Texas homie Greg is back in the interview chair, telling us about Team NoBull’s busy summer, his first time on Mary and what keeps the stoke ticking.
Hey Greg! How are you & Team NoBull doing?
I’m awesome bud! Myself and some of Team NoBull hit the Maryhill RVOD G-Ride. It was my first trip to Maryhill and it was a long time coming. I am now officially hooked on the Loops and plan on going often.
“At Team NoBull we are expanding, racing and pushing the joy of the scene we love.”
At Team NoBull we are expanding, racing and pushing the joy of the scene we love. Now that we have added members outside of Texas, we are much more focused on meeting at events like Maryhill. All of us, and I mean ALL of us, will be attending the Fall Freeride. Initially it was looking like the Fall Freeride might not happen due to a lack of registered riders. As a Team we did our part to not only promote the Fall Freeride but also register.
For those that don’t know – what is Team NoBull?
Team NoBull was started 3 years ago in Houston, Texas and was born out of the garage racing scene with a pure desire to promote more stoke for longboarding. Today we are a diverse group of of riders committed to skating, racing and shredding. We have riders on the team from Canada, Mexico and throughout the United States. New members are added once a year at the end of the year. The criteria for becoming a part of the team is more about your stoke and involvement in the skating community and less about your skating ability, although that does come into the decision. With our Team, it’s about having fun, throwing events, mobbing events, racing, getting others involved in the sport and doing it together. We are entirely self funded and we have no affiliation with any one company. We don’t make anything or sell anything. As a group we are always racing, hosting races and sponsoring races, both sanctioned and outlaw. I would ask readers to look at the Bayou Battle website to read more about us.
“The criteria for becoming a part of the team is more about your stoke and involvement in the skating community and less about your skating ability”
What made your first Maryhill trip special?
On the way up to Maryhill we stopped by the Moonshine Manufacturing factory and got a grand tour. It’s amazing how much work, craftsmanship and artistry goes into their boards. Greg Kish and the Moonshine crew have been supporters of not only our events but also the scene in general. We are currently working on a collaboration with them to make a Team NoBull Tucker for our race team. We are really stoked for it. As a Team we are always looking for creative ways to connect and collab with others in the skate industry. Other examples would be our team crash pants we did with the Davenports of PushCulture and getting our logos done on our leathers by Kelcey at NJK Leathers.
The first of anything is special because it marks “the moment”. In the case of Maryhill, I had really high expectations and they were all exceeded. That doesn’t happen often. It revitalized my feelings around this wonderful sport we all love. Going to Maryhill is something every skateboarder must experience… it’s magical. It’s not only about the hill but about the people involved – Deano, Ali, the Perkins Clan, the Ratz and all of the volunteers. I have grown close to Deano and Ali over the years and they are such a critical part of the longboarding scene. They are the stewards of Mary! I even got to do a moonlight midnight run down Maryhill with Max Capps and Louis Pilloni. It doesn’t get any better than that.
One of the unique things which made the Maryhill experience special was Joe Lehm’s skate school and racing clinic. Joe is such an amazing teacher and along with Robin McGuirk, Max Capps & Louis Pilloni they spent the entire weekend providing tips and insights to Maryhill first timers as well as vets. It was rewarding to see the racers of the future progressing. For me to get pointers on my skating and how to apply it on Loops Road was so helpful. Having an actual teacher is such a game changer.
“The volume for me is always turned to 10, let’s just say that Maryhill turned it up to 11!”
Were you falling out of love or low stoke levels?
Hell no! Okay, maybe revitalized is not the correct adjective… more like reinvigorated. The volume for me is always turned to 10, let’s just say that Maryhill turned it up to 11! If you are a skater and you have it in your blood, I don’t think it’s possible to fall out of love. When you arrive at a place like Maryhill and the entire hill is all yours with everyone around you smiling, hugging and taking pack runs together it’s simply indescribable.
Who was on this trip?
I travelled with Joshua Larkin, Zac Sharp (our race team captain), Stephen Dumaine, Jerry He, DJ Damen and his 14 year old son “Little D”. Once we got to Maryhill we met up with Eric Hoang, Miles Long, Sean Cook, Amanda Roden, Joanna Bleedover, Marissa Olivia, James Cook and others with the Team. Having a crew there was really special.
Did Mary live up to your dreams?
Absofuckinlutely! When you watch videos and hear stories about Maryhill you think you know what it’s all about. Once you get there it’s so much more than what you expect.
What’s was the flavour of cities you visited en-route?
Portland has the vibe of Austin. There are skaters everywhere so it’s definitely skater friendly. The food, the coffee and the people are all awesome. The highlight of Portland for me was visiting Daddies Boardshop for the first time. Such an amazing crew there, all skaters and all passionate and welcoming. Eric Hoang of Daddies is a part of Team NoBull and to finally meet him on his turf was special. While we were in Portland we hit some local gems, Mt.Tabor and Switchbacks.
“Nothing will ever replace the experience of going into your local shop and touching and feeling the products.”
With the increasing importance & popularity of online shops, how long will shops like Daddies and Carve remain relevant?
Online shopping is already an established and a popular means of buying gear. Shops have adapted to that threat either by offering their inventory on their own website or by differentiating themselves from the typical online experience. Nothing will ever replace the experience of going into your local shop and touching and feeling the products – standing on the board, comparing trucks & wheels side by side and getting input from a live person. Both Daddies and Carve will always be relevant because, not only do they have great employees who skate, but also because they do so much for their respective skate communities. To me, walking into a skate shop and buying online are two totally different experiences. You can’t get tips on where to skate, connect with other skaters and just simply shoot the shit online.
Last time we spoke was just before the 2nd NoBull Bayou Battle. How did that go?
Actually, it was the 3rd Bayou Battle, but the 2nd Annual “Legal” one. The first Bayou Battle was an outlaw event. Garage racing is, at its core, outlaw in nature and aggressive in style.
It was absolutely epic, exciting and exhausting. It is so great to have the entire skate community come to Houston Texas every year, some for the first time. This was the first year that I raced at the Battle which was awesome. Typically, I don’t race at events which Team NoBull is hosting.
This year’s was expanded in format and was truly an all around event. We had an 18 mile LDP Race along the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston which was won by Andrew Andras, an enormous sesh at the largest skate park in the U.S – the North Houston Skatepark. A throwback ditch jam at the legendary EZ-7, the garage race and of course an epic after party. We believe this event has solidified itself as one of the must attend skating events of the year.
The Bayou Battle is a chance for the Team to welcome skaters from around the world to Texas and show them our uniqueness of garage racing which is physical, technical and gnarly. Basically, garage racing is “like wrestling downhill” – thanks to Louis Pilloni for that quote. We allow full contact in a garage race which definitely changes the dynamics and sketchiness.
Brandon Tissen won the open class garage race followed by Troy “Yardwaste” Grenier and Luis Hernandez of Team Nobull. Brandon is now a part of Team NoBull by virtue of his win in the open. It’s a little known fact that if you win the Bayou Battle you automatically make it on the team. Brandon is so deserving and is a natural fit with our team.
Carve Skateshop as always came in huge with the prize money and the use of their skate shop as race headquarters. If it weren’t for Scotty Sheridan and the Carve crew the Bayou Battle would never be possible. Local skateshops are the heart and soul of any scene and we are lucky to have Carve Skateshop. We also had Landyachtz on board as a premier sponsor. Landyachtz made custom trophies for all the winners and sent their team down. Landyachtz has always been a big supporter of the Texas scene and Team NoBull has a few members that ride for them.
We had a welcome dinner hosted by Jenni’s Noodle House in the Heights and food trucks galore at the race. If you came to Houston for the Bayou Battle you were fed well, your thirst was quenched and you were able to shred all three days.
Why could you participate?
I raced this year because of all the support and hard work of the volunteers and the Team. It was because of all them that I was able to let loose of the reigns and race. Being able to race at the Bayou Battle gave me an entirely different experience and point of view.
Anything that was special about this year’s Bayou Battle?
Having the garage for the entire day allowed us to expand the format and increase the amount of skating.
We positioned our event the weekend before King Of Kona in Florida so many of the racers continued east to partake in that craziness. We coordinated the timing of our event with Cameron Frazier who runs Kona. Having that collaboration with another event really helped.
Our media partner was Wheelbase Magazine and with the support of Marcus Bandy we were able to get the word out and increase exposure for our scene and garage racing. Marcus is such a huge supporter and brings so much to the table.
What was particularly special this year was the women’s attendance and the effort put forth by Rachael Jordahl for the women racers. Rachael is passionate about getting more women involved in the sport and she is a phenomenal event organiser. She is a skater herself and has the skater passion gene. Rachael recognised the opportunity to expand the female attendance for the Bayou Battle and she crushed it. She reached out to virtually every female rider in the United States and personally invited them to the event.
We would not have had the record women’s attendance that we did without Rachael’s involvement, she was absolutely critical to our event. Her involvement, stoke and attention to detail really raised the bar for next years event.
By focusing on increasing female attendance, the event was able to leverage this into sponsorship support and bring attention to the opportunity of inclusivity.
With the sponsorship support of Boardlife she was able to secure a huge loft for all of the women that travelled to Houston and made all the women feel welcome. The BoardLife Loft was so epic – it became a meeting place, a party place and a virtual 3 day skate house. Beyond the skate house, CheapCaribbean.com contributed a Dominican Republic trip to the women’s final which was won by Texas local Kacey Moon. We definitely need to add more women riders to the team and do our part to further support female riders.
The after race party was once again legendary and involved fire, cranes, trains, chains, getting “iced”, a DJ, a warehouse, heavy machinery and parkour I’ll just leave it at that and let the readers imagination run wild.
Is grom participation increasing?
The Bayou Battle Garage race had a robust grom division this year. Our community here in Texas is great at supporting newcomers. Plus there’s no better training ground than the garages of Houston and Dallas. Everyone always says the groms are our future but in order to make that a reality everyone needs to do their part to get kids riding. The more events and races which can happen the better.
In Dallas, the garage scene is popping right now, they are having huge seshes every Sunday. Erick Barrandey and Daniel Jardine of Team NoBull & Don’t Trip Trucks have recently started the Dallas Garage Race Camp which will culminate in a race on September 11th. Then on Nov. 5th in Dallas Kaspar Heinrici hosts his Rock Around the Rock LDP and Garage race which is a great event for young riders learning to push or getting into the garage. They have done so much to feed the flames for the Groms. It’s really inspiring to witness.
What was the furthest a rider came from for the Bayou Battle?
I don’t know the answer to that exactly but I do remember hearing lots of different languages being spoken in the elevator rides to the top of the garage. We had riders from Latin America, Canada and even from Europe.
How could this year’s Bayou have been better?
We’d like to get attendance up both in the number of racers and the spectators. Because garage racing occurs in urban centers it represents a great opportunity to bring exposure to our sport so, attracting spectators and making the event viewer friendly is critical. We’d like to get a screen outside of the garage so spectators could watch the race progress from the top to bottom of the garage. We’d also like to have clinics for new skaters and have a beginners race for those that are truly partaking in their first race. In this digital world, live feeds of events also needs to expand. I’d also like to see drone camera coverage, lots of them ‘cos drones are cool. Anything which expands the inclusivity and exposure of our event would be welcome. We would also like to add sponsors from outside the skate industry which would enable us to add more amenities to the skaters that travel to the event. Add more swag while keeping the cost to the skater down.
Our hope is that garage racing will spread to several cities around the country and the Bayou Battle will be the final big race of the garage racing season. Think about it, not much is going on between October and March as far as racing so let’s have a garage racing series.
One step closer to the IGRA?
Hmm “IGRA”? The IDSA has come up with a great description for Garage Racing, “Urban Downhill”. What is going on at the IDSA is really special. As an organisation, they want to grow involvement in the sport. The board is made up of myself, Andrew Andras, James Peters, Mike Dallas, Jonathan Strauss and Kaspar Heinrici. The IDSA, which now goes as SkateIDSA, stands for International Distance and Super-cross Association and originally was focused on LDP. Over the past couple of years it has expanded it’s focus to include garage racing and pump tracks. For those that are interested in getting involved I would strongly suggest pulling up their website www.theidsa.org.
Jonathan Strauss along with the IDSA hosted the Magic City Mayhem race along with the 24hr Ultramarathon in Miami this year and they have other garage races that are in the works as does Team NoBull. Jonathan Strauss has been instrumental in so many areas of support for the sport of skating. The IDSA and Team NoBull are doing what they can to make sure there is a solid calendar of events for all riders and combining LDP events with garage racing or pump track racing to be more inclusive of all riding styles.
Collectively, we are in this to support skating and promote races (we’ve done it and know how to do everything from approval to insurance) so, if you are a garage owner or promoter out there, let us help you out. Ultimately, it would be amazing to have a full garage racing tour. I’d love to see races in Chicago, Portland, San Diego, Los Angeles, Dallas and beyond. Have all the races occur between October and March when the race season is quiet and have the Bayou Battle be the final race of the season. It would impact the sport and bring many more newcomers into longboarding.
There is something about racing which inspires all of us. The uniqueness of garage racing is that in its open format you can have a woman, a world ranked IDF racer, next to a grom racing with his/her Dad. We actually had that happen in several heats at the Bayou Battle. The inclusivity and growth of garage racing combined with its locations in major cities represents a huge opportunity for our sport.
Have you been up to much since Maryhill?
I’ve been working with Jonathan Strauss with the IDSA on trying to put pump tracks into three Texas cities; Austin, Dallas and Houston. We love anything which helps promote the sport, spur competition and is inclusive. Pump tracks are great because they have a small footprint as far as how much land they need and they are perfect for groms.
I have also been focused on upping my LDP game and trying to get in shape for Kaspar Heinrici’s 6th annual Rock Around The Rock in Dallas. It’s on November 5th and is both a push race and a garage race. The push race is 10 miles and is an entire loop around White Rock Lake. The garage race is a fast 9 floor gauntlet and there is always an overall winner for the best performance in the LDP and garage race.
Your stoke is contagious! What keeps you pumped?
All the members of Team NoBull keep me pumped and stoked. All of them are constantly coming up with ideas around events, races, get-togethers and road trips. What is there NOT to be pumped about? We are all part of one of the most exciting sports and genuine communities around.
What really keeps me pumped are all of the others in this sport that keep pushing the limits with events and races – people like Deano, Ali, Bricin Lyons, Mike Girard, Dan Oliver, Clete Baum, Cameron Frazier, Mark Laue, Lee Cation, Jason Salfi, Dubes, Marc Dean, Justin Reynolds, Joe Lehm and on Team NoBull peeps like Zac Sharp, Scotty Sheridan, Jerry He, Dylan Greenbaker, Dave Angelus, Kyle Ramsey, Ehren Mohammadi and Ryan Richbourg, and so many more I could list. I’m always hesitant to starting listing names because inevitably I’ll forget someone – so I’m sorry if I missed you. If it weren’t for all those willing to put their heart, soul, time and money into supporting events we wouldn’t have the scene we do today.
How’ll you be spending the rest of your summer?
I do need to get out of Texas, I’m hoping to get to Colorado soon. It’s just too hot here!
We’ve got lots of events going down over the next couple of months so we’re definitely going to be busy. The Texas event of the year is coming up over the Labor Day Weekend – The 9th Annual Labor Day Race in Austin hosted by Josh Davis and the Austin Longboard Club. Everybody in Texas comes out for that one. It is one of the longest running events in Texas and one of the most attended. We’ve also got Duke Of Earl Downhill in Canyon Lake, Texas on August 13th hosted by Insanity Boardshop which is a classic and in its fourth year. We have a team trip to Tennessee this month which will be a delightful stoke filled horror show – think skatetopia mixed with lollapalooza. Lastly there’s always amazing things cooking with Kyle Ramsey of Team NoBulll and the whole NoCoast crew. They have been killing it with their meetups and have an event in the works for the Fall.
When is NoBull doing Europe?
“NoBull Does Europe” hmmm sounds fun. Riley Harris has been competing over there this summer. Riley absolutely kills it and has become a key part of our Team. Make sure and “like” his athlete page in The Facebook – he just hit 8,000 likes. Going forward, we want to support more of our team competing in Europe and would love to get a crew over there to explore. Stevie D and Zac Sharp need to get there asses over there to compete.
Bro! Thanks a lot for the infectious energy. Great to document the NoBull story. Stay stoked!
You are welcome and all of us with the team thank you for your support.
Any shout outs?
Huge shout out to Kristin Maxwell of Team NoBull that does all of our shirts and her company The Southern Squeegee, also to Jay Cronin of Team NoBull that does all of our graphics and event fliers. Thanks to my son Dawson Noble for getting me back on a board six years ago. To Brian Cortright “Chubbs” who did our BayouBattle website. I’ll just say you’re the shit… hail ye webmaster! Thanks DJ and Little “D” for your enthusiasm and stoke during our Maryhill Roadtrip! Thanks to the Hobby Centre for letting us use your garage as our playground. Also thanks to Les Robertson for all the love. And lastly HGR!
Skate IDSA www.theidsa.org
Maryhill Ratz www.maryhillratz.com
Jay Cronin Designs : www.jaycronindesigns.com
Insanity Boardshop www.insanitybs.com
Contact Greg Noble firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Texas Events:
August 13 -Duke Of Earl #4
August 20 – Carve Bird Island Night Race https://www.facebook.com/events/1058180914269911/
September 4- The 9th Annual Labor Day Race- https://www.facebook.com/events/495464380664655/
September 11 – Garage Racing Camp Race – https://www.facebook.com/events/543645202490454/
November 5 – Rock Around The Rock Event 6- https://www.facebook.com/events/1056268117793975/
2016 Bayou Battle Results:
1st. Brandon Tissen
2nd. Troy “Yardwaste” Grenier
3rd. Luis Hernandez
1st. Kacey Moon
2nd. Anna O’Neill
3rd. Candy Dungan
1st. Luis Hernandez
2nd. Joey Mallette
3rd. Ricky Farai
1st. Jonathan Harms
2nd. Lance Curry
3rd. Deejay Damen
1st. Andrew Andras
2nd. Kaspar Henrici
3rd. Lance Curry