BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT PART 7
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?
My knee kinda decided that for me. I think it was around 89-90? I ripped my ACL and didn’t have it operated on till years later. I just did physical rehab on it. I’d rehab for 6 months, skate for 6 months, rip my knee again, then back to rehab for 6 months and so on… After a couple years of that Powell wasn’t into putting out my board anymore, so myself and some others got cut, which was totally understandable. I wasn’t too bummed, it was a good time to start going back to school moving my career into design, which was something else I always did and am still doing today.
I do miss traveling/skating, but I do remember how hard it was to be on tour sometimes. It’s not like we had much time to do anything else but skate and travel to the next demo. Post skating has been fun, when I’m not hurt of course. It’s good now just to roll around with your buddies and do whatever, whenever, and there’s so many places to skate now!
When I’m not hurt I’ll try to roll around a 2-3 days a week and try to squeeze in a vert session at Vans’ Combi. I don’t know about a come back, but I’m hoping to enter the legends/masters Vans Pool Party at some point. I am re-releasing a board with http://greenissue.com (guest star artist on that graphic…) and Powell Peralta this next year, which will be in collaboration with Walt Pourier and http://strongholdsociety.org to possibly open up a new skate park on a Native American reservation!!
If it’s ok I’d like to give a shout out to Ray Ray, Lil Steve, Sad Eyes, Marco, The Dune, P-Hutch, Walt Pourier, the Green Issue family and Sep at New Balance Numeric, and Dan Sparagna and Arto for photos!!
Basically there's 2 versions of this answer. Long version talking about sponsers, trick progression, age, style and a lot more. Short version, when I started thinking about how long it would take to make a trick down a 13 stair rail compared to how stoked I was going to be when I made the trick. Not having that motivation to keep pushing myself. I would like to not call it throwing in the towel, more like bowing out gracefully. Did I do it to soon? Maybe. But I did it when I wanted to, not when someone told me to.
It took stepping away from skateboarding for a few years for me to miss it. I skated for a lot of great companies and have great memories. I have more fun now skating than I've had in a long time. I'm always going to skate, it's always in my mind.
I skate as much as possible, years later tricks I did from mid 90s are still fun. Comeback? For what, I'm happy doing what I do and skating when I can. Everyone's version of a comeback is different.
This guy MuckMouth with the deep questions! I lost the fire for it. It burnt out. It went from having super fun with all my friends like Ryan Hickey, Mike Hernandez, Keenan Milton, Harold Hunter, Giovanni Estevez, Justin Pierce, Loki, Hamilton Harris and all the other guys. To my sponsor calling me up and saying "Hey Pete, you need to shoot this ad" it wasn't organic anymore. It started to feel like a job. I never thought It was going to be like that. Unfortunately, it did. The spark started to fade for me. Plus, at that time in my life I had a ton of family issues going on. I just felt like letting go of skating. And wanted to plan for the next chapter in my life. Which I did. Fortunately, for me it worked out.
I miss it Big time. I really miss all my old friends. Just getting together cruising around. Feeding off each other's energy. We would push each other to be better. In a positive way. Our crew was tight and reliable. We had each other's backs. We never bothered anyone. But, if anyone would try some funny stuff with us, we stood our ground. We truly cared for one another. We would never let anyone get taken advantage of or get hurt. We were skating when it wasn't cool. We were the outsiders. No one got us, but all of our friends understood each other. We had a lot In common, not only skating but growing up in New York City. Post life?? Hahaha you mean life? I lucked out. Met a great woman got married and have 2 incredible kids. I'm very happy. I sometimes think about skating and I'm like wow... that was a long time ago. I forget sometimes. But when I do remember It's nothing but memorable times. We were a part of NYC's skateboarding street culture at that time and I will never ever forget. We skated the streets and owned them.
I skated with my daughter today! She has a scooter and we went cruising around in Downtown Manhattan. It was so much fun. Kinda like the old feeling I used to have but better. She has a good style too. I couldn't believe it. We used to own the streets. Today I was sharing them with my daughter. It was incredible. I should've worn a helmet too!! Hahahah. I think of making a little comeback. I'm still in decent shape. I play a lot of soccer these days. I want to shoot some tricks I've been thinking about. All I need is a video camera... Wait a minute! I have one on my phone!! Thanks MuckMouth! Peter Bici NYC Alumni
Nobody wanted vert in the early 90's. I was a vert guy, so I had to go to work to make a living. I don't miss being pro or sponsored, sometimes I miss being able to skate like I want to. My right leg was amputated below the knee in 2001 because of a blood disorder, so no chance of any comeback, but that's o.k.
Well I didn’t throw in the towel on being a sponsored skater. Once shortys kicked me off, the downward spiral started to begin. After you lose your board sponsors and you don’t get another one soon, all your other sponsors start to follow. I think I was 23 at the time and had my own place and shit. Once the money stops flowing in, you have no choice but to join the real world. Your dream of a professional skateboarder is pretty much over. I knew it was over when I tried to get on other companies and they rejected me. I think the last straw was when I tried to get on monkey skateboards. At the same time, I was having personal problems with my girlfriend that I was living with. I won’t go into details but we ended up breaking up and I had to move back home. I guess you can say it was dark time in my life. I lost all my sponsors, lost my girl, lost my place, and moved back home. I didn’t know what to do. I was 23 years old with no job experience and all I knew was skateboarding.
Do I miss it at all? Of course I miss going out and skating with my friends and being carefree. It’s funny how much you take it for granted once it’s all over. Once I joined the real world, I rarely found time to go skate. I would skate sometimes after work but eventually as time went on, I found myself skating less. Eventually I got on my board once in a blue moon. It took me a while to actually transition myself from the skate world to the real world.
As for a comeback, probably not. Kids are way too good these days. I still keep up with videos on Youtube and I see the progression of skateboarding. Some of these tricks that they are doing are insane! I’m happy where I’m at these days, I guess things do happen for a reason and you just got to roll with the punches.
Towel got too sweaty. It's laying around here somewhere.
I miss it and have sudden urges then my shins start giving me funny looks.
I always told myself at a young age that I didn't want to be that washed up dude getting washed up dude sympathy points.
I quit being pro when I was around 24 or 25 . The skate industry kind of killed my love for skating, so many fake people in that industry. I was also dealing with back and ankle problems.
I definitely miss it, it was a special time in my life. The original NYC crew was tight, we all looked out for each other like family. Life is good now, I'm a commercial fisherman and have two sons, my oldest Cyrus is a skater and we live In Hells Kitchen, NYC.
I try and skate when I have time, I need to start skating more with my son, he's always trying to get me on the board. I don't see a come back in my future, I like to skate without pressure.
I gave up skating because I fell out of love with it. Skating was my whole life and I did not know anything else. I was riding for Dogtown, and I quit at my peak. Plus I was not earning enough to live on, and did not cope very well with the whole public thing. Now I am in the process of setting up my own skate company; Hendricks Skate. Watch out.
My life after skating was fine, I became a rave promoter, then I was a Capoeira Angola teacher and travelled around brazil. I got two sons who skate a lot; bowls not street. I am a sparky.
I skate all the time with my sons, but the vert scene in London is dead. Check out the Brixton ramp, Consortium is trying to breath life back into the vert scene. If you mean competitions, I am open but would have to up my game. I love skating and I just learnt backside smith grinds. Later. Hope this is ok, Lucian
I never expected to stop skating professionally, but what happened was I got a shoe deal with Vans and they had a ton of good pros that at the time all deserved a shoe. I happened to be doing good in most contests at the time so the corporate Vans guys thought I was a good choice. That bummed out a bunch of the other deserving dudes and that got back to Vans, so they never put out a decent skateable shoe for me, no biggie. I lived on the East Coast and instead of contests I did Warp Tour and would just enter the big contests and get dead last every time because of the vibe I felt. Feeling that pressure to do good or get fired. So around 2000 I just skated in PA and Toronto and tried to learn fun tricks. Then I broke a bunch of things and my knees were always messed up, so I got married, started fixing up houses and had two great kids. Just lovin' life. Nowadays my son skates and that keeps me skating whenever I can. I enjoy skating now as much as ever. I need more days in the week though. I started a hardwood flooring business and it is real hard work but it beats being someone elses bitch - and its payin' the bills. I just got a mini ramp, there's a few vert ramps and an amazing bowl; Alan's at Delaware water gap, that I love. So plenty to skate for me, and lots of shredders around. I'm just lately getting into skating concrete stuff and there is some great parks around Philadelphia, and tons up in Toronto were my family lives.
As for the future, I just want to skate more with my bros, chill, drive fast in cars and maybe do some masters or veterans contests - they look really fun! Just lovin' my kids and being stoked!
I chose to stop (sponsored) skating in 1996. I had some lingering back issues from a car accident and was out of commission for a spell. When I came back, I guess I realized that I really loved skateboarding, but not as a job. Suffice to say, I knew the real world was coming for me.
I do miss the people... and the scene in general, especially when I read Danny Sargent’s words! He was a big influence on me, and I am happy to know he is still ripping. The early 90’s in SF were really fun, and probably my favorite time in skateboarding. I met so many cool people, and there was some amazing creativity going on back then. Post skating/real life is excellent. I am married (no kids, but a couple of deranged cats) and manage two metal finishing companies. I also occasionally make specialty cakes. I went to culinary school to study the French method of chocolate making, but somehow ended up making cakes after graduation. I am obsessed with motorcycles, Baroque musical instruments, Chelsea FC and horror movies. Life is good.
Steve Douglas was kind enough to send me a board, so I get a touch in here and there when I can. No comeback in the works, but I can still bust out some tricks.
CLICK HERE FOR PART EIGHT
Follow Muckmouth on Instagram
Daily updates on Facebook
COPYRIGHT MUCKMOUTH 2014
(thanks to Chromeball for the Steve Claar pic)