BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT - PART 3
The reality is though, however good you are, there is always some little bastard coming up that is better than you, has a better image or simply played the game better and sucked up to/sucked off the right team manager... Regardless of how long your time in the sun is, most people don't ever get there, so sponsored skaters are put on a pedestal for all the kids to look up to. Some thrive on this, others crumble under the pressure and some just start to fucking hate the thing they once loved. We hit up some skaters that were a staple fixture in the skate world not so long ago to see exactly where they disappeared to and what they are up to now. We have had such an overwhelming response that we've had to split this article into a few parts or it'd end up being longer than the bible.
1. When and why did you decide to throw in the towel on being sponsored, or did someone throw it in for you?
2. Do you miss it at all? How is post-skating / real life treating you?
3. How much are you skating these days? Any chance of a comeback?
Miss professional skateboarding? No. Miss the freedom it provided? Yes.
Skateboarding is better than ever now. It's been a part of who I am as a person for the last 30 years. I just chose to go down a temporary professional route with it. Been there. Done that. Now let's get back to why we originally started riding.. Fun and solace. Rather fame and fortune.
How much I skate depends on the weather, free time, and motivation. Once a professional, always a professional. Coming back into competition professionally? No way.
I do not miss the fake smiles and condolences, people tend to be more honest when they do not think someone has more to offer. I'm better now (just not pushed by money), I'll leave it up to you or whoever reads this to do research, the label is The oBtuseconcept and I post - Gershon Mosley's The Park Ranger Series up once a month since 2008 and random edits from time to time. Being in control of what I do is much better than the past that people think of, being able to choose who I work with has great advantages. I'm not 'rich' and things could always be stepped up, but I am happy with my present.
I skate when I desire. A comeback? I never actually left (the 'followers' did), but when a person chooses to be more than just an 'entertainer', 'fans' (the market) are/is fickle... If I did, it would not be for just skateboarding, I rather do something with it positively, rather than be a name lost in other people's memories...
I moved onto racing Go Karts, VW's & Porsches which I also loved. Real life is challenging, I own a repair shop that works on VW's, Audi's and Porsches but I can't see working for someone else.
I skate for fun these days and do not see a 'comeback' in my future. Although I will be getting my ollieair website up to date soon.
What I miss most about it is traveling the world with friends. Skating new spots around Europe with some of my best friends is something I will always cherish and remember. I also miss seeing the skaters that I would only see at contests and ASR. I miss the endless summer and being on my board everyday. Post skating real life is going really well and that has everything to do with what skateboarding has given me. After my last pro skate check I had to get a real job in the real word. I worked at starbucks for about 8 months and it was reality check. I’ve always held a part time job but they were skate related, skateshops and team managing. I remember Dave Mayhew coming in to the starbucks I worked at during ASR and being so embarassed. Luckily that didn’t last very long and got an opportunity to learn graphic design from my former team manager, Ray Underhill. Rest in paradise Ray, I miss you man! He was going to be leaving to North Carolina to work for Eastern Distribution. I was to work under him for a few weeks and take over his current job. He then gave me a crash course in Illustrator, Photoshop, and Quark Express. Soon I was laying out skate ads, catalogs, and graphics. I always had a lot of input when it came to board graphics and ads so it was a pretty natural transition for me. A few years later I was helping Alphonzo Rawls set up his new computer at his pad. At the time he was doing footwear design for DC. I had always been enamored with footwear, then had a lightbulb moment and realized what I wanted to do next. Seeing what Alf was doing was so inspiring. Thanks Alf! Wasn’t quite sure how I was going to get there but knew that’s what I wanted to do. Few years later, I answered an ad in craigslist and got a job as a production artist at Adidas. From there I was a sponge soaking in the ins and outs of footwear which eventually led me to becoming a footwear designer, designing golf shoes for Adidas.
If there were more hours in a day I’d definitely be skating more! I’ve got an amazing wife and two young boys, so I spend a lot of my free time with them. I’m still playing music, my band “i*wish*i” released an LP last year so we’ve been playing shows to support the record. So not a lot free time to ride - trying to balance family, work life, and music. At the very least I try to get out every other week. Comeback? Have you seen the calibur of skating these days? Insane. Love seeing guys from my generation like Koston, Daewon, Marc Johnson, and Guy still killing it! If anything, I do have a personal comeback, to put a little footage together. My friend James Lapuyade has started a company called 'Preservation' out of Louisiana. He’s got a little veterans division with me and Duane Pitre. So I’m trying to get some clips out for that along with a limited edition board. Check em out http://www.preservationboardco.com/ Thanks for your time and love your site!
I still skate when I can, but I do miss the days and life I had made for myself in Cali. All my friends, food etc. Real life is great. I started a headwear brand called Vivo with some of the illest skaters to date; Appleyard, Wade Desarmo and Spencer Hamilton to name a few. Then recently I started a masonry company Mod Rock Stone and Tile. I love my new life just as much as my last. I work 4 hours a day max and make a great living while having more free time to do what I choose to do; art, skate and video games, haha. Yup life’s good.
I skate as much as I can when I can in the summer, Vancouver is beautiful but rainy as hell in the winter months. Wish i could skate more. Comeback is not even possible for me now. Running two companies takes a toll on the brain and body, but I am gonna film a 1 min part for this art project I'm doing this year. So stay tuned for an old man part dropping shortly this year.
I don’t miss it at all, life’s good at the moment, I’m still hyped on skating and I've been getting into photography and filming for a little while now too.
I've been getting out as much as possible, usually once or twice a week depending on the weather. There’s not going to be any sort of comeback, just going to take it easy and keep rolling for as long as my body will let me.
Oddly enough, I kind of miss the pressure and deadlines of it all - I really miss working on collective projects and that sort of thing.
I’m still filming and skating all the time - It actually feels like I skate more now than I did, or at least skating is more meaningful now than it was when I was super sponsored. If the right opportunity presented itself, I would definitely jump on it.
Yes, I definitely miss skateboarding. I miss skating like I used to back in the day, it was an all day, everyday thing for me. I do skateboard once in a while, whenever I feel like doing so, but it's not the same. Skateboarding will definitely be a part of my life forever, it was my dream for many years, and I will always have a connection to it.
I wouldn't return to being a professional skateboarder now because it has been about 10 years since I last skated on a professional level. At this time the level of skateboarding and competition is very tough and on a higher scale. Skateboarding nowadays is very advanced and it would be very hard for me to go back to that level.