March 2, 2014
The genesis of this interview took place about five years ago, when Chris emailed me after reading this post.
In the years between then and now, a certain subdivision of skate nerdery concerning who has done what over a Cali picnic table flourished. A legend grew of someone switch 360 kickflipping over one.
A few months ago, Chris posted a sequence on his instagram account of him switch 360 flipping over a picnic table. It was as if a new dead sea scroll was unearthed. It seemed like a good opportunity for an interview, both about the trick and about LA County. The video has earned status as one of the most celebrated #lowimpact vids ever, yet its creators are still shrouded in mystery.
In the following interview, Chris tells his story, provides a perspective into the inner workings of the industry around the turn of the century, and elucidates a window back in time to a definitive era in Los Angeles.
Where are you from and how did you get into skating?
I am from Breckenridge, Colorado and I started skating in 1985. I remember being infatuated with skating after seeing the movie Back to the Future.
Describe a typical day skating in LA in the late 90’s when the pit, USC ledges, etc. were all active spots.
Skateboarding’s funny; no matter where you go, it’s super territorial. My prospective was heavily clouded with drugs, but I remember it always having a heavy overtone of competition at all the popular spots. If you were able to ignore the competitive aspects and just enjoy the actual moments skating, it was amazing.
May 12, 2012
I read Catch 22 in fifth grade. Although I have forgotten most of the characters and plot, the quote “man is matter” has resonated throughout the years.
I think about this truism often. Whether machine guns from a German fighter plane shatter one’s glass machine gun turret in a B-25 or one falls on one’s shoulder while f/s grinding and one’s knee lands on one’s board, thereby tearing a piece of one’s shoulder muscle like an Airhead®, the end-sum game is the same. We consist of a bunch of bones and junk.
February 4, 2010
In all honesty, when I started this project two summers ago, I did not consciously intend for it to take as long to complete as the Menace/All City/City Stars video. I’m not nearly that “meta.”
However, it certainly seems appropriate. I had the outline on my wall the whole time; other shit just kept coming up. Now, the time is right. I will try to post five exhibits per week until I get to exhibit “AA.”* Who knows if I will adhere to that schedule, though. Again, this doesn’t seem inappropriate. Setting and reaching short-term goals and building them into long-term goals is not very menace tech.