The portrait at the beginning of the interview, you’re wearing a Lil Wayne shirt. Give me a little background story behind that shirt.
It was in August, when the Carter IV came out… You know, it wasn’t as good as the Carter III, I’m not going to lie. Lil Wayne came to Denver, none of my friends wanted to go. So I went to the Lil Wayne concert by myself and bought a T-shirt while I was there.
How much was the shirt?
$30, definitely overpriced, but worth it.
What do you think about him (Lil Wayne) skateboarding?
I think it’s great. He has so much energy, you can tell he’s psyched on skating. He’s down to fall, I think in St. Louis he hit his head, but he’s still skating. I think anybody who’s psyched about skating is cool with me.
Switch Front Board
Pretty much every skateboarder who grew up in Colorado knows about snow shoveling their driveway or skating in their garage during wintertime…do you remember what your skateboarding existence was like back then? Snacks after school? 411 VHS tapes all over the place? Shorty’s sweatshirts?
(Laughs) Yeah, I started skating in 97’ or 98’, so my first skate video was Fulfill The Dream. So I was totally a little Muska kid. There was this Shorty’s ad that said “Look Under Muska’s Hood”, and it’s a profile of Muska’s board, Black Panther Bearings, Silverados, and the white and red Muska board, with his silhouette and MUSKA written vertically. My mom and I took that ad to the skateshop and I got that board, it was awesome. As far as the winter weather in Colorado, I was fortunate enough to grow up near a Vans indoor park. In the winter, my parents would take me there all the time, it was a dry place to skate, so I can’t really complain about that.
Have you every vomited, pooped your pants, peed yourself or cried while on a roadtrip?
Vomitted… I think I have vomited on one of my Kansas City road trips, but I couldn’t tell you which one. Obviously, it wasn’t that memorable. Pooped my pants? No, but one time when I was really little, Noel took me to this gap at the Tech Center, which felt like a road trip for me since it was about 30 minutes from my house. There was nowhere to go to the bathroom, so I went behind the building and used some wet wipes that were in Noel’s car. Cried on a road trip? No, I think I’m good on that one.
Wallride Backside 180
Who’s the most underrated skateboarder from Colorado?
That is such an easy question, Tyler Price.
Yeah, I agree.
That dude is insane. He’s been putting out gnarly video parts for over a decade. You can find a video part of him that’s like 10 years old from Null Skateboards, a local Colorado company, called Blame The Filmer. He kickflip back smiths a nine stair rail and tre-flips the Santa Monica triple set 10 or 12 years ago, so old. Definitely the most underrated skater I know.
Though you’re a solid vegetarian, do you ever bend the rules and eat stuff off the “no-no list”?
No, for a long time I wasn’t doing eggs, but I gave up on that. I’ll have an omelet every once in a while. But it’s been a good two years of no meat or fish. A year of that was no eggs, but now I’m on cheese, milk, eggs, but no meat or fish.
Since becoming a vegetarian, do you feel any better on your skateboard, or different than you used to feel?
No, I don’t really feel any difference with my skating. I think in general, I do eat a lot better. I used to eat fast food all the time, I would get burgers since they were easy and cheap, but now I’m a bit smarter about what I eat. Overall, I feel like it’s better for my health in the long term, but short term, I don’t really feel any crazy effects.
More energy or less energy? Anything like that?
I want to say more energy, but at the same time, everyone says that and I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect, where you think you have more energy, but you really don’t. So, it’s possible, but it’s also possible not.
You’re about to graduate from University of Colorado – Denver, in May. Any plans for post-graduation?
I plan on quitting my job and just skating. I’ve been working my job since my sophomore year in high school. I’ve been pretty frugal and saving a bunch of money, so I’m going to quit my job and roam around, go stay with some friends in California, Kansas, or Arizona or wherever, just trying to skate and have fun as long as I can, and see where that takes me.
Andy Roy, Trainwreck, Lennie Kirk or Gou Miyagi?
(Laughs) Just pick one?
Alright, I’m going to go with Trainwreck. His part in In Bloom was so sick. He does a switch roastbeef down an 11 stair, but then it fakie flips it all good. Fully charging it, Zero style. Definitely speaks to that euphemism “A candle that shines twice as bright, burns half as long.”
What was the filming process like for Stakes Is High?
It was interesting. As soon as In Color came out, I was down to start filming for the next video. In Color came out in December 2008, and in January 2009, I got ran over by a bus, so that set me back a few months. I remember the first thing I filmed for Stakes is High was that line with the fakie nosegrind and then the fakie five-o fakie flip, I had my finger brace on from being run over by the bus.
This part has some really gnarly handrails in it. What motivated you to start skating spots like those?
Well, I didn’t really set out to start skating gnarlier stuff. I was just skating with David (Reyes) a lot, which got me really psyched and motivated to skate.
You mentioned you got ran over by a bus. What exactly happened with that?
It was my freshman year of college and I was riding my bike home through downtown Denver. There was a big charter bus next to me and I was in the bike lane. The bus turned and pushed me up against the curb. You know how those charter busses have those big to wheels in the back? Those two wheels ran me over from mid-thigh down while I was on my bike, laying on the ground. Somehow, my legs didn’t break, but my finger ended up breaking from falling to the ground. I’m super lucky my legs didn’t break, and that I can even walk. A lot of times you hear about people getting paralyzed for a lot less than that. Definitely blessed that everything worked out, I’m able to walk and skate, do all those things now.
Your blog is really gaining momentum with the 16 - 25 year old crowd these days…who would have thought that so many people enjoy skateboards and books. Why did you start the blog in the first place?
I started it because I got this digital camera and didn’t have a facebook at the time. I was taking all these digital pictures and not going to get them printed out, so I was like “What should I do with them? I guess I’ll start a blog.” I didn’t want people who were moving away from Denver, or people who are semi-interested in what I do… I don’t think anyone is interested in what I do. It’s always super boring shit, it’s like “I went to lunch, then I skated the skatepark, went to this spot, then I went home.” I guess it’s just a fun project for me, I like to stay busy. I come home, have all the photos edited from the day. I’ll film little clips of my friends skating a spot or a park. It’s mostly just for fun, but it’s cool if people look at it.
What do you think of the whole switch from print to digital? Magazines, books, etc…
For CD’s, I don’t care. When I listen to music, its usually on my phone or laptop. For books, there’s just something about having a physical book where you can smell the paper, write in the margins, turn the pages, underline things. I just stare at a computer screen all the time doing homework, watching skate videos and what not. Every night, when I turn off the computer and take out the book, it’s that time away from a computer screen that I really enjoy. For DVD’s and skate videos, I think skate videos going all digital… I’m not really into over saturation with it, like a kid will come out with a rip clip or a mag minute every other day. One will come out one week and it’ll be super gnarly. Then the next week one more will come out and be even more gnarly, which will sometimes cause people to forget about what the guy did the week before. But it does keep me stoked sometimes, just getting on the computer and watching a part or two. I think it keeps more and more people stoked on skating because there’s something new to watch.
Are dogs really “man’s best friend”?
I would say so, other than man. Like man’s best friend is man, you know? I love my dog, but I love my friends. But I think why people say that is because your friend might screw you over and steal your money, break into your house, or punch you in the face. Your dog will never do that to you, so in that sense, dogs are man’s best friend.
After years on the sponsorship roller coaster you’ve been able to finally align with solid companies across the board…who’s backing you these days?
I’m getting boards from Zero. David invited me on a Mystery trip this summer from Denver to Utah. I was buying Zero boards for like six months to a year because I was psyched on them. While on that trip, Ian (Berry) asked me if I wanted to get some boards. So those dudes hook it up over there, they are real cool. I get shoes from Converse. My friend Adam is the rep for them. He actually used to ride for The Denver Shop, but he moved to Seattle and got the Converse job. He’s awesome. Noel (Boyt) became the team manager for COMUNE and he’s been my best friend for couple of years now. So he asked me if I was down to ride for them, which was an easy decision. The Denver Shop, obviously Tony is the greatest dude ever. I love The Denver Shop, it’s a core skateboarding shop and everyone is cool over there too.
Check out Josh’ part in The Denver Shop’s video Stakes Is High: Here
Since that part was so badass, you should purchase the full length DVD here: Stakes Is High
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