2008 Skateboarder Magazine Coverage
You want to know what’s rad about New York City? Nothing. That place sucks. Jersey is where it’s at. Why do you think they built so many bridges, tunnels, train lines, and boat ports to get people from Manhattan to New Jersey? Because it is the center of the damn universe, that’s why.You don’t have to agree, but search your feelings. You know it to be true. Who’s your favorite skater from New York? Oh really? Guess what? He’s from Jersey. Pick again. Yup, he’s from Jersey too. You ever hear of a guy named Jeff Pang? He’s, like, the mayor of New York’s skateboard scene (regardless of what any documentary tells you), and although he’s not from Jersey he just moved his wife and baby to Staten Island to be closer to Jersey.
But it’s not just New York that Jersey dominates. At the heart of every mega skate scene you have a Jersey guy: Philly’s Ricky Oyola is from Jersey, Jamie Thomas is from New Jersey, Javier Sarmiento is from Jersey. Mike Carroll, Eric Koston, all from Jersey. So without even knowing it, the reason you wanted to visit EMB or LOVE Park or MACBA is because in your heart you really want to go to New Jersey. I just saved you thousands of dollars in therapy sessions to unearth that little nugget. You’re welcome.
Each year 5Boro’s Steve Rodriguez puts together the Back to the Banks jam with help from friends at Spitfire, Red Bull, Zune, Tech Deck, Skateboarder Magazine, Volcom, Emerica, Fender Guitars and, of course, 5Boro. This year Emerica kicked in an additional $500 for 2nd place on the spine. Chad Fernandez walked away with that, and I guess that was the last time he was walking straight that weekend. Did you see that “I ain’t no joke” goofy footage of him at the bar afterward on the message boards? Some people never change. Good to have you back, Chad.
I would also like to note that Figgy was at the Back to the Banks contest. I suppose we have entered a new age of Figgy Love and his appearance must be chronicled for the ages. So there you have it. He was there. What did he do? He skated. As did the thousands of other kids who turned out. This year they had dueling contests at both ends of the banks simultaneously to break up the crowds a little. Steve R said next year he plans to also incorporate the 9-stair rail as well, just to create some more room and allow people better visibility. He also wanted to give a big thanks to Mark Waters for all his help, but that needn’t really be mentioned because that’s what Mark Waters does, always. Thanks, Mark.
Do you know why you want to go Back to the Banks so badly? Why you are saving your money to come to New York next summer? No, not to skate the banks, but because Steve is from New Jersey and he’s giving you the little slice of Jersey you’ve been yearning for. I always joke with him that he should have named his company 6Boro and made Jersey the honorary sixth borough.
All those reasons and more, my friends, is why me and my partner, Steve Lenardo, cleverly named our skateshops “NJ,” because we understand that more so than California, skateboarders regard New Jersey as the true home of skateboarding. If you ever get to talk to Stacy Peralta, ask him why in Lords of Dogtown he never mentions Jay Adams’ summer vacations in Atlantic City where he first discovered skateboarding in a seedy part of town referred to by the locals as Logtown. Yeah, he doesn’t like to talk about that much, trust me.
Tim O’Connor Interview
Why do you think so many people prefer New Jersey to New York?
In New York you’re surrounded by big, big buildings and sometimes you just need a tour of the nice oil refineries in Fred Gall’s neighborhood to really get a taste of the Tri-State area. What else is nice about New Jersey other than toxic waste? Oh, you could come swimming at my house with a diving board and watch me be a heterosexual Greg Louganis.
How do you feel about Steve Rodriguez’s lack of efforts to have the Brooklyn Banks relocated to New Jersey?
I’m a little upset about that. Something really needs to be done about that. It’s so out of the way where it’s at right now. I’d like to see Steve Rodriguez skating through the Holland Tunnel to New Jersey, carrying a pile of bricks from the Banks and reconstruct that thing himself.
What was your trick you were trying up the Euro gap thing?
I kind of blew it by trying shit that was way too hard. I thought you just did the most glorious trick ever and then you win the whole thing, so I was trying a nose manny frontside nollie flip to switch manny down the bank but I never did it all. So instead I landed one pop shove-it manual frontside 180 out. I guess I didn’t have enough Red Bull in me.
What was the best thing you saw?
I saw Stevie do switch nose manny to fakie hard flip first try, which was really good. And Koston’s backside 180 fakie manual half-Cab flip to manual down the thingy.
Steve Rodriguez Interview
Being from Jersey, why do you continue to hold the Back To The Banks contest in New York?
Because there is only one Brooklyn Banks and it’s in New York City.
Have you made any attempts to relocate the Brooklyn Banks to New Jersey?
After discussions with the Parks Departments and the DOT, they’re not letting it happen. They won’t let me move the Brooklyn Bridge, which is necessary to move the Brooklyn Banks.
I don’t think you’ve given it a good enough effort.
Well, where it’s at has had a good turn-out. There were even more people than last year.
How much did you end up raising for the banks?
At the booth, the day of, selling T-shirts and Spitfire wheels, around $1,500. As far as raising money for the obstacles and everything, we raised between $5 and $10,000, and we still have the money coming that Spitfire raises in their regular sales of the Brooklyn Banks wheels. Both Emerica and Tech Deck would pay to maintain a lot of the ramps, which is awesome and I didn’t even ask for it.
What was the sickest thing you saw all weekend?
Two things: Collin Provost bluntslid the ledge in the bank. That is seriously one of the most gnarly obstacles at the Banks. The other thing was Jimmy McDonald, all hurt, slapped on an ankle brace and won two grand for his backside wallride kickflip out first try.
Next year a Jersey event?
If you can find me a spot that looks like the Brooklyn Banks, maybe. Or a different event, I’m down for that.
What are you doing in Hoboken?
We’re working on it.
Davis Torgensen Interview
So, nollie heel over rail, huh?
Uh, I guess.
So, you’re gonna be that dude forever, huh?
Nollie heel dude? Oh well.
How do you feel about that?
It’s all right. I don’t know. Maybe I won’t be. Hopefully I won’t be. Hopefully I won’t be the dude that can only do a nollie heel.
Did it make you feel special that you did your little nollie heel?
$2,000 felt cool.
What are you doing with the money?
I would like to say something exciting like blowing it on a night on the town somewhere, but it’s mainly gas and food.
You might want to work on your interview answers, Davis.
Sorry, I’m not trying to be grandpa with the history lessons, I was just trying to make a point. And that point is that each summer Steve Rodriguez organizes Back to the Banks, and the next day Bruno Musso and Red Bull hold Manny Mania for thousands of kids who wish they were in Jersey instead. It’s a noble thing they’re trying to do for the city to try and spark some interest in Manhattan but, honestly, with Jersey just a short, five-minute train ride away, I don’t see it working. But it’s cute that they try.
After the success of last year’s Manny Mania, I was tapped again to bring in the skaters. Are you familiar with The Dew Tour? Well, I wanted to put together a similar type of mega contest except without robots. No robots allowed. Only dudes that you or I would want to see skate. And so when Red Bull put me in charge of the invite list, my mind went reeling, I was gonna create The Dude Tour and invite dudes you rarely see, not in mags, not in videos, and especially not in contests. You remember when you first heard about Girl and Anti Hero’s Beauty and the Beast tour and you wanted to pee your pants because basically that lineup was a daydream you had in math class while the teacher was talking her gonny goo goo? Well, for me, this contest was like that, my skate daydream. And although it wasn’t 100 percent perfect (Daewon didn’t make it, and last year’s winner Ronnie Creager was in Europe getting his Euro on), it was pretty damn close to what I had in mind. I mean, Stevie Williams was there! He was early, before practice. We’re talking about practice! Practice. Man, we’re talking about practice. Practice.
1. Jimmy McDonald $2,000
wallride kickflip out
2. Dustin Charlton
3. Robert Lopez Mont
4. Willy Aikers
Bank to ledge
1. Figgy $2,000
hurricane, back tail, kickflip noseslide
2. Collin Provost
3. Aaron Suski
4. Willy Aikers
1. Davis Torgerson – $2,000
3. Dillon James
4. Timmy Knuth
Justin Figueroa – $2,000
What are you doing with the 10 Gs you won?
I have to cash it first. I haven’t got that far yet. Maybe I’ll buy a new chain. I mean, chain wallet. But with diamonds. I could buy 4,000 Euros.
I know a lot of people wish the Banks contest was in New Jersey. What’s your take?
I agree. They should actually move The Banks and have it somewhere else. They always have it at the same place every year. They should take that shit on the road.
Best trick you saw all weekend?
Eric Koston backside 180 fakie manual half Cab flip to manual down the up down manny right before he had to judge us all. He was all, “This course looks real fun. Check this out, guys.” BLAM! In your face. He should have gotten a thousand bucks just for that. I’m glad he didn’t enter.
Are you also glad Creager didn’t show?
I think he was on tour. But I talked to him and he was, like, “You know you can only win when I’m not there, right?” And he hasn’t been wrong yet because I’ve only won when he wasn’t there.
Oh. Did I mention Richard Angelides and Rob Welsh were there? Here’s the entire list of dudes on my Dude Tour, some of them have never even met or been in the same room before: Joey Brezinski, Eli Reed, Bobby Worrest, Danny Falla, Brandon Biebel, Kenny Anderson, Tim O’Connor, Jereme Rogers, Danny Supa, Richard Angelides, Rob Welsh, Dennis Busenitz, Pat Duffy, Brian Wenning, Jack Curtin, Karl Watson, Kelly Hart, Chico Brenes, Adelmo Jr, Rodrigo Peterson, Jason Dill, Stefan Janoski, Stevie Williams, Daniel Lebron, Clark Hassler, SAD, Gary Smith, Malcolm Watson, and Jon Newport. We had celebrity judges flown in from theberrics.com: Steve Berra and Eric Koston (who kept reminding me how easy he could have beaten everyone and that he looked at not entering almost as a charitable donation). We also had two of NYC’s most renown manual masters, Rodney Torres and Dan Pensyl, as judges. Our MCs for the day were NYC skate Legend, Jeff Pang, and owner of DQM and NYC skate scene comedian, Dave Ortiz. Dave reminded the thousands of kids that came out to watch the event that, “The greatest skateshop in New York City just opened in Hoboken, New Jersey, NJ Skateshop 3.” Every time he mentioned it one of the many pros would ask me why we weren’t having the event in Jersey. You could see in their faces how it pained them to be so close to Jersey and yet not be able to touch or feel it. At one point, I believe it was Eric Koston who said to me, “If this contest isn’t held in Jersey next year, I’m not even bothering flying out.”
When it was all said and done, Joey took first and got 10 Gs, Biebel got five grand for second, and Chico got three for third. But all of them echoed Koston’s sentiments: Next year, Jersey, baby, Jersey.
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