Pioneer: Frankie Hill, Full Interview—Supersizing Skateboarding

Who sparked you on the handrail front?
There was a couple of different things. Natas Kaupas had the photo of the boardslide and the 50-50 at the Federal Building in Westwood. But seeing Brandon Chapman boardslide that rail in Public Domain too.

So you just picked it up and ran with it from there?
Yeah. It took me a while just to be big enough to ollie up on them. I wanted to super bad. I used to go to the San Marcos rails and try to ollie all the way to the end and just sack and wreck myself.  After about fifteen tries one time Brandon was just like, “Stop man. You’re obviously not going to make it onto there.”

Too small to ollie on, Frankie jumpslides the 11 stair rail from Public Domain for his first Powell Peralta ad.

For Ban This were you pretty much on your own by then for that part?
Basically they told me that I was going to have the opening part of the video. Which once again was just a whole new level to be on. Like, “Are you f—king kidding me?”

Did you realize how big Powell and those videos were at the time?
Yeah. I had been on Dogtown for a while. Brandon and Jake were kind of the Powell guys. They took me up to San Francisco one weekend and we hung out with Tommy Guerrero and Jim Thibaud. Tommy at that point was just rock star status. So I was aware of what it all meant for sure.

Right around then that Police Academy movie came out too. It was almost like every kid in America knew who those dudes were.
Yeah. I remember showing up at the Powell mini ramp at the factory and it was just surreal. I remember walking up and seeing Caballero and Lance laughing back and forth as they skated. It was exactly like something out of Animal Chin. Mindboggling.

I think I just saw footage of that day. You did like a kickflip to fakie.
Yeah. They just released it on their site. That was the very first f—king day I saw those guys. I was totally tripping. It was like you were in a movie. Lance was doing exactly the same shit he did in the videos. I was watching it like holy crap. (Continued on Page 4.)

Footage from the first day Frankie skated with Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Danny Way, Mike Vallely, etc. Frankie appears at 2:07.