What board are you riding right now?
I’m riding a Toy Machine Robot-logo board.
What do you like most about it?
Mainly I ride it because of the shape. It’s got an eight-inch shape.
You actually prefer the eight-inch board. Is that a pretty typical size for you?
I was riding an eight and a quarter or eight and a half for a while, but I went down to eight because you can flip your board a little easier.
Do you have a preference for concave decks?
I like them kinda flat. I don’t know what this whole concave fad is all about. The board is much better just mellow and not concave.
Do you do anything special with your griptape?
I do a griptape job every single time.
Do you do lines in it or anything like that?
No. I do … hang on¿I got a little snot dripping down the back here. Yeah, I skate with all these guys, and they always flip out that I do griptape jobs, because everyone does just straight griptape with nothing¿no lines.
That’s what’s rad about setting up a board¿you can customize it every single time. How often do you set up a new deck?
Probably a little less than most people¿about once a week, I guess. If I’m skating heavily, then once every three days.
What wheels are you riding?
Ricta Ed Templeton wheels.
What size are those?
Do you ever try a different hardness, or do you stick to the same one?
No, I don’t really mess around with that. The Ricta formula is nice. It’s hard, and it doesn’t flat-spot very easily.
Do you care if your wheels are colored?
Not really. I think Ricta only comes in white, so I’m one of those white-wheel guys. But I rocked the orange ones once in while when I rode for Spitfire.
How often do you set up your new wheels?
Something has to happen to ’em to change ’em.
You pretty much ride them ’til they die?
Yeah. I ride ’em ’til they die. But I’ve been trying to make an effort to put on new wheels when I put a new board on, just ’cause it feels nice to have a new setup. But usually I’d say every three boards I do new wheels.
What are the smallest wheels you’ve ever ridden?
Back in ’93 or ’92, I don’t know how bad it got¿maybe only 42.
That’s cool¿not as bad as some of the others.
I never got down to bearing covers.
Those were ridiculous. What bearings do you ride?
I have no bearing sponsors, so I usually get Pig bearings from Tum Yeto when I go down there. They seem to work fine.
Do you use any bearing oil or speed cream?
What trucks do you ride?
The new Thunders.
What do you like about them?
They’re just nice. The main thing I like about them is that on the old Thunders, the axle was located where it was hard to get a tool in to take off the bolt, and on the new ones they alleviated that problem. I’ve ridden Thunders since I started skating. It took me a day to get used to a new turning, but they turn just as good.
How often do you change your trucks?
That takes forever. The last pair I probably had for a whole year. Sometimes I need to put new bushings in there. When I get new trucks, I keep the old bushing. I probably change trucks every six months, unless Deanna takes off with my board in her car when I need to skate. Then I have to put a complete together¿start over.
Do you use any riser pads?
I was using the thin ones forever, but not for the last two setups. I was on a skate trip, and I hired Mark Appleyard to put a board together for me because I don’t like using the arm power it takes to put a board together. So he did it for me but forgot to put my risers on. Ever since, I’ve left them off because it didn’t bother me.<
Are there any rituals you have to go through while you set up a new board?
The griptape job is the only real ritual. Otherwise I just throw everything on there and don’t really care which way my wheels go. I like to keep the front truck on the front. I put a little “f” on the front with a marker¿on the inside¿so I know which one to put it on. And the griptape job I usually do something regardless of where I am.
What shoes do you skate in?
I skate in the Ed Templeton number two¿the new Ed Templeton Emerica shoes. They’re not out until June, but I’m testing out the prototypes.
Do you like them?
Yeah. I like them a lot. I’ve had some heel problems recently, so we made sure to pad up the heel. There’s an airsole. I think kids liked my old shoe because it was a kinda of low-fi shoe¿a shoe for skateboarders by a skateboarder, and not really super fancy. The new one’s based on the old one. It has some new features, but in the same style as the old one.
You added an air cushion?
Yeah. There’s air, and there’s padding for the ball of the foot¿not the heel, the other side¿I guess they call it the ball of your foot. There’s a padding where there wasn’t padding before. There’s also a padding in the toe of the shoe, because when you jump down things, your feet tend to slide up in your shoe and smash your toes. So there’s a little padding there, too. It’s a new thing that no other shoes have, I don’t think.
Nice¿innovative. How long does a pair of shoes usually last you?
I ride them until they’re completely dead. Luckily, since my shoe has rubber and all that stuff on the side, it takes me a long time to kill ’em.
You don’t blow out the laces?
I’ll replace the laces maybe once. If I’m doing a lot of kickflip stuff, then I have to replace them more often. So I probably ride a shoe for a whole month. I don’t like breaking them in.
What size shoe do you wear?