Words by Kevin Duffel, portrait by Dave Chami
One of EMB’s grand ambassadors, Henry Sanchez was one of the most innovative street skaters in the early ’90s. Blowing up alongside Tim Gavin and Guy Mariano on Blind in ’92, Henry all but disappeared in the mid-’90s. But after a standout comeback part in the legendary Sight Unseen in ’01, and a short stint on DGK, Henry’s now seven years deep working as an auto body tech in Sacramento, California. Happily married with a kid on the way, it looks like he’s doin’ just fine, too. Here’s the extended version of the interview that ran in our 30th Anniversary issue.
Where are you living at nowadays, and what are you doing for work?
Sacramento, California. I’m an auto body tech. We restore automobiles—paint and bodywork.
What got you into that?
Well, when I quit skating, I was kinda worried about what I was going to do after skating. I was in my late twenties and I didn’t know how to do anything except skate. So I saw these cheap trade school classes online. I just picked the one that I thought would spark an interest. And when I went, I fell in love with it. That was around seven years ago, and here I am today doing it. The greatest thing about it is you can never learn it all. It’s like skating. It never ends. You can never master it because there’s always new technologies—the technology that’s coming out in tomorrow’s cars is always changing, so you have to be ahead of the curve.
“The greatest thing about it is you can never learn it all. It’s like skating.”
What kind of cars do you usually work on?
My love and pride is in the hot rods, because they have to be better quality for car shows and stuff. But the money is in the insurance jobs where you bang ’em out really quickly. I basically do both. If I did a bunch of hot rods I’d be broke [laughs]. I do hot rods on the side and then I do the insurance jobs at work.
What’s the raddest hot rod you’ve ever worked on?
Probably a 1947 Hudson, but I’m also working on my Mustang—it’s a 1964 and a half. They’re really common, but it’s cool because everything’s cheap and there are parts everywhere for them; you don’t have to search in some dude’s backyard to find parts.
Have you ever worked on other skaters’ cars?
I did Matt Rodriguez’s car a long time ago, but I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time [laughs]. But I gave him a hell of a deal. If I were to do his car now, I’d do it super good. I haven’t really done any skaters’ cars. I wish someone would hit me up, because I know how to do a lot of stuff.
Well maybe after this interview you’ll get some calls.
Yeah, that’d be nice [laughs].