Like many major cities in the U.S., Tampa, Florida has seen its day. As suburban life becomes more and more desirable, Tampa’s downtown becomes more and more a haven for city types. Being an amateur skateboarder, and therefore a city type, Ed Selego has moved from Temple, Texas to the Gulf of Mexico’s most skatable abandoned concrete jungle. I called him at Jeff Taylor’s house in Encinitas, California to ask him if being big got in his way.
Explain to me why so many good skateboarders come out of the Tampa region.
I guess because everybody skates there, but there aren’t too many spots. Then, when they come out here, they’re psyched.
Does the SkatePark of Tampa help, too?
Oh yeah. The skatepark helps a lot. I end up there a lot.
Do you look up to other Floridian guys who have done well?
Scott Conklin, Paul Zitzer–well, Zitzer’s not from there …
We’ll give it to him anyway.
Okay. Brian Howard, Lance Conklin, Clyde Singleton.
A lot of Floridians move to California at some point and their careers take off. Do you think you’ll ever be doing the same thing?
I don’t know. If I move anywhere it will be San Francisco. That’s my kind of territory. I like to be in a city, where you can walk out your door and go skating all day.
Has there been somebody who you’ve looked to for guidance about skateboarding?
Brian Schaefer. He gives me a lot of guidance and advice, and stuff like that.
What kind of advice does he usually give?
Always good advice.
Is your ultimate goal to be a pro?
Not really. My goal’s just to have fun and keep doing what I’m doing right now.
What do you think the difference between a pro and an amateur is?
A pro has his name on a board, an am doesn’t.
Give me a description of a normal day for you. Wake up and make some phone calls to try to get picked up, because I don’t have a car. Go skating and get kicked out of all these spots downtown. Go to the skatepark and skate there for a little bit. Then, at night we usually go downtown and bomb garages and skate around downtown super late at night, so we don’t get caught.
Pete Thompson was telling me about some slam you took on a water gap. Were you blind after that?
Yeah. For like fifteen or twenty minutes I couldn’t see. And when my vision did come back to me, I was seeing like twenty of my one friend. He was standing over me, and I saw like twenty of him in a circle going over me. I don’t really remember too much of it.
When you slam hard and hurt yourself, does it make you think about other potential career routes?
Nah, not at all. I just get back up and try it again.
What are doing right now?
Trying to film for a Planet Earth video.
You’re kind of a big guy, do you think that fact has effected how you skateboard and what you do?
Ed rides for Planet Earth skateboards, Spitfire wheels, Thunder trucks, Adio shoes, and FKD bearings.