What The Pros Ride

What The Pros RideBrian Andersoninterview by Dave Swift

What board are you riding right now, and what do you like about it?I’m riding the usual eight-and-a-half to eight-and-three- quarters Toy Machine Fists. I like it because I have really big feet, so it’s perfect ’cause it’s nice and wide. I’ve been riding it for three years now.

Pretty much the same shape for three years?

It’s a good shape, I rode it. How often do you set up a new board?
It depends on what I skate. If I skate something down a bunch of stairs where I kick my board out all the time, I’ll set up a new board every three days. If I’m just skating down the street doing slappies, I’ll ride one for two weeks.

What kind of concave do you like?
I like strong, kind of mellow concave-the Watson wood is perfect. I can’t ride super steep concave. A lot of the stuff that’s out right now … you can’t flip your board right.

It feels weird. Especially when you get to a wide board like yours, that’s when you start really feeling the concave.
Yeah, it feels like you’re in a canoe or something.

Yikes. Do you do anything special to your griptape?
Nah, I don’t have any East Coast stripe or anything like that. Sometimes I’ll put the punk-rock sticker strip in there-once in a great while.

What’s the punk-rock sticker stripe?
It’s as many stickers as you can handle in a little three-inch space right above your back truck.

That explains it. What wheels are you riding right now?
My own pro-model 54 Ricta.

Do you put on different-size wheels for different kinds of skating?
If I had a vert board, which I don’t right now, I’d probably put 56s. Then I got a cruiser board with Kryptos for when it’s raining.

Do you ever try different hardnesses?
Nah, actually I like kind-of soft wheels. So when my wheel comes out, it’s gonna be a little softer than all the other ones.

Why do you like soft wheels?
I just got used to them. I rode Pig wheels for a long time. They’re not soft, but they’re just a little more mellow than say Spitfires or something-Spitfires and shit like that are just too hard. I get flat spots immediately.

How often do you set up new wheels?
It depends. If they get flat spots, probably every week and a half.

Do you prefer a certain color wheel?
Yeah, white with no graphics. I always take the graphics off. I like how it looks all clean-nice white wheels. The graphics get all smeared and f-ked-up looking.

What do you take the graphics off with?
A razor blade.

So if you’re out on tour and you have to get a new set of wheels, you just automatically scrape the graphics off?

That adds about 35 minutes to setting up a board.
No way.

Oh, you have it wired?
Yeah, it’s like three minutes. You just scrape them right off if you got a new blade.

What’s the smallest wheel you ever rode
Probably a 54. I was real bummed on skating when wheels were super small. I probably did have some 40s and shit, though.

What bearings do you ride?
I ride Swiss. They last six or seven months.

Do you use bearing oil or speed cream?
I use speed cream before every competition. First I wax my board up, then I put speed cream in.

What trucks do you ride and what size are they?
I’m currently developing a truck right now.

What size?

What do you like in a truck?
I like it to be softer so it grinds, so it lets you grind any ledge. Some of the trucks out there are really hard aluminum, and it sucks-they stick and stuff. I like Indys ’cause of the way the axle is and because of the turning radius. They have a nice, loose turning radius.

How often do you change trucks?
Probably every three months.

Do you use riser pads?
No, I just quit. I cleaned my act up. I used to but now I want my board lower, because my board is just too tall.