Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sultan of New Jersey

New Jersey has always seemed to produce really really good skateboarders. It's gotta be the water right? Sloan Palder is no exception. I first met Sloan several years ago when he moved to Philly to go to Temple University. Sloan is a member of the infamous Skate-Jawn crew; a group of guys that run a skate mag and murder spots here in the tri-state area. Early on I realized Sloan liked to build skate stuff and not just skate on stuff. I grew up building skate ramps all my life on a farm in West Chester, PA so when I realized Sloan was into that type of stuff too I had instant respect for him. But Sloan doesn’t just build stuff, he’s rips everything he creates. When you skate with the guy you realize he’s a creative skater with lots of surprises up his sleeve. Check out his part in the BRUNS video from last summer for proof and you’ll probably shit your pants. Anyway, Sloan and I have been on many DIY projects together and I respect him a lot. He’s motivated as hell and has the talent on the board and with a trowel to back it up. Recently I got a chance to catch up with him before he disappeared on another concrete park adventure across America. Enjoy
-Pusher Rob

What part of Jersey are you from?
S- I’m from central New Jersey, a town called Hopewell. It's an hour and a half from New York; 45 minutes from Philly. 
When did you start skating and what made you want to start?
S- I started skating in 2001, the summer before 5th grade. My brother had grabbed my cousin’s old board from his garage. One day my friends said they were going to skate at our elementary school. I grabbed that board and the rest was history.
Who influenced you the most growing up skating?
S- The Trenton Survivors. Chris Davis, Scott Patricelli, Greg Michaud, Dean Innocenzi and Justin Warias. They were the older dudes skating in my area. They’re a crew who held down Trenton skateboarding for some years. They took me under their wing early on and showed me how things worked inside and outside of skating. They all have 7+ years on me so the knowledge they were able to pass onto me as a young-bull has and still does heavily influence my life and the way I skate.
Who are you influences now?
S- Anyone out there getting it and trying to make it work. Whether it be someone who just started a board company, people out there building spots, or the dude driving through the city with their trucks packed with scrap metal. It’s inspiring to me to see people out there working towards a goal that might not be so clear, or just going against the grain, but still going for it 100%. 
You have been skating for NJ Skateshop for a long time, how did that come about?
S- My homie Chris Davis was one of the earlier dudes to ride for the shop. As I said before, he kind of took me under his wing so he was able to put in a good word for me. NJ’s the most respected shop in New Jersey, so it was a goal of mine early on to make that happen. I started riding for them during my senior year of high school, and the week that I turned 18 I got their logo tattooed on my body. 
We met at Temple University. Why did you choose to go Temple, and why the move to Philly? What did you study besides shredding ?
S- Since day one I knew I didn’t want to go to college. I went to Temple to make my Dad proud. My younger brother had just gotten in and I’d been floating around working in New Jersey. I applied to one school and got in. I’d been skating in Philly for a couple years prior and my friends already went to Temple so it just felt right. I studied Sociology, because I heard that it was easy. If I hadn’t gone to school I probably wouldn’t be doing this interview or know the people that I know now. In the end it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.   
You just graduated in 2014 right?
S- Yup, I put in my four years and graduated in 2014. 
You started working for Evergreen Skateparks this past summer correct? I know you are deep into pouring concrete and we have been on many a DIY project together. What is it about making stuff to skate and then skating it VS just knowing how to ride a skateboard on stuff on not knowing how to make anything?
S- Yea that’s right. This past summer I volunteered on a park in Rehoboth Delaware, hoping they would invite me on the next project. They started paying me, we built a park in Montana, and I’m leaving to work in Texas tomorrow for the next 4 months. Since I was young I’ve been into building anything and everything. When I got older I got into concrete. Being a skater and into building, building parks seemed to be the next logical step. It’s been my most supreme dream to work on skateparks, similar to the way a young kid may aspire to be a fire fighter when he gets older. Because of this I have to thank Billy and Kathy Coulon, Jesse Clayton, and the whole Evergreen Crew.  
In college you were in a pretty heavy video called Totally-Nector and recently you had a dope part in the BRUNS video. Both productions are born from the Skate Jawn clique; why does SJ kill it so hard? What was it like filming for those videos?
s- Skate Jawn kills it so hard because we do things the way that we see it; with no filter. We present things the way that we want with nobody telling us how and when we can do it. Filming for those videos were some of the best times. Thanks to Kevin Winters, Kyle Dalyrample, and Nik Stain for putting those together and thanks to Marcus Waldron for seriously holding Skate Jawn down. Skate Jawn wouldn’t exist as it is today or as its know if it wasn’t for Marcus. 
What happened to your warehouse and the bench we made? When are we making another bench like that?
S- The warehouse was sold to some yuppies that are not doing anything with it nearly as cool as we were. Money talks, so we had to bounce. I was working in Montana during the last days of the warehouse so I really didn’t get to see it run into the ground. The last party in that place was gnarly. Someone brought a sledgehammer to celebrate (brilliant idea). I saw a clip on the internet of someone smashing the bench with a sledge hammer, along with our toilet and other stuff. We should build another bench next time I’m in town. 
What's good with Grey Kult, explain to the world what it is and where it hails from?
S- Grey Kult is a board company born in Jersey and ran out Philly by Scott Patricelli and Roy. Roy is the most talented artist that I personally know and that’s evident by the artwork he makes for the graphics. In a time where shit is neither black nor white, Grey Kult offers people some seriously authentic shit. 
Best skate trip you have ever been on?
S- I have trouble answering questions like this because I don’t know what tomorrow has in store, but I would say any place that I’ve been or am going to go to build skateparks. Building parks gives you a reason to travel places you may have not ever thought of going before. The crew that I work with and the places I’m able to skate because of work is priceless to me. I was just living in the cut of Montana for 2 1/2 months but whose to say the next 4 months in Texas won’t be better than what I experienced in Montana. By working with Evergreen, I’ve just embarked on a never-ending skate trip.
Worst trip you have ever been on?
S- If I’m out their skating, seeing things I haven’t seen before there really is no “worst” for me.
Next mission is to Texas then?
S- Yeah, I’m headed to Texas for 4 months to help build two skateparks. One in Fredericksburg and one in Taylor. After that, I’m headed wherever the work is. 
Favorite DIY spot and why?
S- Ann Van in Hillsborough, New Jersey. It’s an awful old skatepark that we have been able to build up into what is now, an NJ mecca. Ann Van is run off contributions only, so it’s inspiring to me to see what some similar minded people are able to create. Ann Van would not be what it is if it wasn’t for us, because we built it. That’s the kind of shit that gets me hyped. 
Favorite Non-DIY spot and why?
S- Browning Skatepark of the Black Feet Indian Reservation in Montana. We just built the most fucked place, a one of a kind skatepark. Because of the circumstances, we were really able to throw ourselves into this place to make something unique. It shows in the design and the ride. It was also really awesome to be able to provide the kids with such a place, because life is pretty rough on The-Rez to be honest.  
Top five favorite skate shoes and why?
S- Chuck Taylors, skate or not…annd Half-Cabs. I rocked Half-Cabs pretty religiously up until the point that I discovered Chucks. So those are really the only two pairs of shoes that I'm familiar wearing. 
Top five favorite Jersey skaters and why?
S- Fred Gall, Jordan and Zach Gesko, John Gardner, and Brenden Wilkie. Those dudes shred and get what it’s like to live and skate Jersey. I got to keep it to five, but I could write a book. My favorite skaters are the homies hands down.
Do you say “down the shore” or “I’m going to the beach” like a normal person?
S- Neither, I don’t fuck with the beach.
Water or Wooder?
S- Bud Ice
Spot you want to skate before it’s all said and done?
S- You never know what’s around the corner, I want to skate them all. 
Frontside grinds or backside grinds?
S- Frontside grinds, backside lips.
Ledges or tranny?
S- Tranny, more fun to build and skate. 
Any last words before we sign off?
S- I got too many people to thank, so we’ll do it quick. Shout-out to my Skate-Jawn, NJ Skateshop, Evergreen, and biological families! Thanks for making this happen Rob. Rest in peace Manny Law.

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