BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT PART 9
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?
I basically skate all the parks around here like Bishop, Prince, and the new one in Carlsbad. Thanks again, later!
Of course I miss it, who could not miss traveling around the world and getting paid to skate. Just the freedom in it; wake up, meet up with the crew and just go. I always knew that being pro has a short life span and I have always been into video production so it was an easy transition into the video production world after skateboarding. Currently I am the lead editor at a busy video production company called Evolve Media Production here in SF. I also shoot freelance on the side, you can check out my work here: http://satvaleung.com/recent-videos/
On the family side of things, I have a lovely wife and 2 kids, Myla (2.5) and Maeceo (10months).
I try and get out a couple times a month and do some flat ground in GG park next to my house, I still got my flat ground skills! No comeback planned, Jamie Hustle is always hounding me to put a board out on Hustle Skateboards but I keep telling him no - sorry Jamie.
I miss it like crazy. I wish I could tour still. It's still fun and keeps me in shape, but i just broke my wrist, hahaha 38 yrs old and still psyched.
I skate a lot just for the love and to chill with my friends and keep me on top of the game.
Today I work as a kindergarten teacher and social worker full time, and have a son Axel who is almost 3 years old. I spend a lot of my free time skating the new local concrete skatepark in Copenhagen whenever I can get some time of from the family life.
Don't call it a comeback I've been here for years. Ha ha. I'm skating in the Masters and Legends contests in Australia and Vans pool party in California every year for the last five years. My sponsors are Vans, Alis, Type-S 187 pads, Klas shorts and Indy take good care of me and still send me all over. I'm also a record collector and DJ.
It’s an incredible thing to travel the world with your friends and get free clothing, shoes and skateboards. I’m totally grateful to have had the chance to do it and I miss it in the same way I miss being young with few cares in the world. I was living in Europe for a bit after I stopped being pro - to clear my head and decide what to do next. I ran into my good friends Reda, Kenny Anderson, Chany, Felix and Jerry Fowler on a Converse tour and ended up going around Europe with them. So I never really could get away from skateboarding. A couple of years after that I decided to study architecture and that’s where I am now. I ran The Berrics with Steve Berra for a couple of years and designed a few iterations of that park, as well as The Berrics Westchester park, and Stevie Williams’ Da Playground. So, like I said, I never really could get away from skateboarding. I have my own design firm called Somewhere Something in Los Angeles and I teach architecture at a couple of universities. Oh, and I can still do eggplants on vert and switch tres on street at 40. Life is good.
As much as I can which usually isn’t enough. Maybe I’ll call Joey Bast and we can put together a team of pudgy old mini ramp skaters.
I don't miss it because it wasn't really important to me then. Sure getting some stuff now and again was good, but that's not why I skated. It was because when I first got a board back in 1976 from my Gran I'd never seen a board, every trick that you saw in a mag or heard about was new. You had to use your imagination, sometimes you'd combine tricks or even make up stuff you'd never seen and that was the excitement of it, not what you may get out of it. Also making your own places to skate. Now stuff is provided or tricks are known, not a lot is new. I still like seeing the DVDs and seeing demos but thats it, the rest is completely alien to me now. I mean I'm still in contact with the skate/bmx industry through my real life job of my screenprint business, but with all the bullshit you hear of with 'other' company's getting involved in the skate world is a bit of a downer really. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that. Haha.
A few years back, as well as the self employed screenprinting, I was for about three years a carer for my Mum which took a lot of time and made finding any time for anything but those two things really hard. Now it's still hard to go skating because I've lost contact with people and of course their lives have changed too, you can't just go skate when you want. The body also isn't kind to me after all these years, and finding the right people to skate shit spots just for a laugh is tough. But I'm lucky and can still get a roll around with a few mates for a couple of hours, not get hurt, maybe even make a trick or two that's what counts. Just like when I started.. I just go skate with my friends. I think the comeback maybe left a bit late now, haha. Anyhow I know so many good people through skating that if I need a deck or shoes then it's not a problem. The guy's at Flip, Jeremy, Ian and Geoff help me out still which I'm really thankful for. Also if I really wanted to get into some skate event I'm sure I know a man somewhere who can make it happen. Finally, I still like skating, it's just skating doesn't like me. Haha.
I don't miss being pro at all. I still work in the industry so I'm around all of it all the time. It's a great life, stressful and demanding but shit man, people I know are on lobster boats or swing hammers. I got it easy compared to that. Yes life is great, I am married with 3 kids so I'm a very busy guy.
I skate around our warehouse every day. As far as skating hard and doing tricks and all that, the last 2 years I really slowed down on all that. I'll still do what I can when I'm fired up, but for me it's more fun to watch these crazy talented kids now. And a come back.... Haha zero chance.
I missed it so much that I returned.
About a year ago I decided that I would give it another go. I decided to enter Combi in 2013 and I hadn't been skating that much. I was put into the Masters as well. I hadn't been skating enough and felt out of shape. I didn't have my 'vert legs' and was winded after a long run. I won qualifying. I was shocked! I ended up in 11th, one spot out of finals. I took this as a wake up call. I knew if I wanted to really do it, I needed to do it full on. I got myself into a situation that I could make skating a priority. I made it to San Jose for the Tim Brauch Memorial contest where I placed 2nd. That helped me get some sponsors that have been helping me get back on the scene. I had the opportunity to travel to Palestine to build a mini ramp with Dave Duncan, for kids that aren't allowed to leave their town because of Israeli suppression. They made a documentary about it. It was a life changing experience. I was invited to go on the New Zealand/Australian 4 contest tour ending with Bondi. I end up winning New Zealand and then NewCastle, the first 2 comps on the tour, and then the next one got rained out! I was feeling on top of the world! I placed 5th in Bondi and returned home and took the position of Team Manager at Theeve Trucks. Then this year, I just got 2nd in Combi. I don't consider it a comeback, I'm just thankful that I can still skate and travel at this stage in my life. Thank you for including me in this and I've enjoyed reading some of the other guys' responses. I'd like to thank Imperial Skateboards, Etnies, Bones, Theeve Trucks, Lost, 187 knee pads and S1.
I'm still doing it! Traveling and skating! Vans pool party was 10 days ago, and last Wednesday I was in the pit while watching Mike Vallely sing for Black Flag! Friday we drove to Las Vegas for the SkateRock show with the Faction, Drunk Injuns, etc. Sunday was the Descendents, Adicts, Face to Face, Dwarves, etc! We also rode a new 5 million dollar skatepark there! I am flying to Texas in 2 days, Dallas for WCS vert comp, and Austin for XGames. The next weekend is Las Vegas street comp, then east coast for Dew tour, then Prague! Summer is in full swing! I feel like I have been on Summer vacation since I was a traveling sponsored Am for the Alva team in 1985!
Tons! A few days a week if my body is feeling good. Any chance of a comeback? I never left!