BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT PART 6
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?
I threw in the towel. I felt like I had lost my window and wasn't skating up to the level I should have been. That lead to me feeling guilty of taking up a spot on a Girl. Its so many kids dream (myself included) to skate for them, so if you're not giving it your all, just move on. I spoke to Rick, told him how I felt, it was all good.
What you mean waking up at noon and going to skate Venice beach all day, traveling the world, free goodies and getting paid for it… Miss that? Naaaah!
Real life is good. A few buddies and I had a start up and created an app called Hello Santa. The app allows you to have live calls with Santa. Our company got acquired by company called JibJab in Venice recently, so now we’re there full-time. I get paid to make kids happy. No complaints here…
Honestly not too much unfortunately. I need to get a board and get back on the program. There’s a good park called Stoner Plaza not too far away from me so I plan to start rolling around there.
I just judged the SLS Pro Open yesterday and after seeing the talent out there I think its safe to say my crooked grinds shall RIP.
Here's the deal, nobody ended it for me, I ended myself. I stopped in my prime around 95/96. Skateboarding was at a funny place, bunch of weirdo shit. I was about to have my first kid and skateboarding wasn't feeding me like that, plus I was real bummed at the skate industry at this time so one day I packed my bags, left the whole skate scene, moved to New Orleans and started doing music. I used to do production tracks for No Limit records, shout out my dude C murder, R I P SOULJA SLIM.
I used to hang with those guys all the time and they had no idea I was a pro skateboarder because I never talked about it. A real sad time for me in my life because I wasn't skateboarding at all.
I used to miss it when I wasn't doing it, the cold part about it is I don't even know why I quit skating till this day. I wasn't locked up in some jailhouse, wasn't on drugs, I really didn't have a reason not to be doing it, I just wasn't doing it. Too busy in the club poppin' bottles, doing all that bullshit. Real talk, life has always been good to me, I've always had good people around me to keep me grounded, lived in New Orleans for ten years until hurricane Katrina went down and had to relocate to Houston. Shout out to Damien at South Shore for hooking me up with a job when i was down and out on some refugee shit. REAL TALK, during this time I also fell in love with my first love again, I call her skateboarding, and here comes the birth of DELIC SK8BOARDS est. 2006. Man I'm so blessed, 40 years old and could still get it on a board, ya feel me? I don't skate for the money, its spiritual. All love for the game. DELICLIFE
Every chance I get. If i could skate all day I would, and I don't know anything about a comeback, because I'm back having fun with the game doing me as I should. Delic documentary video in the works, shout out to everybody who didn't forget about me DELICLIFE.COM. Peace. Keep God first.
Never through in the towel on being sponsored. I still get whatever I need through various friends and companies. Assault skateboards hooks me up with decks etc as well as Indys. I've been lifelong friends with Mike Hill and Chris Carter form the Alien Workshop so I get stuff from those guys as well. I did however throw in the towel on skating professionally, at a fairly young age.
I don't miss being actively PRO or anything about skateboarding. I have been riding since around 79 and will always skate. The difference now is that skateboarding doesn't define my life and it hasn't for a long time now. I am a product manager for a security and surveillance company now which brings a large amount of responsibility. Life is great, I am a very technical person so I get alot of satisfaction from my job. I could never be involved with the skateboarding industry anymore and would not want too.
I don't skate a lot these days, but when I do I am always having fun, which is all that matters to me. I could care less about impressing anyone with my skating and that feels great! That's why I started, for fun. Being PRO was a real eye opener. The reason I stopped skating PRO was becuase it became a job and I didnt like the job. Comeback? OMG. I wouldnt wish that on my worst enemy.
I threw in the towel when i moved to AZ to go to college, but a few years later the ref threw it back out. I pretty much skate everyday again. I love teaching skateboarding, don't really compete anymore, but go to all the contests. I did make a frontside invert today, actually 3 in a row, yah!!! Micke
Well, I didn't really decide to throw the towel, it just happened, I was working for DC for 6 years, and was sponsored by them for a good 13 years, everything was ok. I was managing the team in France. Little by little the people I was working with started to be fired, or moved on to other projects and companies. The budgets and projects I was involved in started to decrease, they started to change things a bit too much for me so I decided to quit, and moved on, sort of tired of the skate industry.
I miss some particular moments; such as the Expedition days and the 'Bassins' days - all a long time ago, but I really enjoy skateboarding as it is now too! I still get great response from a lot of skaters, actual pros, old timers, people contacting me for interviews about the short time I had coverage in the US. It is really cool to realize that people still remember tricks I have done, music I had in parts, sessions we had etc.
I still skate a lot, depending on the weather, work, children etc. They built a really good park 3 minutes away from my house so I go there pretty often. I skate around 3 days a week, sometimes more, some other times less.
Any chance of a comeback? Not sure yet, I'd like to plan something, I filmed a lot of tricks and can still do a lot of others, I know who I'd like to do it with but he's very busy so doesn't really have time for a free project. I don't want to do it with someone else, so I guess i'll wait...
Busy designing skateparks now. No one is pro forever. At some point you have to move into other things just like any pro athlete. Still love skateboarding. That is my life.
It was a gradual process for me. The skateboarding market started to get real saturated. Lots of great companies for shops to choose from. And at the same time, its popularity seemed to decrease. That said, my checks gradually got smaller and smaller until it became extremely hard to make a living. I got married and started a family, so I got a full time job to generate some well needed income. In order to be successful as a pro you need to put in the time. Travel. Demos. Contests. Getting in mags. Filming for video parts. All that and more is necessary. I just didn't have the time, so slowly, but surely I got out of it until it became apparent that even though I still had a board with my name on it, I was clearly not a pro. So I made the decision to retire. As hard of a decision as it was, it was the right one for me and my family.
I definitely miss it. I don't regret my decision, but it was such a huge part of my life for many years so I think it's natural to miss it. I got paid to do something that I would do for free. I got paid to do what I loved. I met a lot of incredible people and traveled all over the world on someone else's dime. I am incredibly thankful for my experiences.
That said, I still live an awesome life even though I am no longer a pro. I enjoy what I am doing now so that helps. I am married to a wonderful woman (20 years) and have an amazing daughter. I've also been blessed with some great friends. So life is good.
I try to skate as much as possible. I live in Charlotte, NC right now which isn't a great city to skate - not compared to LA which is where I grew up. I was spoiled. Because of that, the motivation to go skate isn't always high. But I still do. And I enjoy it when I do. Whether at a local skatepark or taking my cruiser out for a long ride, skateboarding will always be fun. Provided my body allows me to, I will always skate.
No chance for a comeback. For so many reasons. Haha. I am 43. My body is broken. And skating has progressed to such a high level that it would be humanly impossible for me to perform at a pro level. I love watching this current generation of skaters. The pros nowadays are killing it! They have taken skating to some amazing extremes.
Classic, sure stopped when the body was getting pretty beat up and it went from being fun to a job. Pretty much quit cold turkey and got into other stuff. A lot of surfing etc. When my son started getting interested in skating around 5 years old I started skating with him and it's fun again. Definitely no comeback but I do enjoy cruising and hitting some curbs and OB skatepark.
I quit skating for Real Skateboards in the summer of 1998. I was 23 years old. I was living in Oceanside and volunteering a lot of my time working with youth at a church. I was spending a lot of time doing ministry stuff, working in a church, missions, etc. I felt at the time I had to choose one or the other because of the time it would take to do both. If I wanted to get back into the skate game full time I would have had to move back up to SJ/SF. That's where all my sponsors were. I never quit skating I just stopped doing it professionally. I had no issue with skating or my sponsors at all, I just didn't want to milk it without really being able to commit to it. So I threw in the towel on the 'industry' of skateboarding, not skateboarding itself. I still skate and love it to this day.
Yes, I miss it at times. I miss all my friends I use to roll with... You know, the good ol' days. But I make an effort to keep in touch with the homies nowadays. Social media has helped me connect to a lot of old friends I miss. It’s rad because I get nothing but love from folks like Thiebaud, Mic-E, Huf, Mike Carrol, etc. Most of my contact with them is through social media too.
Plus, I live in Southern California so I see a lot of skaters just by being in the area. I go to Salman’s pizza spot after church at least once a month, I saw Greg Hunt and AVE at the Vans park in HB and got to talk to those guys recently, Carroll and Bird just sent me some Lakais, and I’m going to have Dinner with Drake Jones and his wife soon. So, I get some love from the skate community frequently.
I’m around skaters at the church that I pastor at too so that’s sick. Christian Hosoi is a pastor where I pastor, and Aaron Murray is on staff. Those dudes are legends and we connect on a spiritual level too. Christian is actually the one that introduced me to the lead pastor, Jay Haizlip, my boss. Pastor Jay was a pro skater back in the 70s and early 80s. There’s a pretty famous photo of him doing a front side grind in a pool and drinking a beer at the same time. Mofo shot it back in the day.
Life is good. I’ve been a pastor at The Sanctuary Church for the last 5 years. I love what I do - helping people. I am married to an amazing woman and I have a beautiful 1½ year old baby girl. I have no regrets. I still got front krooks on lock too. Haha.
I try to get out at least once a week. It doesn’t always happen because of work and family, but I still get out and shred. The new Vans Park in HB is down the street from my house and its pretty fun. I haven’t skated the bowls yet but I have skated the street section. I think I need bigger wheels for the bowls.
Jordan had a comeback. Mariano had a comeback. I believe your talent has to be at a certain caliber to qualify for what people would call a “comeback”. The guys I just mentioned qualify without a doubt. My talent is not, nor ever was on that level. If I got back in the industry I don’t think people would say, “Mandoli is making a comeback!” It would sound something more like, “Who’s the little old guy with glasses?”
So, the answer is no. No “comeback” for me, but what I can promise you is that I will be on my board within the next week. #KeepRollin
I just designed and built the Global X Games, now I'm doing architectural testing. I skated super hard this weekend. I live with a predominant skate filmer/photographer, we have people come out all the time like Lance mountain and Ben Rayburn
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