Darren Navarrette is a skateboarder plain and simple. He made that choice early on in his life and stuck with it—he’s what you’d call a lifer. I can see Darren at age 40, dressed in all black (except for the knee-high white socks), hyping the crew up for a session on the day’s terrain of choice. No excuses will be accepted.—Eveready Eddie
1. What experience led you to become a skate rat?
It was my brother in ’84. He got a skate, I had a bycicle—I liked skateboarding better.
2. How did growing up in the harsh winters of Minneapolis affect your skate time?
Pull your socks all the way up, salt the ramp, and ride it. Brrr it’s cold out! Did you see that rock to fakie?
3. What humans (skaters) did you look up to when you were learning the ropes?
The people in my neighborhood. There was a vert ramp on my block, it had PVC pipe cut in half for coping. They could rip it, I couldn’t. Other than that it was the Minneapolis guys: Eric Froland and Dave Leroux. In the mags: Jasson Jessee, Christ air to fake; Jeff Grosso, madonnas and backside airs; Jeff Phillips, straight-legged frontside airs and boneless ones; Hosoi for flow; Losi’s ollie to fakie; Lance Mountain’s eggs; Blender, table shuffel board.
4. When and why did you move to San Diego?
In 1994, skateboarding, of course. Once I got here, not sure why? The ramps sucked, but Peter Hewitt was here.
5. First sponsor? Worst Sponsor?
Wellfare skateboards out of Chitown—catchy name, no. Worst sponsor, Jnco—almost didn’t survive that one! Thank God for Andrecht to fakies.
6. Who gave you the nickname “Vertical Vampire?”
It was Jake Phelps. If it was up to me, I’d call myself “Man With No Name.”
7. What’s it like driving a Hearse? Do people bug out on you?
Oh yes, people bug out on me all the time. It’s cool when we show up some where and smoke bellows out of the windows, It makes me think of Fast Times At Ridgemont High! Some times I just want to get groceries.
8. Rawest skater-all time?
Ben Schroeder and Mark “Red” Scott.
9. Dream session?
Ahh, my dreams change all the time, but I’d still have to say Minnapolis’ 44 foot wide vert ramp with Eric Froland, Dave Leroux, John Muldoon, and AC/DC blairing from the radio. I guess, dream sessions are tough ’cause I can’t even remember my dreams when I wake up.
10. Explain a normal day in the life of Darren Navarrette.
Go to bed, wake up, converse, linger, converse, linger, ride, converse, linger, go to bed. That’s every day, but, “Subject to change, notice may not be needed.”
11. What’s the deal with Mini Nav?
Mini Navs and Mini Mini Navs. I don’t know their story? Just two little kids ten and twelve, or is it thirteen now? With our help, they’re going to change the future of skateboarding. Kickflips are cool, but eggplants are better.
13. If the Vampire were to take a vacation, where would he go?
Vacation? What does vacation mean? Vacate the area? I just had to do that! I live on the beach. I don’t surf, but it’s still a vacation.
14. Washington St. or Burnside?
15. Talk about the band your in, Shed. What’s that all about?
Shed is a bunch of us—Sam Hitz, Chad Mohler, Aaron Scott, and ocassional guests Hewitt, Ballard, Dove, Cranston and anyone else that wants to join in. You might see Shed, you might even hear ‘em, but than again, you might not. Shed is us, Shed is not you! Die in my grave, and that’s that.
16. Where does the SD Hesh crew hang out at night?
At the bar.
17. Why are body jars back?
Back? Where’d they go? I never had them.
18. Rare or well done?
I wish I could lie, well done.<
19. Skateboarding’s future?
You decide … I’m in the present!
20. Alan Losi or Craig Johnson?
Alan Losi or Craig Johnson? What the F—k! They both rule!
Eric: These are some extra questions and answers in case you donàt like a few of the others. Let me know which oneàs you take out.-Swift
15. If skateboarding were to disappear from your life, what do you think you would do?
If skateboarding WHAT! Left ME!…. I’d find it again… Fuck I don’t know, ride a hoarse, shoot guns, fuck I don’t know. LIVE TO RIDE
17. Oh shit, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the new Governer of California. Do you have anything to say about that?
Sure, um… Ronald Reagan. That’s it, thats fine.
9. Words of Wisdom?
Una momento por favor
23. Comedy or drama?
Como se yamma
24. Living in SD, how did you adjust from burgers and fries to Mexican food?
I grew up on mexican food, my dad’s from Mexico.
24. Your nationality?
Mexican American, but I wish I was Apache.