BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT PART 5
Most kids dreams of being sponsored start about twenty minutes after discovering their first skateboard. When you have found something that is so much fun that it's all you can think about, what could be better than getting free stuff to skate on? Maybe even getting your name on a board, fuck - imagine if skateboarding was your job! That must be the best thing in the world, right?
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.
We asked everyone the same simple three questions:
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?
It was thrown in for me, April 1991 went on head on with a suburban and a semi-truck at 80mph on Freeway 1-5 around Bakersfield Ca. I’m very, lucky to be alive, skateboards saved my life as I had 100’s in my car as I was driving them for Costa Mesa to shop in the San Jose Area (where I lived). I was on interstate 5 around Bakersfield heading north just finished 10 days straight of 18-20 hrs works days and heading back home. I fell asleep went head on (believe me i was very much awake at this point) with a suburban truck and then an 18 wheeler in my red VW golf at 80mph + (I know Chelsea fans, that will teach me supporting that shit color), my steering wheel was rammed in my chest so hard that when they cut me out with the jaws of life they thought I would fall apart from within and were ready to do surgery on the side or the freeway. The car was rammed full of skateboards in boxes, I was delivering them to skate shops up north. I also had one of the TV’s and VCR’s that I edited New Deal's "Useless Wooden Toys" video. Those boards and those objects as well as being the fittest I have ever been saved my life there is no doubt (and a few angels looking out for me). I had to kill my lifelong passion as my body could not do it anywhere near the level before the accident, after back surgery I was told NEVER to skate again. It sucked but as my grandfather would have said “I had a good innings”. I was lucky to be alive and to get on with life. I am still involved in skating and will be till my death - it's all I know.
My real life, I used to own/manage Giant skateboard distribution; New Deal, Element, Mad Circle, Golden state wheel co, Destructo trucks, 411VM and On Video, and we used to distribute Zoo York and Black label. I sold out of all that and took a few years off and focused on my UK distribution company called NDUK.
Today I work at Dwindle distribution; Almost, Blind, Cliché, Darkstar, Tensor, Enjoi, Dusters and the original Start Trac wheels by Kryptonics. I am also married and have 2 wonderful kids - BB (girl) 14 and Nick (boy) 12.
Just pushing, No chance of a come back, I started skating again 7 or 8 years ago and then 3 years ago I got hurt and I was out for 18months. now I just push around. But saying that my boards just got reissued, ha ha!
I decided to stop skating around 2002 I think. At least stop doing it and trying to get paid etc. I stopped because i just lost interest in it. Then in 2004 I started working on the Get Familiar video, so i was immersed in skating again.
I miss skating a lot. I still keep up with it as far as who is killing it etc. Post skating is good. I drive around the country and buy and sell antiques.
I'm skating about 0%, I do not think I will be making a comeback.
After Arcade I sill had several awesome sponsors who supported me. They still wanted me to have a board sponsor, however. So I half heartedly went looking for another. I got a few offers but nothing felt right. Arcade was a family and I was too far along in life to need adoption. So I started my own. I didn't need anyone else's money and I didn't like anyone else's wood. So I went straight back to the manufacturer who produced Arcade boards and went into business with them direct. That was in 2002 and I have been dealing with them ever since. From the time I first stepped on a board, it became my Dream to do that for the rest of my life. That was 25 years ago and I am still at it. I operate my board brand from my home town, North Little Rock, Arkansas. I brought it back here to the middle of the country, to a place where the kids could use a Dream and that is the name I gave it, Dream Skateboards. I also have an indoor skatepark and skateshop, Dream and Enjoy!!
Once a skateboarder, always a skateboarder! There is no 'post-skating'. If you can walk away you never were a skater in the first place. My real life has been my real life since I was old enough to think for myself and I don't expect that to change either. I think differently, I live differently. Always have, always will.
Running a business is quite a bit different than just skating for one. I still make time several times a week to shred the Dream park or one of our two local concrete parks, Kanis DIY and Riverview. I street skate a few times a month, but I am more Dansition than Danrail these days. I take skate trips several times a year and I have seriously been considering a go at Tampa pro next year. Not in hopes of winning or even placing, but just to be a part of the fellowship once again. Skateboarding remains at the center of my life, as I am sure it does with all of the pros who ever were or who ever will be. That is why we need a Master Division for street skaters!
I blew my knee out really bad in 94 and it took years to be able to ride again. Got four surgeries betweenhave 2008-2010 and been riding a lot. Sponsored by Indy, Bones Wheels, Dekline shoes and have a model from Solitaire Skateboards. I never have or will ever stop skateboarding. SKATE HARD RETARD!!!
I never really threw in the towel. I just realized from early on that in order to really make it, you had to know all the right people. Skateboard politics is like high school. It’s where ya from, and who ya know. I came from a small town and we were a really tight squad. We had our own sense of humor and I grew up on nothing but pure sarcasm and shit talking to each other. So, when I started meeting new people from LA or SF or whereever, I treated them the same way - with sarcasm and jokes. That seemed to rub a lot of people the wrong way, so before I knew it I was out, even if I didn’t know it. My sob story is long as fuck, and to answer the question of did “someone throw it in for you?” The answer is yes, a few people fucked me over pretty damn good. Ever had Steve Rocco ask you to skate for World when you were 14 and say no because you’re too young and stupid to know any better? Haha. Like I said, my story is long as fuck but it’s now ancient history and I couldn’t be happier at where I’ve ended up today.
I miss those days everyday. Being young, broke, and skating 8-10 hours a day with all my friends, not a care in the world was the best. But from pretty early on I knew I probably wasn’t going to be making a killing as a pro, so when I was about 21 I came up with the idea for what is now known as Project Hardware. Phillips/Allen combo hardware, bolts, tool, etc. In 2005, the brand (Universal Hardware) went to Imperial Distribution, and didn’t work at all. They just didn’t get it. So I left, and around 2007 started Project Hardware with Dennis Smith (owner of Furnace Skate Shop) and Stacy Lowery. Over the years, we parlayed that into a few longboard and street brands and in 2009 we started Resource Distribution in Costa Mesa, Ca. We now have about 15 employees and I’m fucking stoked to be making good money doing what I love to do. Traveling the world, meeting new people, skating with our crew. Life is fucking great.
I skate as much as I can, but lately, I’ve been able to get out a lot more. I’m rusty as hell, but it’s still there because it’s in my blood. If I spend more than a few days on my board I start to feel it creeping back. I never really thought about a comeback because in my eyes I never really made it, but thanks for asking!
I decided to stop a little later than I should have. I tried stopping a couple years before because I felt like I'd done all I was capable of in skating for me in a professional sense. I was getting into doing lots of art at the time too, my father was a painter and mother is an artist. I was surrounded by art and being with Mark all those years was inspiring. I tried to stop professionally and was happy just getting boards from Mark (Gonzales) and skating for the love of it. I then got asked to ride for Sugar, but by then my heart wasn't into the money and stresses of being pro again, so one day I just quit all my sponsors, but still skated for myself. I'll always consider my self a skater first.I do miss skating and do skate a little bit still, but most of my time is dedicated to making art, having shows and enjoying life. As for a comeback, I don't see that in my future. I'll leave it to all the rippers these days, but you never know, haha.
I am still sponsored. I think thats part of the system, to be part of the industry.
I still skate. Just not everyday like I should. Skating is still super fun.
I'm planning on getting back on my game this year. I have been building my brand to extend my future stability in the industry.
Didn't throw in the towel, I still skate here in San Diego with my old school friends. Just not trying to be sponsored anymore. I just skate for fun now.
I was on a path with Mike Ternasky past owner of Plan B skateboards to work with me for skateboarding switch stance. Nobody cared but him. I was on a whole new path and future for bringing out the opposite way of skating, till his life was cut short. RIP Mike. I kept with my boundaries and brought more switch skating into the world of contests - people were confused and laughing at me, because I could do 2 runs both ways with the same tricks. I was laughed at when I drilled my truck holes back so I could do everything. So I carried on and did my best to bring it in and sure enough everyone and there mother is doing it now, including snow boarding, go figure. There's more to the story than this. Tony Magnusson never thought I would be famous, because he didn't see my road map or future I was bringing to the table..
I don't miss it, because I still skate once in a while, just don't do tricks like I used to. Older age, lol. Still fun and tempting to do the same tricks once in a while.
No comeback, just skate for fun now. Real life is treating me good. I got into DJing, because I sold my friends car to Sal Barbier and my friend Eric Conners from Toxic skateboards with Dave Crabb threw in 2 Technic 1200 turntables and a crate of records and I got started into mixing records back in 96. I started doing nightclubs and house parties and got so good I got into the club scene and started doing night clubs with 3 promoters behind me. I found a new nitch and slowed down from skateboarding and got more into djing and the growth began for me. I migrated to technology because I wanted to make more money and now work for one of the best firms in America today. Super Advanced Technology, lol, but still skate and DJ at the same time.
Thanks Brotha for taking an interest in me, much appreciated
I am honored to be in here brother. I tossed in the towel in 2005 to write for fuel TV and TWS mag. Then i worked at duffs. till they moved all their ops to the UK. In 2008 Airspeed and Rekon (no reSKATEation to each other) wanted to do a come back. I knew i was old and out of date, I saw the young dudes like Shane O'neill etc all killing it. I just did my normal stuff pressure flip this, pressure flip that and had fun. In 2011 I got in a fight with Airspeed and then moved to Iowa. I left California for good and my wife and me started a shop. The name is Eduskate. If you are ever in townm swing by say hi. We skate every Sunday in the parking lot if it is sunny. I got a manny pad box deal and it is hell fun. We set up a BBQ and shred it up all the time. I get out to skate about three times a week unless you consider my commute where I skate daily to work if the sun is out. Here is our site: www.eduskatecr.com
When City Stars fell apart I kinda simultaneously had a pretty serious knee injury, which I couldn't afford to fix with no insurance at the time. PRod and Mikey were on other companies now - I think girl and AWS? Anyways a lot changed overnight and I was outta the game with an injury that I couldn't fix. Anyways skip forward like 4 months where I'm actually pretty much healed to the best of my knowledge. I got back on a board and it seemed like almost once a week I was popping my knee out and it would be sore for like a couple days and then I could start rolling around and skating. To make a Long story short I was over hurting my knee once every other week. I know there's rumors I did this and I did that. Well yeah, I started taking pain killers for an injury and shit progressed to really strong street drugs. Which turned into legal problems and a prison sentence. Such is life I wouldn't take it back for anything. You live and learn. Either way my knee wasn't allowing me to skate the way I liked to.
I miss skating, sure I do. I still kinda follow it. But I realized I'm an adrenaline junky and that's what I liked about skating the rush. I've filled that void that was there when I stopped skating with DH Mountain Biking and just riding bikes in general. Partly because a Physical Therapist told me that the motion of pedaling a bike is excellent for my knee. It seems to be a like a lot better these days. I'm a foreman for a construction company and I'm married. I've been sober almost 4 years and there's no chance of falling off the wagon. I run a rock solid program these days and I'm busy.
No chance of a comeback. I love it and respect it still. I talk to Mikey pretty regularly, but that is in the past for me. Shit is so outta control with the little kids coming up there's no way to keep up. I feel for the older generation, it's truly outta control the things kids are doing today, like 10 years later. Mind boggling. I do occasionally push around a park but there's not much skating in my schedule. Maybe bomb some hills here and there. I'm living a much different life today that I wouldn't trade that for anything. I wouldn't have this life if I hadn't taken the path I had. Unfortunately there's not much time for skating between work, MTBing, and trying to please a wife. Thanks for wanting to hear my story. I absolutely love skateboarding forever and I will always be a skater at heart.
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