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:

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