Words and Photos: Sam McGuire
It’s pretty impossible to pinpoint exactly what it takes to make it in skateboarding anymore. I’ve seen countless Youtube video of kids ripping and have plenty of photos of un-heard of kids doing tricks easily up to par with tricks you see in videos and magazines. Nick Garcia is a unique character in his own right. Long Beach born and raised, he wasn’t a kid of wealth, stature or family connections—but rather of hard work, perseverance and over all, just being a good person. He’s worked hard for everything he’s gotten and it’s great to see someone as deserving as him succeeding like he is. His energy is contagious, always skating and smiling he’s awesome to travel with, skate with and party with, enjoying every step along the way. I mean, basically what I’m trying to say is….he’s the challest!!!! Here’s 15 photos I had and some stories behind them and some travels I’ve been lucky enough to accompany Nick on. Be sure to check out his part on the Etnies website and keep your eyes out for his part in the new Element video as I’m sure it’s gonna be, well, sewperchall.
Backsmith – Melbourne, Oz
This spot was really cool but on a super busy street and right outside of a theatre so there were people going in and out, cars all over the place—it was a really hectic scene but I think I was more stressed out than he was. Think he boardslide it, backside 5050, feeble grinded it and then backsmithed it all pretty quickly. Pretty ripping if you ask me.
Wallride up to Noseblunt – Long Beach, CA
This was the first thing I shot of Nick and I think it was around the end of 2010. I have an annoyingly bad memory so I don’t quite recall the turn of events that linked us up, perhaps it was fate, but I think it was more Cole Matthews talking to me about trying to get Nick on Etnies. Paul Sharpe, the Etnies Team Manager at the time, also knew of him and was bugging me to go shoot with him, so we linked up one day and shot this wallride/wallie to noseblunt. He was killing it, I was really hyped on the way he was skating and so, I think we literally just skated this spot and bounced, on the way home I called Paul and was just like, “dude, we gotta put him on.” I think things got busy internally and it took a bit longer and I wasn’t quite sure it was going to happen….just due to how good he is he’d be a huge asset to any company. Luckily Nick was down to ride for Etnies, I heard rumors in the interim he was buying shoes at the skateshop just to rep the brand which I thought was super cool. In April of 2011 we went to Australia and he was there and just killed it the entire trip. Think that pretty much sealed the deal and can’t say how rad it’s been having him on the team. Very happy he stuck it out.
Big Ass Beer – Mallorca
We stayed in this German area of Mallorca and we both just got off a long Etnies trip before and flew straight to Spain from Amsterdam. A big exhausted we headed down to the beach to get some beers and they brought us these. It was the end of a long day and the beginning of another awesome trip and one of the best beers I’d had in a long time. Look how happy he looks. I love it.
Backsmith – Sydney, Oz
We got into Sydney at around 6 am and were all just wide-awake so we headed out skating. Nick was feeble grinding these wooden benches so I started shooting them and since he was grinding away from the camera I tried to get in as close as I could. I got in extra close one time and he switched it up and backsmithed it with his nose inches from my head. Scared me so bad I forgot if I even pushed the shutter but I must have right before I jumped away and, I don’t know, I’ve always liked the photo. Kind of a cool happy accident.
Diving – Mallorca
The whole trip we’d find postcards and then try to find the beach that was on that postcard and swim in it. This one had a perfect rock to jump off where Madars just went absolutely h.a.m. on that bad boy with big ole backflips and gainers. It was the first cliff jumping spot we’d found. It was so fun, and so scenic—never in a million years did I think I’d have taken a picture like this in a place like that. Huge thanks to Cole and everyone, let’s do it again!
Swimming – Mallorca
We spent 17 days in Mallorca with Element and got to drive all over the island and it’s beyond beautiful, but my only complaint would be there’s no waves, bro! Super glassy. So we’d just wade around the beach and rig up some goggles or a snorkel or whatever and try and find some fish or whatever. It was super chall.
Gap to Five O – Los Angeles
I drove by this spot on the way to the airport one morning and Nick needed an ad one month so we went to go check it out. This place is in Inglewood or Florence, south central and hood as a mo-fo. When they started skating there were these two pit bulls behind this fence that started going off! They started barking, but then they started barking at each other and then basically started to try and kill each other. There was blood all over the dogs they were going to rip each other apart when this stocky gnarly Mexican guy came out, totally ignored the dogs and asked me what I was doing. I just explained that we were trying to skate this spot but we needed him to take his dogs inside so they wouldn’t distract us. Then I was like, “That’s not gonna be a problem…is it?!” It was weird, he just seemed annoyed for some reason and said, “Well next time just come knock, don’t get my dogs all rawled up.” He dragged his bleeding dogs into his house and Nick gapped to 5-0’d the rail.
Wallie to Backsmith – Los Angeles
With the exploding popularity of internet videos, it’s hard sometimes to get the photo ran somewhere before the footage is put online—something that seems to be coming up more and more these days. This day, Etnies filmer Ricki Bedenbaugh hit me up to go shoot a photo with Nick. When I got there he told me he needed to use it in Nicks up coming commercial, set to release in a week. At first, it bummed me out because there was no way I could have gotten a photo ran in a week, but then I came up with this really epic plan of revenge to really show Ricki where the power lies. I was going to shoot….a still. That’s right, of a wallie up to back smith. So, I shot two of them and looked at it and realized it just looks like a front feeble. Well, that was a stupid idea.
Wallie over entire rail – Los Angeles
It did pay off in the end as after the wallie to back smith, he decided to just straight up wallie the entire rail and I got this cool photo. It never ran but it did make me feel like less of an idiot.
Sweat – Finland
Nick skated this rail for a few hours in the hot Finnish sun one afternoon. He slammed and sweat so much he salted out his pants and they were covered in wax, so I’m sure he was super excited I was annoying him taking his picture. He just rolls with it though and repped the pants all day—which is another reason I like Nick, he rips AND he’s fashion forward.
Ice Bar – Oslo
When we were in Oslo we stayed right by this Ice Bar lounge where the bar was completely made of ice and they served drinks out of big chunks of ice with cups shaved into them. It was, quite literally, sewperchall.
Noseblunt – Oslo, Norway.
We skated the demo and some other spots all day and after dinner we ended up at these step banks where a fierce session by car lights went down. It was pretty fun, just drinking beers and dorking around on these steep banks.
Tailslide – Oslo
We did a demo in Oslo at a courthouse, I believe. There was just a big rail with a slight kink at the end and the kids made an aisle to skate down and skate down it they did. It looked stressful but they killed it. Here he is tailsliding under some pretty claustrophobic conditions.
Backside Noseblunt – Barcelona
At some point during the Mallorca trip talks about Nick BS Noseblunting this big quarterpipe in Barcelona came up and Cole suggested we just take the ferry or fly to Barcelona to get the photo since no one was there when he filmed it. He said we could get a cheap flight, go there for a day, shoot the photos, fly back the next day and that’s exactly how that shit went down.
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