Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Baltimore's Best

This is Carl Schmidt....

Carl lives in Baltimore, MD. It's an old rust-belt city; a lot like Philadelphia. Baltimore is an over looked city on the East, but if your into skating nugs it's a hidden gem. There's abandoned buildings with stoop ledges all over the place, some dope hill bombs, cool stuff downtown and a rich skateboarding history. Baltimore has produced some rad skaters over the years including Rodney jones, Gary Smith, and Scott Johnston. Carl Rides for Gary's skate shop called Vu, which has two locations in the city. If you go to Baltimore make sure you stop by Vu and say what's up to Gary, Carl, and the rest of their crew; they all rip. You can catch Carl skating The-Ridge DIY spot on the regs as well as the famous Lyric building. The-Ridge has played a key roll in Baltimore's last 10 years of skating and it definitely shows in the local talent. Vu recently dropped a full length video project called "Down to The Wire". Carl has a full part in it. Find it, watch it, and enjoy. I spoke with Carl not too long ago about his city, his scene and the recent video; here is the conversation.
-Pusher Rob

R- Carl, let’s give people a little back-story on who you are and who you ride for...

C- I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. I've lived in the Baltimore area my whole life and I am currently living about 20 min outside of the city. I've been riding for Vu Skate Shop since the jump about 6 years ago, and I've been getting flow shoes from Cons for a few years now.

How was filming for the Down to The Wire video?

It was solid. This past Winter really slowed down the filming process, but overall I think the video has come together really well.  

How long have you guys at Vu been working on the video?

Two years now.

Have you taken any trips for the video or is it all Baltimore footy?

Other than a couple clips in Philly, it's pretty much all Baltimore footy man. I'm stoked on that.

I heard Vu opened up another store location, that’s pretty sick. Baltimore seems to have a solid loyal scene that’s growing each year.

Yea the new shop is in Hampden, which is located in Northern Baltimore. Hampden is a great location for the 2nd store because it sits right off of Interstate 83 and a block away from the local skate park. I definitely agree though, our city is small so most skaters living in the region know each other or have a general idea of who they are. Gary has done a great job bringing our city together and shining some light. There are some serious rippers here who all deserve recognition.

What’s up with The Ridge right now, is it still alive and kicking?

It's sort of a matter of opinion. I grew up skating there and learned almost everything I know there so it will always have a place in my heart. Most winters at The Ridge are pretty dead now but spring and summer are always poppin’ any day after like 2 oclock. Also, I can skate to The Ridge from my apartment, which is perfect for week days after work.

Why are you so fond of Old Bay?

Hahaha because you can put it on fucking anything and everything. A lot of times when I eat pasta I'd rather just do butter and old bay...screw the sauce. And of course crabs or other seafoods; and with a 6 pack of natty boh’ you’re good to go.

A lot of people may not know how good Baltimore is for skating. What should people know about the spots down there and the scene that may make them want to visit and experience the city?

Baltimore is great for anybody that loves the East coast. Our city is very old and very weathered but has tons of potential in my eyes. If you come here, expect to have your quick feet on. A lot of our spots require you to setup really fast for your trick. The night-life is good too, want to go to a bar? Pick your poison, we have plenty.

When are you coming up to Philly to kick it?

I'm making my way up there soon. My good friend Damon Shields has lived there for years. He rides for the shop too but also does all the art/design work for Vu. Damon is the fucking man!

You skate 54mm, which may surprise some people. Why the bigger wheels?

Cause you gotta be able to mash through shit!

Where do you want to travel to the most for a skate trip?

San Francisco for sure; I like going fast.

What’s an average Baltimore skate day like for you?

Either meet up with a crew at The Ridge or the shop and take it downtown. Sometimes I'll go solo and see what happens. Just go with the flow and try to skate and film as much as I can.

Any last words for those reading this?

Shout out to you Rob! Thanks to Pusher Wheels, Gary Smith at Vu, Bobby Sperro for editing Down to the Wire, Jon at CONS, Joe Broccolo for photography, and all of the filmers; Zach Stith, Jeff Sheridan, and John Hudacheck. Peace!

Carl's June 2014 PUSHER AD