Interview with Paul Rodriguez

So whatcha been up to lately, Paul? You been travelin' a lot?

Not really traveling too much, I just basically went to Australia. I did go to Texas, but that was a couple months back in December.

You just recently got on èS. How did that come about? Did Koston see you skating, or was it by word of mouth?

How did I get on, you mean?

Yeah.

Well, I went to shoot with Atiba one day, and Heath and Ryan Denman were telling him how I always wanted to ride for èS. I guess Atiba talked to Koston. I went and skated with Eric one day, and he hooked me up. He called the èS team manager, and then he called me. They hooked me up, you know? I was so pysched!

Have you beat Koston in a game of SKATE yet?

Nah, I haven't played him.

That's what Mikey said, too. I was hopin' you guys might've beat him. Hey, where are you originally from?

Northridge, California.

Who do you usually skate with these days?

I pretty much skate every day with Daniel, Spanky, and Scuba Steve. Oh, and I've been skating a lot with Bryan Herman.

Hey, can you drop in vert?

I have once–I almost got wrecked. When I went to drop in, I dropped past the vert and landed in the tranny part, but I still landed it. I almost got rocked, but I did it. I haven't done it since, though (laughs).

So your dad is the actor/comedian Paul Rodriguez?

Yeah.

Is he psyched on you skating right now? I know for a while, he thought it was just a phase, but is he more psyched on it now?

He gets psyched when he sees me in the magazines, but he really doesn't care too much. He's like, “Whatever.”

Do you think he'd ever do a 411 segment?

I don't know–I've never asked him. He probably would do it, though.

What was the first skate video you ever saw?

It was an old H-street video. I don't remember the name of it–I just remember that I saw Donger kickflip over a fence off some launch ramp. It had already been out for so long, but my friend's cousin used to skate when he was younger and he showed it to us. We would just watch it over and over.

All right. I've got a couple trivia questions for you: Do you know who Jay Adams is?

(Laughs) I'd have to say no.

He was one of the original Dogtown skateboarders.

Oh, really?

Here's another one: Who was the first person to do a kickflip?

Ahh, I'm not sure (laughs).

Rodney Mullen. Didn't you see the new On Video?

Yeah, I wanted to say Rodney, but I didn't want to say that and be wrong. (Laughs) Then everyone would be like, “He's an idiot!”

If you could be any pro skater, who would you be?

Tom Penny. He's the most awesome skater. He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone–he's just Tom.

Who are your sponsors right now?

City Stars, èS, Fourstar, Royal trucks, Ricta wheels, Val Surf, and Northridge skatepark.

Hey, do you still have all those little ramps set up at your house?

Yeah. I got my box and my flatbar–everything's set up.

Have you learned a lot of tricks on those things?

Pretty much anything I'll try on a rail or any ledge trick, I'll learn there.

So you get home-schooled, right?

Yeah.

Do you think that gives you an advantage? Like more time to skate so you learn faster?

Not really because I don't wake up until 12:00 or 1:00 p.m. anyway (laughs).

How does that work? Do you just do your lessons and then go skate?

Nah, I don't do my lessons ֦til the last day 'cause I only have school once a week. I don't do my work until the night before I have to go.

Do you think you're learning as much as you would in a normal school?

No. Definitely not.

You just get to skate more, so you're psyched?

Yeah, because I don't have to worry about, “Crap. I can only skate 'til eight o'clock tonight, guys. I gotta go home.” Lately, we've been shredding all night. Actually, I do have an advantage that lets me skate more–even though I wake up so late, we go out and skate 'til late, too.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Hopefully, healthy and still shreddin'.

What goes through your head when you're jumpin' down stuff?

I'm thinkin', “Please don't get hurt,” you know (laughs)? I just ask God not to let me get hurt.

Do you think you try harder when it's bigger 'cause you've got to land it?

It just depends on how much confidence you have on a trick.