Back In The Day: Henry Sanchez

Back In The Day:Henry Sanchez
Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow

“Henry probably did most of everything first.”-Guy Mariano, 2007

Hailed by a busload of your favorite pros as one of the biggest street innovators ever, Henry Sanchez has embarked upon some new endeavors in recent years. To give the man the spotlight he solidly deserves, here’s a short trip through Henry’s world in 2007.
-Mackenzie Eisenhour

When was the first time you skated the Embarcadero?
I’m not sure, but I think Sam Smyth brought me there. They called me “The Punt” ’cause I was always f-king around.

How did you get approached for sponsorship and who turned you pro for Real?
This dude Shroog saw me skate at either Safeway curbs or the World demo in the park. I was told that they were interested, and I sent in some hilarious photos and some stupid letter. Instantly, I got hooked by Thunder, Spitfire, and Supercush. I was approached by Jim (Thiebaud) or Jeff (Klindt) about being a pro for Real. I couldn’t believe it. In hindsight, I deserved it, but no one knew who I was, so in terms of selling my board, it probably didn’t do so well.

What got you to switch to Blind?
Blind had the best team by far, and to be accepted by Mark (Gonzales) was a true honor. I would have been crazy to say no to that. Skating with Rudy (Johnson), Guy, Tim (Gavin), Matt (Schnurr), and Jed (Walters) was the funnest time in my life. I love those guys very much.

Was your part in Tim And Henry’s Pack Of Lies (’92) premeditated (JP1)as a full part?
I just stacked it up without really thinking too much about it. We didn’t film a lot like other teams did back then, so I felt it wasn’t really telling the whole story.

How did you feel about skating to Black Sabbath?
I love Black Sabbath and that was my choice.

Did you ever regret not following Guy and Rudy to Girl?
Of course I regret it. I had things to pay for, and cutting my check in half wasn’t really even an option. Everything went downhill after that.

How did you end up slowly drifting out of the limelight during the late 90s?
I have a short attention span. I get bored with sh-t. I kind of let people catch up to me by not skating. I got what I deserved.

Were you getting by financially during the FIT days?
I was never really doing great in skating financially.

How good did it feel to have major comeback parts in Sight Unseen (’01) and Chomp On This (’02)?
It felt good to show heads that I was still capable. I enjoyed the attention, but at the same time I came to realize that those were the same guys who ignored me for so many years. So it was a lesson because that’s just how it is. I’m to blame.

What happened with Aesthetics and DGK?
It just didn’t work out. I think we all learned a lesson from the DGK thing.

Looking back now, with other sources of income, would you change anything?
I would have stayed in school while skating. I’m 31, so at this phase in my life, notoriety is nothing more than a pound. Supporting my future family is far more important.

What is your current job and what did you have to study for it?
I don’t have a job right now, but I do have one lined up after I finish school. Magik’s doing fine, so I can actually go to school and skate. I had to study auto body, paint, estimating, electrical, mechanical, and suspension. I actually apply myself in school now, so reading in my spare time has taught me a lot. I’d probably be doing something way nerdier if I had an earlier start on schooling.

What was your motivation behind starting Magik Inc.?
I see sheep and not a lot of disparity between companies. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to do something with meaning straight from the heart. Some clothing companies eat off of skating but seem like they try to distance themselves from it, like it’s not cool or they don’t want to burn their street cred. I intend on keeping it cllose and intact with skating.

You’re up on the skate message boards all the time. Are you schooling the youngsters along with James Kelch?
Just trying to break down some barriers. I feel I can use my story as a lesson of sorts for kids out there. I’d hate to see kids throw away their future just to ride a skateboard. I can never undo what wrongs I did in the past, but I can still build for the future.

Being a veteran in the game, what did you learn about the industry?
That you get what you put in. I was incredibly talented at one point of my life and wasn’t grateful enough to take advantage of it. It’s cold and unforgiving but it’s life, and a lot can be learned from it.

How would you like to be remembered?
As a wasted talent (laughs).

Do you have another comeback in you?
Of course I do. Even a couple months ago when I had to relearn everything, I still felt I could bring something good. That’s not even a question. The question is, do I want to? If I did another comeback it’d be all gimmicky.




(JP1)Kinda verbose. Sugg. use “planned” or “intended” for flow.