15 Things | You Didn't Know About Element
1. The original Element team was Reese Forbes, Bill Pepper, Andy Stone, Pepe Martinez and Stevie Williams back in 1992. Soon after Element’s inception Andy and Pepe moved onto Capitol and Stevie went on to Profile. The team was only left with Bill and Reese for sometime.
2. Element’s founder, Johnny Schillereff, was once in a Hip-Hop group called Mass Prophets with Lil’ Jon and Andy Howell in 1991. They were on the verge of signing a record deal with Arista or Mo’ Wax records, but decided to focus on their skateboarding careers instead. Lil’ Jon had to wait over a decade before his time to shine.
3. In the late 90’s, in a last ditch effort to recruit some new team riders, Johnny and Ryan Kingman came up with the idea of recording personal messages from the entire Element team on cassette and sending them to potential team riders with a box of product in hopes of swaying their decision making. It did not work and both Bob Burnquist and Rick McCrank politely declined.
4. Upon receiving Thrasher’s “Most Annoying Skater” Award in 1995 an irritated Bill Pepper went to Thrasher HQ to wreak havoc. Pepper fought Jake Phelps and everyone else in his path. They were nice enough to not press charges though Billy was basically banned from Nor-Cal skating ever since.
5. The Element team nearly had the largest mall in the U.S., The Mall of America, shut down. The mall hadn’t anticipated the popularity of the skate event and was ill prepared to say the least. Tens of thousands of people showed up for the demo and signing, creating total pandemonium and the mall almost had to be closed down. Luckily, security more than pulled their wait and that ended up not being a necessity.
6. Element’s “Section” logo board has been their top selling deck since 1994.
7. From MTV’s Jackass, Viva-La-Bam, Bam’s Unholy Union, Fuel’s Drive TV, the theatrical releases of Jackass one, two, two & a half, Mall Cop and The Hangover, Element team riders have starred in or appeared in four network television shows & five box office smashes.
8. In 1994 during an Element tour in Australia, Bill Pepper was so out of control that he was literally kicked out of the country by the distributor.
It wasn’t until 1997 that he was allowed back into the country, under the condition of having good behavior.
9. While Mike V. might have the reputation as a fighter what with the wrestling, hockey and random fistfights, it is actually Kenny Hughes who holds the title for most fisticuffs. What can you say, the man likes to mix things up and isn’t afraid to back down from what may come from it.
10. Reese Forbes nearly died while on a team trip to Brazil. After a long night of partying, Reese and Ryan Kingman went swimming in some sizable waves during the early hours of the morning. The pair hadn’t anticipated the force of the surf and found themselves fairly far out to sea where Reese became fatigued. Kingman attempted to play lifeguard and help Reese swim to shore while waves continued to pelt down on them. After an exceptionally strong wave, the pair were divided and Kingman lost sight of Reese and was certain he’d drowned. He swam to shore where he found Reese shaken up and coughing up water, but otherwise all right.
11. Element has released nine full length videos: Skypager, Fine Artists, Third Eye View, World Tour, Twigs, Rise Up, Elementality Vol. 1, This Is My Element and Make it Count.
12. Anthony Mosely had the shortest tenure on Element with a remarkable two weeks as a team rider.
13. Element’s newest pro who also happens to be the smelliest, Levi Brown, was once flat out denied a spot on the team. He approached Kingman, the TM at the time, to ask about the possibility of getting on the team and to show him some footage. Kingman wasn’t interested and basically gave him a “No, not ever.” Levi kept progressing at skating and eventually he caught the eye of Mark Falkenstein and Johnny Schillereff who convinced Kingman to give Levi a chance.
14. Of all the people who came and went on the Element team, Billy Pepper lasted the longest. He started riding for Element in 1992 and turned pro by 1993. Element was Billy’s first and only board sponsor. He is still considered to be part of the team despite being M.I.A. since 2002. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Mr. Pepper, feel free to contact us so we can get this man a check and a board.
15. Nyjah Huston was actually not kicked off of Element. His father was. Element sponsored Nyjah at age six and he never caused problems and was one the hardest working skaters they ever encountered. His father was another story. Nyjah is welcome to ride for Element whenever he likes.