TWS Skate & Create Brandon Westgate Interview

Because of Emerica’s all-photo layout-of-choice in the October Skate & Create issue, this interview never made it in. But now that Emerica’s photos have sunk in while their video dropped a mind bending anchor, how exactly do you skate a spot where six of you is looking back at… well, you? We’ll let Emerica’s team MVP explain.

When you first got invited to the Skate & Create contest, what were you thinking?
I didn’t really know what to think. It seemed like fun, just set up a bunch of ramps and skate for a week.

Did the concept of the contest make sense to you?
Nah. They were trying to explain what we were going to do with the setting up the mirrors, and I was like, “All right” [laughs]. (interview continued below)

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Kickflip. photo: Oliver Barton

What about when you actually got in the warehouse and saw the setup?
I got in kinda earlier than the rest of the team and got to watch them build everything, so it was just gnarly.

Yeah, it ended up looking like something out of a funhouse or something, right?
We had a whole U-Haul truck, and we’re unloading all this sh-t. Then once they got the first mirror up, it was twelve feet tall or something, and they said they had like eight more to go.

Was it pretty weird skating surrounded by mirrors? Were you trying tricks while staring at yourself?

Yeah, it was definitely weird. All the lights were off in the background and they’d only have lights on the one obstacle—skating it for the first time was sketchy.

What was the first thing you skated?
It was those curved ledges that were set up like a hip. You had to stay on that skinny little track.

That’s the one where you ollied up to a 50-50 down, right?
Yeah, that one.

Was it hard to spot your landings with all the reflections?
I was looking down just so I could focus where I was going, but then there were all the triangles and different colors too.

Did anybody’s board ever shoot out and smash any mirrors?
Yeah, we did that. And then I think everybody broke the mirrors at the end.

How many years of bad luck do you think you got?
I dunno. Well, they weren’t mirrors exactly, they were actually plastic, or plexiglass or something.

Was being in there like a full-on video/photo shoot production, where they were telling you where to be and where to go to get the shot?
They’d ask me what I thought about an idea for an obstacle and then they’d set it up and they we’d just session it. Ollie [Barton] would tell me to do the trick a few more times after I got it ’cause the mirrors—every time you’d go, every photo would turn out different. It actually took a long time to get a clip. Sometimes you’d go higher or lower and so you’d need to get it just right.

Anybody get sliced up by the glass?
Nah, but we kinda broke a lot of it. There was this one set up where there was two quarterpipes up against a wall and they screwed this piece of glass in the middle. I went over one time and kicked my board out and it just went right through it. And then I did it again by accident.

Were there sheets of glass ready to go, if one of them broke?
Yeah. It was kinda sketchy though ’cause sometimes they would just glue the glass into place, and they weren’t screwed in or anything. So some of the pieces were kinda coming off. You’d leave for the night and come in the next day and piece had fallen over.

So you could be skating and a sheet of glass could fall on you at any time?

Yeah [laughs]. That didn’t happen though, so that’s good.

What happened to Reynolds? He was supposed to be a part of the crew, right?
I think he went to skate Carlsbad and got a heel bruise real bad.

Damn. Who came in his place?
Braydon.

Would you ever bring some mirrors to a street spot?
[Laughs] I don’t know about that.

Maybe two mirrors on either side of a handrail?
That’d be pretty sketchy. It was gnarly trying to skate with the mirrors. It was dark all around, tons of mirrors, and crazy colors.