Pro Interviews

Ben Butler – Grinding Some Metal

Ben Butler began ripping on a skateboard in Seattle a long time ago. Lately he’s been ripping all over the USA on diehard missions until he’s broke or broken. You can find him charging whatever is in front of him with a hardcore style and a lust to keep continuing riding at all costs. Soon you all might have to witness this hesher breaking into the ranks of a pro skater. You’ll know it’s him when the Hip Hop goes off the P.A. and the Slayer fires up.

How old are you right now Ben?

Who are your sponsors?
Shuvit, Vision, Scabs Pads, and Crescent Downworks.

Giving it the HAMMER! Making it ridable!
Giving it the HAMMER! Making it ridable!

What are you doing on this road trip?
Trying to skateboard, getting away from all the rain, but it’s been rainy down here too.

What are your goals for coming down here?
To skate a lot, see what I can do with skateboarding, maybe try and make some money out of this pro skateboarding thing.

Are you going to try to travel anywhere else on this trip?
Oh yeah, as much as possible. It’s all I’m going do for a while. I’m going to try to go to whatever contests they’ll send me to. I’m also trying to go to Australia in April or May for possibly a month.

What’s it like skating in the Northwest?
It’s good! There’s lots of cement, the only thing that sucks is that in the winter it rains all the time and there’s nothing indoors worth riding.

How do you cope with that?
Mainly T.V. and beer, or some indoor mini-ramp sessions. Or whenever it’s dry go over and skate the bowl in West Seattle or one of the other outdoor cement parks.

What’s your favorite band?
It’s hard to say, any old metal, Sabbath or Slayer, or old punk or whatever.

Does it charge you up for skating?
Hell yeah, anything that’s fast will make you skate good.

Who did you look up to when you started skating?
All the old pro’s that are on everyone’s list pretty much. But I looked up to all the local guys from the Westside [of Seattle]. Mike Swim & Mark Hubbard to name a couple.

What’s Mike Swim up to these days?
Living in southern Oregon building skateparks. He’s making some of the best parks built in America or anywhere.

What’s your favorite?
Lincoln City , Ashland, or any of the other Southern Oregon parks.

Do they compare to any of the ones back East?
They’re good because they’re outdoor and free, but the rest of the country doesn’t have too many really good cement parks. Like in California, most of the cement parks aren’t that good, but the indoor parks are really good. The East Coast has a lot of good wood bowls though.

What’s the gnarliest bowl you’ve skated on your last big East Coast trip?
Skatopia‘s got a 13 foot deep bowl with chunky coping.

Tell me about that trip?
I started in Seattle and went across the top of the U.S. to Rhode Island, down along the coast to Florida and skated there for like 3 weeks. It was fun, and there were a lot of ramps to skate there.

Giving some ledges and rails a tune up.
Giving some ledges and rails a tune up.

Did you stop and raise a little hell with Davey Rodgers in N.Y.?
Of course! He was sick most the time though and had a broken arm. He’s got a kid so he got to play Mr. Mom. He couldn’t skate or do too much.

From Florida where did you go?
Went to Arizona and had to drive through Texas and all the other crap in the middle.

Did you skate anything in Texas?
Yeah, I skated an average indoor park, it was alright.

How do you finance these trips?
I don’t know! I work constantly, go, then run up my credit cards, then come back and work 7 days a week to pay them off.

How are you making this transition to becoming a pro?
I don’t know, we’ll see if the money is enough to where I don’t have to work. The only big change will be that I wont have to work after my trips to pay off my debts.

What’s the best show you’ve been too in a while?
The Dayglow Abortions up in Canada.

How often to do you make it up to Canada?
Pretty often, it’s only 3 hours away from Seattle.

Is there lots of dope stuff there?
Oh yeah, there’s tons of good street & cement parks and there’s my girl up there, Candice, and good Hesh Rock Shops!

Is there anything you’re hoping to do this year?
I’m going to Australia, but I want to go over to Europe skate all those places and enter those contests.

When Ben's not on the road he like's to ride the West Seattle Bowl with friends.
When Ben’s not on the road he like’s to ride the West Seattle Bowl with friends.

How are you feeling these days?
I’m just a little tired from skating so much lately and skating vert. I don’t have my vert legs yet.

What’s your favorite beer?
Whatever’s free!

What’s one of the craziest things you’ve seen someone do on a skateboard?
Probably anything Redneck did.

Give me some of your thought on Burnside.
It’s rough and f*cked up, but it’s built for all the right reasons. It’s all lined up well and has the best lines anywhere. It’s got the best atmosphere. It’s not a park, and you don’t have to deal with any bullsh*t like paying or wearing pads. You can just do whatever you want.

Where’s your most local spot?
The Bowl [West Seattle] or maybe Sea-Tac.

Do you like Sea-Tac?
It’s a good street park, and it’s the only one that’s lit up in the northwest.

You have a chance to thank people here, go ahead!
I’d just like to thank my sponsors for helping me out.