Photography and interview by Graham Tait


What have you been up to?

The weather's been changing here. It's getting hotter and hotter as the weeks go by, so I was trying to dial in, get these last couple of ideas for Static because pretty soon it'll be 105 with humidity, you know, I'm not sure what that is in Celsius, but.

It's fucking hot.

40 something.


Which isn't good. Will you start planning trips or are you just gonna chill?

I just found out we have a demo for New Balance coming up in Pensacola. This new skate park, they built this massive park under a bridge. So we have that in about three and a half weeks, but I think that Static is coming up very soon. So I think that's what we're trying to finish. I put away my camera for a little bit so that way I can just focus on that.


Have you got someone down there to film you?

There's a couple of guys, but there's definitely one person who I can really rely on just to meet me at the spot. I don't have to go pick him up or anything. In the past, my buddies who would be down to film, I had to go pick them up and then drop 'em back off and play the magic school bus.

We have this little Pepper Grip tape part that I've made in the last couple of months, just as a request from my friend Brian Brown, who's our brand manager for that. But that's just like a minute of footage with me and my friend Phillip Santosuosso, who owns the skate shop Humidity. He rides with Pepper as well.


Is that VX or HD?

That's HD. I bought the HPX and the big extreme fisheye back in December.


Oh shit, man. Those things aren't cheap, are they?

No. And mine's got a scratch on it and it was still almost double the original retail price, brand new, so I just had to make do with it because the guy who sold it to me didn't really send me accurate photos.


Noseslide pop to bank


So they're so rare you just gotta just deal with it?

I gotta deal with it. But Kyle Camarillo, who's head of the New Balance film department now. He was putting me on to how I can After Effects these little scratches out. That's above my pay grade at the moment. I'm just filming and trying to get footage of all the guys. I'm just trying to film everybody in the scene because I'm gonna make little skate shop video towards the end of this year, maybe January next year.


How is skating in New Orleans? 

Yeah, it's great. You know, not everybody's like the most talented, but everybody has a great time and that's kind of where it's at.


How long have you been there now, did you move straight from New York to there?

Yeah, I moved in February, 2017 straight to New Orleans and it's been six years.


Do you miss New York?

No. There are New Yorkers that I miss. There are people, but not the place. 


You enjoying that slower-paced life.

Yeah. And I can get across this entire place in like 30 minutes on my bicycle or 15 minutes in a car and there's more to this place that I find to be fulfilling. We have a lot of little areas and pockets of the city that we can build our little DIY spots. 


There's no space in New York to do those kinds of things, you know what I mean?

When I moved there in like 2010, 2011, it wasn't the circus that it is now. There are at least a hundred times as many skaters now as there were when I moved there. To safely say like 10 times, 20 times, that's easy.


It just seems like there is limiting space, but they're constantly building stuff.

And I feel like it's easier to live there now. It's more accessible and I dunno, back then I felt like it wasn't easy to find a department. It wasn't easy to find a job and back then we had to find those, we weren't getting money from skating.


And I dunno if this is right, but it seemed like you needed to be accepted, like it was hard to get in with people?

Certainly. Yeah. I got a job with dozens of other skaters, but if they didn't vouch for me I probably would've still been stuck by their side, like, until they let you in. But strangely enough, Josh was the one who got us all jobs essentially. Like he was the first one at the cafe and then he got Jack Sabback and Bobby Puleo the job, and then trickle down the line over the years it was a bunch of skaters that ended up in Static 4 and 5 that worked there. And that was the rumour, that there was going to be a new Static. I remember wanting so badly to be on those sessions trying to get a clip for the video. Just one, you know?


FS Nosegrind into the bank


How did it come about having a part in Static VI?

Well it was about a year after I moved here to New Orleans that Pat Steiner hit me up to ride for Dial Tone wheels cause they were getting that going. And I think at first I told them no because I was still like on Autobahn wheels, but I wasn't really told that that brand had died. So like a year later I asked for more wheels and they told me that there were none or that it was going down. So I just hit up Pat like, I'm down this time. So I don't think I was in the first promo for Dial Tone. I was in the second. So after that I was like, dude, I'm down, but are we gonna be filming with Josh, is it gonna be like that? He's like, actually, yeah. And there's a rumour that there's gonna be another Static. I was like, well, if that's the case, I want the conversation and we'll take it from there. 


Tell us about the transition to Chocolate.

Well, so I guess while we were still working on 5BNY back in 2013 I was traveling to LA a bit for New Balance and I was hanging out with Stevie Perez and some of the other chocolate guys here and there and they asked me back then, and the timing just wasn't right. We were working on that video with Tombo and we had the whole crew, and our crew was tight. Over the years, even after I moved back here, people back in New York were kind of separating from the brand, and when you lose somebody like Tombo who was the rock within the brand...

So I waited a couple of years and once I finally decided to quit, I took the time to go to New York and quit in person and give Nardelli a few extra months to sell my boards. He had already paid filmers for footage before their next video came out. So I had to give him time to put out the footage and I think I just quit with that last little promo.


You seem pretty respectful about how you treat people and sponsors.

Well I mean they stuck your neck out for you. So you gotta do the same.
I was so nervous to go to New York to quit in front of Nardelli that I showed up a whole 24 hours early for my flight. I had to go back home and wait an extra day. It was nerve-wracking.


How was it filming for Bunny Hop?

So I quit 5BORO and then a month later Covid happened, lockdown happened. So I had to wait four months before I could even go back to LA and as I'm talking to Stevie, like, so what's up? How's it, what's gonna happen? He's like, oh man, you just gotta film apart and you gotta meet Mike and Rick, like Mike Carroll, Rick Howard, I have to meet those guys. Cool. That'll be easy. Covid. Lockdown. It just seemed like I shot myself in the foot, but I took my time and went out there three or four weeks at a time, like five times over two years. And then we went on a few trips and you know, that's the story of that video.


Is there gonna be a Girl video next? What are they working on?

They're gonna finish this next Lakai project because a lot of the guys from Girl and Chocolate are tied into that. And once that project's done, it's gonna be a Girl video with chocolate parts, like Yeah Right. It's kind of why I bought the HPX so that I can start chipping away and making a part for that. So even though it's a Girl dedicated project, I can try to have a little, you know, two minutes in there.


So who's part are you looking forward to in the video?

Trevor Thompson's part. Really interested John Baragwanath because he hasn't had a lot of footage come out in a while. I know he's been working on this part for a long time, so that'll be interesting to see. There's some secret parts, I don't know, I've heard some rumours of people having parts, so I just wanna see what's real and what's not. I kind of don't wanna spill the beans.


Published in our special Theories in Miami issue in North 37

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