Who coined “The Sultan of Switch”? When did you kind of become that guy? Were you into the labels?
I think I’m happy with that label now. But at the time I wasn’t really interested in it. Skateboarding is one of those things I’m into for expressing myself. I’m kind of independent and rebellious by nature so the second they wanted to pigeon hole me I was like, “F—k that.” I wasn’t looking at it like, “Great. Now I can really market myself as the “Switch” guy” I just wanted to skate and continue to learn whatever felt good. But honestly, around that time, I had so many emotional problems from my childhood, as much as I wanted attention, when I got it I really didn’t know what to do with it. It affected me negatively.
I liked how you described the whole thing as a “cosmic accident”. Like everything added up to you being that guy.
Yeah. It wasn’t unconscious. But I didn’t have any intentions on doing something revolutionary. I was really I was just basically a fat kid that couldn’t grab my board (Laughs.) Any trick I could do that didn’t involve me touching my board I was stoked on. That’s really what it came down to.
You’ve explained that the cast that almost became a signature thing was for a broken scaphoid. What about the no socks trend. I feel like you were known for that one.
That was hanging out with Julien (Stranger). There are some tricks in skateboarding that aren’t really tricks. What I mean by that is like riding really loose trucks, or not wearing socks. It’s almost like deconstruction. It’s not about doing a new trick, but more about can I actually skate without all the best sports equipment. It was basically one of those.
Salman’s Welcome part from Real’s Kicked Out Of Everywhere after a short stint on The Firm. 1999.