Eric, has a heart of gold. Really it’s 24 carat Aurum. He’s from Portland and loves skating down hills. He has plans to skate from Coast to Coast this summer, sadly he’ll be bitten by a radioactive bear.Good morning Eric, how are you?
Morning Gbemi! I’m doing really well. Getting over that sickness I just had. Definitely kept me bed ridden but I’m feeling better than ever and ready to conquer the world! The sun is shining in Portland but we know that’s not gonna last for much longer… haha but we make do with what we have.
Will you be the next pirate king?
Haha you mean like Monkey D. Luffy?! Oh man if I could I would. I’m aiming to be more of a Shaman King kind of guy. You’re digging deep into my darkest anime middle school side here haha. But Pirate King? Probably not, but Shamen King? One can dream can’t he?
Do many anime kids turn into skaters?
Yes! It happens all the time! I have several friends who went from anime kids to skaters! A few of my friends are anime kids AND skaters! Dan Criswell, Pierre Carbuccia and Carla Javier are some of my anime and skater friends! I don’t watch much of it anymore so all of my anime is all old school like Death Note, Naruto, and Shamen King… haha
How did you get into skating?
This is my favourite question! In middle school I got into one of those SUPER lame things called RipSticks. (Never ever ever ever ever ride one of those. They’re death traps. Seriously. Throw it away.) And I went down a hill on the corner of my street, and in short, I broke BOTH my arms… Yeah…. that’s possible. And I pretty much told myself I will NEVER step on a board ever again. And then Sophomore year, my friend Austin Tanzer went longboarding and he wanted me to go along, I couldn’t resist because he’s my best friend, and so we went cruising downtown and I got hooked for life.
Haha you must have been like the human t-rex, with no arms!
Haha I wasn’t so much a human T-rex as I was a robot. My arms were broken at the elbows so the cast I was stuck in had my arms stuck at 90 degrees. So I would go to dance parties and bust out my killer robot dance moves. Pretty sick dance moves.
What’s your second fave question?
My second favourite question would have to be “How are you?” But it’s only my favourite question when people give whole hearted answers. It has been my favourite question ever since I heard a poet talk about how when someone asks “How are you?” it shows that you are important to them. It shows that you matter to the person and they are curious about your life and want to hear what you have to say. The way your life is impacts them and they want to hear about every little thing you have to say. So that’s my second favorite question. It’s simple but can be impactful.
What got you hooked on longboarding?
I would say the first time I saw my friend, and co-worker extraordinaire, Zach Boston, do a stand up slide. I freaked out. I was like “NO WAY!!!!!! THAT’S THE COOLEST THING EVER!!!!!!” And I definitely said it in the kookiest voice too…. Haha but it was sick for sure. And then of course, Adam Colton videos. Seriously, YouTube him if you haven’t – he comes up with the SICKEST videos. Even killin’ it way back since like 2010? Even earlier than that? I think he has videos from 2008. Killin’ it.
Oh man. If we’re listing it, Whirling dervish, Rotten Tomatoes (Definitely my favourite. I wanted to be a hardcore Dancer,) Adam and Adam, all of that jazz. I even got a LongboardLarry OSD because of how stoked his videos got me. And not even videos he’s in. Videos he edits as well. They’re all amazing. The Kyle Chin video “Longboarding: Let Go” or the video “Longboarding: Too Much”. I have so much respect for Adam Colton. Not only as a skater, but as a humble human being, and as a cinematographer. His videos are always up to date and always killin’ it. They’re fresh and never get old. Keep on killin’ it Adam! Oh and I forgot to mention, “We got dem purps” and “Time Bomb” All of my favourite skaters in one video? Louis Pilloni, Kevin Reimer, Dalua, Patrick Switzer and Kyle Chin? Haha it releases the inner grom side of me that is just stoked lol.
Have you got to skate with any of them?
Ah no I haven’t. I have met all of these riders before but we never got any actual skating in. I got a few photos of Dalua when he became the new track record at Maryhill FOS and Patrick Switzer and I waxed a kid’s eyebrows together but that’s about it. It was pretty hilarious lol.
Why are you waxing people, Eric!
It’s the Maryhill lifestyle! If you go to Maryhill FOS, don’t expect to come back with all of your hair… It’s a giant festival of fun and adventures and crazy tactics to get free gear! With a race on the side… The kid wanted a free set of Orangatang 4prez’s so Patrick and I waxed his eyebrows off for free wheels! haha. It’s not the worst thing I’ve seen happen. I was with the Daddies Board Shop guys at our booth and there was a guy who drank a gatorade THROUGH his friend’s sock… We definitely hooked him up with some gear for that haha… It was gnarlyyyyyy. And it should be way gnarlier this year! Maryhill FOS 2014!
What did seeing those videos inspire you to do?
As many DH videos as I saw, I was still into dancing. I was super scared of speed back then, and having sidewinders on my first setup didn’t help either. Cross steps for life! Cross steps and peter pans! Haha it wasn’t until I started skating Tabor, Switchbacks, and Maryhill with the awesome PDX Downhill crew that I got a thirst for speed. Now, all I love doing is Downhill. But don’t get me wrong, I still start my downhill runs with a few cross steps here and there. It’s still a guilty pleasure haha.
Why are you guilty about it?
Haha well cross stepping isn’t really a thing downhill racing includes. I’ve never seen Kevin Reimer start Peyragudes Never Dies with a super smooth and crisp cross step. But I’m hoping to make dancing the mainstream! It’s coming back man… Be ready for it!
You think dancing died?
I wouldn’t necessarily say died, but it’s evolved in a way that’s not the OG Original Gangster ways of it. It’s now a mixture of freestyle and freeriding thrown in with some dancing. I wanna see some super chill and flowy dancing. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve seen a super clean Tiger Claw… But that’s what I’m looking for!
What is PDX?
PDX is the Portland Oregon crew! And not necessarily all from Portland either. PDX Downhill is the amazing community we have in the Portland Metro area. It’s built from everyone from Portland, Gresham, Happy Valley, Vancouver, everywhere. If you’re within 4 hour drive from Portland Oregon, you’re probably a part of the PDX Downhill crew. It’s a super welcoming family filled with a ton of skaters that will teach you anything and everything about skating. Seriously, come to Portland and they’ll welcome you with open arms!
Who were you learning from in the early days?
The REALLY early days I was learning from YouTube… Haha Loaded Trick Tips are the bomb. So I would say Adam Colton and Kyle Chin taught me! Haha but it’s not the same thing as real life experience. When I started getting into the PDX Downhill community, I would say I owe a LOT of my learning abilities from some of the main core guys in PDX Downhill. Tad Onchi and Curtis Onchi taught me A LOT about drifting and skating switchbacks and how to take super tight lines. Pretty much before Tad, I didn’t know how to glove down slide, so it was pretty dangerous because I didn’t know how to properly stop at any speed… And finally when I wanted to get into downhilling, my first real downhill session was at a Maryhill Freeride. Tad taught me how to take the best lines down Mary and her curves. But lately I’ve been doing hiking session up Maryhill with Noah Throckmorton, Andrew Fuller, Colby Looney, Alex Tongue, Curtis Onchi, and some of the other really super chill core guys of PDX Downhill. They’re all amazing teachers because they’re really hard to keep up with… haha I feel like I’m name dropping a lot but that’s the thing, it’s a huge community and EVERYONE helps EVERYONE! So there’s a lot of people to thank out there!
What was the hardest lesson to learn?
The hardest lesson to learn was honestly just to get up. I’ve had some pretty gnarly falls at some high speeds and it just gives me the goosebumps thinking about having to get up after that. But when you learn that you’re your own worst enemy, it’s easy to get back up. The only thing stopping you from getting back up is yourself. So get over the initial fear and you’ll be all good! When I learned that properly protecting myself when skating was a NECESSITY and learning that I need to skate safe to skate another day, it made me learn that my limits should always be pushed to grow as a skater but to be careful as well. My next lesson should probably be a grammar lesson for that MASSIVE run on sentence… I’m sorry Mrs. Leach. (High School English Teacher). Haha but yeah, learning that I should push my limits to feed my need for speed but to also make sure that I am safe in doing so. Surprisingly, you’ll get a lot better a lot faster when you’re well protected and skating safely. Skating can in fact be safe! So make sure you stay safe.
Have any of your falls been as bad as your Ripstick rip?
Haha no. That was the worst fall of them all. But I’ve had a few super close calls that would have been worse than that. I once took a trip to Denver, Colorado and I skated this BEAUTIFUL downhill run in the mountain sides. The entire run was right next to a rushing river. Probably the most scenic run I’ve ever taken in my life. And this run goes on for 6 miles… Soooooo gorgeous. But I got speed wobbles because I was on horrible trucks and almost fell straight into the rushing river… I kept myself calm, cried a little bit haha, and finished the run. It was super awesome! Thank you Dave Morton, Mike Paproski, and Jeff Shaffroth as well as the other Never Summer guys for sending me out there! Froth levels were through the roof!
Did life change after nearly dying?
Yes it did. That was the first time I got any kind of REAL downhill experience. Before that trip I never enjoyed downhilling or speed. I was still in my freeriding stage. But ever since then I’ve wanted nothing more than to go as fast as possible. Colorado is definitely the scene for downhill speeds. Mountain runs on mountain runs. You can literally bomb from one town down to the next town, and if you have more energy, to the next town and down and down and down. The shortest run I took was 6 miles long. That is of course, if a deer doesn’t happen to jump at you while you’re skating. I was in the follow car when that happened, it was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen… Glad you’re alive Jake! haha.
What was it about the speed you loved?
It is kind of a bonding experience for me. You have to really trust your friends when you’re skating downhill runs together. Going around a toeside corner at 40mph hoping that not only are you gripping the corner but your 3 friends to the side of you don’t lose traction either. All of you have the same goal of going as fast as possible while being sketch and safe all at the same time. Bump drafting each other and getting as tight of pack runs as possible. And surprisingly, it’s not about winning. We have competitions for sure, but it’s all about who has the most fun. Speed wobble runs = Most fun. Haha.
Are you guys taking trips to Denver every weekend for safety purposes?
Haha when you’re skating speeds of 50mph, nothing is safe. I’ve only been out to Colorado once but I’m hoping to make another trip this summer. It was too beautiful of a place to not see again. The scenery is amazing. Don’t get me wrong, Oregon is gorgeous. but Colorado is definitely competition as far as the greenery goes. Surprisingly, none of that was innuendo or a metaphor haha. As far as safety meetings go? It’s not my vice but to each their own. But we did drive across a dispensary called “THC: Today’s Health Care” That made me laugh. A lot. I’m a huge sucker for puns.
What were you riding in the early days?
My VERY first board was a custom pintail board with a Victor Wooten Graphic I made in my graphic design class. It quoted him saying “Music is a Language”. Mad love for Victor Wooten. Amazing bassist haha. But it was so flexy I would hit the ground when I jumped on it. It was like a Loaded Vanguard flex 17. I had it equipped with a sidewinder in the front, and Gullwing Charger in the back, I thought this would give me maximum turn in the front, and stability in the back. This was my first “Downhill” setup… As you could tell, I fell and got speed wobbles a lot… But my first ACTUAL downhill board was a Rayne Killswitch with 44 degree Caliber Trucks and Orangatang 4prez 80a. It was a sick board with all the features I loved. I will never stop loving that shape, W concave, or radial drops.
How has your relationship with Mary evolved over the years?
I used to FEAR Mary. So much. So so much. I used to think I would NEVER ride that hill. Now I ride it quite often actually… My first run down Maryhill I did 2 GIGANTIC coleman slides. Don’t slide on mary! But when I went to the Maryhill Noobs Freeride, Tad Onchi showed me the best lines to get down the hill safely. And after that very first run I was shaking because I was full of adrenaline. I’ve never had so much fun in my entire life. And the fact that all of the PDX Downhill guys were there supporting me and helping me out, it was incredible. And the Tunnel of Doom! Best thing to happen to Maryhill ever. I honestly can say, I don’t think anyone loves Maryhill as much as I do. Mad respect to Deano, Tad Drysdale, Ali Johnson, and all of the other Maryhill Ratz that keep the freeride events going year after year. It was also the first time I got the Downhill Stare of Death.
Why do you love her so much?
Maryhill is just peaceful and it gives me peace of mind. That’s why I love Maryhill so much. It sounds kinda lame but you don’t get any cell service at Maryhill. At least I don’t. So there’s a complete disconnection from the world. There’s no one there to call you, text you, or try to get a hold of you. It’s all about being there with only the people you are with and enjoying each other’s company. It’s just really living in the moment and really bonding with the people you are with. So the reason I love Maryhill so much is because it’s an experience that lets me make a true connection with people that I call my closest friends. It’s a really meditative kind of experience. Meeting random riders on the hill and everyone trusting each other around corners not to fall. It’s really an experience I haven’t gotten anywhere else. So I would say it’s awesome in getting to meet people from around the world and become friends and even best friends with them almost instantaneously. I think it is also because when I first started out skating, Maryhill was always a dream, it wasn’t a possibility in my mind, it was just a goal of downhilling that I’d never reach. But now I’m actually doing it! So it feels like I’ve reached my wildest dreams. I have a million reasons why I love Maryhill and I would just ramble on for hours… In short it’s friends, fun, and amazing! Go there and experience it yourself! Go to a Maryhill Freeride and see me and say hi and let’s take a run together!
Who is a Maryhill Rat?
The Maryhill Ratz are the guys who first rode Maryhill WAY back in the day. I think the road was first ridden back in 2001? That’s nearly 13 years of downhill skating in their book. Dean Ozuna is the most notable of the Maryhill Ratz. Good ol’ Deano! If you’ve ever ridden a Maryhill Freeride, you have Deano to thank for that. He’s been putting on the freerides for years now! Putting out a ton of money so that everyone gets a weekend of downhill skateboarding with their friends. And Deano holds his own on the hill as well. I took a run down with him and I did nothing but eat his dust. He CHARGES. I’m sure him and Tad Drysdale can take this run with their eyes closed at this point. They’re OG but they’ll put any youngin’ in their place.
Is Tad Onchi your favourite skater?
I don’t think I have a favuorite skater. There are too many in the community to choose just one. But Tad is definitely a guy I have a ton of gratitude and thanks for. He’s the first one that taught me how to slide and drift on switchbacks. He’s the first one to welcome me into the PDX Downhill community. And he was the one who showed me how to take the right line down Maryhill. Those 3 things he’s done for me is what has changed my skating forever. He taught me how to safely skate glove down, he made me a part of the PDX community, and he taught me how to safely DH Maryhill. I don’t think him teaching me seemed that significant to him because he teaches EVERYBODY, but it sure is significant to me. Thank you again Tad for everything you do in the community!
What is the DH Stare of Death?
Haha the Downhill Stare of Death is something I kinda just made up mid interview lol. It never had a name until now. So thank you for helping me name it Gbemi! It was at my first Maryhill Freeride. I was a super beginner in the downhill world. And on probably my 10th run of the day, I was still super shakey, and I was coming up on cowzers corner fairly slow. And if you looked at me you could tell that I wasn’t too experienced. And then my friend Colby Looney was CHARGING up from behind me on a tiny slalom board and I knew that we were both about to take the sharpest toeside corner together and I look back at him. And he gave me the Downhill Stare of Death. Which is pretty much the look that says “We’re about to take this line. If you fuck up, we’re both DEAD. D. E. A. D. So don’t fuck it up!” It was the most fun and sketch moment ever, but I held my line fearing that I would take us both out. But we came out of it unscathed with huge smiles on our faces! haha and now the DH Stare of Death is my favorite thing to give and receive when skating, cause that’s when you know you’re having the most fun!
“The downhill stare of Death is pretty much the look that says ‘we’re about to take this line, if you fuck up, we’re both DEAD. D.E.A.D, so don’t fuck it up”.
Aside from Colorado, have you skated anywhere?
I haven’t skated anywhere else really because the Pacific Northwest has too much to offer! But I have a lot of aspirations! I want to skate Giants Head, that’s a huge one. I also have to attend a Coast Longboarding event. Jake’s Rash or Danger Bay. I gotta make it to one of those. I promised Striker I would. And then I want to hit up a Canadian race. Either Britannia or Whistler. So I guess I just want to go to Canada… Haha I got my passport ready!
Aren’t you too gentle for COAST?
Haha I’ve got a few surprises up my sleeve. I’ll handle myself against the best of them! Yes that’s right! Bring your worst Bricin! I’m ready for the Cribb Bomb and all the mountains of Cariboo you have to drink! Gallons on gallons! But I’m probably gonna be the kind of guy who gets the shoe… But bring it on Striker! I’m callin’ you out right now! I’m fairly certain the Coast guys don’t drink anything but Cariboo… Not even water. haha.
“I’m ready for the Cribb Bomb and all the mountains of Cariboo you have to drink! Gallons on gallons! But I’m probably gonna be the kind of guy who gets the shoe… But bring it on Striker! I’m callin’ you out right now!”
Now that you’ve done Mary, whats’ the next dream?
That’s a question I ask myself a lot. Giant’s head is definitely on the list but Maryhill will never be replaced. I think I’ll probably end up skating that hill until the day I die. I’ll end up being the old school Geezers with the rest of the PDX Downhill crew skating the road at 60 years old showing up the future groms who think they’re all that. Haha. But as far as the dream goes? I want to further my involvement in the sport, the community, and Maryhill as a whole. I want to leave my mark on the sport and do something good that I can one day look back on and be proud of doing so. Maybe fund enough money to pave a SECOND Maryhill? Like a switch version of Maryhill? Haha those are the things I think about… But who knows, we’ll see where things go. But I do feel like I’m on the right path and that makes me happy.
What’s your favourite thing to do on your board?
My favourite thing is to have fun! Right now downhilling is the most fun for me. And it will probably stay that way for a while. Gripping and ripping! And my friend Diane pointed it out to me, you can’t flatspot wheels when downhilling so that saves a ton of cash haha. But cross stepping will never get boring either haha. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re having fun! Something I do on a lot of my boards is I write super cheesy lovey dovey poetry. It’s kinda to counteract all the people writing gangster rap lyrics on their boards like “Blow Lines, Fuck Dimes”. So I write cheesy things like “Love is absolutely the worst thing you can do so someone you love”. It’s the cheesy side of me. But I also quote people like Oscar Wilde. “I can resist everything but temptation.” It’s probably from my theatrical side. And then I also quote Atmosphere. It’s the hip hop side of me. “As long as we keep our spirit inspired, she can bite her bottom lip all she wants.” I have a lot of quotes… haha But it’s all in the name of fun!
You don’t like rap?
I LOVE rap. I just don’t like when like 12 year old skaters have stuff written like “Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks.” That’s for people who are old enough to actually listen to Dr. Dre. But I definitely love rap. I plan on going to the art museum to listen to the new Wu-Tang album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” if it ever comes by Portland, Oregon. Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nothin’ to Fuck Wit!
Who’s your favourite bone?
Haha ok, I take back my answer to the other question. My second favourite question is “Who’s your favourite bone?”. Wish Bone! He’s my favourite. “Gonna get a 40, can a thug get love?” But Krayzie Bone is super dope too. “Fin to creep to the pad cause mom’s got grub on the grill, If we got the food, ooh you know it’s the 1st of the month and my n***as we chills foe real” But then Bizzy Bone and his mad flow… Ok, Wish Bone is my favourite Bone but all of Bone Thugs is sick. I’m actually blasting Bone Thugs, Big Boi, and Les Claypool right now.
What is your role in the community right now?
I would say I’m a stoke spreader haha. That’s what I think my job is and that’s what I like to think of it as. I love being involved in the community and to show love to skaters in the same way that others have shown me love. I want to support those out there because we all have the same passion for skating. I just wanna be the kind of approachable person that anyone out there can go to for help and be someone who can help out in any situation whether it be for advice, or help, or just wanting someone to skate with. That’s why I love the Maryhill Freerides. Come up to me and ask to take a run together. I promise I won’t say no! I guess I want to be a face in the community and really a helping person out there. Overall a general stoke spreader! I’ll just keep doing what I do and when the time is right, something amazing is gonna happen. Just you wait!
What are you riding right now?
It’s kinda weird but my board is all about support and supporting those that support you! Right now I’m riding a custom Subsonic Foam Core Twin Vega. The shape was developed by Noah Throckmorton and it’s in a new wheel flare mold by Subsonic. Scott Moore is the owner of Subsonic and he’s a good friend of mine. He kills it and his boards are TOP quality. There are really no better boards out there than his. This board is amazing. And extremely light. Definitely check out Subsonic. He supports the community and supports me and I love supporting him back! I have a foam core long distance push board in the works from Scott for my push from Mt. Hood to the coast this summer that I’m super excited about as well.
Then I’m riding PNL Strummers 47 degrees. Doug Owens is the owner of PNL trucks and he’s a super rad guy. And his trucks are super awesome too. He actually helped me get my first set of precision trucks which definitely fuelled my need for speed. He’s super nice, humble, and a really chill guy. And every email he sends me ends with a philosophy quote. How rad is that?! Haha “To live on the land one must learn from the sea.” And then right now I’m riding whatever wheels I end up getting from Pete and Zach from Daddies Board Shop. They’ve been having me demo a ton of downhill wheels lately and I honestly can’t do it without them. Right now I’m rocking a set of Sector 9 Steam Rollers and I couldn’t be more stoked. This will be my second set actually. I had the 78a and then now an 80a set. These wheels are my favourite wheels ever. Fast roll speed and TONS of grip. Grippin’ and rippin’! I’ll probably go through a ton more of these wheels. But I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the support from Subsonic, PNL Trucks, and Daddies Board Shop! Thank you Scott, Doug, and the entire Daddies family!
Aside from distance, what comps do you do?
I don’t really compete in distance skating. I usually just skate distance for fun. The Springwater Trail is a super beautiful path to skate. 25 miles from Boring Oregon to Portland. But as far as comps go, I go to all of them I can. But you’ll often find me behind a camera more than you will find me on my board. I just have way more fun capturing the moment and when I upload the pictures of the event people get super stoked! That’s why I think my job is a stoke spreader haha. Literally 5 minutes after an event is over though, I’ll get people messaging me saying “Dude are those pictures up yet?!” It’s pretty funny. But I get to combine my love of skating and photography all in one. So that is what’s super awesome about events to me. But I go to all of the events I can. Don’t be afraid to say hi! I’ll capture your picture!
How do West Coasters do in push races?
The West Coast guys do great! We have the best push board builders in the world. We have Robin McGuirk, the owner of Eastside Longboards and fellow Daddies family member. He pushes on the Eastside Blazer and destroyed the mile speed record on it. Then there’s Subsonic. His boards are MADE for pushing. Super light and super low to the ground. The Adrenalina Ultra Skate record is held on one of his boards. 24 hours of pushing and it couldn’t be done without his Subsonic pushers. Over 280 miles in 24 hours I believe. But Robin kills it in the push races. He’s won the P-Town Throwdown every year it’s been running. He’s undefeated! But there are tons of up and coming pushers out there. Like Brandon DesJarlais. He is a crazy pusher. And he’s super funny as well. It’s awesome to see the playful competition between him and Robin. They’re gonna kill it in the IDSA this year.
When did you first get sponsored?
Oh about 3 years ago I believe. It was by Daddies Board Shop. I was shop rattin’ it up at Daddies and I became really good friends with one of the guys working there. His name is Spencer Knuttila. He’s a snowboarder and skater. He told me that Daddies was about to open up an ambassador team and that my friends Richard, Zach and I should make a video and get on that. We worked our butts off with no sleep and we got on the team! That’s how Freeride Northwest came about. And now we all work at the shop! Funny how things can change. Spencer is an awesome guy and a crazy character. The inventor of the Cheddar Muffin. 0% Muffin, 100% delicious. But since then it’s been super awesome.
What is Freeride Northwest?
Freeride Northwest is the little crew made of myself, Richard Topete, and Zach Boston. We made a few videos and when we uploaded them to YouTube. We needed a YouTube channel name. So Zach came up with the name Freeride Northwest. It’s kind of my roots and how we all started. Without FRNW, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
How did you hook up with DBS?
I started out as a team rider for Daddies and I did that for about 8 months. And then out of nowhere got offered a job at the shop. I think they were probably tired of me shop rattin’ around and thought “might as well put him to work!” Haha. It’s super awesome man. It’s one giant family of brothers. We have a lot of fun. Maybe too much fun…
How does the shop help you live your dream?
Oh man they support me all the way! They are always helping me out wanting to send me to events, having me test out products, ask for my feed back, help me get in touch with companies. So many freakin’ things dude… I can’t thank them enough. I really do feel like the little brother of the shop. They’re always looking out for me and helping me excel in any way that I can. It’s a really great feeling. Without them I wouldn’t be able to skate all these roads or gear, or meet all of these people. It’s just amazing how the shop really loves supporting true passion. They’re just the best guys out there. They’re just like older brothers really. It’s super awesome.
You get to hang out with Marisa!
Haha hang out with Marisa? Mehhhh. I get to crack jokes at her. That’s where the fun is. I get to hear dirty secrets about racing from her too. I want to start a series of stories from Marisa called “Tales Beyond the Finish Line” but that’ll never happen.
What’s Daddies role in the community?
To try and spread as much stoke as possible. To make sure that the all the nice boys and girls get their longboards for Christmas on time. And the naughty kids get coal. That’s why we have crazy fast shipping. Because Santa can’t do it all. Haha. We always crack jokes about having our board builders dress up in elf suits. Every year that joke gets more and more serious. So as soon as it happens, trust me, you’ll see it on our @DaddiesBoardShop instagram. We also try and get the community together through our Mt. Tabor sessions. We’re gonna amp it up A TON this year and you can expect to see me at every single one of them! It’s one of my favourite sessions. Super tight pack runs down a really chill run. And we also sponsor events around the world. Just look around and you’ll see that we are everywhere!
When are you guys going to put up a race?
Are you looking to race against me Gbemi? Haha, it’s all in the works. I’m hoping ASAP. I think it would be so sick to put up a race. I mean Daddies has some of the fastest riders in the world, so it only makes sense for us to put up a race. But we know that Alex Tongue and Amanda Powell will be taking home the gold for the home team! T in the B and the Commander!
So, what’s up with #TeamAsia?
Haha honestly, I didn’t know that team asia was a thing until just two weeks ago. I decided to take a random trip out to Maryhill with some friends and met for the first time, a bunch of Canadian riders like Tuan Dinh, Lisa Li, Ching Ho, Gilbert Wong, and Kevin Hashimoto. I really sarcastically said “Let’s take an asian run!” because I’ve never had asian longboarding friends before. And next thing I know, I hear them talking about #TeamAsia. Next thing I know, #TeamAsia has been in a lot of my social media stuff. So I think they welcomed me into #TeamAsia? I know Shawn Tseng (Masterful Instagrammer @shawn_tseng) and Ayumi Oride are part of it too. I think it’s kinda welcome to all. Want to be a part of #TeamAsia Gbemi? The only sad thing is that at that Maryhill trip, Tuan never took a run with us. So that’s why #TuanDoesntTakeRunsWithUs is a thing. Tuan, take runs with us!
I prefer bacon to sushi.
See you gotta look at the best of both worlds! Have you ever tried sushi with bacon in it? BOOM. Your mind just got blown. Delicious sushi, and delicious bacon. It can only be good. But I am always down for sushi. Like 100% of the time. Breakfast sushi, lunch sushi, dinner sushi. Yummmmmm. Breakfast sushi would be the best time for bacon sushi too!
Have you ever skated in Asia?
No but I plan on it. I have been talking to Ayumi and Fifer about possibly going out to Japan to skate. They are super gracious and offered to let me stay with them. They are amazing people and they’re super nice. I want to take a trip out there super badly. I heard some of the hills are a drive to get to but they are worth it. Fifer told me that if I go to Japan I have to get my snowboarding on though. He says that Japan is also known as JaPOWDER. So I’ll definitely get some good ol’ brucing in while I’m out there.
Que es Bruce?
Haha Bruce! Brucing! It’s a snowboarder type dealio the guy I mentioned earlier, Spencer Knuttila, started. It’s just all about snowboarding and snowboard culture. It’s really cool and laid back and has a really good vibe on snowboarding. Plus they make really funny gear and really hilarious graphics. Some of which are spin offs of Thrasher Magazine, which combines snowboarding and skating. #BruceAndDestroy #BruceOrDie #BrucingIsNotACrime It’s super awesome. haha @BrucerSnowStuff
What are your plans for this year?
To be attend ALL of the Maryhill freerides, I’m signed up for 2 out of the 3 of them so far. And then also attend all of the Switchbacks Series races, as well as my push to the coast. But other than that, I don’t have a ton of plans as far as events go. My plans are more geared towards making the community better than ever. I want to put on a ton of events, host the Tabor Sessions, maybe put on some sessions that are more geared towards learning, and to also just to make this great community we have better than ever. Make sure people know about road safety, know how to safely hold sessions without getting them blown out, as well as maybe history lessons so they know who the Maryhill Ratz are and some of the OG names in longboarding. If you don’t know that the Coleman slide is named after Cliff Coleman, that’s where I come in. These are just some ideas that I plan to make a reality. And of course, let people know who in the community is killin’ it. If you haven’t checked out Push Culture yet, get on that. Brian, Travis, and Jenica Davenport are all super nice and really doing great things out there for our sport. Push Culture! And their hoodies double up as really badass snowboard hoodies, just sayin’.
Don’t forget Joe Goodman!
Ah I could never forget him! Everyone who is a part of Push Culture is very important! Joe Goodman as well! Thank you for all the work you put into the videos and all the behind the scene stuff Joe! Always killin’ it!
Why are you pushing to the coast?
I’m pushing to the coast because I’ve watched wayyyyyyyy too many of Adam Colton, Paul Kent, and Aaron Enevoldsen’s Long Treks on Skate Decks videos… I’m doing it as a way to push myself physically, as well as a way to explore the outdoors. Yeah sure you can drive to the coast, you’ll get there much faster, but you miss so much on the way. When you push there though, you really get to enjoy the view and all that Oregon has to offer. I’m doing this trip with 4 of my friends; Richard Topete, Mike Wagner, Travis Reedy, Dan Criswell. Completely unsupported, so we’ll be carrying our own camping gear, food and water, so it’s like a camping trip and a skate session all bundled into one! I’m super excited but my legs are terrified of the long distance trip. But it should be rad. We’re working on the planning now and should be pushing in August. We’ve gotten a ton of support from the community about it and we couldn’t do this without everyone’s help.
You know, you’ll probably be eaten by a bear!
Nope! One of the guys I’m skating with, Richard Topete, said he’s not only ready to take on a bear, but he’s not leaving this trip without a bear head mask and we’ll apparently be eating bear meat one night… But Travis Reedy, our camping expert, has a ton of things prepared to keep us safe, I’m in charge of skate gear, he’s in charge of camping gear.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
When I’m not skating I try and get a lot of rock climbing in. Especially outdoors. But it’s been hard because of all the rain. So, usually, I go to rock climbing gyms with my friends Halsey and Chris. They’re really fun to climb with and just generally hang out with as well. Other than climbing I love going snowboarding. Gotta keep Brucing! I haven’t been able to go much this year because the season has been really late. But the snow is dumping down right now so I’ll be going up sometime soon. And secretly I love live theatre. Skate, Climb, Snowboard, Theatre. What else do I need? I’m up for suggestions!
Pick 3 numbers between 1-20!
Ooooooo. Ok I like this game. haha. 2, 17, 9. Let’s see what I get…
Ahhhhhhhh damn. Do you think it’ll hurt when I speed tuck?
2 – What weapons would you choose in a zombie apocalypse?
Haha we have this question at the shop all the time, if the shop got invaded by zombies what we’d do… I’d grab a Rayne Demonseed… Good handle for fuckin’ up zombies… In the outside world, I would probably choose a sword of some sort. Samurai most likely. In a fantasy world, I’d choose Megaman’s Mega Buster. Pew Pew.
7 – why did the chicken cross the road?
The chicken crossed the road because it wanted to be made into delicious chicken fettuccine alfredo. I have mixed feelings on eating this suicidal chicken but man the chef did turn it into super delicious alfredo. So I have no regrets.
19 – Tommy Watson asks- Who would be in your dream race heat?
Ooooo. My dream race heat would be the ones I get to have with my friends. In a 6 man heat I would have myself, Andrew Fuller, Colby Looney, Noah Throckmorton, Alex Tongue, and Mike Wagner. Because nothing is more fun than racing with your friends. And those guys are extremely fast so they push me to my limits…
Herro Eric, this was super fun. Good luck with your coast to coast lurk. In case you get killed by a wolf, it was nice talking to you. #TeamBacon.
Thanks Gbemi! It was awesome talking to you as well!!! I’ll do my best to stay alive. I’ll bring you some bear jerky if we actually make it. I guess I gotta say #TeamAsia. But also don’t forget about #DaddiesBoardShop, #SubsonicSkateboards, and #PNLTrucks. Always killin’ it. Thanks for you time bro!
Any last words?
Yeah man for sure. I want to say I appreciate your time today man. Super awesome sharing this interview with you. Keep doing what you do best. And then of course massive thanks to everyone I’ve came across in this awesome sport. Firstly it’s Freeride Northwest and Daddies Board Shop, Subsonic Skateboards, and PNL trucks. They’re awesome as fuck. And then an awesome thank you to the PDX Downhill Community. And I’ll be seeing you guys at the Maryhill Freerides!
Instagram (my favourite! haha)
@theerichoang #FRNW #TeamAsia #FGH
Haha you must have been like the human t-rex, with no arms!
Haha I wasn’t so much a human T-rex as I was a robot. My arms were broken at the elbows so the cast I was stuck in had my arms stuck at 90 degrees. So I would go to dance parties and bust out my killer robot dance moves. Pretty sick dance moves.