Desmond Shepherd – Juice Magazine State of Skate Interview

Name: Desmond Shepherd
Hometown: Venice, California
Age: 11
Sponsors: Alva Skates, Flyaway Helmets, Smith Kneepads and Venice Skateboarding Stuff. 

What set-up are you riding right now? Board, trucks, wheels, grip, hardware…
Independent Trucks, Alva Phantom wheels and Smith pads.

What’s the most fun DIY, skater-built or renegade spot that you’ve skated lately?
We found a pool in the backyard of a house in Hollywood.

Have you ever built something to skate?
Yeah. This probably doesn’t count but, sometimes right outside of my house, I use two bricks, a large piece of wood and a sign to make a ramp.

Who do you like to skate with the most these days?
Just with my friends that I usually see. I just worked on some 540’s with PLG at the DC ramp.

Coolest skateboard graphic you have seen lately?
I think it’s the Alva leopard or the Santa Cruz screaming hand board.

Best thing you’ve ever skated in a skatepark and what skatepark was it?
There is a very small bowl at Volcom Skatepark in Orange County and I really like that bowl.

Favorite skateboarders of all time?
Tony Alva, Jake Brown, Bob Burnquist and Chris Cole.

Is there anything that hasn’t been built to skate yet that you’d like to see built?
Not that I can think of honestly.

What’s one of the best road trips you ever took?
It would probably be the 2013 State Games in Clairemont.

Are there any skate-related charities that you support?
Without a doubt, Mike Rogers and Grind For Life.

What music have you been listening to lately?
Minor Threat, Black Flag, and Crass is my favorite. They are super original.

What do you consider the responsibilities of a professional skateboarder?
Just help kids get better and skate everyday.

Which skate shops do you support and go to the most?
Venice Originals and Venice Skateboarding Stuff. They help me with anything I need.

What is your favorite skate photo of all time?
The one with Bob Burnquist skating on a ramp that is floating.

What is your take on girls skateboarding?
My sister Parava loves to drop in. I think more girls are skating than when I started.

What skateboarding memorabilia do you have that means the most to you?
Before he passed away J-boy invited us to the Z-Boys Reunion at Chicken’s pool and the boys all signed some prints that Jimmy Plummer printed.

Who contributes the most to your local skate scene?
Everyone knows that Jesse Martinez contributes the most to the local skate scene, for sure. Jesse works hard to keep the Venice skatepark looking great every day.

Top three favorite skate tricks?
I love the feeling of landing 540’s and big airs. I like pulling laser flips too.

Do you think skateboarding should be in the Olympics?
The X Games are kind of like the Olympics, but yeah, I think it should.

What is your proudest moment in skateboarding so far?
It was probably the day I did a 540 at the Jay Adams Memorial skate contest in Venice.




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.


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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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