Stacy Lowery Roll Call

It's All Good

There's somewhat of a natural evolution for professional skateboarders to ultimately take the next step-start their own companies and chalk up their own teams. After years of interaction with shifty and shady company management, they are certainly well placed, common sense-wise, to know the dos and don'ts of managing skateboarders. Stacy Lowery has become one of the latest pros to throw his hat into that entrepreneurial ring of fire. With the recent baby shower for Bueno Skateboards, Stacy finds himself on the other side of the paycheck stub and answers some questions about how the seeds were planted, where he plans to take it, and what the future holds for a man known far and wide for being the proprietor of one of Long Beach's heftiest ollies.

What is the general concept behind Bueno?

Some of the inspiration behind it had to do with recreating the stuff we thought was cool when we were growing up-just companies with cool artwork and where all of the riders brought something unique to the table. Not something where everybody has on a team uniform-nothing cookie-cutter. Just keeping the emphasis on fun and letting the skating stand on its own.

How did it come about?

I was involved with Giant |Distribution| because they were bringing Project Hardware there. While negotiating for that, we'd kind of asked as a sidebar if they were going to do any more board companies. They sort of asked if we had any ideas, and things at Santa Cruz were just becoming increasingly difficult for me. It all came down to Mike |Sieben| doing the artwork. I think I told myself that if he would be down to do all the art, I'd go ahead and try to launch the project. To my surprise, I called him up and he was down, so that was pretty much it. Him being involved was almost as important as the team is to me. He's like my Ed |Templeton|.

How did Shiloh Greathouse get into the mix?

I've known Shiloh for a while, just seeing him around and skating together. Then, right around the time we were putting the team together, his First Love part came out, and I was just like, "Wow." I called him up and asked him if he would want to be a part of what we were doing. I thought it would be a good fit since Shiloh was looking for a place to start over and switching everything up for himself. Getting on something new without anything attached to it seemed like a good way of getting that done the right way. He has this whole new approach to everything right now. I think Bueno fits with that.

What is the first memory you have of seeing a skateboard?

I remember seeing all the older guys in my neighborhood cruising by my house. I remember not knowing what they were doing. They would cruise by in a huge pack, and I wanted to know what kind of trouble they were up to. It was in this little neighborhood in Texas, and these kids were doing something completely different that I wanted to be involved with.

What kind of transition led you from Texas to Long Beach, California?

Around '96, I finally moved out from Texas to Atlanta. The Powell team came through for a demo, which actually got rained out, and I ended up talking to Mike V. for a while. From there, I started up a relationship with them. It was a big decision-making time for me in my life. Like, do I want to pursue skateboarding seriously or do I want to go to school and take another route? At the time, one thing Mike V. told me was that if you really wanted to make it, there was only one way and that was to move out to California where all the companies were at and force the issue in person. I made the decision a short while after and ended up moving to Santa Barbara. From there, I was traveling down south to skate with Mike, and Santa Barbara seemed kind of limited in terms of skating, so eventually I moved to Long Beach.

So Mike Vallely was one of your early mentors in the game?

Yeah, for sure. Just being on the road with him, he showed me a lot of what tdo, and he showed me a lot of things not to do. At what he does, he puts everything he's got into it. And that's kind of something I took as a lesson. He's a very committed person.

Do you have any sort of physical regimen that keeps your skating power based?

Not really. I watch a lot of television |laughs|. I think that might help. No, really, I just try to keep it going. You have to skate a lot. You really have to skate every day. As long as you stay 100 percent in it, I think it just keeps going for you. And of course I take steroids |laughs|. I'm juiced right now.

What's the best thing about living in Long Beach?

I think my favorite thing about it is that it's really centrally located. There's not all that much to skate right in Long Beach, but you have pretty easy access to either Orange County or Los Angeles. Long Beach is like a little city. It's not as beachy as Orange County, but it's not as hectic as L.A. It's just a real nice middle ground.

Describe the first time you saw Terry Kennedy.

Terry was a really funny kid. He must have been around fourteen years old. He was just a really skinny, loud-mouthed kid, you know? For some reason I've always been attracted to people who are loud-mouthed and talk a lot of shit. It's funny to me. But Terry was like this little, skinny, black Giovanni Reda. He was one of the characters that made Cherry Park a scene.

Is skateboarding still evolving, or is the progression getting more and more based on variations?

I think it's just always on this cycle-like it seems to really speed up at times, and then it will slow down while everybody digests all the new stuff, and finally, people start to refine and edit everything that got thrown out there. All the corny stuff gets weeded out and then eventually the fire gets lit again. I think it absolutely needs those cycles. I mean, if it just continued unchecked, it would end up like Rollerblading or something. There are those times when skateboarding is just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.

What do you think just got thrown at the wall? And what didn't stick?

Manuals are back and better than ever. They're all over the wall right now. I think one of the things that has sort of gone by the wayside, though, is handrails. Not that they're gone, but I think skating rails solely for the sake of skating rails is over-hopefully. I don't think rails will make you famous anymore. A lot of careers were sort of made on a twenty-stair rail, and I don't think that's really the case anymore. Like, pack your bags, head to El Toro, and get famous. I think that part is pretty much done. I kind of base a lot of that on the sponsor-me tapes I've been getting. It's pretty telling what kids think you want to see, and right now it's a lot of manual stuff.

With more and more public parks and less and less non-bust street spots, do you think pure street skating can continue unabated?

That's a tough one. I mean, we were talking about it the other day with what's going on in Spain, where they've vowed to shut it down. I don't know. I have to feel like the people that go out and skate street every day are still going to be doing that, but I also have to admit that from a video standpoint, skateparks almost have to become more relevant.

Do you think the day will come when entire video parts are shot in a park?

I think with situations like the Ohio Skate Plaza, that could become more of a possibility. But right now, I mean honestly, would TransWorld run a photo from the Plaza if it weren't an article about the Plaza? I guess if it ever did get acceptable, it would almost have to happen. It would be a lot less stressful. I don't think there will ever be a replacement for, like, cruising down the street in S.F. or something. But I suppose eventually the ratio of real street to man-made street spots in the media will have to shift.

What was the first video you watched enough times to memorize?

Public Domain.

How did you do in the Reese Forbes high-ollie challenge?

I tied with Rob Gonzales for third. As a side note, I know for a fact that |Danny| Wainwright can ollie higher than that. I'm not saying I could ollie higher than him and, honestly, I don't think anyone could, but I think it's time they had another one.

What's your stance on contests?

I like going to contests. I'm not too into skating in them. I have a hard time putting two tricks together. Skateboarding is hard |laughs|. But I think, to each his own. I mean, if that's your thing, then I think they're good for positive competitiveness. It really just depends on your own approach to skateboarding.

Do you have any regrets looking back over your career in skateboarding?

No. I don't think skateboarding owes anybody anything, so being regretful over anything I got out of it to me would be wrong.

If you had three magical wishes, what would they be?

Health, wealth, and happiness.

?

Public Domain.

How did you do in the Reese Forbes high-ollie challenge?

I tied with Rob Gonzales for third. As a side note, I know for a fact that |Danny| Wainwright can ollie higher than that. I'm not saying I could ollie higher than him and, honestly, I don't think anyone could, but I think it's time they had another one.

What's your stance on contests?

I like going to contests. I'm not too into skating in them. I have a hard time putting two tricks together. Skateboarding is hard |laughs|. But I think, to each his own. I mean, if that's your thing, then I think they're good for positive competitiveness. It really just depends on your own approach to skateboarding.

Do you have any regrets looking back over your career in skateboarding?

No. I don't think skateboarding owes anybody anything, so being regretful over anything I got out of it to me would be wrong.

If you had three magical wishes, what would they be?

Health, wealth, and happiness.