Interview and photos by J.T. Rhoades @bigtweest
"If I'm out, I'm trying to get a trick"
Hey Riley, who all are you skating for these days?
Baker, Lakai, Asphalt Yacht Club, Spitfire and Independent.
For people who don't know what Asphalt Yacht Club is, what's that?
It's a new clothing company. I got approached by my friend, Jesse, who was put in charge of designing the team. The office is right by Carlsbad where I live and it just made sense. It was a good time to try something new 'cause Quiksilver had just dropped the whole team and I wasn't sure what I was going to do. The team is Stevie Williams, Stefan Janoski, Figgy, Blake Carpenter, Derrick Wilson, Ben Nordberg and Nyjah.
Kickflip Bennett grind
So you have this Lakai part that came out today. How long have you been working on that?
I probably started filming as soon as Shep Dawgs 3 came out. Me and Jacob probably filmed it two months ago, so maybe three or four months of filming.
So is that like the fourth or fifth part you've put out in the last two years?
I don't even know. All of my homies skate every day so I'm in the car, always out. If I'm out, I'm trying to get a trick.
Pretty much. What happened when you got arrested on Skate Rock?
I was just trying this kickflip at this spot in St. Louis. The cop came, kicked us out. Joe Brook was like, "Hey, we should go back. Try to shoot this so maybe we can use if for the cover," so I was like, "Let's do this." Went back and within a couple of minutes the same cop came back super pissed. He came in super hot. I was at the top and I saw him get out of the car with handcuffs so I knew. He handcuffed me and put me in the car. Schmitty and Geoff Rowley were filming so they talked to him. He was a cool guy, he was just pissed that we came back and did what he told us not to.
So no jail?
Nah, I was just in the cop car for 15 minutes but it sucked 'cause I was sweating bullets in there. I'd just gotten done trying a trick and I was super sweaty. I couldn't wipe my face or anything and I was just handcuffed in the back.
"I saw him get out of the car with handcuffs so I knew"
What's some other crazy shit that happened on Skate Rock?
Probably two nights before we left we had the tattoo gun. It was so ghetto rigged. We were soldering the parts together because it was falling apart. People were walking into the hotel room, kicking the machine while it's going and stuff because they didn't see it. Andy Roy got a tattoo on his neck from Nuge. I thought that was pretty heavy. We were up all night 'cause everyone wanted a tattoo by Nuge. He looked pretty over it by the end of the night.
Frontside boardslide shove-it
What do you think of the situation with Richie's misspelled tattoo in the van from Gerwer?
The Skate and Destory one? I think I missed when that went down. I was sleeping in the van, just totally dusted and woke up with Richie coming back with his tattoo, just butchered.
Damn, that sounds super intense. What's your favorite band you've been listening to lately?
My buddy who's in this band from Encinitas, Sacri Monti, just sent me some tracks. They're skaters and the band's super good so I can't wait for that to come out so people can hear it. If you're into that kind of stuff, they're as good as any other band out there.
I like listening to Harsh Toke 'cause they come over to my house and jam all the time. It's pretty much like a live show every other day with them. I've been listening to Earthless a lot. They're one of my favorite bands. I just got this new Joy record. They're a band from around here. There's a bunch of cool bands coming out of San Diego lately. It's pretty rad.
"I've been listening to Earthless a lot"
What's your favorite guitar and amp set up and shit like that?
Ever since Fender sent me a Stratocaster I've been super psyched on that. I've got an Orange amp, it's the Rockaverb 100 Mark 2, the cab - like the 4 X 12. I also just recently got an Epiphone, it's called the Crestwood. It's from the '70s. It was actually this dude Gabe's from Harsh Toke a long time ago and then through the Carlsbad grapevine I ended up with it somehow.
Noseblunt slide pull-in
Sick. So what's your favorite?
Proabably the Stratocaster. The white Fender.
What's your next big project?
I've been trying to film with Jacob for the next Shep Dawgs video. Just trying to wrap that up.
What do you think of these Baker team changes?
I don't really know anything about it. It kinda sucks that some of the dudes lost their boards or whatever but Andrew knows what he's doing. I'm definitely not gonna question what Andrew wants to do.
Any last words?
Hopefully people are stoked on the Lakai part and it's not boring. Hopefully.
2/27/2018Nothing quite beats two skateboard companies working together to support skateboarding and skateboarders. Watch here as Riley and Jason terrorize the roads in this co-branded piece.
1/17/2018Riley had one hell of a 2017, cranking out top-notch footage at a prolific clip. Here’s 20 minutes of madness from his Shep Dawgs part. Enjoy!
11/30/2017Too many shredders? Glaring omissions? Looming conspiracies? All part of the SOTY experience! One thing’s for sure – the dudes on this list all kicked skateboarding’s ass in 2017. Read the stats, watch the videos and cast your vote who YOU think should get the little man in shorts. Congrats to all our contenders and everyone who ripped this year!
11/22/2017As another year comes to a close, the caliber of incredible skateboarding continues to blow our minds. Here’s our hot list of SOTY Contenders for 2017. Who’s got your vote?
11/18/2017Having already dropped a behemoth of a video part for Lakai, Riley left plenty in the tank for the Shep Dawgs encore. Raise your glass to another excellent blessing from the Hawk family.