Mark Suciu Interview

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Make no mistake, Mark Suciu loves skateboarding. Coming in hot when he first hit the scene, he released tons of incredible video parts which seemed more like he was filming with friends than working on a project. However, even with taking all the right steps a hopeful, young skater could take, skateboarding became uninspiring to him. He decided education might be the path to becoming the person he aspired to be and slowly separated himself from skating. Luckily for us, school showed Mark that his view of skateboarding had been narrow and there was still plenty of ground left to cover. He’s now ready to take this thing on from an academic’s angle with a freshly-opened mind. We’re glad you’re back, Mr. Suciu! 

 

Hey, Mark, what’s up?

Nothing much. Just went to get an espresso.

 

Easy for you, you’re in the Lower East Side, right?

I live at the border of the LES, Two Bridges and Chinatown. I live in between Labor and the skatepark. I skate LES a lot. Blubba is fun to skate flatground at. Skating through that area by yourself is just as fun as skating a park with people. I’m in such a good zone—the coolest restaurants, a dope movie theatre and the skateshop. I know the guy that runs the Dimes cafe and have a barber, Nick Belmonte, that works at Blind Barber. It would be so hard for me to move and find another area like this place. If I did move, I would like to stay in Manhattan.

 

You’re a local guy now—getting your haircut from the same guy, knowing restaurant owners. What were you doing before I called?

Justin Albert just sent me the video part we’ve been working on. I was going to write some notes to myself, not say anything but I felt a lot of things. I had to get it off of my chest real quick.

 

What kind of things?

I felt like it wasn’t going in the right direction. It’s not a bad thing either. Justin and I have a really good rapport. I needed to tell him quickly that it wasn’t working. He said no problem; there was no drama.

 

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Enjoying the good zone with a backside 180 nosegrind on a Transformer’s head      Photo: Taketomo

 

It’s not like breaking up with a girlfriend?

Nah, it’s fine. How was China?

 

It was definitely China. We were there for a contest so I didn’t get to street skate much, which is a bummer. A 13-hour flight for five days is fucked, but it was a good time. 

I was wondering why you went for such a short time. Where did you go?

 

Shanghai. Have you ever been out there?

Nah, I haven’t.

 

Any desire?

Not really. It’s hard to want to go out there when you’ve seen so many skaters do it and the way they go about it is so funny. Rarely do you find a group that does an authentic skate trip, where you can see that they’re excited to experience the cities and culture. No offense to the Girl guys, but the way they went there to harvest footage is weird to me. Hearing Ty set up a cross-country road trip where they only stay in Motel 6s for the expressed purpose of having a trip that gets so boring that you only film is much easier to swallow. That’s a really ambitious form of torture and I’m glad that people respect him enough to want to get into that. They believe in the project he’s making. When you go to another country, however, you’re ignoring the culture. 

 

We lost you for a couple of years. 
What happened?

I went to school. I didn’t want to skate anymore. I was bummed at the idea that my body would still want to skate. People talk about how you can never quit skating, how you could never fulfill that urge you’ve satisfied so many times, to roll down the street. It’s very true but I didn’t like that, at the time.

 

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 Recycling is great but new shit is even better! Ollie to wallride, fresh as hell     Photo: Shafer

 

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Why do you think that bothered you so much?

I wanted to be totally in control of the things I was doing. What I wanted to do was to live a very deliberate life and I came to the conclusion that skateboarding wasn’t the most interesting thing that I could do. It wasn’t the most inspiring and it wouldn’t push me onto the next part of my life. I had these dreams of becoming a certain person and I tried to arrive at that point through skating. I probably had those dreams due to skateboarding, but they didn’t have anything to do with actual skating. When I traveled the world and turned pro, I saw how it really was—my dreams turned into a reality. The bubble had been popped and it wasn’t the route I had to take to become the person I had envisioned. I looked around and tried to find another way of doing that, which ended up being school. That ended up being super exciting and very inspiring. It wasn’t exactly school, it was what I was studying. The idea of literature and one’s spoken word, the raw element of one’s own consciousness on the page. It has to do with what I was just talking about—living a deliberate life, trying to create something that is entirely your own product. To theorize a creative production that is not completely objective, including taking account you as a person and your body as an object, it’s a complex thing. Your body moving in space while carrying out the things your mind tells it to do is much more difficult to understand than writing your idea of art into a long tapestry, however that may be. I think I wasn’t ready to appreciate skateboarding in all of its complexity. 

 

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Front blunt bank to bank—no stick, all sick     Photo: Shafer

 

You obviously had all of these other things you wanted to do outside of skateboarding, but do you think you were scared that you wouldn’t reach the full potential that you would’ve liked to and therefore it might have been a subconscious way of retreating or did you truly lose interest?

I think there were not enough amazing examples of people who do really amazing interesting things with their skating and careers for me to envision something that was that complex, something that was worth going for. At this time I was 20 and I had done so much shit I wanted to do for the entirety of my life, I couldn’t imagine anything else really. I could imagine doing the same things, except adding in a kickflip in five years time or going to different parts of the world. It didn’t seem there were any other forms of excitement other than what I had experienced at the time. I’d seen other people’s careers and I’ve seen them repeat themselves. I wanted more intrigue.

 

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Nice try, skate stopper—switch flip back tail past the bullshit     Photo: Muller

 

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Do you find that in the more recent years, it has become something you could achieve or have you accepted that’s how it’s going to be? What’s your take on it now?

It’s somewhere in between those two. The shitty part is, no, I haven’t. I’ll repeat myself and—fuck it—it’s what I’m going to do. However, I’ve reached another realm and I’m a different type of skater than I’d ever imagined. I was really ambitious about studying literature, going into academia and getting a masters up until the last semester where I realized it would be a good thing for me to take a year off to use my thesis work to apply to a master’s program. The way the applications are, you have to finish your application before you finish your thesis. I had already passed that application date but then I realized I was going to fall back into skating this year. There was no other way about it. I felt like I was being pushed out of the university and back into skateboarding by society and all the powers that govern that kind of thing.

 

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He can skate rails, too?! Kinky front board for the naysayers      Photo: Zaslavsky

 

Is that something that you didn’t want?

At the time I did not. As for now, that’s kind of hard for me to answer. I like where I’m at right now. I’m super happy to be here but I wanted to stay at school then and I really didn’t want to be pushed out. I wanted both paths—but that’s anybody. I ended up just trying to make the best of it—restructure my ideas about what it means to be a skater and to put other key thoughts at the forefront of my mind. As a skater, I do think of the career I’m leading and how things are going to look. I film every day and it adds every day to the building blocks of a career. When I was 20, the thing I was thinking about when I was skating was a certain idea of perfection that led to those ideas of, I’m going to do exactly what I want to do, what I’ve always dreamed of in terms of tricks and video parts, then I won’t repeat myself. People repeat themselves and, to me, that is imperfect. It’s a lesser form of what they’ve already done. I’m going to put out these video parts and be done with them. That was the ideal of perfection that was in my mind. After I graduated and got back into skating, I’ve got to do some restructuring. I have to look at the way I look at skateboarding as a whole, that maybe I should try to judge less. In school, there were some philosophers that I saw that could give me a solid foundation of thought in the way I wanted to approach these ideas. I also took examples from skaters such as Busenitz, someone who thinks way less about it than someone like me at the time—thinks less but skates more. I tried to have those kinds of people constantly in my thoughts and whenever I would go skating, I would constantly just step on my board instead of thinking about why I was doing it.

  

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To me, it sounds like by going to school and studying these things, you’ve opened up your mind a lot more. Your mind seems to run less rampant. 

Going to school made me realize how narrow my thinking was. It does that for tons of people but it did it for me in the skate world. I still have those ideas of perfection and that inherent desire to see something done perfectly, which is what I’m dealing with now and with Justin and this video part. I have control on the gauge and these things are still a part of me. But when I skate I’m trying to think less. I don’t need all these words and this huge story to explain what I’m trying to do because—

 

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Getting buck at Blubba with a back lip kickflip out     Sequence: Taketomo

 

Yes, you do. It’s a part of you, from your mannerisms to how your mind works. It’s important to convey these things and someone else might take it the wrong way but that’s on them. Back to narrow-mindedness, people will judge regardless, but if they really want to understand you, they’ll either use context clues, personal experience or look up what you’re trying to say. That’s the thing about having an open mind as well, people reading this interview might think you come off as pretentious, but it’s just how you are. I don’t think you should have to change yourself or the way you explain things just to cater to a broader audience. Obviously, you don’t want to be stuck in a box, but people might now view you more like an academic than a skater. I think it’s important to let thoughts like that go. 

I agree. I like what you said. One thing that’s nice about being put in a box is that it led to me taking the whole idea of skating differently. Back to that question: have I reached a different kind of career than the one I imagined myself to possibly have, one that would be really boring? I think I have. If you’re working with your own career, you can play with it so much, play with expectations. It is so funny to hear people talk about me skating contests. It’s a contest—you have to skate the big rail to get a high score and everybody knows it. So I was skating the rail and everyone was freaking out saying, “He’s only a tech guy; he’s not known as someone who skates this stuff.” You can do a simple Internet search and find the rails that I’ve skated. At the same time, it’s true. I didn’t skate that many rails but I was, like, Fuck it, I’m going to do some weird shit. Lately, in the past two months, I’ve done some of the gnarliest shit I’ve ever done and I don’t take it seriously at all. I did this huge ollie at a plaza in Madrid. Thousands of people have seen it and a couple people have tried it. Someone even got really close but they needed a tow-in. I thought, Fuck it, and I wanted to do it without a moped. I had ollied a gap in the recent past that was three feet shorter but had an eight stair at the end of it. I thought that I could maybe do this shit. I pushed at it a couple times and knew I definitely had it. When I was skating it, I didn’t have the thought that I always had when I was 20, which was, Here I go, forced to do another skate trick or time to produce. I just thought it was funny I would be the guy to do this ollie that no one had done. I’m going to do this because it is fucking awesome. Sure enough, I did it and some people gave me props later on telling me that it was gnarly and that I was not the one they had thought would do it.

 

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Breaking some wood with a crooked grind. Not everything needs to be so serious     Photo: Zaslavsky 

 

So your perspective has been skewed but in a good way.

Yeah. At 20, what I was trying to do was to surprise myself. I was always interested in the element of surprise, in whatever domain you’re in. It’s the most fun thing. It can apply even when you’re hanging out with someone new for the first time—it’s the surprise that really makes you like them. Back then, my idea of surprising myself was to do the most difficult thing I could and to do it in a good way, at a cool spot. That interaction was only a two-way dynamic. It was me versus skate history. Now with the career I’m working with, it’s me versus me versus skating. It’s more complex and I have made it to a different kind of experience in a skate career. It was always there but I never noticed it. Not that I’m looking for it anymore—I still can’t think of people that are good examples of switching it up. There are people that have gone sober and started killing it again. Maybe Bob Burnquist—he came in hard to the scene in the early 2000s. I think there was a dry spell after but then he started going off again.

 

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Massive NBD ollie in Madrid—leave your moped in the garage!     Photo: Rubio

 

Well, I think someone that completely reinvented themselves is Auby Taylor.

Oh, really?

 

He was a gnarly street guy but now he’s a psycho vert guy. I saw him in Texas and he can fakie air eight-feet up.

Wow, let me look this up. This is gnarly. This part came out four years ago when I wasn’t watching skating at all. I watch a lot now but I haven’t seen this yet.

 

What part are you watching?

Auby’s World

 

So he used to be a big jumper.

Holy shit. Nollie heel crook MACBA from really far back.      

  

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Kickflip backside 5-0—we’ll keep the light on for you     Photo:  Zaslavsky

 

He changed his whole shit up. I’m not sure why but he stopped jumping and started skating vert. I think he put in a ton of work and now he can send it to the sky. It’s kind of like how Ishod started skating transition but a full transformation. He doesn’t touch street and fully rides an ’80s board and everything.

Now that I’ve looked him up—wow. I like the photo of him at Vert Attack in Malmö. It really shows him as someone who completely belongs in that type of skating. He’s a good example of someone working with their history. What I really want to do, however, is keep little parts of my past. I used to skate stairs a ton and like anyone else, I’m 26 and stopped doing so. I heard someone try to categorize me as someone who is a ten-stairs-and-under kind of guy. 

 

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Well, are you?

He told me that I wasn’t going to kickflip a 12 stair but he liked me for that. I was thinking, What are you fucking talking about? That wouldn’t be a good enough trick but I can do it.

 
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Ol’ lightning feet goes frontside 180 on, switch 180 off. Zap, zap!     Photo: Zaslavsky

 

I think you should go do yourself a big ol’ kickflip.

I did.

 

Oh, really?

Yeah, it was an eight stair off of a ledge with a gap in between the two. I never kickflipped a straight 12 but that guy, along with everyone that didn’t think I was going to skate that gap, was just making assumptions that were so clear to everyone else except me. I didn’t have to do it. No one was forcing me and I didn’t need that guy’s approval. However, I am always looking at ways to make this more interesting and I could jump down some shit no problem. I want to film a whole part that showcases my full repertoire, even the things no one knows I can do.

 

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Switch back noseblunt fakie flip—the element of surprise is alive and well!     Sequence: Rubio

 

A magnum opus.

Is a magnum opus only once in your career?

 

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I believe so.

Well, I don’t want that. Not the single greatest thing I’ll ever do, but I want to show myself doing everything that I can do. For that, I’ve been reviewing everything I’ve filmed. Say I don’t have a switch tré, since I love that trick, I want to go out and do one for this part. Through talking with other people, I saw the box they put around me and I’ve been taking it apart little by little. With what I was saying about the ollie, I didn’t have to do it and because of that mentality I didn’t get stressed out doing it. I don’t feel like a skate career requires me to throw my body off of buildings. I am not promising people a future where I only get gnarly, it’s just that I’ve stepped into a space where there’s a possibility of multiple personas to coexists with my own and I can step into them and not take everything so seriously. It’s not as personal.

 

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 Switch tré for the part—we love that trick, too     Sequence: Taketomo

 

It almost sounds like you’ve finally begun skating truly for yourself. You don’t have to do something, but you’re gonna do it anyway because you want to do it. 

It’s hard to say but I feel like I’ve always skated for myself.

 

There is that but let me put it in perspective: I always wanted to be a pro skater but at some point I realized that it wasn’t something I was destined to do. As I accepted that, I started skating more for myself rather than to do all these crazy tricks to try to make it into a career, and that really helped me enjoy skating that much more. I believe overall I improved a lot more, from getting more comfortable on a board to looking better. I became more in tune with myself and self-aware. I wouldn’t say that’s the same journey that you took but it could be somewhere along the lines of self-acceptance.

It’s kind of backwards from what you’re saying because I don’t necessarily look as good doing these things, such as ollieing that big gap. 

 

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What I’m trying to say is that you can watch someone skate and really tell when they enjoy skateboarding. You can tell a difference when someone has to skate for their job rather than, Holy shit, this is the best thing ever.

I kind of agree but it’s not something I look for when I watch someone’s skating. I don’t think I notice that kind of thing. I think when I watch people skate, I see something else.

 

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Bluntslide, pop over the stopper to 5-0 180 out—looks perfect to us

 

What do you see?

Ishod, for instance, is someone I can say looks like he’s having fun but I wouldn’t say that to myself. I would say what I’m looking for the most is that when it appears are the instances of complete perfection. I filmed him do a noseblunt on the smaller vert wall at the Grotto Lotto, which is about seven-or-eight feet tall. It’s just the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen. Sure, it looks like he’s having fun because it’s not hard for him and he likes that trick, but there are certain photographs by photographers from the ’70s of certain buildings of modernist architecture that I look at as being perfectly composed—perfection in every sense—and I felt the same way when I watched Ishod do that noseblunt. What I think I’m looking for are instances of just complete unity with your board. When you achieve that kind of perfection, there’s an absence of technique that is pure skating.

 

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Mark in the dark—frontside 50-50 transfer, gate danger high

 

I feel like that’s the exact definition of technique, not the absence.

No, because you can have one good technique without having another. You can push well to a spot but then blow the trick. Frankie Spears sometimes misses his ollie a little bit but then he’ll back Smith a 20 stair with perfect execution of the back Smith minus the ollie in—the way he’s on the board, his arms, how little he moves, how easy it looks for him.

 

So it’s the whole trick, from beginning 
to end.

With this noseblunt, yeah.

 

Let me get this straight—it goes push, entry, the execution of the trick, rolling away, everything.

That was the best noseblunt ever done.

 

That’s being a perfectionist.

What I’m looking for is perfection, from the little bits to the entire thing.

 

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Well, with the way you view perfection and the means you desire achieving so, do you feel like you could come off as someone that might be a control freak in terms of your skating and career choices?

No, I don’t think of myself as one because I don’t freak out over controlling everything. That’s what I’m interested in and I want to do things as well as possible but I’m not going to be a dick. What if I don’t like this interview or the photos and I tell you guys that you have to stop it from being pressed? No, I’m hyped on it so far but I’ve had things in the past come out and hated the whole thing. It sucks, but onto the next.

 

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Need help? Ask for help—board-boosted front shove crooks     Photo: Zaslavsky

 

I meant more towards an internal battle with perfection. Say you do a trick and you do it multiple times. It’s a very hard trick that you went through hell and back to land. The clip looks good but you don’t view it in your vision of perfection. Would you still use that clip?

Yes, I would still use it, however, if I still have time, I would like to go back and redo it. To me, that’s what’s important. I varial heeled a five-flat-five, which I was hyped on for awhile and the footage hasn’t come out yet. To see a varial heel is one thing but to see a good one is completely different. You’ve added an extra element. We’re still working on this video part that it’s going to be used in. A year later I went back and said to myself that it was what I was going to do that day. Now I have that easy and I can do it even better. I landed it a little stiff or it didn’t hit my feet perfectly. I think that little difference is so fucking valuable. 

 

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Done worrying about grade curves and focusing on bendy boardslides, Mark’s outta the classroom and back in the streets!

 

With the way you’re putting it, I feel exactly the same way. But for me, at a certain point, it becomes more of an acceptable thing. If I try a trick for four hours and finally land one, but not exactly the way I wanted to do it, sometimes I get bummed and I don’t want to use it at all. I then think about all the work I put into it and what it meant to me to actually roll away from it and I know I’m not doing that shit again. Has it ever come to a point where it took more effort than going to the moon and back, where you like the energy you put into doing the trick?

Nah, I would never put out a trick based on my own personal ties to it. That’s the way I read your question. Do you ever have such a strong relationship with a clip that you put it in there? Even though all of my skating is based on a personal attachment to things, I would never place my attachment to a clip over the reception to it. I’ve seen all these video parts that I really like and what I want to do is emulate or do them better. When I make something, I am viewer, performer, audience and actor, so I can make something that has a certain effect. If I don’t think it has that same effect but I still like it, then at least I’m happy I did something that I like but I’m not going to use it.

 

You have a lot of interesting takes on things you like and are interested in. Do you think some of these tastes stem from your parents? Are the things that they enjoyed subconsciously branched into the interests you have today?

My dad passed his tastes on, showing me them and most of the time I would reject them. However, they were still there. I knew what he was into. Before long I started to get more into them because I realized that when he came from Romania, which is not the most affluent country, he tried to make it in America to become a wealthy and empowered citizen of this leading nation. By doing that, he adopted these interests that are supposedly considered high-class interests, such as Beethoven. He said, “Man, I remember those days in college, we were so in awe with what Beethoven had done.” What struck me as odd about that comment was that he was talking about his attachment to Beethoven via the group. We were listening to one of his pieces and his inability to talk about the music, along with the word we, he didn’t know much about these things. He just took them on as an ornament in a class he was trying to be a part of. I felt like he wasn’t invested in those things. All the books on his library shelves and the way he passed them down to me just because they were classics.

 

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Fakie 5-0 to fakie nosegrind, add this to your list of modern classics      Sequence: Pep Kim

 

It seems he was more into the lifestyle rather than the content of the lifestyle.

I think he was confused because it seemed like those things were the content of the lifestyle. The community he was trying to enter imbued its own qualities it viewed itself with. Beethoven was not only music but a community of intelligent, ambitious people living in a government that was pretty much going to help them out in whatever they wanted to do. I think at that point I realized that they were undiscovered riches. All the books on his library shelves, no one has really unearthed what really lies behind their pages. He maybe knows the story but never came to it from an authentic place, seeing them for what they are.

 

A deep interest, rather than at face value.

Exactly. I never got into classical music really. I have some pieces that I like a lot but I’m not going to a concert because I truly enjoy it. Literature, on the other hand, it was one of those things. Same goes with learning French. In Romania at the time, my dad knew France was the height of Western Culture so he tried to teach his kids French instead of Romanian. He taught me a little bit and I took it from there. I studied it in school and traveled to France a lot when I was younger. He was the first one to take me to France on a family vacation but I kept it up and stayed there for a semester. My French outpaced his a long time ago. It’s the development of how he passed his interests on to me that is a very fascinating thing. I’m extremely grateful for it. I don’t mean to sound like I don’t respect the way he looked at those things, because I think that’s totally legitimate. A community can express itself through music, not for music’s sake but as a communal thing. You don’t have to be totally into music to appreciate that.

 

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No time for slippin’ on this back lippin’. Mind that crossbar, Mr. Suciu     Photo: Zaslavsky

 

My dad tried to do the same thing, except with jazz music. He put jazz music on a pedestal and described it to me as the pinnacle of a classy lifestyle. I will say it is a little different because he was actually into jazz music but there were other things I could tell he truly was not invested in that he tried to push onto me, so I could become a part of this ideal upper echelon. Sure enough, I rejected jazz music because it was so forced upon me. As time went on, I kind of accepted it. I don’t agree with everything but he was right with some ideals he had. Now his interests are rooted in a lot of things I enjoy. My favorite instruments are the trumpet and saxophone in modern music, instruments of which they use very heavily in jazz. My root interests are from jazz music and it only became so interestingly to me because it was pushed onto me from my dad, however, not in the ways he intended. I respect it but I took it on as my own, just like you might’ve.

This is the way that anyone deals with growing up with their parents, trying to become a person in the wake of their parents’ personality. At the same time, it’s super interesting because your father comes from the development of a culture which is more than if you had a kid right now. I feel like the changes in society are so much less for people having kids right now, the way they relate to their kids versus how ours do to us. The generational shift is much more drastic.

 

I think part of that change stems from the way their parents raised them—to them raising us with ideals to be a strict, upstanding citizen. It was so strong and what they projected were things they could never accomplish, it was so obvious that it was not genuine. I could not see myself being friends with my parents, yet nowadays I see people having kids and they are best friends with them. But I think this a normal change due to the behaviors from those before us. I would raise my kid differently but hopefully have the same results. Were your parents supportive of you skateboarding?

My mom was extremely supportive. My dad, on the other hand, was not. She worked full-time but would drive my friends and me everywhere on the weekends. She tried to be as involved as possible. On the other hand, he thought all of my friends were losers. That was just when I was a kid. Later on, as I got older, he would say more particular or specific things. Brandon Nguyen remembered something he said to me that I didn’t: “The problem I have with skateboarders is that even the most ambitious of them only want to change their domain. But my friends and I in college wanted to change the whole world.” He wasn’t outright saying “fuck skateboarding,” he was accepting it in his own way, but at the same time was wishing it were more. He couldn’t see why we were so focused on flipping one little thing on your board. 

 

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Parents just don’t understand. Cab back noseblunt for the kids     Sequence: Taketomo

 

As the cheesy saying goes, If you don’t do it, you don’t understand. But I think growing up, having a parent that didn’t understand it and did anything they could do to get in my way, it really made me appreciate it more.

I was thinking about how my dad was having so much trouble understanding that I would experience all of my life through skateboarding. There was a point after I graduated high school, my dad had retired and we made it through our dramatic family trauma of myself not going to college when I would talk to him a lot more deeply, pretty often. He could tell I had an opportunity from the beginning; he just didn’t like it. He didn’t think it would bring me much. I told him I was going to skate forever, that I was never going to go to college. This is it for me. I’m going to work in skating for the rest of my life. He didn’t see it the same way that your dad didn’t see that skateboarding for you was what jazz was for him. I was having conversations with him about my deepest fears or where I saw myself in five years, just these weird business conversations—almost as if he was trying to interview or set me up for the real world, probing me to figure out if I was growing up in the same way I would’ve had I gone to college. That’s what he was scared of: that I was going to miss out on all of the experiences that he and his peers have had. Although it felt really organic, through that interview process and conversations it slowly dawned on him that my life was life. I was suffering, afraid but so excited. I was living it big time. I was living my dreams. He had to go in his own way to see if I had experienced certain things, but without knowing those actual questions. He realized all of his questions had been answered and saw that my life was full.

 

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Ollie up front three, on the rocks in front of the tree     Photo: Muller

 

As crazy as tough love is, I do understand that they could go about it better. But parents, for the most part, want what’s best for you. When you noticed your dad had come to that realization, how did it make you feel?

I retrospectively realized it, so there wasn’t a big moment in which I felt that my dad had understood it. It went about very organically. He was super hard on me at the beginning, as I knew he would be. He tried to get more and more involved in it. That involvement came with the frustration that skateboarding wasn’t like other things. He tried to quantify skating with a normal job and it didn’t work. I could see the moment of him really trying to get behind it was actually just frustration. It was cool he was involved but he still wasn’t accepting of it. He took a step back and slowly realized that I was doing things. It just stopped being a question. 

 

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Photo: Zaslavsky

 

Sometimes things just take time. Speaking of which, you’ve spent a lot of time on this video part you’ve been working on.

I’ve been working on this video part since before you were alive. 

 

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You’re a year older than me.

I’m kidding—about the time since I graduated from college, two years ago. I just wanted to come out with something that shows that I’m totally back into skateboarding, full-time. I thought it was going to come out in the summer of last year but it’s finally going to come out. I wanted to put together a part that, to me, is perfect. Something with no filler, that only had the tricks that I liked, done the way I like. People might like the footage that I view as subpar, so that would go to something else, however, for this one thing I want it to be perfect.

 

Something that you can truly be proud of, a piece that you’ve poured your heart and soul into.

We haven’t seen the whole thing but that’s what I’m trying to get to. 

 

Have you faced any type of hiccups putting this thing together?

This originally was supposed to be my shoe part but then they pushed the deadline up. All of a sudden, I wasn’t ready to put out a banging part. It was due at a specific time. I put that part out, using some of the footage I wanted to use for this thing but then I was back at square one. I’m psyched on it for what it is but that was just trying to fill up time. I think this will be a good video part. If this is the best video part I ever make, I’m fine with that, but it isn’t what I need it to be.

 

I think that’s all we want to see from you now. Thanks, Mark.

 

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Nollie Cab at the D7 Blocks—totally back into skating full-time indeed!     Sequence: Taketomo

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