Back noseblunt over stormy seas. Photo: Chami

If you’re reading this, you obviously enjoy watching certain people ride their skateboards. Ever think about why? Sure, it might look cool. But it seems like an awful lot of things, places and pastimes out there look cool. Why would we exclusively watch the same skate videos/clips over and over again? I believe that when you truly watch a skate video as a skateboarder (especially with repeat viewings), the main thing going on is a sort of vicarious mental re-enactment of whatever the professional of choice is doing on the screen. And who makes it easiest for us to live vicariously? Well, probably people we can relate to, or maybe just people we might want to relate to. I know that for me, the people I enjoy watching most—again and again, in the same videos—are probably the ones I’d most like to imagine being, even if just for one session.

All that said—it seems like a huge cross section of people can relate to Silas (or at least would like to skate like him). And these days, that seems to be a rarer and rarer thing. There just aren’t that many skateboarders out there anymore that almost everybody can agree on. But of the dwindling few, SBN—along with say Busenitz, Cardiel, Reynolds, or Barbee—is among the ranks of those we have somehow all agreed just do it right.

On the occasion of his underrated part in Perpetual Motion’s re-release (something we felt anybody out there living under a rock who hasn’t seen yet should do so right here, right now) the following conversation was your standard mix of Q-and-A regarding that part, a walk through all four of his iconic TWS covers, and everything and anything else. Having just had his second child, and with his Portland TF fully operational since its inception around this time last year, here are hopefully a ton more things you can relate to.

Are you out in Portland?
Yeah. I’m at home right now.

My phone is a little low on battery, so if it cuts out I’ll call you back.
Okay. Just so you know I’m hanging out with my kids right now and if they start getting crazy I might have to call you back.

You have two kids now?
Yeah. We just had our second a month ago.

Oh shit. Congrats.
Thanks.

We have one, she’s eighteen months. It seems crazy enough with one, I can only imagine with two.
When the first one was about a year old, I thought that was crazy but by around three we had gotten used to it. Now with two I think it’s really crazy but we’ll probably get used to that too.

The human power to adapt is pretty amazing. How are you though? What’s been going on lately?
I’ve been doing well. Had another kid, so just been doing family stuff and skating the park a lot. I really haven’t been traveling a whole lot so I’ve just been at home. When I get some free time I go and skate the park.

Back 180 nosegrind on the Church rails, Miami, FLA. Photo: SKIN

How long have you had your TF deal now?
We started building it about a year ago. Actually we got the building last year around February and then started building. We had the first little obstacle built around then, but we didn’t really get all the stuff built until October of 2013. It took a good six months to build everything.

Is it sort of local friends helping you build it?
Yeah. It was basically funded by all of my sponsors and then also by some of (David) Gravette’s sponsors, then my friend Jamie Weller and this dude Jeremy Tuffli were the main guys building it. Other friends would help out when they could. But Gravette has a key and Creature hooked up a little bit of money to help out with the rent and stuff.

Is it hard to keep it mellow? Does everybody in town hit you up when it gets cold out?
It’s not too bad. It’s pretty mellow. There are about eight key holders in town—(John) Rattray has a key, Nikhil Thayer has a key, Mikey Chin, (Tyler) Bledsoe, and a few other friends who help me run it have keys. So between all of us, almost everybody knows one of us and can come skate the park through that. Then we also did like a public night to sort of let some other people skate it too. It gets pretty skated. At first it was a little annoying because people were talking like, “What the hell, build a private park and don’t let anyone skate it.” But in reality, I pay a lot of money for rent and upkeep, and then there’s always liability too.

How’s Mikey Chin doing? That dude’s kind of a legend right?
He’s rad. He’s ripping. It’s so awesome to watch him skate. For the last couple of years he’s just kind of been doing his thing— working a lot and skating when he can. He’s like super fit though. He’s really into fitness and exercise I guess. But he rips. Legendary skater most definitely.

He has that really natural flow.
For sure. I feel lucky just to be able to watch him at the park. Every time he’s there I sort of sit back and just watch him cruise around. He may not even do any tricks. He can do the gnarliest tricks, but just watching him cruise and do little nollie bonks and 180s is amazing. He has one of the best styles.

Frontside ollie in Tokyo from the Perpetual Motion days. Photo: Chami

I feel like that’s when you know somebody is really good at skateboarding, when they don’t have to do any tricks. Sometimes it seems like the more people have to do tricks, the more the have to make up for their lack of just natural flow.
Sometimes. For sure. I see that with some people.

They gotta put the fireworks in there just to mask the…
The lack of style (laughs).

Like Donny Barley could roll around Burnside all day without doing one trick and it would look amazing.
Exactly.

Do you ever go down to Burnside?
I haven’t been in a while. Sometimes I do. I was never really a big local. I think I just never put the time in there to really figure out how to skate it. It’s a rad place and all those guys rip it, but it’s unique and it’s really hard to skate. It’s just one of those places where if you put a lot of time in there you would probably figure it out and get your lines. But I’ll go down every now and again and roll around and it’s pretty fun.

I wanted to go through your four TWS covers. All four are pretty epic stills. Just super memorable covers. I feel like sometimes these photos can be more memorable than a video part.
Yeah. I agree. They sometimes just really get burned into your head.

Silas’ January 2008 cover: Feeble pop out to the bank. Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo: Barton

First off we have January 2008, you had the huge feeble on the bank-to-wall during the Inhabitants days.
Yeah. That one was shot by Ollie Barton during one of the last filming trips for Inhabitants. It’s that Ohio bank-to-wall.

That bank is a pretty famous local spot right? It was in G&S Footage (’90) and all that?
For sure. That’s one of the classic Cincinnati spots for sure. It was towards the end of the trip and we went down there for a late night session. It took me a long time to get it but I finally did it. Then the footage got lost or got misplaced or something so it never made it into the video.

That was my next question on that one.
Yeah. I did land it. I never saw the footage and I don’t know what happened to it. I asked Joe (Castrucci) about it at the time and he told me he didn’t know where it went.

Did you roll fakie down the wall to the bank?
No, it wasn’t a feeble fakie; it was like a feeble ollie out to the bank. The top of that bank is kind of rounded at the top so I might have deck checked it a little bit. I’m not sure. It was still a battle though to get it. I think honestly the photo might just have been a little better than the footage, so it just got looked over and then lost. I don’t know.

Let’s just pretend it was perfect. I love that photo and I just picture this perfect ride out. Sometimes it’s almost better to keep the mystique. Like (Daniel Harold) Sturt’s Hensley overpass ollie or something.
Yeah. Okay. (Laughs.) I did it perfect then. Landed bolts and rolled away.

November 2010 cover: Front 180 fakie 5-0. Bilbao, Spain. Photo: Chami

So next was November 2010. I think the next three were all (Dave) Chami. But this one was the front 180 fakie 5-0 in Spain on that huge bank to bar thing.
That one was in Bilbao. We were on a trip—it was kind of a crazy trip. We all flew into Barcelona, then flew to Bilbao, spent a couple of days there, then flew back to Barcelona. I think we flew to Bilbao like the third day we were there. In Barcelona we had met up with Roberto Aleman, who just happened to be heading out to Bilbao so he kind of took us under his wing. He took us to Alicante, Murcia and these other towns too. The day we were flying to Bilbao, we were at Sants train station super early and Brennan (Conroy) ended up getting his camera bag stolen. We had already filmed a trick or two the previous few days and the tape was in there so we lost that. Chami’s wife (Samantha, AKA Suziie Wang) was out in Barcelona and had a VX-2000 with her so we ended up borrowing that and finishing the trip with it. Anyways, back to the photo—we were in Bilbao and that spot is just amazing. It’s like a wonderland—just all these roller bumps and banks everywhere—like a Dr. Seuss looking skatespot.

Had you been there before?
No. This was my first time there and I had been wanting to go for a super long time. It was just one of those things were you get there and are just in awe. It’s jaw-dropping, like “Oh my God!” And you’re skating around like a little kid. We were skating the bump to bar finally and I back 50-50’d it and was still super hyped and wanted to do something else. I started playing around and seeing what I could get up there and that trick ended up looking like it was going to work out. It took me a while though to finally do it.

Crooks pop-over also in Spain. Photo: Chami

That spot looks so gnarly. Is it as gnarly as it looks?
It’s pretty gnarly. That bank you come out of is like really steep and then coming back in is really scary. Since the bank doesn’t go flush to the wall too, you kind of have to make it over that little lip. It’s super smooth though, except for the tiles are fragile and some of them are broken. So you’ll be rolling super smooth and then all of a sudden hit a broken one and eat shit.

It looks like that hip is rounded too, like it would be hard to know where to pop off of.
Yeah. It took a while to figure out where the right spot would be to get the right upward momentum and trajectory. Like instead of just spitting you outward. So it was a battle but it was super fun because that spot is just so cool. It’s in this really big beautiful park. Everyone told us like, “That spot’s a bust, you’re only going to get like ten minutes there before you get kicked out.” But we skated it for like an hour. I got the back 50 and the front 180 fakie 5-0 and Marius (Syvanen) got the frontside 5-0 too (Which became the DVD cover photo of Origin [‘10]). Pretty much right after I landed the front 180 fakie 5-0, I rolled away and just kept going to the corner store across the street and bought some beers. We were skating back with the beer and right then the cops rolled up. They were like; “You gotta leave”, and we were just like, “Cool!” (Laughs.) It was a pretty epic day. Cool trip too.

I feel like I haven’t seen any tricks on that thing since then.
I think it really is a big bust and we just got lucky. I think usually the neighbors call the cops for the noise, but that one day it was a Sunday and they just let it go.

I think you shut it down.
(Laughs.) No. But there are so many other things to skate there too. There are all these other banks and hips and this one bank-to-ledge thing you can hit. There is just so much shit in Spain and that one is kind of a far out location.

May 2012 cover: 50-50 gap to 50-50. Portland, Oregon. Photo: Chami

So then May 2012 issue was the 50-gap-50 from Perpetual Motion. I know you did that whole behind the cover deal but how was that one in a nutshell? Had you seen that one Gonz attempt at it in the old Real video?
I remembered having seen that a long, long time ago in Kicked Out of Everywhere (’99). Then I had been looking at that spot a bunch because it’s right by my house. I would walk my dog past there every day or drive past when I was trying to get my kid to fall asleep. At first I just looked at it as a really big double set. The rail is really mellow so I was thinking maybe you could gap out to the second one. Then one day I was driving around with Brennan (the Habitat TM/filmer) and showed it to him and he was the first person to suggest maybe trying to grind to grind it. So it was kind of his idea at first and he put the seed in my head. At first I think he was just fucking around, joking about it but I kept walking or driving by it and just looking at it, thinking “Possibly, possibly, possibly…” Finally one day Brennan was like, “Hey, if you’re not going to do it I think I’m going to get (Mark) Suciu up here to do it.” Suciu had just done that grind to grind on that red and blue flat bar in Puerto Rican Park in Philadelphia.

That’s rad. Suciu put the heat on it.
(Laughs.) Yeah. Kind of. That’s when I was like, “Fuck, I want to do it.” I knew if he came he would do it” (Laughs.) Jon (Holland) was up with Dave (Chami), Julian (Davidson) and Josh (Mathews) in Portland to film for the video so I brought them there one night. It was getting dark but I tried it a couple of times, realized it was sort of possible, and then came back the next day and ended up doing it.

It seems like so many things could go wrong, like the opportunity for the worst slam.
There were a couple—there was one where I fell and caught myself but still ended up smacking my head on it (the second rail). The first one that I really went for, because at first I would just get on the first rail and then jump to the side.

The ollie must just be the critical moment right?
Yeah. You basically have to be fully above the rail and if you mess up on the ollie—at that point you can’t go to the side anymore because your momentum is already going to carry you into the second one. So it was super scary and the first one I really went for, like straight on it, I ollied late where my back truck was already coming off the rail and I hit the middle of my board in like a disaster. Somehow it bounced back up and my truck got over and I was able to bail safely but it could have been way worse. Another one I think I hung up at the top too and just flew all the way to the bottom. The second set of stairs wasn’t like a huge set, it was only like five stairs or something so it wasn’t that far to go.

Silas and Josh Mathews during the Perpetual Motion days. Photo: Chami

How did the one you made feel? Were you just watching it happen?
Yeah. It was just one of those things were you ride away and are just like, “Whoa, that worked!” You almost don’t realize it until you’re rolling off the curb into the street and it’s just like, “Oh shit!” Just super excited—feeling that sense of accomplishment that makes skating so awesome. You think about something for so long and when it finally happens it’s just the best feeling in the world.

That photo is so perfect too. The footage is amazing for sure, but that photo just sums up the split second so well. The moment of the ollie. It’s so good.
For sure. You can just sit there and see everything that is going on. The footage comes and it goes but the photo you can just sit there and look at it. Dave just nailed it. I was really psyched on that one man.

Since they’re re-releasing that part (Perpetual Motion) along with this, do you have good memories of that whole experience?
I had a lot of fun making that video. It was a lot of stuff filmed in Portland. I moved back to Portland three years ago. I was in Chicago for two years before that. Right when I moved back to Portland I had the kid. So the first year of being back was just a lot of dealing with family stuff and just skating when I could. So when I started filming the PM part—that was sort of the first time I got to go back out and skate full force again with my friends and everything. So there was so much stuff in Portland too that I had seen over the years. Portland is one of those places where they don’t really build new spots so a lot of the spots had been here forever. It was just cool to film here. I just like how everything looks up here too. It has a really unique look to it.

If you had to place the PM part amongst your other parts, do you have a favorite?
I think my Inhabitants part is my favorite just because it was the first major one I worked on. But next to that I think this one is my second favorite. Just because I felt like I was skating well, I was psyched and just having a lot of fun. There wasn’t much stress involved because it was all here in Oregon too. The first half of it was pretty much done on my own, so I hadn’t really seen what the other guys were doing and I didn’t have that pressure of knowing everything everybody else had. It kind of felt like a first in that sense. Then we went on that Miami trip and all those dudes were super rad and we just had a really fun time from there on out.

March 2014: Frontside wallride to grind over the wall. Santa Maria, California. Photo: Chami

Cool, so that brings us almost to present with the March 2014 cover with the wallride to frontside grind. I guess people pointed it out but had you seen the Frank Atwater trick over that thing?
Yeah. I had never seen it before. I got a text from Brennan one day just with a photo of the spot and he was like, “Hey, check this thing out.” It’s in Santa Maria, which is sort of near Santa Barbara. So he was on a trip down there with Marius and they checked it out one night I guess super late. Marius was just trying to mess with it, and they were thinking you would need soft wheels to really get enough speed to get over and I guess it was late night so they sent me more footage of it and I thought it looked rad. We were supposed to go to Agenda, but I wanted to skate in the Bay first. This was like in January and my second kid was due in February. So it was kind of my “last hurrah” before I went into family mode. We had spent a week in Oakland and then were driving down to Long Beach. It was me, Marius, Dave, Wes Kremer, Viper, and Peter Raffin—a pretty sick crew of dudes—and we stopped there and skated it for a couple of hours at night. I ended up skating it with regular wheels.

Were there any other tricks you thought of for it?
Frontside grind was pretty much what I had wanted to do when I had seen the spot in the photos. But when I got there, there’s actually way more runway for a backside trick. I was trying to think of a backside trick but I couldn’t shake the idea of a frontside grind. It’s pretty crusty on top so it would be hard to do anything were you were standing on a grind.

Back smith scratcher or something?
Yeah. That might work. There’s definitely other things to be done on that thing. It’s pretty good, but the banks crusty and the way that I came at it you basically have to start with your back against the wall to get enough speed.I wallrid over it a couple of times but then it was just super hard to get that extra bit of speed to get your truck on it. I was close on so many tries and then I finally started getting the grind on there.

In the photo it looks like there’s dust coming off it. It looks pretty epic.
It’s really rough, shitty cinder-blocks on top so I think it just kind of crumbles when you hit it. I think the way Chami lit it up too made that happen. He killed it on that photo. Dave is the man. He has hooked me up so many times with awesome photos. He’s just a great photographer and super fun to travel with. I’ve probably been on more trips with him than anyone. He’s just happy to be on the road skating and traveling. At the same time, he works super hard and he’ll make sure that you get an amazing photo.

Nollie backside flip in Barcelona. Photo: Chami

Three covers would seem to be working out.
Yeah. He’s a workhorse too. I feel like almost every issue of TransWorld he has a huge handful of photos and always with a wide range of skaters. San Francisco is a really hard city to skate in and he’s held it down there for so long and gotten some really awesome flicks there. It’s not just a job for him either. He loves it. It’s his passion and he does a really good job at it.

Do you think magazine covers still carry the same weight as they did pre-internet?
I think magazines in general are still—and maybe even more so now—like a bar for the real top shelf stuff. There is so much amazing skating out there, and so much of it is accessible on the internet and it’s everywhere. But to be in a magazine—to get a photo in a magazine, even just to see photos in a magazine—that really sets something apart from just the online noise. For lack of a better term, it validates it.

Somebody chose to really showcase it—lay it out, write about it, and give it all this treatment then pay for it to be printed.
Exactly. And still images, like we said earlier, it just burns it into memory so much more than just a moving clip that comes and goes. Photos you can just sit there and study it—look at the colors of the spot, the size of it, they way the arms are, the hands, even the facial expression—all this information that you would never catch in the footage. So much of skating is in the style and the way a person does a trick and a still photo is still the best way to see all of that.

Yeah, I was reading some message board thread recently and some kid was just saying basically like, “Well, once you have the footage, the photo is essentially irrelevant.” I was reading it just thinking, “Bummer for you dude.”
Yeah. But even photos online—you don’t get that same read. It’s just not the same. You can’t pull the thing close to your face and examine every little detail. It’s not the same. I know that print is somewhat of a dying industry and it’s getting harder and harder and it’s sad to see it happening but I think it’s so important. I really like getting all the magazines every month and just studying every photo.

Back nosebluntslide in NYC from back in the Inhabitants era. Photo: Barton

It’s a transitioning industry.
(Laughs.) Yeah. I really hope that it will always be there though. I think that they always will. Things are just new and different right now. But it will settle back down I think.

I think that if people really want to elevate something, there will always be some form of print. Changing gears a bit, how has it been having Skin (Phillips) join you guys at adidas?
It’s awesome. He’s a rad dude. He’s hilarious. He’s such a huge part of skateboard history. An amazing photographer. He’s shot so many legendary photos and he’s been through so much. It’s so awesome to have all of that at adidas.

I remember last time I interviewed you in like ’08 you were a big Welcome to Hell (’96) fan. Would you say that is still the definitive/formative video for you?
I think so. That was really the video that I memorized as a kid. So much of that is still in my brain. All those Epicly Later’ds with Templeton really brought it back out again too. He’s such an amazing character and interesting person and that was such an awesome period of my life and in skateboarding for me at least when I saw Welcome to Hell. That video still is kind of the pinnacle for me.

Was it just kind of everyone in there-part wise?
I think everyone. There have been different times in my skating life where I’ve been more psyched on this type of skating or that type of skating. I think Donny Barley was always pretty much my favorite from the beginning and has been through time out of that crew. But Jamie Thomas in Welcome to Hell was also a huge influence. He was so gnarly in that. Then Mike Maldonado just skated everything with just ill style. Brian Anderson—every single person in that video had a huge influence on me. Ed was on the massive handrail attack in there, doing super rad tricks on rails, and then Satva Leung had the sickest style and just had all SF footage. Honestly everyone in that.

Back tail in Spain. Photo: Chami

Do you still put in old videos and watch them?
I don’t have a very good TV for VHS or DVDs but I’ll still watch them on my computer. I go back and watch old skate videos online all the time. I’ll get in these moods where I see a photo or a part from somebody and then go watch all their old stuff.

Do you watch the new stuff?
I do. I pay attention to pretty much everything. I’m a skate rat. I watch anything that comes out.

What have you been into lately?
I was just watching all of those Shep Dawgs videos man. That dude Taylor Smith. He’s a Foundation kid. He’s super sick. I think Tum Yeto has a lot of new dudes that are amazing. Other than that, that Miles Silvas is pretty cool. I’m psyched on anybody that skates cool spots and does cool tricks. Skating’s really awesome right now and anybody can do anything. So I just like to see stuff that is interesting. Gilbert Crockett is amazing. There are tons of rad dudes out there right now.

Can you give your opinion on some of the changes AWS/Habitat have been going through this past year? Thoughts on Austyn (Gillette) leaving? Did he talk to you about it at all?
I’m super close with Brennan so he was kind of telling me what was going on the whole time. But I didn’t talk to Austyn specifically about it at all. It’s a bummer. He’s an awesome skater and it was cool having him be a part of the Habitat crew. It sucks that he didn’t want to be a part of it anymore but if he wasn’t happy then he had to do what he had to do. There’s no reason to stick around if he wasn’t enjoying it. I understand why he would leave. Things were really crazy and they have been really crazy. It’s kind of unpredictable and it gets scary sometimes just being shuffled around from being bought and sold and bought and sold. But I think a lot of people like to be like, “Oh man, Habitat’s changing.” But it really isn’t. It hasn’t changed at all. It’s still the same people running it. A lot of the OGs are still on the team. Maybe not getting as much footage and coverage as they used to or maybe people just have higher expectations than they used to.

I think honestly people just love both companies (AWS/Habitat) so much that they don’t want to lose them. Or they’re held to such a high standard too that any little change gets magnified.
I think skating has changed around them, so I think people’s expectations have changed. There is still a lot of amazing artwork and skating in everything Habitat has ever put out. And maybe now Danny Garcia is only putting something out every four years but that’s what he always did. Everyone else is putting something out every six months so maybe it makes him look like he’s not doing anything. It’s been a rough ride just trying to figure out everything that has been happening with Habitat over the past few years but right now it’s stable. It’s the same as it ever was and I think people’s worried minds create more of a problem than is actually there. And with Alien—it’s a bummer seeing those guys (AVE/Dill) leaving to do their own thing. But it’s the same thing as with Austyn. If someone’s not happy being there and they want to do something else—they should do what they want to do. They weren’t pleased and they left. It sucks, but it’s better that they’re gone then.

Styled out 50-50. Photo: Chami

You mentioned Ed and Toy Machine and that company went through huge team changes through the years, especially after Welcome to Hell. Sometimes things might have to change.
Everyone gets older and people move on. There’s always going to be an awkward stage when they’re trying to rebuild or figure out what the new team dynamic is, but as long as it has a solid core and a solid foundation it’s always going to end up back on it’s feet.

You’ve got Suciu.
Yeah. Suciu is amazing. Marius has been ripping lately and has a part in the next TransWorld video. It’s sick to see him back with that fire burning. De la (Brian Delatorre) kills it. Daryl (Angel) is an incredible skater and awesome dude. I think we’re doing good.

Are you and Mark (Suciu) pretty close?
I don’t talk to him on the phone or anything but I travel with him for Habitat and adidas so we’re together a bunch.

He seems to have an interesting approach to things.
Yeah. He’s super interesting. He’s an interesting dude. He’s a total nerd. In the most awesome way. He lives up to it and he owns it. That’s who he is. He’s super bright and I think that’s why his skating is so amazing. He thinks about how things should work. I think half the time he knows how to do whatever trick before he’s even tried it. He has already broken it down in his brain and figured it out. Watching him skate is awesome. And then it’s super rad that he has all these outside interests. He reads a lot, he’s going to school, he’s just a unique character for sure.

I like that side of him. When I first got attracted to skateboarding it was almost as much all the other outside stuff that came with it as the skating. Sometimes that gets a little lost with the mainstream contest side now.
I think skateboarding is just like this vehicle for people’s personalities. They way that they skate, the way that they stand on their board, the way they dress, the tricks they do, the spots they skate—it all shows you a lot about who they are, whether they want to show that or not. People that have unique personalities usually have unique ways of skating. So without having those outside interests, or those personality quirks or whatever it just gets pretty bland. We all know what the tricks look like, and it’s amazing to see people do amazing tricks—but you take away the personality and it’s a little less interesting.

He’ll take them to legendary spots too. Like he’s conscious of where he’s doing the trick.
He’s got a great skater eye. He knows what tricks work at what spot and he was such a skate nerd as a kid that he has probably memorized every skate video and photo. So if he thinks of a trick, he knows exactly the best place to go and do it at. He’s rad.

Back tail. Photo: Shigeo

Last time I interviewed you, you said something along the lines of people should be conscious of what they choose to support. They should realize that they have power in how they spend their money. That seems to be a big topic now with people talking about skaters supporting skater run brands. Do you think people still have a responsibility on that front?
Yeah. I think people definitely still have a responsibility. I think that since we had that conversation skating and the industry also changed a lot. Obviously, I don’t think adidas was really around at that point and Nike was still making their entrance. But I think it’s also a double-edged sword to a certain degree. As much as it’s important to support the local scenes and the core brands you like, I think that at the same time these bigger companies—the “corporate” companies, for lack of a better word—have also benefited skateboarding in a lot of ways too. There’s that other side to it. When skateboarding was small and it was our little secret, and it was all just little brands that didn’t really know how to run a business, there was also a lot of things going through the cracks and a lot of people getting ripped off. People didn’t have the same opportunities as they have now. If you look at the lifespan of a professional skateboarder back then compared to now—it’s pretty incredible that people can be in their mid to late 30s and own a house and have a family. All that stuff was not a realistic thing ten years ago. There was no way you could have that type of stability in your life. So it’s great that that’s possible now. Maybe we’ve lost some of the core elements to have that.

It’s not really a black and white argument I suppose. It’s more complicated than just “core” vs. “corporate.” Like there was that recent Pontus Alv interview were he was basically saying there was no way he could have started Polar without Converse backing him.
Exactly. And I think it’s cool that those corporations do support the smaller companies. Even indirectly. There are some really good smaller companies out there right now—FA, Polar, Magenta. There are a bunch—Palace. It’s super rad to see.

All-time Burnside trick?
Red drove his truck up the back wall and did like a rock fakie basically with a pick-up truck. I don’t know how he even got that thing in there. I don’t know. But it’s got to be Red. He did a coffin drop in recently into the big wall. That or everything Mikey Chin did on the tiny spine. There’s a video called Why Wouldn’t You on YouTube. Mikey Chin’s part in that is a must watch. He fucks that spine up. Basically a bunch of tricks that shouldn’t even be possible.

All time best Habitat rider?
Danny Renaud. Fuck it. His part in Mosaic (’03)just embodied Habitat so well.

All time Portland skater?
Mikey Chin and Matt Beach.

Scroll through more photos of Silas below:

Follow Silas: @silasbaxterneal
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