David ”Guff” Leslie – Landyachtz Film-maker

Guff tells us all about his early days of skating, adventures around the world and making films for Landyachtz Longboards.itsguff2PhotoMikeMcgoldrick

Happy new year Guff?
I hope so!

What did you get for Christmas?
My Dad took a few of us down to Mexico. It was rowdy. I went surfing.

Favourite thing to do on a board?
I’d have to say commuting. Everything is spontaneous. I have the most fun when I don’t know what’s going to happen.

What’s your favourite skate uncertainty?
When something really sketchy happens and you roll away from it. Heart pounding. Nothing beats that.

Have you come close to dying?
Most of the times have been in automobiles. A handful in the Loco Express. One time the brakes stopped working while we were driving down a crazy road near Whistler called Duffy Lake.

What’s the Loco Express?
The Loco Express was an old 1964 RV restored by Hoodie. We drove it all over the western US to skate events a couple years ago. Filled it with way too many drunk people, it broke down a lot. Hoodie was always fixing it but we always got to where we had to go. Good times.

Who is Hoodie?
Matt Shaw… Tough question. Just a guy that when you meet him you probably won’t forget him

When did you start skating?
I started skating in High School around the age of 13. My sister told me to come out and skate one night with her friends. I never stopped.

You have a rad sister.
Yea she’s pretty gnarly. She was the first girl ever to race Danger Bay!

How big an influence is she to you?
She’s 4 years older, so when I was younger she influenced me a lot. Got me into skating, punk rock, and drinking, haha.

Where did you guys skate in the beginning?
I grew up in a flat town that was below sea level, so we never bombed hills. It was mostly just the skate park. It was a rad park though.
me babypowder

What was it like growing up in Atlantis?
Haha I got to learn how to ride a sea horse! But for real, it was a town called Ladner, it was a cool place to grow up. Not far from the city. Didn’t get too bored there.

When did you start skating outside the park?
A few of my friends started skating in high school and we’d take the bus to the city and skate the streets. Little bit of hill bombing but it was sketchy on our street boards. Then I got my drivers licence and we’d drive to spots all over and skate. Lots of street skating.

What’s your favourite type of skating?
It all depends on my mood. I mainly just like messing around. Nothing too gnarly. Little quarter pipes, alleys, I like when the pavement is really shitty and grass is growing through the cracks.

Do you and your sibling still skate a lot together?
She’s got a decent mini ramp in her backyard. I sometimes go over and skate. Or sometimes we go park skating.

How did you get into skating fast?
Same deal as before. My sister (Louise) worked with Bricin Lyons at Cypress mountain. He needed a band for Danger Bay. So we played, my friends and I got stoked on it and got some longboards.

Is Cypress Mountain a rap group?
Who you tryin to get crazy with ese? Don’t you know I’m loco? It’s one of the ski hills in Vancouver. It has a really fast hill going down it.

What sort of music do you make?
Mostly punk rock. Fast stuff. I used to make really bad instrumental songs on my computer too.

What was your sister’s involvement?
She gave me her Landyachtz DH race. That was my first longboard.

What did she do at Cypress mountain?
I think she was a lifty. She might have been an instructor I’m not sure.

What changed after she gave you that board?
All of a sudden these hills we were scared of were so easy to skate. We’d search around for steep hills and tuck them. I learned how awesome soft wheels were too. Rocks couldn’t fuck with me anymore.

What did you tackle with your newfound bravery?
Just bombed hills fast. Couldn’t do anything technical. Going down Cypress really fast was a big feat to accomplish. First time riding down Jakes Rash was also.

Who were you riding with back then?
My one buddy Cody, aka ShitShowShadow, was really into. He was really good, entered races and did well. We skated a lot. A couple other buddies too, but they moved on.

What was your first race?
It was on Vancouver Island in Naniamo. It was this event called the adventure games. It was like a mini x games or something. Bunch of different events. The downhill course was awesome. Just a straight steep hill, over a set of railroad tracks (with a piece of plywood if you wanted) then to a 90 degree corner. My first heat I straight lined it, didn’t take the corner and went right into the hay. It was a timed race and I ended up beating a bunch of people. Everyone was using duct tape.

Duct tape?
In Canada we use it to fix everything. Got a rip in your leathers, duct tape. Leak in your car, duct tape. Cut your finger off, duct tape. This one guy everyone called Tenor man, who was like 60 years old and skated, had an entire race suit made of it.

What other races did you do that year?
Back then in 2003 there weren’t very many races. That might have been the only one I did. The only other races in BC were Danger Bay and the Sullivan Challenge. I went to Danger Bay but got hurt and couldn’t race.
NaniamoAdvenuturegamesAfterParty (bricin holding my oldboard,firstlongboard)

What was the highlight of the season?
Probably just meeting a bunch of new people. Coast Longboarding was growing it’s roots and everything was so new and a lot of fun. The Adventure Games is where we coined the term “Bombing yer local hills, out-runnin’ yer local cops”.

We were skating down the seawall when we saw some flashlights. They told us to stop so we ditched. We ended up running from cops all night, it was great.

Where would you be without coast? 
Where would any of us be? The scene around the world would be nothing.

What did you get up to in 2004?
That’s a while ago… I think that’s when I started doing road trips.

What was your first trip?
Bricin and Ryan Theobald were going on a trip to the Yukon and they asked me to come along and film it. We never made it to the Yukon but we drove all through the Rockies, explored, and finished off at the Sullivan Challenge. I saw Bricin and Ryan bomb some of the craziest mountain roads ever.
TheobaldBricinandI(In Barkerville on our atempted trip to the yukon)

What do you enjoy about being out in the wild?
I just like getting away from big buildings. I love trees and wildlife. Seeing new things is my favorite. Driving up some road you have no clue where it goes. Get to the top and it has an amazing view.

What’s your favourite type of trip?
Trips with a loose schedule that give you plenty of time to do whatever you want. I like to explore as much a possible.

Met any bears?
A couple, nothing too dangerous though.

Which has been the most fun adventure yet?
This past year I did a ton of travelling with Landyachtz. It all kind of blended into one big adventure. I can barely tell them apart.

Are you a film-maker?
I like to pretend I am!

What’s your weapon of choice?
Right now I have a Panasonic HMC-150. I like video cameras. Haven’t fully dove into the SLR revolution yet.

What’s your relationship with landyachtz?
They’re one of my best friends! They have done so much for me the past few years. Given many an amazing opportunity to travel, film, skate and make a living at the same time. I can’t say enough good things about them.

When did you first hook up?
I was filming lots and at the time Concrete Wave was putting out the Evolutions DVD. I think this was in 2005.  No one else was making DH videos in Vancouver so the guys came to me. We hung out at my house for a weekend, went through a ton of tapes and made the Landy and Coast videos.

What were those?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX5i0iJCEjc – Coast Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-Ot85xiAAQ – Landyachtz video

What’s your role in the family?
I mainly just shoot video and edit. If something cool is happening, I gotta be there to capture it. I’ve made every Landyachtz video (except one)  I have to be able to leave town at a moments notice. I love it.

What travel opportunities has this afforded you?
This last year I traveled all over the west coast, east coast, midwest of the United States. I also went to Mexico. I went to Cali a few times. Ditch Slap. I’m off to Puerto Rico in 2 weeks.

What do you enjoy about documenting skating through moving images?
I like how raw it is. I’m never 100% what is going to happen. The skater could bail out or sometimes do something they weren’t planning on. People are flying around on planks of wood, its pretty fucked up.

How was last season for you?
Last season was awesome. I didn’t really go to as many events as I usually go to. I’m not competitive, so racing has never been something I compete in. I just enjoyed the good weather and tried skating as much as I could when I wasn’t filming.

What do you ride?
Haha I don’t really ride for anyone. Though I get all my stuff from Landyachtz. I’ve never thought of myself as good enough to ride for anyone.

What’s your favourite setup?
Right now I ride a Loco 33, with either Indies or Polar bears and 57mm 82a Street Hawgs. It’s just super versatile and I don’t like bringing too many boards. Kick tails are a must for me.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
If I’m not filming or editing I’m usually playing music. I play drums in a couple bands. I’ve been doing that longer then skating. I also enjoy snowboarding.
Clark Park 2 -Photo Liam Mckenzie

Pick 3 numbers between 1-40.
Lets go with 7, 13, and lets say 27

7 – What is your favourite meal?
Gonna have to say Mexican food. Thai food is up there too.

13 – Do you have a pet?
I wish I did. I want a dog or cat so bad but I travel too much to take care of it. When I’m on the road, I always remember the names of the cool pets I meet.

27- What did you do last weekend?
Last weekend my truck broke down on the way to the mountain. I was in the recording studio. Went to a show. I drank way too much. I am currently not drinking because of last weekend.

Been fun talking to you bro! Come film some shenanigans in Europe!
Hell yea, Thanks Gbemi. My family is all from Scotland so I go up there everyonce and a while!

Any thank yous?
Shout outs to Landyachtz, Bricin Lyons, Ryan Theobald, Louise, Shitshow, Loose Tooth and everyone that rides a piece of wood with 4 wheels on the bottom.

http://www.surfingvancouverisland.com/coastal/pictures/3091299.wmv – Naniamo adventure games video
http://www.youtube.com/guff – my personel youtube channel
http://www.dullmoment.org – my website
http://www.coastlongboarding.com – the roots!