Photography and interview by Graham Tait



Are you currently in Chicago?

Yeah, I'm just going back and forth. My girl’s up here. I love living in Miami, but I'd rather hang out with my girl.


How do you manage your time between the two places?

I mean, depending on what I'm doing, what I have for work is what I do. You know, if I have time or if there's no skating going on in Miami, I'll come up here and just chill. Now that the weather's getting better, you know, it's got a cool scene. And I'm originally from Milwaukee, so I can go see family and friends.


You mentioned your work, what are you currently doing? I know we chatted a little bit about your events production. Is that something you're still involved with?

Yeah, definitely. If somebody needs help, I jump in and help them where they need a little bit more as consulting. And then if I wanna do something, I'll just create it and I'll figure it out and just make it happen. I think I might do a ‘Bum Rush The Spot’, which I haven't done for a while, so I'm just kind of in talks with a bunch of different people. Maybe make that happen to Miami. But I think it'll be July 4th weekend. 




I've been seeing your photography around. How did that come about and what are your goals with it?

I've always been into it but now I’m taking it a little bit more seriously and trying, versus not trying and just getting something and just kind of being there on the scene. It’s a way to still contribute to skating so I feel as if I'm being productive and just as exciting as landing a trick. Now, I look at photos and I look to see how the flashes were set up, what's the composition, or the colour of the lighting. When I was younger, I was looking at what tricks people were doing and I was more excited about that. Now, it’s like getting into the art form of capturing skateboarding, but it's also just capturing these moments. It’s just wanting to be a part of a session.

You know, one of the things that I always see that’s an opportunity missed—I watch a lot of people on their phones. In sessions and they're just scrolling or doing whatever on their phones and it's like, yo, you have this app, you have this thing that you can use to create. And so even if you're with a phone, it's kind of sick. But I mean, it's just being present in that moment. It’s fun to be there and just be in it as a photographer. You know what I'm talking about? Because it's like the skating’s sick and all the other stuff around it is sick. But how do you capture that moment in a way that’s an expression of creativity but then also shows the technical skills that you've acquired, like for the world to perceive you and your craft? You know what I mean? 


You were the oldest dude in the van, but you had the most energy, you skated the most. And I find it really inspiring. Do you feel like your limitations are going down a little bit in terms of what your body can handle? And is that a reason for getting more into photography?

I mean, of course, but the thing is, I don't even feel like I have the most energy, you know what I mean? I just see the kids or people getting it and I just want to be there. It just gets me excited, because I'm in a city and I have people there to skate with, and I get to see how they skate, and I just wanna be a little part of it, you know, just to have that energy. It just feels good. And I've heard that said before about me having a ton of energy or something like that and being the older dude. I'm just like, what do you mean? This is like the ‘mellow me’ in comparison to like how I was when I was in my twenties… you know, I couldn't control any of that energy at that point. And so now it just feels weird when I don't have as much energy. If I go to a spot and I'm not churned on by anybody who's like skating there getting motivated, it feels weird for me not to like churn on and just get something, you know what I mean? 

But it is hard for me. And that's where it’s about having those crews come down and having the opportunity to have Josh around, when I've had like a relationship with him for so long that's just like, oh shit. You know what I mean? And it's a friendship and a bond. And that was one of the other things I wanted to bring up about photography—I shoot a lot with a long lens, with a photographer or a filmer in the photos. And I feel like it's a relationship that's created there and a trust and I'd like to show that sort of thing. And that's the same thing with Josh. I just wanted to be able to be like, ‘Hey Josh, thank you for so many years of support. Here's how I can try to contribute to the session in any way possible, because I want to make sure that you're having the best time also’. 

It's nice to hear you say that about me, you know about having energy. I was just excited to be able to have people to skate with! I was going back-to-back from crew to crew during that time, I had like four or five different like teams in town. So, I would bounce from, I think it was like the HUF dudes were in town maybe. And then I'd go hang out with you guys and then I would go hang out with another crew. And so, I just kept on going. So, I was almost on a trip for like four months in my own city.


Crook pop over


How do you manage that time and who gets a what spot?

I mean, it just depends on who you are. And it depends on if we go to a spot and you skate it, you know what I mean? If you're gonna skate in the most random spot and try to get clips and put energy in, I automatically like open up the opportunity to go to any of these other spots because you are there to skate and rip. And it just depends on who you are and what the crew is and how cool you are. And we'll have conversations—Brad, Brian, myself, and the Andrew kids and be like, what spots do we want to give up? What spots do we wanna hold onto? What spots do you wanna expose to the community to give them the opportunity. Because we still want to get our clips there, you know what I mean? And once our clips come out there, then let's open these spots up to the rest of the people because the energy that's in Miami during that time is unmatched. 

A lot of cities, like New York might have it or whatnot, but there's something special about Miami and being able to skate it. I don't know what it is. I don't know if it's ‘cause it's kind of tropical and it's close to the ocean and then you have all these different cultures together mashed up and it just feels, at least to me, like completely different. If I'm in other cities, I'm like, all right, what's happening? What's going on? 

I don't know how to explain it, I know it's off topic, but it's Miami! If you're cool, you get spots and then also, we don't wanna give up the spots. We talk amongst a few of us, like who's giving up this spot? Like, why'd you give up that. Behind the scenes, people are like, why'd you give that spot up? Because it'll show up on Instagram. You're like, dude!


Do you mind me asking how old are you?



48. And you’ve still got a pro board out!

I guess I do. I think I do. I mean, I do! It's a weird one to even think about. I don't really think about it. I just kind of look at it as I ride for a company and a brand, and I want to help support that human being because I respect him and I will do what I can to help represent that brand because I know that the brand I'm riding for, Hopps, is a representation of Jamal, who I have a ton of respect for. Then underneath, there’s the umbrella of Josh, who I have the utmost respect for. So those two people in general, out of all the people you know, I've had in my life, they've supported me pretty heavily. Just giving me the opportunity to feel alive by riding a skateboard and having somebody be like, hey, here’s some skateboards and here's an outlet for you to do what you want. And you know, I don't even think of being pro, I just think, how do I give back fully to them and help those guys keep going for other kids and so other people can have same opportunities that I've had.


Boardslide up along and off


But it's not like you're undeserving of it. I was stoked by your motivation out there and hyped to shoot some stuff with you, and just to see you out there everyday. It was sick.

Yeah. I mean there's these times in my life where I haven't skated and I wasn't able to participate fully because I was just caught up in other shit. And so, having this opportunity now in my life to be able to participate and be a part of that opportunity, I wanted to live it fully, and it's fucking cool. There are people out there that would actually care to take time to capture these moments – that gets me excited and gets anybody I'm working with excited, because you don't have to fucking do it. It’s not like you have to, but you're just hyped and you're just like, oh, let me grab that. So it's awesome, you know? But also at the same time, it's about respecting time. Because I know you guys are there to capture everybody else. I've had my time in the light. Like when I would skate, it would be in-between everybody else's time. Like, I would schedule a moment with you to be like, all right, well everybody's already done their stuff today. Let me get this.


Yeah. I also noticed you get like a short burst. You’re like, there’s a time limit to my energy here. Like, it's kind of now or never. And so, you’re like, oh shit, I gotta get this set up quick. 

We had that when we were shooting where I'm was like, yo, it's right now, like I'm gonna have this window. My body lifted up. Everything's like, I can do whatever I need to do. And I know I only have this little window and I can't stop. I'll go around in circles, I'll do figure of eights or circles, just trying a trick back and forth just to stay loose until I need to get what I need to get, you know. 


FS Wallride 5.0


Which is interesting to see. I've never really experienced that. It's usually just takes a long time for people to kind of warm up, or they start gradually, but you were just like, dude, let's go. I mean, it kept me on my toes, which was cool. It was good.

I've done that for years with Josh. I think one of my favourite things with Josh and this was a dickhead move. It's whenever he would have to change a tape, or change a battery, I would be like, fuck it, I'm gonna land it right now. And I would just get sparked and just like land a trick and he would miss a trick. I'd be like, oh, that one is done. You know what I mean? Like a dick head and shit. I mean that was just fun. Just like wilding, you know, not giving a fuck. Coming of age type stuff.


What have you got coming up over the summer?

Summer I'm in Chicago and I'm working on an urban renewal project here, and it's on the South Side of Chicago. And what we're pushing through is this thing called Southside Sanctuary, but I dunno if I can talk about it really, but it would be cool. Our goal is to make it a wheels friendly park—something like you would have in Europe, something you would have in South America where it doesn't make a difference if you're skating or in a wheelchair or on roller skates. You can roll around this little park, and it's about calling it something like either ‘all wheels welcome’ or ‘all wheels friendly’. And so it’s a way of redescribing a little plaza that's skateable… you know, span and stuff. And also, for like a Farmers’ Market and a Community Centre for multiple generational experiences. 

That’s the project that I'm working on in Chicago. So, I'm gonna be up here more doing that, and I don't know, just shoot more photos, travel, maybe do a couple of events and see where that all opens up and leads into. I’m having too much fun shooting photos, so it's like I want to explore that more. And granted, it's a hobby, but I want to be able to explore that and then to be able to create opportunities for people to have those photos published.


Published in our special Theories in Miami issue in North 37

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