An Interview With Mitchell Wilson

April 5th, 2017 | 1:03 pm | Features & Interviews | 9 Comments

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Words & Interview by Zach Baker
Photos by Colin Sussingham & Max Hull

We’ve all heard more than a few skateboarders use the term “family” to describe their group of friends, mutually-funded acquaintances, or more broadly, everyone who has ever owned a skateboard, whether or not they’ve even met. But I think I speak for all of us when I say that it has always been a source of fascination when you hear of people that skate together who are, well, actually siblings. Guys like Jonas and Jeremy Wray, Mike and Quim Cardona, Dustin and Tristan Henry — it always seemed so nice to grow up with a brother or sister who also skated.

Courtesy of Max Hull’s owl-like awareness, it was brought to our attention that a number of Slap commenters are a bit confused about the genealogy of contemporary skateboarding’s most popular brothers: the Wilsons. Mitchell Wilson, a.k.a. Crazy Mitch From Philly, is Andrew and Johnny’s oldest brother. As you maybe know, and in keeping with the higher-publicized talents of the his bloodline, Mitch is anomalously fucked at skating. What separates Mitch is that, unlike his brothers who are very much a part of the multi-billion-dollar skate industry, Mitch has always been untethered by the throes of brand affiliation and marketing teams, which has granted him the liberty to say, post an Instagram story of himself scribbling on his teeth with Crayons, dive headfirst into a pile of garbage, or say generally whatever he wants with minimal repercussion save maybe a black eye.

While many of his compatriots have migrated north in search of art-handling gigs and diamondplated metal, Mitchell has been downright stubborn in his affinity for Philadelphia, so much so that he allegedly gives his whole family Philadelphia t-shirts and souvenirs for Christmas every year.

So, to clarify, Mitchell, the guy who does wallie kickflips, slappy switch smith grinds, and that really, really long winding slappy in Paych, is the oldest brother of Andrew and John Wilson. Josh Wilson is not at all related.

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Who’s your favorite skateboarder?

I didn’t have one for years because I never even thought about it, but when I started working at Woodward, every kid would ask me that, so, I guess, Tony Trujillo.

What’s up with wallie kickflips?

I was trying frontside wallie backside 180s, and it flipped one time. I figured out how to make it flip and just tried to land on it. I can’t really do it anymore, it was just a passing thing. But I’ve tried heelflip ones and I’ve tried them switch.

More Spots

March 20th, 2017 | 1:24 pm | Daily News | 3 Comments

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Is E.T. still in Spain? Photo by Zach Baker

New spring goods now live on Alltimers.com. Just don’t expect a text back from Pryce.

but is E.T. still in Spain?

Over the weekend, there was a scare that Shorty’s was being demolished. Although it ended up being a miscommunication between the city and a private company, part of the structure was demolished, but much of the spot remains in tact. The Shorty’s crew met with the mayor of Newark today, and you can read an update here.

Jason Byoun wallies off of snow.

Bunches and bunches of interviews this week…

Super refreshing to see an interview with a nineties pro from the east coast that doesn’t tread the bitter waters that cover so many recollections of that time period. Chromeball interview #99 is with civil engineer, Andy Stone. Anndd Twitter’s saying the newly surfaced footage of him belongs in the Smithsonian.

Speedway Mag posted its extended interview with Josh Stewart about the entire Static series on the occasion of Theories’ ten-year anniversary. (The edited version originally appeared on the Keen Distribution site if some bits seem familiar.)

Pontus Alv interviews Johnny Wilson and then Pontus Alv interviews Bobby Puleo.

Cafe Creme blog interviewed R.B. Umali.

A Minnesotan asks a good question: why isn’t Chicago a bigger deal in skateboarding?

“Elsewhere in Los Angeles, Jim Greco boils.” As discussed last week, skateboarding has doubled down on angst while angsty icons of the 2000s have rebranded themselves with a newfound focus on straightforward skateboarding. Boil the Ocean considers our age of the self-concious comeback in skateboarding.

Consult aforelinked Andy Stone interview for context on why people still fawn over 411 videos. Tennyson comes through with another compilation, this time an eleven-minute mash-up Carl Shipman and Tom Penny, maybe the only guy out there who can keep your attention with twenty-year-old contest footage :)

This Rowan Zorilla Instagram comp is a good time.

The Northern Co. goes all-city in their five-minute “Summer Trip to New York” montage. (Ok fine, they don’t go to Staten Island — has there ever been a truly all-city summer montage though?)

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week Year[?]: Who is James Harden again?

Quote of the Week
Conor Prunty: “It took me like two years to learn how to ollie.”
Jesse Alba: “My dad is still learning how to ollie, he’s been skating for like 40 years.”

dude

Gotta get back on it, sorry :(

An Interview With Alexis Sablone

March 9th, 2017 | 11:15 am | Features & Interviews | 11 Comments

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Intro & Interview by Zach Baker
Headline Photo by Richard Hart

PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life was an anomaly. For the kids who had their own local crews, it was strange and inspiring for this shop out of Melrose, Massachusetts to release this incredible skate video of people we’d never heard of, and reach as large of a viewership as it did. P.J’s part was obviously the main draw, and while there were many standouts — including Jereme Rogers at a time when his only musical connection was Buena Vista Social Club, Ryan Gallant’s east coast tech, the mean guy in the paper boy hat, and don’t get me started on Fiske — a particularly eye-opening moment of the video was when we were introduced to Alexis Sablone. Her part, in some pathetic way, enlightened a generation of young male skaters to the notion that females in skating existed outside of the only woman we had ever really been shown: Elissa Steamer.

I had seen Jaime Reyes and Elissa’s skating at that point, but something about the fact that there was this girl who completely ripped in a random homie video, reinforced the idea that there’s a grander female presence throughout skateboarding. It drew attention to women’s extreme lack of visibility in skating.

In the time since, Alexis is still ripping and placing in most of the contests she regularly enters — but what’s dope is that she also, like, fully went to Columbia, and has a Masters in Architecture from MIT. What’s even more wild, and a perfect example of the resourcefulness of people who happen to skateboard, is that she completely financed her education with contest earnings. I don’t care what you did down D7, this way of juicing of the system is the most impressive skate trick I’ve ever seen.

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You’re from Connecticut?

Yeah. I’m from a town called Old Saybrook. It’s a small town not that far from Groton, kind of the bottom middle of Connecticut.

Was there much of a skate scene there when you were growing up?

Not at all, or if there was, I wasn’t aware of it. I started skating when I was ten. I started at a new school that year that was a few towns over. I was in fifth grade and there were a bunch of eighth grade boys who skated, so that was my first contact with other skateboarders. It’s funny because, I had a skateboard, and I was still struggling with it for a while, trying to figure it out on my own. I was playing tag or something and jumped off this twelve foot jetty and broke my foot. When I started at that school, I had DC Clockers and was on crutches. All the boys were like “Whoa, you skate?” I was like “Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah, I skate.” But on the inside I was panicking like, “Oh man, I have to get good at skating!” As soon as I got my cast off, I was in the garage like “I’ve gotta figure out how to ollie.” They were cool, but mostly I just skated alone in my garage. There was this one skatepark an hour away, and I finally started going there. I’d make my mom drive me, or I’d take the train on weekends. I met Trevor Thompson, who’s still like my best friend. We started skating together every weekend.

When did you start going to Boston?

Boston didn’t happen until I was like fifteen. I met a bunch of Boston dudes — Jereme, Eli, Zered and Louis Sarowsky — at Woodward one summer. I became friends with them. Then, I went to Boston once with my family for a weekend, met up with Jereme and we skated all day. He introduced me to Matt and Arty, the Coliseum guys, and that’s when I met PJ. I started going there every weekend or staying there for the summer.

And that’s how you ended up accumulating a full part’s worth of footage?

Yeah, I don’t know if I’d call it a full part. I think I filmed most of it in a couple days, it was just random. It didn’t even feel like I was filming a part, oddly enough. Actually, most of it’s filmed at MIT. Then, we went on a road trip. We took this van down to Miami and stopped in Philly and Atlanta, so some of it is from that too.

An Interview With Daniel Kim, the 2016 Q.S.S.O.T.Y.

January 4th, 2017 | 8:40 am | Features & Interviews | 8 Comments

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Intro and Interview by Zach Baker. Photography by Will-Robson Scott.

Will R.S: “I’ve never even thought to, let alone wanted to do a switch Japan Air.”
Daniel Kim: “You need to empty your mind, Will.”

Let’s talk about influence. Here, in this beautifully flawed American society that we live in, we delight in the idea that we’re all unique. Supported by our convictions that never on Earth has there ever been anyone like ourselves, we (as skateboarders especially) are quick to call out the bandwagoning of others; the adherence to trends that we ourselves, whether we recognize it or not, are also influenced by.

Whether it be “Yo, I ride 8.5 because everyone rides 8.5” or “Yo, everyone rides 8.5, y’all biters. I ride 7.5, I’m different and lit” — we are all borrowing from the same pool of small board brands, nostalgic IG handles, and tricks done in Trilogy. It’s tough to stand out, and perhaps the less a person cares about doing so, the better they are at it.

Turn to Daniel Kim who, within the past year, has gotten what some might call “weird.” Prior to now, he had built a reputation for banging flip tricks, remarkable pop, and thoughtful Pulaski lines. He was on 10 Deep back when German Nieves was the team manager, got boards from DGK for a while, and later worked at Nike for a couple years. Then, his hat started falling off, he grew his hair out, started wearing fur vests, and introduced to us his mysterious new undertaking: Stingwater.

Sparking endless laughter from many and bewilderment from many more, Kim, throughout 2016, threw up all kinds of cryptic promotion for what is maybe a water company, maybe a skate company, maybe just a platform for trolling his favorite skaters. What can be certain, as reinforced by his part in Spirit Quest, Colin Read’s trippy opus, is that Daniel, both as skater and individual, is evolving — no, groeing. I’m entertained by whatever the hell Stingwater is, and I’m still not sure that I even totally get it. Maybe my mind’s not empty enough.

Regardless, in our eyes, Daniel had done some of the most unique and remarkable skateboarding in 2016, earning him the title of Quartersnacks Skater of the Year.

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Some of the readers may be wondering: did you lose your mind?

Nah man, I just found it.

You worked at Nike for some time, and then in the past year or so, would you agree that you’ve had much more right-brained approach to skateboarding, than say, a few years ago?

I think I just got more psyched on skating. I saw that once you have a regular job, you can’t skate as much. So I started to appreciate skateboarding more. Once the Nike thing was over, I started skating a lot more, and I started realizing that i could just have fun with it.

It’s 3 in the Morning, Take Your Old Ass to Sleep

December 12th, 2016 | 4:21 am | Daily News | 2 Comments

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Zaytoven deserves a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Watched this guy Ruben Spelta skate at Milano Centrale this past summer and it was insane. Dude is a good follow on Instagram, but this compilation video should bring you up to speed for now. Who’s everyone got for best steez 2k16 award?

“I wish Brandon Turner was wearing a Bronze tee when he switch Hardfliped Carlsbad in the Guilty video.” Skateboard Story interviewed Peter Sidlauskas from Flipmode Stick Up Kids Bronze. Link to the “How I’m Living” video please :)

“And I guess I’m also saying that Tiago, if you care bud (which hopefully you don’t) you should maybe consider changing your name to Trevor, switching from Mountain Dew to beer, and getting on Anti-Hero or something.”

Taylor Nawrocki’s Spirit Quest part is now playing over on the TWS site, and Free Skate Mag has an extensive interview with Colin Read about the project itself, in addition to a minute of extras that got left out from the video.

Place interviewed Alex Olson, the guy whose office is a floor below Alltimers.

“There is no reason that a campaign born out of the streets cannot be intelligent and incisive.” Something that is probably going to come in handy in Tr*mp’s litigious America: Love Live Southbank’s Guide to Saving a Skate Spot. (The city of Barcelona is restoring Sants, by the way *side-eye Emoji*)

Hey did you know that there was a moment when Dill and A.V.E. might’ve got on Aesthetics at its inception? Sal Barbier got Chromeballed.

“Don’t put this in one of your stupid edits, dude.” “NY Times Vol. 20” via LurkNYC.

“Tood” is the new one from Rios Crew, Hungarian skating-with-backpacks devotees.

R.B. just uploaded some raw footage of Zered, Eli, Westgate, Tierney, Dela, et al. skating around the city from a summer or two ago.

Part two of the Right Coast Tour with Freddy and Quim is now live.

Zach Moore’s Transplants video is now online in full.

Did you know there was a time when John Cardiel had a pro snowboard, and Burton advertised in Thrasher? Our bud Alex Dymond just released a book entitled Snow Beach, which chronicles an era when snowboarding was very much an offseason activity for skaters, with tons of crossover via fashion, style, etc. from skateboarding.

The new Watermelonism video, “Keep Biting,” is premiering at 2nd Nature on Thursday. Flyer here. Music by the world famous DJ Thando of “Needed Me” remix fame.

“Dipset: The Movie” — a big topic around here some ~ten years ago — is back and is actually still great. “You’re so ugly I could hear it through the phone.”

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Sooooooooo, ANYWAYYYYYY

Quote of the Week: “I just found out through Google that I have chlamydia, I should bounce.” — Name Withheld

Today marks ten years since the release of The Inspiration, which was 95% of the way as incredible of an album as TM101, this website’s founding piece of scripture. (Even did a tribute post to it the day it leaked online, and distinctly remember listening to nothing else that winter.) There really is no greater three-peat of motivational speaking than the first three Jeezy albums. The guy has nothing left to prove #jeezysaves.