Joey Ragali Interview

FR0

 

Where are you at right now? Are you still in Jupiter?
Yeah, I’m still in Jupiter.

How long are you out there for?
I’m probably gonna be here ‘til around New Year’s or maybe a couple days after.

FR1If half a Big Mac gets Joey on a 180 nosegrind this tall, imagine what he could bust on a full value meal  Photo: Karpinski

Let’s talk about Jupiter: why are there so many ripping dudes from Jupiter, Florida?
I guess it’s ‘cause it’s just a small town and there’s not too much to do. But around when I was 16 they built a really awesome skatepark there and that’s for sure why Zion and a bunch of dudes are just killing it. Me and Cromer caught the tail end of the park before we moved out to California. There’s generally just not much going on, though.

And who are the big names out of there right now? It’s Zion Wright, Brad Cromer, you and—fuck—what’s the tranny guy’s name again? Alex Sorgente. Is there anybody else?
I mean, there’s a lot of dudes out there that kill it that nobody even knows about.

FR2Roll off a building! Raging roof ride ride to 50-50, most unconventional     Photo: Karpinski

Who’s the most up-and-coming dude from Jupiter that nobody knows about right now?
There are some dudes out in California right now killing it, filming. But the tightest Jupiter skater is Jack Bartolucci, for sure. Nobody knows about him but he’s the best.

Well, can we look him up?
He’s got some parts online. He’s a chill dog but he’s awesome.

FR3Joey tags the rail with a switch feeble. Get up, son!     Photo: Karpinski

Is he Foundation good?
Oh, nah. He’s just chillin. He’s just having fun skating but he’s my favorite to watch.

Who’s the best dude ever to come out of Florida?
That’s a tough one. I might have to just go classic Reynolds on this one.

FR4

Crooked grind between a rail and a hard place (to crap if you're a student)     Photo: Gould

That’s a safe bet. So you’ve had how many, five, six, eight video parts? But none of them have ever been for a company, right?
Yeah, somehow I filmed, like, six or seven homie parts before this part comes out, which is actually gonna be my first video part. Which seems pretty crazy now that I think about it. I’ve been filming video parts forever.

How long did you film for Oddity and how are you feeling about your part?
I’d say some of the stuff is probably three or almost four years old. Mostly it’s newer but it’s been slowly getting used throughout time, like, a little bit of stuff sprinkled into the Dekline video, had a little Krew thing come out at one point. But for the most part it’s been almost three or four years of just going for this. I’m super hyped to see what I have in there. I feel like I have a nice well-rounded part. I hit a little bit of everything.

FR5A little bit of everything, including tall-ass 5-0s on the upper deck     Photo: Lisch

Any Jupiter clips? Any Florida clips?
I got a floater going in the timeline right now so hopefully that one makes it. I filmed another thing when I was down here with Blake so hopefully that’ll make the cut too. We’ll see what’s up.

Who’s impressed you the most filming for this video?
I’m just gonna say Corey, Cole and Aidan all together. Everybody’s been killing it.

FR pq1
Yeah, those guys are looking good.
Yeah it’s sick seeing them. They all skate so different, too, so it’s cool to see everybody’s whole different range of tricks and what they got. We pretty much have everything covered, any kind of skater you want.

FR6High-speed nollie flip next to a black rainbow     Photo: Lisch

Yeah, and I was just talking to Aidan earlier about how the Foundation team came together and it’s, like, we didn’t go out and try to pay certain dudes that are just good to ride for Foundation. If Foundation wasn’t a company, this is still the crew. You guys would all be skating together no matter what, you know?
Oh, for sure. I found the dudes that I want to hang out with and it just so happens that I get to be on a company with them. That’s pretty much the best part of it all.

And that kind of goes back to the name of the video because it’s all a bunch of oddballs from all around and also kind of a tribute to David Bowie. Let’s talk about the struggle: you’ve been on Foundation for a little bit longer than the new guys, so let’s talk about the early days when you and Blake first moved out to California, him riding for Toy Machine and you on Foundation, and you guys both shared the same bank account and you used to split your meals just to survive.
Yeah, that was awesome. I came out here just to visit. Me and my friend Tucker Phillip—Eli’s little brother—went to stay with Eli and then from there we went to Woodward with you guys. Then Blake ended up going and then me and him were kind of just, like, “Oh, what? You’re out here?” We realized that we wanted to try to get on teams out here and then pretty much from that it was, like, well, neither of us really have any money so let’s see how we’re gonna do this. So we’d hustle or maybe somebody’s parents would hook them up with a hundred bucks here or there so whoever had money at the time would get food. We’d be splitting meals at McDonald’s, doing whatever we could to get by.

FR7Jumpin' Jupiter—Joey switch Smiths into his seventh or eighth part     Photo: Lisch

And you guys are still sort of doing it because Blake’s looking after you. You’ve got a room at Blake’s house, right?
Oh yeah, for sure. I’ve got a room at his house and I’m still living with him to this day. So it’s awesome. It’s nice having him around and him having my back.

So let’s talk about filming for the video. What was the biggest struggle filming for this video?
The biggest struggle trick-wise was trying to varial heel that bump to bar.

You went back how many times?
I think seven times

FR8Spit in your eye! Fastplant at UCI     Photo: Rodent

Holy shit.
Yeah, I think it was two hours each time and then finally on the seventh time it worked pretty easy. But I had extra love because Julien called out the one that I landed, which was crazy. You just got to have him there if you’re trying to varial heel something.

Julien Garcia gave you the extra energy.
It’s Davidson, but yeah—you’ve got the cousin syndrome.

FR9Oh, there’s some shockers all right. Switch jammer to switch lip for instance     Photos: Karpinski

I’m tripping right now. Obviously not everything takes you that long to land, but walk me through it. I know that you’ve given yourself shinners before and then you also spit into the air, trying to make it land on your face just out of frustration.
Sometimes, yeah, for sure. At a certain point like when it’s 90 degrees outside and you’ve been trying a trick for hours you pretty much just go crazy. Sometimes you just need a little pain to get you to stick it, you know?

For sure. But I’ve never seen anybody give themselves shinners, so take me through—
It’s not even a shinner. I’ll just stomp on my tail and let the board hit me in the thigh or something. It’s not actually fucking me up. I’m not really trying to make my shin bleed or anything. It’s more of a nice little shot to the thigh to remind myself that I should do it.

Just a little bit of punishment.
Yeah, a little bit of punishment for motivation.

FR10Boardslide down a green hubba? Nah, wallride nollie out, dude     Photo: Rodent

How many times have you actually landed spit onto your face? And is it more frustrating when you try to spit in your own face and you miss or are you kinda thankful?
It’s normally one of those things where I’ll try to do it just to kind of make myself be less serious about the situation. I’m always hoping it really doesn’t hit me. I’ve only actually connected once or twice.

Has anybody been on the sesh and seen you try to spit in your face and they’re, like, “I’ll spit in your face.”?
Nah, I would not be down for that.

Who on the team would actually step up and do that for you?
It would probably be Cole. He loves theatrical shit.

FR11

Switch backside 50-50 transfer, no shot to the thigh required     Photo: Zaslavsky

Who’s the next pro on Foundation? Who’s coming in hot for Oddity?
I’d like to see either Glick or Aidan up there, for sure.

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Who’s the sleeper on the team? Who’s gonna surprise people?
Hopefully Dylan. I feel like a lot of people don’t even know he’s on the team yet. And he’s gnarly so that should be a nice surprise. It’ll be cool to see him have a part come out, but nobody’s really seen a lot of the stuff. Everybody’s gonna surprise the shit out of some people. When people see what Cole’s gonna 50-50—good God. He can have, like, a fuckin’ minute-long 50-50 section if he wants to.

FR12Seventh time's a charm! Varial heelflip over the bar with a little help from Julien Garcia     Photo: Hammeke

He really could, huh?
I could watch him do it all day.

What’s the most impressive thing that you’ve seen someone do for this video so far?
I feel like Cole’s kickflip backside grind down the double kink might be it right now. There’s so much insane stuff, though. I mean, Corey back overcrooked that Heath rail first try, that three flat three flat three. Just one try, that’s all he needed.

There’s some shockers in the video. I don’t want to spoil any more but hopefully people will be psyched on it because I know how hard all you guys worked on it.
I’m super excited.

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