Archive for the ‘features’ Category
LB: Alright, we have a ton of history skating together, but instead of me telling everyone about you, why don’t you fill us in with you. Where are you from? When did you start skating? Who were your influences at a young age?
BW: I’m from Indianapolis and started rolling around on a shitty Toys-R-Us skateboard in my unfinished basement on rainy days when I was 10 years old. I spent a good 3 months messing around with skating without any outside influence or knowledge about the skateboard industry (magazines, videos, etc…). Eventually all of my neighborhood friends also got skateboards and we started rolling around together trying to learn how to ollie all day long. I was really lucky that my friend Tom Eusey went to the same elementary school and introduced me to Rise Skateboard Shop and all of the older guys that skated, and pretty much showed me the way. My influences at a young age were mostly local Indiana skateboarders like Rick Eusey, Buddy Best, Nate Olp, Scott Wilson, Tony Allanson, Mike McGiness, you (Lee Bender), Ryan Smith and some others as well.
LB: Since I worked at the skate shop in town, I know you had a pretty close crew as a young kid, where are all those guys now? How did you make it out compared to a few of the places some of those guys ended up?
LB: How did you end up living in Arizona and why did you choose the college you did?
BW: When I was a senior in high school I wasn’t really planning on going to college. I had a halfway decent job in Indy with promise of promotion and felt good about the Indiana skate scene at the time. I thought long and hard but realized that there was a lot more out there that I wanted to discover. I love Indiana, but I would have fallen into monotony with my job and the same routine, so I made a decision to start applying to colleges in other states in hopes of starting something brand new. I was accepted to a couple of schools in the Midwest as well as some schools out West. As I weighed my options, Arizona just kept coming up in my head. I graduated high school in June of 2007 and moved into a small one-bedroom apartment in Tempe, Arizona on August 1st 2007. I chose an Arizona school because it just made sense to me as I would be able to skate everything; pools, ditches, street spots, and the plethora of well lit skateparks. I didn’t know many folks out there but you, Tim Ward, and Michael Tubbs were my guides into the Arizona skate scene. Moving to Arizona was easily the best life decision I’ve made thus far.
LB: Who are or were some of your influences now? You seem to cover a very broad sect of skating. One day you’re with a few guys that are both 40+ bucketing pools on the west side of Phoenix and the next, you’re jumping down stairs with kids that are 3 or 4 years younger than you in Tucson. How is it comparatively speaking, skating with Hoss Rogers and Wez Lundry one day and then skating with someone like Chris Millic the next?
LB: You’re all over the place with hobbies/issues, besides skating, what else are you into and how did you get into it?
LB: Hopping trains seems pretty far outta place for someone from Indiana, doesnt it?
LB: And what about photography, where did that come from and what have you been able to do with it as of late? Ive seen a few zines youve made and a few others that you were highlighted in, care to explain?
LB: Is this something you plan on doing for a while?
LB: Who do you want to thank after all these… well, you’re still young as hell, but after this past decade of skating, traveling, and train hopping?
BW: So many people have helped me out over the years and I could write about it for days. I’ll thank my amazing family for all of their support over the years. I’ll thank you (Lee Bender) for getting me out of Indiana and everything else you’ve done for me. Buddy Best, Rick Eusey, Hutch, Ryan Smith, Tim Devlin, Tony Allanson, Rob Walker and all of the other Indiana dudes that played a positive role in my youth and helped me out so much along the way. I’ll thank all of my East Coast friends such as Jersey Drew, Phil Jackson, Steve Marino, and Bruce B for putting me up and showing me the ways. My friends in the North West Erik Ursin and Kevin Willrick who continue to put me up year after year. Kevin Erst and Melissa Rodriguez for saving my life. All of my brothers in the railroad are constant inspirations and have contributed a lot to the culture. All of the NSL boys in Vancouver. My friends down south in RVA and Birmingham. Neil Shoemaker, Tim Ward, Ari Shiffrin, Matt Price, Nich Kunz, Jai Tanju and all of the film por vida family, the BOTY homies, the LFL boys, Benji Wagner at Poler, Sean Waeiss, Casson Valiyi, Dylan Messer, Brett Reed, Wez Lundry, and Hoss Rogers. I feel like I’m leaving some folks out but I just feel grateful for all of you! At the end of the day, my friends are the ones that really inspire me and keep me moving forward. Keep skating, doing whatever creative things you all do, and continue to leave your marks in the world.
Street Canoe would like to send out an extra special thanks to Brad and Lee. It’s skateboarders like them that make me happy to be alive and proud to be a skateboarder. Forward motion until the end my friends.
Check out the video below featuring Shawn, Tony Manfre, Brian Warner and Ben Gore as they skate around San Francisco and stop at some of their favorite spots along the way.
Portrait photo by Bryce Kanights
Five minutes prior to the skies opening up, the crew & I decided to venture to a nearby field with my 1950′s Speed Graphic camera. This portrait was taken in the heart of Amish country, Pennsylvania. Because the Amish never want kids running out in their fields, we had to be quick. Evan is one of my favorite people & his relentless positivity always seems to outweigh any potential disaster. In this photo, Evan points towards his bright future while holding the ominous storm clouds against his back.
Living a block away from the new Odd Future pop up store on Fairfax instantly introduced me to an entire crew of new kids. Regardless of how successful Tyler & his friends are, I can assure you there is nothing they would rather do than sit in front of a store all day and talk shit to each other.
When I think if there is a person who embodies skateboarding, Dressen is the first to come to mind. Genuine & humble don’t even justify how epic Eric truly is. These polaroids were taken one night when he decided that it would be cool to tattoo me after the shop closed. He had absolutely no problems with staying late because he knew how stoked I was & he viewed me as a friend over a customer. When it boils down to it, Dressen is a great human who has dedicated his life to skateboarding.
Above are the first portraits which I have shot of these two. I feel that it is important to state that they are my first portraits of Ben & Arto, because it looks like I will be shooting many more with them as I am currently moving to LA to work for Flip. The opportunity to be with a team that I idolized as a child, is more than I could have wished for.
Although there is so much work to be done, the future looks very promising & I feel incredibly fortunate that I have been able to surround myself with the best people. I thank skateboarding for all of these images, simply because I know that becoming a skateboarder was the best thing to ever happen to me.
I ramble…. a lot. So I’m not going to plague this interview with a bunch of my relentless thought/mouthed/typed out garbage. What’s to come, well, you’ll either get it or you won’t. Dan is your working class skateboarder, but not in your typical “he works construction” or “3rd shift at the factory on the outskirts of Reno”. He was one of a few (Joey Tershey included) that helped produce, promote, and push ALL of the DLX boards for the last few years that they were still made in the states. I’m writing the intro before I’ve even thought of the first question simply because this is going to be too good! Also, by the looks of the texted conversation back and forth with him, this ones gonna be for the vaults. These are the behind the scenes stories that have never see they day of light. So, world, from the Street Canoe Syndication in Oakland, California. With honor, Dan Depetro, 100% skateboarder.
- Lee Bender
LB: Dan, I only know a little about you. I know you’re from Redding, Ca. and now live in Reno, Nv. But theres a whoooole lotta experiences between those two points of your life. Firstly, lets start out with your current situation. Family? Home? Job? How long have you skated? All the current stat stuff that pertains to the interview at hand.
DP: So, with that said, I wanna take it back to when we first met. I was driving from Santa Cruz to Indianapolis for some reason. I stopped in San Jose to hang with Justin Bell and he needed a ride to his friends wedding, which happened to be yours. So Justin jumped in and voila, a few hundred miles later, we meet and were headed south on 395, off to skate Gardnerville during your last minute scramble to get married. Skating was always first priorities typically, right?
LB: Was that 2002 or 2003?
DP: That was 2003. He was on his way to Reno to stand in my wedding as my best man. Being that at that time you were living in Reno, I’m assuming that was after you put in your time at ERMICO? The powers that be closed the wood shop in San Francisco and outsourced our jobs to China and Mexico.
LB: For the younger guys, what was ERMICO?
DP: Ermico was the name of the “death star”. Everything that was anything came out of Hunters point. including but not limited to Anti-Hero, Real, Rasa Libre, Think, Adrenalin, Spitfire and all related wheel companies. Venture, Thunder, and Independent trucks were also manufactured across the alley from my office at RPM. Now bear in mind that all decks were delivered in one of my flat bed trucks to Printime for screening. It was homegrown, as local as it gets under the watchful eyes of Eric Swenson and Fausto Vitello. The corporate title of Ermico came about with the mish mash of initials, you had Fausto, Swenson and their partner from NHS in Santa Cruz. ( Michael Parry. ERic Swenson MIChael Parry FaustO Vitello) They decided over beers and left handed cigarettes one day in the late 70′s that Ermico worked for all involved. It stuck and continues to stand strong to this day in spite of their untimely deaths.
LB: What did they produce?
DP: -see above. Also as a writers note for the rookies out there it should be noted and clearly defined that the three men previously mentioned founded High Speed Productions. Thrasher, Slap, Juxtapoz, Twist Grip. with the assistance of Ed Riggins and Kevin Thatcher and countless others over time. Thrasher magazine was founded as more of a catalouge in the early days to show case their goods. It obviously bloomed into the premier skate mag of all time and is considered the bible amongst those that know what the fuck time it is.
LB: When did you start/end working there? and how did you get the job?
DP: This question could easily turn into an essay. I will keep it short for the readers. I started there in 1996. Eric Swenson (the man) hired me based on a solid referral from none other than Shawn Martin whom at the time had just taken over the reigns as wood shop foreman. Tony Perez founded RPM and decided to quit haphazardly one day leaving my homey Shawn at the helm as boss #1. I walked into a proverbial shit show initially. Tony was the glue and Shawn was overwhelmed with work (understandably) We quickly adapted as friends and as skaters do and next thing you know we were hitting our numbers in terms of production which not only surprised but pleased the boys in the main office. Anti-Hero was young. Really young. I was all about it. The future was on fire regardless of magazine sales. We attacked that shit full on. Every day presented a new challenge. We were in charge of 20+ immigrant workers with communication barriers all around. Bosnians, Vietnamese, and several Latinos kicked serious ass well into overtime so Huf and Julien had proper decks to ride. I was in the middle of it all. Sometimes I had to yell to get my way… it was all for the greater good. We made it a point to send out quality boards on a global scale. We cared. We are skateboarders. It was our everything.
LB: Earlier you mentioned Joey Tershay, but who else was involved?
DP: Shawn Martin was my immediate supervisor and taught me everything he knew… which is a shit load. Rick Blackhart was always around as well. Rick’s position was a do all and everything sort of guy and didn’t actually work for our shop per say.. however he did a ton of work to help out over the years. As time went on demand increased and the need for a swing shift was born. That’s where I really start to shine. I jumped all over the opportunity and we started really cranking out some decks. the place seemed to run non-stop. Swenson assigned me eight solid workers to handle the midnight hours and as a side note let me say that commuting from the Excelsior to the Hunters point naval shipyard back in those days was fucking gnarly. Especially at two am. Joey Tershay handled any and all Independent trucks business. He was the team manager and continues to be a good friend to this day as the man at Ace trucks along with his brother and Steve “Shrewgy” Ruge. There were so many others that pitched in to make Deluxe and all related companies what it was and continues to be. My room mates all worked in the industry, literally. Franco was running shit as the shipping manager at Thrasher. His girlfriend was helping run the magazine (Jen Houghton) as General Manager, Scott was in the shipping department at DLX Josh was working at Printime with Jeremy Fish, my girl was working at Dudley Perkins for Chris and his Father. It was all in – every day.
LB: What were your main responsibilities?
DP: Where do I start? Quality control was first and foremost. I had to oversee my guys and Shawn had to deal with the day crew. Production was a constant and more often than not a machine would break down or somebody would call in sick and then my work load tripled. Glue ratios in the mixing bins had to be exact. Are the boards receiving the proper amount of glue per run? Keep an eye on the presses make sure they get the full time per cycle. Of course we had to drill the correct wheel base per run before we could cut out each and every deck by hand on the dated but somehow reliable R-9 router. Then it was off to the sanding room for a scene right out of the old bones video where my guys would sand the edges and plane the tops and bottoms rendering them suitable for graphics the next day. That’s the tip top of the iceberg. We had to deal with Massive deliveries from Wisconsin when the wood truck came in it was Shawn and myself running around like crazy to make room for all the veneers. Pallet after fucking pallet of wood, It smelled amazing kinda like a new record or maybe an old book, anyways we had to stack all that business in the “dry room” for curing and ultimate pop. Nobody else in the industry bothered with this step. We did. There seemed to be a delivery going out of my shop three times a day at one point. Thousands of boards a week. It was non stop, the dust never settled- the noise was relentless and I was in heaven.
LB: Whats one of your favorite stories from that warehouse or more simply, those days in the SF skate scene?
DP: The SF scene was righteous. We always look back at the glory days as well the salad days, however.. I knew it was going off. We lived downtown off Bush and Jones and Union Square was our daily jam. Green benches, perfect curbs and ledges. China Banks was just a few kicks down the block not to mention all the other spots on the way, brown marble, black rock, B of A, EMB at night, Kearney bump…. I could go on for days. Wednesday night we would hit Wiggy’s ramp in Oakland skate Jim’s on that day, if the stars aligned we would hit Max’s ramp. There were not a ton of parks like you see today. We didn’t give a rats ass. I wanted to skate street and home made shit. We made our own scene. skating the dish in HP on lunch break was timeless. The sessions always varied. Noah Peacock was a staple, Danny Sargent, Tommy G made a couple, Blackhart, Franco, Ronnie Marshall, Coco, Julien, Arco was always lurking and making our day with laughter, Stacy Gibo, Matt Newtown, Joey killed it always.. fuck man I could go on for days. we all kicked it, we all wanted the same thing outta life.
LB: Who was your favorite artist to work with? Any good stories about him?
DP: Mark Gonzales. He approached Shawn and myself about this upcoming art show in Germany. He was working with Cheryl Dunn and for what ever reason the ball was thrown in my court. So now I have been assigned Gonz. The initial order was for three really long boards. I was pumped, who wouldnt be. Seeing him in our office is a memory that will never fade. As it turns out we got along pretty well and I ended up shaping by hand with no mold; 5 long board samples and four “tribute” boards for fun. I made him a couple of his old Blind shapes and two hammer head shapes as well- …. he was amped. I was on cloud nine. The art show and it turns out the film they made while in Dusseldorf were a success. He loved all the boards and thanked me with an oil painting that is unlike anything I have ever seen from him. He sharpied all over the back of the frame, little drawings and sayings, things like “ollie pop” and “baby Huey”. All through out this process he would sketch out ideas on my desk or envelope or whatever the hell was lying there for him to draw on. He is absolutely brilliant. anyone that disagrees has never kicked it with him on a level. I never thought I would see Mark again when the shop was closed down on us. I was wrong. He showed up at the bar I was tending in SF a while later with Phelps. “ha ha I found you DAN”..!!! I cant say enough about the guy. what has yet to be said. He’s not a fucking game changer– he’s the game.
LB: Besides bringing it back, if you could, what would you have changed about ERMICO?
DP: OUCH. smoke break… okay I’m back. If i could change one thing selfishly I would still be at the controls producing what I thought were killer American made decks born and built in the USA from the ground up because they were. From the wood outta Wisconsin to my hands at RPM then to be screened right down the street at at Printime by Dustin, Duane and Jeremy. It was as real as it’s ever gonna get. Skaters looking out for one another at all times. Other than the obvious I would change the way Rick Blackhart was paid. The dude made Indy what it was from the ground up, literally. He had the option to take 10 cents per truck back in the 70′s and shined it on for a measly ass pay out because he was a young skate rat and didn’t see the long haul. No fault of his own at the time but I have had many a conversation with the man and trust me he got screwed on that deal. So we could start there but my crystal ball is on the shitter so who knows.
LB: You recently showed me a few items from back then, but whats your most prized possession directly from that wood shop?
DP: I have some items that I consider family heirlooms. My vertical ply Julien Stranger board, we only pressed four and the one I kept was screened with his graphic at the time. All the formulas for our glue and the notes I kept in regard to the machinery, hand written notes from Shawn and even a couple from Tony. The long board that Tommy Guerrero gave me as a sample for Mark’s project, the painting that Gonz made me of course and all the decks that currently hang on my wall as a tribute to the sickest fucking wood shop that ever lived. I hope you guys enjoyed the fruits of our labor because we were all in.
LB: We were recently comparing our DIY spots, mine in Atlanta with Stormy Pruett, Jerimiah Babb, Scott McKenzie, Brian Hutcherson and more, yours in SF. Can you tell us a bit about the warehouse you guys took over in the city?
DP: That was really on Jasin Phares and the Boban brothers. I did a shit ton of work along side my good friend Jymi Shores but I really gotta give props to the three dudes I just mentioned. It was raw, it was in the heart of SF and for a while it was all of ours.
LB: Who found it and took the initiative to get it started?
DP: From what my saturated brain recalls it was Jasin running shit. Upson would come through with Corpsey, so many dudes… It was endless.
LB: Layout? Quarter pipes? bank ramps? barriers? wood? concrete?
DP: Yes on all of the above. It’s one of those places in time like all D.I.Y. parks or spots do, the landscape was forever changing. Sick little jammer ramps, a really decent wallride, I think Julien shot an ad in there for Anti-Hero. Curbs borrowed from across the way, we built a fun little wedge ramp, two hip ramps it was so fun.
LB: Who was your favorite person to watch skate it?
DP: Julien and Jasin. Coco came through a couple times and just shut it down, Danny Sargent as well. Danny is beyond comprehension at times, so good. Just being there on rainy days in the city when every other covered spot was a bust was such a blessing. I did my best to never take it for granted because we knew from day one it was not gonna last, we made the most of it though.
LB: Do you have a story that stands out with this guy on or off the board?
DP: Have you ever seen Julien skate in person? that’s what pops into my brain…shit was the gnarliest thing to go down there, skating or not? Julien, Coco and Shawn.
LB: Being that involved in the skateworld as a fully hands on operation, being skateboarder for skateboarder, producing some of the best boards on the planet, what skater was most involved with the layout, shape, design of his board?
DP: Honestly man.. Keith Hufnagel. He really cared about his shit and I’m sure he still does. Dude was on it. We did a 9-ply run for him, these crazy light but super poppy boards, they were so sick. He was in the middle of this high ollie contest training or whatever. We made him some rad boards for all that. Cardiel liked a shorter wheelbase and rode 7 3/4 inch boards forever, young Tony T wanted a longer wheelbase and cared enough to come down to the ship yard to sort it out. Max and myself rode the same shape- the template was the A-181 most dudes didnt trip too hard or really care. They would just straight kill it right out of the box. If that makes any sense.
LB: Who was your favorite to work with?
DP: Shawn Martin, Rick Blackhart and Joey Tershay.
LB: Tell us something about working with them.
DP: It was on the daily unless Joey was in Africa or Brazil or some shit, those dudes inspired me to keep doing it when it seemed like the “world of skateboarding” didn’t give a shit. We knew that the core of dudes cared, the crew was backing us, nothing else fucking mattered.
LB: Were there at times people hard to deal with? How did you go about working with them … or not?
DP: Don Fisher at Think was a hand full at times. Greg and Keith were always pretty cool. I had to deal with so many different attitudes it got to where after a while- (and it didn’t take that long trust me).. the celebrity kind of wears off and before you know it– I’m like what the fuck do you want, I have 12 dudes to babysit at my shop and you are gonna piss and moan because you and the team are hitting the road in two days to go skate, get drunk and handle a bunch of road betties. Fuck you man I’m dealing with grown man shit over here, I got three dudes up my ass about the weekly numbers and you are upset over a graphic..? not to say I became jaded but….. I had a job to do.
LB: Can you tell us the story I’ve heard from Jim Thiebaud about the missing scientist and his formula for Spitfire Wheels?
LB: You just told me that Jason Jesse had sent you some stuff on the day of your first daughters birth, care to share any of those stories/photos?
DP: I was lucky enough to skate with and get to know Jason a bit. This was in the late 90′s so it was a different time for all of us. My friend who’s more of a brother; Justin May went to work for Consolidated as a free lance artist of sorts. He did some rad shit for them and the fire/water graphic turned out to be a hit. They made that shit into a blanket, anyways I got the intro- we skated the ramp, one session turned into a handful more then Jason and I started talking Harley’s. That was our real connection I suppose and at one point he was gonna sell me his FXR for 8 grand. I couldn’t raise the money fast enough, my loss. Sitting in his tiny little cave of an office at Consolidated was the shit. I enjoyed that more than anything. He would show me insane pictures, we would talk shit and ultimately make our way outside to check out whatever crazy ass car or truck or motorcycle he was driving that day. I feel the same way about Jason as I do about Gonz.
LB: Being that most, if not all, of the skateboard companies have moved to china or mexico, what would you do differently to make things “better”?
DP: It’s out of my hands at this point. We gave it what we had and it seemed like we were killin it then the phones got ripped off the wall.. people like cheap. America is not cheap so I guess I’m gonna brush up on my Chinese. They have us by the balls financially and anyone that thinks otherwise needs to do something besides upload pics of their dinner on Facebook because we are in debt for the rest of our kids kids lives.
LB: What do you think will happen with all the megacorporate sponsrships climbing aboard?
DP: Tim Payne hired Shawn and myself to assist in building the mega super hyphy X games complex in 1999. It was the year that Tommy Eagle landed the 900 or whatever – I remember him saying it was “the best day of his life” right in front of his his wife and kids. Fuck him. I never stepped foot on a Powell board, EVER. been skating since 1983 and I never got down with their shit. I was all about Neil Blender and Mark Gonzales. Their bearings are the deal but that’s where it ends with this kid.
LB: When do you see it crashing…again?
DP: I have seen every twist, tomorrow wouldn’t break my heart.
LB: What do you think about some of the gnarliest dudes that are riding for those corp. companies?
DP: I think Bob Burnquist needs to step off Danny Way’s shit- let Danny Way have the helicopter thing dude- he’s a bonafide Legend one of the greatest of all time!!, our very own Evil Kneivel- you gonna go back three the great wall of China next???? Fuck you… that guy pissed me off when he went rafters at Wiggy’s ramp after John handled that shit backside.. and I know Cards has love for him still and I love you John but that was your shit, dude never should have went there. Fuck with my Nor-Cal homeys and I will call your ass out. Maybe I stand alone on this one, I couldn’t care any less… I’m used to being the black sheep in the crew. Just don’t act like you dont know that’s all. Go hook up another sponsor from Nissan and Duracell Bro, I’m not impressed.
LB: Twenty years later and thinking back to the mid90s skateboard scene, whats good and bad comparatively?
DP: I think kids are stoked now days right? I mean parks in every city and town.. how cool is that. I dont know? We had to fight for our shit man. I don’t think anyone cares.
LB: Will there ever be people like Hsiang? Orkin? and/or Shao?
DP: I feel the same way sometimes. How gnarly was Curtis? That dude was born to skate, ate that shit for breakfast, they all did. I feel blessed to have known and sessioned with them all.
LB: Do you have anything you want to share with us about any of those guys?
DP: I have fond memories of skating with Rube and Curtis. We would hook up at Wiggy’s or Jim’s or whatever pit was empty at that time. That was the craziest blow to all of us. Losing them. Talking about it hurts to this day. I never got to know Phil too well, he came down to the yard a few times, obviously he was sick as hell on a skateboard.. mind blowing lines everywhere he went. Let’s talk about Ft. Miley for a minute… come on.
LB: Knowing that there are skateboarders behind most every skate product on the planet, sans a few ridiculous companies that we all know to avoid, Who/What stands out to you?
DP: I’m really proud of the Tershay brothers. I remember Nick with his first ever run of bolts. He was showing em off down at the Thrasher warehouse one day out of the trunk of his car and I was like “bolts”??? Yeah… the rest is history. Goes to show what I know about skateboarding.
LB: Who are you most stoked on company wise, be it board companies, shoe companies, trucks, wheels, park builders, tech decks? shaun white? Anything at all thats really sparked a new interest in whats going on these days.
DP: RED from Oregon. Karl Swanson from Redding. The Shred Sundays Crew out here in Reno.
LB: How does that compare to when you were a kid coming up in the skateworld?
DP: When I was a kid I was the one putting in work.
LB: Hows the scene in Reno? There hasnt been many people come from up the hill recently or am I wrong?
DP: There are some rippers out here. Seems like everyone is good now, Keep an eye out for Mitch Haight.
LB: Who or what shops should people be supporting in that area?
DP: Classic Skate Shop. Owned by a skateboarder named Eric Lanto. It’s connected to Ace’s Tattoo. I’m backing both spots. Por Vida.
LB: Fast forward 15-20 years and youre in and around Reno, what are you doing these days?
DP: Hopefully hanging wheelies on my Harley, ripping around the hills. who knows brother…… “the future is unwritten” Joe Strummer.
LB: How did your skateboard turn into a motorbike?
DP: Hands down the best question in an interview ever. It started when I was little, like 4. my dad bought me a nifty 50 Honda when I was 5. donut tires, no gears just twist and go.. best times ever. That evolved into a trails 90 then an XR 100, CR 125′s CR 250′s then im racing my shit… it all leads to the street at some point and my dads been a biker since Christ was a kid so the progression felt natural. Street bikes led to my first Harley a 1998 Sportster sport, dual plugged heads.. I did the fairing and thunderheader with all the rest of the cafe style shit I could find at the time. There has been a Massive Harley rage going on in the past 10 years around the “skate scene” and I’m down for it, I could bitch and be like hey I was commuting to work on my Harley in SF when the rest of ya’ll were riding the muni, but those that know get it. The more bikers on the road the better. That’s honestly how I feel.
LB: How long have you been riding and or around bikes?
DP: Since Day One.
LB: How do you compare skating to riding cycles?
DP: They are closely related. Maybe it’s the way we view the world or the way we anticipate bumps in the road, I look for curb cuts to jump off of. I kind of miss my FXDX for that alone. That bike was so nimble. My road glide is the shit but there is something about a Dyna that feels right. My dad’s FXR-T is first class, well save that shit for another time I guess. I truly am a motorcycle enthusiast for the record… I want another dirt bike really bad.
LB: Anything else you would like to say?
DP: Shawn made a valid point years ago when I worked with him at Ermico. We were the only skater run wood shop ever…. I know that probably doesn’t mean a hill of shit now days in this world but I’m telling you it was an honor to do what we did for as long as we did. I never took it for granted. Every day I drove down there meant something to me.
LB: Who do you want to thank after all these years.
DP: My daughters Maisy and Miley first and foremost. Eric Swenson and Fausto Vitello for having faith in a skate rat like me. The Reno Crew, The Redding and Sacto Family, My Frisco family, Bay Riders, Frisco 81, Reno 81, Every single one of you that rode our shit over the years thank you for making the scene what it is today.. Team Sacred Cow, Paris street house, The Gravediggers, Room 21, ERMICO, RPM, ACE TRUCKS, Hartnell House, JULIEN for always making rad mix tapes, GONZ, Jason Jessee, Todd Congelleire, Max Schaaf, Grape Street, Coco, Sarge, Noah, CARDIEL, Andy, The Ventura crew, Phoenix family, Spokane, Panama, Denver…..MOMS AND POPS- Thank you Lee Bender for shining a light on the underground.
Street Canoe would like to send out an extra special thanks to Dan, Leeboy and the City of San Francisco.
Brad McClain, backtail slide. Fresno, CA
I was on a random 3 day pool mission with Raybourn, Berard and Brad up in Fresno. Brad just hammers out tricks in pools, I shot a few other things in there. It was a good pool but just the standard kidney shape, which has been shot a million times over and over. I was just hanging in the shade for a few and noticed the reflection of them skating in the window.
Dakota Servold, front feeble. San Diego, CA
Dakota likes the kinked rails, you don’t see that many skaters doing front feebs through kinks.
Div Adams, Backside tailgrab. Washington St. Park
Div over stayed his 6 month visa a few years ago because he liked skateboarding in California. He also spent a lot of time under the bridge and hit that spot hard. The sessions are not the same since he went back to Scotland!
David Gravette, frontside air. Australia
There are so many concrete skateparks in Australia, I forgot the name of this one. I think it was the first day of a Creature trip, blazing sun and an over vert pocket.
Jared Huss, Tailside. San Diego, CA
A curved rail with a kink, not much more to say. A few people got served up on this thing, Jared got away with this tail slide fairly easy. The Bones video came out before the photo could get run in the mag.
Julien Klincewicz, Boneless off roof into bank. San Diego, CA
A pigeon shit roof into a cheese grater bank that smells of dead fish because of the trash around the back from the Vietnamese restaurants. I’m sure you know what I mean.
Kevin Kowalski, Front bluntslide. San Diego, CA
Kyle Berard and a few other built this DIY spot. I wish I had $10 for every person that has been there and skated it. It was hard to keep up with tricks because people were hitting daily. A few front bluntslides may have gone down but the more the better.
Darren Navarrette, Indy air. Bucky Lasek’s Bowl
One of the many Indy variations up Darren’s sleeve, 13 foot backyard bowl.
Omar Hassan, Corner air. Buena Vista Pool
The legendary Buena Vista pool in Santa Cruz has been skated by some of the best over the years and is still going. A NorCal staple, the owners of the property are down for skaters. They just ask that you keep it clean.
Ben Raybourn, backside boneless. Norwalk, CA
This spray painted pool is in between two occupied houses, It’s insane how much spray paint covers the backyard. Kids just hop the fence to tag and not even skate. I guess the reason for skaters being kicked out was due to them. I took Ben there to check it out one day without a filmer and Ben destroyed the pool from his first run to his last.
Pedro Barros, Corner air. Lisbon, Portugal
This bowl is at the Quiksilver shop across from a famous surf spot outside of Lisbon. Pedro has a lot of power when he skates and is fun to watch.
Al Partanen, Crail tap. Anaheim, CA
This pool was skated back in1999 for a few years, the new owners were not into it. It was checked on the regs for awhile and it was empty because they were doing work to the pool. So we would hop the fence and skate it while they were not home. We thought they were putting some new plumbing in and redoing the decks. A few weeks passed and when we went back to skate it, they filled it in with dirt to make a parking lot in their backyard.
Willy Akers, Pivot fakie. San Diego, CA
This spot is a drain catch for the gutter of a office building’s drain run off with a steep kink. Not sure who designed it but looks like a skateboarder was in on it. Willy just learned pivot fakie’s recently and decided to step it up to this thing.