Greg tells us about his move to Colorado, wanting to tattoo Maryhill on his calf and dealing with a major injury. PS: Louis Pilloni, please accept Greg’s friend request.
Hey bro, happy 2017! What’s new in your life?
The biggest news is that Rachael Jordahl and I have moved to Breckenridge Colorado, the “land of 300 days of sun and 300 inches of snow”. Rachael inspired us to do the move after she spent some time here last year. Everything came together for the move and it is definitely a huge change from Houston. Within 10 minutes of where I am sitting right now, there are multiple ski areas and back-country spots to shred in the winter, which naturally means there are steep mountain roads to bomb & miles of LDP trails for the summer. So, if you want to visit us to ski, skate, mountain bike… whatever – our home will always be open to skaters!
As far as Team NoBull, we will always be racing, sponsoring races and throwing events. There is no better way to make an impact on the scene and get more skaters involved than through competition and events. We have evolved from a Texas based Team to an International Team and with that shift, we have gotten involved in supporting and throwing bigger events. We are still (and will always be) self-funded and entirely independent from any outside influences – at our core we are still simply skaters having fun.
In Texas, there are 4 must attend events every year that Team NoBull is active with – Gnarathon, Wham Bam Slide Jam, The Labor Day race in Austin and Bomb For Booze (and of course, all the garage races). One of those “must attends” is here – Gnarathon is coming up this weekend! Ryan Richbourg with Team NoBull is presenting Gnarathon 7 in Waco this April 8 & 9. It seems like every great event always needs two things to become that
(1) support from the local skate shop
(2) a motivated individual to drive the event forward
Our scene has many of those event drivers but, we need more. With the help of Gnarlys Skateshop and Ryan’s vision this downhill has grown over the years from an outlaw to a full blown 2-day sanctioned event.
How did January & February go?
Bearing in mind that Texas’s race season really heats up between October and February when it’s not so damn hot. This January & February was exceptional as far as stuff going on.
We had a crew go to Jonathan Straus’s race Magic City Mayhem in Miami. This garage race has become an annual event and, is one of the showcase races put on by the IDSA. Also, in Florida and put on by the IDSA was the 5th annual 24-hour Ultra skate.
It is so great all the things that the IDSA is doing for the sport. If you are a skater and are unfamiliar with the IDSA check out their website (link below). Several of our LDP fanatics devote their souls to this ridiculous endurance event. Part of our team is comprised of some guys that are LDP machines like Robin McGuirk, Andrew Andras, Kaspar Heinrici, Lance Curry and Jeffrey Vyain. The Long Distance Pushing (LDP) races and competing in them are key to us and it all kinda started with Ehren Mohammadi with Team NoBull out of San Antonio – he also owns Insanity Boardshop. Ehren and his shop has been a big supporter of the LDP scene.
Lastly of course there was King Of Kona in January which no one should ever miss, Cameron Frazier’s weekend of skate is unlike no other. King of Kona is like a cross between Woodstock, Burning Man and The Running Of The Bulls in Spain. It’s all skateboarding to us – regardless if its pushing, going 60 mph or shredding a skate park like Kona.
The Bustin crew rolled through Texas on their way to King Of Kona in January as part of the Bustin YoStates Tour. They brought their van packed with Josh Dunn, Matt Kienzle, Khaleeq Alfred, William Royce and Emma Diagle. Josh Dunn and I collaborated on the multi-city Texas schedule and their timing to visit the Lone Star Stoke State couldn’t have been better. The legendary Bomb For Booze race hosted by Josh Davis was in Austin followed by the Wham Bam Slide Jam in the Hill Country put on by James Jones. While in Austin, they stayed at the Baked Hippy House which is complete with a huge ramp and frightening shenanigans. There have been stories of skaters entering the Baked Hippy house and never leaving, its Austin’s equivalent to the Bermuda Triangle. After the Bustin crew participated in those two awesome events they traveled to Houston stayed with Scotty Sheridan owner of Carve Skateshop and participated in a good ol’ fashioned outlaw garage sesh hitting multiple garages throughout the city. It shows you how far the Texas scene has progressed in the past 5 years that companies skate vans are making their way through the state and at any given moment there are multiple events going on.
How could you guys leave all that?
Rachael spent a some time working in Colorado, loved it and it got our wheels turning North. How could we? I’m talking to you right now sitting at our office looking out the window at the ski trails of Breckenridge ski area while drinking the best damn coffee I’ve ever had from CuppaJoe (the local favourite coffee spot). Having grown up in Vermont, Texas had never felt permanent – Texas was kinda like a “pit-stop” till I got back to the mountains. I’m naturally more of a four seasons kind of person and in Texas there are two seasons – hot, and really fucking hot.
What are you looking forward to in the North?
Skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, skating a ton… everything. We most definitely want to get exposed to the scene here. We want to work hard so, we can play hard. What has always driven me has been being involved with events. Whether I’m screaming on the start line, talking to local officials about getting approval or occasionally bribing security guards to allow us to finish an outlaw race – events & races are where I get my sense of involvement from and can make an impact. Hopefully we can lend a hand to events… maybe even throw a few with the help of the Team with the locals’ collaboration. We both have so many ideas around events, races and getting more women and groms involved in the sport.
How will you be getting involved in the scene?
We are going to listen to the advice of the Team NoBull Colorado homies & the locals here to show me the way and guide me how to get involved. We already have a presence in Colorado with members Amber Burger, Jeff Vyain, Mike Paproski and Joshua Jake. Beyond Team Members, I can’t wait to hook up with the local ambassadors (& the scenes “it” couple) here like Candy Dungan & Aaron Hampshire – those two do so much for the scene and the fact that they visited Texas for the Bayou Battle last year really made an impression on us. Some of our Texas homies have recently moved to Colorado, those would be David Angelus, Robbie Schmidt, Zachary Piccolo and Nick Hayes to name a few. Jeffrey Vyain and Mike Paproski have some really dope events in the making and some that they are dreaming of that they have talked to me about. I am certain that Josh, Papdog and Jeff will show me the way.
How will the Team make an impact?
Team NoBull is going to sponsor Justin Rouleau’s aka “Rolo” event Devils Peak Downhill on August 19th-20th in Georgetown Colorado. We are so grateful that Rolo allowed us to be a part of the race. Talk about fucking epic , its a ridiculous 1.4 mile track with speeds in excess of 50 mph and has 7 turns with 4 hairpins. This race will be the first sanctioned event in Colorado in a long time. I guarantee that our Team is going to show up in force and our house in Breck will be full of visitors. Any skaters out there should definitely hit up Rolo or check the event page for more details. Do not miss this event whether as a volunteer, a spectator or a racer. I’m expecting at least 20 of our riders…(you hear that Team NoBull – hit me up if you need to call dibs on a bed…) from throughout the country and Texas coming to the Devil’s Peak Downhill. We look forward to seeing everyone in August! Come, race us.
We’ve been in talking to John Klutznick the owner of BoardLife in Denver about collab’ing on some events for the Grom’s & women here in Colorado. What always makes the scene hum in any town is the local skate shop and in Colorado BoardLife is just that. Who knows there may even be a Denver garage race in the future.
When Rachael was here last year she found a great place for a legit race. I know Candy Dungan of Boardlife is gonna test drive it. It’s a spot nestled near some campgrounds and 1.8 miles in length with lefts, rights and lots of serpentine stoke. Rachael and Jeffrey Vyain also both stumbled upon an epic LDP route. She is always looking for spots and thinking of amazing ideas around events. With the mountain roads, the miles upon miles of paved trails and the multiple skate parks, Colorado really is a skaters playground just begging for more events.
Can we expect a Team SnowBull?
That’s Awesome! Hey, if it happens you’ll get all the credit.
I’d say that most of our riders are snowboarders and skiers, so it’s definitely a possibility. We had a big team ski/snowboarding trip last year and now that we are in Colorado, who knows? The thing I’ve noticed about skaters are that they are multi-disciplined, skating isn’t their only sport – we are all adrenaline junkies and the change of seasons doesn’t slow down our need for speed. What would be really cool would be a spring event which incorporates snowboarding, downhill longboarding and skateboarding… hmm the wheels are turning.
But, damn if we did that we’d have to get new shirts… maybe hoodies? Whatever it is Kristin Maxwell and “The Southern Squeegee” will take care of it. Kristin is a member of Team NoBull She started a T-Shirt company a couple of years ago and they design and make the best shirts anywhere. It has been awesome to have her as a part of the Team not only because she shreds but also her constant smile .
How’ll NoBull’s media evolve now you’ve made a new home?
One of the biggest ways all of us can expose our sport and show its beauty is through media. It is one of our main focuses as a Team.The recent addition to the team here in Colorado of the infamous “PapDog” – Mike Paproski is already making an impact on the team. Papdog’s media is so sick, he has been producing some of the most cutting edge photos and videos we’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to grab Papdog’s just released coffee table book called “In Your Face” its 230 pages of pure skating stoke and has all of his best photos in it – it is available on Amazon now, go get a copy and give it 5 stars (I did)… sorry while I digress to shameless promotion… but damn, Gbemi it’s PapDog!
Jeffrey Vyain the owner of Pantheon is the epitome of what Team NoBull is all about, the passion and focus he puts into the scene, his boards, his push races and the races he competes in is so admirable. I’m not sure I know of anyone that is as passionate about the sport than Jeff and, his boards are amazing!
Then there’s Joshua Jake… damn what can I say about JJ? He is just simply rad. He earned a spot on the team by dominating a race we had in Texas. Joshua is such a great dude and we have really become good friends over the past year. We are so stoked to be within driving distance to him and I can’t wait to get healthy so we can shred with him!
Amber Burger is always posting some great stuff and always shredding as well. Now that she’s here in Colorado I am sure there will be lots of girls picking up the sport for the first time… her style and enthusiasm are infectious.
Speaking of Amber!! We really want to add more women to the Team… no… not “want” we will! I’d love to see the women that are involved with the team really take it somewhere… throw more events and travel together. Whatever they want we will try to make it happen and support it. We are really proud that we added Alicia Fillback, Carmen Sutra, Katie Edwards and Julia Barklow to the Team. Any time we add new members, we get excited to see where they go from here.
How are you healing?
I’m in the midst of dealing with a serious back injury which has made me an official member of “Team Broke Off”. I haven’t been able to skate or ski since November. Being in constant pain has been such a drag, it has been tough on my family. I need surgery but have been unable to as of yet due to logistics and insurance reasons. Being in serious pain has relegated me to the observer side of skating rather than the active participant side. I never realised till now just how important skating was to my well being and peace of mind. I’m gonna continue to push the scene any way I can, with the recent industry downturn there has never been a more important time to be involved.
Prior to the setback, I was training for Kasper Heinrici’s race “Rock Around The Rock” and was logging about 10-20 miles a day LDP’ing – so, I blame this all on Kaspar! In a weird way, I want this injury to be skate related and not a result of my age or my reckless youth. I have had a hard life when it comes to injuries. The number of hard falls, broken bones and near misses that I have stacked throughout my years evidently led my body to finally say “No Mas”. I can’t point to one moment that created this injury. To be fine one day and literally unable to move the next has been really tough. After getting an MRI I found out that I have several herniated discs and a large bone fragment floating around in my lower back creating chaos.
One thing is certain when I get back on a board, I’m going to visit with Joe Lehm at his Skate School in Sante Fe and get a refresher course on skating safe. Joe has a singularly focused way of teaching ways to avoid injury. Joe & Robin McGuirk made such an impact on me at Maryhill with their race school. This recent injury of mine is gonna be a long road back as far as recovery and I’m going to include Joe Lehm into my rehab.
What should you have done differently?
I do wish I had listened to my body more, my back had been bothering me for a really long time and I ignored what it was telling me. But there is nothing I can do about it right now. I have a favourite phrase “Right Now It’s Like This.” I’m going to make that my next tattoo. I also want to get the Maryhill Loops Road Outline as a tat, if I could just find someone to email it to me! Doesn’t anyone have it out there? C’mon anybody help me out.
Is ink important?
It’s an expression of self, a way to make a statement of who you are. I got the Team NoBull logo done on my push leg a couple years ago and it really means a lot to me. I have an idea in mind for a sleeve but I need some help designing it. Most of my tats will be skate related because skating means so much to me. I think this will be the year that I finally take all these ideas in my head and get them onto my body. Being new to Breckenridge I’m looking for an artist to get it going.
How are you finding serenity in stoke’s absence?
I had no idea how much skating was a part of keeping me centred and in a place of serenity. Skating is a release for me, angry – go skate, sad- go skate, nervous – go skate, bad day – go skate, not having that outlet has been tough. The crazy thing is I didn’t even realise it WAS an outlet till it was taken away from me.
The only things I can do to replace serenity in stokes absence is stay active supporting events, staying in touch with skate homies and staying focused and involved with Team NoBull. The one thing which I am so grateful for are all the calls, texts and emails from skaters all around the country wishing me well. Although they don’t know it some of the calls I’ve gotten from skaters have literally saved my ass. To have such a serious injury and to be “stuck” and yet having people from your events or Facebook reach out to you is so uplifting. So thank you, all of you know who you are.
Saved your ass?
Most definitely a phone call, even a text, can do that. Not only “can” it save your ass but in my case it did. It’s really shocking when all of a sudden your community is out of touch because you are not out there physically participating. An injury that keeps you from skating also disconnects you from the community. What was really inspiring to me were the calls & messages from people in the scene, many of whom I didn’t even know. It’s so uplifting when you get a call from somebody that says “Hey man I’ve been where you are and you’ll get through this.”
What does your team mean to you??
To be a part of something like this and watch it grow and expand is an incredible experience. To think how far we’ve come in the past few years is remarkable. I’m not sure where we’ll be years from now, but to what we’ve accomplished so far is really amazing. Where we will be is really up to the Team. I’m simply here to support them and push them where I can.
Who is your favourite skater?
Come on, I can’t do that!
Picking one skater is tough and would definitely not be something I could or would do. So let me take this “way out” to your question – Anyone on Team NoBull! The team riders have a beautiful attitude, an amazing amount of stoke, a love for the sport and most importantly shreds.
But OK… that did not really answer your question. Of course I have some skaters that I admire that are not on the team like Louis Pilloni (Louis, for Christ’s sake, accept my FB friend request). Liam Morgan (Fucking return my text bud), Marcus Bandy, Nate Blackburn (what up NateDog), Cameron Frazier, Kula, Emily Pross, Max Capps & James Kelly. Each has done something special that’s either touched me or the scene in some way… they are giants in the scene.
How’s Kula the only non yank that you choose?
Make America Skate Again!!! (“Greg screams”). I wouldn’t have realized that I only mentioned one non-yank if you hadn’t pointed it out. There are most definitely others… like the entire country of Brazil!
I know of Mikael “Kula” Jensen because he rides for Bombsquad Longboards which is owned by Wes Coleman & Tanner Lesser out of Dallas. I really respect Kula’s aggressive style of skating and the fact that he is a father and, a skater.
Speaking of non-yanks, we would seriously like to have more of a Latin American & European presence. We added Edu Cordero from Mexico to the Team last year and his presence has made a real difference to us. He is not only an amazing skater but also the man behind Ahmyo Wheels.
What’s happening with the downturn in the industry?
It’s not like I’m breaking any shocking news that the industry is in the middle of a contraction. It really breaks my heart when I hear of another local skate shop that closed, or a wheel company that shut down ops. The slowdown is evident….but in some ways it’s brought us all back to our roots of just skating for fun. One of the things I’ve noticed about the slowdown is a lot of people are collaborating behind the scenes to figure out new ways to promote the sport and get more Groms involved. What really sucks though are seeing regular events that were annual staples on the calendar get cancelled due to lack of attendance or lack of sponsorship support. I’m not going to give my opinion on why the slowdown has happened….we are all still skating everyday.
We can all bitch about it and point fingers or we can all come together and figure out a way to keep pushing the scene and the beauty of the sport. Get out and skate let them see us…give a kid an old board you are not using. Throw a race… all it takes is two people to have one. Us, our team, the community I call my family ain’t slowing down. All I think about, beyond getting healthy, is having more races, more trips and more fun till I die.
Us older guys have a responsibility to keep things alive and vibrant on the event & stoke side of the equation. I feel like I have an absolute commitment, all of us do, to give back to this sport. Because of this sport I am closer to my son than I ever could be, I have travelled to incredible places and met amazing people, this sport is everything to so many of us.
Keeping the flame white hot at both a local and national level is so key, the Scene Drivers are such a critical part of our sport – whether it be Les Robertson, Joe Lehm, Bricin Lyons, Jonathan Strauss, Deano, Marcus Bandy, Max Vickers, Scotty Sheridan, Josh Davis, Robin McGuirk, PapDog and all the rest I forgot to mention – all of us need to and are continuing to push the scene in various ways.
What about Team NoBull’s Annual Event the Bayou Battle Garage Race?
The Bayou Battle will happen again but there’s a lot of work and catching up that has to be done in order for it to happen. Stay tuned. My injury and relocating to Colorado has really effected my ability to organise and execute. From November to January I was totally immobile and virtually bed ridden. This was the time that we would normally be running at full speed getting it organised. The good news is that there are several garage races being considered throughout the U.S. and Canada that we are helping with so it’s really starting to catch on as a discipline. I got to believe that the Bayou Battle had something to do with this. When people saw that a legal garage race could actually happen it inspired people to try and do it in their city.
How did you NoBuller’s spend the last quarter of ‘16?
One of the weirdest and bizarre yet coolest things late last year was us spending 4 days with a bunch of cameras and boom mic’s in our faces! We were asked to be a part of a reality TV series. I mean… what the fuck? How do a bunch of skateboarders from Texas allow cameras to follow them… it’s just too dangerous. We will be one episode of several in a series that highlights “underground” scenes. The shows producers wanted to focus on Outlaw racing in Texas which is basically Team NoBull. We had 3 outlaw races during their filming, each of which got busted by the cops. The Baked Hippy House in Austin had a huge Halloween party which surprisingly was not busted by the cops! I’m still terrified to see the footage of that party and as well some really candid moments full of…well I won’t spoil it. Of course I wanna have a Red Carpet screening party at a movie theatre, but it has to have a really big garage… which we can all race afterwards.
Kaspar had his big LDP and Garage race in Dallas in November – “Rock Around The Rock” and we had lots and lots of road trips and garage seshes.
What are you thankful for in this moment?
Right this minute… you, of course.
I am grateful for all the skaters from all around the world that message us on a regular basis! All of our followers on Instagram and our other social networks – their engagement and involvement drives us.
I appreciate Rachael for all she has done for me, especially for pointing us to Colorado. I’m thankful for my children for the paths they are on and my Team for their stoke! Thanks to Darin for giving me a position with his company in a ski town which not only allows me to provide for my family but as well fulfils a dream of mine of relocating to the mountains.
How will you spend 2017?
I WILL recover from this injury and skate. When I do skate again it will be from a totally different perspective. I really look forward to the Maryhill G-Ride, as well some of the Texas races this summer. Most of all I’m looking forward to exploring Colorado and getting settled here. For 2017 it’s gonna be all about being in a new place and experiencing new things.
Is this the year NoBull does Europe?
As a team we would like to get more involved with skating outside of the U.S. and Canada – doing so would definitely broaden my worldview and intro me to more riders. Riley Harris with our Team is always repping us throughout the world. He is a racing beast – always traveling and racing around the globe. It’s crazy how much he travels – all I gotta say is “Who The Hell Is Riley Harris”. Also Katie Edwards is going to be competing in the IDF races in Italy this year. Katie is really making great strides and is making an impact, it’s great to watch.Whatever the Team wants I’m here to support their dreams anyway I can.
Who should we interview next from Team NoBull?
Ryan Richbourg, Katie Edwards, Julia Barklow, Carmen Sutra and Kyle Ramsey. All 5 of these shredders do so much for the scene and do it because of their love for the sport. I know you asked for “one” – but I had to go with five. I’d really suggest a roundtable with the women with the team. Stop me there because I have about a dozen I could suggest.
Greg buddy, thanks for always being keen to sit in the bacon chair. Always fun to document your adventures. Heal up bro and find the good juju in the mountains!
Come visit Rachael & I in Breck, our door is always open to skaters!
As always my disclaimer; If I forgot to mention you, misrepresented something or should have said more or less than I did I apologise. Although we talked about “me” a bunch I have to say that Team NoBull is not about me it’s about all of its members and really it’s about the sport we all love.
Whoever you are and If you need help with an event, have questions or want to just chat hit us up!
In Your Face – By Mike Paproski Amazon Link: http://a.co/9oovEMW
Devils Peak Downhill Web Page: http://venomskate.com/devils-peak/
Devils Peak Downhill Facebook Event Page www.facebook.com/events/623139091207845/
Devils Peak Downhill Race Course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOH73NTkQWY
Devils Peak Instagram @Devilspeakdownhill
Gnarathon 7 Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/398223870519026/
AHMYO Wheels: https://www.ahmyowheels.com/
Pantheon Longboards: https://www.pantheonlongboards.com/
Joe Lehm Skate School: http://skateboardsafety.com/
The Southern Squeegee: https://www.thesouthernsqueegee.com/
BoardLife : http://www.boardlifeusa.com/
CuppaJoe Coffee: http://www.cuppajoebreck.com/
Team Nobull Social Media Links: