1.) Let's start off with 'How did you start freestyling'....and what was Tommy Harward's role during your early years?
I started skating the tail end of 8th grade with some of my friends. After a few months one of my friends showed me Tommy’s videos as he skated my old middle school’s basketball court. After that I stuck to flatland tricks and a year or so later I got my first freestyle board. I didn’t meet Tommy until I was a junior in high school and 2 years after that I was a manager at his skate shop. While working for him we bounced trick ideas and filming Road to Philly was probably the most progressive months of my skating.
2.) Your pogos and 50/50s combos are mind blowing. How often do you practice and how is your body holding up to the abuse? I've also noticed that you have removed the small section of griptape from your nose and tail to help with these tricks. Please explain....
Adulthood is a crazy thing... I travel for work all the time so I skate at least once a week for about 3 to 4 hours on the weekend. Throughout the week I lift weights and work out which I think has helped tremendously learning new truck transfers and recovering from injuries. The removal of grip tape started when I was learning carousels and I just never gripped it since then. It helps a lot when learning new transfers, my forearms get destroyed by not catching the board correctly and if I had grip on the nose and tail my arms would be in a lot worse of shape.
3.) You have skated many shapes and molds over the years. Singlekick, rocker nose, and doublekick. They all have pros and cons depending on your style. What have you settled on now and why have you decided to switch from a singlekick to a doublekick after all these years?
There are pros and cons to every shape, I like getting out of my comfort zone and rethinking the entire trick process, and the easiest way to do that is try a new shape. I have a few trick ideas I was trying to learn and it wasn’t happening with a single kick and that’s why I wanted to switch things up. I also think skaters new to freestyle are more open to a double kick than a single kick, it’s more familiar to a standard popsicle shape and more versatile.
4.) You have very different graphics on each of your pro models. Blackbeard, American icon and now the Pyro Devil. What's the story behind these graphics?
Blackbeard was what some of my co-workers called me at a factory I worked at and they also called me “the king of the world” which is also on the board in Spanish. The American icon was a knock off of a classic Jason Lee Blind graphic from the 90s which I loved. And the Pyro Devil graphic came about by looking at old advertisements from the 30’s and I always liked that artwork so Witter and I came up with a basic concept and Witter made a great graphic.
5.) Your 1st place run at the 2010 Philly World Championships was incredible. You managed to cramp alot of tricks in 2 minutes. Describe your experience during this event.
I have never won a contest, I actually got 2nd in the 2010 Philly world champs (editor's mistake) and the word is I lost by 1/3 of a point. I practiced that run for 3 months prior to the contest, so I was pretty confident. But looking back on it, I hated those 3 months building up to it because I wasn’t learning or even attempting new tricks. And since that I really don’t take contests seriously and just throw together whatever I’m feeling that day. I put a lot more time and effort into video parts now, which I feel is a better representation of freestyle and it exposes more people to it than a contest ever could.
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