List your 5 current personal favorite skateparks and why.
1) Vans Skatepark, Orange CA. – The new combi is the best pool of all time.
1) Bucky Lasek’s House– bigger and more open than combi but not quite as many lines. Much better atmosphere though.
Chris Miller corner air @ Pier Park – Portland Oregon
2) Pier Park – Portland OR. – The pipe and big bowl are pretty awesome. The line over the door is always exciting.
|Chris Miller – Indy Air @ Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA, Encinitas CA.|
3) Louisville Extreme Park, Louisville KY. – Another pipe and bowl combo that is amazing. I can’t even remember the rest of the park and I never even made it back to their vert ramp, but the pipe and big bowl are great.
4) Burnside, Portland OR. – In terms of creativity and history, maybe the best park ever. It is legendary and fun to skate.
5) Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA, Encinitas CA. – For anyone who likes vert, the history alone makes it great. The kidney pool is a gem and always fun. I kind of have a thing for the hip.
(Bonus Park) What is your all time favorite skatepark? Why?
Pipeline Skatepark, Upland CA. (R.I.P.) – It would take a long time to explain in detail but see all of the above and know that none of those would have happened without the influence of Upland.
1.What years were you a pro from?
I was pro from ’87 through the start of ’92. That was kinda when skating slowed down a bit and a lot of the older vert skaters started getting pushed to the side as the companies focused on the core skaters buying boards – street riders. I also skated as a sponsored am from ’83 to ’87. Back in those days, the pro contests usually had an amateur contest also and so I got to travel with the pros a lot of the time. A very cool time!
2. How many years would you say you’ve been a skateboarder?
Well…I started skateboarding in 1977 at the ripe age of 9. I skated pretty much non-stop nearly every day through 1992 – 15 years. Then I kinda got slapped with a bit of reality and had to go find a job. So from 1993 through 1999, I didn’t really skate that much. During that time, I finished going to school and then got a job where I worked 10-12 hour days. Skated a couple of times a year…but for the most part, every time I did, I completely sucked (practically bailing on rock-n-rolls and grinds) and felt really embarrassed. But even in those times, I of course still considered myself a skater. Since ’99, I’ve been skating a lot more down at Vans and at Northridge. Add it all up, and it’s been a long time!
3. Where was the best place you’ve ever skated and why?
I would have to say one of the best was Marseille France. That was a public park right on the beach and they had this cool bowl where you could hit a bunch of different walls. The beach atmosphere was insane. The best old time park I ever rode was Skate City in Whittier. They had an insane clover bowl that went right to vert, a great big Keyhole with big transitions, and a ton of other pools and small stuff that was near perfect to ride. One of the best ramps I ever rode was in Amsterdam…the Bridge ramp. It was a public ramp under a bridge and had steel for some speedy runs.
4. Who have you seen skateboarding recently that impresses you?
Well, most all of the pros impress me and I have a great time watching them all skate. I’ve always liked to watch Neil Hendrix skate because of the way he uses every inch of the ramp. Bob Burnquist does tricks that I don’t think the skate Gods ever planned on humans making. Lincoln Ueda goes so fast and so high, I can’t believe his wheels don’t melt. Rune Glifberg can make any trick look awesome with his style. Also, I really liked watching Sandro Dias skate at the Vans Triple Crown – his alley oop 540s over the massive gap were sick!
5. Do you ever think you’ll end up working in the Sk8 industry?
I don’t know. I would love to work for a skate-related company. I always see some of my old friends at the contests who own companies now and I can tell they are having a great time doing what they love to do and making money at it. But, who knows.
6. Do you have any superstitions?
None that I can think of. But, if I slam real hard, my crazy mind will look for something that I did out of the ordinary that day and somehow try to relate it to slam. Crazy stuff!
7. What skaters influenced you when you were coming up?
Well, a lot of the Skate City (local park I rode in Whittier) riders. Neil Blender and Lance Mountain for their creativity they bring to skateboarding as well as life in general. Definitely John Lucero who helped both Grosso and myself learn the basics and actually talked me into entering my first skate contest. I would have to say my main influence was Jeff Grosso…we went to elementary school together and we were the only skaters at school. So we just breathed, slept and ate skateboarding. And we both pushed each other really hard to continue to learn new tricks. Other influences were Jeff Phillips, Gator and Caballero because of their styles and the way they blend airs, lip and tech tricks.
8. How long did you go out with your wife before you got married?
A long time! We dated for 12 years before we got married. We did have some break ups in between, but I always knew we would get back together…throughout all 1500 breakups! Now that we’re married, my love for her has grown even stronger…she was definitely my soul mate!
9. Do you plan on becoming a father and having a skate rat kid?
Definitely! I’m sure in the next couple of years. My wife and I are still having fun being together and being young, going to dinner, etc. But I can feel kids are right around the corner.
10. Does it ever bum you out when you think that now skaters can make a decent living?
Absolutely NOT! I am so stoked for the skaters now and skateboarding in general. This is pretty much what we hoped would happen to skateboarding back in the old days. Skaters take a lot risks screwing up their bodies and have never been paid accordingly. So now with cash floating in from the TV networks and the corporate world, it gives skaters a chance to make some bucks and continue to rage on. Plus, more cash means that skateboarding will get that much more exposure and help introduce even more kids to skateboarding. More power to any skater that can make a buck.