INTERVIEW BY STUART GOMEZ
Tell me about how you got involved with HUF.
I don’t know, I guess I just got lucky! The team manager, Tyler Cichy, did this personal video project, I filmed a full part for it and that just kinda worked out. He was like, “All right, we’re gonna do this thing for HUF to go Am. We’re gonna film this video and do this article.” And then I kinda went with the flow. We got done with this video about four months ago.
How well did you know Rizzo and Gottwig?
I’ve known Gottwig for a while—we’ve been on a couple of trips together—but I never knew Rizzo until we went out to New York and met up with him working on this project.
Was your Smith grind in Brooklyn the first double-kinked rail you’ve ever skated?
Yeah, that was the first one! I heard from Rizzo that Ishod 50-50ed it for fun, and I thought that if he could just do it for fun then I gotta fuckin’ try it! I was just slapping them on and jumping to the middle flat part. The other side of it is grass, so I tried one where I wanted to jump over into the grass right away. But I actually got on top of it and grinded all the way past flat and then I jumped off at the last part of it. I wasn’t even planning on going that far, so I was just like, “Holy shit, I might actually maybe do this!”
What’s your usual routine when you’re trying to get psyched up to do a trick like that?
I usually try to have a friend around me to hype me up. I like it when people talk shit to me when I’m trying to do something, like calling me a “pussy” or something. I’ll be like, “Naw, fuck that!” and I’ll go and try it. I need a bully! Tyler is the dude to do that.
Who started skating first: you or Mike?
The way it worked out is that our older brother, Cainan, got Mike into skating. Then when I was born it was just like a natural thing. Before I was even a year old, I was riding down the street in a diaper on my board. I was kinda like born into it; I had no choice!
Does your brother also bully you?
Yeah, that’s been my entire life with that dude. I grew up having to deal with that, and now I kinda need it. It’s weird when people are nice to me. Just from growing up with Mike as my brother, I’ve grown up with all these people like Scuba Steve who’ve just become my big brothers. They see people give me shit and they’re like, “Oh, I can give this kid shit.” I really don’t care, I think it’s funny.
My entire life is just no one taking me seriously, [but] being taken seriously is kinda boring. If someone is taking you seriously then you’re not really comfortable to fuck with them back.
Is it true that you don’t even follow skateboarding?
[Laughs] I follow skating. I don’t know, I’m just not good at remembering shit! Tyler will be like, “Oh, that’s the spot that so-and-so did something on,” and I just fucking go blank. It’s not that I haven’t seen the footage, I just don’t remember. So Tyler starts to think that I don’t know shit. Tyler is the dude who knows every single person’s stance in skateboarding, like, “Oh, he’s ‘goofy’.” We’ve been at his house and him and Brad Cromer had a debate about which person skated which stance. They’d pick the most oddball people out there and then Tyler would say, “Oh, he’s regular.” How the hell do you know that, dude?!
It’s so crazy nowadays because in some parts half of the fucking part is switch so it takes me a couple of minutes to figure out what stance they are.
What can you tell me about Rizzo and Gottwig?
Oh, man. He doesn’t tell many people this, but Rizzo is from Canada. He doesn’t like this to get out there, but everybody needs to know that Rizzo is from Canada.
And Gottwig? I don’t even think I know Gottwig yet. I have spent so much time with that dude and I have no idea who he is! He’s such an oddball … I don’t even think I know him. Dude, he’s like the coolest dude I know, but he’s insane. I feel like he runs four different Instagrams. There’s this one Instagram account that HAS to be his, but it’s the most absurd thing ever! It’s insane and no one knows if it’s him or not. Just the captions and shit; he’ll like add us in the photos. Dude, he’s disguised as a fifty-year-old bus driver lady who drives an Audi Q3! I don’t know what the fuck is going on with @msflamboyant44.