An Interview With Ross Norman

November 30th, 2017 | 7:23 am | Features & Interviews | 6 Comments

Photo by Corey Rosson

Words & Interview by Frozen in Carbonite

The American archetype of The Cowboy as a metaphor for an “outlaw” lifestyle is around 150 years old. The New Jersey classic, “Wanted Dead or Alive,” which just flat out states “I’m a cowboy” is probably the least subtle example of this. Ross Norman’s 2008 Last of the Mohicans part, on the other hand, is more cerebral. The juxtoposition of the Highwaymen classic “Silver Stallion,” and Norman’s technical-yet-relatable #lowimpact skating stood out in a sea of women’s jeans and Modest Mouse edits.

Through the sands of time, the Mohicans part developed a cult following — devotees including Hjalte Halberg, who stated on the record that he stole all his tricks from Norman. Recently, the dude made a comeback of sorts, going pro for The Vacation and branding himself as a North American plaza specialist, an almost impossible job description. Indeed, based on the current state of North American plaza skating, one could even call him a desperado or some shit.

So we caught up with one of your favorite skater’s favorite skaters to, A) get into what he’s been up to for the past decade, and B) shed some light on one of America’s last standing organic plaza spots.

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Where are you from, and how did you get into skating?

I was born in Torrance and then moved to the Santa Ynez Valley, which is near Santa Barbara, CA. That was when the Powell SkateZone was open. I started going there in 1992 when I was twelve years old, and saw some contests that got me stoked on skating. Kinda started from there, and skating street after that place closed.

How did you link up with Joe Perrin and all those Florida guys?

I skated for Status Skateboards back in the early 2000s, and Mike Rosa was on the team. He’s from Orlando and skated for Westside, so he knew John Buchanan, Dowd, Renaud, all those dudes. I met Rosa on the first Status tour — it was a two-month tour that Van Styles talked about in that Nine Club interview. We went through Florida, so I met Renaud and Nix when they were like fourteen or fifteen — like, tiny little kids. And Josh Dowd skated for DNA, which was the sister company to Status. Dowd moved to Hollywood, Rosa and 80s Joe were staying at his place, and I’d always go and stay with them. Rosa and 80s got their own apartment, and I basically lived on their couch for years.

Who was most influential on your skating coming up in Santa Barbara?

The Church of Skatan guys were the local rippers. Dylan Gardner was kinda like the hometown hero dude. He skated for Neighborhood and was in magazines. He was super sick in the mid-to-late 90s before he got all hesh. I learned nollie flip nose slides just because he did them. But I grew up on 20 Shot, Trilogy, early 411s — all the classic mid-90s videos. L.A. was really close, so I Iooked to that kind of skating as being influential. Gino, Pupecki, Pepe, Welsh… those dudes were and will always be my favorites.

Chit Chat

August 7th, 2017 | 2:33 pm | Daily News | 4 Comments

Still late. Oh you thought the slump was over? New #content dropping tomorrow though :)

The roster and categories for the 2017 Dime Glory Challenge have been released. Tiago will be there. You can read Baker’s wonderful recap of last year’s event here.

Manchild has some New York clips in his raw B-sides video from The Flare (check the 5:18 mark), Bobby De Keyzer has some New York clips in his now-online Riddles part, and Paul Young has a quick compilation video from the Bronx Courthouse ledge-to-bank, one of the few New York spots to appear in a 411 opener.

Jason Byoun has a clip from the pool people have been skating in the purgatory abyss of Midwood. Be careful, because people have been getting tickets.

Was Nyjah’s rave the most 1990s thing so far this summer?”

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With one-spot parts trending hard these past several years, Politic’s sister brand, The Vacation, put together a remix video of Ross Norman (a.k.a. the guy Hjalte stole all his tricks from) at Legislative Plaza, one of the few remaining plaza™ spots in the U.S.

“That is what skating does: it fills the cracks in society…”

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And on that note, Max Hull has a video recap of the drunkest skateboard contest on earth. It’s the only bit of CPH Open coverage I’ve managed to watch in full.

The Northern Co. boys skate the Willy B Momument, Delancey curbs + the Banks.

And like that, the trinity of 6th Ave. spots that defined our adolescent years is gone. Though it has been 70% skateblocked since 2011, Ziegfeld is now closed off for renovations. You might be able to skate the barrier off the ledge though ;)

“I learned a word the other day. Refurbish.” C’mon you know that’s a five.

Quote of the Week: “Two years from now, we’ll all be living in Maspeth.” — Max Palmer re: increasing rent costs in New York City

2 Bros. has a new logo.

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