Category Archives: Interviews

A few years ago I came up with a set of questions about skateboarding. Over 70 skateboarders answered. Everyone knows what the big time pro’s think, but what about the other skateboarders? What about the little groms, the obsessed teenagers, the shop owners, and the working class that still hold on to the true fun that embodies skateboarding? These are their answers.

Bud Garso

     Intro Written by Bradley Garso (pictured below).

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Bud is my son, so I’ve watched him throughout his whole life. Here are a few observations.

When Bud was in his mother’s womb she would sit next to the big half-pipes and wooden mini-ramps that I was skating at the time. So the fast-rolling, slapping, and grinding sounds of skateboarding were something Bud was born knowing. And right from the beginning of his life, Bud’s physical coordination was built by a daily stream of activities that grew from the living room to the backyard, to the local playgrounds and the swimming pools and parks, and the lakes and mountains that we visited wherever we went. Eventually, Bud’s physical development also included years of serious traditional karate workouts. And I was always pleased with his abilities.

Until the day I saw him on his first skateboard, at the age of thirteen. On that day, as I watched him flounder, I was sad to think that he had chosen something he would never do well at.

Seriously, it was awful. And day after day I continued to watch him, and it only seemed to get worse. For weeks, and then months, he didn’t even try to learn to push or roll forward on the skateboard, which confused and even irritated me! Instead, he would stand completely still on the board, staring down at it, and then suddenly perform some kind of spastic jumping motion, jumping upward while the skateboard flopped uselessly on the ground below him. 

But I stayed quiet (mostly because I didn’t know what to say), and I wondered why Bud wasn’t finding the fast-rolling and smooth carving coordination of skateboarding that I had enjoyed.

What I didn’t know, was that Bud wasn’t trying to roll or carve on his skateboard – he was trying to make the board, and himself, fly upward. And not just “fly” – but to fly with a magic that is born from a mind-body coordination that is so subtle it is certainly one of the most difficult set of sports movements ever conceived – the ollie (with real control), and from the ollie to the flip-tricks. I’m talking about high ollies and big flip-tricks! That was what Bud wanted to acquire.

And the fact that Bud’s skateboarding vision was so far beyond mine, is not lost on me. In time, many years later, Bud was nicknamed “Switch Master Bud” by some local skaters, because he could (almost unbelievably) do most of his regular tricks while going switch (in the opposite direction/backwards), reversing the co-ordinations required of each foot, which blows even skaters minds. Can you imagine?

A few years later, as a whole other level of progression, Bud created and ran the coolest Skate Shop in Prescott – Bud’s Hidden Shop. It was more than a skate shop, it was a Skate & Art Shop. And there was great skate stuff, and clothing, and jewelry, and art of many kinds, and poetry readings, and skate-camps, and more! And it stoked local skaters, young and older. And Bud’s mother Joy and I felt it was an awesome manifestation of his love for skateboarding and the local skate culture that he grew up in.

Nowadays, I can’t tell you what amazes me more about Bud: his skills, or his unbroken flow of creativity, or the deep bliss it all brings him. That’s my view, these fifteen years later.

Now I’ll let the man speak for himself. The following questions were written by Bud more than seven years ago as a way to interview skaters. Interestingly, this is him interviewing himself – with a seven year time warp thrown in. Enjoy.

Why work so hard for a trick?
-It’s like conquering a monster, and it can be a foreseeable progression.  It’s also fun!

NameBud Garso
Age: 21
Type of Job/SchoolingLibrary Circulation Staff/College
Years Skating: 8

What’s your first skateboarding memory?
-Rolling around on my butt.  Or slowly going down a hill with my Dad helping.

What’s your favorite skateboarding memory?
-Going back and forth on a small piece of rough flatground at night in the winter-cold with only a T-shirt on doing switch kickflips and switch heelflips over and over for over an hour.

Ever quit?  Want to, or say you’ll quit?
-At first because I couldn’t ollie I did, then took a break, and have taken breaks during bad times.

Where did you start?  Did that influence you?
-Rough flatground.  Yes, it gave me a technical and street influence.

How would you describe the feeling of skateboarding?
-Mastering focus and control of the body.  Interacting with the world.  Adrenaline, accomplishment.

Why do you keep skating?
-Addicted.

Do you care about the history of skateboarding?
-Absolutely, cool stuff.  Fun and interesting to me.

Do you care about the current skate media?
-Less and less but yes.

What else is like skateboarding to you?
-Flying.  Not much else.  Bodily, karate and dancing.  Interactively, mountain climbing and being crazy.

What isn’t like skating?
-Anything with rules and constraints.  Laziness, sitting around.  Anything forced.

What was the first hard “trick” you worked for?
-Ollie for a long time, then a terrible heelflip.  Worked for them all and got results.

Why work so hard for a trick?
-It’s like conquering a monster, and it can be a foreseeable progression.  It’s also fun!

What’s your favorite thing to do on a skateboard and why?
-Switch manuals because the balance feels great, ollies for the raw feel, and varial heelflips for the pop/flip/spin/catch.

Is there a trick you don’t think you’ll ever be able to do?
-Pressure flips.  What the heck?

What do you hate about skateboarding?
-Broken boards and misconceptions.

Is there any maneuver you would purposefully not do?
-I did benihanas on THPS, good on that now.  Axle stalls scare me even though they are simple.  Screw it.

What’s the trick you can do every time that surprises you?
-Nollie FS flip, switch pop shuv.

What’s your dream “tricks”?
-Switch flip manual/nose-manual, lazer flips on lock, and a switch BS noseblunt.

What’s your favorite terrain and why?
-Manny pads and ledges because they are easy on me and have many possibilities within simplicity.  I like it all though besides rails.

What do you hate about skateboarding?
-Broken boards and misconceptions.

Best (worst) injury?  Healing time?
-Jacked ankles resulting in months of healing time.

How do you overcome fear.
-I’m not sure.  Focus and determination, courage to defeat the beast.

Do you remember the details of your first setup?
-A green velocity street-team blank, nameless trucks, 25 stickers, green gel wheels, and world industries risers.

Did you start with friends or alone?
-Alone, but I found friends eventually.

Was it hard or easy at first?
-So hard, but for some reason that attracted me.  I wanted to make it easy.

Was there anyone or anything that especially inspired you to start or keep skating?
-My Dad and Jesse Lopez.  Also my own expectations.

Do your parents ever have a problem with skateboarding?
-Thankfully no!

When did you realize you were a skater?
-When I kept coming back after broken boards and injured body parts.  I just kept trying over and over after failed attempts and wouldn’t stop.

How do you feel about skateboarding now compared to when you started?
-My love grows.

What is most important about skateboarding to you?
-Progression and fun.  Progressive fun.  Doing new things, skating new things, and feeling free and interactive.

Was it hard or easy at first?
-So hard, but for some reason that attracted me.  I wanted to make it easy.

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Billy Clark

Billy is a classic Prescott skateboarder.  He dealt with the rough spots before the skatepark was built.  We ran with different crews so we didn’t cross paths often, but during the early days of the park we became acquainted.  Even though we didn’t really know each other we always had good sessions together because we were around the same level, but more importantly we liked to have fun.

As time went on he got a skate-van and collected countless stories.  He hung out and went on trips with good kids around his own age and adults that were often questionably sketchy.  As I said, he is a classic Prescott skater.  His skating is strong and surprising.  He doesn’t skate often, but after twenty-plus years on the board he still has the ability to beat some of the best kids in the area at SKATE.  People will never know all the tricks Billy has done, and somehow it is better that way for the man known as Chicken Hammer.

Several years ago I came up with a set of questions about skateboarding.  These were Billy’s answers.

What isn’t like skating?
-Everying else.

You can also watch Billy skate Prescott Park and then take a tour of his classic skate-van.

Name: Billy Clark
Age: 18
Type of Job/Schooling: Highschool, Motorcycle tech, Yavapai College Clerk
Years Skating: 13

What’s your first skateboarding memory?
-Fifth birthday, Grandma bought me a square tail punk nose board.  Haha.

What’s your favorite skateboarding memory?
-Having big sessions, skating pools.  Before everyone moved to Oregon.

Ever quit?  Want to, or say you’ll quit?
-No.

Where did you start?  Did that influence you?
-Southern California.  Don’t think it has influence.

How would you describe the feeling of skateboarding?
-Accomplishment.  Self-discipline, pain tolerance, exciting, adrenaline rushing.  Fun.

Why do you keep skating?
-It’s like a hobby.  Some people work out some skate.  I keep skating because I love it.  If I don’t have anything I would have a skateboard.  Passionate.

Do you care about the history of skateboarding?
-The history of skateboarding influenced my skating.  Like old 80’s vids and shit.  Wouldn’t be here without it.

Do you care about the current skate media?
-Not particularly, but it’s cool to see friends in vids and mags, and just to see what’s up.

What else is like skateboarding to you?
-Nothing.  Not comparable.

What isn’t like skating?
-Everything else.

What was the first hard “trick” you worked for?
-Varial kickflips off curbs.  Haha.

Why work so hard for a trick?
-Why work so hard to get something done and get it done right?  Same reason anybody else would work for something.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a skateboard and why?
-I love to cruise and carve around, but throwing down some street stuff brings back memories.  Skating tranny.

Is there a trick you don’t think you’ll ever be able to do?
-Nollie tre-bomber – back tail – 360 shuv-it – backside grind, revert-reverts, skating a pool with no tranny.

What is most important about skateboarding to you?
-Havin’ a good time.

Is there any maneuver you would purposefully not do?
-Sure.

What’s the trick you can do every time that surprises you?
-Forward flips.

What’s your dream “tricks”?
-Gay-twists.  Stalefishes for now.  Ask tomorrow it will be different.

What’s your favorite terrain and why?
-Tranny.  Gives a rush and it’s not like sticking your hands in a blender.

What do you hate about skateboarding?
-Bad attitudes, poor sports, posers.

Best (worst) injury?  Healing time?
-Compressed disks causing swelling, pinching my sciatic nerve.  Healing forever.

How do you overcome fear.
-Don’t overthink.

Do you remember the details of your first setup?
-Inhouse blank deck, original Phantom trucks, blank wheels, Quicks bearings.

Did you start with friends or alone?
-Alone at first then made friends.

Was it hard or easy at first?
-Easy to push around and ollie but got harder.

Was there anyone or anything that especially inspired you to start or keep skating?
-Tom Fein, an old pro-turned-pastor made me drop in for the first time.

Do your parents ever have a problem with skateboarding?
-Not that I know of.

When did you realize you were a skater?
-Never thought of it that way.  Just pumps through my veins now.

How do you feel about skateboarding now compared to when you started?
-Seems like everyone skates now, but it doesn’t last for most people.

What is most important about skateboarding to you?
-Havin’ a good time.

How do you overcome fear?
-Don’t overthink.

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Peter Sundt

When Peter first moved to our scene I didn’t get to know him well because I rarely ran into him.  Maybe it was that or maybe I just wasn’t seeing him because he was always in the bowls that I avoided or out on trips.  Years later we became friends and he has become yet another skater that I am jealous of.

Peter knows his way around transitions, especially small ones.  The ways I have seen him glide, bend, and slide through tricks has that perfect mixture of sketch and skill.  It is a calm and quiet kind of ripping that is very similar to his general demeanor.  Peter skates so nonchalantly I wondered if he tried harder if he could “make-it”.  Then I laughed at that thought because the best part about his skating is that he doesn’t care and he is having fun, and it makes me want to have fun too.

Several years ago I came up with a set of questions about skateboarding.  These were Peter’s answers.

When did you realize you were a skater?
-When I sold my blades.

You can also watch Peter do 27 tricks on some tiny tranny here.

NamePeter Sundt
Age18
Type of Job/Schooling:
Years Skating: 4

What’s your first skateboarding memory?
-Loony Toons board.

What’s your favorite skateboarding memory?
-Skating pools.

Ever quit?  Want to, or say you’ll quit?
-No.

Where did you start?  Did that influence you?
-The streets… No.

How would you describe the feeling of skateboarding?
-G.E.D.

Why do you keep skating?
-Because skate shoes look cool.

Do you care about the history of skateboarding?
-Yes.

Do you care about the current skate media?
-No.

What else is like skateboarding to you?
-Nothing.

What isn’t like skating?
-Cooking.

What was the first hard “trick” you worked for?
-If it’s too hard it’s not worth it.

Why work so hard for a trick?
-I don’t.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a skateboard and why?
-Powerslides because it sounds hard.

Is there a trick you don’t think you’ll ever be able to do?
-Most.

Why do you keep skating?
-Because skate shoes look cool.

Is there any maneuver you would purposefully not do?
-Anything Billy does.

What’s the trick you can do every time that surprises you?
-Crailslide.

What’s your dream “tricks”?
-None.

What’s your favorite terrain and why?
-Pools.

What do you hate about skateboarding?
-Not wanting to do it.

Best (worst) injury?  Healing time?

How do you overcome fear.
-Go slower.

Do you remember the details of your first setup?
-No.

Did you start with friends or alone?
-Alone.

Was it hard or easy at first?
-Fun.

Was there anyone or anything that especially inspired you to start or keep skating?
-Pool coping.

Do your parents ever have a problem with skateboarding?
-No.

When did you realize you were a skater?
-When I sold my blades.

How do you feel about skateboarding now compared to when you started?
-It was nice to me.

What is most important about skateboarding to you?
-Easiest label to get.

What do you hate about skateboarding?
-Not wanting to do it.

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