Geoff Rowley

Posted: November 1st, 2009

"I hope it makes them feel like they're different from everybody else out there by being a skateboarder."

Words & Photos by Michael Burnett

How does it feel to be on a video deadline after this many times around?
It actually feels pretty good that we’ve gotten this far. We’ve been lucky to make three videos. It’s the third in the Sorry trilogy. It’s really a testament to the riders and everybody’s dedication.

How do you look at it as a company owner versus as a pro skater?
It’s a very similar driving force. Everybody in the company wants to make the best stuff. With the riders, they’re their own worst critics, so they just want to outdo themselves from the last video. That’s a healthy progression. That’s normal. I don’t think it differs for me. For the last videos we’ve done, it’s always been a “Let’s do this!” attitude, and this is the latest one.

Obviously the team has been through some incredible hardships on the road to this video. What’s kept you going this whole time?
The video’s dedicated to Shane Cross and we’ve finished this video for Shane. Everything that’s in this video is for him.

Will Ali have a part?
Ali Boulala will have a full part.

What’s his future on the team?
That’s up to Ali. He’s still in jail, but hopefully he’ll be getting out soon. What Ali wants in his life is the most important thing. We have been through some gnarly shit with this video, and that’s the reason why it’s taken so long. Right in the middle of filming we lost Shane and had Ali in a coma for seven weeks, and that shook everybody at a time when it could have been anybody doing that stuff. And it was Shane, the guy none of us wanted it to be. The scenario that none of us wanted to happen happened right before or eyes. I’d like to see anybody else get through that untarnished. So, you know, the video is dedicated 
to Shane. It’s his first and last full video part, and 
Ali Boulala will have a part in the video. We support Ali and we hope he’s doing well.

Also, while making this video you had a big team shift by taking on a bunch of the Firm skaters. Flip probably has the most diverse team with the greatest cross section of styles and generations of skating. How did you make those elements all work while putting a video together? How did you mix cutting-edge street skating with classic pool riding with someone parachuting into the Grand Canyon? How do you put all that together?
I think everyone who’s on the team wants to ride for a company like that. I don’t think anyone wants to ride for a team that’s just about one guy. It’s about everybody and everybody’s different place within that brand, and it’s the company we’ve always strived to have. I think the guys we have now, I think they’re rad! I’m super stoked. I don’t think there’s been a video in a long time that’s had different styles of skateboarding, or this many generations of skating. We’ll see what that’s going to look like. The video premiere’s in two weeks, so the video’s still not quite finished.

Noseblunt slide revert

Is this the future of the business of skateboarding? Was there a grand vision 
with the current team?
At Flip we respect the older generations of skateboarding as well as the kids that are pushing the future of skateboarding. With the team that we’ve got now, it’s exciting. It could possibly change the way that people look at skateboard teams. Hopefully it will show people what the company is really about, you know? A company that we’ve tried to build for a really long time is respecting everything that came before us and looking forward to the future. So we have a team that reflects that future.

I know you like to surround yourself with maniacs when you’re out skating. Do you want to give a shout out to all the maniacs 
in your life?
I don’t know who you’re talking about, but I’m guessing I get along with this type of person because I like people who really want to live their life properly. They’re not afraid to drop something monotonous and do something they might never forget.

Is Jimmy Boyce the Pete Best of the Flip team?
Who’s Pete Best?

The forgotten Beatle.
No, no. Jimmy’s like a satellite nomad, roaming the country, waving the banner. I have a hell of a lot in common with those types. I like their style and I admire their outlook on life. They’re all amazing skateboarders and they’re not afraid to stop, either.

What’s going on with the music in this video?
I wanted it to sound like all the music could stand alone. You could separate it from the video and it could stand up on its own. It would span the breadth of all kinds of different musicians and have them all come together to be on the same kind of album, so the whole thing sounded as if it was made in one piece—which it was.

Were you influenced at all by the soundtracks of the old Powell videos?
No, not really. I think some of the timeless music from the old Powell videos, the Rubber Boys and that, is definitely music you never forget from when you were a kid. You never heard it anywhere else, so you related it directly back to skateboarding. Hopefully, we can make more modern types of music that kids could go and buy, as well as be stoked that it was made specifically for a skater, for a skateboard video. There’s not really anything like that, so why the hell not try it? There’s nothing wrong with trying to make something new for a particular genre and that also might fit into skateboarding. That would be rad for everyone. That would be cool.

I’m going to say a name and you say 
the first thing that comes into your mind. 
Lance Mountain. Pools. Bob Burnquist. Mega-Ramp. Rodrigo TX. Mad pop. Mark Appleyard. Mad style. Luan Oliveira. Mad wizardry. Louie Lopez. Mad gangsta. Ben Nordberg. Mad English. Rune Glifberg. Mad Viking. Ali Boulala. Court Jester. Shane Cross. Rest in peace.

Any message you want to give the kids who take the time to watch the video?
I’d like to thank them all for spending the time doing that. We put a lot of our skateboarding and life into these videos and I hope the kids appreciate it, but even more than that, I hope they really get a lot out of it. I hope it makes them want to skateboard. I hope it makes them feel good about skateboarding and 
I hope it makes them feel like they’re different from everybody else out there by being a skateboarder.
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