chrome ball interview #63: lance mountain

chops sits down with lance for conversation. 

Alright Lance, so something that always seems to come up whenever your role in skateboarding is discussed over the years is that you represent “the everyman”...that you’re the “relatable pro.” Do you personally see yourself that way?

I think you just end up falling into whatever role people give you. Everyone that is in that kind of position gets a tagline of who they are somehow.

Never really thought of it that way but you’re right. Now I know that you were pro for Variflex for a minute before switching over to Powell and starring in all those legendary video projects. And correct if I’m wrong on this… but wasn’t there a Powell video before the Video Show?   

Yeah, there was actually a Bones Brigade Video Show before the Bones Brigade Video Show. It was a little 8-minute short that Stacy made but it didn’t really get out there. It was basically a test that went out to shops only.

What was that first one like? Was there a story involved or was it just skating?

This was right when VCRs and home camcorders came out and Stacy saw that as an avenue to really show skateboarding in a way that hadn’t been done in those bigger movies before. Mainstream films take around 3 years to finish so once it’s finally released, the skating is pretty much obsolete.

He filmed Rodney freestyling a bit in the hockey rink at Lakewood Skatepark. That footage gets put out there all the time. And there’s also Cab and McGill in the Clam Bowl, I think, at Lakewood. But yeah, it was only 8-minutes long. Just a little experiment with video rather than film.

So with the second Bones Brigade Video Show, and that little bit of experience behind it, did the project feel like a good idea at the time? Did it seem as revolutionary making it like it turned out to be or did it feel like a waste of time? How seriously did you take it?

Of course, everybody now is going to sit there and claim they knew what we were doing back then was important. That they knew what we were doing was going to be game-changing and that it was one of the most important moments in their entire life.

Of course.

Everyone is gonna say that with everything they do. But at the time, I just saw it for what it was. It was an experiment. That’s all everything was.  

My mindset was to take every opportunity that was thrown at me because I had been passed over so many times before. People didn’t really think much of me early on so I decided to take every opportunity. I played defense quite a bit, in my opinion.  

Who’s idea was it for you to come out of the chimney?

It was probably Craig in the background mentioning it to Stacy during the filming. The overall idea was that I’m supposed to leave my house in the morning, skate around all day before coming back in the evening to tie it all together. I already had a photo of me rolling off my roof when I was on Variflex so I figured that I could just leave the house that way instead of walking out the door. So we did that.

Stacy knew that I had to start the shot out of frame or it wouldn’t cut so the chimney was really the only option. I figured since I was already hiding behind the chimney, I might as well pretend like I’m popping out of it.

And so it began. On to Tthe pro model that was never supposed to be… where did your classic Future Primitive graphics stem from? Powell usually liked to tie things back to the rider and I know all of your prior stuff had crests and knights…

Yeah, I already had a graphic on Variflex that was a knight but when I got on Powell, I wasn’t supposed to be getting a board… which was fine. But a couple of years went by and once the video came out, all of a sudden, people started asking for it so Stacy asked me if I wanted a board. Originally, I wanted a graphic that was more in that same vane as my previous Variflex board… just playing on that a bit. Maybe it wasn’t the direction Powell wanted to go with or maybe it couldn’t be drawn, but for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. Maybe they wanted to break away from my previous image… I’m guessing here.  

So Courtland started drawing things up but I just didn’t like what they were coming up with. And I was honest about it. One of them was a knee-bone that was like a voodoo-head skull… which was cool. I’d probably use it now, but for that first board, it wasn’t for me. So I kept rejecting all these things and they started to think that I was crazy… which actually became interesting to them. From that, they came up with this idea where the graphic was my head exploding with all of these different ideas coming out of it. But I didn’t necessarily want a graphic of my face on the board so I rejected that one, too.

By this time, we were already starting to work on things for Future Primitive. Craig had already given it the name and Courtland was sketching up all these caveman drawings around it when I happened to come up and see them.

“I like THAT!”

I didn’t even know what it was for. It wasn’t even drawn for me but it just got me.

Was it more difficult filming for Future Primitive after the success of the Video Show? I know contests were still dominating everyone’s mindset back then but was Stacy perhaps more serious this time?

I really see Future Primitive as the true “first video”. Even the second Video Show was still a test. We were definitely still trying to figure things out. Future Primitive was where we began to understand that this thing actually worked. Once the second Video Show went out and got a response, we knew that we really do it.

But it was still so early. The way that people know videos really came from the Blind Video. Here’s these parts. Go sit down, check out all this new stuff and get blown away. It wasn’t like that for us. Tony and Rodney were already on that tip because they’re very trick and progression-oriented. But the rest of the video was just going out to skate a pool, ditch or ramp for a day while people pointed this thing at you. That was it.

Every once in a while, you’d get this wild hair after seeing Tony doing his thing and decide that you wanted to film something nobody has ever seen before, too.

“We got everything. We’re cool.” (laughs)

Stacy will always deny that but as a skater, that’s how I felt. But at the same time, I know when I’d go out to film my team, I’d do the same thing. They still want to land something perfect.

“We got it, we got it. Don’t worry about it.”

Why do you think Animal Chin was able to capture a generation like it did? Was it marketing or just being so different and coming about at the right time?

It’s because it came in the 1980s. It was that time and that will never exist again. Things were good and people were happy. People had money. Video and MTV was giving everyone this look into California culture. That’s what was happening and everyone wanted to be a part of that culture, from around the world to down the street. So many things in the 80’s were part of that and we were just right place, right time. Animal Chin, Police Academy… all that stuff just got swept into it. Not just skateboarding but culture as a whole.

Do you think you were a little more forgiving of the child-friendlier aspects of the Bones Brigade due to being a father yourself?

You mean like just how “gay” it was? Like Glen in the documentary said? I know, they were bad-asses and we were gay. But it was the 80’s now. It was a happy time. It’s not like we were in London with trash up to our heads. I’ve always thought that the majority of people in the 80s that said they were hard were basically pretending. It wasn’t hard anymore. People were going around to these stadiums to check everything out… It wasn’t tough anymore. I’m not going to play that part because I don’t think a lot of that was real.

The 70’s were awesome and those guys didn’t get anything from it. They have this hard attitude and really had to make a stand because they really did do so much for skating. I agree and give them full-respect. They’re my favorite skaters! But we 80’s guys don’t have to tell people that because we got everything! Everyone was getting everything.

But I was miserable in those stadiums. I didn’t get anything emotionally out of all that stuff by then. I wanted it to be in skateparks still but you have to go with it. I mean, I was wearing sweatpants in contests. (laughs)

I felt like an outsider at times on Powell. Not only was I not one of Stacy’s discoveries as a little kid, I had guys like Steve and Tony on my team who were always in the position where people were always trying to knock them down. I actually spent more time with the dudes who were trying to say stuff than I actually would with my teammates.

“You’re cool, Lance. But those other guys…”

“What are you even talking about? Those guys are 10 times better than you.”

I know Chin had a loose script but where did the majority of details come from? Like the Nightmare Air, for example? Was that really something Stacy saw you doing prior or was it just made up on the spot?

Honestly, I don’t really remember where any of that stuff came from. In my mind, it all came from growing up at Skate City. Every skatepark had their deal. The Marina guys were the O.G. dudes with that attitude. The Badland guys said whatever to that and started doing everything twice as high, twice as hard. Whittier was my crew and we were all goofballs. Dorks. It was all about joking and laughing and giving everyone names. Lucero, Blender… we all just fed off each other and acted stupid. A lot of tricks and names of tricks just came from goofing around back then. Drawing pictures of stuff… we’d learn tricks that came from a drawing. It was insane.

For me, all that Chin stuff stemmed from this sort of thing. I’m sure that was the case with the Nightmare air. Needing material for this scene in a hotel bed, Stacy must’ve seen me messing around with that before and asked me to do it again.

Stacy is smart enough to know that sort of stuff is letting people in, letting them know your little secrets. They feel part of something.

Was there ever a point, with all the interludes and skits, that you started feeling those videos were becoming too much? What were your thoughts on “Powell Magic”, presenting bails as makes, multi-angle trick photography, etc.

I remember sitting in the car with Stacy after finishing Animal Chin and asking, “What next?”

“We’re done.” (laughs)

I feel like as much acceptance as we received and how that project got us to this place, it wasn’t what was real. Everything that was real was what got us to the point of being able to do Chin. But that was now done. What were those real moments now? At that point, street skating had become those real moments going forward and no one even knew it yet.  

After Animal Chin, there was this whole new film movement. Everybody started making films. It’s so easy to look at something that has been done and decide you need to do it, too. The whole H-Street movement came and suddenly everyone had a camera filming everything. They were compiling as many people they could with their best 1 or 2 tricks. Everything was changing so quickly with every amazing new trick. I was fully lost at this point. I was running around wondering if I should even be in a film at that point.

Stacy was trying different things as well, cutting-edge things with the MTV quick cuts. And it’s funny they call it “Powell Magic” because I only remember Santa Cruz using blatant cuts of tricks landed from other tricks. It must’ve been happening with us but I don’t really see it. Tony had all his new tricks that no body had ever seen before, he was really the only one from our group at that place. But when Stacy would film all that stuff in super slow-mo… it was beautiful. That part is probably the only one you’ll watch now. It’s more like the way people film now.  

How did your part in Ban This with Blender and O come about? And how cool was Stacy with having another company’s rider featured so prominently in his video? I know Blender was almost on Powell prior to that.

Stacy was always a big fan of Neil and he didn’t care about that kind of company-thing. He was a big fan of Natas, too. Chris Miller… he had love for all good skaters. But he didn’t think that just because those guys were good, he needed to steal them. That’s not what he did. He liked to feature others riders in his projects who he felt were an important part of skateboarding. That way it was good for both parties.

At the same time, I think there was also a bit of wondering what they were going to do with Lance. We don’t want him in another video doing nothing. I guess we’ll have him do what he does with Neil and those guys. They’ll screw around and it’ll be kinda funny. (laughs)

“We don’t need any new tricks from you, Lance. Let’s have you do that funny stuff you do with Neil.”

Was all that stuff just improvised on the spot? So classic.

Yes. That’s one thing I’ve learned after all of this stuff is to probably plan a little more. Because when it’s all over, you’ll wish that you’d done this or that differently. But that’s just how it was back then.

People will go out and change it now because that’s what people do. Now we are very in-control of everything. It was cool back then to be a less in-control… now people almost resent how much control they have. We have to practice their spontaneity.

I’m more thought-out like that, though. When we did the “The Dream” part for Can’t Stop the Firm, and this is nothing against Neil, but that is more how I would have made our Ban This part. More thought out, not as raw. Having a more interesting, developed look with colors. Would I want Neil and those guys to be in it more? Of course, but they don’t really want to do that stuff anymore.

But Stacy really admired Neil. He’s the real deal. There’s something special there. All that stuff was done in half a day. The whole scene where we’re skating the curb? That all came from us going out to get lunch. That was all in the middle of us figuring out where we wanted to eat. And that’s one of the main parts. It’s all spontaneous nonsense.

I still say Lucero should’ve been in it. Hago, John, Neil and I… that was the crew of idiots and it gets way better when all four of us are together. It just gets ridiculous. 

Coming from the 80’s where the Bones Brigade was the biggest thing going, how did you deal with this paradigm shift where, all of a sudden, bratty street kids were stars in a much smaller version of skateboarding? How were you treated by this new generation?

Well, like I said, the big shake-up that kicked us all out in the ‘90s actually happened much earlier… probably by like ’86 or ’87. What had gotten us to Chin was no longer there. Our boom happened after all that but we had slumped into this routine by then that I didn’t like. It was a stadium thing on a ramp, going back and forth with the same people winning everytime. The feeling wasn’t there.

When it finally shifted to the point where we were “out”, I thought that it had actually been done for us years earlier. That doesn’t make it any easier but at least you’re prepared. But it’s not the kids being so good that bothers you. You always want good kids to be coming up. The hard part is the industry and the momentum of what is supposedly “cool”. That’s what kinda tore at everybody: the brands telling us we weren’t valuable or wanted anymore.

I honestly felt like I was going back to a being a beginner with skateboarding by trying to skate street. What I liked to do wasn’t being in presented in skateboarding because it was on the way out but I like to try new things with skateboarding so that’s what I did. Whether we should’ve been or not, who knows? But all of a sudden, we weren’t making it and most of our contemporaries quit. They either walked away or were pushed out. Only a few of us were still going because we actually like skateboarding, all types of skateboarding. I like street skating. I’m not just limited to going back and forth on a ramp. But what about these weird new street tricks? We didn’t develop this stuff… we were 10-year-olds again. We were once again trying to do what we saw in the magazines but we were professionals at this point.

Did we feel awkward about it? Yes. Filming it as well? Yes. What about when you hear other up-coming pros who are telling people that we suck and that we should go away? Yes, that’s awkward.

Those new kids coming up, they were rad. The problem was that the industry used them against us for profit. That’s what made it hard. If you go back and talk to them now, they’ll all say how they loved and respected us…. no, they didn’t. I went to those contests. It was supposed to be their thing. They gave us looks. They didn’t want us there. It was hard. There was absolutely no respect. It was their world and they wanted us out. You had to do the stuff they were doing and if you did anything else, it was terrible. Its understandable to a degree because they were trying to get theirs, it was the industry that put them in that scenario to where they had to tear down the old in order to do so. There was no room for us. That was the feeling of the day.

How much of this played into that “The Parallel” skit you did in Goldfish?

That’s exactly what that skit is about. It happens to everybody. It happened to us prior and at that point, it was starting to happen to them. It was about finding your first love when your first love is really just the enjoyment that comes from doing it. That’s what it was about.  

I’ll be honest, the World days were hard for me. I can respect them now and look back to see all this great progress but it was such a clique-y thing. If you weren’t part of it, you basically weren’t part of skateboarding. I knew a lot of guys that just got left at that point. They’d try to explain to me how hard it was to not be wanted. How painful it was for them so they left. But I stayed! Imagine how painful that was for me!

So glad I did.

But didn’t you almost work for World at one point? I know this was a crazy time in the industry…

It was an option. Things were changing so drastically. People were trying to figure out how to make a living and move on. It all started with Rodney. Even though he rode for Powell, he didn’t really make anything because he was a freestyler. Stacy found him and presented him to the world, gave him a board and he probably made 50 cents a year. Realizing that there was no living there, Rodney went on to ride for Converse and started doing demos for $500 to make some money. He ends up partnering up with Rocco to do a company… even though he still rode for Powell at the time. Just to make a living. Rocco had all these ideas of what they could do and they did it.

The thing is that you can’t own a competing company and still ride for Powell. When they tried to end Rodney’s partnership with Rocco, it became obvious that Rodney was already making more in one day of doing World Industries than he ever did selling freestyle boards. There it was, the first break. Done. And everyone knew the world was changing.

The Blind Video was coming out, H-Street was already out. Everyone had their reasons. Stevie had a shoe that he was actually able to make a living off of. Tony was being asked by Tracker to do a brand. All of these things were happening.

For me, it became a reminder of how I originally got on Powell because they wanted me to start doing more stuff with Stacy again and eventually take his job. I was already an employee but they were wanting me to do more. Whether this was Stacy talking to George or not, I don’t know but there were rumbles and rumors. Like I distinctly remember hearing the rumor that I was going to take over the LA Crew (Guy, Rudy, Gabe and Paulo) for a thing… but those guys split before it could even become something. Then it became that Stacy was going to leave. What were we going to do?

I remember coming back from a trip and Pat Brennan coming up to tell me about he was just up in Santa Barbara with Per Welinder and George and they had decided that I was getting my own team. Pat was now my first rider.

“Oh, that’s cool.”

I got the call from George wanting to set-up a meeting to talk about this brand even though I knew deep down in my heart that I wasn’t going to do it. I couldn’t be the middle man and run a company with somebody else. I didn’t have that desire. I still wanted to skate.

Mark Gonzales ended up calling me out of the blue to tell me that he was quitting Blind. He wasn’t going to do it anymore and actually wanted me to run the Blind team. Woah! And then Natas called, I’d been hanging out with him a lot back then, just skating and buying scooters.  But he had heard about me maybe doing a company with Powell and wanted to talk to me about coming down to possibly do it with Rocco.

So we all went on a boat ride together and had our fun. Rodney was there and I talked to him for a bit. Then I remember Rocco coming out and saying, “Hey, I heard you’re getting a team at Powell. Who’s your team going to be?”

This was odd because I had just come from a meeting with George and I didn’t even really know what the team was going to be. I had an idea of who I wanted but these were all rumblings and it was stupid. The whole thing was stupid actually. My mentality was that Ray and Colin were both on Powell and looking to do something new. Koston would be rad. Hensley would been insane. And Wade Speyer would be cool because he’s so raw… that’s where I was at.

But Rocco had somehow already heard what I was trying to do and ended up naming all those guys back to me. Then he goes on to basically tell me that I should either do the brand there with him or he was going to steal those guys and do the brand without me. That’s how it was.

I was confused and didn’t know what to do. There was all this talk of my future… 80% of all skateboarding was under Rocco’s roof. It was confusing. There was talk of me helping start a magazine with Natas… which eventually became Big Brother.

I can’t imagine you working for Big Brother at all.

I would’ve probably worked for Big Brother for about a month. (laughs)

Honestly, there was stuff about Rocco that I liked but there was also stuff going on there that I really hated. I just didn’t know how I could be involved in stuff like that. I’d be constantly justifying all this stuff that I don’t like.  But they took my not wanting to be involved with those things as not liking them. As me being against them.

What about that Me-Me-Me small company diss ad that you were in for Powell?

Rocco used that ad to say that I was part of trying to tear him down. But whether we were completely or partially clueless, not really paying attention or what, it wasn’t directed at him in my mind. It became directed at him through his desire to have a war. And that war was what helped make him so popular. But I didn’t take it while we were shooting the photo that it was about him.

I’ll be honest, I remember going to that photo shoot and thinking that we were almost mocking ourselves in a way because we had tried so hard to enter the clothing market. It’s only the text that is all about small companies.

It was such a weird time because I do think that so many small companies just splintering off is bad for skateboarding. It was better when the industry was more solid… but when the solid few are doing it wrong, that becomes a whole different matter. When that happens, this gives the advantage to the smaller guys as everyone else is then forced to splinter off in order to survive.

George will say that I didn’t have to split off, that I would’ve been okay at Powell. But anybody that knows me realizes that I basically had to split off. I didn’t really want to. I was miserable. But I wouldn’t have survived as a manager up at some big company.

What would you say is your proudest accomplishment with The Firm? And how did Stacy’s influence factor into how you went about running the company?

The greatest accomplishment I had with the Firm were the friendships that were made. The relationships I had within that company were the strongest I’ve had in all my time in skateboarding because those were my guys. They really are your kids. And I don’t even know if that’s an accomplishment as much as it is a blessing.

But like Stacy, the way you treat your riders is directly related to how you were treated prior. So everything I did with the Firm was in direct relation to the sponsors I had ridden for. How they did or didn’t do things. Just like with Stacy and his pro career.

There is one big difference between Stacy and I and that’s how he always used to say that he felt he’d come into his own once he started managing a company. That managing was what he’d always wanted to do. That baffles me. He was an amazing skateboarder. I can see managing being part of his second life in skateboarding… but I could never say that about myself when I started the Firm. I was selfish. I was just trying to find a way to be involved in skateboarding still. The Firm was my way of still being connected to the top guys and doing what I love. I knew this and that is what made The Firm a no-win situation.

But yeah, the Firm ruled. 

You definitely did your thing throughout the 90’s but it was the Can’t Stop the Firm video that showcased a seemingly-reinvigorated Lance on a mission. Did this come from having more time to skate after the Firm started going through Blitz Distribution?

I didn’t skate too much in the first two Firm videos because I didn’t think that I should’ve been in those at that point. Maybe a clip or two but it always so hard sneaking in bowl clips into those things. I think I only gave myself 2 ads in the 90’s for The Firm. That wasn’t my priority.

The Firm was just so much. Wake up, take my son to school, come back and try to do sales, pack boxes, put ads together, pick up boards and then around 3 o’clock, go film the guys until dark. Do it all over again the next day, that’s how those videos were. That’s how that time was. If I was skating, I’d get up and maybe do a noseslide shuv-it. Whatever.

As skateboarding was starting to change again and before Blitz came in, I wanted to stop the Firm but I couldn’t. There was no way out. This was peoples’ lives. I was starting to get offers to ride for other people at this time and that’s when I met Jeremy Fox. He had just started a few different companies and wanted me to be involved but I still wanted to do something else… which eventually led to Blitz taking care of distribution for the Firm. This freed up so much of my time!

I now had more time to focus on skating and the video, which was for the next 3 years. Jon Humphries, Kurt Hayashi and Anthony Claravall all rallied around us and took on the heavy-lifting. I owe so much to those dudes. Anthony went out to film the guys and I got to skate more. We wanted to show everybody and focus on getting parts done and this is when Jon came up to ask me about doing a part. We talked about the dramatic lighting and how we wanted it to look. Once that was settled, we filmed it all in 2 nights. From midnight to 4am, two nights in a row. I think I filmed just about all of it on the first night and I just tried 540s on the second. Couldn’t get it though.

That’s amazing.

It’s really only 15 tricks or so. It’s actually really quick but it’s all filmed so nicely.

I’m not going to say that everybody loved it but you have to do what you want. You’re presenting ideas to people, it doesn’t matter what the response is.

I’ve had other filmers tell me that they would’ve never filmed it that way. Other people want their tricks edited together like bang, bang, bang. To me, you come out of a frontside grind, you don’t want it edited in with a boardslide fakie, you want a switch crooked grind out of it because that’s how you ride. That’s how I want to see it.

And then came Flip and your incredible Extremely Sorry part. New pool, new sponsors… new inspiration? That part is insane!

Honestly, it’s all in your head. When the Flip opportunity came up, it was so scary but it also was something that we had to do. I was scared to death of doing a video part. I thought people were going to be pissed. I didn’t want to be fast-forwarded and hated on. But what could I do? My Extremely Sorry part is what I always wanted to do with the Firm but never had time for it. Can’t Stop was filmed in basically 2 nights, Extremely Sorry was just the next step in that progression. I had no expectations that it would do what it did for me.

I started out trying to film a trick a day. I think I’d filmed 6 tricks when I ended up breaking my arm. That took 9 months to heal but, luckily, Extremely Sorry kept getting pushed back. So I had about 6 months to film. Luckily, I was able to get back on my trick-a-day thing and that’s what I did. I’d go out and film a trick… some days I’d get two. But I kept it steady. I didn’t even try to do a bunch of stuff in one day, just get my trick and rest for tomorrow. Do it again. Plug forward. There were 3 of 4 tricks that took a long time and there were 2 or 3 tricks that I never did make… I must’ve tried 540s a month straight. I have no guts anymore (laughs).

Is that your favorite part?


I wonder about some of the stuff in there… like the hippie jump through the ladder and stuff with the rope. Is that stuff you’ve always wanted to try but it took getting your pool designed the way it was to finally get it?

Some of that I’d tried before. I’d tried that hippie jump in backyard pools back in the 80s but the wheels were too big and would catch. I definitely remember trying that at the Pink Motel but the board didn’t fit through. I should’ve realized to just give myself more space with the ladder. Crank the poles up a little bit and prop it out.

We’d already done airs and things over the ladders, I just wanted to revisit some of that stuff again.

Super rad. On to another one of your trademarks: Where did the Doughboy come from and why do you think it has become so popular?

I wish it didn’t. It was a complete rip-off of something else.

He comes from an era where graphics were simple and stripped-down. At the time, I just wanted to do a simple stripe graphic going under from truck-to-truck. I had all these different schemes to try and get it produced, one of which came from this little animation pamphlet showing how to draw this guy. I had the lay-out and scribbled out the drawing, which I thought was kinda cool. But when it went up to Powell, George wanted it to be bouncy and using more area of the board… which went against the entire concept of the board. It went through that weird art direction thing where it became what it was going to be.

I started doing a bunch of stuff with the doughboy a little while after that just because it was a simple way of drawing a figure quickly. And fortunately, or unfortunately, people started asking me to keep doing. The more people saw it, the more it became something. If it wasn’t for people that keep asking me to do it, I probably wouldn’t have ever done it again. I’d have nothing (laughs)

People always ask me if I got it from Mark Gonzales’ shmoo or visa versa. It’s none of that. The shmoo came years later. Mine came from that little animation book, though not as good. But the reality is that it all stems from Neil Blender drawing the Bic Man… which turned into his Chrome Man. It was about drawing a simple, quick character.

Artist, designer, builder, video host, company owner… You really are one of the legendary renaissance figures in skateboarding, but we rarely see the same kind of multitasking in today’s generation. Why do you think that is?

The quick answer is that the atmosphere of competition rewards people. When they’re rewarded, they get paid and can stick around. That’s just the nature of the industry. In the beginning, you had to be creative to get noticed. You had to come up with ideas and invent stuff. That has slowly developed into more of a traditional sport-type of thing where the guy who can go higher, faster and longer will succeed. So now you have that type of person.

Why would they waste their time drawing a graphic when you could be out there buying a Bentley? Most of that early stuff came from necessity.

What is the best and worst thing about skateboarding?

The best thing about skateboarding is that it is an avenue for people to find enjoyment. But the worst thing is that it can also be an avenue for people to find destruction at the same time.

Well said, Lance. Last question: How would you like to be remembered in skateboarding?

Want me to get heavy and weird? I don’t think it matters. I am a Christian and I believe in the Lord. Everything that I do or have done is completely worthless outside of Him. So that’s all that really matters. Ultimately, the Lord gave us life to glorify him and I don’t think we should be doing stuff to glorify ourselves. I know the industry tries to make us sell ourselves to a degree to make a living. But at the end of the day, I just want my friends to know the Lord. If I could somehow trade all the stuff that I have done in exchange for them to know the Lord, I’d do it in a second.

Thank you for everything, Lance.  


Skately said...

Amazing! His Can't Stop part will always be a personal favorite, 15 tricks or not. See him at my local park on the weekends. Total inspiration!

rnc said...

Amen Lance. Thank you so much for everything you've contributed, more than you know.

Seriously, that thing on the boat with Rocco, should be a scene in a Tarantino movie or something. Crazy.

Great interview. Wish it were 10 hours longer.

Anonymous said...

I didnt want the interview to end. Great stuff chops

Anonymous said...

man, those interviews are going crazy.
you're by far the best skate site, i can't believe all these interviews, so rad, so good job.

in another note, it's strange that nobody ever make reference to propaganda. that video was insane at this time.

Anonymous said...

Chops, you are straight PISSING on every skate magazine out there. Give this man an industry job!

Anonymous said...

what i really appreciate is the quality of the questions. much much better than magazines.
as we say in french : ton site il déchire grave!!!

Anonymous said...

shredding the internet right now, dude. what a way to go out. thanks

Unknown said...

Can't imagine what the ender might be after these. (Actually...nah.) I might have a breakdown in my cube after the final post.

"As long as you're still searching for him, you've found him." Maybe I'll work this into a Sunday School lesson one day and think of you/Hosoi/Cab/Ray etc, Lance.

Chrome Ball Super Fan said...

That first 8 minute Powell video is called Skateboarding In The 80s.

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt said...

I'm glad Lance mentioned some of the bad things about the 90s. There are people who are overly nostalgic about that time- "Everything was better back then", "It's not as good as it used to be", and so on.

38 mm wheels, anyone? XXL pants? Pressure flips? Oh, and by the way, you can't skate transition because it isn't cool. And you can't do Smith grinds or you're a slash dog. People being assholes, just because.

This is the wonderful era people talk about? It was just like any other time- there were good things about it, and bad things. Just like today. But I feel like some people can't appreciate what's going on now because they're too busy romanticizing the past.

Terry said...

Thanks Lance and Chops. That was amazing.

Jeff said...

Lance's skating is like a fine wine, its gets better with age!

Loo Ganida said...

WOW!! A million thank you's!!!!!!
Your interviews are soooooo good!!!!
3 more posts?

Paul said...

I could have read on for hours!!! Like someone here said before, your art of doing interviews is sooo good! Thanks for that and a big thank you for Lance and his honest answers!

Danny said...

So rad to read the "behind the scenes" of the skate world as it stumbled forward, progressed, digressed and is what it is today. Lance Mountain with all his insecurities has influenced skateboarding the right way, always.

markbe said...

best skate interview i've read in... i can't remember how long. truth. thanks.

Anonymous said...


bradtheraddad said...

Great interview, that last part choked me up and I too did not want this interview to end. God bless Lance and thank you for everything you've done with this site!

Keith said...

It's amazing how many phases and generations of skateboarding Lance has been through. Definite rollercoaster ride. Legend for sure.

Anonymous said...

I found your site yesterday, and it's simply unbelievably good. Almost 40 now but I've always kept an eye on where skateboarding was heading, and simply marvelling at the evolution. Reading those interviews is a treat. You manage to bridge the gap between the human beings and the marketing hype, and get right to the core. Just fantastic.

Anonymous said...

What about his involvement in 411 magazine? I always wondered did he just do the intro or did he help with production too? Long live Lance, seems like a super nice guy.

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