If the articles in this 30th Anniversary Issue teach you anything, it should be that skateboarding has evolved leaps and bounds over the past three decades. It should also make clear that key individuals—pioneers—served as central catalysts to these massive advances. Ray Barbee’s addition to the Bones Brigade in ’87 and subsequent appearances in Powell Peralta’s Public Domain (’88) then Ban This (’89) represent some of the most critical junctures in our short history. On the heels of Steve Steadham, Ray cracked the façade of what had been more or less up to then a white-bred pastime. He also showcased some of the first conscious line-based flatground street skating ever. And unlike the neon glam beach volleyball styles of the ‘80s vert scene, Ray’s casual attire and cruising lines through LA sprawl set the table for city kids of all stripes and colors to make skateboarding theirs in the two decades and change since.   

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Entries in sugar magazine (2)


Zack Wallin: Sugar Magazine Interview, Le Tombeur de ces Dammes

This Zack Wallin Interview ran in French in the August 2013 issue of Sugar Magazine in France. As a fan of Zach and his powerhouse skating, I figured I might as well post the pre-translated English text here along with the scans of the Sugar spreads. Photos by: Dave Chami, Seu Trinh, Oliver Barton, and Wes Tonascia. Click on the images for XL. Enjoi —ME

Life is funny sometimes. Getting something you always wanted is often accompanied by a different challenge you have never faced. This Karmic law arrived in force for Zach Wallin last year when he finally got the nod to become a full-fledged amateur skateboarder for enjoi alongside Ryan Lay—something he had essentially been hoping for his whole life. When all that was left was to make it official with an intro part, he was diagnosed with to this day unexplained and apparently very rare blood clotting in his chest. Originally told not to skate by experts at Stanford University, and ordered to administer blood thinning injections into his stomach twice a day to boot—Zach eventually decided to film the part anyways—shots, clots, and all. And as luck would have it, his teammate, Ryan Lay suffered a series of ankle injuries of his own; pushing back the intro video’s deadline long enough for both to put together the impressive parts that ultimately dropped last May (See Zach's Below). A year and a half later, with his mysterious health condition completely cleared up, I checked in with Zach to get the temperature on life in the Mansion, fanning out on Cairo Foster, how it felt to quit his day job as a carpenter, and most importantly—why he is universally renowned as a lady’s man.     

How have things been since becoming an official am? Do you still work construction?
Things have been good. I actually quit my job as a carpenter and have just been skating every day. It’s been awesome because when I was working a full-time job and trying to film I would just get hurt because I wasn’t on my board enough. I can skate every day now and I just feel way better on my board.

I guess working something with physical labor involved too—if you got hurt skating you can’t work and if you got hurt at work you couldn’t skate.
Exactly. Even if it was just a hard day at work, it was still labor. Then I would just be too tired to skate when I finally had the time. Or too sore.

You weren’t just sitting in a cubicle.
No, it was hard work.

Still living the enjoi Mansion life?
Yeah. Actually I am. It’s pretty sweet man. It’s real mellow now. It’s still a skate house. Cairo Foster lives here. Louie lives here with his wife and a couple of other Tiltmode homies—my friend Warren and G-Won. It’s pretty awesome though, you always have someone to skate with.

No plans of moving?
No. It’s a nice place with cheap rent. I’m pretty content.

Were you born and raised in San Jose?
Yeah. Born and raised. I basically just moved around San Jose when I was younger but we always stayed here.

How did you stumble on skating?
Actually my cousin came into town to visit one time for a couple of weeks and he brought his board with him. I must have been nine or 10. He would go skate and I wasn’t allowed to go venture out with him, but he would come back and just have all these incredible stories about meeting new skaters, because he was from out of town, hanging out with girls and listening to music at the spot. He would come home to our house and talk about it and I was just mesmerized. I was amazed that all these rad experiences were right there for you if you rode a skateboard. I think a few months after that I got some shitty Nash board for my 10th birthday.

Best memories from your two weeks in Scandinavia and Russia last year to fully get on enjoi as an am? Had you traveled before that?
I had traveled before that trip but that was kind of the first trip were I was officially on a team trip. I was like 80 percent sure I was on before the trip and then I finally got fully on during it. I still had to film the intro part though to really seal the deal.

Those intro parts had some drama too right? Ryan Lay was injured and you had that crazy blood clotting deal.
Yeah. Right after that trip we kind of both got jacked up. Ryan had some pretty serious ankle issues and I had that random internal blood clotting.

Is the blood clotting pretty much cleared up now? You don’t have to give yourself the blood thinning shots any more?
Yeah. It’s basically completely gone. Thank God. I don’t have to give myself the shots any more. I was the gnarliest thing for me. I had to take them twice a day too, like one right in the morning and then right before I went to bed. Waking up to sticking a needle in my stomach was the worst.

The one at night probably sucks too. You can’t go get drunk and forget to take it.

Exactly. You can’t miss one of the shots. So you can’t forget or you might have clotting. It sucked. It was just this constant reminder that I was jacked—morning and night. Thank God it’s all over. It’s a really long story but at the end of it all, all these specialists, specialists from Stanford, not just these budget doctors still had no explanation for why it happened. Usually people get clotting in their legs, but I had it in my chest, which at my age is supposedly extremely rare. They were tripping off me. Then I was tripping because they were tripping.

I asked Matt Eversol what to ask you and he said, “Ask him about chicks. He slays pussy. Big booty hoes.” So what about chicks?
(Laughs.) I don’t know. I guess I get lucky with the ladies sometimes. I don’t really feel like I’m a lady’s man. I don’t go out telling myself I’m going to land myself a lady. Actually, I feel like that’s when you f—k up. You go out with expectations—out on the prowl—and I think desperation is just ugly. Looking like you need something is sometimes a good way not to get it (Laughs.)

Best advice for meeting a girl at the bar? Just play it cool?
Yeah. Play it cool. Don’t be that dude going for the glory. Let it happen. I don’t even know. I don’t go on the hunt.

San Jose girls vs. Russian or Swedish?

Oh man. San Jose girls don’t even stand a chance. They shouldn’t even be compared (Laughs.) No, that’s a lie, there are some really good girls here. But I think my preference—I just love Finnish girls. They’re beautiful and their vibe is awesome.

Is skateboarding for a living something you’d want?
Yeah. Why not? For as long as it lasts. I’ve had real jobs. I worked carpentry for like four years and that definitely showed me enough to know about the real world. Now I just feel like I’m on vacation all the time (Laughs.) Skateboarding is not a job. I never really planned on making money off of skateboarding. I still don’t really depend on it. I’m just going with the flow right now.

It’s almost like trying to meet girls. You can’t really go after it?
Yeah. Exactly. Just let it happen. I always do what I’m happy doing. That’s worked out for me so far so hopefully I keeps going.

Favorite San Jose legend about an enjoi rider? Any urban myths?
There is one. I don’t think I’ve ever asked Jerry (Hsu) about this one but when I was a kid I remember reading in an interview or something that he had done acid by himself in his room. And he ended up staying in the room all day and all night and ended up writing all these words all over his body with a Sharpie. I don’t know why, but I always remembered that. To this day I think about it when I see him (Laughs.) I need to ask him about it. What did he write?

Do non-skaters in San Jose know about enjoi?
Oh, for sure. I get people talking to me all the time. I’m like the new guy on the team too, so these random people will come up and ask questions about it. They know about Louie or Caswell (Berry) or just Tiltmode.

Your skating is definitely in the powerhouse realm—fast and big. Did anybody influence you to skate the way you do or was it just natural?
I think subconsciously, looking back, I was definitely influenced by John Cardiel. I was always my favorite when I was a kid. A lot of my friends didn’t like him when we were real young, but I think that’s why I always wanted to go fast. Cardiel was the dude I looked up to. I think watching Heath (Kirchart) and Cairo (Foster) too. They would just jump over and down massive shit. Those dudes probably made me want to take an extra push.

All time favorite enjoi ad?

Man. There are so many good ones. I have tons. One that really stood out to me early on was the Marc Johnson ad where he’s freestyling on that little board. I think because I saw it when I was so young. From the new ones there’s one of Caswell and Jose (Rojo)—like a sequence of them shotgunning a beer. I think just because I heard the back-story on it. I guess they needed multiple takes of the beer shot so they were basically wasted mid-day by the time they finished.

It’s funny you mention Marc. Do you think his imprint is still there in enjoi?
Yeah. To me it is. I mean I’ve never even met the guy so I can’t say too much. But I know he pretty much came up with everything for enjoi in the beginning, and it has more or less stayed true to his vision. Even now, my favorite stuff from enjoi is from the beginning when he was doing it. I wonder what he thinks about enjoi today. Maybe if I meet him in the future I might get the balls to ask him.

Was it crazy to share a part with Cairo Foster and Caswell (Tweak the Beef [‘12])?

Totally. It was insane. I was just talking to somebody about it. My friend was over at the Mansion and Cairo walked by. My friend was just like, “Whoa, that’s Cairo Foster.” And I was just like, “I know. It’s a trip right?” It started this whole conversation. I seriously had photos and sequences of Cairo on my wall growing up and now I’m kind of sharing a video part with him. Even Caswell. They’re my good friends too but there’s still that little kid in me fanning out a little bit.

Does it ever wear off? You see Cairo walking to the shower or whatever and you still think, “Whoa.”
I don’t think it ever fully goes away man. It might wear off because you get more comfortable but then we go skate and he’s trying a gnarly trick and it just all comes back (Laughs.) All of the sudden I feel like this little kid that rolled up on the session by accident, like “Holy shit! There’s Cairo Foster!”

How good was Louie’s part in Tweak the Beef? Last part!
It’s funny. I saw a majority of that stuff go down in person but a lot of that footage was already pretty old so I had kind of forgotten a lot of it. Then to see it all together like that was kind of surprising. You forget how good he actually is. Even joking around, a lot of that stuff is really hard to do. He’s the type of guy that will just throw out the craziest trick I’ve never seen him do before.

I feel like one day Louie should just shave his head and put out like a fully serious Heath style part.
Yeah. Shave his head a la Jamie Thomas and just go for broke.

What are you working on now?
I’m working on one of those “Who Is” parts for Matix. Like Daewon (Song) just had his. And then other than that I’m just working on a full enjoi part. Basically Tweak the Beef was all the leftover VX footage that we had laying around but the actual HD enjoi video is supposed to be out in the next six months. I’m pretty nervous about it.

It can’t be any harder than the intro video was with all the health issues.
That’s true. I still don’t even know how it worked out.

Plans for the future? San Jose for life?
I’m traveling a lot know so when I come home to San Jose it’s like a treat. But then a week goes by and I want to go travel again. But all my friends and family are here, so I think if I ever buy a house I want to buy one here. So I guess I am San Jose for life.

All time San Jose legend?

Tim Brauch. When I was a kid growing up skating south San Jose I guess that was were he was from. So everywhere you went there were just these rumors, like “Oh Tim Brauch grinded this, or Tim Brauch used to skate this mini ramp.” He was probably the first sponsored skater I ever heard of so I’ll say him. Rest in Peace.



Caswell Berry: Sugar Mag Interview

Note: This Caswell Interview ran in Sugar Mag in French this past September (2012). A few months old but still some funny skate nerd musings if you are a fan. —ME

Sugar Magazine
: Caswell Berry
Vertigo, Shotguns, and Fat Chicks

Caswell Berry has been in the game for a minute. He had his first published skate photo in a magazine when he was 11. He rode for the Ventura’s notorious Christian-themed board company “Renaissance” (As in “Born Again”) when he was 13. Rode for Powell alongside Javier Sarmiento and Danny Wainwright in his late teens. Then joined Diego Buchierri, Billy Marks, Ed Templeton, Austin Stephens and the rest of the loyal pawns at Toy Machine right around the time he turned 20—appearing alongside Ed’s assorted sex toys in the ’02 tour video Sucking the Life. But after changing teams three times in his first decade of sponsorship, since turning pro in ’03, Caswell has stood firm as a mainstay rider for enjoi—combining both the comforts of living in his home town of San Jose with the convenience of it also being the Tiltmode Army’s home turf and site of the longtime party zone known as the enjoi “Mansion”. After Bag of Suck dropped in ’06, Caswell has been more or less living the good life—traveling the world and skateboarding in between cigarettes. With new Osiris, enjoi, and possibly Volcom videos in the works, I caught up with Caswell to get the details of his current situation; Vertigo, Shotguns, and fat chicks being some of the finer points to his story.  Read on. 

What were you up to this summer?
We probably just did a bunch of Zumiez demos and mall shop signings. Then just a bunch of filming trips because I’m working on a new Osiris video and a new enjoi video. I guess the deadline for Osiris is October 30th so it should be wrapping pretty soon.

Was the last major one that Feed the Need (’07) one?

Is there anything specific for enjoi? I feel like I’ve interviewed so many enjoi riders and there’s always a video coming.
Yeah. I don’t know. I just leave it up to the big wigs. Matt Eversol and guys like that. It’s usually a matter of them having all their ideas in order.

If someone from Bag of Suck era skateboarding time traveled to the present and it was your job to fill them in on what had changed, what would you tell them?
Hmmm. Bag of Suck was ’06. Man, I would probably say that the internet has obviously continued to change things. It’s probably made some things tougher and other things easier. If you’re trying to come up now, it’s obviously way easier to get your footage seen—just dump it all on the internet. It’s a dumping grounds though. There’s so much shit on there to sort through things almost get lost. Even if you find something you want it’s usually only like two minutes. I used to like watching a half hour video or an hour of edited footage.

It was almost easier when people just presented a new video. At least you knew they had spent time on it, like “Ok, this is worth my time. Somebody spent a year or two making it.”
Yeah. Now I’ll see ads of videos coming out and a bunch of them, as far as I know, don’t even ever come out. Like they keep leaking footage online.

It’s true. I feel like Plan B has been advertising their video for like 7 years.
(Laughs.) Yeah. Did that ever even come out? Is it still coming?

I don’t know. I keep hearing it’s in the works. But then it’s, “Oh, we used up all the VX footage, because now it’s all HD.”
That’s true. That whole thing is a kick in the nuts too. Everybody has all this footage filmed on VX and now no one wants to see that shit because it’s old apparently or the colors aren’t good enough or you can’t see your face.

It makes it a bit more exclusive too. If you don’t have the HD camera you can’t run with the big boys.
Totally. The VX was the people’s camera (Laughs.)

What about Facebook and Instagram and all that shit. It seems like every kid knows what every pro is doing at any time of the day now.
Not me. I don’t have any of that shit. It’s too much work and drama. It just looks like bragging to me. It’s fun in its own right if you do it the right way, but just for me—I don’t really want everybody to know what I’m doing. If I post a photo somewhere all of a sudden I have people lurking on the session. It just adds more stress.

I see stuff sometimes that legendary pros that I looked up to post and sometimes it’s actually a big let down.
Oh yeah. I see what you mean. All of a sudden you realize they’re not as cool as you thought.

Yeah. It kills the mystique if Jason Jesse is intagraming every meal he eats.
(Laughs.) No shit. I guess it’s important though. I’ve been told that I have no internet presence or whatever. I understand that you do have to have some of that to keep it going, but it’s just a pain in the ass. Just another thing I have to work for. It’s a distraction. Shameless promotion.

I look through it a lot and just feel second hand embarrassment for people. Like you can tell what people were thinking when they posted something. Like, “Ok, here’s me and Rob Dyrdek. This is going to push me up a few notches!”
I can’t wait to see how many people “Like” this! I can tap my screen twice to give you a thumbs up! It’s like high school. Skateboarding is like a high school click, ranked by importance on social media apps.

I like that there are still some pros that just stay off it.
Yeah. I wish I could say I had some philosophical reason. For me it’s probably just laziness.

I was told my (Matt) Eversol you are in a destructive relationship.
(Laughs.) Yeah. Well it’s up and it’s down like a rollercoaster. There are moments of complete awesomeness and then others not so much so. We’ve been together almost 6 years so it’s nothing too new. She’s a local girl from San Jose. I didn’t have to do any importing.

You don’t live at the official enjoi Mansion anymore do you?
No. I live less than a block away though. So I could be there all the time if I wanted. I’m an honorary roommate I guess. It’s mellowed out a lot. I can’t remember the last time there was a party over there. I know since Louie (Barletta) bought it, he has pretty much just been fixing it up and keeping it mellow. Right now it’s Louie, this dude Warren, a couple of chicks that live in the basement. It was converted into apartments before Louie bought it. Jai (Tanju) used to live down there, Nestor (Judkins) used to live down there. In the mid level, you have Zach Wallin with a room. Cairo (Foster) is renting a room there right now too. It’s a big old house.

Where does Cairo live permanently now?
That’s where he has a bed.

Doesn’t he have a wife and kid?
Yeah. I think they in New Mexico. So when he’s not traveling and skating he’s there and then he comes out here for little skate breaks too.

So the 24/7 party zone is over?
It’s pretty much quiet for the most part now. I’m sure dudes come back from the bars sometimes and rage, but for the most part it’s mellow.

Getting midlife?
Kind of. But I also think it got to a point where skateboarding wasn’t that important after a certain point. The party took over a little so I think this is a shift back in the other direction. You can rage and skate but it’s hard to do. You have to pick your battles as you get older.

Best memory from Toy Machine days?
There were really good times. It was never like I was bummed out on it, except when I left. I’d say every trip. But this one ’02 US trip we did was like a month long—we drove across the country. But Ed (Templeton) has this like sword of a dildo. It has like a sword handle with a hand guard attached to a dildo. It was really weird. That was like the beating stick if anybody got out of line (Laughs.) Like you would get smacked with the big dildo if nobody was feeling your music choice or whatever in the van.

Who was on Toy Machine at that point? You, Ed, Austin (Stephens)…?
Yeah. Diego (Buchierri), Austin, Ed, myself and that was probably right when Billy (Marks) got on and who else? Oh yeah, of course—Josh Harmony. Maybe one more. I feel like I’m forgetting somebody for sure. Fuck. Oh yeah Nate Broussard!

Oh well. Best memory from the Powell days?
Well, the team manager at the time, Rob Washburn, he was pretty awesome. He would throw out a lot of cash for specific tricks (Laughs.) Like, “Here, sixty bucks for this one right here!” and you’d be like, “Fuck yeah! I’m going for it!” (Laughs.) Or maybe the first Tampa I ever entered. That was rad. Powell traveled a shit ton. I don’t ever remember what happened to all the footage.

Best scene in Animal Chin (’87)?
Oh wow. That’s a good one. Hold on… Hi Doobie (To someone in background). I’m just saying hi to my mom’s dog. Damn. Animal Chin. I usually just really enjoy the whole thing (Laughs.) Wallows is really good. Hmmm. The SF part. I’ll just go ahead and say Wallows. Or actually—the club where Johnny Rad is playing. Lance is doing like a 5-0 grind over the window, but it’s actually just his feet. The Blue Tile lounge. That’s my pick.

Public Domain (’88) or Ban This (’89)?
It’s a tie. Honestly I think both copies I had were recorded on the same VHS tape. I was so young I didn’t know the titles so it all blends together. I remember Propaganda really well. Frankie Hill had the first part.

Were you a Frankie Hill fan?
Yeah. I was so young I didn’t really know people. But I remember him specifically mute grabbing that huge ass gap in Propaganda and doing like boardslides almost tuck knee as he was boardsliding, I thought that was really cool. Without knowing personally at all it just seemed like he was such an awesome dude.

Best Steve Caballero part?
All of them. He ripped and still does.

Are you in a Powell video?
I don’t think so. I don’t think they but any out while I was on.

Do you consider yourself a Bones Brigade member? Technically you were right?
I did go to Japan and I think it was marketed exclusively as a Bones Brigade trip (Laughs.) It was when Danny Wainwright and Javier Sarmiento were on too.

Best memory from the Renaissance days?
(Laughs) I knew it was coming. Honestly, most of us got on before any of the 411 commercials came out or anything. I think when we saw those, and it became obvious what they were trying to do with the whole Christian side, that was shocking to almost everybody on the team. To us it was just free boards. They came to San Jose and told us like, “We’ll give you four boards a month.” Who wouldn’t be stoked as a kid? I don’t think any of us knew it was that type of company. They didn’t really tell us. The best memory would probably be from being on a trip somewhere in the US, probably New Mexico or somewhere, but we would stay at like friends of theirs’ houses. But we would sneak off and go smoke cigarettes and drink beer in the woods. That actually felt pretty good considering it was this Christian company.

Was riding for Renaissance like a Catholic schoolgirl’s scenario, where it made you have to rebel for the rest of your life?
Right, like schoolgirls that go to the complete opposite end of the spectrum—just whore it up and start doing drugs (Laughs.) I think I was still too young by the time all that shit went under I was still just a kid. But maybe it did plant the seed of rebellion.

Rubbish Heap (’90): Jeremy Klein or Ron Chatman?
Oh man. Rubbish Heap was one of the videos I had on VHS when I was super young. I loved it. I think Ron Chatman and somebody else both do ollies at Benicia skatepark and their butts touch in mid air. It’s awesome. I remember (Mike) Vallely had a vert part in that too. I like the Jeremy Klein part a lot. He had the Nintendo song. I think I liked it for that reason. I was still playing Mario Bros. and all that. Although I still use that Ron Chatman quote about waxing red curbs. I used it the other day.

“Why would you wax a curb that’s already red?”
Exactly (Laughs.)

Did you love or hate Chris Branagh?
I was pretty neutral on him. I remember he has like the children’s lullaby song and he eats shit on the launcher to handicap bar. I guess Louie (Barletta) grew up in the Modesto area and I guess Chris Branagh was from there. Louie was saying he was just this kid that was super stoked on himself.  

Goldfish (’94) or Mouse (’98)?
I actually saw Mouse first. It didn’t blow it for me but skating was changing so fast then that it was always hard to go back and appreciate stuff you missed when it came out. Mouse was so advanced. It took me years to understand some of the tricks. Like Guy (Mariano)’s switch frontside pop-shove it to switch crooks on a handrail—it could have been regular for all I knew and I still didn’t understand it. The older I get—I think we were sitting there one night at the enjoi mansion watching Mouse and I just started tripping on how good those tricks were for back then.

I doubt if kids will ever really understand what the older dudes see in a Gino (Iannucci) part or a Guy part.
Oh, God no. They have no idea what we’re talking about. It’s beyond their grasp of comprehension. If it didn’t come out in the past few years, I doubt they know about it. Then again, some kids are really smart and get into it.

Best Marc Johnson story from the Mandown (’02) days?
Shit. A lot of fucking drinking. He came on this one enjoi trip with us when he was riding for Chocolate. We roomed together the whole trip and I actually got this photo that Jerry (Hsu) sent me the other day. It’s basically me with my shirt off after some demo and they had drawn this lower back tattoo on me with a sharpie. It was like a dolphin and some other stuff and MJ’s down there giving me a little kiss near the bottom. I’ll send you the photo, maybe they can use it.

What makes San Jose special?
Personally, it might sound weird but even just the way it smells here is comforting. There’s a specific way it smells and feels. That probably sounds weird but every time I get off an airplane and have my cigarette, there’s just a way it smells that feels like home. I love it. I’ve traveled across this earth and I’d probably live in some of the other places I’ve been but not forever. I just feel like this is where I want to be. I just feels right. There’s no place like home. All kinds of skating. All types of crews and homies.

Worst thing you have ever woken up to?
Wow. Shit. Well, it’s not so much “woke up” but more like say coming out of a blackout. But I came to and there was a really awful odor this one time, and I looked up to see this behemoth of a woman pushing my head down into her crotch. That was the exact moment that I came to. I immediately realized that I didn’t want to be there. I just started squirming and freaking out and saying I had gnarly anxiety and had to get out of there. This all happened at the Mansion too, in somebody else’s room to top it all off. I ended up having to pay for a taxi to get her back to her house and she stole my sweatshirt and all my cigarettes. I hopped in the taxi with her and had to go into her house and finagle my cigarettes back. I don’t think I got the sweatshirt back but the smokes were the main concern. That was probably the worst.  

Best drugs?
I’m not too heavy on drug use. But some reefer I suppose, and I’ve had some good experiences on mushrooms.

Worst drugs?
I had really bad experiences on mushrooms as well. But it’s bound to happen if you’re dabbling in that. I think acid is actually the worst. That’s where you see people and they’re permanently not the same afterwards. And of course all the really terrible drugs like Crystal Meth. I’ve never done it but looking at photos of people that do it, Faces of Meth—it looks pretty fucking horrible.

Who is enjoi sending to Street League?
I’ll say Weiger (Van Wageningen), but actually nobody from enjoi is going to Street League.

Romney or Obama?
“Mitt, Eat Shit.” I saw that tagged in a bathroom recently and thought it was really rad.

Is it ever okay to kill someone?
It’s gotta be a goddamned good reason, but I’m certain if it gets heavy enough. If you’re in a kill or be killed situation.

Best skate video ever made?
I’ll go with Animal Chin. I remember renting it every time I had a sick day from school as a kid. It’s got everything—skating, its got sweet acting, it’s got philosophy, like the whole “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” It’s deep (Laughs.)

Best ‘80s movie ever made?
Man. So many good ones. Robocop, Weird Science, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Rambo… Movies these days are basically all shit. They’re either comic book crap or remakes of something from the ‘80s. Total Recall (’89)—the original was great. There was no reason to make another one. Honest choice for best ‘80s movie, I’ll go with Willow. I loved that movie.

What positives do you see in the European skate scene?
Five panel hats! (Laughs.) No. I think it’s rad they have their own scene and companies. Some of it is better than the shit we have out here. It’s cool that they don’t have to get everything from the US.

It seems like the Europeans are less into the DC Monster angle too. Or maybe I’m just being optimistic.
They do have some wild rave shit at contests sometimes though.

That’s true. They have their own set of kooks. We all do. They just change flavors from country to country.
(Laughs.) Exactly. You need the kooks to separate out the cool kids.

Hobbies outside of skating?
I like to shoot shotguns. I like pinball. Bowling is a good time. I love all those old school type activities.

Do you just shoot at the range?
They have this place outside of San Jose. It’s like a hillside and they have all these stands where you can shoot clay pigeons. Like you yell, “Pull” like in the movies and two of them shoot up. You can set it to rabit mode where they bounce on the ground, or Canadian geese where they shoot up really high. I’ve hit the doubles before if they cross paths or shoot one after the other.

Is it buckshot or single cartridges?
You can do both depending on how you load your shotgun. Usually we use the spray but you can also get gnarly and use the straight slugs. But those will wreck your shoulder with the kickback.

Worst fashion era in skateboarding?
I don’t know. I wore the super baggy stuff. It was pretty bad. I mean ravers stole it after we were done with it. That has to tell you something when ravers are borrowing your style. That or maybe the short shorts now. The D3 era was pretty bad too.

Longest you have spent away from skateboarding?
My bout with vertigo for sure. That was about three years ago and it lasted like 6 months.

I think I read about that. It sounded insane. You just got vertigo all of a sudden?
I basically got nerve damage some how in my inner ear and then basically had to re-train my brain to take over instead of relying on the nerves. Those nerves are the ones that control your balance. So I had to go to a specialist and do a bunch of therapy just to stand on my board again. I was going out skating one day with my homey and I remember it was a normal day, I just went to take a push on my board and I remember feeling like my head was just going to fall straightforward if I leaned over the board. So I was like, “This is weird.” Then I try to lean back more and then I just feel like I’m going to fall backwards. I had just lost all ability to balance overnight. It was scary. I went home and just laid on the floor in the living room. I tried to get up and got just full on spins like if I was drunk but completely sober. I started vomiting too.

Damn. So after six months you just regained balance?
Yeah. Pretty much. I had all these exercises I had to o. But I guess they worked.

Best enjoi ad of all time?
All of them.

Last thing you want to do before dying happy?
Not die.