Profilin’ With Guy Mariano

Brothers and sisters, thanks for all the support on the column! To properly thank you, we bring you the newest “Profilin’,” featuring one of our greatest—Guy Mariano!

Words and photos by Neftalie Williams

Hey brother, how are you?

Good man, we’re just having a barbecue for Matt Schnurr's and my other boy’s birthday.

Thanks for inviting me out brother.

No problem, we can get started.

Thanks, first of all, congrats on the Transworld Awards. How was it receiving so many, brother? You certainly cleaned house.

It was great. It was nice to have it go from a place where I was really just trying to get a few tricks to it being a mission. Filming that part was so personal. I really feel like even if no one else in the world was into it, I reached a personal milestone. I know I tried my hardest to make it meaningful. When I get old, I'm going to look back at that and say I got through so much to get to that point and turned in something I was proud of. It means a lot to me to come back from where I was. I was so nervous about the whole video part, but it was my girl who helped me get through it all. She made me feel like I had video part of the year the night before the premiere (laughs)!

That's a great girlfriend, brother. Did she hold you down the entire production?

She did the entire time and still does to this day. I never would’ve made it through all this without her. She keeps me so solid and grounded. She makes me focused and has been in my corner for a long time.

How long have you guys been together?

It's been eight years now and she has stuck solidly by me the whole time. There’s been a lot of adversity, but like I said, she took care of me and when people ask how I came back, it’s just because she was with me the whole time.

Has your girl been around you skating and did she see your video part?

No, actually it's funny because she actually has never seen me skate live. She just sees the after affects of everything. It actually must be the hardest on the girlfriends when it's crunch time in the videos.

Speaking of videos and film, you've been around a lot of talented photographers and filmmakers. Do you feel like it's going to be your time to get involved in those things?

Well, not really, although I do enjoy what goes into it. I really do like getting in there and filming and trying to get things set up, whether or not it gets used (laughs). It's funny because I’ve been around all of it for a long time, and I even remember the old days with Jason (Lee) and how he used to film little movies all the time and then it just turned into something big later on.

That's so funny because we had a cookout with Kareem after the TWS Awards, and he was telling us stories about how Jason used to always film little movies. He said he has all the tapes, and they better not act to silly or he’ll have to bring them out (laughs). Speaking of Kareem, can we talk a little bit about the Axion days? How did it come about, him recruiting you?

Well the thing you have to understand is that Kareem has always been a hustler and thinking about what's the best for everyone and what can be accomplished. It's just in him to succeed and be like that. When he told me he was starting a new sneaker company and wanted me to be a part of it, I knew it was going to be something great. It was and still is.

Kareem also told me that when it was time for him to have his first child, ‘Reem Jr., you told him that you were going to handle things and let him just spend time getting to be a father.

He told you that? Well I was just tying to do the best job I could and let him be a father, and that was important.

Since we’re talking about importance of influence and having a presence, I wanted to ask you about being around Gonz, Rudy, Jason, and Spike at that time. Did being around them affect the way you looked at skating and the quality of your overall output?

Not so much in a direct manner, but I did take note of everything that I saw. Skating with those dudes on a daily basis was incredible and I would see them do amazing things everyday. Growing up under them pushed me to make sure my parts were as potent and inspirational as they could be.

They certainly have been and this last one was just as potent as your part in Mouse.

Thanks man, that means a lot.

Now tell me a little bit about what you have going on at The Berrics?

I'm on doctor's leave right now and I'm not supposed to be skating to much because of my ankle surgery. I thought it would be interesting to do a documentary about all of the things you deal with coming back from an injury. I think it's something we never talk about in skateboarding and it's super important.

It seems as if we never try to face it or bring it to the limelight, however injuries are a part of skateboarding. So many guys put everything on the line to get their part done and when they get hurt, we don't really have a way for them to express themselves.

The injured effect snowballs, because you get hurt then you try to hide it so no one will really know, and you're worried your sponsors might leave you if the injury is too bad. Psychologically, it plays a big part of your mental and healing process. It might make you go out sooner than when you’re ready, or it can bring you into an internal downward spiral where you aren't sure if you’ll be the same again.

This documentary is personal for me because it shows kids that we do get hurt, and it lets pros know it’s okay to be hurt. There’re other things to do, and you can be constructive on your own, or just chill out, but it should be the responsibility for all the parties involved to look after each other. Let's show everyone that you can come back from an injury and get back into the swing of things.

I agree, we're all a team out there, so let's make sure we do it in every sense of the word.