newsHIT Interview: Sid Melvin Gets The Santa Cruz Pro Treatment

Words by Kevin Duffel

Before I knew Sid Melvin, the only thing I figured Bakersfield currently had going for it was the plethora of snow cone stands they’ve got around the city in the summer time. Since meeting Sid, my mind’s changed. It’s quite possible the city coerced Santa Cruz into turning Sid pro because they had nothing else to brag about since their big “country boom” a billion years ago or the rise of KORN. Regardless, Sid’s earned it and now has the most punk rock name in skateboarding… on skateboards. Here’s to turning pro Sid!

First off, I hear you have a sensitive stomach… Any good pooping stories?sid-kick-flip-tail-water
I have a sensitive stomach?

Yeah that’s the word on the street.
I don’t know if I necessarily have a sensitive stomach, but I am pretty prone to getting food poisoning at least once a year. I try to stay away from the sketchy looking spots.

What about when you were with the dudes from Girl?
Oh yeah, that was one of those times—bad bagel sandwich in the morning that erupted on the way to a shop signing for the Girl and Chocolate guys, which I just happened to tag along for. I believe [Mike] Carroll got a nice picture of it and Rick [Howard] threw a banana peel at me, so that was pretty tight.

Where’d you go? You just hopped out of the van real fast?
We pretty much got off at the only stop that had nothing around and we just pulled into a parking lot. I found a nice bush.

Jesus…
Yup.

How’d you get the nickname Sid?
I used to be a shop rat. Just go to the skate shop, hang out all day, and wait for people to get off to go skate with. Devine [Calloway] used to work there, so I’d bug them to let him off early. The manager and one of the other dudes that worked at the shop were like, “He looks like someone, he looks like someone…” All of a sudden it was just like, “Sid! He looks like Sid from Toy Story!” I used to rock the Zero t-shirt. I had a shaved head and braces, so that pretty much stuck. I started working for the shop and [whenever] they introduced me, they were like, “Oh, this is Sid,” so I just didn’t fight it. It was easier than trying to correct everyone after the fact.

How’d your going pro party come about?
Santa Cruz said, “Yeah, you need to come up. We’re gonna have a shop signing this Friday at 6:30.” I thought, damn that’s pretty late for a signing. So when I was heading over there, the parking lot outside wasn’t super full and there weren’t a lot of kids waiting outside. I was like, damn this is kind of a weak shop signing. When I walked in, [Justing] Strubing and [Emmanual Guzman] said, “Come over here, you’re late.” I got over there and was third in line. Strubing signs a board, Emmanual signs a board, then some kid shows up wearing a Creature mask and said, “Sign this board,” in a deep voice. I’m signing the board and he pulls the top board away, and it was my board. I was just standing there, like what the hell. And then he pulled the mask off and it was Alex Moul. I started looking around and noticed there were people from Bakersfield at the shop.

So it was a huge surprise party?
Yeah it was like, Ta Da, you’re pro.

They even got your wife out there right?
Yeah, my wife came. A couple of the homies came. It was just super weird. Everyone was looking at me. I’m not really that type of dude to be like, yeah check me out, ya know. I was just awkward and weird. I was super happy, but more in shock than anything. It still hasn’t hit me. I still feel weird about it.

You had a little celebratory BBQ with all your friends last weekend right?
Yeah, once again, invited for the random Sunday BBQ and everyone showed up. We had a mini ramp sesh, BBQ’d it up with a bunch of burgers and stuff. It was awesome.

Sid’s 5 Trick Fix

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What went down? I heard rumors of big pressure flip airs.
We were trying to scoop some fatties. My friend Derek—he’s a pressure flip guy. He wants to take on Nate Sherwood because he thinks he has all terrain. If [Nate] hears about this, I think he has my number. I can get a hold of Derek so they can have a battle. [laughs]

Who are you getting shoes from nowadays?
I was getting Deklines for a while. I dunno. I hurt my elbow and didn’t really talk to anybody for a while. And then Stacy Lowery called me up randomly. I’ve known Stacy for a while now just from being on Santa Cruz. He was just like, “Can I send you some shoes?” What am I gonna say — don’t send me anything, leave me alone? No. So I was like, “Yeah for sure, send me some shoes.” They were surprisingly really good. So now I’m getting Duffs.

You’ll never leave Bakersfield. What’s so great about that shit hole anyways?
I’m definitely not going anywhere. I’m stuck up here with a house, a wife, and two dogs. I’m probably going to be here a while, to say the least. It’s pretty much just too cheap to leave. I’m right in the middle of everywhere. Pretty much 4 hours to SF and 4 hours to SD. The weather’s shit though.

You named your dog Brixton. Now that you’re pro, are you gonna have a kid and name it after another sponsor?
[Laughs] That was purely coincidence. I had a part in naming the dog, but some other people did too. But yeah, if I do have a kid, I think I’m gonna go with Doogan Xavier Melvin, or something random like that. Something so he can get beat up in school.

What about Santa Cruz Melvin?
Yeah sure. If they wanna pay for the name. Send him a check every month – we might be able to work somethin out.

What are the pros and cons of having a sweet mustache?
Pros… You look awesome. That’s probably number one. Good conversation piece. Those are the two main ones. Cons… It sucks eating. Everything gets in it. You’re always chewing on it. It gets pretty gross after skating. You gotta wash your face a little more often. That’s pretty much it.

Every time I see you, you’re doing some technological crap on your iPhone or computer, or you’re drinking beer. Are those your two big hobbies outside of skateboarding?sid-shaka
Yeah, the iPhone and computer stuff has kind of become more than a hobby. I help my friends out at their computer shop. I’ve always kinda been into that. I don’t mess with the PCs – only the Mac stuff. And then drinking, that’s pretty much just to pass the time until I can go skateboarding next.

How many headshots do you get on average per Counter Strike game?
I don’t know, I’ve never played Counter Strike, but if you’re talking about Call of Duty… It’s just another thing to do when I’m drinking and passing the time.

I heard you were pro, isn’t that what this interview’s about?
[Laughs] I’m not that good. I’m actually pretty medium.

But you have the headset you talk through right?
Yeah I do that. But that’s more for my roommate’s sake so he doesn’t hear me playing it super late at night.

Anything else you want to say regarding turning pro?
Thanks for everyone who has supported me with skateboarding and let me do this as a job or whatever you wanna call it. All my sponsors, my wife for putting up with it, my mom and grandma for putting up with it, and all the friends for the good times pretty much.

Don’t pull a Mike Rusczyk and retire the year after turning pro.
I’ll try not to. I’ll ride this thing out as long as possible.