Mark Suciu Interview
Mark Suciu is on another level, but he doesn't know it. His programming is a bit different than the rest of ours. Yes, his skating is outside the box, but that's not all. He's got a strange bug inside him, sorta like a worm. He needs to quickly devour new tricks and film video part after video part. He also does the same with the finer things in life: worldly experiences, learning and loving. Make no mistake, Mark isn't just skating flat ledges and spending time at the local library—he's out there getting gnarly, contorting his body in new ways in order to satisfy his urge for creativity and for our entertainment. These are the type of qualities that make memories and legends.
Words & photos by Dan Zaslavsky
Who's was your pick for Skater of the Year?
Did Philly go nuts?
Yeah, wilder than NYC at New Year's.
Gary Rogers is a huge fan of yours. What do you think about him and his show?
I think he's hilarious. Thank you, Gary, for having my back.
Are you bummed you disappointed him by not winning SOTY?
Do you think that if your Search The Horizon part came out sooner, you'd have had a chance?
Alternate angle of the epic back Smith at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium
Do you ever go back and watch your old video parts?
No, I haven’t done that in a long time. But I used to do stuff like that. I really like to watch the old clips of skating back home, like six-years-ago type of stuff when I was really young. Just looking back on the good old days. If I’m gonna watch a video part of me, it’s gonna be a really old one.
How long do you plan on skating?
I think I’ll skate forever. It’s an addiction and a habit. If you quit then you’ll go fuckin’ insane.
Switch backside 180 in Philly back before he lived there and before the locals took much notice
What’s your favorite video part from the past?
I’m most psyched on the San Jose part I filmed with Justin Albert, because though it’s not my home city, it’s right by my house and it was just—it didn’t have to happen, you know? It was just a project. It was basically what we were doing every day. Hang out and go skate the skateparks during the day and then go downtown at night because there’s nothing better to do. It’s my favorite because it was the most natural. The most genuine.
Even though you’re young, when you look back on your old parts do they remind you of certain phases in your life?
Definitely. I think it’s easy for me to look back on a certain time and remember it well because I’ve been a lot of places. Even just taking one trip into account—going across the country—seeing a photograph from one of those cities is enough to remember the whole city. Just remember who I was with and what a great time it was and everything.
Mark warms up at an Atlantic City Casino spot where Merlino’s dad is a dealer
Is one of the reasons that you recently moved to Philadelphia because of the skate scene?
Definitely. Out of all the places I’ve traveled to in the US, I think that Philadelphia is the easiest city for me to acclimate to since it has a great skate scene and there are a lot of people that are really excited to skate. I think maybe the weather has something to do with it because they’re genuinely excited to skate on a nice day. Plus, it’s centered around Love Park which is one of the most classic, amazing and best skate spots in the world. And sorry to say it, but I do like the spots out here a lot more than back home. They’re a lot more aesthetically pleasing than California spots—even in San Francisco. SF has a really great vibe to it—it’s basically home to me and sometimes you’re fed up. Sometimes you need something new, and Philly had a lot to offer. And its an east coast city and it’s a lot different—and I like to experience new things.
Do you think you’re gonna be able to cope with the winter?
Yeah. But it’s something I worry about, though. There’s an indoor skatepark here that I’ll be going to a lot, I’m sure. But it’s nice to deal with the challenge. There’s a lot of people who—this is what they’ve had to deal with their whole life, you know? I think I had it lucky for many years and I’d like to see what it’s like not to have that.
Is frontside shuving into frontside tricks a current trend? If so, it’s a good one
So you’re kinda known as a revert type of guy; you’re kind of innovative. You frequently throw in a spin or a twist that’s very unanticipated. Can you tell us what may have inspired that?
I was the kid who was watching videos every day, thinking not only about the tricks people were doing, but the tricks they could be doing. Everybody thinks like that, you know? Maybe at school on your desk thinking “What if you did a kickflip backside noseblunt shove it and then you reverted?” Just crazy thoughts like that. That train of thought led me to think that turning one way and then turning back was something cool to do. And then there were tricks that hadn’t been done like that, so I wanted to learn those tricks. I know there are a lot of people out there that think contorting your body is not something pleasant to watch, and that’s fine. But to me, I just see it as a creative way to go about things and it’s really hard. It’s just like working in a new direction, I think. There are a lot of tricks that haven’t been done like that. I didn’t grow up skating with all the people I loved watching skate, so there was a lot of time for me to think about the things that they could be doing. And so I did. I learned a bunch of tricks and you know, there’s been a lot of tricks that I’ve wanted to do and couldn’t do until recently. I wanted to do a backside overcrook to frontside 180. I thought it would be the coolest trick. If I hadn’t done that today it would have been a bucket list trick. It’s more about being the change that you want to see. You gotta work towards something.
What’s next for you? Anything you want to tell the readers?
I feel like now that I’m pro I’ve got this really big personal goal or personal pressure to not blow it—not rest on my laurels. I think that just because I went pro it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have personal goals to achieve. I think that going pro is something that you shouldn’t think about at all. It shouldn’t affect the way you skate. If I didn’t put out good footage anymore or even if I had a different attitude about skateboarding, then that would be a disappointment to myself. So I think the biggest thing to me is just to keep it going and to have fun with skating and film a lot and that’s about it.
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