1.) I've told you this and I'll tell you again. You have a very intimidating part in the casper video. 'Intimidating' because your tricks seem like they would be the hardest to learn. A lot of freestylers today have you on their list of influences. Not a lot of us know about your background though. How did you start skating and did you jump straight into freestyle?
I actually started skating on a serious level when I lived in Germany. A friend of mine took me down to the local skate shop and I was just blown away by all the boards on the wall. Some other kids skated at my school and I would skate with them alittle. At first I was into vert but my mom wouldn't let me build a vert and the closeset ramp was an hour and half away. Then I went to California to see my dad and saw a pro freestyle comp. and after that I was hooked on freestyle. My first freestyle board was a Sims Rocco. After that I got into it more and more and just stuck with it.
2.) You skated for Schmitt Stix in the 80s. How did you get on the team and were you by anychance in the process of developing a pro model right before the downfall of freestyle? What was your setup at the time and what made you switch to a full street setup today?
I was skating in Huntington Beach at that time and sometimes I would skate with Hans Lingren. Paul had given Hans a model and was looking to get more into freestyle. I asked Hans if Paul might want to have an ameteur team for freestyle and I think it was a few months later Paul called me and said I was on the team. Later after I had turned pro and had a pretty good first year I asked Paul about a model but the market for freestyle was not too strong and sales for freestyle decks had been falling. As a business decision it just wasn't a good move at the time. The industry really started to slow down at that point in the early to mid nineties and freestyle pretty much died with most of the pros losing alot of their sponsors and support from companies. I kept skating for a while and had moved to a full size board just because my style was better suited for it. I never really did alot of stationary tricks. I started to skate alittle more street at that time and went back to school and got into filmmaking. I did several skateboard films in the nineties and contributed to Shorty's "Fullfill the Dream" and some of the transworld videos.
3.) Keith Renna mentioned once that you had one of the best footwork in the 80s? Will you be uploading any old footage anytime soon? What were some of your 'go-to' tricks during your contest runs?
Well my footwork was ok but I'd have to say Stefan Johansson from Sweden had the best footwork out of all of us back then. His was just unbelievably smooth and a bit more advanced than what other guys were doing at the time. I tried to add a few new footwork moves to my runs that I hadn't seen before but most of it was just variations of what had already been done. I have some old footage from those early days. I'll probably put something together at some point. Some of the harder tricks I remember were the double 360 finger flips, various handstands tricks and just alot different 540 shuvits.
5.) 'Life' takes time away from most of our time to skate. How much time do you have to skate these days and how much time do you spend on 'Synopsis' projects?
I'm not really able to skate near as much as I used to. Working on Synopsis and the videos I do for businesses takes up most of my time. I'm lucky now if I can get in 1 day a week of skating. This girl I've been seeing lately has also kept me busy in my freetime. I have a documentary on a dance production that I've been working on for the past year and a half aswell which also takes up alot of my time.
5.) After everyone left during the first day of the 'Casper Classic' contest, you showed up and practiced. Mike Foster and I stayed and were treated to about 20 minutes of your skating. You skated magnificently with a 98% accuracy rate and this was your warm up. How much were you practicing during that stage of your life? If my memory serves me right, your pro model on Casper Industries came out after this. Tell us more about this and Armada (your next pro model).
At that time I was skating quite a bit pretty much everyday. Back then if I took one day off from skating I felt really guilty. When I rode for Casper I was waiting for the company to really develope into something bigger but it just never quite made it. I did a wheel with Casper but never commited to a model. I put the Casper video together for Bobby and we thought at the time that it had a lot of potential but Freestyle just didn't make the comeback that we thought it would. I had known the owner of a new company called Armada for a while and liked the direction he was going with his brand and the riders he had. He asked me if I wanted to ride for him, so I said yes. Before Armada I had riden for Capital for a while with Terry Synnott and some other riders but it just wasn't able to survive. Jamie did some pretty cool things with Capital. So many board brands come and go. It's a really difficult thing to make a board brand work, to make a profit support your riders and really grow a company into something when there are already so many brands out there. Kids just have so many options to buy boards online and with blank decks and with shop decks it becomes really hard to establish your own brand and get skaters to support it. In this industry we all have slightly different paths that we take. Different tricks, styles, ways of skating. How awesome would it be to really beable to make a living skating, traveling the world, competing, doing demos and just pursue this artform as a career. Some are lucky enough to have had this life and I for a brief time was able to experience it. Skating has given me so much, so many friends, so many experiences way beyond what any financial rewards could give me and in the case of freestyle or any artform we really just have to do it for the love.