BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT PART 6
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?
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.
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.
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 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...
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.
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