INTERVIEW BY STUART GOMEZ
Tell me a little bit about the concept for this video.
Well, Keith Hufnagel started in New York. He moved to S.F. and then L.A. So that’s how the “tri-cities” thing came about because that’s just the history of HUF. They wanted to do a video around the history of it and we got to go to those three cities, which was really cool! I live in Los Angeles, but I don’t really get to go to New York or S.F. and those are like two of my favorite cities. I was stoked to hear that we were going there!
Did you originally want to move to San Francisco?
I did talk about it, yeah. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for ten years now so a change would be nice!
You were born in Olympia, Washington. Have you heard the saying “it’s the water” and that if you drink from the artesian well you’d be stuck in Oly?
I never heard that you would be stuck there—however, Olympia is a trap in general. But what I would tell people is that the artesian well water would give them special powers and stuff. There aren’t that many artesian wells left in America and Washington only has like three or four left. And one of them is the one in Olympia, so it’s a pretty special thing!
When did you get hooked up with HUF?
I moved to Los Angeles in December 2007 and got hooked up with HUF right when they moved to Los Angeles and they were starting up the footwear thing. I wanna say that was 2010, maybe?
I grew up with Marty Reigel, the HUF filmer. He’s also from Olympia—we went to high school together—and Keith asked him to be his media guy. So Marty was in San Francisco and he came down to L.A. He asked me to do a commercial for HUF Footwear and I didn’t have any sponsors at the time, so I was like, “Yeah, of course!” I think I was like “Commercial #10” or something—Aaron Herrington was one of the first. We were kinda like kids that were doing these commercials. HUF was just starting.
You directed the HUF x G-Shock commercial. How did that come about? Are you interested in making films?
I’ve always been interested in video or photography. In high school I did a Capitol News Service thing so I helped the school do video stuff. That’s kinda how I learned about it. And I have a friend, Tom Carter, who has gotten me a couple of jobs doing digitizing for different production companies and helped with my video production experience. He’s a video wizard!
Marty asked me to do the project for G-Shock, and I was definitely down! I hadn’t done anything like that before.
Varial heelflip, New York | Photo: Kelley
You also like to take a lot of photos, right?
Yeah, for sure! I shoot a lot of 35mm film. I don’t have a film movie camera, but that’s something I’d definitely be into if I accrue more money!
Tell me a little bit about Rizzo and Anderson.
I’ve known Jake forever, from skating with him and his brother. I would go up to Ventura and Jake would come down here [to L.A.].
I met Richie on the first U.S. tour, I think, and he graduated high school that day and came on the tour with us! I got to know him on that trip. We got along ‘cause he likes to go out and explore the city so after we got done skating we’d go explore and stuff.
What have been some memorable experiences while filming for this HUF video?
Just going up to New York and seeing the city is always a good experience. We stayed right next to the Williamsburg Bridge; it’s like being in the mix of everything. I’ve stayed in Brooklyn before and it’s not the same as when you’re like right in the city, you know? We got to stay in Midtown too. I’d never really been up there.
Tell me about a trick in this video that you’re really proud of.
There was this one trick in Chinatown, Los Angeles—an ollie over a bump-to-fence—and it was funny because the parking lot has been the roughest ground for a long time, almost too rough to skate. But they recently repaved it so it’s this perfect bump over the fence. I’d been looking at it forever! One night we just lit it up and got in and got out. I was pretty stoked on that one!
How about the other guys’ clips?
Jake Anderson kinda blew my mind a little bit! It’s really surprising how good he is. Not a lot of people can air out of a twelve-foot bowl and then grind a double-kinked rail. And Richie’s got a lot of really good footage in it, too.
That’s interesting that you’re still surprised by how good Jake is.
Yeah, watch out for Jake Anderson! He’s on a roll right now, and he’s got an ego for it too; I love Jake, but he’s a little loud … “Jock” is his nickname. I don’t call him that, but … he was really good in S.F. but in New York he was a little party guy. I just have to tell him not to yell in my ear when I’m lying right next to him!