hookers
vert – rules
polydipsic – ?

Name:  Steve Munson
Company:  Identity Boardshop
Age: 21
Home: Ana-crime, CA

Tell us a road trip horror story.
Burt from Dank put hot sauce in my Pepsi and I drank it, then spit it all over the table, that dick.

What goes into planning a roadtrip for your team?
Me driving where ever I feel like skating.

Does your team get into a lot of fights?
No, they’re all pussies and I’ll kill them.

How many hours a week do you spend on the phone?
Since I also work at Identity, I spend like ten hours on the phone a week.

Tell us a weird fetish or oddity you discovered about a team skater.
Steve Webber from Lethol rides his wheels three graphics in and one out for like a year on every board.

Have you ever done a kickflip to shit your pants?
No, but someone told me J.P. Jaded split a rail and shit his pants!

Who’s the biggest bitch on your team? Why?
Even though I love him as a skater, Jeremy Patton is the bitch of the team. He only rides green boards with Monkey Grip. But he’s also a good friend and one of the best on the team.

How many hours of bitching do you deal with a day? What gripe do you hear most?
I don’t put up with no bitching! I’ll tell them they’re more than welcome to ride for someone else.

How much money have you had to lay out for bail? Who’s been arrested most?
Do I count? Because I lead that category.

How many cars have you/your team wrecked?
None! Knock on wood, quick give me my board!

Do you feel you get paid well for the work you do?
Fuck, no. I’m underpaid and overworked just like everyone else in America!

What made you want to be a team manager? How did you get your job?
I knew what these guys needed and wanted to give it to them.

Top three things that piss you off about being a team manager.
Not being able to give my team the most, not being able to get a day off to skate and everyone wanting to be sponsored.

Tell us about the highlight of your career so far.
Shit, this mag interview is it!

Top three things that stoke you out about being a team manager.
Seeing a team rider land a dope trick, bragging about my team and being paid to skate with my friends.

At what hat angle is true dopeness achieved?
The Muska and I believe that at 15 degrees to the right all of your dopeness will then be truly maximized.

Shoutouts.
To my sponsors, Globe, Grind King, Identity, Lethol:  Thanks for hookin me up. Mario, Eli, Burt, Gary, Billy, the Cliza, the Webbers, Jeremy, Jason and everyone else who has helped me or been my friend. Especially Joe and Glen for giving me a job! Identity 4 Life!

Word ASSOCIATION
porn - star for life
hangovers – suck
quantum physics – I do them every day.
year 2000 – End of the World.
toilet paper – must be soft
sex – Every chance I catch a drunk girl.
drugs – never
juice – mag. Thanks a ton.
fame – I’ll never have it like the real Muska.
hell – on my way.
heaven – fake
public restrooms – George Michael
airplanes – crash
batwing – to the bat cave!
pro hos – never get them.
New York – East Coast, Josh Kalis
Los Angeles – Girl team
Gator – Jail
cops – Doughnuts
street – Forever
vert – Some day.
polydipsic – Your Mom!

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