TABle of conTenTS MaY/JUNe 2013 VOLUMe NiNe ISSUe tHRee
forewords aces & eigHts
guest editor MaNNY saNtiago
hammertime tRick of tHe MoNtH
fresh find isaiaH RodRigUeZ
fresh find JoeY o’bRieN
38 pittsbURgH, pa scenester
42 RYaN gallaNt small talk
44 JoRdaN HoffaRt small talk
fresh find JasoN Ross
photographer’s eye ReflectioNs
humble bragging cRUst diViNg
rock sheet MaRk toxic
finger painting sebastiaN sURRoca
46 bRaNdoN Westgate small talk
48 daN MURpHY small talk
52 iNceNtiVes photo section
oN tHe coVeR: MaNNY saNtiago [front 50-50] & daVe bacHiNskY [backside boardslide] pHOTOgRApHY :: daNiel loReN coNteNts: kass plUMMeR [ollie] pHOTOgRApHY :: stepHeN oliVeiRa
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NEW Read full issues online at issuu.com/focusskateMag Focus Skateboarding Magazine is published bi-monthly, six times a year by Focus Skateboarding Magazine Inc. All contents are copyrighted by Focus Skateboarding Magazine Inc. 2013. Reproduction of any material requires the written consent from the publishers. All letters, photos, editorial contributions, and advertisements are accepted upon the representation that they are original materials by the author and/or advertiser. The author and/or advertiser accept full responsibility for the entire content and subject matter of their ads and/or editorial contributions. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the author and may not reflect the views and opinions of the editor, staff, or advertisers of Focus Skateboarding Magazine. Any similarities between persons or places mentioned or alluded to in the fiction and real places or persons living or dead are purely coincidental. Advertisers assume full responsibility for the entire content and subject matter of their advertisements. The author and/or advertisers also will indemnify and save Focus Skateboarding Magazine harmless from any legal claims. now either read this magazine, or go skate!
JUstiN fYle is getting kinky with this backside boardslide. Don’t worry, the rail was into it.
AceS & eIgHTS
WORDS :: MaZUR pHOTOgRApHY :: geoRge etHeRedge
The number 8, it’s the natural number following 7 and preceding 9. It’s a composite number and is the only Fibonacci number that, aside from 1, is a perfect cube. It’s a number that has many, many different historical uses and meanings. 8-ball pocket billiards, 8-seconds on a bucking bull, an eighth note, eight bits in a byte, and the list goes on. But, probably the best use of 8 ever, is this use: The 8-year anniversary issue of Focus Skateboarding Magazine. Yep, that’s right, it’s been 8 full years of east Coast skateboarding excellence! And it’s all thanks to you guys, and girls. Yep, you all, the readers are what keep us going, and continue to fuel one of the best things to help nurture and grow the east Coast skateboarding scene.
In the wake of, hopefully, another year of success to come, we’ve decided to expand here a little at Focus and try to implement some new ideas to the magazine. The first one will be an expansion into the digital world of magazines. now, now… Don’t worry; there will always be a tangible print version of Focus! We are way too proud to not give you all something that you can feel and hold in your hands, something more than an iphone or ipad. Historically, paper has such a nostalgic feel. Holding an ACTUAL magazine in your hands makes such an impact, and is so powerful… It’s just a feeling that can’t be reproduced by technology, which is something we feel is much overlooked in the world today.
With that being said, and hopefully calming your worries, we are expanding the coverage of the magazine into the digital world. Focus Skateboarding Magazine will now be additionally offered online as a readable and downloadable magazine to your phone, tablets, laptops, desktops etc. As I said before, we still enjoy that thinly pressed together use of fibers you’ve come to know as paper, but we are also trying
to expand the ever-needed coverage of the east Coast scene. Too many of you are ripping too hard to not be seen across the world… And with this digital issue, we’ll be able to help achieve that! Secondly, we are going to work on integrating more of the hardcopy magazine into the digital world with the use of QR codes. For those who don’t know, a QR (quick response) code is that little checkerboard-looking bar code you can scan with your phone. While some may feel QR codes are irrelevant or useless, we feel they just have never been used in the correct application. With Focus, the QR code has great potential in bringing the print edition of the magazine to life. While we do run sequences in Focus, I’ve never been a huge fan of them in print magazines. Maybe I’m just stubborn in my ways, but I just really feel photos should be able to speak for themselves in one shot. Its what makes a photo! Although, I do have that feeling of wanting to see the trick actually happen… And this is where QR codes come in and save the day! On the bottom of some of the photographs in the magazine you’ll notice a QR code to scan. This will bring you directly to the footage of that actual trick in what we are calling, “Reel Time.” 8-frames a second died a long time ago with the introduction of such an advanced digital age. But 8 years of east Coast awesomeness has only made us better in understanding what YOU, the readers, want. Thanks again to everyone that has helped grow and make Focus Skateboarding Magazine the Ace of Spades that it is today. Oh yeah… Break out your phone and go ahead and give the QR code on this page a scan to check out the footy!
BERNARD & JAMEL “GOTTA STAY FLEE”
ANDRE BEVERLEY BACK TAIL
WORDS :: MaNNY saNtiago pHOTOgRApHY :: daNiel loReN
growin’ up skating with friends has always been an enjoyment in life, and very motivating, especially with skateboarding. As you grow older as a person and progress as a skateboarder, you want to share experiences with your group of friends… That’s where making skate videos starts! Dave Bachinsky and I have always tried to be in the same videos, but if we weren’t, we’d at least be in one another’s parts by having “homie clips.” now that we have accomplished all that, we decided to do something to not only represent us, but also represent our friendship. not only as friends, but as skaters. We decided to do, “SALTnpeppeR,” which is a shared street video part. Dave is SALT, and I am peppeR, since it matches our skin tones. Ha-ha, yes it’s supposed to be funny, you can laugh! We also decided to try and do tricks at the same spots to go with the title. This now brings me to why I am the guest editor, writing this article about the cover photo. What better way to show two people skating the same spots, by not only skating the same rail, but also doing it at the SAMe time! not only is this a sketchy rail, but it also has a really rough run up. The roll up drops down like 5 inches about a foot and a half before the edge of the stairs, so we needed a sign. The rail is also bent halfway through, and the middle support bends down into the step as you go over it. We had a lot to worry about. never mind the fact that Dave was a couple feet behind me… And that we also had to go back twice to get it.
The First time I got stuck at the end of the rail, which caused Dave to jump halfway down the rail, barely missing getting sacked, but also landing right on top of me and having my head bash the ground. Still in motion, that caused him to bounce off me and slam, hard, too.
This time there was no room error. After a couple 50-50’s by myself, and Dave’s boardslides, we just went at it. There were a couple of scary attempts… But after ten or so tries, we both rode away looking back at Daniel Loren, the photographer, for the thumbs up to see if he got it! now, Dave and I have to continue to work on finding what our next progression in our skateboarding and friendship will be. The video drops this summer on TheBeRRICS.com, so look out for it!
Nollie bigspin backtail to fakie WORDS :: MAZUR
This is just so friggin’ rad! I’ve seen kids at parks half-ass try this trick on curb-high ledges and thought it was neat looking, but TJ Harris upped the ante here. He did it down a damn rail, and not just some park rail that was built to skate, either. This has to be such an awkward trick to try and throw down a rail; you don’t have much of a chance to spot your landing the whole time the process of the trick is happening. The only thing that could have made this sequence any better is if TJ had been rocking some Focus gear of some kind. Yes, that is shameless self-promotion and lame product placement name-dropping… But hey, I’m going to do it and you’re going to like it, just like this issue’s super-awesome Hammertime trick-of-the-month.
Clint Walker odern Art
Isaiah Rodriguez Front blunt to fakie
Hometown: Leesburg, VA Sponsors: Tork Trucks, Word Skateboards, One Motion Media, Fatal Clothing, Bones Wheels (flow), CCS (flow), Monster Energy (flow) Favorite Trick: Switch Tre Trick You Just Suck At: Regular Heelflip Favorite Non-Skateboarding Activity: Indulging in da potts and turnin’ up with da homies after a gnar-ass sesh! Last Words/Shout Outs: I do it for my niggaz/homies/ones who can’t. Shout out to God, my mom and dad, my whole family, Rudy, Jazz, Francesca, etc. The entire DC Scene. Adam Turrisi, Gustavo Ordaz a.k.a. Goose, Eamonn Bourke, Convoy Skateboards, Stevie J, Rob Fall, everyone in Leesburg VA, Catoctin Crew (you know who you are), Herndon Crew for life, Justin Damer, Daniel Kim, Kevin Ha (bro for life, keep killin’ it), Carter Howard, Eric Johnson, Tai Johnson, Yoshi Tanenbaum, Kadian Maxwell, Tyrone Henderson, Antonio Massey, Sean Powderly, Josh Weathers, Big Jerm, Luke McKaye, Jed Shooter, Christian Yepez (bro for life).
“Like Sarah Lee, nobody doesn’t like Isaiah Rodriguez. He’s just one of those guys who instantly becomes the homie no matter where he is or who he’s around. I first me him on the Tork Trucks Tobacco Road Tour last summer. Always hyped and smiling, always the first one out of the van skating and the last one to call it a day. Skateboarding is Isaiah’s entire life, the guy trains like he’s getting ready for a triathlon. You’ll see him at the park doing the same lines or handrail tricks over and over again until he gets 10 in a row, just to make he’s got all his old and new tricks mastered. He’s either going to make it in skateboarding or die trying.” ~Luke McKaye Friend/Photographer
“Joey is not a skatepark kid. He didn’t learn all his tricks indoors on slippery plastic ramps with a turtle shell fastened to his cranium. He spawned out of Wedgewood, a D.I.Y. spot that’s full of rounded-out cement ledges and rough ground. It’s an amazing spot that’s seen better days, but still seems to give birth to amazing skateboarders. Skating and filming with him is always fun and interesting. We filmed his Sabotage 3 part in about 2 weeks. It was completely unplanned. Joey can skate anything. He will risk his courageous sac on a rail or huck his lifeless carcass down a gap, but he can also get extraordinarily technical on a ledge.”
~Brian Panebianco Friend/Filmer
BackTail kickflip out
Hometown: Lansdale, PA Sponsors: 5Boro (flow), Emerica (flow), Ambler Skateshop Favorite Trick: Kickflip Trick You Just Suck At: Nollie Frontsideflip Favorite Non-Skateboarding Activity: Playing guitar Last Words/Shout Outs: Shout out to Tore Bevivino, Brian Panebianco, Billy Simpson, and HBG.
5FBN3JEFS"MFY%VLF -PDBUJPO#SPPLMZO /FX:PSL
“J-Ro has been a player in the Boston skate scene since the early days of the Coliseum Skate Shop… That means he’s been dominating the scene for a long time. It’s shocking to see how things have turned out... he’s always pushing the limits! Sure, J-Ro and the crowd he skates with were always good, and are, but J-Ro is one who has consistently stepped his game up. Some of us start to drop off from skateboarding as we get into our twenties, but J-Ro is someone who I can see doing this for a long time to come. He is truly a natural, a professional, and a boss. Those of us on the sidelines recognize his raw talent and know that this is just the beginning for him.”
~Billy Needham Owner, Bamboozle Skate Shop
Jason Ross focusskatemag.com
Hometown: Danvers, MA Sponsors: Bamboozle Skate Shop Favorite Trick: Switch heels? Trick You Just Suck At: Hardflips Favorite Non-Skateboarding Activity: Eating Last Words/Shout Outs: Thanks to my family, friends, and Mucho for the hookup on this; anyone and everyone who’s influenced me throughout my life.
Refections WORDS and PHOTOGRAPHY :: Ricardo Napoli
In the summer of 2010 an old friend of mine, Rafael Gomes, came to New York to film a few clips for 5boro’s “Join or Die” video. Renato Custodio tagged along with him on this journey from Brazil to shoot photos. During the beginning of their trip, Rafael contacted me. I met up with him and Renato. Amidst touring around the city, Renato and I shared information about ideas, music, and photography. I instantly realized that not only had I met a rad friend, but someone who valued the same idea and plans as myself. Most importantly, we exchanged interesting key factors about photography that was far beyond technical rules and theory. I realized we have the same concept about the skateboard photography world. Photographers seem to be subject under an unwritten law by freezing the moment while the skater is performing a trick. The equipment utilized (such as; digital/film camera, wireless transmitters, and flashes) is commonly a cycle for a boring photo. It seems as if the only substance is the trick/spot, losing the creativity of a photo. Do not get me wrong, I myself have my flashes and shoot the same common photo’s as well, but in the back of my mind there are many other tactics to shoot photos. After all, skateboarding is about your perspective, your contribution. Have you ever heard of skaters living under rules? At the time of conversing with him about the ideology behind skateboarding photography, he mentioned his private goal. He was currently administrating a book on skateboarding mirror reflection.
Renato published the book in 2012 (1000 copies) and it has exhibited in Brazil and Japan. Nowadays Renato and I are working together for a future exhibition in the US. We endeavor to find a sanctuary to serve an art show to display the mirror reflection photos.
I searched for a selective amount of spots that met my requirements for the project. It took me a few days to find a suitable spot for the skater and myself. I craved for something that would be natural and appealing to the eye. Taking photos is really easy nowadays, just point the camera to something and press the button! In this world there are people who proclaim themselves as “professional” photographers. These said professionals, who supposedly take incredible or amazing photographs, portray themselves as references in the subject. But the truth is they’re too busy being technical rather than creative.
Caleb Candido came from Connecticut to New York every Sunday so we could conduct a small video for “Direto da Rua TV” (it’s a Brazilian TV channel my friend Rodrigo Peterson is affiliated with). Most of the time spent on the project was filming around Grand Central and Mid-town area. This one particular Sunday morning our agenda was to film at this rail. The moment we arrived security showed up. But everything worked out in a different way. Before I could think of going to another spot my eyes caught the lighting and shadow of the reflection in a mirror. This happened to be my very first mirror reflection shot. Thank God for the security being a distraction and Caleb delivering the 360 flip in this early morning. The main photo was taken of Nick Hinman. The spot in this photo is located in my neighborhood; I walk by it on a regular basis. I noticed the spot contained some life and the reflection of the mirror would portray the skater doing the trick, the pedestrians walking, and the surrounding. It was a cold day outside. Hinman was skating the sidewalk for a few minutes to warm up. At just the perfect timing, he performed a kickflip. It was my last shot before the security stopped us. If you notice the gentleman in the photo, he has a radio on the right side of his waist…
SPLITUSA.COM // PHOTO: ELY PHILLIPS
FACEBOOK.COM/SPLITCLOTHING // IG: @SPLITCLOTHING
WORDS and PHOTOGRAPHY :: STEPHEN OLIVEIRA If it’s dirty or deemed impossible by others, Mat Call is all about taking the plunge. Hey, it can’t be any worse than some of these women I’ve seen him with... If I could think of one word to describe Mat it would be “crusty.” And no, not in a bad way. Mat DOES shower. I associate “clean” with guys who skate the pretty spots. They may be jumping down huge things at times and getting broken off, but the spots are still pretty and the tricks look effortless. Mat skates the dirty; the dirtiest of the dirty, and powers through them like a hot knife through butter; something the pretty, clean guys would shake their heads at.
This pile of rubble that Mat’s tossing himself into is the Michael Phelps of the crust Olympics. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the countless years of knowing Mat, it’s that nothing is truly impossible, especially if you open (or impair) your mind, break away from the chains that others have set, and just go for it. If it’s crusty, it’s a must see!
MAT CALL [tail drop]
in the school cafeteria. We then proceed to terrorize the school as the gang “The Cretins.” We also sing barbershop quartet songs when we’re menacing people. I worked in the Art Department and did all the airbrush art in the movie, which included painting The Cretin jackets, The Cretin wheelchair “Whorespear,” the duck monster, Slater’s bedroom, the Return To nuke ‘em High school sign, some different props, and graffiti in The Cretin lair. I also created and did my own cretin makeup the whole movie, I learned my way around the set quickly and just adapted to my environment. Having Lloyd Kaufman leave a message on my phone saying that he wanted me to spray paint nuke ‘em High on the Tromaville High School sign was an honor and a privilege.
QuInneTTe WORDS :: caNdace pHillips
Mark Toxic is the front man for “Toxic Life and The Overachievers.” A well-known Philadelphia artist, he has recently branched out into the movie world with Troma Films soon to be released, “Return to The Class of Nuke ‘Em High.” He’s already done a second film (a short film) called, “Blessed are The Poor,” from Empire of Dirt productions. Mark’s beginnings are of a humble artist with roots in The Philadelphia skateboard and graffiti community. He spent most of his days painting out of Mutt Airbrush Supply and skating FDR. I was excited when Mark found time to answer these questions. is the band still together? Yeah, we’re still rocking. Things got put on hold while I finished wrapping our film and moved to Brooklyn. nolan Felix (bass) and I are currently working on some new material for the new album. I know Miles Ziskinds is keeping his chops up playing for Community Service, another band I just did design work for. We’re aiming for a release sometime this summer, and hopefully a couple tours. When are you guys going to play again? I’ve been doing some acoustic sets in nY, and checking out different venues getting a feel for good spots to play. We’ll be gigging a lot more in nYC now. There are plenty of things happening here to keep us occupied for a while. Were you bummed when H.R. (from bad brains) cancelled his show with you guys and McRad a couple years back? Ha, I was a little bummed H.R. cancelled, but overall it was a damn good show. Mike Las promoted the hell out of it, and I’m just as happy to play along side Chuck Treece and Josh Alvarez. They’re rad people, and always know how to have a great time which is what it’s all about anyway.
there’s a rumor you guys are going to europe to record your next album, is this true? Rumors spread like herpes, but you don’t know you have it until it breaks out.
someone said you guys turned down a huge show in chicago. Your manager said it was a scheduling conﬂict, someone else said you sent an email back to the promoter with the subject, “HaHaHa fuck You.” is this true? What happened? Who was the band? Ha-ha, yeah I got an email asking if I wanted to open for Staind and some other shitty bands that I despise. I basically sent an email back saying fuck you for even asking us a stupid question like that. We’re a punk rock band and we will never play a show with any of their shitty corporate bands. We make music for fun, not for money and corporate sponsorship. Las was like you probably could have made good connections, I told him I don’t want people that listen to that type of music to even know we exist. Why does your manager always say, “ask Mark,”
when i ask him questions about you guys? Ask Mike. Mike’s always been there for us and has helped us so much along the way, he’s one of the few good promoters left in the city. He actually saw potential in what we were doing, and was always there for moral support and to make us look important, this way we didn’t get mistaken as vagrants. How did you get in the movie for troma? Mike had pointed out to me that there was an open casting call for a new Troma movie. I’ve watched Troma movies since I was a kid and was always a huge fan. I auditioned seven times and spent every last cent I had traveling back and forth to nY for two weeks on a Megabus, until I got the part. I almost gave up because I was losing a lot of time to do art which is my primary income, but my friends pushed me to keep going, and I finally landed the part. My first audition was actually in front of Lloyd Kaufman, which I wasn’t expecting at all, and definitely made me more nervous than I already was. The monologue I prepared was “The Mr. and Mrs. America” quote by Charles Manson. It seemed to go over well. Your manager said you guys all stayed at a Mafia house that was also a crematorium. can you elaborate on that? We filmed in niagara Falls, nY for 2 1/2 months in the summer. If you’ve ever been to niagara Falls on the American side, the waterfall itself is awesome, and Canada across the falls looks like Vegas. But the American side looks like Camden, very apocalyptic and poor, which made it a perfect setting for our movie. We stayed in this abandoned funeral home that used to belong to Mafioso Don “The Undertaker” Maggadino, who at the time of prohibition ran booze on the entire east Coast. There were several stories that he got rid of a lot of bodies in that place, and it was definitely was creepy. There was about 50 people from all over the world staying there, most of them not getting paid, just dedicated and loyal Troma fans there to help and make some independent art. It really was an awesome experience with a lot of really interesting people. I made some great new friends while there. What is your role in “Return to the class of Nuke ‘em High?” I am one of the cretins, Michelangelo. I start off as a geeky ‘Troma poofs’ glee club member that transforms into a vicious punk mutant after eating some toxic tacos
the film is going to appear at cannes. are you excited to go to france? I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be going to France. I’ve been around the U.S., Tijuana and Canada, and have always wanted to go to europe. I never thought it would be for the world premier of my own damn movie let alone at Cannes on the fucking Riviera. I guess all our hard work finally paid off. While out there we will be shooting “Occupy Cannes” a documentary about our movie and all our everlasting efforts to remain independent, and exposing the corporate conglomerates that ruin Cannes for the truly independent artists, which is how it originally started and should remain. While some sellout to corporate scumbags, Troma has remained completely independent for almost 40 years, which is something I admire deeply. It’s the difference between going to your local skate shop instead of going to pacSun. Buy local, and support local independent art! When is the american premiere and where? not sure if U.S. dates for Vol. I have been released yet, but I’m sure you can check out Troma.com for info! I know the Cannes premier is May 16th and 21st in Arcadia 3. Stop by the Troma booth for passes. What are Mark toxic’s plans for the future? I’m just gonna keep doing what I always do… Live the life I love, and love the life I live. I’m still back and forth to philly a lot. We’re putting together another skateboard art show at Tattooed Mom in April, and I still paint at Mutt Airbrush and Art Supply sometimes. Recently, I have done some designs for my new friends nassau Chainsaw and Disgraceland Hook Squad, and I’m designing a big mural for a reputable salon in the lower east side. I’m getting as much work in as possible because we’ll be in France for a few weeks. Mark, thanks for the interview, i can’t wait to see your films. check out Mark and toxic life and the overachievers at: ReverbNation.com/toxiclife.
SeBASTIAn SuRRocA WORDS :: JUstiN HeisteR
can you walk us through a typical day-in-the-life of agent db-01? Typical day I ride my bike into the studio, because I don’t have a car. Sold it when I started Danger Brain, ha-ha! get to the studio around 8:30 and start checking emails. We usually go out for coffee when my brother Alfonso (Co-owner) and Dayna (Art Director) get here. We do a lot of creative and production meetings at Starbucks. I love my studio, but it’s nice to be out! everyday is different because we have a diverse client base, even though they are all mainly in the entertainment industry. We could be doing anything from branding to illustration to launching an online network. On Wednesdays we go to the comic book store for lunch to check out the new releases. We try to keep our schedule manageable and leave in a lot of time for fun! Five o’clock we shut down the studio and it’s time to ride. Hopefully it’s not raining! How long have you been an illustrator/designer for? I’ve been working professionally in the creative industry since 1998. So, 15 years I think. Dang, I’m getting old!
being in the game that long, i’m sure you have a handful of horror stories. What’s been your worst work-related experience? Man, that’s an easy one. In 2009 I was laid off from my dream job as creative director of a local clothing company called Ugp. I worked with some really great people and
my boss, although he didn’t quite understand me, gave me total creative freedom. From there I worked as an art director for a company that wasn’t kind to creatives. I was constantly demoralized by the company owner and told that my work was mediocre. It was really devastating and I had considered leaving the creative industry completely. At the time I thought I might go back to waiting tables or bartending, which was what I did while in art school. I think what made it worse was the abrupt ending at Ugp where I really loved my team and was passionate about the work. It’s tough to go from that to a hostile and toxic work environment. Thankfully after talking to my brother we decided that we would start our own agency. My brother is also a very talented creative and was working for a marketing company at the time. I vowed that our company’s environment would be a safe place for creatives and that no one that works at Danger Brain would ever endure what I went through. 3 years later I can say that it is a really fun place to work and I love coming in to the studio everyday! that’s nuts. it’s cool it all worked out for the best though. are there any types of projects you do that are more rewarding than others? like, what’s your favorite kind of stuff to do? I love anything where I get to draw. Illustration is by far my favorite thing in the world. especially lettering. I grew up in Los Angeles and was pretty heavy in the graffiti scene as a kid. So, I guess that desire to create interesting wild style letters never left me. You’ve mentioned your studio, danger brain, a few times. What exactly is that? Based in Longwood, FL, Danger Brain started as a traditional design agency catering to the action sports industry. I spent 20 years riding street and skateparks on my BMX bike so naturally I had a lot of contacts in that industry. In 2011 we started doing work for YouTube entertainers. Our first project was for a web series called Video game High School. My brother and I are super into video games, comic books and anime. So we decided to go head long into that industry. We fired all of our clients at the time that weren’t in entertainment and then aggressively pursued projects that we were
fans of. Since then, we’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the YouTube world. So right now, Danger Brain is a graphic design agency that specializes in brand development for the online entertainment industry. But we have such an open and flexible attitude towards design that we might be something different a few years from now. Basically we just want to do cool stuff for cool people! Walking through the doors of your studio, you can’t help but notice about a dozen stereo decks on the wall that you designed. How did the project come about? We worked with a really awesome friend of mine, patrick Keener. patrick is one of the best dudes I’ve ever been fortunate enough to work with. He’s worked in the skate industry forever. At the time he was doing stuff for Jason Lee and he hooked us up with Stereo. We had so much fun on that project and I am so proud to have those decks in our studio! Have you done other board graphics before? Oh yeah! I’ve done stuff on my own just for fun and had them printed through Boardpusher. I love the narrow format that a skate deck provides. Some people might find it limiting but I think it’s awesome. if you could only pick one, who’s your favorite skateboard artist of all-time? Jim phillips for sure! I think that’s pretty obvious when you see some of my slimier stuff. I grew up skating in the 80s and I fell in love with all the Santa Cruz graphics. I spent so much time drawing gooey stuff and stippling in shadows with my rapidograph pen. Sorry but I’m going to have to throw pushead in there too. Zorlac decks had a huge influence on me, too. i know you’re a pretty ambitious fella, so i’m sure you’ve got some exciting projects on the horizon. care to share? Sure. We just started a toy company called ghost project. Myself, my brother and our
friend Dayna are owners. We are designing 3d printable toys that you will be able to download to your 3d printer or have them printed through a service bureau and sent to you. We’re hoping to have toys to show by the Fall. We have a pretty good toy collection here at the studio so it seemed natural for the 3 of us to want to make our own toys. Now that everyone in focus land knows who you are, what’s the best way for them to contact you if they are looking to enlist your services? Best way to get a hold of us is through our site at TheDangerBrain.com or you can email direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also if you want to get a good sense of what we’re all about and what we do, follow us on Instagram at instagram.com/dangerbrain. thanks for the time sebastian! is there anyone you’d like to shout out or thank? I want to thank my brother, Alfonso Surroca, for being an amazing business partner and a great friend. He took this crazy gamble with me and has kept it fun the entire time! Thanks go out to our very talented friend and Art Director, Dayna Ulmer. She’s brought so much to Danger Brain with her natural and effortless approach to typography and branding. She is a big inspiration and I’m proud to have her on the team! And a huge thanks to you and Focus for this opportunity. I had a really great time doing the poster! Man, it was our pleasure. thanks to you i’m sure this poster is going to be hanging on more than a few walls!
welcome to the team TOM TOM ocramps.com
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WORDS and PHOTOGRAPHY :: Alex Papke
Once the steel capitol of the world, Pittsburgh, PA has transcended from it’s original roots to an area filled with skateboarders who have adapted to the gritty conditions that face them. With long winters and only an average of 59 sunny days per year, the skaters of Pittsburgh take advantage of any opportunity they receive to skate, even when conditions aren’t picture perfect. With some of the roughest spots on the east coast, Pittsburgh has quickly become a go-to city for skaters everywhere. The skaters in Pittsburgh have a diverse style that one will not find in any other city along the East Coast. This allows for making of skate videos that have their own unique qualities, such as the recently released, “Yunker,” and, “Allys and Avenues.” With these small videos constantly being released, the Pittsburgh skate scene is slowly being leaked to many who would not consider the city to be a destination to check out. If you are searching for a city with a bunch of awesome dudes that rip, and that has some of the most unique East Coast spots, pay Pittsburgh a visit. You will not be disappointed.
Pittsburgh’s Top Rippers: Austin Kanfoush - Out of all the guys that have come from Pittsburgh, Austin is easily the most committed to his skating. Utilizing a smooth, vigorous style with a creative mind set, anything in the streets is possible for him to skate. From his ‘09 part in, “Bolts and Buttah,” to his, 2011 “Fuck Yinz Vol. 2” part, Austin has been throwing down harder than most of the dudes out here. Whether he is pumping heavy transition at the Wheeling Skate Park, cruising down the bar-filled streets of East Carson, or murdering the ledges at Oxford Plaza, Austin is quickly impressing everyone that sees his footage. Dan Peindl - Dan has an extremely unique style that you do not see in many skaters. When you take him to a spot, he will quickly look it over and almost immediately begin throwing himself at it without hesitation. Not to mention, his dedication to skateboarding is awesome. When he is off the board, Dan is constantly driving around the outer-lying neighborhoods of Pittsburgh with an open mind, scoping spots that have not yet been skated. With his recently released seven minute part in Eric Calfo’s new video, “Yunker,” also containing an additional seven minutes of bonus footage, Dan is definitely someone that is worth checking out. Nick Panza - When I started to become involved with the skateboard scene in Pittsburgh, Nick’s footage was some of the first that I had seen. When it comes down to it, his skating is insane. I have honestly never seen anyone with more pop than Nick has. He can get onto a rail or a ledge that is neck high like its nothing, making for skating that is incredibly entertaining to watch with an easy, ‘gangster-esqe’ style. If Nick is going out to film, or even just to push around the city at night, he is constantly throwing down bangers that make jaws drop. Check out his newest footage in,”Yunker,” along with a ton of insane clips in his part in “Fuck Yinz Vol. 2.”
Pittsburgh’s Hottest Skate Spots:
[Oxford Plaza and the Grant Street planters]
Pittsburgh offers a wide variety of skate spots, ranging from banks to handrails, and about everything in between. Margaret Milliones Middle School (3117 Center Avenue) is one of the most skated spots in Pittsburgh and is a must skate if [Margaret Milliones Middle School] you’re in the area. As seen in Evan Smith’s Independent part (bluntside wallride), it is damn hard to land a trick here that has not been done before. The school is located on a somewhat secluded road in the Hill District area of Pittsburgh. The spot has a long, steep, bank which is surrounded by several buttery ledges and a big three stair. In any Pittsburgh skate video you will be sure to see Milliones at least once. The school used to be shut down, so there was no chance of getting kicked out. However, the school recently re-opened and is now tougher to skate. If you are going to skate it, definitely go at night. It is 100% lit up, covered, and the janitors are way more relaxed if you are there in the evening. Being one of the few spots that is covered in Pittsburgh, it works well if you are looking for somewhere to skate when there is rain or snow.
Another popular spot, that is a must skate, is Oxford Plaza and the Grant Street planters (301 Grant Street). The best thing about these spots is that they are right next to each other, and are two of the most fun spots to skate in the downtown area. Oxford Plaza has an abundance of buttery ledges, ranging in different heights. Having some of the best ledges in the downtown district, Oxford is a solid meet up spot if you’re trying to skate around the city. Unfortunately, security is usually pretty hot at this spot, even at times one would not think they would be. Most of the time you’ll get a solid half hour in before anyone bothers you. If you do get kicked out, the Grant Street planters are conveniently located in the front of the building and security won’t say a thing. The planters run down all of Grant Street with wallride banks on either side, and are easily the most fun things to skate downtown. Police will occasionally say something to you, but as long as you tell them you are staying in the street, they will most likely be cool about it. However, there is always the off chance that one might get in your face and tell you how unsafe it is to be in the street, even if the road is totally dead. It’s the luck of the draw there. Usually you’ll be able to get away with skating there with no repercussions. Make sure to skate these spots if you are making your way through downtown, you can have fun for hours on end. Pittsburgh’s Best Eats: One thing that Pittsburgh is full of is goodeats for sure. Pittsburgh’s ultimate claim to fame is the ‘almost famous’ Primanti Brothers sandwich (46 18th Street in the Strip District). Serving sandwiches that are as big your head, piled high with French fries, coleslaw, your favorite meat, and maybe even a fried egg if your feeling creative, it is one place that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Although the original Primanti’s is located in the Strip District, there are several other locations throughout Downtown, Southside and the other surrounding neighborhoods.
Nick Panza [180 nosegrind]
Another spot that all Pittsburghers are familiar with is Fiori’s Pizza (103 Capital Avenue), serving some of the best pizza around for a price that will not empty out your wallet. Located right outside of the city, people from all around the Pittsburgh area flock to this legendary spot, waiting in rush hour traffic just to get a slice. As a bonus, there are a handful of skate spots within walking distance, including a downhill gap to ledge that is only a few storefronts up the road. Along with Fiori’s, another good pizza spot is Pizza Sola (1470 East Carson Street). It is a little bit on the pricey side, but you will not be disappointed with the product. Ranging from pepperoni to famous white pizza topped off with tomatoes and spinach, they have a wide selection and slices large enough to justify the price. Conveniently located on the same block as One Up Skate Shop, it is a good place to grab a quick slice before hitting the streets.
Deion Bricker [ollie] Dan Peindl [wallride]
If pizza is not your thing and you want to go outside the box, there are plenty of places throughout the Strip District and Southside to keep your hunger satisfied. One of my personal favorites is Cambod-ican (1701 East Carson Street), a Cambodian and American style restaurant with a creative menu that is sure to impress. Serving dishes such as chicken on a stick or their interpretation of the ever so popular ‘surf and turf,’ Cambod-ican is filled with friendly faces and is worth every dime. Plus, on the weekends Cambod-ican is open until the early hours of the morning for those who want a satisfying midnight snack after hitting the bars. Pittsburgh’s Nightlife: If you are pushing down the streets of Southside, one will run in to more bars than probably ever seen before. The Southside district of Pittsburgh is home to almost eighty bars and pubs scattered down East Carson Street, each one with a unique feel. If you happen to be in the area on a Saturday, you are sure to see some crazy people and a good handful of drunks having a great time. With the two largest skate shops in Pittsburgh located in South Side, you will always find yourself cruising around the area, day and night. If bars are not your thing, or if you are under 21, there are several colleges spread across the Pittsburgh area, making for awesome parties every weekend. Local Plugs: One Up Skate Shop (1409 East Carson Street) is a great place to stop if you are coming through town. Carrying local companies such as Scumco & Sons and Bad Habits, they are always trying to help the local guys out. Recently celebrating its ten-year anniversary, One Up is run by the homie Greg Pasquarella, a dude that really cares about skateboarding and always has a smile on his face when you walk into the shop. If you ever need anything skateboarding related, or just want to have a fun conversation with some cool dudes while you are visiting the Burgh, make sure you stop by One Up.
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“It’s hard to believe that it has been 13 years since I’ve met Ryan. A sponsor-me tape landed at Expedition one day, surely not sent by Ryan but probably from one of his peers. The tape was everything but ordinary, speed, pop, East Coast style and original tricks capture our attention immediately. It wasn’t ‘til he landed in California that we found ourselves witnessing the kid annihilate all the spots. I don’t think he knew that in California we have 360 days of sun, this would explain why in one year he would get 4 times has much footage as everybody else. Fast forward 10 years later, countless video parts and worldwide coverage, a lot has changed for Ryan. He skates with no fear of rain, he is a great father and husband, and the Boston lobsters have turned into California burritos, but certain things didn’t change. He’s still out there banging video parts after video parts, ripping anything you put in front of him and you’re still not going to get a sponsor-me tape from him. So if you stay out of the Californian limelight and find a cool shaded area, you may be lucky enough to witness Ryan skating. I did, and I’m a fan for life.” ~Chany Jeanguenin Friend/Teammate
I hear you’re looking to move back the to Boston area. Is the East Coast just in your blood, or are you over the West? Ha-ha! I’m always looking to move back east. I’ve been talking about it forever but California is like a vortex. I’d love to get a house some where outside of Boston, be able to take the train in and cruise around like the good old days. Massachusetts will always be my home. Not hyped on the idea of winter though, haven’t had to deal with that shit in a long time.
WORDS :: Mazur PHOTOGRAPHY :: Chany Jeanguenin
What brought you out to the West in the first place? Well I had been coming out to California a lot because both Expedition and DC Shoes were located here in the Carlsbad area, so they would fly me out to skate and what not. To be honest I hated it out here for a long time. I would try to get up to Sacramento or SF as much as possible, I was not a fan of southern California. Then around ‘02 or ‘03 True East Skate Park, which was our everyday shit, closed down. I was also kinda dating a girl out in Cali around the same time. So with no park, winter approaching and a little hottie on the west side, the move seemed like an obvious choice. The original idea was just to try it out for one year, but 10 years later I’m still here. Are you a sports fan outside of skateboarding? Do you follow the Bruins or Sox? Not really. I like hockey the most out of all of them but we rarely get a Bruins game out here. I’m just a Boston fan in general so I wear a lot of Red Sox hats and shit like that.
I feel like I end up with a lot of Boston sports related graphics, but I suppose that makes more sense than just writing “Southboro” or “New England” on a board. Growing up, did you always know skateboarding was what you wanted to do or were you thinking about another career? I guess in a way, I did, because skateboarding is all I’ve ever done or known. I knew I definitely didn’t want to work a regular job and would pretty much do anything to dodge that. But I finished high school and got accepted to college and all that shit. Not one of those kids that drops out to hopefully turn pro like you see these days, that shits crazy. Thankfully everything just kinda fell in place for me right before I was gonna start college and I’ve been able to make a living out of it so far. I feel very blessed about that. What other hobbies do you have besides skating? Music would probably be my main interest outside of skating. I’ve been playing drums for about 20 years. I also got some keyboards and beat machines and shit. Other than that I spend most of my time hanging with my son and wife. Not too much time for hobbies these days. A two year old will keep you pretty busy! I hear your house is basically a farm, is that true? Nah, it’s pretty mellow these days. Right now we have two dogs, a few fish and a turtle. Sometimes we might have some other creatures staying here but that’s only if
they’re not getting taken care of or don’t have a home or whatever. We usually find someone that will take them though. I guess we’re like a temporary shelter on an occasion. No strange farm animals or anything, pretty standard issue. Seems to be a staple that growing up in the North East area, the garage is one of every kid’s main skate areas. You still honing in your skills in there? Ha-ha shit… Not so much these days! Definitely did plenty of that in my time though. Thankfully I got a few private indoor parks around my area and a little cement slab in the backyard yard to mess around on. Although I do usually set my boards up in the garage and will definitely bang out a kickflip or two in there before heading out. I heard your brother works at a tattoo shop; has this lead to you getting a lot of tattoos, maybe more than you want? Yeah, he owns a shop out in Worcester called Scallywags. I think if I lived back there I would probably be pretty covered by now, but since I only make it home a few times a year I have plenty of space left. Definitely getting more, he does good work. If you’re in the Worcester area you should check them out. Do you know any people with tattoo nightmares? I was at the shop one day and a kid I knew got his dad’s name tattooed on his arm. In my brother’s defense, he
has anyone getting a name tattoo write out the name themselves. Unfortunately, this fella didn’t know how to spell his dad’s name, “Michael.” So, after doublechecking the kid proceeded to get “Micheal” tattooed. His dad showed up halfway through and was like who the fuck is Micheal? Spell-check kids, or call your dad first! What future plans do you have for you and your skateboarding career... Do you want to start your own company? Well, keep skating and filming is my biggest plan. I’m getting older and realizing I’m not gonna be jumping down stairs forever. I got a little relaxed in my late 20’s but I feel sparked to just produce and have fun with my friends as much as my body allows. I would like to also get involved on the business end at some point. I got a name trademarked and ready to go, just waiting for the right time. These days it seems more original to just ride for a company, everyone’s trying to start their own shit. I think we have enough bolt and bearing companies, just settle down and ride Swiss. Thanks for the time Ryan. Do you have any last words, words of wisdom? Thanks to all my sponsors, family and friends. There are way too many people that have helped me out or supported me over the past 10 years to list, but you know who you are and thank you all! As far as words of wisdom, all I can say is if it feels right do it. If not fuck it.
Ryan Gallant [backside flip]
“To describe Jordan Hoffart in such a small box is a tall task. Honestly you could use this whole mag on one street outing with him. The guy is a beast, however I will try. Hoff is definitely cut from a different cloth. It’s probably some Canadian lumberjack’s day-old flannel to be exact, due to the fact he is one of the hardest working guys on and off a skateboard. A lot of people do not know how funny Hoffart really is. His sense of humor, his loyalty to his family and friends are his best attributes.” ~Derek Medina OC Ramps Brand/TM
WORDS :: Derek Medina PHOTOGRAPHY :: Jeffrey Moustache
Aye Jordan, can you put that dog down and do this interview? Which one?!
What’s up with all these dogs? You running an animal rescue or something? Funny you should ask... My chick would if she could. She’s trying to figure out a way to get a rescue going in Vista. She’s got a huge heart for dogs, pit bulls in particular. They are pretty amazing companions, but people are selfish and irresponsible. Unfortunately it’s the dogs that have to suffer. If we could save them all we would. But it’s the lack of breeding laws that are causing a lot of the problems... In my opinion.
For everyone who doesn’t know where are you from originally and where do you reside now? I’m originally from Vancouver, Canada. I now live in Vista, California about forty minutes north of San Diego. First let me say “BIG UPS” on those tricks in the Bones, “New Ground” video. That ollie was HUGE! You just finished that bowl... Do you have any other projects in the works? Thanks G. I was stoked on the new video. The team is getting so big, so it was nice to share a section with some homies. As for projects, they never end dude.
I’ve got a bit of a heel bruise so I’m currently trying to finish the back yard and around the bowl. Skate-wise I’m gonna do an online part in collab with my sponsors in the next few months. We will see where it pops up. I’m really stoked on the footage we have been able to get, so I’d like to hype this one up a bit in the next couple of months leading to its release. Why do you call it the Guacabowle for the people who don’t know? And are the dimensions pretty standard on it? My buddy Daniel Evans actually called me out and said, “Dude, its obvious it should be called Guacabowle.” So, it’s Guacabowle now. It’s ‘cause I have an avocado tree right beside the bowl that you can do tricks off of. Dimensions are 5’ with a 7’ clamshell. It’s about 50 feet wide. What other obstacles do you have finished at your house and what’s your favorite one? I got a mini ramp beside the bowl that OC Ramps birch layered for me. It’s pretty sick. You can transfer from the bowl into the mini then back in the bowl. I have volcano in the front yard that used to be sick, but I bullnose bricked it and the reveal is too big. So it sucks now. I gotta re-brick it. And I got another foot high quarter pipe beside the garage that looks shitty, but it’s actually really fun. That’s probably my favorite.
Jordan Hoffart [frontside mute]
I feel that ocean breeze! You live pretty close to the beach. You take up surfing or boogie boarding yet? I still live a good 10 minutes from the beach. Far enough not to go. I’m not a big fan of ocean water and wet sand. Shit bugs me. Ha-ha.
Nah, but I think we appreciate it more. It rains half the year in Vancouver, so growing up we really had to take advantage of the sunny days. We’d skate from 8am to 10pm. In California, you can skate pretty much everyday. I imagine if I grew up here I wouldn’t be as motivated to progress, ‘cause I could just, “do it tomorrow.”
Well if you’re not taking in beach days, what have you been up to? Finishing renovating the house. I’ve got a 3rd bathroom to demo and expand. Then finish the front yard… Add another quarter pipe and a 20 foot bench. There are always projects crackin’ at the crib. So when I’m healthy, I’m skating 24-7. When I’m injured, I’m building/renovating. I need to keep busy or I’ll lose my mind.
Name your favorite American skater and your favorite Canadian skater. Now, who wins in a game of S.K.A.T.E.?! There are too many, but Guy Mariano is one of my favorites. As for Canadians, I’d say that Lee Yankou is killing it pretty hard these days. He’s exciting to watch for sure As for a game of S.K.A.T.E, shiiiiit. Guy? My brain hurts thinking about this question.
Any news/big updates for 2013 Video parts, Tampa Pro, Dew Tour, etc.? Well, I wanna release a full part before summer. And yeah, you wanna buy my plane ticket to Tampa? I’m down for Dew Tour as well. Pretty much any contest that wants to let me get in there, I’m with it!
Sorry to do that to you. Everyone says if you want the truth, you will get Hoffart’s honest opinion on anything. I was just testing, no hard feelings. May the truth set you free.
Okay, now that the easy stuff is out of the way. Here are some tough questions. Are you ready? Probably not. If you had the choice of a heel bruise or taking it good to the old “plums,” what would you take and why? Plums for sure. Heel bruises take forever to heal. Months sometimes. God gave ya 2 plums, so I figure taking a sacking is a bit more forgiving. Both are pretty shitty though. Don’t recommend either. What’s up with all these rippers from Canada? You guys got a better skate scene than the USA or what?
What’s that all about? Is honestly really the best route? Definitely. What’s the alternative? Lying? No. But sometimes the truth hurts, yeah? Cuts like a knife sometimes. But there is always a graceful way to tell the truth, technique is key. Especially when it comes to inconvenient truths. Like a true man of integrity would say. Thanks again, Hoff. Any last words or shout outs? As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. I wanna thank my family for a lifetime of support, all the homies, Focus Skate Mag, you Derek and all my sponsors: Powell Peralta, Bones Wheels, Swiss Bearings, Vox, 9five, Etc, Theeve, Grizzly Gang, OC Ramps, Randoms, Active Rideshop.
So, Brandon, how has skateboarding been treating you recently? It’s been good. Super busy these last few months. I’m trying to finish up my Emerica part and have a Zoo trip to South America.
South America? Have you been there before? Yeah a few times… I just went to Argentina and had been to Brazil a few years ago.
What’s your favorite destination that you’ve been to so far? I like San Francisco. The flights are not ridiculous, the spots are fun, and bombing hills all day never gets old.
care to see pointless Instagram photos all day.
So, you like to work with your hands and stuff, huh? Like you’re into woodworking? How’d that start? Yeah, my dad always had tools. So, when my girl and I got our house I started fixing stuff and I built this vanity for her, which was fun. Do you have your own place where you build all your cabinets and stuff? I didn’t have a proper place to build things at first, so when I got fan favorite for that Real Street X Games thing, I built a carpentry room in my basement with a bunch of tools and work benches and cabinets.
Being that you don’t use any social media, do you ever hear any good, or bad, rumors about yourself? Not really.
Have you replaced things in your house with stuff you’ve built? Like made things you liked better? Yeah… Floors, crown molding, I painted the whole entire exterior and the almost the entire interior except the upstairs bathroom.
Why aren’t you on any social media sites? I don’t really care what everyone’s doing, and I don’t
Speaking of building stuff, I also hear you built a chicken coop recently?
WORDS :: Mazur PHOTOGRAPHY :: Sean Cronan
I’m building it. We’ve got some chicks that I’ve been rushing to build it for, ‘cause of course, right when we get them, I have all these trips. Do you cook your own fresh eggs? I will when they lay some there. They are only a month and a half old and haven’t laid any yet. Are you into cooking at all? Do you think you could make a mean omelet? Me and my girl cook a bunch. She’s a really good cook and I mainly just cut things. What’s the deal with you and being such a woodsy person? Do you have chainsaws all over? I’m not really woodsy… I got some tree climbing stuff to cut my girl’s mother’s trees down. We have a couple wood stoves so I just collect a bunch of wood that I cut and split to keep our house warm. It’s a lot cheaper than gas. We have enough wood for like 2 or 3 winters. Do you prefer a type of wood that you like to burn?
“The photos and videos that you have seen of Brandon can never come close to what it is like to see Brandon skate in real life. When people get to see Brandon skate in person, jaws drop. Literally. The ability to ollie over pretty much anything in his path, and the speed at which he skates is amazing. The ollie that you are looking at right now is one such example. Looked at by countless pros and ams alike, most said it wasn’t possible. After a little friendly wager was made with the ATL twins, Brandon easily rolled away after only a couple tries. If you ever get to chance to see Brandon skate in person, take it. You will be amazed.” ~Sean Cronan Zoo York Photographer
Brandon Westgate [ollie]
Like cherry, or maple? Any hardwood is good. There’s a lot of oak around us, so I usually burn that. What are your future plans for skateboarding? I have an Emerica part that’s coming to a finish, so I’m working really hard on that. Other than that I’m just trying to film and skate a bunch. Do you wanna talk about your Emerica part coming out this summer? It’s a video with Collin, Leo and myself. We’ve been working on it for maybe 2 years and been going on a bunch of trips, so it should be good. I’ve seen rough edits of those guys’ parts and they’re insane, so I think people will be stoked. How about plans for after skateboarding? I’m not sure yet, hopefully something fun. I wanna drive some heavy equipment or own some equipment for tree work. What sort of heavy equipment are you talking about? Excavator, loader, any tractor or dump truck, maybe a crane… I’m down for anything. Alright. Any thanks or shout outs? I’d like to thank my fiancé… We just got engaged so I look forward to getting married. My family, Zoo York, Emerica, Ricta, CCS, Venture, Bro Style, and Bones Bearings.
Dan Murphy WORDS :: Mazur PHOTOGRAPHY :: Billy Childress
So Dan, let’s start this off with the craziest most recent story you have. This time last year I was at a bar in Raleigh, NC when a dude messed up on bath salts approached yelling, acting a fool. I put up my hands trying to calm him down, when he reached out, grabbed my right hand, and mangled my middle finger. He didn’t let go so the damage was ruthless. He then proceeded to say he was gonna kill everybody. Unfortunately, it was only my finger that he murdered before he turned around and left. I’ve had three surgeries since then… Almost a year of trying to save the finger and bring it back to life, but success has yet to be concluded...
Holy shit, that is insane. Are you still injured? How is it going? Yeah, I’m still recovering from my most recent surgery in which they took a tendon from my ankle and put it in my finger in the attempt to regain strength. It has been unarguably the worst, most expensive, and longest injury of my entire life. I’m hoping for some range of motion through therapy, but I’m right handed and it will never be fully functional again. It’s been a very difficult truth to except, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
“When Dan Murphy means business, you know it’s on. I was recently driving cross-country and stopped in Raleigh at Dan’s house on the way. It took us all night to get there, and we rolled in at 8a.m. Dan woke me up after 3 hours of sleep and dragged me to this huge 11-stair rail out of a hallway with a curb you had to clear after it . The thing was BIG and I knew his hand was recovering from surgery so I was surprised he wanted to huck. Dan was hyped and ollied it a few times. Then after a few more tries he put the hardflip down bolts… Absolutely flawless. The whole time raindrops were starting to fall and Dan knew he had to land it, so he just did. That’s how Dan is. When it’s time to throw down, he’s doing it and he won’t walk away until he’s broke, his board’s broke, or he lands the trick. He skated this gnarly spot with drizzling rain and his hand in post surgery condition. Got his trick and then we kept skating in a parking garage ‘til 1a.m. That’s a classic Murph session. He’s always down to shred!” ~Elliott Vecchia Friend/Filmer
Dan Murphy [backside nollie 180]
I remember a long time ago someone telling me you’d jump rope to warm up before skating. True? Absolutely. Other than basic stretching, I feel like jump roping has always helped me maintain my ups. Gotta have pop mang.
Pioneers. He still owns it, but the shop moved into town. It’s nice! Stop by and peep it if you’re ever in N. Hampton, NH. My friend Mike Tallone was the local rep for DC Shoes as well, so that was my first rep flow sponsor. Used to love the first Kalis’! Thanks again Mike!
What other things are you into besides skateboarding? I’ve been focusing on my brand, Proof. With having a lot of recovery time from the injury and doing everything myself, I’ve been learning so much. From resourcing product, building a website, shooting the product, sewing tags, embroidery, screen-printing, packaging and shipping, to inventory, finances, blogging etc. It has been challenging with the use of only my left hand but definitely rewarding witnessing the progress. Peep the site: ProofSkateboarding.com.
What was it like to ride for Mystery and Nike? Working with Jamie Thomas was an honor. To be with it from the start, from the first skate ad, and then watching the brand grow into a successful company was cool. I definitely took a lot of things that I learned working for his camp that I am now using to run by own business today. I was blessed to have had traveled as much as did with Nike and Mystery. Although my travel opportunities have tapered off, I am still honored to having an Ambassador contract with Nike. Although the financial benefits aren’t really there like before, they still show me support when they can. I can’t believe I have been working with them a good ten years now. Nike for lifey!
Congrats on your new venture. Have you ever worked a regular job? I’ve worked several jobs. Growing up, I managed a drug store on Hampton Beach, NH called Rexall Drug. In college I worked Sundays at our local skateshop, Endless Grind and believe or not, I worked part time at Crate & Barrel in the stockroom. How and when did you first get into skateboarding? My older brother, Josh, got me into when I was like 12-13 years old. He skated in the late 80’s, early 90’s. I started during that rebellious punk rock stage, so I had died hair and a chain wallet, but chicks digged that look back then. Ha-ha. Little did I know that my early interest in skating was soon to be a life-long passionate affair. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Who was your first sponsor? My first sponsor was by a friend, Steve O’Hara, who had a shop on the beach called
Do you follow any sports? Like football or basketball and such? Graduating NC State got me into college sports a whole bunch. Being Alumni definitely peps my pride in the Wolfpack. But the popularity with the other two local teams, UNC and Duke, and their impressive records definitely keep the sports scene in NC alive. As for professional sports, growing up in the north has edged an early dedication to the Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots. Fan for life! Shout outs and closing words of wisdom? Shout outs... God, sponsors, friends, family, Indy Dog, Norf Cacks, and skateboarding in general. Proof that it’s the realest shit out there… It’s a blessing to do what you love, and love what you do! The truth is under your feet.
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