Litterbox Pro-Series

Welcome to Litterbox Pro-Series. We know you would be stoked to have some pros answer your letters, so we rounded up a pro posse and set ’em loose. It turns out Steve Caballero, Ed Templeton, Tony Hawk, and Bob Burnquist actually like answering your letters. Some of them are pretty funny, too. Now go send some mail to 353 Airport Road, Oceanside, California 92054 or e-mail us at skatemag@twsnet.com.–Shad

SWITCH What’s up? The other day I woke up with a damn question. Some dudes out there told me that learning switch tricks is important for a skater’s career. Other guys told me that learning them was a waste of time. I saw Kanten Russell in the The Storm, and he didn’t make switch tricks at all. Steve Berra in The End made only one switch kickflip. Then I turn around and see Sean Sheffey doing all these switch tricks. That’s why I’m confused. I need some advice for this one, or maybe it’s time for me to start practicing switch stuff.–Antonio Rivas, San Diego, CA

Fala, Antonio, you’re missing out on the whole reason for skating switch–it’s learning how to skate again! Remember when you couldn’t do an ollie? Well, after you learned it, you kept going and learned something else, right? So when you get to the point where you can do all these tricks, and you think there’s nothing else you can learn, switch your stance and learn all over again–preferably from the ollie on. You’ll have fun for the rest of your life, guaranteed! No matter how much you skate, you’ll never run out of tricks to learn. Have fun!–Bob Burnquist

STARVING ARTIST Right now I am an artist, and I am into illustrations of skateboarders, tricks, and board graphics. I was wondering if you could maybe give me some information on how to get a drawn design printed on a skateboard, or any skate companies that are looking for deck graphics. Anything you can do to help me would be great.–Chris Garofalo via e-mail

As creative director of Toy Machine, I get many letters like yours from kids who are interested in drawing graphics for skateboard companies. First, I will dish out the truth, then some helpful info. The truth is most companies have already hired their artists. They are not usually looking for artists on a regular basis, and when they are, they need someone close by to work with who is well-learned in the areas of drawing, color schemes, computer and hand-done separations, silk-screening, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and someone who knows how to work quickly to get a board graphic done right.

That’s a mouthful, but don’t be discouraged. If you want something, do what it takes to get it. Here are some hints: Learn about silk-screening and how to do it; that’s how boards are printed, so you need to understand it to create a good graphic. Learn the computer programs Adobe Photoshop and especially Illustrator. Send samples of your stuff to companies, and do not care about the results–never seem desperate. Be persistent but not annoying. Just for hope, I have used a guy recently named “Fos” from England to do a whole series of boards just because he sent me an idea I liked and let me know he was capable of doing it on the computer.–Ed Templeton

STEVE BERRA VS. KEANU REEVES Speed came on TV the other day, and I wanted to know if that was Steve Berra? It looked like him. Also, who did Steve Berra get married to? Wasn’t it somebody famous?–Cory Cavanaugh, Springfield, Illinois

Although Steve is a handsome and dashing daredevil, do not mistake him for Keanu Reeves. He was not in Speed, but he will be in his upcoming directorial debut entitled 7-Teen Sips. There will also be cameos by well known-skaters and actors. The film was shot entirely in Omaha, Nebraska –Steve’s hometown.

In the middle of shooting, Steve was wed to the beautiful Juliette Lewis (of Natural Born Killers fame, although I prefer to think of her as of What’s Eating Gilbt Grape fame). Their wedding date was 9-9-99. They are registered at Pottery Barn if you’d like to send a gift.–Tony Hawk (of Gleaming The Cube fame)

GO TEAM? Do teams always skate together or just for making videos?–Sk8nSno360 via e-mail

Well, it really depends on the team and where they are essentially located. Some teams are pretty close and live in the same city, which makes it easy for them to always be together, while other teams have their riders spread out all over the country. So it can be difficult at times and can get very expensive for a skate company to have their riders that live in different areas skate together all the time. Teams usually skate together when making skate videos, going on tours, skating contests, but some teams actually skate with each other all the time. As for Powell, we have riders who live in England, Spain, Italy, Canada, Australia, Texas, and California. I hardly see those guys, but when I do, we have a blast. The way I see it, skaters are all part of a team of individuals! Take care, and skate for fun.–Cab

YO! I WANNA BE PRO I’ve been reading your magazine for a while now and skating for a couple years. I was wondering if you could help me out. I love skateboarding and want to be pro someday, the only problem is I live in Wisconsin. Do you think it’s possible to turn pro and not move to California?–Todd, Small Town, Wisconsin

It is possible, but more difficult. Most of the companies and magazines are based in Southern California, and it’s easier to get recognition and coverage if you are based nearby. There are a handful of pros who have made successful careers without migrating west, but I believe they have to work harder at being noticed. If you can bust out and find a decent photographer who is willing to shoot you in your “small town” on a regular basis, then you may have a shot.–Tony Hawk

WHAT SHOE LOOKIN’ AT? I have a problem, I rip my shoes. When I finally get a pair of shoes that I think I will never be able to wear out, I rip the ollie and kickflip area in less than a month. The more durable the shoes is, the longer it takes to rip, but I have to sacrifice for feel and board control. I pay for my own shoes, and I hate having to spend lots of money on shoes every month. What is my problem? Do I skate too much or something? Do I slide my foot up too hard? I could really use some advice.–Kyle Lubbe via e-mail

You know, Kyle, every skateboarder has the same problem, sponsored or not. Skate shoes are not really made to last forever, especially if you are a diehard skater who skates every day for hours and loves doing flip tricks! Griptape is the bad guy here, but you need it for board control. Over my years of skating, I’ve used everything from duct tape to Shoe-Goo to super-glue on the stitching just to make my shoes last a little longer. I know how expensive shoes can be, especially for all those super-tech athletic-looking skate shoes with all the flashing things on them. The more flashy the shoe looks, the more easily it’s going to rip up. It’s because of all the exposed stitch lines, not because you skate too much or how you ollie. I’ve been designing shoes for over ten years now, and yes, you do have to sacrifice function for style at times. Whatever you do, don’t change your skating style or how much you skate, just look for a shoe that suits you best at a more affordable price. I think the term “skate and destroy” says it best! Take care, and skate for fun.–Cab

FLOP HAIRCUTS RULE! Why are so many people idiots? I read Litterbox every month, and I have noticed people need to learn about capitalism. Skateboarding becoming a mainstream sport is one of the best things to happen. Skateboard manufacturers are becoming rich, and skating is gaining more respect. As long as people don’t get the so-called “flop” haircut, skateboarding will continue to grow as well.

Many faithful Thrasher punks think this is bad, because they

will no longer be the laughingstock of society. Don’t worry, wearing 36-inch pants will let you keep this status, so stop complaining about the growth and keep doing body varials.–John via e-mail

John, you are very perceptive. I’m not sure why so many people insist on keeping skateboarding underground. It will never lose its ‘core aspect no matter how the public perceives it. I guess they would rather have the pros and skate companies struggle to make a living than finally be compensated for their efforts. However, I have to disagree with you on one aspect: if everyone got the flop, skating would be more popular than Pokémon. Oh, and body varials are so out that they’re in.–Tony Hawk

PRODY WINNER Shad, tell me if I’m wrong, but you got all that crap for free, Right? So if there is anything of value (not from what I can tell), you could sell this stuff and make 100-percent profit. I mean, considering you seem to do nothing all day but send e-mail to yourself, and bash people with holes in their heads (nice job, by the way, some of them really needed that). Anyhow, on to the real stuff. Because I’m so freakin’ lazy and don’t feel like looking for anything to send you, packaging it up, putting the correct amount of postage on it, and never getting any of the crap I send you back, I’m giving you a list of some of my crap that might interest you (plus an amazing facsimile of a five-dollar bill).

1) A voodoo doll.

2) A wallet made completely out of duct tape.

3) A Seventeenth century broad sword.

4) An old-school 1985 cobra-fin skateboard with eight-inch trucks.

If any of that crap sounds interesting to you, let me know. –Andrew Moch via e-mail

I like your attitude, Andrew. Your complete lack of effort and smart-ass remarks are exactly what I’m looking for. Here’s what I’m sending you:

1) Slim Jim meat product.

2) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater sticker.

3) The Storm mouse pad.

4) A couple used skate-videos that have not been rewound.

Oh yeah, send me the Cobra skateboard and that sword, you lazy couch jockey.–Shad

PRODY WINNER I was wondering if you could send me some of that freestuff you want to give away. Icould use aT-shirt or something likethat.Anything will work besides a fingerboard– those thingsare number two on the all time dumb list, number one is Soap shoes. If you want something in return here’sa picture of a hot chick.–Lawrence Wilkowske, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

P.S. Thanks for putting the letter I wrote in your mag a year or so back. It got me pimp status for three days at my school.

Lawrence, I’m putting this letter in here because I think you deserve pimp status at your school for another three days, and you understand that Soap shoes are dumb. Keep it real homie, and have fun with the fingerboard I’m sending you.–Shad

sher punks think this is bad, because they

will no longer be the laughingstock of society. Don’t worry, wearing 36-inch pants will let you keep this status, so stop complaining about the growth and keep doing body varials.–John via e-mail

John, you are very perceptive. I’m not sure why so many people insist on keeping skateboarding underground. It will never lose its ‘core aspect no matter how the public perceives it. I guess they would rather have the pros and skate companies struggle to make a living than finally be compensated for their efforts. However, I have to disagree with you on one aspect: if everyone got the flop, skating would be more popular than Pokémon. Oh, and body varials are so out that they’re in.–Tony Hawk

PRODY WINNER Shad, tell me if I’m wrong, but you got all that crap for free, Right? So if there is anything of value (not from what I can tell), you could sell this stuff and make 100-percent profit. I mean, considering you seem to do nothing all day but send e-mail to yourself, and bash people with holes in their heads (nice job, by the way, some of them really needed that). Anyhow, on to the real stuff. Because I’m so freakin’ lazy and don’t feel like looking for anything to send you, packaging it up, putting the correct amount of postage on it, and never getting any of the crap I send you back, I’m giving you a list of some of my crap that might interest you (plus an amazing facsimile of a five-dollar bill).

1) A voodoo doll.

2) A wallet made completely out of duct tape.

3) A Seventeenth century broad sword.

4) An old-school 1985 cobra-fin skateboard with eight-inch trucks.

If any of that crap sounds interesting to you, let me know. –Andrew Moch via e-mail

I like your attitude, Andrew. Your complete lack of effort and smart-ass remarks are exactly what I’m looking for. Here’s what I’m sending you:

1) Slim Jim meat product.

2) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater sticker.

3) The Storm mouse pad.

4) A couple used skate-videos that have not been rewound.

Oh yeah, send me the Cobra skateboard and that sword, you lazy couch jockey.–Shad

PRODY WINNER I was wondering if you could send me some of that freestuff you want to give away. Icould use aT-shirt or something likethat.Anything will work besides a fingerboard– those thingsare number two on the all time dumb list, number one is Soap shoes. If you want something in return here’sa picture of a hot chick.–Lawrence Wilkowske, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

P.S. Thanks for putting the letter I wrote in your mag a year or so back. It got me pimp status for three days at my school.

Lawrence, I’m putting this letter in here because I think you deserve pimp status at your school for another three days, and you understand that Soap shoes are dumb. Keep it real homie, and have fun with the fingerboard I’m sending you.–Shad