David Gravette Pissed Off & Pissed On
So, David, got any regrets?
I have a few in mind but I don’t think I can talk about them. But what’s life without regrets?
What about the best decisions you’ve made?
Getting Thrasher tattooed on my eyebrows is the best decision I made in my entire life.
How long have you been pro? Is it everything you thought it would be?
I’ve been a pro for ten years now; I turned pro at 19. It was awesome in the beginning, which was about the first five years—doing lots of traveling with Devin, Silent Mike, Bingaman and our filmer Garrett Hunt. We were a real solid gang. Being pro is still great, but the dynamic of being a pro has really changed. I never thought my abilities with a computer would come into play in skateboarding. I’m sure you’ve all heard it before, but the internet really fucked up our little community. All in all, though, being a pro is pretty bomb.
He made his name on the rails, but Gravette is a park shark at heart. Frigid footplant off the fence in tropical-ass Hawaii Photo: Rhino
Do you feel being a pro for Creature now is an accomplishment?
Being pro for anything is an accomplishment, but there’s no better company for me than Creature. I’m glad I got on Creature when I did. I know so many skaters that are so goddamned amazing out there and they’re not even hooked up. It’s tough as fuck out there these days.
What do your parents think of your pro career?
I think my mom is pretty over it now. It’s really taking a toll on her. When I hurt my left shoulder it was the day after her birthday and I really didn’t want to make that call. But they are also glad I’m doing what I want to do with my life.
In BMX terms this kickflip footplant is known as a “Superman seat grab” Photo: Brook
Since riding for Creature, how many surgeries have you had?
Unfortunately, I was getting surgeries long before I got on Creature. I’ve been put under for medical procedures ten times in my life so far. I’ve never really been hurt trying anything substantial. It’s always been messing around. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m accident prone. I get hurt doing everything, even when I’m not skating.
What has been your most painful injury?
For some reason it is really, really fucked when my shoulders pop out. And waiting in the ER to get them popped back in is the worst pain I have ever been in! Usually when you break something you can find a position where it’s tolerable as long as you stay still. I couldn’t find that with either of my shoulders. I’ve had one of my testicles hanging out of my sack before and I was way calmer in the ER. The first time with my shoulder I waited for 45 minutes before I went up to the counter and told the lady, “I am in so much fucking pain, I am gonna break each of my fingers in front of your face unless you get me a doctor!” Three minutes later my shoulder was back in. The second time I was hoping I’d get it popped back in right away but it was way worse! They had me sitting for two-and-a half hours waiting for a doctor. I was running around grabbing EMTs and sneaking them around corners asking, “Hey, do you know how to get a shoulder back in?” but no one would help. I tried getting it in myself but I kept making it worse and they kept telling me to stop cussing and I’m, like, “Fuck, that’s all I’ve fuckin’ got!” I finally saw the doctor and he couldn’t get it back in so they had to knock me out.
I heard you have a collection of things doctors have taken out of your body during surgeries.
Ha! I don’t have that much. When I was about 14 I developed these tumor-like things in my hip and I could push them all over. When I slammed on them it felt like I had golf balls in my pockets. I finally got the surgery to remove them when I was about 17 and I really wanted to see what the fuck they looked like! The doctor told me he couldn’t legally give them to me but he would bring them in to show me and if they happened to disappear he wouldn’t tell anyone. Good guy. They turned out to be scar-tissue bursa sacks and I had five of these grape-sized things removed. I also have my wisdom teeth.
Is the party lifestyle dying in skateboarding?
There’s a lot of partying going on in skateboarding, especially if you’re young. I think the partying has definitely died down for me. I get those old-man hangovers now and if I’m going to try anything substantial I try to make sure I haven’t had any alcohol in the past week. That means a lot of staying back at the hotel while the other guys are going to hit the watering hole. The level in skateboarding has really risen and skateboarding has real athletes now. Sometimes I want to yell at people who have never had to go through a serious injury. I don’t wish harm on anyone, but sometimes it just makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong. I always have a lot of respect for other skaters I see who have less of an athletic build like me and tend to break when they have a bad slam.
Boardslide around and down a 90-degree corner in 30-degree weather Photo: Brook
Have you changed your lifestyle so you can skate longer?
From 19 to around 25 I partied almost every day. I would get drunk and skate all day with my friends and had the most amazing times. Around 25, my body started breaking from doing nothing at all. When I’m home now I go to the gym every other day. I drink smoothies. I’ll still drink my ass off on the right occasion, but I’ll go weeks without drinking. On trips now I rarely party. I stay at the hotel and call my girlfriend or I’ll take a bath and watch some RedTube.
Do the Creature fiends out there hold you to a high regard in terms of partying?
Creature fans love the green, you know what I mean. It really helps when you’re on trips and you don’t know where to find your meds. I’m really lucky that my fans seem to like to give me weed. But at bars, the fiends want to drink shots with you. The shots can take their toll on you real quick. I’ve gotten kicked out of a lot of bars when I’m fairly sober because I threw up after a shot. Sometimes I ask if I can just have a cocktail instead. Is that lame? I thought I would get better at taking shots as I got older, but somehow I’ve have gotten worse at it.
Who’s getting rad on their board these days?
Kevin Bækkel. He’s so hot right now.
What’s your deal with BMX?
I like it! When I was a kid, they didn’t really have proper small BMX bikes, so I was always riding full-size bikes. It was really hard to move the big bikes around, so skateboarding was always way more fun. I would always watch BMX at the X Games when I was skating in those contests. I guess my fascination with BMX has been growing again over the past few years. I just love the flow and danger aspect. I watch BMX videos to get me fired up to skate. People are going love that!
Do you follow more skateboarders or BMXers on Instagram?
I can’t believe I’ve gone from answering questions in previous interviews about why I would never get an Instagram account to answering questions about my Instagram feed. I feel pretty hypocritical. Sorry, guys—but this is the world we’re in, apparently, so I had to fall on my pride to keep my job. And yes, my feed is all BMX.
Afternoon nosepicks are almost always better than blackout shits. Ask Drehobl Photo: Brook
Do you stay current with skate videos?
I don’t really watch skate videos anymore. I’m too immersed in skateboarding. I need to disconnect at some point. There are so many skate videos coming out, it’s overwhelming to me. I watch my friends’ parts in videos, but I don’t go seeking out the newest videos. Part of my healing process is not watching skateboarding. When I do watch videos, I like to watch videos from the early 2000s. Every age group’s got a different golden era of skateboarding and that’s mine.
Some people say you complain a lot on trips?
I wear my heart on my sleeve and I let stuff loose. I try not to as much as possible, but I guess that’s just how I’m made. I think one of my biggest downfalls is I’m too honest. If I’m feeling a certain way, I’m really bad at hiding it or keeping it in. I’ve been that way since I was little. It also doesn’t help that I tend to get hurt on the first day of almost every trip. I think maybe if I’d flown home from some of those trips I wouldn’t be answering this question. I like to think I bring other good vibes to the trip, though. Who else is gonna sing country for the crew?
Blackout shits: let’s talk about this.
Oh, man, we’re going there? Well, I’ll do my best. We will never get to know the real story. There wasn’t a forensics team on hand, but it started with a Vox meetup in San Diego about eight years ago. We were drinking a bunch of tequila and the bar we were at had a candy-eating contest, which was real gnarly. E-man crushed the contest, so that made him a suspect in my eyes. We went back to Rhino’s, I went to bed and woke up to Drehobl telling this crazy story of getting pooped on and I’m, like, “what?!” And he’s, like, “Yeah, it was you.” So I guess Dan woke up and thought he had pissed himself but then discovered there was shit on top of his sleeping bag! The message he left on Ed Dominick’s phone was so fucking funny! “Ed! I need a ticket home. Gravette shit on me!” The only evidence that pointed to me was when the shit was discovered I was sitting in a chair in the kitchen in my boxers, passed out. I had sleptwalked there from bed. I was so bummed. Drehobl has always been one of my favorites and I hadn’t spent much time with him and really wanted to be on his good side, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the way to do it. Anyways, a year or so later I sleptwalked and pooped on a stool in a hotel, so that sealed my fate as being guilty of all poop matters. I am really, really sorry, Dan, and I hope you’re okay with this being in here. And huge sorry to Rhino and Debbie whose house it was.
What are your goals in skateboarding?
Just to have fun and enjoy it. Even though you’re out filming, it can be stressful. Trying a trick for four hours straight sucks. I have meltdowns and say I hate skateboarding but I do love skateboarding, even though it feels like a job sometimes. There is a work aspect of it now as I get older. I have to look for more original stuff to do or skate. I like skating big stuff still, but it has to have something unique about it. I just want to push myself as much as I can in the next few years and make the most out of my time that I can still skate. And hopefully continue to get coverage in this powerhouse of a magazine!
Haole gone wild! Heavy noseblunt slide in the Honolulu hills Photo: Rhino
What’s up with your night terrors?
I’m so over it. A lot of people will tell you they have night terrors just ’cause they have bad dreams, but anyone who really has them knows what I’m fuckin’ talking about. In bad dreams you can’t move well and everything is kinda off. You almost know you’re dreaming. But with night terrors you can run, fight, die and everything is super real! It blows me away my mind can even come up the horrible situations I encounter in my dreams. They seem to increase when I’m hurt. I’ve been having them for about five years, but at this point it’s become a nightly routine for my girlfriend to wake me up ’cause I’m freaking out and the bed is soaked with sweat! And for bonus points, I’ve developed sleep paralysis over the last year so sometimes when it’s really bad I am stuck in the nightmare and I can hear Liz telling me to wake up and feel her shaking me but I can’t. It’s a truly fucked situation. My mom thinks I might have developed some form of PTSD from all the years of scaring myself and getting hurt. I’m gonna go see someone for sure while my shoulder is healing. Some of the worst ones that won’t leave my head are shit like being possessed and killing my dog and realizing what I have done, lots of trying to swim to something while knowing there is a shark coming to get me, Mexican standoffs where we kill each other and I really feel the impact and heat of the bullet and I’m lying there knowing I’m gonna die and just trying to die quicker ’cause of the pain. Getting stabbed is a bitch too.
Creature works with tons of amazing artists. Who is your favorite?
Creature really kills the art department but I gotta go with the fellow Washingtonian Chris “Fat Chris” Adams. He did my first graphic and knocked it out the park with the hippie skull and he’s done five or six encores of that image. It’s insane to have a graphic concept that has become somewhat, for lack of a better word, iconic.
Do you have a weed sponsor?
I’m kinda in between right now. The fuckin’ government is always pitching curve balls. It’s hard to get something solid set up. However, I am gonna continue to try and force myself upon Weedmaps. ‘Sup guys? I’m true to the dope that I smoke, no joke!
Gravette’s gonna shred ‘til he’s dead. Gap to grind, transfer into the bank and keep on going Photo: Brook
Have you ever wanted to be a stuntman?
Already there, bud.
3/02/2012The mag's out and the video's in it. Look for it in the mail or at your local shop—you're not gonna want to miss this one.
10/19/2011Gravette shreds junk-style with some choice Gregslist finds—where one man's crap is another man's skatepark. Via Strangenotes.
8/22/2011Pain, regret, embarrassment? What horrible shame do Jamie Thomas, Slash, Svitak, Garrett Hill, McCrank, Gravette, J Casanova and Rattray all have in common? Is it that time of the year again already?
8/09/2011Vert's not dead, but we got it a tombstone. Burnout enters The Session in the Abyss.
7/28/2011On any skate roadtrip, the slams add up until you're just a walking bruise. Drehobl and friends paid their dues on this one. "You're doing it wrong!"