PEDRO DELFINO INTERVIEW BY JIM MURPHY
From his vert soldier upbringing in South Florida, with Mark Lake and “Scizzors”, Pedro Delfino was sparked to charge out on a skate mission to travel the world and skate any terrain he could attack – round wall, vert ramps, handrails of doom, hubbas, gaps, ditches and pool coping. Everything and anything worthy of skating with a hardcore crew is on the menu. Landing on Deathwish and turning pro is just the beginning for this driven annihilator who sees no end in sight. No egos, just fun and getting aggro is his mission, so hop on board and check out the story of Pedro Delfino. – INTRODUCTION BY JIM “MURF” MURPHY
Hello Pedro! Let’s get it started. Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Miami in 1995 and I was raised in Boca Raton, Florida.
When did you start skating?
I started skating when I was nine years old.
How did you get your first board?
I saw some kids in the neighborhood riding around and I ended up getting close with them. I got my first board at Christmas and then I started going to the skatepark.
It was this local park called Tim Huxhold Skatepark. It was built in ‘98 and it had these really cool hips that you could blast airs off. It was built for rollerbladers, at the time. Around 2005, the whole park transitioned to just all skateboarders.
Were there any pools in that park?
No pools. There were a few street obstacles, and a few really steep square handrails. They did have a horseshoe bowl that faced into that park. There was a 6-foot pyramid in the middle, and it was all hipped out. Around it, were all these quarter pipes. There was a lot of flow in that park.
Had you skated anywhere else before or was it just street?
I would skate in my neighborhood, just a bunch of sidewalks and curbs. There was a local six stair, so I started skating the neighborhood and the park. I was going between those two areas for a few years. I was more street-oriented growing up.
When you started riding smooth concrete and transitions, did that spark something in you, with new terrain that’s not street?
Yeah. As soon as I started scratching the coping, I knew that it was a special domain of skating. You can’t get that type of feeling skating street. Just carving that bowl felt like surfing. I grew up surfing too, so I think the two were very similar.
Before you skated, you were surfing?
Yeah. My dad is a surfer and he would take me out surfing and teach me how to paddle into waves and stand up. That was around the same time I started skating too. I didn’t think that skating and surfing were that similar, in the beginning. It wasn’t until pool skating that I figured out that there’s a parallel.
Did you keep surfing?
Well, being from Florida, swells are pretty limited, so I would skate more than I surfed. I ended up putting surfing in the backseat for many years. I would go out surfing once in a while with my dad, but every day I was skating.
That’s rad. Your dad was probably stoked that you got up to go surfing with him.
Totally. He was always pumped to take weekend trips up the coast, like to New Smyrna, to surf and hang out. He never skated so, eventually, I started skating more and not going on those trips as much.
Was he stoked you were skating?
Yeah. Both of my parents were super supportive. They always drove us to skateparks, me and my sister.
Your sister skates really good too. From that little skatepark, did you have a crew that you were rolling with?
Yeah. I met a lot of friends skating and, as we got older, we got cars and started adventuring out to other parks and finding old concrete. There was this one old halfpipe with no flat bottom that was built in the ‘70s, in Lake Worth. It was in the deep cut, in one of the hood neighborhoods. We skated that a lot when I was 16 and 17. It was always empty because no one knew about it and it was janky and missing coping. It was super rad.
What was it like finding that spot?
It sparked that mission mode that’s so consistent with skateboarding, and going out and finding new stuff. That drew me more into skating because you find out skating is a tool to get you out into the unknown, into the wilderness, so to speak.
Sick! How wide and tall was it?
It must have been four feet tall and 12 feet wide.
So it was a tight hitter, right to vert so you could snap grinds?
Exactly. You could blast airs and grind it pretty well. It ended up being a weekly thing, going up there to shred every weekend, and then riding around trying to find street stuff to hit too. It became the mecca for that little area. You just get infected with stoke and you’re trying to seek it out everywhere.
“It’s definitely an obsession. It just clues into your brain, like some sort of venom and keeps you very focused. You’re spiking yourself with adrenaline and getting away clean and having fun riding, kind of flying. It’s amazing. It never gets boring.”
Explain that feeling of being in mission mode when you’re a skater and you start to go out of your town to skate?
It’s definitely an obsession. It just clues into your brain, like some sort of venom and keeps you very focused. You’re spiking yourself with adrenaline and getting away clean and having fun riding, kind of flying. It’s amazing. It never gets boring.
No, it doesn’t. Did you ever go to Kona?
Sometimes we headed to Kona, but that was four hours away, so it wasn’t super accessible before I was 18. There was a local Christian school and they hosted free skating on Tuesdays. They had an indoor park with a wooden bowl, rails, ledges and, eventually, a vert ramp. It had all of these types of ramps that I didn’t have at the park where I grew up skating. That’s when I progressed pretty quickly.
Nice. Where else were you going to skate? Was there a vert ramp scene too?
Yeah. There were always kids my age, different groups, and they would take the train to Miami and skate spots. We started working on videos, filming and editing, so I had that crew going. Eventually, I linked up with some older vert dudes too. Mark Lake was the guy who took me under his wing, and Adam Effertz was a part of the scene. It was super rad to get in with those guys because vert ramps are really slim, but in that area in South Florida, we had three backyard vert ramps. There was one ramp in Kendall. It was 11 foot, maybe 10 feet and 1 foot of vert. Two hours north to West Palm, there was Gilifoose Ramp, and that was a proper vert ramp, maybe 11 and 2. Then there was also Merritt Island, Florida, which is the central coast. Once I linked up with Mark and everyone from that squad, every Sunday they would have a vert session at one of those backyard vert ramps. I was going to college and working and didn’t have much time to skate during the week, so it was the perfect opportunity to go skate vert.
What were you going to school for?
I had a couple different ideas of what I wanted to study. I’ve got kind of a technical mind, so I was gearing towards engineering at first and then I got discouraged. I wanted to fit in more skating, so I slowed down on classes and, eventually, dropped classes and started skating a lot because certain opportunities came about.
What was it like meeting Mark Lake, who is a legend? Did you know who he was?
I had heard of Mark Lake plenty of times over the years and, as soon as we became friends, he was awesome. He was running Lake Skateboards and flowing me some products and he’s super rad. I liked hearing the stories of him growing up and the vert scene in the ‘80s. It was nice to have that energy on the ramp because you get a bit of a history lesson and you’re feeding off energy from the past. It’s like, “Okay, here’s a stepping stone, let’s see what we can do.”
Were you surprised how welcoming the vert scene was?
It was a little bit intimidating at first, but it molded in perfectly over the years. There was also this private bowl in our area called Circus Bowl. There were 12 keyholders. That’s where I got introduced to the older guys because I was skating bowls, but not really big transition. Then I met Mark and a lot of other people around Circus Bowl. I always wanted to skate big transition, so it was awesome.
How big was Circus Bowl?
It was kind of small. It was in a little warehouse, but it had a deep end, which was seven feet at the most, but there was a loveseat, bowled out corners, tight and wide, and a vert wall. It was made out of birch and it was probably the best thing I’ve ever ridden and some of the best skate parties I’ve ever been to.
Killer. Once you start riding roundwall and hauling ass, did it switch your view of skating?
It definitely switched my view of skating. The feeling you get from standing up on a frontside grind, whether it’s pool coping or steel coping, and taking a really tight corner and you’re still grinding through there and rolling back into the transition and you’re picking up speed, it feels like one continuous line. It really is like surfing. I definitely gravitated more towards that. It’s something unexplainable, but hitting a frontside grind is phenomenal.
It’s pulling G’s through a corner and feeling the grind. It’s a different kind of ride.
Definitely. I think that spoke to me a lot.
How old were you when you went to one of those big vert ramps and dropped in?
I dropped into a big vert ramp when I was 13 and I picked it up pretty quickly.
You didn’t slam the first time?
I can’t remember. I must have. I do remember my first roll in. It was at Woodward and they had this big ramp called the B-3 and it had double-stacked roll ins. I tried to roll in on the smallest one and, as soon as I hit the flat, I got speed wobbles and slammed into the next wall. It was a good ol’ tranny check.
That’s a whole different thing, dealing with that speed you get from vert. Was it as appealing because it wasn’t low and tight carving like bowl riding?
I’ve never really thought about it. I did like how, for vert skating, you tend to pad up, but then you can do tricks back to back. With bowl skating, if you miss a wall or you don’t pump right, you’re not going to be hitting the next wall with your best trick. There’s a lot of factors in bowls.
It’s more speed line oriented. It’s not going back and forth, trick trick trick. Now you’re talking speed and lines.
It is definitely different. I think I brought a lot of that bowl skating into the vert ramp. I would drop in, and the next wall I’d do a really long frontside grind, then I’d frontside air the next wall. I loved vert skating because you can blast airs. You can do lip tricks on flat walls, like 5-0 fakies. That’s harder on a bowl corner.
When you first started riding vert, you had never done an air off of a vert ramp, so how hard was it to adjust to that? Did it click that day or did it take awhile?
It took a while to get air over the coping.
I bet those guys were supportive as hell.
Oh yeah. They were supportive and they always gave me tips on how things should be stalled or how things should be looked at.
When you were riding the vert ramp with Scizzors and Mark, it’s about the skating, but it’s about the friends you’re riding with and the camaraderie that gives you the energy, right?
Exactly. If that energy wasn’t on the deck, it would be very difficult to drop in and have a good time. I was stoked that they were cool, very friendly, and almost like mentors.
Were your friends riding vert with you too or were you the lone warrior?
I was the lone warrior, for sure. A lot of my friends ended up quitting skating. I think that also helped me seek out other people that wanted to skate. At the time, I was going to school and working a lot.
When someone quit skating, did it piss you off like, “We got something going here. What are you guys doing?”
Totally. The whole vibe changes. If more people leave, you don’t have that same energy to feed off and progress with your skating. At that point, if you want to keep skating, you have to go and seek out other people that are skating. I would drive a few hours to meet people in different towns that skated. Vert dudes are the gnarliest. My crew in my college years consisted of skating with Scizzors, Tyler Coffman, and a few other dudes. I would pick up Scizzors from Hollywood and we’d drive two hours to go meet up with the Merritt Island vert crew, which was Bob Umbel. That became my crew – Scizzors, Mark Lake, Chris Gilifoose. We’d link up with Keith Baldassare and Phil Hajal, and Mike Frazier would come skate too.
All those guys are solid dudes and down to skate. No rock star attitudes.
Exactly. It’s a totally different environment than the street skaters.
What was the Florida street skater vibe?
For the most part everyone was friendly, but they were really protective over spots. There were limited filmers and everybody really wanted to film a video part, so sometimes you’d run into the issue of excluding people from groups because it’s not efficient to have a lot of dudes. It’s a different type of terrain and maneuvering because you’re not fighting over the vert ramp. You’re fighting over secret spots. It’s exactly like pool skating where, if you found a pool, you’re not really sharing that pool. It’s just us trying to hold on to the diamond.
Yeah. Did you mission to backyard pools?
Yeah. There were very limited pools in South Florida. We’d did find a spot at a condominium on the beach and we had to stay low profile because the risk was gnarly. That pool got blown out too and they ended up throwing fencing into the pool.
Were your mom and dad understanding of your love for skateboarding?
It was difficult to convince my parents that skating was something that I should pursue. At the time, I didn’t really give a fuck, I just wanted to skate. I ended up just saving money and finding time to skate. I wanted to skate as much as I could so that meant reaching out for sponsorships and getting support along the way. I thought skating was too important to give up. Once I had that idea, that meant that I’d be skating street more and filming more. Most of the industry is pretty much street skating. I figured that was one aspect of skating I needed under my belt to make it. It also showed me that I should go out there and get it, rather than sit back at home, waiting for opportunities to come. So I left college and drove out to California, and sought out stoke.
Who did you want to get sponsored by?
At that point, my ultimate dream was Antihero. I thought what they were doing was super sick. I didn’t have much of a game plan. I wanted to go there and fit in where I could and just skate. It was very loose with a lot of couch surfing and sleeping in my car and on the streets sometimes.
Did you have any connections?
I had some connections, but I also had a crew with me that drove from Florida. We settled in San Francisco for a year, trying to finish up this video part that I was filming at the time. We were doing SF city runs every day. At 9AM, we were out of the house just ripping all day, finding spots, filming and taking photos.
Were you skating hills too, going for it?
Yeah. It was downhill, rails, gaps, pools, ramps, and anything really. I loved it all. At that point, it was about sculpting a video part. I enjoyed the all terrain videos that I watched growing up, so I wanted to represent that in my skating as well.
Was there part of you, coming out of Florida from that vert background, that thought you should ride a vert ramp too, or was it just all skateboarding, as long as it’s fun?
Definitely the latter. I think I enjoyed street skating more because it felt more global. You weren’t just dedicated to a specific spot in the backyard. With vert skating, you never left the backyard. It’s exciting, but it’s not as exciting as cruising down the street, watching bum fights and getting into altercations with homeowners. That’s the spirit of skating. We are a nuisance to the world. You’re exploring the world. You can view life differently, when you’re out in the world, and get different perspectives and understand social aspects, certain cultures and communities, and that’s entertaining too. It’s about life experiences.
So you’re just tearing up San Francisco and then you get a video done. What was the game plan?
It was so crazy back then. It was so vague on where to throw your video. We ended up finding some emails and shipping out that video link, to see if they would post the video online. Eventually, we got that video on the Thrasher site. I think that gained a lot of attention for some sponsors. I also ended up meeting people along the way and I was just asking for products.
Did you go out at night and socialize with skaters, working yourself into the scene?
No. I wasn’t really into going out. Just skating, you end up meeting people in the industry. At that point, after finishing our video, I drove out of SF and stayed for some time in San Diego. I met Rhino there and he ended up flowing me some trucks and we just kept that contact going.
How did you hook up with Rhino?
I got down to SD and I was couch surfing a bit, going to the skatepark, and going to Washington Street. I wanted to try a trick at Washington Street, so I got Rhino’s number. He’s the man. Rhino is always down to go shoot photos and hype up the session. He seeks out spots and drains pools. He’s an OG. So I asked him if he was down to take a photo at Washington Street. I was trying this trick, a Hell Hop over the channel.
What’s a Hell Hop?
A Hell Hop is like a frontside boneless, but there’s a body varial in there. I first heard of it from Bob Pribble, who is based out of D.C. He told me he used to do this trick called the Hell Hop. I got inspired from Bob and tried the Hell Hop over the channel at Washington Street.
Did you slam or did you make it?
Both. My board flew out and hit Rhino on the head. My first time meeting Rhino, I hit him in the face.
Was he bummed?
It was tough to read the situation because I didn’t know him too well. I was like, “Oh, I’m sorry.” Then I just kept trying it. Eventually, I did it and it was awesome, and we were both stoked.
Killer. Rhino is the Indy team manager, so were you thinking maybe you could get on Indy or at least get on flow?
Totally. Rhino was down to send me some trucks and I was super hyped because I’ve ridden Indys my whole life.
Sick. After that, did you go back up to SF?
After I spent time in San Diego, I moved back to Florida to save some money and work a little bit.
What made you want to go back home?
Things were getting tight and really slow. It was harder to film down there and things weren’t really happening as quickly as I imagined. I figured I’d give myself a little break and go hang with family for a bit, and I was going to school for a semester. At the same time, I was filming and I’d send updates to Rhino on how I was doing.
“I think I enjoyed street skating more because it felt more global. You weren’t just dedicated to a specific spot in the backyard. With vert skating, you never left the backyard. It’s exciting, but it’s not as exciting as cruising down the street, watching bum fights and getting into altercations with homeowners. That’s the spirit of skating. We are a nuisance to the world.”
Were you on the street hits or all terrain?
I would say street more. I was really trying to hone in on those handrails and stuff.
Tell me about the first gnarly rail that you killed yourself doing, but at the end of the day you made it.
It was a rail, maybe half a mile from my house, in this business complex. It was really gnarly. It was maybe 22 stairs, really steep, square, painted, barely a run up. Basically, it was the biggest rail I was ever about to skate, and I was terrified. My first attempt was so sketchy too. I wasn’t even ollie-ing onto the rail. I was trying to do a boneless to 50-50 grind. Somewhat it was safe because I could grab the board, do a boneless, hit the rail a little bit, and jump off to the stairs. Gradually, I got to the point of committing to the whole thing and it was really cool. I bonelessed this 22 rail.
What was going on in your head after you made that one clean? What was that pushing you to go after next?
It was pure excitement, so much stoke and elation. I was so elated to have just made it, survived it. That experience alone becomes a building block and you’re seeking out that same exact feeling, and you keep it rolling. Then I skated some kinked rails and a few curved rails. I’ve tried some roofs onto rails, grind on grind, gap to grind, gap to rails, and hubbas. I like hubbas.
After you got your next video finished, did you ship it out to anyone in particular?
I sent that sponsor tape to Deluxe and got hooked to Spitfire. At the time, I was just hanging out back at school in Florida, and I was getting sponsors here and there. Then a good friend of mine, Jamie Foy, got Skater of the Year in 2017 and I was invited on his trip. It ended up working out, and I got on Deathwish through Jamie and went on the trip.
Wow. How did you get on that trip?
Jamie was electing people to go on his trip. He hit me up and asked if I was down to go to Australia. I instantly knew it was a great opportunity, so I said yes. It was crazy. I was going to school at the time, but I was taking remote classes. I was in Australia doing school work and also skating.
Was that your first time to Australia?
It was my first time there and I was tripping. I knew that this was a Thrasher SOTY trip and there was a level you had to operate at. It was definitely nerve-racking. I got lucky for sure and I really pushed myself to the limits. Mason Silva was on that trip too, and Taylor Kirby.
Sick. Was it like a week or two week trip?
It was a two-week trip in Melbourne, just filming for the video. It started raining on the first skate day, but we found a covered spot, and we were all so stoked. We filmed so many clips and we had nine more days to do it all over again. We’d all pack in the van and head to a warm up spot and skate, then think about where we wanted to skate next. We’d drive from spot to spot every day, all hours of the day.
What were some of the memorable parts of that trip?
Watching some of the other guys skate some of the spots, it was intense. There was this one railing that Jamie had done a back smith grind on, and it was a really tall rail and cut off short. That was an intense session. Also just driving around was fun. Cliff jumping was another highlight and getting the meat pies that Australia has. It was really sick to be in a different country exploring and letting your skateboard do the talking.
Did you meet any of the Australian skate locals at the spots?
We met a good crew. We met Gabriel Summers, Alex Lawton, and also that kid, Jack O’Grady. Those Australian skaters aren’t ones to be messed with. They’re super rad and have great camaraderie, a relaxed drinking life and they skate big handrails. All of them are killing it and they love to have fun. It would be nice to spend more time in Australia.
What were the last few days like, after you got to hang with those dudes?
There’s an interesting aspect when you go on a trip for two weeks, get a lot of clips, and you come back and you feel like you’ve been out there for a long time. I would say it’s like going to war because there’s a lot of times on the trip where you are beating yourself up trying a trick so long. You’re slamming, and all your friends are trying to hype you up. Coming back from the trip was sick. It was nice to meet the rest of the crew and I got linked up with Deathwish at that point. Lizard King, who was riding for Deathwish at the time, asked me if I wanted to be on the team, so I took that flight home from Australia to LA and, as soon as I landed in LA, I said yes to Lizard.
Was he on that trip?
Yeah. He had watched me skate on the trip and was really stoked. I was already familiar with most of the team and Jamie is a really good friend of mine. I felt it was a really great opportunity, and I could fit in quickly and we could go film as much as we can.
You did it. You worked your ass off and got to where you wanted to go, right?
Yeah. I knew that it wasn’t over though. I knew it was just the beginning. I didn’t want to sit back and become complacent with this opportunity. I had made progress in my search for professional skating, but I knew it wasn’t enough yet. I ended up staying in California after that trip. I spent the next six months, trying to film a video part and it ended up becoming my Welcome to Deathwish video part. After that, I realized I did something in this realm and felt super accomplished, but I knew I had more in me, so I kept going.
I have a question about that lipslide on the double kink with the bushes on the side in Welcome to Deathwish: Raw Files. What the hell you were thinking to keep trying that? It was insane.
[Laughs] I don’t know. It felt pretty safe because there were bushes on the side. You know what’s funny with that lipslide, a lot of those attempts felt like I was lipsliding in a bowl, like through a bowl corner, straight up. I figured out if I lean a certain way and drop my knee down, I could do it. It was a battle for sure and I’m surprised I kept going. That was my first Vans trip, and our squad was really heavy. It was Geoff Rowley, Kyle Walker, Tyson Peterson, and Burnett from Thrasher. I was trying the thing and got in so deep that I couldn’t stop, so I kept charging it. I was with the hardest squad and it was my time to try the hardest. I wanted it so bad and I would have been super disappointed in myself if I gave up because I’m not a quitter, so I found my way around that thing.
It’s just amazing that you push yourself so hard. Is there part of you that doesn’t want to disappoint the bros around you?
Exactly. That’s why you need to have the right crew around. If it’s not the right crew, you’re not skating your best. The crew will always help you and pick you up when you’re down on the ground and keep you going.
Isn’t that crazy? If you have that right crew there, you are going to go huge. It’s a crazy dynamic of skateboarding, right?
Yeah. There almost becomes a social aspect to it. I don’t think skating would have progressed as far if it wasn’t for having two or three people around you, experimenting pretty much.
Are you still posting up in LA?
Since that trip in 2018, I’ve been in LA. I stick with my homies, Jamie and Kaylanne and we skate and film. That’s pretty much our Deathwish squad out here in LA. I skate with Kirby and sometimes Neen. We went to Florida and did a cool tour where we went skatepark hopping and shop hopping. We’ve gone on a few cool tours.
Were you stoked to take your Deathwish crew to Florida through your old spots?
Yeah. They were really stoked to check out the scene. I showed them the local spots and we had a good time. We did a demo at a local skate shop.
That’s cool. After that Florida tour, did you keep going back out to other spots?
Yeah. I have this good group of homies, my friend, Rye Beres, films and he has a project going on called Homies. A lot of the dudes we skate with in that crew are transition-oriented, so we’ve done some pretty cool trips up to Portland and Seattle. We get back in town and it never stops. We just keep on filming every single day, doing the best we can and enjoying the time on our skateboards.
You’re doing all this heavy duty street skating then you go up to Portland and hit all of that crazy concrete. All of a sudden, you have to turn on the roundwall mode. Is that something you click right into?
Sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes my street legs are too powerful and I can’t get into the transition mode right away. I’ve noticed that with inverts. If I haven’t done an invert in a while, I have to relearn it sometimes.
What was going on in 2019 in LA, before COVID? Were you on a heavy schedule?
Before the pandemic, we were traveling a lot. I went to Australia on an Indy trip and I went on a few Vans trips, up and down the East Coast. Last November, I turned pro for Deathwish and we had a cool little event for that.
Killer. What was that Indy trip to Australia like? Who was on that trip?
That trip was crazy. Rhino was manning the mission and we had Jake, Figgy, Collin, Evan Smith, Milton Martinez, Wes Kremer, Grant Taylor and me. The squad was stacked, heaviest crew I’ve been with.
So you guys were riding some concrete?
Yeah. We scored at that half pipe in Kambah and it was awesome. It was a ditch out in the field, no flat bottom. It was just a half pipe that wasn’t built for skating, no coping, 45 degree angle. It was sick.
What was it like being on that kind of tour with those guys? Was the vibe cool?
Yeah. The vibe was super sick. It was high intensity every moment, just spot to spot, clips after clips, slams after slams. Figgy took a crazy slam. I took a crazy slam. I clotheslined a railing, folding like a taco around the rail, and hurt my ribs.
Definitely, but I just bit my tongue and held it for the rest of the trip because I didn’t want to look weak as hell. Out of that whole crew, I was the only Am. I wasn’t even pro yet.
You were running with the elite crew. That’s a lot of respect shown to you.
Yeah. I knew that it was pretty crazy.
When you got back were you hooked up on Vans and went on some Vans tours?
Pretty much. It feels like this was all coinciding during the same deal. That year there were a lot of trips back to back. We did a really cool Vans project that year, and we went to a lot of cool events just touring Montreal, and the East Coast, like New York, Philly and Albany.
Who were the guys on that Vans trip?
The North America squad, like Nick Michel, Justin Henry, Henry Gartland, Tanner Van Vark, Christian Henry, my sister, Fabiana Delfino, and Breana Geering. There was a lot of cool people.
Was it a trip having your sister on a tour with you?
It was a little bit of a trip, but it’s really rad though. It’s cool that we get to skate together.
The whole time you’re working hard in California, trying to kick ass as much as you can, was your sister doing the same?
Yeah. She was doing a lot of the contest circuits and doing her own thing as well, trying to find her opportunities. Then we got to go pro together. That was historic too.
Hell yeah! When did you turn pro?
That was in November 2019.
Was it a surprise?
It was a surprise. I was really stoked. There was a Thrasher “Bust or Bail” going on in California and, after the event finished they called us up. We were like, “What’s going on?” And they came out with the boards, spraying champagne everywhere. It was super cool.
What was your pro board graphic?
They gave me a sick pro model. Mike Gigliotti had drawn some really cool graphics and I was super stoked. The graphic was kind of a Cannonball Satan. It was a demonic figure with a creature coming out of the stomach and mouth. It was pretty cool and gnarly.
That’s killer. What did your parents think of you and your sister going pro?
They flew out there and surprised us and they were super stoked. They could not believe that both of us turned pro at the same time. They were tripping. It wasn’t until that moment that they fully understood what the deal was. Now they are really cool and supportive of it. Every time we have footage out, they love to watch us skate.
Being pro for Deathwish, do they get your input on where to go for tours or do you just leave that up to them?
It’s a little bit of both. What’s cool about Deathwish is we are like a small little family. We are always adding our input and hearing what each other has to say and then we decide where to go. It’s rad.
Who on Deathwish has a board?
We got Jamie Foy, Taylor Kirby, Neen Williams, Jake Hayes, Jon Dickson and myself. I think that’s it.
Are you all in the same area in California?
Kirby, Jake, and Jamie are around me in LA. Jon lives in Long Beach and Neen just moved to Texas.
So the pro guys on Deathwish get to skate a lot together, hang, film and fuck shit up.
Yeah. It’s super rad. I love our squad.
That’s rad. It looks like you’re still ripping vert too. I saw you here in NYC at Chelsea Pier and you were killing it.
Thanks. I had a really good time in New York and getting to meet you. It was a super sick session. I hope I get to do it more. I want to go to FDR and figure that thing out. That thing is tricky. I’ve been there a couple times, but very briefly. It’s so gnarly. The walls are big, and sometimes they kink out, and there’s random drop offs at certain points. The paint makes it hard to see certain walls.
Go in there and grit your teeth. I just have to tell you, it stokes me out to see dudes coming up that are just skating to have fun, and have the right attitude, and don’t have an ego about it. The more skating for fun I see, the more I want to talk to people. I want to thank you for giving me the time. Is there anybody you want to shoutout and thank for everything you’ve got at this point?
Thank you, Murf. I’m really stoked to have this conversation with you. I want to say thank you to all the skateboarders. Keep skating. That’s it. Keep rolling.