Andrew Reynolds Pro Spotlight

Vol. 2 … The Life And Times of A. Reynoldsby Atiba Jefferson

Andrew Reynolds has control. He has the utter command of a skateboard under his feet and a level of confidence that allows him to push the limits of what is considered possible. He also has control of his life¿much more than most people his age. He moved from Florida to California at the age of eighteen and now lives on his own in Los Angeles. These are huge changes for anyone, but he has always had a clear view of his direction in life.

The scariest part of all this is that he doesn’t really have to strive for his success. His skating has matured so that he knows what he is capable of and chooses his conquests carefully. You know that when you see Andrew skate, you will bear witness to extraordinary talent and grace. He has helped skateboarding evolve to new levels simply by doing things that come naturally to him.

His intentions were never to be famous, he just wanted to get better at skating. From the first time I saw him¿a scrawny, hyper kid doing perfect frontside flips over a pyramid¿I knew he had the raw talent and motivation to continue progressing. Rarely do you see skaters with these qualities, and even rarer are those who continue to challenge themselves, even after reaching the level of success that Andrew has. It represents control on all levels.¿Tony Hawk

How’d you get to California?

Four years ago, I drove my ’95 Honda Civic out from Florida with my friend Victor and Atiba. Then I moved into an apartment Birdhouse was paying for. It was me and a couple of guys in Huntinton Beach, like Jim Greco, Ali Carns, and Brian Sumner. Then Ali Boulala moved in there, so that was fun.

Is that basically the first time you met all the friends you kick it with now?

Well, I knew all those guys from traveling in Europe, going on trips with them, and when they’d come visit California. We already knew each other, so it was real cool.

So you stayed in Huntington pretty much?

Yeah well, that apartment was out of control sometimes. We got kicked out of there because it was too loud. We lived above these maniacs who would complain all the time. Then Birdhouse was off that, so we got a new place with three bedrooms for 900 dollars per month. It was a big place, and 900? That’s cheap. It was closer to the park in the barrio. There was so much room, and everybody was just lovin’ that place.

Is that when the Piss Drunx started?

No, Piss Drunx started with this guy Punker Matt and Ali Boulala in Phoenix, and it had something to do with Randy Colvin. I don’t really know the history of it. But they Matt and Ali came back just going out of control with Piss Drunx everything.

What was the day-to-day thing at the barrio?

Just wake up and chill around the house with whoever was there. Watch Jim do whatever, then maybe go skate the Huntington Park, sell things to kids who came and knocked on the door, and just have a good time with all your friends.

What’s it like to just do nothing?

Oh, it’s great. You go out and skate¿you work¿then you come home.

But no responsibility? I mean, you can just sleep in and go eat.

Yeah. Go out to eat all day, sleep in as late as you want, stay up as late as you want, and just do whatever.

Then what happened to the barrio? Did you get evicted again?

No, I don’t think we got kicked out of there, we were just ready to move. But it was sick. In certain parts of the barrio there were empty swimming pools, and one was perfect. We were just shredding it up for a couple of days¿right in our apartment complex. Then they filled it up with dirt.

Peaced it right out. Then after the barrio you moved to Warner?

Yeah. See, in that apartment in the barrio Ali Carns, Jim Greco, and Sumner were all in the same room. Then I had my own room which was small, and Jay Strickland had another room. Then we moved to this apartment on Warner¿it was real cool. Me and Brian shad a room, and Jay had his own room. Ali and Jim would always be there¿they slept in the living room. Dustin would always be around, too. It was the same exact thing as the barrio. I thought, “Yeah, we’ll get a new place, we’ll be all mellow and cool.” Not even, it was just the same. Everybody on the floor everywhere. The place was right across from where Erik Ellington, Elissa, Shane Hale, Scott Coplemen, and bunch of other people would always stay. We ended up hooking up with all those guys. Then it was just a huge crew after that.

That’s when everyone started skating together?

Yeah.

Where’d you move after that?

Well, I moved over to a pretty mellow apartment for a bit. All those guys still lived on Warner, and I moved a mile-and-a-half away. It was just me and Brian’s apartment¿it was really Brian’s apartment. It was real mellow.

What was the best place of them all?

The barrio and Warner.

So basically there’re always people raging and staying the night. Would you ever get bummed on it?

Yeah, sometimes when I’d be the one who was trying to sleep that night.

Did you ever have to flex on anyone?

Not really. Just sort of be a real dick and say, “You know what? It’s time for everybody to leave now.”

You had to pull that?

Yeah.

At least that was just a free-for-all party.

No way, not at my house. My friends only.

So you’re living in Hollywood? Who’s that with?

I just live by myself. It’s cool. I like it.

And basically everybody else moved up here, right?

Yeah. Elissa, Eric, Tony, and Jeff Lenoce all have a place right down the street. Erik and I were at a bar in Hollywood one night, and we both thought to ourselves, “What are we doing in Huntington? Let’s get out of there.”

So not too much has changed in the lifestyle?

No. Well, just different scenery, a lot of different things to do, and it’s easier to go skate all the time. But it hasn’t changed much.

What do your friends mean to you? Are your friends one of the most fun things about the way you live?

Yeah, definitely. I mean, what could you do if you just moved into some town and you didn’t know any of the kids who skated, or who were into things you were into? You’d just be like, “This sucks. What am I going to do? Just become some sort of loner or something?” But just having people around making me laugh is so fun. Like Elissa, she cannot be by herself at all. She wants somebody to walk to the laundry room with her, ’cause she’s scared at night.

Do you think it’s great how you have your lifestyle¿as far as skating, taking care of your business, and kicking it all day? It’s the ideal thing for having homies, ’cause it’s not like, “Dudes, I have to go to work.”

Yeah, I know. It’s the same thing every day. Just call up whoever is living over with Eric and them. “What’s up, what are you guys going to do?” Then just figure out some sort of plan, like “Let’s go shopping, let’s go here, let’s go skating.”

What’s in the tape deck?

It’s either Dre Dog Cocaine Raps Volume 1, Young Bloods, or Guns N’ Roses Lies. I got a weird selection of tapes because I only buy CDs, so the tapes that are in my car are random.

What’s in the CD changer?

I freaked out trying to find all of my CDs that were missing and putting them back in the right cases. I have a hip-hop one.

A hip-hop magazine?

Yeah, yeah, all the pages of CDs, then I have just another one with all different types of music. I just got it all organized, so I don’t want to take them out of there and put them in the disc changer, ’cause it took me some time.

Okay, if you were stranded in your Cadillac in rush hour for two days on the 405, what tape would you want to listen to nonstop if you had to pick one?

God, that’s hard. I don’t know what to say about that, seriously. Maybe I’d like Bob Marley’s Legend, so I could be all peaceful and not go crazy.

That’s a good pick. How was it shooting this Spotlight, how’d it go?

It was real mellow.

It didn’t even seem like you were doing one.

No. Well, it’s not, “You have three weeks to get all these photos.” It’s just like whatevs. I’ll tell you whenever I get around to it, I’ll do something. How long do you think it was from the first photo to the last photo?

I know exactly when it was. The first thing we tried shooting for the Spotlight was the kickflip noseslide last May, so it’s been a year.

A year? Waaahhh.

And actually the 360 flip noseslide in Venice was March ’99.

God, I’m slippin’. I was way better a year and a quarter ago.

You think so?

I don’t know. Certain things I can do now I wouldn’t do back then, but there’s some stuff back then I wouldn’t do now.

Is there a trick you’ve lost in the last year?

No, not really lost. It’s all there, but I could be a little bit shady at certain things like …. I don’t know, I can’t think of anything.

Heelflip varial ten stairs?

That’s just no matter what. If I tried it down a six-stair right now, I couldn’t take it¿like 30 goes or something.

What do you like the most about skating? You always have gnarly shit, but is that what you like to skate the most?

Yeah. I like to skate all the stuff you see in the pictures¿it’s good stuff to skate. Street skating, that’s it. But what I like about it is … I don’t know, it’s something you just do. It’s just fun, and it doesn’t get old.

How often do you skate?

Maybe twice a week. Well, sometimes I get on a roll and skate for five days in a row.

Do you think that’s better, though?

Yeah. When I was little I could skate all day long and not even be sore the next day. Now if I skate all day long, I’ll be sore, so I have to take a couple of days off. Then I’m looking forward to skating again, because I had a bit of a rest, and I’m excited to go do it.

Are there ever times when you’re just like, “I don’t want to deal with it anymore”?

No.

I mean not forever, but like, “I don’t want to skate for two weeks” or something?

Yeah, I’ve said that before. I think maybe the most I’ve gone without skating is … I’m not sure, there’s always some carpet-skating involved, that always goes on no matter what, no matter how bad of shape you’re in.

How long without being hurt?

I’d say ten days. But I know I must’ve went out and skated up to grocery store and popped a couple kickflips, but that’s about it.

Do you ever worry about the kickflip being gone when you wake up one day?

No, the first couple tries of the day are always real mob and turned backside. It’s so terrible.

How is demo skating?

It’s cool. Sometimes if I’m not feeling really good about skating, then I’m off it. But usually I can skate.

Do you have fun at them?

Yeah, I have fun. Unless it’s really out of control where everybody is on the course, and you can’t even skate, but I like it. It’s cool.

What about contests?

They’re not too fun. You feel good after you do them. “Yeah, I pulled that off, that was sketchy.” But it’s just being forced to try to land all your tricks in a certain amount of time. It’s crazy. It’s good if you win money and want to be real serious about it, so that’s good.

You were a pretty hardcore contest dude.

Oh, if I go to one and I feel good the first couple days I’m there, then I’ll try to take it serious. Or I can go and be so off I don’t even want to skate on the course¿it just depends.

What are you going to do for Europe?

It just depends. I’d like to skate in one contest.

Tampa was awesome, huh?

Yeah. That worked out. I got fifth place and some cash¿700 dollars.

What’s the most you’ve won?

Maybe 3,000 dollars one time.

Oh that’s it?

See, there’s all these Hard Rock contests and all these crazy ones for like 15,000 dollars, but I only win the real ghetto ones. I’ve only won maybe three in my life. But they’re always ghetto, low amounts of money. I’m backward. I should go to the big money ones, and then stay away from the other omellow.

It didn’t even seem like you were doing one.

No. Well, it’s not, “You have three weeks to get all these photos.” It’s just like whatevs. I’ll tell you whenever I get around to it, I’ll do something. How long do you think it was from the first photo to the last photo?

I know exactly when it was. The first thing we tried shooting for the Spotlight was the kickflip noseslide last May, so it’s been a year.

A year? Waaahhh.

And actually the 360 flip noseslide in Venice was March ’99.

God, I’m slippin’. I was way better a year and a quarter ago.

You think so?

I don’t know. Certain things I can do now I wouldn’t do back then, but there’s some stuff back then I wouldn’t do now.

Is there a trick you’ve lost in the last year?

No, not really lost. It’s all there, but I could be a little bit shady at certain things like …. I don’t know, I can’t think of anything.

Heelflip varial ten stairs?

That’s just no matter what. If I tried it down a six-stair right now, I couldn’t take it¿like 30 goes or something.

What do you like the most about skating? You always have gnarly shit, but is that what you like to skate the most?

Yeah. I like to skate all the stuff you see in the pictures¿it’s good stuff to skate. Street skating, that’s it. But what I like about it is … I don’t know, it’s something you just do. It’s just fun, and it doesn’t get old.

How often do you skate?

Maybe twice a week. Well, sometimes I get on a roll and skate for five days in a row.

Do you think that’s better, though?

Yeah. When I was little I could skate all day long and not even be sore the next day. Now if I skate all day long, I’ll be sore, so I have to take a couple of days off. Then I’m looking forward to skating again, because I had a bit of a rest, and I’m excited to go do it.

Are there ever times when you’re just like, “I don’t want to deal with it anymore”?

No.

I mean not forever, but like, “I don’t want to skate for two weeks” or something?

Yeah, I’ve said that before. I think maybe the most I’ve gone without skating is … I’m not sure, there’s always some carpet-skating involved, that always goes on no matter what, no matter how bad of shape you’re in.

How long without being hurt?

I’d say ten days. But I know I must’ve went out and skated up to grocery store and popped a couple kickflips, but that’s about it.

Do you ever worry about the kickflip being gone when you wake up one day?

No, the first couple tries of the day are always real mob and turned backside. It’s so terrible.

How is demo skating?

It’s cool. Sometimes if I’m not feeling really good about skating, then I’m off it. But usually I can skate.

Do you have fun at them?

Yeah, I have fun. Unless it’s really out of control where everybody is on the course, and you can’t even skate, but I like it. It’s cool.

What about contests?

They’re not too fun. You feel good after you do them. “Yeah, I pulled that off, that was sketchy.” But it’s just being forced to try to land all your tricks in a certain amount of time. It’s crazy. It’s good if you win money and want to be real serious about it, so that’s good.

You were a pretty hardcore contest dude.

Oh, if I go to one and I feel good the first couple days I’m there, then I’ll try to take it serious. Or I can go and be so off I don’t even want to skate on the course¿it just depends.

What are you going to do for Europe?

It just depends. I’d like to skate in one contest.

Tampa was awesome, huh?

Yeah. That worked out. I got fifth place and some cash¿700 dollars.

What’s the most you’ve won?

Maybe 3,000 dollars one time.

Oh that’s it?

See, there’s all these Hard Rock contests and all these crazy ones for like 15,000 dollars, but I only win the real ghetto ones. I’ve only won maybe three in my life. But they’re always ghetto, low amounts of money. I’m backward. I should go to the big money ones, and then stay away from the other ones. But the ones with all the money are so cheesy and cameramen follow you around, so it’s better off not to go to them.

How do you feel about all that shit?

I skated in the X-Games a couple of times and got money out of it. They pay a lot. Even if you get fifth place, you’re probably going to get 1,000 dollars or something. Taking their money’s good, but besides that, it’s pretty lame.

Do you look at that stuff when you see MTV and go “God …. ”

The announcers announcing your name are so football-style. ESPN is just for jocks. It’s terrible, basically.

How do you feel about video games and stuff like that. You would’ve never thought about video games.

Yeah. I don’t even play the skate game, but it looks like it’s a really fun game. I see a lot of my friends get addicted to it.

It’s like crack, huh?

Yeah, the fiends.

Do you look at that as cheesy?

No, it’s cool. I don’t think it’s as bad as one of those little action figures, ’cause it’s actually real cool. You’re flying around in the sky with all your special tricks, but I still think kids should go out and skate. I think kids should be out skating in the streets instead, but hey, buy it up. Thank you, Activision. Nice people down there.

Then what about the shoe biz? Did you ever think you’d have your own shoe?

When I started skating, it wasn’t really a thing. Cab shoes were a type of Vans shoes. Nobody had it a pro-model shoe, so I didn’t know anything about it. Around the time when my skating was at a point where someone would offer me a shoe, I saw what was going on. Emerica offered me one eventually. Now it’s so out of control, it seems like it’d be really hard, ’cause everyone who’s supposed to have one already has one.

How was designing it?

I had a lot of ideas about how I wanted it. So I’d just sit down with a pen and paper and draw it¿every little thing. Then I’d take it in, and I’d have top views, the sides, the back, the tongue¿all drawn out. Then I told him the designer the kind of thickness I wanted, so they made a sample. I looked at it and was like, “No, no, no. Change this, this, this, all this stuff.” Then maybe the third one was perfect with minor changes, and oh, it’s the best shoe.

Do you talk to kids a lot?

All the time. I have a crowd of six kids around me sometimes, and I’m just having a conversation with all of them. Just asking them about their favorite music and what tricks they can do. It’s fun. I like kids a lot.

Do you want to talk about Ali Boulala? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen him do? Or Jim?

There’re so many things.

What’s up with your new car?

’99 Cadillac ElDorado. It’s great. Real smooth ride. I’m only going to have Cadillac’s from here on out. Well, maybe if I make enough money I want a couple cars, like a Lincoln Navigator, a ’79 or an ’80 big Fleetwood Caddy. I want anything. I want that kind of money. Enough to were you can say to any of your homies, “You guys want to go pick up a car today or something?” That would be great.

So you’re likin’ the ’99?

Yeah, it’s good. It’s real good.

What color?

Some sort of forest green, tan leather interior.

Are you going to get a DVD player?

No, I’m off it. I use the VCR at home.

Where’s all your footage from this interview going?

Well, if anybody is reading this who has seen the Baker Bootleg video that me and our crew came out with a while ago, well, there’s going to be Baker 2000 video, Baker 2G. It’s going to be the best video that’s ever existed. It’s going to have a lot of good people in there, like Dustin Dolin, Jeff Lenoce, Eric Ellington, Elissa Steamer, Jim Greco, Mike Maldonado, and all these other people. Go buy it.

So that’s where all your footage is going to?

Yeah. I’m trying to save some stuff. Hopefully, I can make a part that people like.

Who are your favorite skaters right now?

Ali Boulala, Dustin Dolin, and Jeff Lenoce. Who else? Mike Carroll’s part in the TransWorld video was really sick, very advanced flick he has, seriously. I like Brian Anderson’s skating.

Who do you like skating with?

I like