Rad dad and super stoked longboarding enthusiast representing Team NoBull. He tells us about special skating moments with his son, HGR and HUGE plans for gnar generation in Houston. Tell your friends.
Hi Greg, how are you?
I’m still sore and recovering from the Carnage On The Coast race in Florida. I’m so stoked for all the races and events that are happening this summer in Texas & beyond.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Northern Vermont and moved to New York City after graduating from the University of Vermont in 1986. After meeting the future Ex-Mrs.Noble while in NYC, who was from Texas, she convinced me to move to Houston in 1998.
Haven’t left ever since?
I’ve stayed in Texas because of my kids. The sport of longboarding and Team NoBull have definitely made an impact on my staying here. I have such a sense of belonging to the community here and being a part of something special. Texas is so frickin hot though and I miss being able to ski whenever I want, so eventually I plan on moving back to Vermont or maybe Colorado.
How did you get into skating?
I was a street skater in the ‘70s. I grew up during the whole Dogtown & Z Boys era. There’s not much to do in Vermont during the summer, so skating was a natural pastime for me in my early teens. I spent my summers skating and my winters skiing. My buddies & I built big ramps and bombed the Vermont mountain roads. I was a good skater but I kept breaking bones… like all the time. I had to give up skating when I was about 15 because it was hurting my skiing. I was a very competitive ski racer when I was young, that’s what you do in Vermont, you ski. I got back into skating when my son wanted to start about 5 years ago.
What was skating about in the 70’s?
Building gnarly wooden ramps with stolen plywood, talking trash, protecting spots (there were no skateparks in Vermont) waiting for the latest Skateboarder magazine to arrive in the mail and draining & sweeping out the the neighbours pools after the snow cleared. It was edgy and really dangerous.
How important were magazines?
The magazines were absolutely everything to me and my skate buds. I can remember checking the mailbox every day to see if it had arrived. When I got it I would immediately look at what tricks were being done by our idols, mine was Stacey Peralta, and try and copy them. I’d look at the new gear that was coming out and I’d use the magazine’s pictures to come up with ideas for ramps and how to shred pools. I still remember getting my first set of Kryptonics… you know soft urethane. That’s how old I am.
“…I went to an event at Jamail Skatepark here in Houston and met Tony Alva for the first time, that was cool. Now my idols are all longboarders and most of them are on Team NoBull.”
Did you ever get to meet any of your idols?
Being in Vermont I never had a chance to. But last year I went to an event at Jamail Skatepark here in Houston and met Tony Alva for the first time, that was cool. Now my idols are all longboarders and most of them are on Team NoBull.
Have you had any sensational injuries?
My left ankle is screwed up and looks gnarly, I broke and dislocated it multiple times skating all in my mid to late teens. The list of sensational injuries from my youth are too many to list. I think I had broken just about every bone in my body by the age of 18. I was kinda an idiot in my youth.
Was it hard to pick it up after decades on the sideline?
It was my son Dawson that got me back on a board. At first it was a little tough, but it is like riding a bike. I had thought I’d never stand on a board again given my ankle. My first time back in a bowl on a skateboard I took a bad fall and torqued that same ankle and I was like “oh shit”! If I were to break it again I might as well cut my foot off. But then we tried longboarding together. The minute I stepped on a longboard it was like an epiphany “THIS” is what I was missing! I was like “hell yes”! There began our journey and we’ve never looked back.
What was special about it?
Growing up as a competitive skier I was all about the speed, feeling the wind in my face, carving sharp lines, taking in the scenery, the terrain, and picking a line – all the things I loved about skiing were being reborn for me on a longboard – and being older it was like I found a long lost love. The feeling was indescribable, the adrenaline, the athleticism, the rhythm and the carving… all of it comes together for me to create perfect harmony. Being one with the board, just like being one with my skis.
Is going fast on a skateboard different to skiing?
Going fast on a longboard is different in the sense that you have a lot more to contend with; traffic, rocks, sand, wet spots and riders in front and behind you. For me there are more similarities than differences which is why I love it so much.
What adventures did you have in the early days of your 2nd coming?
Being in Houston, which has no hills, we have to make due with what we got which are parking garages. I will never forget the first time my son and I hit a garage… then we progressed to road tripping to Austin where there are hills. There is nothing like sneaking into a garage at 1 am and hitting garage after garage. It reminds me of “short-cut hunting” in the 70’s; when we would jump fences in the spring to find pools we could skate. The greatest adventures to date have been all the friends my son and I have made.
How did you find the Houston community?
Now THAT is what has made longboarding so special. The community in Houston and the camaraderie in Texas is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. If you longboard and you hang out at Carve Skateshop and garage skate you are part of the community. Once the HGR crew knew that my son & I weren’t posers and we were “all in” they welcomed us with open arms. The guys at Carve Skateshop and HGR have become second family to my son and I.
Who are the HGRs?
HGR stands for Houston Garage Riders. It is a loosely organized group of longboarders here in Houston that skate the garages. Its grown significantly since I started longboarding. Its more of an “adjective” than a “noun”, it kinda describes an attitude more than an organization. The group came together and was organized around the longboarding scene and was born out of Carve Skateshop here in Houston. Some of the original “members” are Brian “Chubbs” Cortright, Scotty Sheridan, Zac Sharp, Jake Sharp, Ben Williamson, Richard Supernaw, Harper McDaniel & Robbie Schmidt. If it weren’t for HGR my son and I would still be longboarding aimlessly around town not knowing which garages to skate.
The inspiration for everything that has become Team NoBull was born out of HGR & Carve Skateshop. We took an attitude of competitive nasty outlaw garage racing and rolled it into a team of longboarding ambassadors.
“The inspiration for everything that has become Team NoBull was born out of HGR & Carve Skateshop. We took an attitude of competitive nasty outlaw garage racing and rolled it into a team of longboarding ambassadors.”
What would houston skating be without garages?
The garages are the scene in Houston. Houston has no hills. There would be no longboarding community without the garages and thats what makes it so unique and special. We have one of the biggest longboarding communities in the United States and all of it centers around skating the garages and racing in them. Its one of the coolest scenes I’ve ever been a part of. We have dozens of garages that are accessible if you are willing to take some risks and be stealth about it.
What’s the coolest thing about it?
A bunch of longboarders that love to shred in a city with zero elevation and no hills made due by turning the parking garages into their playground. We don’t have hills but we do have a couple of dozen parking garages and more are being added all the time. The camaraderie and gritty culture of the scene is awesome. We only “hit” the garages after 11:00 PM and ts straight up trespassing so that certainly adds some adrenaline. We have it dialed in, which garages we can hit what days, where the cameras are, where security is, which garages are lefts which are rights, which floors are lit, which are dark and how to enter and most importantly exit quickly. We have given code names for each garage as we try and protect the scene the best we can. To go back to the similarities with snow skiing for me, the multiple garages are like trails of a ski area. Every night we decide what we want to skate the “greens” or the double-black diamonds”. The variety we have in Houston is tremendous. I invite any of your readers to come to Houston anytime and hang with us. My place is always open for any skaters.
Does it ever get hairy with The Man?
Most definitely it does. There have been some really exciting nights of dodging security golf-carts, running down stair wells and disappearing down opposite levels. Its tough for the police or security to catch ya when you’re bombing down a garage. We always have our escape routes dialed in. One time the cops straight cornered my son and I. On cue my son went up to the cop and said “Please Mr.Officer, please let me skate with my Daddy”, I think Dawson even shed a tear for effect. It was classic. He let us go and allowed us one more run! The key part of skating the garages is being respectful of the scene and not bringing too much attention to it, that’s the challenge. We work hard at making sure that spots don’t get blown or over skated.
“One time the cops straight cornered my son and I. On cue, my son went up to the cop and said ‘Please Mr.Officer, please let me skate with my Daddy’, I think Dawson even shed a tear for effect. It was classic. He let us go and allowed us one more run!”
How does racing garages differ from hills?
Racing garages in Houston and the HGR style is a little unorthodox and chippy, there are virtually no rules. The garages are anywhere from 6 to 13 floors with hairpin turns, drop-offs and sometimes alternating turns so its all about your ability to pick a fast line and being able to pump. The style of a Houston garage races is very aggressive, with a lot of shoving, grabbing and pulling… it can be a little intimidating. So it is… intense. Its very different from racing on a hill cuz frankly getting shoved into a concrete pylon or wiping out or having your board fly 12 stories onto the traffic below can suck. But I don’t want it to sound “not fun”, its truly welcoming and all in good fun. Even the nastiest heats end up in hugs. Also the races are always at night and involve sneaking into the race spot. When we want to skate hills Houston is only a few hours from some of the greatest skating in the U.S. in Austin and San Antonio.
What difference does having this in common with your son make?
All the difference in the world. Longboarding has allowed me closer to my son. To be able to see him progress over the past 5 years, he started when he was 11, is incredible. To share this journey with my son has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I could’ve ever imagined. I would have never stepped back on a board if it weren’t for him.
Where has the journey taken you so far?
My son and I have been able to bond around longboarding and do so much together. We have won races together, like the Patriot Race Bro-Bomb and the SXSW Sector 9 Scavenger Hunt in Austin. We have traveled throughout the United States to skate and most importantly we have a group of close friends that we have met through the sport. The most exciting and fulfilling part of the journey has been the founding of Team NoBull and using it as a way to give back to a sport that has given my son and I so much.
You both race open?
My son Dawson races both Groms and open and I race open and masters. But we really try to always race together in open. It makes it more special and memorable that way. Most of my time these days at races is spent supporting my Team NoBull racers. When we’re throwing a race or sponsoring a race Dawson is always there by my side helping out. Its so great having my son with me on this longboarding adventure. Dawson is my son, Team NoBull is my extended family and Carve Skate Shop is our clubhouse.
What is the Carve Skate Shop?
Carve Skateshop was founded in Houston in 2008 by Scotty Sheridan. It was founded out of necessity because there was no place in town to buy longboarding equipment. It is more than just a skateshop though. It was founded by skaters and is run by skaters. Carve has become almost like the community center for the Texas longboarding crew. Everyone in the scene hangs out there. It has become the designated headquarters and clubhouse for Team NoBull and its where most of us spend our free time when we’re not skating, whether its at the Austin store or the Houston one. When we have a garage race it is where we have our pre-race meetings. Carve Skateshop and Scotty have given so much back to the Texas scene in so many ways.Team NoBull and Carve Skateshop have been partners and will continue to be in many ways. Carve lets us use their Van to attend far away events and the Carve Van just wrapped up a cross country road trip to Albuquerque, Utah, California, Maryhill, Whistler and finished at Carnage On The Coast race in Florida with a number of members of Team NoBull.
What is Team NoBull?
Team NoBull was started a little over a year ago by myself and Richard Supernaw. Initially it was a way for us to travel and compete as a cohesive group. Since its founding it has grown into something much more both in size and scope. We consider ourselves to be longboarding ambassadors with a focus on racing and traveling. Initially we just had Texans on our team but more recently we’ve added some NoCoast Oklahoma guys like Kyle Ramsey. Kyle kills it and is a huge part of our team. We’ve also added some Canadian ladies that have been an amazing addition of stoke. Anna O’Neil, Kelsey Skrobotz, Dizzy Jane and Victoria Simpson were added in the past year to the team and their impact has been immediate. We’re definitely on the expansion path. The team is focussed purely on spreading the sport of longboarding, supporting races, throwing races and getting more people involved, especially women and Groms. We try to be a positive image of the sport for those on the outside looking for what the sport represents. When they look at Team NoBull they will see positivity and pure joy.
We are also focused on helping our riders and the sponsors they have get exposure. We are a family of like minded shredders that share a passion for the sport. Every member brings something to the Team, adds something, whether it is photography, racing ability, involvement in the longboarding community like throwing races or teaching kids. Many of our members own skate companies and give the team so much support.
We don’t sell anything and we are entirely self funded. As a team we try to fill in the gaps for our riders financially in order to more effectively compete. We get our team to races, take care of their registration fees and help them with gear when we can. While at a race we help the organizers and set up a support tent for our riders. We have come so far in such a short period of time that we are always trying to evolve and look for opportunities to leverage our popularity for the benefit of the scene and our riders. We are a true team and thats really cool. Its not about one rider, its about all of us together. Bottom line is we are a stoke machine.
Who is Richard?
Richard is not only got me started in this sport, he is one of my closest friends, he works for me and is a key part of Team NoBull. There wouldn’t be a Team without Richards involvement. Team NoBull takes a lot of time and organization and he helps with all of that. The key thing about our Team is that everyone is important and each member adds something, we are the sum of all of our parts. Richard has been in the Houston longboarding scene longer than myself and he also used to work at Carve. Richard is filled with a passion for the sport that is unmatched. He’s a big boy in size and stature so he’s kinda the race enforcer as well, no one fucks with Richard. Its always good to have a guy like that to keep a race running smoothly. Beyond all that Richard is also an epic longboarder, teaches kids to skate every weekend at Longboarding For Peace and goes to Maryhill often.
What has NoBull grown into now?
It has grown into something that no one never expected, especially not me. We just hit it right timing wise with the team, the stoke, the social networking media and the enthusiasm for the sport. We seem to have has struck a chord with longboarders everywhere. We get messages from all around the world on our Facebook page telling us how much we inspire them that makes it all worth it! We have thousands of followers on all the social networks and we are trying to leverage that to bring exposure to the sport, garner acceptance for the sport amongst localities, help bring exposure to skate companies that support the longboarding community and spread the beauty of the sport.
Since its founding over a year ago we have thrown, sponsored or assisted in over 25 events. We race in or attend as many as we can as a team, we are all about traveling and racing. This month we helped organize over 40 riders from Texas and Oklahoma go to Pensacola Florida to race in Michael Harrington’s event Carnage On The Coast. It was an absolute blast and we killed it taking multiple podium spots. Carnage On The Coast is such a well run event and one that we attend every year. As a Team we can organize quickly and travel en masse to events. There is nothing like 40 of us rolling up to a race hundreds of miles from home and of course winning as a Team.
We have supported our team riders on countless trips and Team members have driven the Carve Skateshop Van over 7,000 miles in the past year to Whistler, Maryhill, Florida, California and New Mexico to attend races and events. Our race team captain is Zac Sharp and he has been instrumental in developing a schedule of events that we sponsor, travel to and races that we throw ourselves. Zac is not only one of our best racers but he also is the founder of Waterloo Wheel company, rides for Bombsquad Longboarding and Caliber Trucks and is the Manager of Carve Skateshop in Austin.
Every member of the Team is always focussing on races that we can throw or get involved with. We also are trying to work with other skate companies and start to take skate trips with their teams, throw co-sponsored events and just network as much as we can.
“The team has become my family, my blood and my purpose, I would do anything for them. I don’t do this for recognition or because of any kind of narcissistic need. I do it because I feel I can genuinely help skaters pursue their passion. All I want in return is positive stoke and to make memories for myself and the Team. ”
That’s a lot of work Greg, why do you do it?
It’s not work, its a passion. Yes it takes a lot of time,money and commitment but its worth it. The team has become my family, my blood and my purpose, I would do anything for them. I don’t do this for recognition or because of any kind of narcissistic need. I do it because I feel I can genuinely help skaters pursue their passion. All I want in return is positive stoke and to make memories for myself and the Team. When I’m gone I want my tombstone to read “He brought Stoke”. If one kid, one woman or one old guy like me picks up a longboard for the first time because of Team NoBull its a success and we have done our job.
My life will always be defined as before and after longboarding. I’m so fulfilled because of this sport, the Team and the friends that I have met through skating. I’m a huge believer in Karma. My life story is one of a lot of ups and downs, I’ve overcome a lot of adversity and I want to give back what was so freely given to me. The Team is a great vessel for positive stoke and an awesome vehicle to give back.
I want to be clear though that this team is not about me, its not about the individual, its about the group. I couldn’t do it without the help of Richard, Neal Roberts, Scotty Sheridan, Zac Sharp and all the other Team members that are involved. I do it, we all do it, because of our love for the sport.
“When I’m gone I want my tombstone to read: ‘He brought Stoke’.”
How does one get on the team?
Have stoke and get noticed! There is no application process or a tryout. You get on the Team by being noticed and recognized as someone that shreds, you must be someone that is involved in the race scene or be someone involved big time in the longboarding community. Once you are on the team you must participate, get even more involved, provide media content, teach others how to skate, help kids, promote safety and of course race often. If you make the team the expectations are high. It is an honor to make the team and it is special once you are on it. If you make the team it means you are doing something right in the longboarding scene and we expect you to do more.
The Team is all about pushing our limits, going bigger, going faster and chasing dreams. Initially we were focused just on Texas riders but we are now looking to add members from around the US, Latin America and Canada. Our primary focus right now is adding women and Groms. Our future is the kids and the women! We must get more of them into the sport.
Anyone of us may be the first and only example of what longboarding is about to a complete stranger on the street. That strangers impression of longboarding going forward may be formed based on that one encounter of you! Its important to always be a positive example of the sport. Be a longboarding ambassador.
What does the future hold for the team?
The future is bright. We have some serious momentum, we just need to keep the foot on the gas. We want to get more involved with skate companies that support the sport by helping them get exposure. We are not in competition with them, we are here to help promote the skate companies and the sport. I think there is a real misconception about us as a Team is that we make something or sell something or have a bunch of money or that we have some kind of “angle”, well we don’t. We just skate.
“I think there is a real misconception about us as a Team is that we make something or sell something or have a bunch of money or that we have some kind of “angle”, well we don’t. We just skate.”
We really want companies to contact us, use us and help us promote the scene. C’mon and reach out to us! Get involved with us. There are a slew of companies out there that have already helped us a bunch and we need to keep developing those partnerships. As a team we are always trying to develop relationships and connections with companies and events so we can do great things together and help where we can. A lot of companies have reached out to us unsolicited helped us in various ways like Travis Davenport at Push Culture, Mike Rutter at Rayne, Bryce Brady at Zealous Bearings and Bill Iliffe at Iliffe Precision Trucks to name just a few. A lot of our riders that are either sponsored by or own skate companies, we try our best to help anyway we can with any companies. We also want to get more involved in causes such as helmet safety, teaching kids how to skate and Michael Brooke’s movement Longboarding For Peace. If there is ever an event that is for a good cause we jump on it, like the RVOD Maryhill event coming up in mid-August as an example. Clayton West of Evins Skateboards is a member of the Team and we are working with him on getting a special board made just for that event. We want to use our team to make a positive impact. Being a Team we can quickly and efficiently get our members all behind something.
Our priority is racing and will always be racing. We are starting to focus on developing a race season down here in Texas, like between November & March when most of the US and Canada has snow. We are really trying to legitimize racing down here. We want more riders from around the U.S & Canada to come to Texas & Oklahoma and experience what we have to offer. We have a ton of outlaw races, we need more legal races. We have started to contact local governments and work on getting approvals and permits.
Our goal for next year is to have some legit legal garage races during the day in Houston and a world class sanctioned downhill in Austin and maybe Oklahoma. We want to have 3-6 races a year that are worth coming to in Texas & Oklahoma. The Davis City Downhill in March would be the end of our race season. Davis is in Oklahoma is definitely one of those races worth travelling for. Seth Gouker and Thank You Events killed it with Davis City this year and we can’t wait for the next one. Our team members have a ton of ideas for races that would be up there with some of the best races in the U.S. The Team really is a great way to get things like races done.
The Team does have a garage race series called the NoBull NoClass NoCrying NoRules series that are held here in Houston. Our last big outlaw garage race had over 100 racers, was at midnight and of course we were trespassing and was the largest outlaw garage race in U.S. history. We want to have 2 really big NoBull garage races a year (hopefully non-outlaw) and combine them with a LDP race and a ditch jam at the legendary EZ-7 here or maybe a bowl jam at Jamail Skatepark. We definitely have some big dreams but I think we can do it and more. All of our team riders are always thinking about races they can throw and go to. Really the future is in the hands of the Team itself. It is not my Team its everyones team.
Is there a NoBull uniform?
We have become recognized by our shirts, we always wear them when we race. When you get on the Team you get a Team NoBull shirt. We do not sell the shirts, they go to Team members only. So having a NoBull shirt is a big deal. Everyday we get asked if we will sell a shirt to someone. They are not for sale. Beyond the shirts all of our team is slowly getting new leathers through Kelcey at NJK and adding the NoBull logo to them. Kelcey and NJK have been a huge supporter of ours.
Our current logo bears a resemblance to another well known company and our logo is meant to be ironic since we are self funded and don’t have any corporate affiliations. We are just about skating…hence the name NoBull – No Bullshit Just Skate.
Wes Coleman over at Whiplash Graphics has helped us in developing some new logos, one of which was premiered at the Carnage race. Bombsquad and Whiplash, Wes Coleman & Tanner Leaser of Bombsquad are both a part of Team NoBull and have been great supporters of the Team. Those guys crush it and all of their riders are a part of the Team.
We are at a point where we have gotten the name recognition so now we are moving towards a variety of designs & logos. Jay Cronin of Team NoBull has also helped a ton with design of our race fliers and shirts and with his help we will be forming formal Race, Freeride and LDP team uniforms soon.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Races and more races! We will be throwing races, sponsoring races and attending races. Some of our riders are planning for Cathlamet, Madison County Gravity Fest, Munnsville, Acme, Maryhill, Angies, Broadway Bomb and Soldiers to name a few. We will have 2-4 more outlaw garage races and there are also a ton of great races going down locally this year like the Duke of Earl Downhill, The Texas Longhaul, which will go from Insanity Boardshop in San Antonio to Carve Skateshop in Houston and the Labor Day race in Austin. Ehren Mohammadi, the owner of Insanity Boardshop in San Antonio, is a member of Team NoBull and is a great supporter of the scene. Richard and I are working on some really big things for the team that will be announced soon, so stay tuned. We also want to get more involved with working with skate companies, doing more articles and getting more exposure. We really want to get more videos produced. We are still trying to figure that part out. We are blessed to have some really talented photographers as part of our team and that has been a huge help to date. I’m sure some of our team members will come up for more ideas for spreading stoke for the rest of the year! We are all about being spontaneous and we are always open to ideas. So if any of your readers know of something we should get involved with, hit us up!
What do you do when you’re not skating?
When I’m not skating I devote my time to my 3 kids and my work. I’m an entrepreneur and I am involved with several businesses. I’m always looking for new things to get involved with. I definitely want to get more involved in the business side of longboarding somehow. When I’m not skating, working or with my kids you can also usually find me on the couch at Carve Skateshop!
Pick 3 numbers between 1-20.
16 17 & 20….the ages of my three kids
16 – what happens when a zombie bites a shark?
The Apocalypse Begins…
17 – What is Victoria’s secret?
That she has no secret.
20 – What is your dream skate destination?
I would like to get a winnebago and take it across country with my son and a bunch of team members for 2 months and hit Maryhill, Whistler and beyond. Also, I want to do the Broadway Bomb in October this year because its the same weekend of my birthday.
It’s been really awesome taking this journey with you. Thanks for all the work you put in. See you on a hill sometime!
Thank you for doing this with me, it was fun.
Any last words?
I kinda feel like I rambled on. I’m sure I forgot something or forgot to mention somebody and I apologize to whoever you are! This was awesome!
Huge thanks to everyone on the team and to all the skate companies that have supported us and our races!
Do foolish things in life but do them with enthusiasm.
Skate Hard, Skate Everyday, Spread Stoke & Always Wear Your Helmet!
Our Team NoBull/Carve Skateshop Roadtrip This Past Month To Maryhill Festival Of Speed:
Team NoBull Travels To Maryhill Spring Freeride: