Bill Danforth – Juice Magazine State of Skate Interview

Name: Bill Danforth
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Age: 50
Sponsors: American Nomad Skateboards, Tracker Trucks, Land Shark Wheels.

What set-up are you riding right now?
I’m riding an American Nomad board with super wide Trackers, 185s, I think, and I’m riding some Speedlab Wheels because Speedlab Wheels rock.

What’s the most fun DIY, skater-built or renegade spot that you’ve skated lately?
The other day I took a couple of cases of beer and I put them on this ledge and grinded it down so I could do a layback roll out on it.

Have you ever built something to skate?
I’ve been building skateboarding to what it is now in the Midwest. I was the one that built all the ramps in Midwestern Michigan. Beer me.

Who do you like to skate with these days?
Right now I like to skate with my girlfriend’s son, Maston, because I’ve been teaching him the ways of skate and I’m teaching him to push mongo and I’m teaching him to skate the right way and if anybody has in issue with that, I don’t really care, because the kid is having fun.

Best skate graphic you have seen lately?
Mine of course. It’s the best graphic, unsaid. Skulls. Eat a bag.

Best thing you’ve skated in a skatepark?
One of the best times I’ve had was skating Seylynn snake run in Vancouver on Canada Day, July 1st. It’s an experience that true blooded skateboarders should attend. Nothing but fun.

Favorite skateboarders of all time?
I’m going to say the oldest, Tony Alva, and the youngest, not born yet.

Is there anything that hasn’t been built to skate yet that you’d like to see built?
Wheelchair ramps.

One of the best road trips you ever took?
The way back from jail. [Laughs]

Are there any skate-related charities that you support?
Yes. I support the Native American community with the Stronghold Society, One Gathering and the Nibwaakaawin Organization, and I’m a huge supporter of the Humane Society. We love our animals, so be nice to animals. Skateboarders can figure it out. Besides that, just be nice to people.

What music have you been listening to lately?
Not Taylor Swift. I’ll listen to any 1977 punk band. I like the Sex Pistols and old Clash and the Germs and Black Flag, without Mike V! The best band that ever existed on this earth is Negative Approach. Anybody that doesn’t like that can eat a huge bag of dicks.

danforth-KEVIN-THATCHER The American Nomad. Photo by Kevin Thatcher.

What do you consider the responsibilities of a professional skateboarder?
To live to like 60. After 60, who knows? Skateboarding is hardcore. I want to see everybody live for a long time. 60 is Vegas betting odds.

Which skate shops do you support?
I support the heavy mortar shops that support real skateboarding and not the bullshit that you can buy online. Screw you CCS. You can eat a bag of dicks. You guys sell all this crap. Buy from a company that ships from their closet. If not, get out of the closet and start being a real skate shop.

Favorite skate photo of all time?
That’s really rough. I’d say one of the first shots at Mt. Baldy. I think it was Waldo Autry bouncing out of that pipe onto the flat wall. That was an encouraging over the top photo.

What is your take on girls skateboarding?
I’m 100% behind it. Skateboarding has no rules. It ain’t no fraternity. I love that fact that these girls are so into what they do. You’ve got the Girl Riders Organization and these girls got it going on. They have their own network. Don’t mess with the girl gangs because girl gangs rule.

What skateboarding memorabilia do you have that means the most to you?
It’s probably the first skateboard I ever owned, which was a Bahne with Chicago trucks and Chicago wheels with loose ball bearings, which I bought in Daytona Beach. I rode my first skatepark in Port Orange, Florida, in 1976. I was wearing a Boston t-shirt, because it was more than a feeling. [Laughs]

Who contributes the most to your local skate scene?
Me! I’m the punk in Deland. I’m the one that makes the skate sessions happy. Otherwise, they’ll just go do a bunch of frontside kickturns. I’m the one that tells them to do deck frontside rock n rolls. Do laybacks with your thumb on the deck. I tell them not to wuss and puss it up and grow a set. I don’t let them have a beer until they do so. I’m not going to leave a city until everyone is doing shit properly.

Top three favorite skate tricks?
The coolest top three skate tricks are a frontside rock n’ roll that’s decked with front wheels on the deck or it doesn’t count, and a layback roll out with thumb on the coping with four fingers down, and a sweeper Duane style that has to extend at least 48 inches. If you just do it without extending it, you might as well not even try.

Do you think skateboarding should be in the Olympics?
Hell no! We did not grow up to be jocks. We’re not going to be jocks!

What is your proudest moment in skateboarding so far?
It’s where I’m at right now hanging out with good friends, good people, enjoying life and trying to do what I can to push the youth into skateboarding because I want to see skateboarding go on for the next 150 years, in the proper direction. I didn’t start skateboarding to quit. Quitters suck. It doesn’t matter if you just go slap a curb or go grind a pool or hit a staircase, if you’ve got a skateboard under your feet, it’s all good.

BILL-DANFORTH-DAN-LEVY It’s all a joke to Mr. Hate. American Nomad, Bill Danforth in Venice, CA 2015. Photo by Dan Levy



When we started Juice Magazine 22 years ago, you could count the number of skateparks on one hand and grindable pool coping was mostly a distant memory. Now there are thousands of skateparks all over the world, along with a vast quantity of DIY spots built to skate. In 1993, the majority of skateboarders listened to punk rock or hip hop exclusively. Now skateboarders listen to almost every kind of sound created. Two decades ago, skateboarding related charities were non-existent. Today, there are numerous non-profits giving back to skateboarding in many ways. One of the most important differences between now and then is that, 22 years ago, there was a clear division between old school and new school skateboarding. Now that wall of separation has followed the same path as the Berlin Wall, allowing for an unprecedented unification of skateboarders all over the globe. Great strides have been made for girls that skate as well as the acceptance of skate history and long overdue recognition for skateboarding’s pioneers and its artifacts. At the same time, the current generation of skateboarders is taking skateboarding to new heights, previously unimaginable. As the landscape of the skateboarding industry changes on a daily basis, and the topic of skateboarding in the Olympics rears its head once again, along with the disturbing subject of who controls skateboarding being tossed about by corporate entities, we decided it was time to take a good look at the State of Skate. We asked 20 questions to 100 skateboarders, ages 8 to 58, and found that skateboarding is as diverse as the skateboarders that are addicted to it, no one controls skateboarding except skateboarders, and the State of Skate is savage and strong. Now get out there and skate tough!

JUICE MAGAZINE STATE OF SKATE features interviews with 100 skateboarders including: Tony Alva, Dave Hackett, Chris Strople, Duane Peters, Steve Olson, Dave Duncan, Steve Alba, Tony Magnusson, Pat Black, Jesse Martinez, Bill Danforth, Jim Murphy, Ric Widenor, Lester Kasai, Glen Charnoski, Bryan Pennington, Peter Furnee, Jeremiah Risk, Ryan Smith, Jason Jessee, Omar Hassan, Cam Dowse, Jen O’Brien, Depth Leviathan Dweller, Brett Roper, Travis Beattie, Chris Gentry, CW Dunn, Chris Albright, Charlie Wilkins, Cairo Foster, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, BJ Morrill, Dr. Lenore L.A. Sparks, Sid Melvin, Jesse Irish, Packy Fancher, Greg Lutzka, Jimmy Larsen, Adam Dyet, Luis Tolentino, Greg Harbour, Frank Faria, Ryan DeCenzo, Dave Bachinsky, Johnny Turgesen, Casey Meyer, Edward Sanchez, David Gravette, Ben Hatchell, Brian Geib, Felipe Gouveia, Eric Santos, Kyle Smith, Cameron Revier, Josh Stafford, Justin Grubbs, Etienne Eden Archila, Sanzio Piacentini, Josh Elder, Eddie “Mighty” Moreno, Kevin Kowalski, Otto Pflanz, Jeremy Smith, Adam Wiggins, Jimmy Wilkins, Danny Gordon, Jake Hilbish, Corey Blanchette, Adam Legassie, Nick Santos, Trey Rounds, Curren Caples, Justyce Tabor, Andy Anderson, Sarah Thompson, Coral Guerrero, Collin Graham, Derek Scott, Ace Pelka, Sonny Rodriguez, Jarren Duke, Mikayla Sheppard, CJ Titus, Noah Schott, Emily Earring, Julian Torres, Wyatt Wisenbaker, Josh Forsberg, Nathan Midgette, Roman Pabich, Yago Dominguez, Jack Winburn, Jonas Carlsson, Kiko Francisco, Bryce Ava Wettstein, Desmond Shepherd, Matty Jessee and Luke Kahler.


1 comment

  • Calabro June 10, 2016

    Holy fuck-sticks I love Bill. But you know I have to give you shit for pushing your Mongo style on Matson. Poor kid. That is like forcing him to get a bowl haircut. Al the kids are going to make fun of him. You might as well change his name to Sue.


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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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