An Interview with Dave Caddo

November 1st, 2016 | 6:35 am | Features & Interviews | 5 Comments

caddo-1

Words & Interview by Zach Baker / Photos by Trevor Culley

One of the cool things about having the privilege of knowing how to ride one of these things, besides being able to find pot no matter where you are in the world, is that it keeps you exploring. It sends you out to uncover weird parts of familiar places, makes you creep into all sorts of alleys and ditches and post-industrial shit-piles, and on many occasions, you’ll leave feeling a lot happier than when you got there.

Every time I see Caddo, he’s having a pretty good time. Then, every time I see some Caddo footage or photos, he’s having a pretty sweet time. He skates all these spots I’ve never seen before, in cities I’ve never thought to go to. He’s gotten clips at like, the Holy Trinity of New York busts: the Roosevelt Island Monument, Forbidden Banks and the Holy Grail on Nostrand Avenue. Caddo goes out of his way to keep skateboarding interesting for himself, which is why his skating is so much fun to watch.

His part in Politic’s Division, which is his second full part in as many years, is loaded with all kinds of new approaches to familiar spots, fun lines down hills and in all kinds of parking lots. Here’s a chat I had with him about Enid’s, longevity, and kickflips.

+++++++

Tell me about when you kickflipped into the Roosevelt Island monument.

That was when it first opened up. I don’t know why, but the Parks Department would close it one day a week. You get maybe ten minutes before the old security guard comes out and starts yelling at you. But the guy is like sixty-years-old, it takes him a while to mosey over. The guy got there and his technique was to stand right in the way. He’s just mellow about it, kept repeating over and over again “no, no, no.” He was just saying that for ten minutes. [John] Valenti was walking backwards with the camera as I’m trying the last one and luckily I made it. I almost rolled into the guy.

The Importance of Being Sinner — An Interview With Pat Pasquale

October 27th, 2016 | 10:32 am | Features & Interviews | 13 Comments

img_2189

Words by Zach Baker / Photos by Dom Travis

In the wake of the sorrow that has come with the passing of Dylan Rieder, the thing that shines brightest about his legacy was an adherence to his own set of artistic values. You may recall him receiving backlash for his tastes in music, attire, skate shoes, and in general for how smoking hot he was. Despite that and piles of other shit talk, Dylan did what he wanted. He stayed true to himself and expressed who he was, despite what a million opinionated avatars had to say. While it’s undeniable that he was one of the best people ever to ride a skateboard, what will always stand out to me will be how he chose the represent himself. For that and so many other reasons, he will live on for generations. R.I.P.

Pat Pasquale A.K.A. Sinner A.K.A. Bandana B, as we’ve claimed before, is another polarizing individual. Some people found his Theatrix part to be inspired; others found the man, the gear and the dubstep to be downright infuriating. QS described it as “Josh Kasper in The Storm meets Guy in Mouse meets 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Total Recall.” It’s not like we’re all about dubstep, but all three songs worth of Sinner’s last major part was a pre-meditated, unflinching realization of a vision as close to its author’s sense of truth as imaginable. Furthermore, he lives by a similar albiet far more hectic mantra to that of this site: “Ollie up it if it’s under eight stairs, if not, go ahead and huck down it.”

Anyway, Snackman’s all “do you want to interview Sinner?” and I’m all “hell yeah,” so he sends me the contact info of a guy named “Bandana B,” who keeps texting me the words “hijinx” and “Arf!” We plan to link during my time in Los Angeles, which is tough because ~you know how getting around L.A. is~. Eventually, we agreed to link and do the interview at Street League, which, in so many words, was drenched. We decided to save the interview for the next day, but go to a party where Nyjah is playing drinking games, EDM is on blast, empty Monster Energy cans are everywhere, and people are lined up to get tattoos. Next morning, he tells me to meet him at the Roosevelt. The rest is, well…it’s here.

+++++++

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Skip from Dead Presidents, B!

What’s the last NBD you did?

Last NBD? Like ever? Or for me?

I mean, have you ever?

Yeah, I got NBDs on my resume for sure! That switch shove 5-0 shove it is one of them. I got switch three-shove revert, up five. I call it a Sin Spin. I invented that one.

An Interview With Jamal Smith

August 17th, 2016 | 10:33 am | Features & Interviews | 9 Comments

WorldChampion_Jamal

Photo by Nathan Éthier-Myette

Words by Zach Baker

Becoming a professional skateboarder seems pretty tough. You have to get really good at it, but it’s not about who’s the best. Everyone is too good for us to tell the difference at this point. The people who sustain themselves in skateboarding the longest are those with charisma and moxie — “something else.”

Jamal Smith has been exemplary in this regard, pretty much since the invention of YouTube. He finessed himself into the public eye with the Tornado Spin trick tip ten years ago. But, as evidenced by his Sabotage 4 opener, the new Palace clip, his pre-Glory Challenge pseudo-prize fighter Instagram campaign, and most importantly, getting on Stingwater, the dude has been especially feeling it as of the past year or so. I checked in with him outside of the Glory Challenge trying to roll a joint in the wind. He had just suffered a heart-wrenching loss to Wade Desarmo — but he was fine with it. His phone was blowing the fuck up. They both won.

+++++++

You just skated against defending titleholder Wade Desarmo in the the Dime World Championship Game of S.K.A.T.E. What was it like going into that for you?

It’s all about theatrics. At the end of the day, if you can put on a good show, it doesn’t matter who comes in first or last. But I mean, of course I wanted that $150,000 or whatever the fuck these Dime niggas are joking about. I was nervous as fuck though. I know I can’t kickflip and this nigga has all the kickflips.

When you saw the kickflip, what was going through your mind?

It was like everything went in slow motion. I felt every drop of sweat running down my face, I saw all the reactions, all the eyes on me. I had to turn inward, and I knew I was fucked.

You rattled off a couple tricks, right?

Yeah, because I’m that nigga. You spin to win. Unfortunately, I didn’t win.

Do you hope to battle him again next year?

Hell no. I’m just trying to smoke everybody else’s weed and watch motherfuckers huck their bodies down the biggest gaps onto swords and numchucks.

You live in Philadelphia?

Yeah, I’m originally from Ohio. I lived there until I was like 11. Then I lived in Massachusetts, and I lived in Ithaca [New York] after that.

Why’d you move around?

My mom passed when I was 11. I was a ward of the state, which meant I had no legal guardian and I had to stay in Ohio until I found someone who would take care of me. At the time, my sister was living in Massachusetts and took me in. I lived in Northampton, some weird little area in Western Massachusetts.

Did you start skating there?

Yeah, I want to say that I was maybe 14 when I started to really get into it. 11 to 13, I was on my Rocket Power shit, riding rollerblades, bikes, whatever the fuck, I didn’t care.

Embracing Unreality — The 2016 Dime Glory Challenge

August 10th, 2016 | 12:43 pm | Features & Interviews | 12 Comments

0157913-R1-046-21A

Words and Photos by Zach Baker

“I love Montreal so much, but every time I come here, I’m such a piece of shit.” — Jersey Dave

Skateboarding is all spectacle, but I understand that you’re up in arms about the International Olympic Committee treating it like the highly-commercialized mainstream sport that it is. You’re asking “how can you even judge skateboarding? It’s art, bro.”

Dime, in the Canadian tradition of being smarter, funnier and better at skateboarding than us, addressed this dilemma long before Tokyo 2020 was even a discussion. But still, we’re here deciding which kickball court to skate piles of refuse in, pleading, “how could they do this to us? This isn’t the 200 meter backstroke…this is skateboarding!” Yes, aside from the fact that smoking weed makes you better at it, skateboarding has very little in common with competitive swimming.

As descendants of the land that brought us the Montreal Screwjob, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, and Robert “Sluggo” Boyce, the Dime boys recognized what the future of skateboard events could and should look like. Let me tell you, it looks a lot like professional wrestling.

The Backstreet Atlas Guide to New Jersey

July 27th, 2016 | 6:38 am | Daily News | 7 Comments

backstreet atlas new jersey

New Jersey is impossible to ignore when you’re indulging the mythology of skateboarding. (Thrasher forgetting to give Fred Gall a S.O.T.Y. trophy for the past twenty years is a topic for another day I suppose…) You can talk all the shit you want on the nation’s greatest state, but in reality, at least two of your top five skaters are from there. And for all we know, the Muska might not even be with us today if not for the bravery of one, Michael V. Vallely — born in a New Jersey hospital.

But what do you REALLY know about New Jersey besides the turnpike, Tony Soprano, Jersey Dave, and it containing the global headquarters of I.K.S.R.T.F.O? Adam Abada and Zach Baker, two native New Jersey-ians who once upon a time INSULTINGLY opted to skate through New England rather than the glorious state of their upbringing, decided to take it all back and find out what happens in the majestic home of Brian Wenning and Lockdown Skateboards.

TWS posted the short film of their 100+ mile journey this morning, which chronicles the vast diversity of America’s greatest place from the George Washington Bridge in New York to the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia.

P.S. Happy [belated] July 26th everyone.

Previously: An Interview With Two Guys Who Skated from New York to Philadelphia