Ted DeGros Roll Call: Still In The Shadows

Words By Mackenzie Eisenhour

Skateboarding is great for offering up a wide host of personalities. Ted is a mix of humble intellectualism and deliberate conversation. He’s not shy, but he’s not really yelling anything at you, either. Most 21 year olds out of Victoria, British Columbia would probably view a spot on Alien Workshop as a spot on the map. After blowing up in North in ’02, that’s just where Ted ended up. Yet, rather than view his current situation as a notch on the bedpost, Ted sees skateboarding as his bet on the table. The following is a brief discussion about the odds on that bet, with some other relevant tidbits of information.

What is the biggest misconception Americans have about Canada?

I got bored once and wrote a big thing about it. But I think I lost it. I guess overall that it’s like a big, small town or something. As far as the weather, you got one thing to keep in mind. Ninety percent of the country’s population lives within a hundred miles of the border. Then again, nobody really likes the weather in Montana that much, do they? Out here in Victoria it’s not bad. It gets more temperate when you get nearer to the coast. It only snows once every four yearscyou can grow all types of shit all year long.

When did you come to the realization that skateboarding might be your living?

Oh, Jesus. I’ll give you the typical answer: I still haven’t. It’s true, though. I mean, it’s a huge fcking gamble. You could be out, skating around or whatever, something bad happens and that’s it, you know? Then what do you do? Head back to school or something?

Did you quit school to pursue it?

Yeah, I did. I threw it all on the table, and it’s still on there.

What did you get more calls over, North or Mosaic?

What do you think?

What do I think? I don’t really want to say ô I guess North.

Oh, North was a million times better. My Mosaic part was a pile of shit. Please print that. I mean, that’s the truth, you know? I hated it. It was just a rough period. It was filmed in the middle of winter, for a day. I don’t know, I had weird stuff going on with sponsors, and I was just filming too hard, like it was a job. I just wasn’t getting any of the good stuff. It wasn’t fun, I got hurtcall the usual stuff. Sometimes you just gotta deal with it.

Did you feel any sophomore pressure after coming up in North?

No, because I hadn’t really come up. Honestly, you know? You went on the Internet looking for stuff about me. There’s nothing out there. I’m still in the shadows. Then again, you put pressure on yourself. I mean, you want to have a better video part every time, but that’s not that hard to do if you’re on your board all the time. You’re skating and having fun and progressing. It comes naturally when you’re enjoying yourself. So it’s not really pressure.

What was it like having your first AWS footage in Mosaic hitting the screen right after Danny Way?

I was cringing at the premiere. There was a lot of anxiety because I knew it was nothing like my North part. I was watching it come on, thinking, çFck.ॠIt went over all right, but I’m certainly not proud of it. I don’t show that one to the family.

Is Vancouver the new L.A.? Hollywood seems to think so.

Fok, no. Dude, look at the weather. I’m sorry, I mean I like the city, but if L.A.’s all about kayaking and cycling and shitookay, sure. But, no, man. The weather there is not cool for five months of the year. They did build that new outdoor plaza, though, which is just amazing. It’s right in the mix downtown. It’s got granite ledges and all of the good stuff.

All time greatest Canadian rock band?

Oh well. That’s easy, man. I mean who am I gonna say? Bryan Adams? No. Neil Young. There are plenty of good, smaller bands, though, doing new stuffobands that not many other people would know about.

Describe the chain of events that landed you on Workshop?

I don’t know, I wasn’t involved. There really was no chain to tallk about. It was two phone calls and it was done.

How was your first trip to Ohio?

Gummo. Straight up.

Did you and your brother Ben start skating at the same time?

Yeah, well I just kind of followed him around, right. He started about two years before me. He was always the best one out of all his friends. He was the guy in high school that everybody would tell, çYou’re gonna go pro.ॠHe would go downtown, and he was pretty much on par with most of those guys. I mean, not with Moses (Itkonen) or somebody. They were already on major American companies. He’s almost three years older then me. He’s ô wait ô 23, but he’ll be 24 when this comes out. Wait, no. He’s 24 and it was his birthday and I didn’t call him. Sweet. It was two weeks ago.

How old were you when they peaced the çNew Spotॠof early 90s fame?

I used to skate it a lot, back when I was ten. You know, it was like Vancouver’s version of Love (Park). I mean, you’d go down there and all the guys were there. You’d get chased out by the cops, and you would run. That was back when you wouldn’t get arrested for running. It is actually legal to skate on the streets in Vancouver, though, which makes it weird when you travel. Up there, you can sit down at a spot and people are smoking weed and hanging out.

You know Tony Fergusson pretty well, right?

We used to skate a lot. But Tony’s nine years older than me or something. So, sure, we go skate. But what do we have in common? We’re driving out to spots and I feel like, çJesus Christ, I’m just this little puke.ॠWhat the hell do I have to say? I’m foking useless. He’s a funny bastard, though. And he knows all this stuff, and he’s been to all these places and seen so many things, and I’m this little shit stain. You’re çskate friends,ॠyou know? Like school friends that you only see at school. Off the board, you might have nothing in common.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully alive. I don’t know. Probably touring the globe with a half-skateboard, half-rock show. Maybe finger-painting. I don’t know, man.

Catchphrase to the world?

Do whatever the fok you want. You’re gonna die.