On the board again
I’m starting to skate again and film a few things here and there. I’m pretty much back to where I was. It’s taking forever, but you can’t rush it.
I tore a ligament in my right ankle and had to get surgery. When I got better six months later, my knee started hurting and I had to get this really intrusive surgery because the cartilage in my knee was breaking apart and usually they just go in and clean it up, but I had to do this thing called microfracture because my cartilage was gone and cartilage doesn’t grow back. There are stem cells in bone marrow, so they had to get the stem cells to create new marrow. It’s pretty cool science stuff. The doctors didn’t know they were going to do that until they got in there; they thought they were just going to clean it up. So when I woke up, the doctor said, “Well, I have some bad and good news. It’s not going to be six weeks to recover, it’s going to be six months because we had to do this other procedure because your knee was so messed up.” It’s been two years of lameness, pretty much.
Skate videos kind of reflect where skating is and skating is really big and people are putting lots of money into it, so it’s only natural that the videos have become really large productions. It’s just a reflection of where skating’s at in general, but for me personally, I kind of like more raw-type videos like all the old H-Street stuff. I like skating more in the raw form, just the camera and skater. Plus, it’s sort of more interesting. Not everything needs to be perfect. I don’t really like perfection. The other videos are fun to watch, though, so it’s cool that people do both. There’s Deathwish and Tiltmode videos, then there’s Lakai videos and DC videos. You kind of get everything; there’s a variety.
I guess I got into photography in high school, when I was 17. I started to take classes and stuff like that. I like skaters who take photos like Patrick O’Dell and Ed Templeton, “photographer” photographers. I like this guy, Forrest Mikhailov, this old Russian guy. And Lee Peterson, who used to ride for Foundation, but now he’s a photographer and he takes really awesome photos.
Originally, O’Dell introduced me to this guy, Tim Barber, whose photos I also really like, who was the photo editor of Vice at the time. He put me in their photo issues and stuff and I became friends with all of those guys and they really support me, so I always work with them.
Cover to Cover
It’s just as cool to get a photo I took on a cover of a magazine as it is to be skating on the cover. I’m just as proud and satisfied with it. It’s really an honor to have that kind of opportunity.
Everybody grew up with Michael Jackson. He was like the biggest thing in the world. It was weird when he died. I was bummed, really bummed, but I don’t think it was because I skated to his song. I think it was just because he was such a big deal when I was growing up.
Flea Market Finds
I’ve been buying a lot of taxidermy stuff. That’s probably the best stuff I’ve been finding. I have a quail, a hawk, and a deer, a nine-point buck.
One time this guy said he was going to get my autograph tattooed on him when I signed it. I didn’t really believe him. Everybody, the whole Emerica team, signed his arm, and he came back the next day and he’d done it. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t want to make him sound retarded, but I was just like “Why would you do something like that?” Originally I think he just wanted Heath’s autograph, and then he got it and I think he was just, like, “F**k it, I’m going to get everybody’s.” But it is very flattering.