chrome ball interview #93: vinny ponte

chops and vinny break bread.

So Vinny, I did some research and I gotta ask: Why are you afraid of little people, man?

(laughs) You had to set it off like that, didn’t you?

I honestly don’t know, man. People are scared of irrational stuff. I’m scared of midgets. I’m sorry if that’s not the correct term: midgets, dwarves, little people… fuckin’ monsters. I’m sorry. They scare the shit out of me. I don’t know why but whenever they’re around, I just can’t act right.

I was at Ted Newsome’s wedding a while back and all of the guys went out to eat at Hooters one night. And Reda… you know Reda, right?

Yeah, he’s the one who told me to ask this question.

That prick cocksucker.

So anyway, we’re at Hooters eating and a whole family of them just happens to walk in behind me. I don’t even see them come in but all of a sudden, Reda’s laughing, telling me not to turn around… so, of course, I gotta turn around. I had to run out the fucking restaurant.

I have nothing against them. It’s not like I hate ‘em or anything. I’m just petrified of them. I’m truly scared. I’d rather hang out with a bunch of dirty, drunken clowns then see a midget walking down the street.

We’re probably gonna get some comments on that one. So moving on… deep in the NYC mix, even after moving out to Jersey as a teen, what was it like growing up as a little dude yourself on the streets of pre-Guiliani New York?

It’s pretty insane to look back on. We’d roll around 15-30 deep all day, every day. It was cool because as long as you didn’t look like you had a gun, cops didn’t really give a shit. Real talk, we’d be wildin’ out and cops would just roll right past. But at the same time, we never really posted up at spots either. People didn’t really skate spots in New York back then. We just skated down the street, hitting whatever you saw. You might get a trick, boom, and keep it going. There was no Seaport or Pyramid Ledges. We might meet up at the Banks or warm up at Astor Place but that was it. It was different back then.

Anything stand out as a particularly sketchy experience from back then?

I got crazy stories, man. What do you want to hear? Like, I remember all of us skating to the Tunnel one night. On the way there, we crossed 26th Street where all the hookers and pimps were at. Some shit went down and Harold ended up slapping a hooker. Next thing I know, there’s a pimp shooting at us.

I brought up the Banks earlier. I don’t think people remember how sketchy that spot was. Anybody who wasn’t from New York was getting robbed. It was that simple. But at the same time, on the flipside of that, I remember this one time at the Banks when a few of these hood kids from Brooklyn tried robbing one of our friends. This kid tried taking our friend’s board, not realizing that all 150 of us kids skating there were together. Next thing you see is literally 150 skaters chasing this kid across the Brooklyn Bridge. Shit got wild.

I was reading Berra’s piece about first meeting you as the world’s loudest 13-year-old at Woodward Birdhouse demo back in the day, talking shit on him and everyone else after every missed trick. Would you do that kinda shit at demos often?

Where I come from, you talk shit. If you can handle it, then we become friends. If you can’t, you’re a pussy. I talk shit to everybody. That’s what I do. No one ever really got bummed because it was all in good fun. You gotta remember that I met all those guys at Woodward… Berra, Alphonzo Rawls, Fred Orlande. We’d all just be hanging out and became friends. That’s how I made a lot of friends actually.

Was shit ever reversed down the line where a kid tried doing that to you at a demo?

Nah, they never did. Honestly, the only shit talk I’ve ever gotten was on the internet.

It’s good for that. Explain Dead End Skateboards to kids who might not have been around or paying attention back then. I always loved the brand and they always had quite the cult following… there’s still Dead Endustries stickers on almost every toll booth and toilet stall you come across on the East Coast to this day.

Yeah, Dead End was a small brand out of New York back in the day. It was all from this guy, Vinny Raffa, one of the best dudes ever. If it wasn’t for Vinny, I know for a fact that Danny Supa, Javier and myself would never have gone anywhere in skateboarding. We were still really young but he happened to see us out skating somewhere and started hooking us up with product and rides to contests. 

He put us in the circle, man. We were too young at the time to realize how grateful we should’ve been to him. He’s just a nice, generous guy.

Was that your first sponsor?

No, but to be honest, I’m a little embarrassed about anything earlier than that. I mean, like I said, I can talk a lot of shit. I’m a talker. So I started doing this thing where I’d flip through magazines and call all the companies to try and get free shit. Next thing you know, I’m getting hooked up by all these crazy little companies just from talking shit. I’m getting boxes from Flyaway helmets! No sponsor-me videos or nothing…

Flyaway helmets!?!

Yeah! I’m fucking 12-years-old, sitting there with 8 Flyaway helmets! I look like a kook but I didn’t care, I just wanted free shit!

Incredible.  So going back to your more legitimate sponsorship days, what was the story with that crazy Dead End Team Mixer ad you were in? Send $10 for a mixtape. What the hell was going on there?

That was all for shits and giggles, man. Just for fun. I was already DJing by then and everybody knew I was heavy into rap. Vinny Raffa just wanted to do something stupid. I remember him coming up to me like, “I know you DJ and your pants sag, let’s take it a step further. Just make it wild style”

“Fuck it. Let’s do it.”

Don’t forget that you had to do ad minimums back then in order to get in magazines. That was actually a lot of money but Vinny put it up.

That hat was pure leather, by the way. Just to let you know.

Was there really a mixtape? Did you make that?

(laughs) To be honest, I never made that mixtape. I only made mixtapes for Raekwon, never Dead End.

It was around this time that you made some serious waves in Transworld as the “first to ollie the Love Gap”… a caption that still stirs controversy to this day. Leading the detractors, one Choppy Omega has been very adamant over the years about his doing it first…

I know! Choppy is serious!

Not to be rude, and I love Philly to death, but I do think people got butt-hurt that I got the first photo ollieing that gap. Know what I mean? I’m sure they’d much rather have someone from Philly have gotten the photo.

Everyone always brings this up, man. The truth is that I’d never even been to Philly before that day. Vinny drove us all down for a contest. All the top dudes were down there and we were hyped. I remember skating around and all of a sudden, it’s thrown out there like, “Whoever is first to ollie the Love Gap gets $200 bucks!”

So I ollie it and I get the money. It was only when they put it in the magazine with the caption that I was the first to ollie it, that’s when people started saying shit. My reply, and I’ll admit that I might’ve been a little drunk back then, a little high… but I remember saying “Yo, if you don’t got a picture of it, don’t start talking shit.”

That’s what I’d always say, which probably didn’t help the situation much. But I never claimed that I was the first to ollie it ever. There was no claiming first back then. It’s like being the first to ollie over the Brooklyn Banks Wall… I have no idea who really did it first. A lot of people did it, regardless of photos. I mean, Supa and I used to drive around, ollieing way bigger gaps than Love back then. We definitely weren’t the only ones doing shit like that.

Choppy’s saying he’s got an exact date with witnesses.

I mean, come on. That shit is funny to me.

But yo, much respect to Choppy. I don’t know him and I’d never diss him. Too bad I didn’t see the footage. Too bad I wasn’t there. I mean, I can say I did whatever down the Hollywood 16, too. But yo, much respect.

How’d you and Supa end up on Tree Fort? What was the story with that company?

Yeah, Tree Fort was through Troy Morgan, the guy who went on to do Kayo. He started Tree Fort out of his garage. Like I said, I was good friends with Alphonzo Rawls and I was out there visiting one time, we ended up stopping by Troy’s house. We go skating and Troy asks me to ride for Tree Fort that day.

From there, we started getting a team together. Tree Fort was cool, man. It was a lot of fun. My thing was that I still felt we needed another East Coast dude on there but everybody kept on telling me to chill. I pressed it though.

“Trust me. Fly Danny Supa out here.”

Within 5 minutes of Danny landing out here, he switch kickflips up a picnic table. This was back in 1995. All of a sudden, these guys want him on the team!

“Nah, chill. I thought you guys didn’t want anymore East Coast dudes.” (laughs)

We’ve already talked about how territorial heads were back then, did you get much shit for riding on a west coast company from friends back East?

Honestly, not at all.

Growing up with skateboarding in the 90’s on the East Coast, it was more about holding your ground wherever you were, period. It wasn’t just some coast shit, you had to hold down your spot. When you went skating and saw another skater getting fucked with, if you didn’t help them out, you were gonna get your ass kicked later by the rest of the crew. Everybody had to hold their own.

For example, I went to college in Boston. My first night there, I roll up to Copley Square, which was the ill spot at the time. Robbie Gangemi, Roger Bagley and Jahmal Williams are all there.

“Yo, what are you doing here?”

“I live here now. I live right down the fucking street and I’m gonna be skating here everyday. What’s up?” 

“Just as long as you’re ready to hold it down.”

The same shit happened the first time I went to Pulaski Park. Brian Tucci and those dudes broke it down to me the same way. You can do your thing as long as you’re not a punk and if you’re gonna talk shit, make sure you can fight. If not, get the fuck outta here. It wasn’t as much about tricks as it was about being respectful. If you’re not local but you’re coming to these spots, you gotta be part of that. That’s how it was.

So you were going to school in Boston? Weren’t you going out to Cali a ton at this point as well?

Well, Tree Fort was in Oceanside. Somehow I worked it out to where I was having them fly me out to San Diego from Boston every other weekend.

Damn, that’s impressive!

It was nuts, man. We were out skating with all these crazy dudes like Chad Muska and Rob Dyrdek, going to all these spots… Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to the Carlsbad Gap and all that shit. That shit was pretty big. I tried to tre flip it and ended up bruising my heel. But for real, one thing I remember thinking to myself constantly while being out there at first was, “Yo, this Cali shit is pussy!”

All the spots are golden, man. They’re perfect. Everything’s so smooth. We were all riding minimum 56mm wheels back in New York while everybody in Cali’s riding 51s! And on top of that, everything’s mad small. They were like warm-up spots. I was always wondering where the real spots were.

How seriously did you take the Tree Fort video? Of course, your part is solid but did you give it top priority? Because you were all over the mags by then and more kids were bound to see that shit in comparison.

That’s a good question because at the time, I didn’t take it all that seriously. I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I was more about going out with my friends and having fun, skating different spots. I wasn’t used to that Cali life of going to spots and trying to get this and that for the video. I definitely wasn’t sitting around making lists or whatever. It was more about wherever you ended up. I think that’s probably how I was able to get so many photos in the magazines. I didn’t have to think about some crazy part but I could get photos as I went.

I mean, my ender for that is me falling into a sand pit. I just got done smoking a blunt and I got wrecked! It was funny! This was the generation before kids started looking at videos like, “It’s time to die.”

How’d that double-kink frontside boardslide for the cover of Transworld happen?

The story behind that is basically what I was just talking about: going out and skating around with my friends. I knew that I was going to try and get a photo that day but I honestly had something else in mind. My thing is that I always liked to bring my boys to come skate along with me to help pump me up. So we’re skating around and we end up at that double-kink. That spot wasn’t even for me. It was for Caine Gayle. He brought up wanting to 50-50 that thing…

“Oh shit!?! Alright! Let’s go!”

We’re all family so Alphonzo and I go with him for support or whatever. I was actually thinking about frontside boardsliding the Oceanside rail for a photo later that day…. I wasn’t even going to try a front board on that double-kink until Caine brought it up. But that’s how it worked out.

I gotta admit that the one I made was kinda wack. I did do one right before where I slid down the whole thing, even the bottom part, but I hit a crack and fell right when I landed. I ended up going a little faster and did it but I didn’t really like it. I flew out and it was kinda sketchy but that’s the photo they used.

How’d Zoo get into the picture?

Tree Fort kinda slowly dissolved. Troy’s investors had lied and ended doing some bullshit. I’d just finished school in Boston and moved back down to New York when Zoo York started gaining interest in me. I already knew just about everybody on the team and was usually out skating with those dudes everyday, putting in work. I ended up going to this bowling party one night with my friends and all of a sudden, they have a Zoo York jersey for me, recruiting me on the team that night.

Did you take the Mixtape project a bit more serious than the Tree Fort video?

I’m not gonna lie: no, not at all. I was a lunatic at the time. We were all fucking lunatics. I’m not trying to plan shit out for a video part. I’m just gonna go out and skate for a few months and hopefully get some good shit on film.

Honestly, the thing that trips me out the most whenever I read shit about that part on the internet, they’re always making comments about that red vest I wore.

I was gonna bring that up.

It’s so funny. People are always bringing up that red vest and it wasn’t even my coat! It was my friend’s coat and he doesn’t even skate! I was just wearing it because I was cold. That’s the only reason I have anything to do with that fucking coat! We were in North Carolina at that police station down there… but I will say, even though they cut to Diamond D rhyming, I did that whole line in one try. We were out.

That coat must’ve been good luck.

People will bring up that red vest and they’ll also say that it looks like I’m gonna take a shit every time I bend down to ollie. And you know, personally, that does hurt a little. But hey, who gives a fuck?

courtesy of Quartersnacks

Since we’re on the subject of fashion, what about the cornrows? You gotta admit that’s a questionable call. And what about the gold VP chain in that ad? You still got that thing?

Yeah, I still got that chain! I’m from fucking New York, b!

That’s what’s funny about the cornrows: in New York, that shit doesn’t matter. You can be black, white, Puerto Rican, whatever. As long as you were you, fuck it! I used to get my hair cornrowed in Boston on the steps of my boy’s house by all the hood chicks. I thought that shit was dope! I was big into hip-hop, man! My hair was wild style!

Yo, you can call me a fruitcake if you want but I always wanted that straight Tony Hawk haircut back in the day, too. Of course I’m gonna run some cornrows!

Was the Stretch and Bobbito theme always the concept for Mixtape?

Well, Eli Gesner was best friends with Stretch at the time. He’d hang out there during shows and there was all that classic footage from dudes coming into the studio to freestyle so I think it all just came about from there. I didn’t have a say nor did I request any songs to skate to. Zoo York put it all together. I was just focused on the filming and the skating.

I was psyched because Diamond D is one of my favorites but that got a little crazy. I remember the first time I met him was after the video came out, I walked into Fat Beats and he was in there. I just walked up to him and said, “Thank you!”

“Thank you for what?”

 “Yo, thank you for being in my video part!”

“What the fuck are you talking about? What video part?”

He had no clue about any of it but he played it cool. I explained it a little more and gave him a copy of the video. Not too long after that, the Zoo York video ended up getting shut down. I was told that it was my fault. We’d never cleared any of that stuff.

Damn, but you guys are friends now?

Yeah, years later, my boy Juju from Beatnuts and I were partying one night and he formally introduces me to him. We get drunk and next thing you know, we’re all on a plane heading to Florida to my grandmother’s house, wilding out in my grandfather’s Rolls Royce. Obviously there was never any beef. Because Zoo York had used his song without clearance, he naturally did what any artist would do. He conducted a reasonable course of action. No beef, no stress.

What were Zoo York tours like during that post-Kids/Mixtape era?

Going on tour with those guys made Kids look like a G-rated movie. So many stories from back then, man. What do you want to hear about: money, guns or drugs?

What’s your go-to?

The go-to deals with this one night where we found ourselves in a bit of a situation. We were in Missouri or Michigan or some fuckin’ place like that. I’d just gotten kicked out of a bar because I’d basically started some shit with these dudes. Next thing I know, the whole squad is sitting in this diner eating when those same dudes from earlier show up. I can’t recall exactly what set it off, all I remember is Jeff Pang ripping off his shirt in the middle of the place, screaming, “What’s up? I’m from Brooklyn. What’s good?”

It all spilled outside and shit got real. We all started fighting. You gotta remember, these dudes were like 220lbs and Supa and I are probably the smallest dudes there. I see these two dudes step to Jeff so I run up to help out. As I do, I hear this other guy say, “What’s up, little man? You want some?”

I end up getting this dude to chase after me to try and even everything out. That’s when one of my partners finds a rake on the ground and yolks a dude up. After that, everyone we were fighting just seemed to disappear. They’re gone.

The thing was I didn’t throw a punch and neither did one of our other boys who will remain nameless. We didn’t run but we didn’t hold it down 100% either. So when we got back to the hotel, they’re like, “Y’all two niggas didn’t fight. Now you’re gonna catch it.”

We caught it. Granted we were still young or whatever but we deserved it. We got through it and we’re better for it. A week later, we’re at another spot and more shit went down, me and my man definitely held it down and represented. We had to show how people get knocked the fuck out.

Zoo York was like a family, man. It was serious. If you weren’t down with the program, you were getting fucked up.

Didn’t you meet Biggie on a Zoo tour and he recognized Harold or something? How’d that go down?

I’ll tell you dead-ass how it went down. A bunch of us were flying out from Newark to San Diego for a trade show. Harold’s in front of me as we’re getting on the plane and as we’re walking through first class, we see Biggie sitting there. All of a sudden, Biggie looks at Harold and goes, “Yo! I saw the movie Kids! What the fuck!?! Come sit next to me!”

We couldn’t believe it but Harold goes and sits down next to Biggie with this big grin on his face while the rest of us walk all the way back to coach. I remember sitting back there for the rest of the flight, thinking about how Harold was wilding out up there with Biggie. I wanted to get up there so fuckin’ bad.

Harold and I had a good thing going. I’ll always remember him coming up to me after we landed.

“Yo, I got you something.”

He reaches into his pocket and hands me this crumpled up piece of paper.

“It’s Biggie’s napkin!”

I unfold and it really is fucking Biggie’s napkin. It’s all fucked up with stains and shit on it. I was hyped!

“Are you kidding me!?!”

“I know you love Biggie, man. I ain’t fuckin’ stupid.”

I still have that napkin to this day. I loved Harold for that.

I was gonna ask for your best Harold memory but I imagine that’s probably it, right?

The Biggie one for me is a favorite but did you ever hear the chicken one? This shit is just so funny, man. Legends never die. It was this one time where we were literally out skating all day, seriously from 11:30 in the morning to 6:30 at night. I know for a fact that we didn’t stop anywhere. We’re just out skating from spot to spot. I remember we all sat down for a second and, out of nowhere, Harold pulls out a piece of chicken from his pocket and starts eating it.

“Yo, where the fuck did that come from?”

That shit had been in his pocket literally all day and he’s over there eating it like its fresh out the box. I couldn’t fucking believe it. I love Harold to death, man.

Zoo was about to explode with some big investors… why’d you leave?

I got cocky. I felt like I was the only one on the team who was out there putting in work for the company and that I deserved more. I was constantly going here and there, out to California and trying to get into the magazines. The money was coming in, I wanted more of it. I felt like I deserved more than everybody else because of all that I was doing. But they said they couldn’t do it for whatever reason… fuck it then, I’m out. I quit the team.

Looking back on it, it was a big mistake. Like I said, I just got cocky. I was talking shit and I was probably on a good one. I shouldn’t have left like that but I chalk it up as a learning experience. I can honestly say that there’s not one company I rode for that I have a problem with. Trust me, I’d tell you if they were dicks. I love Zoo York and it’s still my fucking family since day one. We’re still brothers.

How’d you end up on Dynasty?

I’d known Donger for a while. He was a DJ and I was a DJ so we had that in common, too. After Zoo, I knew he was trying to do something and it sounded good. He was on a different path than I was but I respected that shit. He wasn’t a yes man. He really seemed to know what he was doing and I was hyped on how Dynasty turned out. I loved Dynasty.

Because we had the DJ connection, I used to love going out to stay at Donger’s house. We’d hang out and skate and do DJ shit all the time.  Sheffey was living above him, too. It was crazy.

Any good stories with Shef?

I mean, getting woken up at 6 in the morning with Sheffey literally standing over top of my head.

“Yo, get up. We’re going on a bike ride.”

“Bike ride? I don’t do bike rides.”

“I don’t give a fuck.”

Back then, Sheffey was on some other shit…

So did you go?

Of course I went! Are you fucking nuts!?!

He literally took me to all the spots he killed in the Life video. That double-kink rail he did in that? Straight up, you could offer me a million dollars to try that thing and I’d say fuck you.

But yeah, he’d wake me up all the time to go on bike rides. We’d go to the San Diego Zoo, we’d go to that old Bus Stop spot and skate… whatever he wanted to do. Honestly, he was crazy as fuck but he held it down, for sure.

So how’d you make the leap into the hip-hop world like you did? It seemed like you were suddenly deep in the mix with Raekwon, going on tour in Japan with the Beatnuts and DJing for Jeru at the Static 3 premiere. How did all that happen?

For me, skateboarding and music always went together. I was always messing around with both. I was always DJing, I was down with the dudes at Fat Beats… I’d go over to Amsterdam with Big L and those dudes. That’s just how shit was. It was kinda gradual until things finally reached a point where Supa came over to my house one day and Raekwon was there, smoking weed and writing rhymes. Supa just started going nuts, like, “Dude, that’s Raekwon!”

I never quit skating or anything, I just kinda faded away from skating professionally as I got more into other shit. 

I was able to meet Raekwon through a friend of mine we used to call Billy Bullshits. You can guess why. This was probably around 2001 or so and he hits me up about doing a cooking show on tv. He wants to film Raekwon cooking in my kitchen.

I really didn’t believe him but sure, whatever.

So I’m chilling at my house with a broken leg, smoking blunts… when all of a sudden, my buzzer goes off.

“Yo, who is it?”

“It’s Rae.”

“Who the fuck is Ray!?!”

“It’s Raekwon.”

“Oh... alright.”

So now Raekwon is in my house. There’s a bunch of white boys following him around with cameras. Shit is crazy. Rae’s cooking fish in my kitchen. Billy Bullshits actually came through.

So you know how everybody is always talking about how they have the best weed? Well, at the time, I really did happen to have the best weed. I had to bust out this glass jar of weed on Raekwon.

“Yo, you rappers are always talking about this shit. You guys aren’t smoking any shit like this!”

He looks at it and tries to front… 2 minutes later, he’s telling everybody, “Cut the show. Cut the show.”

He comes over and starts rolling blunts while I start DJing in the studio I had set-up in my apartment.

“Yo, you’re my DJ now.”

Just like that. I’m kinda surprised but I play it off.


I did 4 mixtapes for him after that, straight outta my house. Shit just went off from there. All of a sudden, I’m sitting around playing Playstation with Method Man like, “Dude, are you fucking kidding me?”

Somehow I find myself in the studio with these dudes. RZA and GZA are over there playing chess. Meth and I are bugging out. We’re all rolling blunts and shit. It was like my all-time rap fantasy!

I remember going back and telling my friends, half of them didn’t even believe me… maybe Vinny’s too zooted or something. But fast forward a few days later, we’re all hanging out at my house when the doorbell rings and here walks in Raekwon with whoever else, wanting to record a track. It is what it is.

In general, who’s more fun to tour with: skaters or rappers??

Easily skaters. You never know what the fuck skaters are gonna do. You wake up in the morning and your leg hurts, you still might be jumping down 10 stairs later on that day on top of whatever else might come up. Rappers are cool and I was always psyched to be around them but it’s more relaxed. Chilling, rolling blunts… that type of shit.

Smiff N Wessun, Jeru, Guru… those dudes used to come over and chill at my house all the time because I had a studio there. We’d go out to a bar or something, get fucked up and fall back in at my house later on. I remember Large Professor coming over and asking to use my MPC one night after going out. I pass out and wake up to a fucking Large Pro beat on my shit. I couldn’t believe it. It was crazy. Like, Bushwick Bill came over and tried to play me for $500 one time…

With your fear of little people, I’m surprised you even let him in your apartment.

To be honest, I had everything covered. If shit was about to go down, I was just gonna throw him out the fucking window.

But skateboarding was always first. I used to geek out on skaters all the time. In comparison, I probably only geeked out on maybe three rappers over the years. Like, I remember going over to Busta Rhymes’ studio so he could do a verse for this song Raekwon was working on. After we record everything, Raekwon asks me if I want to get a quick drop from Busta for my mixtape.

“Nah, I don’t like Busta.”

Raekwon looks at me and just starts laughing.

“Yo, you’re a crazy nigga, son.”

“I don’t give a shit. I don’t fuck with Busta Rhymes. I don’t listen to his shit.”

“This is why I love you, man. Alright then, so what do you want to do now?”

“Well… let’s go get some pizza.”

So I know you were running Rival in NYC for a while and now you’re over at Kayo on Fairfax, not to mention being decades deep with your family’s restaurant biz and all this rap shit, how’d your 40 for 40 part come about for the Berrics? It was great to see you out there but how’d you even have enough time to make that happen?

I was turning 40-years-old and I got psyched to do a part. Like you said, I’m still in the skate scene and I thought it’d be cool. I brought it up to Berra and he was down. He gave me a key to the park, which was a blessing… I mean, don’t get me wrong, he definitely made sure I knew that I couldn’t be trying to push out some bullshit. I had to have some tricks in there or it was dead. But yeah, I’d go in there from 9pm to 4 in the morning. I worked hard on that thing. Those are some late nights and I really appreciate the Berrics for making it happen. They didn’t have to do all that for me.

I can’t lie though, that part took a while. There were a few tricks in there that I’m still trying to get. I tried tre flipping the 10-stair and made it so many times but couldn’t roll away.

You kept on breaking boards.

Yeah, I could never make it. But it reached a point after that where I decided that I was just going to skate and have fun with it.

I mean, that’s how you’ve described the process for all your previous parts from back in your “prime”…

Right? That’s what skateboarding is to me. That’s me. I’m not trying to battle my age. I don’t need a video ender-type part. I just want to put out something cool on the Berrics. If you remember, Felix put out a part like that on the Berrics as well. At the very least, let me focus on trying to one-up him instead of killing myself. 

I actually tried to get Felix in there but it didn’t work out. I got a couple of dudes in there that I was happy about. I remember Nick Tucker doing that switch inward heelflip down the 10 over and over again. Every single try. That really fucked me up. This generation is out of control.

The part was solid though. That had to feel good.

Yeah, I ended up having a birthday party there, too. It was packed with like 200 kids, all out there skating and having fun. Not that I’m gonna quit skating but honestly, all that stuff did give me a real sense of fulfillment with my skateboarding career. There’s so many skateboarders that never got their due. Think about all the underrated East Coast skaters from back in the day... We went through some real shit in the early 90s.

There's so much more to it than talent. You also gotta be at the right place at the right time and it helps to have the right friends. Everyone's always been so good to me. Don't ever burn your bridges, man. That's important. It's all about friends, family and growing up skating with each other. I appreciate all of it.

Big thanks to Vinny for taking the time. 


Anonymous said...

Chops ollied Love first. I was there along with Mel Kadel and Ricky Oyola. The VHS footage got stolen out of Mels car a few months later in Philly.

Jas M.

Anonymous said...

So Vinnie was a really rich kid, his gramps had a Rolls Royce? Fronting all these years.

Anonymous said...

Such a good interview. Thank you Vinny and Chromeball!

Anonymous said...

I wish he had talked about Rival, it was mentioned but Vin didn't say anything. good shit though!

Unknown said...

Amazing as always! Thank you!

Rikku Markka said...

I remember he used to come to the skate park at Newberg, NY and kill it. My friend Chris Pole was on Dead End as well at the time. Cool that Dead End was brought up because it was a really small company. I never thought anyone had knowledge of its existence.

isidro said...

yeah,another great read!

Unknown said...

Awesome!!! Yeah Vinny!

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