Interview conducted January 14, 2018, on Hawaii’s North Shore
As you know by now, Stevie Williams is the newest rider on Weedmaps. The WM team did its annual Pipeline House Experience on Oahu's famous North Shore, in a beachfront mansion with the skate, surf, and moto teams all staying under one roof. Stevie came in a few days into the trip after Zumiez 100k. He quickly settled in, absorbing the island vibes and views of 20-plus foot waves of the Bonzai Pipeline in the backyard--and smoking endless joints. I got to sit down one night and hear the whole story on Stevie joining the brand, the team trips thus far, his take on the burgeoning cannabis movement, and more. Check out his welcome video.
Interview by Blair Alley. Photos by Roger Ferrero
Walk me through the timeline of you getting on Weedmaps. Where did the conversation originally start?
I saw Weedmaps, maybe like two years ago when they did this trip (Pipe Experience), I saw the video, and I didn't know what Weedmaps was. I was like damn. Boo was skating for them and he let me know what it was, but I didn't think too much of it. But I kept seeing it and kept seeing it, and I got introduced to Eric (Sorenson), who does all the action sports stuff. And I was just like, “Yo what's up, can I get down?” I heard it was hard to get on, but I gave it a shot. It took a minute, but Eric came through. I met JJ, and sat down with them. They explained the program to me. And shit, it was over from there.
Did you want to ride for Weedmaps because you want to promote the health benefits of cannabis, or is it a combination of things?
I never promoted that I smoked weed, because I got kids, but it's so liberal now. It's recreational in a bunch of states. Weedmaps just looked like a cool lifestyle brand. It just goes with my lifestyle, that's how I look at it. I promote what I do and my lifestyle and respect the brands that're authentic to it, and do my job.
Your first Weedmaps trip was to Barcelona, and I've heard Barcelona is your favorite place to skate?
Yeah, it's one of my favorite places to skate, it's one of my favorite places to visit too. It's comfortable and I hadn't been there in a long time. I had the option to go there, and I was just like, fuck it, let's do it. I got a chance to see a lot of my old friends, skate MACBA, just cruise around the city--it's peaceful, it does something to my soul. I like that city.
Now, you're getting the Pipe House Experience, where Weedmaps put the skaters, surfers, moto, MMA dudes all in one house. Is this what you expected coming into this? Or what did you expect?
Yeah, I expected this because after being around Eric and the team and hearing stories about the other athletes who don't skate, how well they talk about them, I was like, damn, I can't wait to meet these dudes too. I'm a fan of all types of sports. If I don't know too much about the sport, at least I can learn and respect it. Because we're all at the same level once we get here. Just meeting new people, having fun, doing what the brand do. It's a dope lifestyle brand.
What did you think about seeing the surfers here riding Pipeline, 20 foot-plus, and then meeting them in person?
I haven't seen it yet, but I've met a lot of them. I've seen some pictures and that shit is amazing. I don't know how they do it. They probably look at skating like that too, but I can't front. That's a whole other monster.
So looking into the future with you and Weedmaps, what are you looking at doing long term?
Well we've got an introduction video that's about to come out for me. And I'm just getting used to the flow since I've just got on the team. I'm figuring out what the brand wants to do and how I'm gonna be included in everything. The introduction video, the ad that just dropped in TransWorld, and just continue working from there.
And what else is going on with you? You haven't had a shoe sponsor since SUPRA, you've got the Tango Hotel brand going on. I'm asking as a skate fan!
I'm back with DGK 100-percent. I'm not with Asphalt anymore. Tango Hotel is an up and coming underwear and sock brand. After signing with Weedmaps, I really started paying attention to a lot of the cannabis industry, and discovering that it's not just about getting high, there're a lot of other benefits to the plant. This ingredient called CBD, and I've been seeing and hearing all the positive effects that it does to the body and the natural healing. It's intriguing. I've been focusing on a few different things, but really paying attention to the new opportunities that come with the cannabis industry to be honest with you. I'm always doing a few different things, you know. I'm definitely hopping back on the board, and putting out some footage. Using my time well, that's all I can say. There's so many things to do, there's only 24 hours in the day. At the end of the day, I'm just out here having fun.
When did you move to Las Vegas?
Two months ago and I'm working with this dispensary called Jardin, I'm a brand ambassador for them. They're educating me so much on the health benefits of CBD, how the industry works, and kind of showing me the ropes. There's really cool people over there. They're doing a lot of cool things in Las Vegas and they're including me. It's like a whole other skate industry. You know, skaters smoke weed, and weed is legal now, it's pretty cool.
Is that the main reason you moved out to Vegas?
Yeah that's one of the reasons I moved out to Vegas. It's closer to the West Coast, I just like getting used to new things. I've lived in so many different cities. A lot of people are like, Damn, why'd you move to Vegas? It's calm for me. I like it.
Are you gonna be a Veags Raiders fan when they move out there?
I'm always an Eagles fan.
What's your favorite casino game?
I don't gamble.
I'm so into business, and I get addicted to that type of stuff too. So I'm trying to weigh my time out. My family is definitely important to me. My partner Troy (Morgan), I have a great relationship with DGK, that's important to me. My partners at Tango Hotel, that's important to me, my kids and my sponsors that endorse me. I just want to be authentic. I really just wanna do what's important to me these days.
What's your take on Philly skateboarding now that LOVE Park is gone? I'm sure it was painful to see it get torn down.
Yeah, it's still painful.
There're hardcore Philly skaters that are carrying the torch though.
Yeah, there are, but it's still painful. I respect all the dudes that are coming out of Philly and keeping it alive. But that was one of the most painful things I've ever had to witness in my life. I can't even describe how painful it is. It hurts. Everything that I skated, it seems like it's gone. That fucks with me.
Yeah, like the last plaza is Pulaski.
Yeah, but it's not mine. But rest in peace, Pepe. All you dudes out there in DC. Pooch is still holding it down. I love watching him skate on Instagram. He actually sent me a board too. I still have a lot of those memories from back in the day, and whether people know it or not, I really cherish those memories. Out of all of the places that are left, Pulaski is there. It's dope, they still have a plaza. There's a lot of history there. Just as much as Embarcadero, LOVE Park, The Banks and Pier 7, Pulaski is still there. I think that has a lot to do with Pep.
That's a good vibe to end on.