Louie Lopez Interview

Louie photo1 750pxLouie kicks a foot out mid-5-0 in The Lonestar State     Photo: Coulthard

Why have you been dodging my calls, Louie? Where have you been?
Just skating and shit, you know.


If you hadn’t answered my call, I would’ve written your interview about myself, Hunter S. Thompson style. Speaking of him, have you ever done acid?
Nah, I’ve never done acid. I can’t even smoke weed. I can’t fuck with anything else. I know I would lose my mind.


Have you ever cried from smoking weed?
Nope. I’ve freaked out, though. I felt like I was hallucinating.

Louie quote1 750px
Who hasn’t?
Yeah, and I don’t like that shit. The first time I ate an edible, I had a gummy bear at Zumiez 100K. I ate one gummy bear and someone was telling me that they were chill and they needed like 20 of them to get high. They smoked weed every day but whatever. I had one, wasn’t feeling anything so I popped another one. I damn near missed the party. I had to turn off all of the lights in my room and go to sleep. We were supposed to go to dinner but I had to stay in. I couldn’t go. We were supposed to go swimming in the snow. 
I couldn’t go. When I came back to life, I never wanted to feel that way again. Some people have an easy way of calming down, but for me, I’m dying.


Edibles are fucked.
Yeah, it was gnarly.


So, you weren’t answering my calls ’cause you had deadlines and shit.
Yeah, been out in the field, you feel me?


What’s it like trying to finish up before that deadline?
It’s pretty hard because I just finished that other part in November and I basically used all of my footage for that. Trying to get what I want is a little tough, but it’s coming together. We have a week left so we’ll see what happens.

Louie photo2 750pxBhad Bhabie got the session hyped and the frontside flip went down. Big Head knows     Photo: Coulthard

Were you hot when they put all your footage in that West End part?
Nah, that was my decision. I could’ve kept it all for the Cons video but I wanted to put it out and see what happens.


Do you think doing that really made you turn it up to fill in that footage hole?
It definitely put more pressure on me for Purple. I didn’t have any more of the shit I was super stoked on. I had stuff from when I was on trips but that’s it. You know how it goes.

 

All the dope shit is gone so you just have to make some doper shit happen.

Yep, exactly.


Have you been staying at home or traveling a bunch to finish this up?
A lot of the footage is from home. I was skating in between trips. Ben wants more of an LA vibe. I’ve just been skating here a bunch. I don’t have any time left to go on trips.

 

I heard you don’t have an ender.

I don’t have one and there’s a week left. 
I’m pressed on time but I’ve got stuff that 
I’m hyped on. I guess that’s how it always is.

Louie photo2.5 750pxNot an ender, but not too shabby either. Heelflip     Photo: Coultard

What the fuck are you going to do?
I don’t know. That shit is hard. It’s hard to think of shit to do but we’re trying. We’ll see what happens.


I feel like you’re going to get your last trick on the very last day you can film it.
Last day, last trick? I hope I get it before that.


It adds more pressure. It makes you thirsty to land it. Why don’t you skate El Toro?
I mean, it recently got switch lipped and nollie noseblunted.


Heelflip the stairs. The only flip trick that has been done down it is a kickflip.
Heelflip El Toro? I’m straight on that.


What’s the biggest set of stairs you’ve ever jumped down?
Fourteen is the biggest I’ve done. I did a 180.

Louie photo3 750pxStraightening out the broken arm on a frontside 180 to switch crook     Photo: Coulthard

Honestly, what’s six more stairs?
Yeah, but I was younger. Lately, the biggest set of stairs I’ve jumped down is a 13. I don’t know.


Thirteen and 14 is not different at all. Have you been going out with Ryan Lee or has Ben Chadourne been out there?
Ben was out here for a couple weeks but I’ve been filming mostly with Ryan. Ryan’s leaving in a couple days but I got a couple bros I can film with.


How come you don’t skate big-ass handrails?
Wait ’til my part drops! Nah, I don’t have any big handrails. I’ll leave that for other people to do.


Are you keeping it to one specific area of LA?
Nah, I’ve been going all over. Ben’s got some crazy ideas. He asked me to film a line in 
Skid Row.


There isn’t even a spot where you can do a line in Skid Row.
I know. I asked him what kind of footage he needed from me for the video and he told me he needed more clips in Chucks. He’s got a vision.


You fuck with the vision?
Collabin’ and linking. Woah, there is a fat-ass wasp right next to me.


Are you scared of wasps?
They’re sketchy.


What else are you scared of?
I can get a little shook when there’s a couple filmers and photographers—sometimes on these Converse trips there’ll be two filmers, three photographers and ten skateboarders. We’re going to these cutty, sketchy zones. We’re definitely a big target. People know we’re there. I get a little sketched out when we’re in those situations. We’re calling so much attention to ourselves.

Louie quote2 750px
I think that’s just street smarts.
Yeah, so I’m always the paranoid one. Whenever anyone is doing anything, I’m like, Yo, what’s that guy doing over there? He looks sketchy.


Has anything bad ever happened when you’re having these feelings?
Luckily, not yet but I always have my eye out—keeping a look out. I’m sure you can ask some of the guys. When we were in Mexico, in the cuts, I definitely noticed that we were way out there. It’s different if you go and you’re chillin’ but we’re skating houses and doing crazy shit. There’s a lot of attention on us.
Louie photo4 Sequence 750pxSOTY happens, just like this switch bluntslide to flip in     Sequence: Coulthard

How’s your house?
It’s good.


You take down the mini ramp?
It’s still here. I never skate it, though.


Why not?
It’s just how it goes. You get something at your house but you never skate it, unless it’s something super fun. If you have a one-foot quarterpipe or something like that but I’m not trying to get smoked in my backyard.


You’re thinking smart now.
I’m getting older, man.


Have you ever gotten hurt and thought it was the demise of your career?
Not yet, knock on wood. I’ve broken my left arm five times.


Jesus Christ!
I’m so used to it. Every time it happens I’m just like, alright. Last time I did it, I was just laughing.


What else can you do in that situation? Have you ever fallen and cried?
When I was younger, for sure. One of the first two times I broke my arm when I was younger, I was definitely crying. You have adrenaline pumping so it doesn’t really hurt at the time. Oh shit, Ryan just got here.


Put it on speaker. Ryan, what’s it like going out filming with Louie every day?
So he’s in the interview now?


Yup. How long does it take for you to get him in the morning.
Ryan Lee: It takes me about 20 minutes each way.


How often do people ask you for pins to spots?
Ryan Lee: Every day. But since I put that meme out, about how everyone hits me for spots, they kind of chilled out.


Louie’s been dodging my calls so we had to do this interview on FaceTime.
Yup, we bumping Cassie. You fuck with Bhad Bhabie?


Isn’t that the “Cash me outside” chick?
Yeah, that song is a heater.


Y’all bump that on the session?
Ryan Lee: We listened to that shit five times on the session yesterday.

Louie photo5 750pxGap to back Smith. All he does is skate     Photo: Coulthard

Who’s got the aux cable on the jambox?
We don’t really skate with a jambox. I don’t know why but we never really do. The drives to the spot get pretty lit.


Where’s Big Head at? Is he going on the sessions with you guys every day?
Mason is going on a trip so he had to take care of some shit. He might come skate, I guess. Dante is coming to meet up with us, though.


Where y’all headed to right now?
We’re going to Garvanza.


Do you have to warm up before you skate a spot? Is that a ritual?
No, but it’s nice to warm up. It feels good, you know? You can see what kind of day it’s going to be. You can go to a skatepark and have a shitty session. Or you can have the wet session and we can be like, Let’s go.


Do you know any rappers?
Yeah, I guess I know a couple.


Have you ever gotten a shoutout in a song?
I actually did get a shoutout in a song from a guy on Instagram. I think he did a song for me. It was a while ago. He sent me a link and it was a song for your boy.


Would you skate to it?
Yeah, I’d skate to it. I’d rock with it.


How do you feel about the songs you’ve used in your past parts?
That’s a weird a question.

Louie quote3 750px
I’m just saying that they fit your skating but not your personality very well.
I still haven’t had a part where I’ve completely picked the song.


Obviously Extremely Sorry is a little bit different but that’s because it’s your dad.
A lot of the time it’s spur of the moment. We try to figure out what we could even get that could work. Now that I’m a little older, I would like to be involved in that.

Louie photo6 750pxFlying high off a shit ton of rap, Louie blasts a kickflip in a sea of yellow     Photo: Coulthard

Well, what kind of music do you like?
I listen to everything, really, but recently I’ve been listening to a shit ton of rap.


Are you numbing your brain so you can just jump down big-ass rails and shit?
Pretty much.


What kind of rap? There’s lots of different genres. You’re in the car on the way to the spot—what are your bumping?
Young Thug. It’s funny, we’ve been fucking with 6ix9ine right before we get to a spot.


I mean, you do get pretty hyped from his music.
If you’re trying to do some crazy shit, you pop that on and no one can deny the fact that that shit is crazy.

Louie quote7.5 750pxWonder what Louie was getting hyped on for this switch 180 nosegrind     Photo: Coultard

What about other people skating to certain songs that don’t fit them at all? Do you think it’s ever inappropriate to have a certain style or genre in your video part?
Everyone can do what they want. If they like a song, skate to it. There’s no one that can say that you can’t skate to it.


What would you say is off limits for yourself?
In terms of music?


Yeah.
Probably some straight Spanish music.


I don’t know about that one, Lou. 
It would be pretty sick if you did.

Nah.


Do you not fuck with it?
I feel like—I just wouldn’t want to skate to it.

Louie quote4 750px
Is it something that teeters along the line of, not stereotypical, but, you know…
Not at all. It wouldn’t work with skating. Well, some do for sure. I don’t know how to answer that question. Don’t make me sound racist against my own people.


You don’t. Do you have any hobbies or do you only know skateboarding?
All I pretty much do is skate. I wish I could really pick up some other things but I have such a short attention span that it fucks me up. I try to learn something but then I realize that I suck so I put it back down.

Louie photo7 750pxIn Spanish this switch 180 into a mountain is ‘muy peligrosa.’ And Louie, he’s ‘psicopático’     Photo: Coulthard

Obviously skateboarding is so fun, but do you think you’re passionate about it because you’ve gotten so good at it?
Yeah, maybe. I’m not really good at instruments or anything like that. I’d like to be, but for me, skating is the only thing that works.


Do you still find skating challenging?
It just keeps getting more and more fun. 
I finally got taller; I got more pop. I can figure out how to skate different stuff. I can actually do switch and nollie flips comfortably. Stuff like that. I’m still learning shit.


Would you be able to get distracted with something else or are you fully focused on skateboarding?
I’ll for sure take up some other stuff in the future but right now all I pretty much do is skate.


What else do you think you could do for a living, outside of skating? What would you be doing if you hadn’t made it?
Who knows? A lot of my family are teachers so I’d probably be going to school and doing that whole thing.


You wouldn’t end up in your family business?
Working for my dad? Maybe for a little bit but I would try to go to school and do something else.


Are you a proud Latino?
Yeah, sure.


Why can’t you speak Spanish then?
You know, man, I just never learned when I was younger.

Louie photo8 750pxBackside 360 off a dodgy looking bump     Photo: Coulthard

Does your whole family speak it?
Yeah, it’s just the younger kids that don’t. 
One of my cousins is 16 and fully going to college classes, taking Spanish.


That’s pretty sick. Kind of ironic, though.
She’s dope for that one.

Louie quote5 750px
Would you like to learn Spanish?
I definitely want to be fluent in Spanish at one point.


Speaking of your family, you have these family barbecue functions that are so sick.
We have a pretty good family vibe going.


Don’t you think it’s crazy that you can still have an amazing family get together in this day and age?
Yeah, where I live is next to all of my family. I live across the street from my parents’ house. My grandparents and cousins live right there. It’s always that family vibe when you need it.

Louie photo9 750pxIf this is a small rail, then what exactly does Louie consider big?     Photo: Brook

I feel like Latino families are very close-knit. Growing up, since you were a lot younger when your career was taking off, did you have a lot of pressure placed upon you being a skate prodigy?
No, I never really put too much pressure on myself. It was always fun. My dad wasn’t the stressful type of parent to put that pressure on me. I just always had support and good energy. I think that’s why I still love it so much. If you have people breathing down your neck, telling you what to do, what you’re doing wrong all of the time, you’re not having fun. Eventually the pressure is going to outweigh the fun you could be having.


Have you ever wanted to stop skating due to the pressure put upon you?
Nah, I’ve never wanted to stop skating. As I said before, it’s just been getting more and more fun.


What’s it like going on all of those Converse trips?
Those trips are really fun. Lee, our team manager is not only the TM but our good friend as well. He understands a lot of things and I feel like that goes hand in hand when you’re filming a video. He looks out for our best interest rather than telling you what to do. Whatever he could do to make it the best time, he will.

Louie quote6 750px
He acts as the wind beneath your wings.
That’s how it’s been for this video. If I wanted to go somewhere with a friend, they’d just be down for whatever. We have a week or two left to film but Volcom is doing a trip to South America. Converse bought Jackson Pilz a flight to cover for me. I feel horrible about it, though, because Jackson went all the way to Brazil, only to have them tell him that they lost his visa. He had to get sent all the way back home. He took seven flights in total, spent three-and-a-half days in the airport and everything was just fucked. I owe Jackson a couple beers. Sorry, Jackson.

Louie photo10 750pxOne more trick and the photographer’s bald. Gap to box, across from the barber shop     Photo: Coulthard

On these trips, are you basically vegetarian because of the dietary restrictions of everyone?
I’d say it’s vegan. A lot of the dudes: Kenny, Mike, Aaron—there’s enough people that eat vegan on trip that we just go.


I noticed that Sean is super anti-vegan. Are you like that?
I don’t mind. I like vegetables and stuff. I’ve always been that way.


Have you ever lost a vegan bet?
No, I haven’t had a bet like that offered. I think those bets are more directed towards Jon Coulthard. He always wants a steak, so the veganism has more of an effect on him, for sure. He’s down to make some sick bets, though. The other day he told me if I had landed my trick first try he would shave his head. He got all scared because if he had shaved his head, he didn’t know if he could grow his hair back.


My favorite bet he’s offered is the one about naming his kid after you.
All I had to do was get five tricks in SF.


Dude, you blew it. Have you won any really good ones against him?
I haven’t won too many ones from him. 
I haven’t come through. He throws some sick ones around, though.


Like what?
Well the shaving the head one, the barber shop was right across the street from the spot. If I had done it, he would’ve walked right over there and done it. Offering a couple hundred bucks if I had landed that one. 
It really depends on the situation.


Does he have a gambling problem?
No, I wouldn’t say that.

Louie photo11 750pxHe sends the fatties. Five-o transfer and another epic video. Congrats, Big Lou! Congrats, Purple people!     Photo: Coulthard

Does he fully commit to the vegan bets?
Yeah, he’ll come through. He has to do it.


Is he stressing the whole way?
It’s extra funny because he always likes to have a steak and a beer at dinner. Some vegan places don’t even have a steak substitute, it’s juice only. When he gets it, he gets it hard.


What was your favorite trip filming for this video?
I really enjoyed France. We went all over—Marseille and couple other places. I had never been any other places besides Paris, so that was fun. I forget exactly where, maybe it was Lyon, but there was this place that had all these crazy hills. I was with Dela, Mike, Jake—everybody. We grabbed some beers and bombed an epic hill that seemed out of a movie. It was a windy road, the nicest European architecture the whole way and we’d go all the way to the bar. Then Lee would drive to come pick us up and we would go do it all over again. It was a 15-minute hill bomb, too.


How do you like filming with Ben Chadourne?
Well, he can skate really well so the angles he gets are pretty insane. Everyone will see it in the video. I’ve seen some lines that he’s filmed but I’ve never seen something filmed like that. The way he goes about things. Say that you have to wallie a spot, he’ll wallie it too while filming you. It’s just crazy shit like that. Full skate tricks to make it work. It’s really cool. Apparently he went to school for a little bit to become a lawyer but he was off it.


Does he have a crazy process?
He just gets really stoked and that goes a long a way—when someone is just as stoked as you are when you make the trick. Sometimes he gets even more stoked.

Louie quote7 750px
Have you ever tried to surf?
I’ve tried it before. Curren took me out. Personally, the ocean kind of scares me. The first time he took me out, I didn’t know how to do anything and I just kept getting smoked. I didn’t know how to duck dive so I kept getting tossed. I wanted to go to the smaller waves and we went to this place where I was surfing with the grandmas but I was still scared. I’m sure once you get the hang of it, it’s mellow.

Louie photo12 750pxPhoto: Coulthard

Can you snowboard?
Yup.


I feel like skateboarding doesn’t translate into other boardsports.
I feel like it does a little bit but there is a lot of difference between them all.


Well, I’m fucking horrible at surfing and snowboarding. You can’t kick out.
And it’s painful.


Do you send those jumps?
I don’t send the fatties. I’ve fucked up on a 360 or something. Get all squirmy in the air.


Have you ever gotten so drunk that you pissed yourself in your sleep?
No, but I’ve done the ol’ take a shit and puke between your legs. That was a while ago, though.


What are you going to do after this Cons video?
I don’t know. There is not shit else to do. I’m just going to keep skating and filming. There’ll be another project at some point. I want to go to Hawaii. I’ve never been out there. I wanna go on some vacay shit, too.


Are you gonna try to get SOTY this year?
It has to be a year that works out for you. It’s not something you try to do; it just happens.

Louie photo13 750pxWhile his Cons teammates scour the globe, Louie Lopez puts a new twist on a classic LA spot. Ride-on backside noseblunt slide. Right on, Louie!     Photo: Coulthard

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