Friday, October 23, 2015

Mayor: The Ricky Oyola Interview

Ricky Oyola; a powerful skater with a powerful personality. He has a vision at all times and he thrives on integrity, pride, execution, and stubbornness. He may also have the most iconic push in street skating history, as well as one of the most classically stylish ollies ever. Going fast with purpose is what I think of when I think of Ricky Oyola. He's East Coast to the core and typically we on the East don't give much of a rat's ass if someone doesn't like us or our point of view. We have our own styles and we view them as the preferred methods-of-approach. You may or may not agree with each approach, but the people here at least have the balls to voice their strong opinions and showcase their perspectives. There are countless skaters who are motivated despite the skate industry's continued denial of talent here on the East. Ricky lived through the initial industry-denial of that talent and well...he and his friends pretty much blew the doors off that question of doubt when Eastern Exposure released. Ricky continued to lay down his vision of skating and cement his place in history by skating for and starting several iconic brands, and producing some of the most influential skate-coverage the world has laid eyes on. This interview hopefully gives some other insight into Ricky, his point of view, and some classic career stories. Ricky is a pro skater who has seen every facet that a skate career can offer, and we should all respect that. He's a guy that has a wealth of skate-knowledge to bestow on the world, and also a great person to just sit back and talk shit with. This interview and guest pro model project mean a lot to me and Shawn Beeks here at Pusher. Ricky truly is an inspiration for those of us who appreciate really good genuine skating that comes from true self expression. The kind of skating that embraces the battle against one's own mind, and results in something awesome. Ricky, you rule man, 100% respect. 

Rob:Where are you originally from?

Ricky: Born in Pemberton, NJ. I grew up in Medford, NJ.

What year did you start skating?


Throughout your career you stayed on the East Coast. In particular, you chose to stay around the Philadelphia area, but over the course of your career was there anywhere else you lived or spent a significant amount of time skating in?

 I stayed in the Philadelphia area pretty much the whole time. I spent 3 months in Australia on my first visit and then 6 months on my second trip there. I thought about moving to NYC at one point, but Philly had too much to conquer. SF was the only city out West that I could have ever seen myself moving to. Trekking though those hills, and seeking out new spots with Matt and Sergel were some of the most exciting experiences of my life. 

What other cities and scenes have you respected or been inspired by over the years?

From the start of my skating every city in California was highlighted in the magazines. So I can't help, but have tons of respect for what I saw in those mags early on. New York City, especially during the early SHUT years was out of this world. It seemed like every SHUT rider was the best skater. After we blew up Philly, it seemed like the mindset became from Boston to DC we were all one big scene, because of the close proximity of the cities. I also got a lot of love for ATL. The Japanese scene is like no other. I went there later in my career, but I wish I had gone during my peak. After going to Barcelona though, I wanted to live there. I couldn't believe the way they laid out that city. There were amazing things everywhere you went; I like banks and they're all over that place. I honestly wished I had made enough money during the height of my career, so that me and my wife at the time would have moved there for a few years before our first child was ready to start school. To experience that would have been amazing. 

You've obviously been on a lot of skate tips over the years. What has been your favorite trip and what is your favorite international destination?

 For me, Barcelona was head and shoulders the best city all around. I have so many memories from too many trips that to narrow it down to one location can be really hard to do though. From managing and surviving solo trips through Europe, to Hawaii with Kastel Shoes, to the OG Silverstar tour, to Hong Kong and Japan, to hitching a ride with Mike Manzoori through Germany to Amsterdam all the way over to the UK. I mean traveling to all these places has been amazing. New Deal through South America was totally ridiculous. At the time Giant Distribution was all about Element and the New Deal crew was the forgotten stepchild. Somehow they let me convince them to do this New Deal trip to South America. They let me organize the entire thing head-to-toe. It all came about from one photo of Peter Hewitt on the cover of Thrasher skating the "Skatepark de Carolina" in Quito, Ecuador. I saw that photo and I knew I had to go there someday. We made it happen with New Deal. The SLAP trip to Puerto Rico was epic too, because we went there before a lot of people had really traveled there for skating. Traffic's Spot-Seeker tour was dope; an original idea that was a little bit ahead of the whole DIY craze. TWS ran a 20 page article on our good times, which was un-heard of at the time for a company that wasn't an advertiser. 

I know Traffic has been very popular in Japan since it started, and that sparks the question...when is the next Deshi part coming out?

 I have no idea right now, but I am definitely hyped to see what Deshi creates.

Any plans for a Traffic trip to Japan in the next couple years?

 We shall see I guess.
TOA started distributing Traffic in recent years (Traffic was previously distributed by Syndrome). It appears a new spark has been lit for the company. What's in the plans for the future of Traffic, and what can we expect to see soon?

 Continued pushing. Original spots.

You just traveled to Canada this summer with TOA. How was it getting back in the van and hitting the road again?

 I was stoked to hit up Toronto again. My first trip there was years ago with the Traffic crew and it was so sick. Things changed up there a bit since that time. Bluetile Lounge is the main shop up there now and those guys took great care of us on this TOA trip. I remember more banks years ago, but where we stayed this time around didn't allow us to hit too many of those. Just being in the van again with the team was so fun.

You mentioned Kastel Shoes in a previous answer. Over the years you have skated for a lot of different shoe companies including not only Kastel, but also Airwalk, Duffs, Memphis, and Vox. What was your favorite footwear brand to skate for and why?

 I also rode for Vision Street Wear and Converse too. I was hyped on the possibilities that Memphis presented at the time. It could have been amazing, but it had internal problems. If it didn't end up having those I feel that I could have created a unique brand with them. Honestly, some of the people that I forged friendships with through these shoe companies is what really stands out to me. August from Duffs, Mike from Vox, and J Stone from Kastel; those are three people that I am very fortunate to have had a chance to work with and I'm stoked to have become long-term friends with them.

What was the deal with Kastel shutting down out of nowhere back in the day? What happened with Vox and your pro shoe under their camp?

 I can't say with certainty. I got in trouble in Australia when things went South for Kastel (many previous Ricky interviews address the Australia incident). Probably money and profits have to be involved I guess? I really enjoyed my time with them; my third shoe would have been so good. At the time we were going for the lightest skate shoe on the market and with that one it would have been if the whole operation didn't kick the bucket. As for Vox, it comes down to internal issues again. The core dudes like Ed and Mike eventually were no longer involved, so the image of the brand and team were adversely affected.

I ask everyone this, but since we are on the topic of shoes, what are your top five favorite skate shoes of all time?

 I never paid too much attention to shoes in general, but I guess I have a few. The Es Accel was by far my favorite shoe. My first shoe on Kastel was fashioned after the Accel; skated the same, felt very similar, so that's my number two. Vans Half Cabs are undeniably on that list for sure. I rocked a lot of Jason Lee's Airwalk pro model at a point in time. The Matt Hoffman black leather Duffs was probably my favorite Duffs shoe while I was on that team. Lastly, that final pro model I had on Vox was real good too. It was a mid-top fashioned after a half cab mixed with the silhouette of my first Vox pro shoe. It's so funny to me now, because so many of these shoes we have all loved over the years are really not very good for your feet. No matter the design, so few are really good for you.

Love Park, City Hall, or Muni; what was your favorite part of each plaza? 

 They're all one dude; one intersection, one big spot. Individually though, Love was the best. For diversity of spots, City Hall wins. As for Muni...Muni was the most guarded during that time, so it had a special allure to it that was different than the other two.

Was there ever another plaza spot you skated during your career that you felt compared to the quality and options these three Philly plazas had?

 Pulaski was always an amazing plaza to visit. Endless marble ledges with varying options for lines. Pulaski's scene was always one of the best on the East, so you knew when you skated there you were going to see some new shit. EMB was obviously the premiere plaza in skate history. Seeing it in the mags, videos, and watching what was going down there during its era made it a spot you had to visit. EMB offered so many options for the progression of modern day skating. Coming from Philly and being spoiled from skating perfect Love all day, I was not a fan of the brick ground at EMB or the cement ledges though. Henry, Mike, Jovontae, and the guys from that crew were basically pushing the progression of ledge skating, and after I skated EMB my admiration for what they were doing and what they had to do it on only grew. It would have been dope to have seen Henry and Mike skate Love. Love has to be one of the best plazas in the world, but I used to boast more about Philly having one of the best city blocks period. Muni, City Hall, and Love all at the same intersection across the street from one another, you can't get any better. 

I know skaters often pretend they don't like "normal" sports, or at least many of them tend to hide the fact that they really do like them. I respect that you have always been open about enjoying other things besides skateboarding. You have always openly expressed your interest in hockey and you are a well known pool shark. How has having these other interests helped you in skating and in daily life?

 I'm not sure if it has helped me in anyway in terms of skating that I can think of, but being a genuine fan of all the Philly teams I enjoyed fucking with random people in the streets. Especially the New York fans. For example, I was recently skating a spot in NYC and I spontaneously started chanting E-A-G-L-E-S-EAGLES to a dude rocking a Giants jersey. You gotta do it in a way that the other person realizes that its a joking shit-talking manner so that you both can laugh about it. Sports are just another way of having a connection with a complete stranger out in the world. 

Who has been your favorite photographer to work with over the years and why?

 Damn, not fair. All the photographers were cool to work with. I respected the ones who were so talented that they captured the moment first try. I worked with Ryan Gee and Frankie the most. They lived in Philly and I lived in Philly, so they were natural relationships. Jeremy Traub was amazing to work with. Man, there was a lot that shot well. Mike O'Meally, Ed Dominick, Geoff Graham, Skip Millard, Adam Wallacavage, Dennis McGrath, Brian Uyeda, John Mehring, Dave Adair, Wig, Skin, Julius Reeves, Morford, Ortiz, Dawes, Swift, Andre Tur, Kingy, Iseki, and Tobin...the list goes on and on. Sorry if I missed anyone I have ever shot with. They were all important, but in the end Gee and Frankie were with me the most over the years.

Favorite filmer to work with over the years and why?

 Working with Dan Wolfe in the early years and getting to see him progress into what he is today was amazing. Josh Stewart is an incredible filmer that I have spent countless hours with as well. Although I have not filmed with Chris Mulhern that much, he is somebody that comes from the school of thought that Dan and Josh come from. I really admire his filming, editing, and work ethic. Vern of course being from Philly and being the only one I actually used to just go skating with before he became a filmer is definitely one of my favs. My buddy Ry who lived with Rich Adler is who I filmed and skated with the most towards the end. I always enjoyed filming and skating with him, but I bet you there's footy he hasn't logged yet, hahaha! 

What is your take on the prominence and emphasis on contest-skating in the current state of skateboarding media and industry?
 It is what it is i guess; a way for skaters to make money...a few skaters at least. You mentioned the word "current" within your question and it's fitting considering the direction skateboarding is being steered. The corporate dollars needed for the growth and longevity of the sport is going to continue coming in from TV exposure. Contests seem to be the only facet of skateboarding that translates to the non-skateboarding public. Even if a viewer doesn't truly understand the tricks being done they understand #1, #2, first, last, medals, and a champion. A difference going forward with skateboarding is that more kids are starting to skateboard with gold medal aspirations and the goal to be a "champion". I don't know if I ever met or skated with anyone since I started in '85 where those were the reasons they got into skateboarding. Times are different and the youth are being exposed to these things. Fortunately, skateboarding is unique and more multifaceted than traditional sports, so no matter how much corporate dollars push the contest side of skateboarding the essence of skateboarding will strive and progress. That essence will also be the reason why there will always remain a distinction between a skateboarder and someone who rides a skateboard. True skateboarding is the freedom of creating on your own and it will always be that deep down.

Lastly, what's your dream session? Spot, people, vibe, etc. etc.? What's going down, present time, future, or back in the day?

 I fortunately have had the opportunity to skate some amazing spots across the globe with some amazing people, but I will tell you that the sessions at the East Falls Philly warehouse were some of my more memorable ones (think Argentina soccer jersey in a blue indoor bowl). I became a key holder to this warehouse where over time an array of ramps were pieced together to create a bowl-type spot. A spine, an escalator, pool coping, hips, corners, a parking block, plywood floors, and varying sized transitions eventually were blended together to create a indoor winter escape for some of the FDR locals. There wasn't any section of the ramp that you could go back and forth like on a standard mini ramp. You were forced to learn lines to keep your flow. For me, the warehouse offered a change of pace from skating the city not only in the spot itself, but my mindset as well. I took it less seriously and the crew of Faas, Tex, Fernando and Yula to name a few were so much fun to skate with. The vibe was always positive and encouraging for anyone and everyone no matter your skill level. The camaraderie we experienced was something I never encountered skating through the city. The first time I went with Steve Faas he said to bring a 30 pack; a tradition I continued til' the warehouse was no more. Mike Bouchard, who lived near me in South Philly used to come with me a lot. In the beginning we had to watch and learn the lines the locals were using to keep their flow. After these rad night sessions with a lot of skaters, Mike and I would skate during the day when the warehouse was empty to work on the lines the rippers were using. It took awhile, but eventually Mike and I got shit down so that we were right in the mix when the heavy snake sessions took place and the spot got crowded.  It was a good change later in my life that made a difference in my outlook on skating.  Boosh-Ride!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Ricky Geiger, Carl Schmidt, and Mike Maldonado

We put together a little web clip of some extra footy that Rick and the crew got while filming for the video. This clip features Rick, Carl Schmidt, and Mike Maldonado. We are in the process of filming a full team video, coming sooner than you think...

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Edge of Atlanta

Photos by: David Morico
Words by: Jeremiah Babb
Interview by: Rob Williams

Me and some old dudes saw Andrew skating this pre-fab park in Decatur many year ago. You should know the rest right? "This little kid, wow! Mind blowing stunts! Things we could never imagine...and we knew the future is now"....and all that bullshit. But it wasn't. Little ass, annoying 10 year old Andrew and his buddy Zach were always there chasing each other around doing lil 50-50's on the flat bars, a tweaker ollie on the hip, nosegrinds here and there, 5-0's on the quarterpipe, etc, etc. Nothing especially amazing. These 2 kids were in their zone just kinda doing their own thing, getting in our (the rippers!) way and they'd sneak off as quick as they'd sneak in. "Dude, that Baby-Epo kid is gonna be good man...if he keeps skating" was kinda the real verdict at the bar after the sessions. He didn't switch tre-flip the pyramid or kickflip nose blunt the box. No contest training. No P-Rod boards. It was just real solid, fluid, natural skating. It was awesome! I was 26 at the time; to see this little kid and to get stoked on his skating was so rad to me. He's grown up now. He tries to get witty. He and his friends think they're lil' fart jokes are funny. I can tell he thinks I'm lame at times; he's all "in the scene". He's not a jerk. He answers in one word answers. I mean shit man he's in his 20's, he does dumb shit like everyone. Then he steps on a skateboard and transforms into one of the most in-tune, intelligent, and gifted skaters ever. If you've never heard of him then that's half the reason we love him. There is no showboating or "look at how rad I am" with Andrew. He's just doing what he's doing. He's living, and he just happens to be one of the best skateboarders from the South, hands down. 
-Jeremiah Babb

Rob- Where are you from?
Andrew- Atlanta, Georgia. Born and raised down here. I grew up skating in Decatur, which is a tiny city a few miles outside of downtown Atlanta.

How did you start skateboarding?
    A friend of mine at school skated and got me into it. At the time I lived on a street with 10 or 15 other kids my age. A bunch of us got really into it. We had a few flat bars and little boxes. There was a church at the end of the street with a few small stairs and grass hill bombs too.

What is your favorite part about Atlanta and its skate scene?
    I love that there is always some kind of DIY foundation spot around. The DIY motivation is pretty high here. Street skating downtown is real fun too, but I’d say my favorite part is probably the backyard ramp scene. There are a few fun ramps just around the downtown area; they are all sick and unique. As you go farther out of the beltway there are a few more. Jeremiah Babb’s is probably the best I think.

Have you skated Jeremiah's miniramp since he put all the pool block on there?
    Is it all pool coping now? Well nope, haven’t been there in a minute...been waiting on a invite Miah! Nah but seriously that ramp is amazing though.

So you just graduated college, where did you go to school and what did you study?
    I studied business marketing at Georgia State. It wasn’t something that I planned on from the get-go or anything like that. By the time I got through my general studies classes I had no idea what to do. I ended up deciding to go into the business school, because I figured it was pretty broad and practical. I ended up choosing marketing because it seemed more interesting than accounting, finance, and the few other majors the business school offered. Since I graduated I’ve been applying for a bunch of jobs, but it’s hard to get a job that I’m interested in without much experience. I’m working in restaurants in the mean time and staying optimistic about finding work that relates to my major.

Standard headshot required by law

You had a part in the THREADS video last year that Matt Creasy and Andrew Rose put out; how was filming for that video?
    That was a lot of fun. I think we filmed everything in just short of one year. I took a few small trips for it around the South. Everyone involved seemed really motivated to skate and create something important.

Does this mean you will have footage in Creasy and Rose's upcoming project with Chris Thiessan at Transworld (Headcleaner Video)?
   I think I’ll have a handful of clips in there. Filmed some stuff, but we’ll see what happens. Can’t wait for that video to come out, it’ll be here soon.

What are your plans for 2015?
    Filming a video part for my buddy Jack's video called Bae1000. It’s supposed to be out in June? Other than that just trying to work on some life stuff, take some trips, skate a lot, and enjoy life.

I heard ATL is building another new big skatepark, what's going on with that? Have you seen the layout?
    Well there already is the 4th-Ward park that’s been here for a few years, but I heard about a new one being built near Turner Field or something like that. I saw the plans a while back and truthfully it looked pretty weak, but I haven’t heard much about it in a while. Maybe they made some changes?

Andrew and friends filming for top secret shit
For anyone visiting ATL to skate what are the top five must hit skate spots?
1)Wallrides at the Bell South building
2)Skate flat at Black-Blocks   
3)Hit up the naked lady building downtown
4)Skate the DIY rubble at The-Coop
5)Rex banks up in Gwinett

How about the top five must visit places to eat grub and drink beer down there?
1)I'd go to the Flying Biscut for breakfast
2)Candler Park Market, they got good sandwiches
3)Daddy D's is a great BBQ spot
4)Twains is a cool pool hall in Decatur that brews their own beer
5)Lastly, I guess El-Myr. It's a skate-bar in Little Five Points with good burritos

Top five favorite skaters?
 Damn that’s a hard one, but I’d have to say the following…
1)Danny Renaud
2)Geoff Rowley…and Arto Saari
3)Brian Anderson
4)David Clark
5)Brad Cromer… shit, Grant Taylor is in there somewhere too. I know that’s more than 5, but whatever I think that’s an accurate list.

Top five favorite skate videos?
1)Static III
3)The Good Life
4)RUIN’s Noveau
5)VHS tape

Top five favorite skate shoes?
1)Definitely gonna’ put Vans old-skools as #1 on the list
2)The new Busenitz ADV
3)Vans slip-ons...after that? Hmmmmmmm...


Friday, April 3, 2015

From AZ to PA

Ever since I met Rick he's been super nice, incredibly talented on a skateboard, and just a solid friend. I was a big fan of LISTEN skateboards back in the day, so when he ended up here I was stoked to get to know him and see him skate in real life. LISTEN went the way of he dodo-bird, but it turned out he was riding for 5BORO once he ended up here, which was cool, because most of my friends and I knew the 5B guys and respected their whole crew and direction a lot. Rick got along with our crew right away and ever since then we've been homies. Rick and Brian Lantz (fellow AZ skater) eventually moved in with myself, Bdougs, Andrew Rapoza, Chris Fireoved, and a whole army of other skaters into the Wallace house in the Fairmount neighborhood. Rick later headed back out West for a year and then came back to the Philly area again, bounced back and forth from Philly to NYC a bit after that, but he always seemed to make his way back to Philly. Rick possesses the remarkable ability to smile a lot...for real, he will eat total shit trying some crazy trick over and over and he'll smile or laugh about it the whole time; I respect that a lot. Even if he is mad as hell, yelling, and stomping his board, he still looks like he's having fun...or, he looks like he's crazy, but I still got respect for his positivity. Rick is a skater's skater; a down to earth guy, super good, great style, and not out for some come-up popularity contest bullshit. He's honest and genuine to the core and truthfully...he's got a better push on a skateboard than most of you reading this. If you have skated with him you know exactly what I'm talking about. Take a page out of Rick's book, just go skate, enjoy the day, don't over-think things, feel alive, be nice, be happy, and whatever happens will happen. He's got a great outlook and he's a rad dude, what else can I say? Rick Dawg rules 100%.
-Pusher Rob

Alright Rick, state your full name, where you are from, and who you skate for…
R- My name is Ricky William Geiger III, and I’m originally from Phoenix, AZ. 5Boro, EXIT, Pusher Wheels, Cowtown, and Plus Reserve Hardware hook me up with skateboard stuff.

You have been living in Philly for quite some time now, with a short stint in LA and another in NYC, but you seem to return to Philly more often than not. What is it about Philadelphia that is so appealing?
R- I love Philly, because you really don’t need a car here to get by. It’s a big “little city” and you can skate, walk, bike ride, hop the subway, trolley, or regional rails all pretty easily here. Not saying it’s got great public transportation, but it works. Rent is super cheap and the people in general just keep it real here. Skateboarding in Philly is so great, because of the spots and the aesthetic. It’s an old city, so on film it looks appealing. You can get creative here, and there’s Love Park of course.

When was your first trip here? How did you end up getting situated here?
R- It was probably the Spring of 06’…maybe 07’? My sister lives in Newtown, PA and my best friend Brian Lantz and I came to visit her. We figured it was a good opportunity to skate somewhere totally new and different. When we first came to skate the city we got cheesesteaks and ate them on the levels at Love Park. We met Chris Fireoved there that night and he took us in with open arms. We ended up staying with him for awhile and meeting everyone from the OG Cecil crew at that time. Oddly enough, my stay at Chris’ house was the first and only time I’ve ever sharted my pants. Maybe it was good luck?

What’s your favorite Philly neighborhood you’ve lived in?
R- Center City for the convenience of everything, but Fairmount for a bit of peace, plus it’s still close to downtown too.

You come from Arizona which is a land of endless sunshine and lots of skate parks. Has it been weird living here where we didn’t have that many “legal” spots to skate up until recently? We have tons of spots to skate, don’t get me wrong, but you know what I mean…AZ has more skateparks than we could ever imagine.
R- Yeah for sure. It’s so much easier to actually just go skate there. You can hit up a park, ditch, or whatever out there. You can just do that and get a good session in for hours at a dope park before you try to go street skating. Plus most of the parks have lights until late. Out here in Philly it’s a lot harder to simply just go out and skate in general. You have to deal with so much crazy shit here just to try to grind a ledge once. Cracks, bum-shit, traffic, crazy hero citizens…the list goes on and on, but in the end it makes the day more interesting and it make me appreciate the act of skating more. Plus, if you get a clip amongst all that nonsense it makes it more rewarding.

I know you spend a lot of time at Love Park and MUNI now; did Phoenix Arizona ever have a gathering spot like that?
R- Nah not really, Phoenix is way too spread out. All my friends lived in different areas of the city. The meet up spot was just at Cowtown skateshop. We would do the usual thing of meet up, watch videos, talk shit, and then go skate. We never had a plaza spot or anything like that. Deck park had a scene and The Wedge too, but it’s different.

Do they have granite in AZ?
R- No, but we have lots of stucco, rocks, and cacti.

How and when did you get hooked up by 5BORO?
R- Hmmm, shit, again, probably like 06’ or 07’? I was riding for LISTEN at the time and when LISTEN went under Tombo (5BORO TM) hit me up and has been helping me out with product ever since. 5BORO and LISTEN had a bit of distribution deal, so towards the end the brands were kind of affiliated together. That’s how I met the 5B guys.

Did you save any LISTEN boards from when you skated for them?
R- I saved one. It’s the “Viajeros Locos” graphic with everyone’s signature on it. I still can’t believe I got to have footy in that vid. Thanks to Rob-G, Toya, and Vern for asking me to be apart of that brand.

Best skate trip you’ve ever been on?
R- Haven’t really been on too many to be honest. I just live places and skate those local scenes. Coming to Philly has been one big awesome trip. I went to Baltimore a while ago and that was tight. That city is so good for skating; the “wire” spot is dope.

Where would you like to travel to for skating that you haven't been to yet?
R- Europe and Australia look awesome for skating so I’ll say those two.

Why is yuengling the best?
R- Not too light, not too strong, just right; drinkability is king. It still tastes like beer unlike other popular American beers. Gimme’ a lager mate!

I remember when you moved here you always said you couldn’t skate transition at all, but every time we skate the Pusher miniramp at my house you learn something new and make everyone look like clowns. Why are you such a liar?
R- It’s funny cuz’ I had all these amazing skateparks back in AZ with so much transition, but I never really messed with those parts of the parks. I just skated the ledges and manual pads in all the parks cuz’ it was the closest to street skating. I worked at the Cowtown warehouse for a bit and they had a 40ft wide miniramp, but I really never messed with it. I just wanted to skate street stuff when I was that young. I could always do the transition basics ya’ know, but I just didn’t focus on that side of skating much. Then when I moved here we started skating your ramp like every single week and I fell in love with miniramps. I don’t skate miniramps as much recently, but I get it now, I understand transition skating a lot more so it opens up more options at spots and parks too. 

Your thoughts on the new Paines Plaza in Philly?
R- Meh’

Got any interesting plans for 2015?
R- I’m just gonna’ skate and film and see what happens while juggling work and life stuff.

Top five favorite skate shoes of all time and why?
1) Es Accel, because it looked dope and was super comfortable
2) Es Koston 2, because it just looked sick and was kind of ahead of its time
3) Axion Guy Mariano Aries; super sick silhouette and comfortable
4) Ipath grasshopper, gotta’ be the black leather version. Illest kicks and the raddest dudes backed it like Nate Jones, Kenny Reed, and Jack Sabback
5) DC Lynx, if you don’t know why then I don’t know what to tell you

Top five favorite skaters of all time?
R- 1) Ray Barbee 2) Keenan Milton 3) Gino 4) Andrew Reynolds 5) Pappalardo

Thanks for taking the time enlighten us all Rick. Any wise words for the skate world before we close out this interview?
R- The Internet isn’t real life.

Photos by: John Rentchler, Kevin McGovern, and Luke Darigan

Video links of Rick:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

LBC's Finest

Scott Kane was a heavy force in skateboarding in the early 2000's. His skill level on a board was uncanny and I'm sure when his Bootleg 3000 part dropped there was a collective "oh shit" being said by many professional skateboarders all across the US. I know as a young skateboarder I was blown away, especially since Scott Kane was pretty close in age to myself. I saw Scott a few times back then in Philly filming with the Bootleg crew and their TM Mark Brandstetter (Plain). I remember one specific time skating William Penn High in North Philly and Scott, Brian Machaud, and Plain showed up. They Warmed up on the ledges and the 3 block, but that was not their intent. They obviously came to skate one of the bigger and more life-threatening spots at the school. I watched Scott skate the corner-pocket rail and right away I couldn't believe my eyes. I watched him front blunt and front blunt shuv-it that thing; both of which were done first try. I was in disbelief that someone could step to that rail so easily and with so much confidence to do tricks like those on the first go. I'll never forget watching that and thinking, "that was unreal, that dude is one of the best". He went on to have a shared promodel shoe in two different versions (vulc and cup) with the one and only Steve Caballero. Shit, If you got Steve Cab vouching for you then you know you did something right in the world a skateboarding. Scott laid low for many years and he shares some of the things that have happened to him in the following interview. He has recently popped up on the radar again with a part last year in collaboration with Hellaclips and The Brovas. I felt that it was quite fitting to have Scott Kane do a guest wheel project, because he really did push skating forward and he is yet another example of how Long Beach has produced very influential and talented skaters. He held it down for his scene like no other. Read on and find out what he's been doing and if you can, you should search out any Scott Kane footage or photos from back in the day. Put that stuff in context with the time period and you will quickly learn that Scott Kane was on a whole different level than most during his reign at the top.
-Pusher Rob

R- Scott, I just want to say thanks for letting us do this interview with you and for letting us do a guest wheel graphic for you as well. It means a lot dude.

S- What up Rob! Thank you for considering me to do a guest wheel for Pusher. I've always backed the Philly scene and what you guys at Pusher Wheels do as well. Thanks for asking me to be apart of it.


R- You feelin’ the Port of Long Beach reference?

S- I was stoked when I saw the graphic referring to the Port of LB. We have the biggest seaport in North America and now Long Beach has also become one of the biggest hubs for skateboarders over the past few years.


R- You have been living and skating in Long Beach for a long time. How has skating changed there over the years? What made you want to start skating when you were a kid?

S- LB has, and will always be my home. I wouldn't say it has changed too much over the years except that the multitude of skateboarders has grown immensely. More and more skaters from all types of backgrounds are moving here which makes it a pretty dope diversity of shredders.  


R- Cherry Park seems like a major hub for the scene there, do you like it better now or back in the day with the stage and the tables?

S- Cherry is definitely the place I go if I have no one to skate with. I can always count on running into someone to cruise with. I am a bigger fan of the stage and tables back in the day though. It's where I met a lot of people who helped me come up and there's just something nostalgic about it. But I don't dislike it now; it’s a good spot. It's dope to still be able to go there and skate and see all the homies. It's still the same old meet-up spot like it was back in the day. 


R- Who is your favorite skater to ever come out of LBC?

S- That's a tough one. There are so many good skaters to come out of LB, but when I think of skateboarding in Long Beach the first people that come to mind are Danny Montoya and Rob Gonzalez. I would guess that people from my generation would say the same thing. Those two were like our idols. Them and the rest of the 508 crew. Also, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Justin Reynolds. He was the first person to ever kick me down boards to skate. I am forever grateful for that. 


R- During your time on Bootleg you came to Philly to film. Did you like Philly for skating? What other East Coast cities have you skated?

S- I've been to plenty of East Coast cities to skate, but Philly is by far my favorite. I've always secretly wanted to move there. It always felt like home every time I was there. Maybe because that was the first East Coast place I went too or because a lot of my friends are from the area. Either way I'm down for Philly!


R- Do handrails scare you? Did they when you were younger? I merely ask, because your footage over the years suggests you mastered them quite well.

S- Fuck... I wouldn't say they scare me. I am more afraid of the thought of hurting my ankle. After rolling my ankle an uncountable amount of times I have developed a mental block from going for shit like I used to. When I was younger I sucked at flip tricks and for some reason rails came more natural to me. Like honestly, I suck at kickflips, but kickflipping into a handrail trick seemed a lot easier. It just worked better for some reason. I never really thought about getting on to the rail; I was always thinking about rolling away. I guess that helped me land some dumb stuff over the years. 


R- Bootleg was such a dope company and it amazed all those people who loved it that it came to an end out of nowhere. At the time everyone thought it was doing really well; at least from the outside looking in. Any insight as to why it seemed to close up shop out of nowhere?

S- Bootleg was such a rad company to skate for. I still consider everybody that was involved with Bootleg family. I don't think Bootleg was doing bad, I just think there were some politics that were involved that I didn't care to ask about. I felt that it wasn't any of my business and I respect the decisions that were made to shut it down. All I cared about back then was skating not the business side. Nowadays I wish Bootleg was still around. Strickland is an extraordinary artist and had a dope vision and direction for Bootleg. It feels good to look back and remember how dope it was to skate for such a good company. It was 100% skateboarding. You never know, it could come back. I know a lot of people would back it still to this day.


R- After Bootleg came to an end what did you do? Who were you skating for after that as far as a board sponsor? There were a couple years there where we didn't see as much coverage of your skating.

S- Around the same time Bootleg ended was about the same time I got surgery on my ankle. That set me back about a year or so. Most of my footage was used up. The companies that I still skated for at that time began to basically give up on me, because I was not able to skate. I did what I could to keep up, but even after surgery my ankles were mush. I remember the doctor telling me when I was 18 that I had 60 year old ankles, haha! Skateboarding can be pretty cruel; it got very depressing and I would get mad anxiety and have gnarly panic attacks. All I knew was skating, so when I wasn't able to do it I would literally freak out. 


R- You also got a chance to skate for one of the best shoe companies around, Vans. What was it like skating for Vans during that time? Do you think this new full-length Vans video is actually going to come out or is it a myth? If it does I hope they include a section of all the guys that skated for them in the past.

S- Vans during that time was dope; a rad crew of skaters for sure. I hope that they eventually come out with a video but who knows? If it does I doubt every rider will have parts. That would be sick to include all the past riders, but that list is probably a mile long. 


R- Vans gave you the chance to redesign the best skate shoe of all time; the Half Cab. It was called the Low Cab and I guess it was beefed up a little for the needs of that time. It was a shared pro-model for you and Steve Caballero. How did that come about and why did they stop making that shoe? That shoe and the No-Skool with the same sole were two of my favorites.

S- When they came to me and said Cab and I would share a shoe I was stoked! I've skated half cabs since I was like 5 years old. To make the Low Cab was a dream come true. Not sure how it came about internally at Vans, but I was stoked none-the-less. I still have quite a few of them in the closet actually.


R- Also during this time you lived in one of the most infamous LBC skate houses of all time with Darrell Stanton. Both of you skated for Vans at the same time. What were those years with Darrell like and what is he up to now?

S- Darrell and I grew up together. We skated together everyday until he moved to Texas when were 13 or 14 years old. When he moved back a few years later we ended up getting our first apartment together. He was 17 and I was 18 so his Mom co-signed for him. We got evicted in the first 6 months, but those were great times. Darrell and I would push each other to other levels when we would skate together. It was almost like a competition between us, but a very friendly and motivating competition. I think we both felt no limits to innovation at that time. Those are still some of the best days of my life. I always say I wish I could go back to that time. No worries at all, just skating and doing whatever the fuck we wanted. I still talk to him and skate with him every now and then. Dude can still drop bangers. I don't think he'll ever lose his talent (Darrell just put out new footage in the Gold video). 


R- I think it is important for kids to understand the reality of what we do on our boards. As we all get older and continue to skate we face injuries. We all have and we all will; both young and old. I know you have had some over the years. How have they affected your skating and your outlook on skating or your outlook on life?

S- Injuries can fuck up your ability to skate if not taken care of properly. I was so addicted to skating that I would still skate with a sprained ankle and other injuries. I rarely did rehabilitation. I remember once doing a kickflip back tail on this ledge with a full cast on my front foot; I couldn't stay off my board. I wish now that I would have taken better care of my injuries. I just thought I was invincible, which I clearly was not. My outlook on skating is still the same. It's fun as hell, but I know my limits now. 



R- The recent part that you and Plain did for The Brovas was sick man. I liked that it was a lot of lines; relateable skating with a few really hard creative ledge tricks that are rarely ever done by anyone. There were some spots in there that looked relatively new or not skated much. In particular the ledge spots with the long curving ledges. Cali is known for ledge spots to be blown out like crazy, but those looked pretty good and kind of new. Was it all filmed on Long Beach spots? 

S- Thanks man! It was fun to go out and film for that. It must have been 4-5 years since I've gone out and actually tried to film. I wasn't really planning on it, but it all kinda worked out. I reconnected with Plain (OG Bootleg TM) when he moved out here and we kinda just started skating and filming again. I had a lot of free time so it became almost a daily thing. Kalis saw some of the footy and asked if I wanted to do a HellaClips project with it. I was stoked he was down to do that. The curvy ledge spot is really close to LB, it’s right on the beach. It's been there for awhile, but it was a big bust for a long time. Now it seems to be more skateable. Most of the footy was either in LB or LA. A lot of ditches and ledges. 


R-Speaking of The Brovas, give the world some details on the company...

S- The Brovas is more a movement then a company. Plain and I have a lot of good ideas for it, but for now it's more of a homies thing. We make stuff here and there. I think all we have at the moment are some beanies and tees. If anybody wants to check em’ out you can go to or @thebrovas. Eventually we will make more moves with it. The Brovas will be coming along slowly but surely. Definitely be on the lookout for that. 


R- Real estate is your new daytime gig; why the move to that? Have you always dabbled in other things outside the realm of skating?

S- I've always been interested in Real Estate. I bought a house when I was like 19. At the time my Mom was a realtor and actually sold me my house and then eventually sold it for me. I was fascinated with the process and read a lot of real estate books about investing and management. I got my Real Estate license about 8 months ago. Crazy how things work out, because now I work with a bunch of skaters/realtors. I get to work with one of my childhood idols Danny Montoya and the legend Richard Mulder. It's also an awesome feeling to be able to help people with their real estate goals. It's most likely the biggest purchase or sale of their life. I'm always hyped to help. 


R- Are you currently working on anything for next year as far as filming or photos go?

S- I will be working on some more filming. It's a little harder now doing real estate full time, but skateboarding is my only escape ya’ know? Why not go film some shit when I can? You never know what it will turn into.


R- As a guy that has been on all sides of skateboarding and had quite the memorable carrier, how does skating feel to you now? Do you feel pressure to pay attention to all the stuff happening nowadays? Did you feel pressure in the past in any sort of way?

S- Skating is the same. I usually try to learn something new when I go out just like when I was a kid. It just hurts a lot more now. Honestly, I've rarely ever paid attention to skateboarding media and all that. I've been skating since I was 5 and didn't see my first video till I was like 12 or 13. It was 411 issue #13. When I was 10 years old I told my Mom that I was going to be the first pro skater ever. I had no clue there was such a thing or that there were already a lot of pros. That shows how much I've paid attention over the years. It's not that I don't care, but I'd rather just skate and stay in my zone.


R- Social media, love it or hate it?

S- I'm on some social media. Instagram and shit like that (@scottkane). I love that I can see some cool stuff sometimes, but hate that I can get stuck on it. I try and limit it and not get caught up in it.


R- Top five favorite skate shoes of all time?

S- Reynolds One, Reynolds Two, Marc Johnson One (Emerica), Half Cab, and Rowley Ones. 


R- Best skate trip you ever went on?

S- Probably this 30 day Bootleg tour driving from LB to Miami. I brought two of my homies and it was a super grimey. We skated probably about 30 demos in 30 days plus every spot along the way and then some. Rad group of people on that trip (Strickland, Plain, Eldridge, Little B, Elissa, Trapasso, John R, Berry, Maldonado, Strickland’s dog JoJo). It was hi-jinx the whole way out and back. I wish I could go on something like that right now haha! 


R- Picnic tables or granite ledges?

S- Concrete ledges with hardly any wax. I hate wax. Push through that shit. 


R- And lastly, if there is one skate spot you could de-knob and make legal what would it be and why?

S- They just tore down the OG Belmont pool ledges. I wish they would have re-made them and made it skate friendly. One of my favorite spots ever; that and Love Park. That is such a sick spot. I'm so stoked to look back and know that I was able to film a line there. 


R- Thanks for doing this interview Scott. You are a true Sultan of Shred my brotha. Any thanks before this thing goes to print?

S- I am honored you asked me to be a part of this, thank you. Thanks to all my family and homies everywhere, and thank you skateboarding. I'd be nothing without it. Honestly, I want to also give thanks to all the people that still show love. It's crazy to hear the things that people still tell me and how much they enjoyed my skating. It's almost bitter sweet, and I get upset that I haven't given them more. If it wasn't for these people I would have given up on skateboarding forever. Thank you to all of you guys. They are the people that remind me that skating is special and that I impacted skateboarding; even if it was just a little bit. I hate to be cliche, but that was literally my dream. When I finally saw an actual skate video and watched Marc Johnson skating, innovating, and pushing himself with dope style, it made me want to create and motivate other skaters to do the same. The only person I've ever been in competition with is myself, my own head, and trying to create the things I thought possible. I encourage others to be themselves and don't let anybody tell you that you can't do something. If they do, let it fuel your fire, but don’t be a dick about it. You're the only person that can tell you that you can't make it. If you can have full clarity of what your goals are than nothing can stop you. Contrast creates clarity. If you can think it, you can do it and I’m not talking just in regards to skateboarding. Act on all intuitions.


One of my best friends from childhood till now once told me... "In order to achieve something you've never achieved before you have to become someone you've never been before." -Nissay Sao 


Go out there and get it homies! Thanks for all the love and support!

Check out classic Kane footy below: