chrome ball interview #127: bobby worrest

I noticed on social media that you got a new tattoo last week, what’d you get?

(laughs) Well, back when I was growing up in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, whenever my Mom would drive me to daycare, we’d always pass by this tattoo shop. And for years, every morning, I’d always ask her to take me inside. Until one day, she finally did and they ended up giving me a temporary tattoo, right there in the parlor. I still remember, it was a snake, all curled up and shit. I actually have a photo of it somewhere. But when those dudes gave me that in the shop that morning, I thought it was the coolest shit ever.

Fast-forward 20 years later and my buddy Shawn Brown does tattoos right by my house. He’s a great artist and I’d been wanting to get a tattoo from him for a while when I started to think about that photo. I figured I’d get that same temporary tattoo, but for real this time.

So I sent him the photo and he took that same style but blew it up a little bigger to put on my leg.

I’ve read where you got in the habit of getting tattoos that “didn’t really mean anything”. Do you still do that?

I mean, you don’t always have to get something super meaningful. Because the whole process means something. That’s really a bond in of itself. And I like being able to look at all this different stuff and remember the time I got it.

But it’s not like I’m just walking into any old tattoo shop, like, “Tat me up!”

 “Born To Lose”

(laughs) It all means something to me. I think it’s hard for people without any tattoos to understand that.

No regrets with any of them?  

I have regrets for space. There are some things on my arms that I kinda wish were somewhere else. But that’s the only thing, which is pretty good in the grand scheme of things. I’d thought about each one enough to where I’m glad I got it… not that I dwelled on it for a month or something.

“Okay, I’m finally ready to get this Mike Tyson tattoo on me.”

No, Mike Tyson is the fucking champ. He had that left hook and I want that right here.

I knew you had that Rambo tattoo but you got Mike Tyson, too?

Mike Tyson was the fuckin’ champ, man! Come on! You know I had to let it rock.

What’s the significance of Rambo?

Well, it’s not really the significance of him as a person, it’s more about what he stood for. Because that shit is so fucking hard, know what I mean? It’s just so powerful. He stood for everything right, dude. Not that it has anything to do with war or whatever is going on now. But the mentality John Rambo had, you can’t fuck with that. You fuck with John Rambo and he’s gonna stomp all over you.

With explosive tip arrows.

(laughs) If that’s what the situation calls for.

So did the recent government shutdown have any effect on Pulaski Park police or was it still business as usual?

Actually, it’s pretty sweet over there these days. They’ll pull up and as long as nobody’s out there drinking, they could care less. And I respect them for that. Because I get it, they’re human beings. They have families to feed and rent to pay.

It’s when they start taking their jobs a little too seriously and tackling fucking skaters… Like, really? You’re going to turn it into that type of situation? It’s not that personal, man. We’re just trying to skate the spot. You’re not out here busting hardened criminals. Take it easy.

Luckily, we haven’t seen that kind of force in years.

Didn’t you get tackled down there once?

That wasn’t at Pulaski, but yeah… It’s kind of a funny story, actually. This was back around 2002 or so, before I’d really started going downtown a lot. I just didn’t really know how things went down there yet.  

So yeah, I was skating at the Archives with these two other kids. And I just happened to look over at them and they both have the same wide-eyed expression on their faces, like “Oh shit!”

“Hmmm… I wonder why they’re looking at me like that?”

Like I said, I was still pretty fresh to downtown back then.

So I turn to my right and, all of a sudden, I see this bicycle cop riding straight at me, full-speed; half on his bike, half off. And he literally dives off his bike at me, full-on tackling me to the ground. I’m fucking 15 years-old, man! He’s a grown-ass man in his 30s! He starts running through my pockets and pulls my wallet out. Nothing in it but a Metrocard. Zero dollars. So he takes my board and gives me a ticket.

I was so pissed, man. But there was nothing I could do. So I just used that Metrocard and went home. Game over.

You’ve called Pulaski your “favorite place on Earth”. Is it really the best spot ever or is it more of a hometown vibe?

(laughs) Tell me a better place to skate, drink a beer, smoke your little weed and watch girls go by? And I’m not talking about your local prefab park, I’m talking about downtown, in the city.

What about something like Love or JKwon, which you seemed to be hitting up for a while there.

Man, there ain’t no ladies walking through JKwon! I don’t even know what’s up with LA like that.

JKwon was fun, for sure. Those are great ledges to learn just about anything on. And the vibe was always good, too. Honestly, that place was just about the only thing that kept me living in SoCal for a while. It’s very reminiscent of Pulaski in that way. But at the same time, being East Coasters, we’d always joke about how JKwon weren’t “real” ledges. Because they were just too perfect, man. All low and tons of wax, the total opposite of Pulaski.

Now, I can’t speak to Love Park like that, because I wasn’t around for that era. I was always a visitor there… Not that I ever had any problems, everyone at Love was always super nice to me. And I’m sure all those dudes will end up arguing with me about how much better Love is than Pulaski. I get it. I will even go so far to say that while the Love Park ledges were a little lower than Pulaski, they actually were better, to be honest. Because the marble at Love Park was really good. But the flatground at Love, after they changed it up with all that pink shit, wasn't as good as Pulaski... at least, up top. Just a bunch of cracks. I don’t know if it was from kids popping shit up or the floor getting moved around or what, but Pulaski has the best flatground, hands-down. No doubt. So to me, Pulaski is still the best.

But check it out, you might be able to noseblunt or smith grind, but if you can’t do it at Pulaski, you can’t really do that trick. Because that’s a real ledge, man. You might be able to do that shit on your little box in the driveway, but take that shit to Pulaski. You’re not gonna smith grind that ledge unless you take 5 pushes, minimum. Those things don’t grind easily. And locals don’t play around with that wax shit, either. If an out-of-towner pops up trying to get his little crooked grind on, juicing it with wax, they’re liable to kick your ass out of there.  

Name an out-of-towner, besides Johnny Layton’s ollie, who came in and really killed those ledges?

Well, Bobby Dekeyzer backside 360’d the wall. That was impressive. I liked it.

But the first time I ever saw Busenitz come in, he skated that whole place like a local. Just fucking it up. This was over 10 years ago, I still remember watching him and thinking to myself, “Damn, that’s how you skate this place.”

I know Chris Hall hooked up your Get Familiar part, but were you a fan of the DC/Pulaski scene growing up? Was it intimidating at all when you first started going down there?

All that stuff was kinda before my time so I never got to see any of those OG dudes in-person, but I remember always drawing Pepe Martinez graphics on my notebook when I first started skating. I was still in Pennsylvania back then, those dudes just happened to be popular at the time. But, of course, I later on had to go back and do the research to figure out what was up. And those guys were so ahead of their time. I mean, some of the stuff Pepe Martinez did back then is almost unfathomable.

Like what?

A backside boardslide tofakie 5-0? That’s insane. Because that thing does not grind. I’m not sure if I’ve seen anyone else even do that trick, let alone making it look good at an actual spot.

The first time I went down to Pulaski was around 2001 or so, after we’d moved to Washington D.C. from Texas. My buddy’s dad took us all downtown to skate and for whatever reason, he literally dropped us off right at Pulaski. Of all the places, right? But we were nowhere near ready for that spot. I still remember us standing there, looking at it like, “Are you kidding me? People don’t skate this. These ledges are way too high.”

We didn’t know what to do. These weren’t curbs. It was like having just learned how to drop-in on a mini-ramp and then heading over to Danny Way’s house to skate the Mega. And this was at 9 in the morning, too, so there was no one else around to show us otherwise. We had to keep it moving.

It really wasn’t until the summer after 9th grade that I went down there, for real. I met Jimmy McDonald at Woodward that summer and was hooking up with him and his crew afterwards, out in Bethesda. They’re the ones who ended up taking me down to Pulaski again. Kind of reintroducing it to me.

“Oh, I remember this spot from years ago!”

Luckily, I had progressed enough to where it was no longer a Mega Ramp scenario. But after skating there once or twice with those guys, I was hooked.

Were you aware of Pulaski's notorious reputation?

No, but the days of boards getting jacked and all that were pretty much over anyway. Those locals had all grown up by then. So it was a perfect time for me to start coming down and learning the ropes… cops were still fucking on it, though.

I actually started going down there by myself shortly after all that, because I was sick of the spots around my house. I remember having to take a different bus after school so I could then take another bus to the train station and hop on the downtown train to Pulaski. But it was worth it, man. Some of the best friends I’ve ever had were made on those early trips.

Growing up in Pennsylvania before moving to Houston for a minute until coming back to D.C., was East Coast Pride ever a big thing for you?

(laughs) I never really gave a shit, to be honest. I mean, I’ve always been hyped on Josh’s Static videos and whatever local DC shit. But that whole mentality about our spots being crustier, we’re fucking salty… that shit never entered my mind.

“Our ground is shittier. Our stair sets are bigger. Our handrails are taller.”

That shit was never an issue for me because it just is what it is. It might’ve been an issue to the older heads or whatever, but not me. Because, seriously, what are you going to do?

We don’t have an indoor park in D.C. And the last two months have sucked so fucking bad here. I mean, I’m looking at snow right now. The whole shits fucked. Because you get two months where you can’t even step on a board and then it takes another month to get back to where you were before it all started. Sure, I can fly out to California. I could fly out there every weekend if I wanted to, but that’s going to kill the human being I am. I don’t want that.

This is what I want, and all that comes with it. I know it’s odd but I love it. So yeah, I do take pride in where I'm from, of course, I just don't feel the need to remind you of that in every sentence.

So Real was your first sponsor? Was that a sponsor-me tape scenario?

I was actually DC flow back in ’99, while I was still living in Texas. It’s kinda weird because I was so young back then and not at all serious about skating. I mean, I actually started riding BMX bikes while I was down there, because that’s what everybody else was doing. It really wasn’t until I moved back to Maryland that I started getting really into skating, around the time I started going to high school… and even then, it was just because the local kids at my school skated.

“We rode BMX last year. Now we skate.”

That’s literally what got me back into it again, switching my whole life around. Weird how things work out like that, you know?

So yeah, I was fully back into it again. Making videos with my friends and going downtown. All that.

Real came into the picture because my buddy Mike Nalls was Real flow at the time. He was kind enough to hit me up, like, “Hey, get me a tape. I’ll send it in for you.”

Mike sent my shit in and they started sending me stuff… which, when you first start getting flowed free stuff, you’re fucking ecstatic. It’s just the coolest thing ever. And the team manager told me that if I kept on sending in footage, he’d send me more shit. So every month after that, I’d send in another minute of footage for more boards. And that’s how we rocked for months until it got brought to my attention that Gonz was starting a new company.

Yeah, how far along was Krooked when you were brought in? Did you have any idea that it was going to be such an unusual company, with Zip Zingers, guest boards and Mark madness?

The way it got brought up to me was, “There’s going to be this new company Mark Gonzales is starting with us called ‘Krooked’. We’ll send you a box and if you like it, you can ride for it. If not, you can stay with Real. Cool?”

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember specifics because I had no idea who Mark Gonzales really even was. I’m not trying to fake the funk here, I’d seen him in Real to Reel but he was never influential to me as a child. I was just too young, man. He was just some wacky dude. Think of your favorite pros when you’re 15 years-old and then you see Gonz out there, being crazy. I just didn’t get it. Like, why is he doing that? Who is this guy? I didn’t understand.

But then you slowly find out that all your favorite pros look up to him, that he’s actually their favorite pro. So luckily, I had someone tell me about G-Man and why he’s so important. That I needed to go back and check out this video part from the year I was born that was so ahead of its time. When he was doing frontside 360s before I was even alive and you still can’t do them now.

“Okay, I get it now.”

It’s like Tony Hawk, too. When you’re young, it’s hard to relate to those pioneers who were before your time because you didn’t experience it firsthand.

That’s fair. And there was no way of instantaneously finding out either, like there is today. It’s the same thing with trying to tell kids about groups like the Beatles or Run DMC.

Exactly, they’re gonna be wondering what the fuck you’re even talking about. That’s not Kodak Black or whatever music is trending now.

You had to figure it out. And anyone who says they learned it all on their own is full of shit. Because you couldn’t just go and check some shit out with a library card. You had to have that older dude at the skateshop tell you what was up.

“Here, look at this. Oh, you don’t know what this is? This is where you come from.”

But no, I had no idea that Krooked would end up being all this crazy shit. They just sent me a box and I liked the graphics.

“Okay, cool.”

But how were you chosen? Because it’s always been a select, very unique team.

I have no idea, man... You need to do a Chrome Ball on the G-Man!

All I know is they sent me some stuff and after that, I went on this crazy Japan trip with Mark and a bunch of other dudes who had nothing to do with the brand, like Matt Field and Bobby Puleo.

Even after that, I feel like they were still kinda feeling me out. Because they had me out to San Francisco for a summer with Nike Dompierre and Ernie Torres. All the young cats, checking to see what we were made of. Because we technically weren’t on any teams yet, they were still trying to figure it all out. Take a couple trips and see if we were kooks, basically… which is funny because I feel like I’m the biggest kook ever so I don’t know how I got a pass. (laughs)

But I imagine not fully knowing Gonz’s importance probably helped in that you weren’t really intimidated by him, right? 

You’re probably right. Because I had no idea, man. He was just this artsy dude, twice my age, with a fucking afro. And dude’s acting just as much like a child as I was. Seriously. He’s still a child at heart. Granted, he’s got a lot more responsibilities now but he’s still living his glory days. It’s fucking rad.

What’s your best Mark Gonzales story?

Alright, so at one point, I had acquired a Cadillac. Why not? I mean, all of the California kids are doing it, I guess that’s what you do when you’re a pro skater, right? Wrong. Don’t do that, kids.

This is forever ago. I’m with the Gonz and Andy Kessler in New York City. At the time, Gonz was trying to build this crazy platform at the Brooklyn Banks that would stretch across both handrails. It was this whole plan he had going, on some high stunt-type shit.

So we’re down there looking at stuff, getting ready to leave, when Mark hits me with “I want to drive your Cadillac.”

“Alright, here’s the keys.”

I hop into the passenger seat with Kessler in the back. Mark takes off and we’re on whatever avenue, heading uptown. Just hauling ass. I look down and he’s seriously going fucking 90 miles an hour through the middle of New York City. Four times the speed limit, easily. Next thing I know, I see the next 10 traffic lights in front of us all turn green... he just starts laughing and hits the gas. 

I remember looking back at Kessler, like “Holy shit!”

I didn’t even know Kessler very well, but he shoots me a look back, like, “Well, you gave him the keys. We’re just gonna have to go along for the ride now.”

He probably didn’t even know who the fuck I was. Just some kid with a Cadillac, riding for Mark’s company. He’d seen a million kids just like me come and go. But yeah, you could just tell by how he was looking at me, like, “This must be kid’s first real introduction to the wild side of the G-Man right now.”

I was tripping the fuck out. Because he was jamming, man. And there was no stopping him. If you would’ve been on one of those little bird scooters, crossing the wrong way, you were getting plowed. You were getting rolled the fuck over that day, I swear to God.

But we made it, man. Somehow. I just remember being like, “Damn, Mark… You just let it rip, dude. Wow… Maybe you should give me back the keys now.” (laughs)

What about Van Wastell? It seemed like you two had a genuine bond there, being thrust into this crazy set of circumstances as young bucks.

I just remember meeting him for the first time on that Japan trip. Getting off the airplane and there we were.

“I’m Bobby. You’re Van. I know who Bobby Puleo, Matt Field, Reese Forbes and all these other guys are but I don’t know who you are. So I guess we’re the two younger dudes out here.”

Fuck, man… We were boys from the jump, coming up together. Always talking shit, getting into fights. I remember us blacking each other’s eye one night after a few beers, just being young and wrestling. I never had a brother figure like that before.

He always had such a unique style, always adding that little something extra you never expected.

He was so light-footed! Just how he skated, he had that finesse, you know? I remember being out there with him, battling spots. Trying to land our tricks, we were always in it together. And there was never any sense of competition between us, which can often be the case with young dudes trying to come up. We were like brothers, man.

He was just so smooth on the board and how he pushed… I can still see him pushing now, know what I mean?

For sure, but what was Lutzka like on Krooked? What happened there?

I met him once. That was it... Good one, Micke.

“Hey, Lutzka’s now on the team. Let’s go meet him.”


We pull up to the Volcom RV and he walks out.

“Hey, guys. Nice to meet you.”

Then he went back into the RV. That was seriously it.

At the time, Van and I were just so fresh. If that’s their new rider, who am I to say? I’m fucking 16 years old. You guys can kick me off just as quick as you put him on. Not that I’m threatened for my position, but at the same time, I just got on last week. Who the hell am I? You didn’t voice your opinion like that. You didn’t have an opinion, and even if you did, nobody wanted to hear it. (laughs)

I actually met Greg later on in life and he seems like a chill dude. I don’t know him but I’m not trying to trash him either.

I’ve always loved your Krooked Kronicles part. How was that to make after all those years putting out little homie vids? Had to be pretty insane, man. 

That part is just so young, man. You really have to look at it through the parts I liked growing up. Because at that time, it was all about guys like Koston, PJ Ladd and P-Rod. Pushing the limits of technical street skating. The type of skating where you’re constantly trying to get the best fucking tricks you can possibly get. Not that style wasn’t as much a part of it, because it always is, but you couldn’t be out there filming basic tricks on flat with an ollie over a fire hydrant for a line. You had to be doing really hard tricks, first. That was the era, trying to break the mold with all-new shit.

So for me, as Bobby Worrest, I want to get on that same level as Paul Rodriguez. What do I gotta do? Backside noseblunt this, kickflip backtail that… film lines that take 3 fucking days to do. But that’s what skateboarding was back then.

What line took three days to film?

(laughs) None of them, but you get what I’m trying to say.

For sure. But was “Misdemeanor” your song choice? So good. 

Tommy actually picked the song. He asked me what I thought about it and I remember thinking that if it was good enough for him, I was down. Because it was way better than anything I was going to come up with. 

So with both Kronicles and eSpecial going on at roughly the same time, how did Get Familiar come about? Were you out with Chris filming as well or were those primarily Kronichles extras?

That project really had nothing to do with me in the beginning. Chris had popped back up in the scene and was hanging out with Darren Harper a lot. It guess it became pretty obvious that Darren was on the come-up, Chris figured he might as well start filming him.

So we started seeing those guys around, filming at spots we were at. Next thing you know, naturally, I started wanting to be in the video, as did everybody else in town. And yeah, I did film a few things with Chris, but coming out of those other videos, I had a backstock of footage. So that’s really how that part came together. I just kinda slid in there on some D.C. shit.

But Chris is a funny dude. Because he obviously knew that I was in with Mark. So it became a thing where every chance he got, he’d want to go to New York and try getting Mark out for the day. Like an ulterior motive. Let’s go skate and if Mark happens to get on his board, let me turn on my camera real quick. Next thing you know, Mark had a part. Gotta say, that was pretty slick on Chris’s part.

What was that mohawk all about in the opening? And was the Fugazi selection just some more D.C. love?

(laughs) Yeah, I think that mohawk was on Fourth of July shit, just being dumb. I’m sure I shaved it the next day. It didn’t have anything to do with anything.

And I think it was Chris who picked that song but yeah, that’s D.C., man.

I actually saw Ian the other day. He was walking through Pulaski with that guy, Glen Friedman.

I said, “Hey! What’s up, Ian!”

(laughs) I don’t even know him like that. Then I looked at Glen and asked him who he was, even though I totally know who he is.

“Hey, what’s your name?”

“Uhh… Glen.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought. I met you with the Gonz a few years back. My name’s Bobby.”

Just to fuck with him, know what I mean? (laughs)

How do you go about making those wilder Krooked projects, like in 3-D or VHS only? Is it hard to skate your best when the video has such a novelty feeling?

The only difficult thing about those projects was just trying to get a sense of where it was gonna live and how much Deluxe was going to push it.

“Hey, we’re going to make this VHS video. Just do whatever you want.”

“Really? Well, I guess I’m just going to fuck off then.”

But next thing I know, motherfuckers seem to be going crazy for it… I just thought it was going to be a fun little thing! I was just fucking around out there! If I knew it was gonna be a real video, I would’ve done things a little differently.

I was led to believe that it was just gonna be all bullshit. Ollie this, 180 that, and you’re good. That you just needed some cool looking clips, nothing really comparable to what was actually happening in the streets. I just didn’t know it was gonna be showing up on people’s radars like that, which is maybe what made that video so rad.

Was Gnar Gnar really filmed on an old camcorder with a fisheye taped on?

Yeah, that’s no bullshit. Mark and Sam Salganik had three or four old VHS cameras. Whenever one broke, we just threw it away. Onto the next one until its battery died, then another one. But Mark loved being behind the lens, man. And we had Alex Olson in there, too. That was a fun time.

What was Naughty all about?

Naughty was a video where I basically didn’t have anything, because I had so many other parts right before it. Straight up. But Mark still wanted me to be in it, because it was a Krooked video and I needed to be in there. So I went out for a week to try and get something…  not wanting it to be just b-roll clips from other trips.

I feel like Scuba filmed it? But that’s what came out of it. I don’t even remember what I had in there... Not the best.

But you killed it in Right Foot Forward, which must’ve been a nice change after all these crazy Krooked projects. How’d that one come about?

Oh, definitely. I’d grown up with Transworld videos and they were such a prestigious thing to be part of. I really busted my ass for that one. I enjoyed it, too. Because not only was I stoked to be in a Transworld video, I also had a better idea of what the end product would be like. That’s the type of shit I like, where you do your thing for a few years to show what you’ve been up to. Not just going out for a week or whatever. You had years to work on shit and then could ride it out for a bit afterwards, too.

But I will say that I’m pretty embarrassed by the intro of that one. Because I’ve always liked graffiti, that’s not how I would’ve really liked to have shown my interest in it. I actually like to keep those two things separate. But here we’d gone down to that tunnel to do some throw-ups, I had no idea that was going to be my intro. I think they only filmed about 4 minutes total but I guess that was the only footage they had for it. That was not my choice.

I get that. If it’s something you’re passionate about, you don’t want to half-ass it. At least the backtail-kickflip ender was gnarly, though.

Yeah, Mike Manzoori filmed that one. And yeah, it definitely took a long time, up in Minnesota. I’d seen Heath Kirchart do one so I wanted to do one, too. I mean, talk about influential guys, he’s definitely one of those for me.

But it just worked out to where we got to the spot and I started thinking to myself that I could maybe do it, too. Sure, it took me four hours to get but I got it! (laughs)

Something that I’m still trying to wrap my head around is what happened with the end of that first era of eS. Didn’t you just put out a shoe, like, a week before?

Yeah, I’d just put out a shoe and a little video part thing before all that went down.

Did you see the end coming?

Yes and no. We’d gone through multiple dudes at the company pretty quickly. And Scuba had told me at one point that we weren’t looking so good. I guess they’d hired some guy to try turning the company around but we never really heard anything more about it. And then one day, I get a call from Don Brown. It’s over.

It was kinda sad but it is what it is, you know? Everything comes to an end. What am I going to do about it? Cry? I had to make shit work.

So I started getting shoes from Huf… Vans, too. But flow doesn’t really mean much.

Yeah, I thought you were an obvious choice for Huf and was quite surprised when it didn’t work out that way. Why was that?

I don’t really know, man. I was filming a lot at the time and showing them everything I had. I made that Pulaski part almost entirely in the shoes they were sending. I guess there just weren’t any plans for me. Because they knew that part was coming. I’d shown them the entire thing. Maybe they just weren’t feeling me? Maybe I just didn’t fit in to where they were wanting to go as a company? Who knows, it just wasn’t meant to be.

But that part came out and I think people really seemed to like it. Nothing happening at Huf? Alright, I’m just gonna keep it rocking. And it was at this time where I made the decision to try getting on Nike. That was my motivation to go out and bust my ass. And a couple months later, I got that call from Scuba, “Hey, we love that shit. We want you to ride for the Swoosh.”

“Let’s do it.”

Good for you, man.

Yeah, I was hyped. Not only because I accomplished my goal, but I also feel that Nike likes me for what I do. Because I’m not trying to compete with the kids in Cali grinding 32 stairs. That’s not me. I’m at Pulaski Park, man. That’s me. If you want to fuck with me, you’re gonna see me there. Of course, I’m still trying to progress and do all the best shit I can do, but you’re not gonna change me much at this stage of the game. And not only do I feel like they like me for me, I also get to work with my friends there as well. 

How long had you been kicking around the idea for an all-Pulaski part and what was it that finally got you going?

Here’s the funny thing, an all-Pulaski part was never even the idea. That’s not what I ever set out to do, it just happened like that. 100% natural. Like I said, I’m there every day, that’s just how the part came out.

So much of that was me feeling inspired after seeing Sabotage 3. Watching Ishod and Mark Suciu skating those ledges. I saw them bringing back the kinda shit I love and it got me hyped. Let’s go.

Because I wasn’t on eS anymore, which was a very southern California, jumping-on-handrails kinda thing. And honestly, that shit got old quick, but what was I gonna do? I was on their team. So after they went out of business, I kinda hibernated into my own little D.C. world of motorcycles for a little while. It really wasn’t until one of my friends threw on Sabotage 3 one day that I got hyped on skating again.

“Yo, this is what I like!”

I can’t even remember what tricks they did, but seeing those dudes skating in circles, skating the same shit I do. I loved it.

So I went out and filmed a line at Pulaski. That’s really when it started. Because then I filmed another line. And another line. Then a single trick, back to another line. Then I got what would become my ender.

Wow, this is crazy. I’ve pretty much filmed an entire part at Pulaski. But at the same time, I don’t really want to film anywhere else… let’s do it. So I went back to film a little more and we put it out.

And it’s funny how it worked out, because ever since then, I’ve had all these people asking about how I filmed the whole thing at one spot. They don’t understand. Pulaski is simply what we like to skate. That’s like our skatepark.

It’s not like I was out there getting all California crazy, by any means. It’s not some super technical equation, you know? Honestly, you don’t even have to do the craziest shit at Pulaski because it just looks cool being there. That’s something that took me a long time to figure out. Because I’m not boasting or bragging here, but nothing in that part was some crazy, week-long battle… which fucked with me for a while because I was afraid the lines were too easy. It wasn’t until I really thought about it and talked it through with my friends that I started to realize the bigger picture. That when you’re putting together a part like that, it’s like the sum total is greater than each individual piece… if that makes sense.

I just like puzzle-piecing lines together, man… not that I’m some genius with it, either. I just learned from the guys I like watching and tried to add my own little tweak on it.

I mean, Bobby Worrest at Pulaski is come classic shit. But what was it that tipped the scale, allowing yourself to put it out?

I feel like a lot of it had to do with the last trick I filmed for it, which is actually the first trick in the part. The backside noseblunt on the planter. That trick was actually the photo in my Krooked “Going Pro” ad, however many years ago. But I never really made it until that day, which always bugged me. So once I finally put that shit down after everything else that had happened, I was hyped.

(laughs) I love it. But if HometownTurf Killer came about naturally, what about an all plaza part? That had to require more planning… and what made you go with Hjalte?

Hjalte and I were on a little Nike skate trip together and quickly found that we both like skating the same shit. We both like the plazas. So we’re in Europe together, and probably drunk, when Hjalte threw it out there.

(heavy Danish accent) “Let’s film plaza parts… like Stevie Williams and Josh Kalis.”

“Yeah, I guess we could do it like that, if you want. But we skate the same shit, let’s just do a short video where we combine our shit.”

And that’s what we did, which ended up becoming this crazy 10-minute long project! How crazy is that!

The only real hang-up was not being able to get the official rights to that Talking Heads song for Reese. So we really couldn’t put it out the way we wanted to. It had to come out on Ben Chadourne’s YouTube page instead. Obviously you want the Swoosh to post something like that but evidently those rights were crazy expensive.

Yeah, there’s no way you could’ve used any other song. How did that Reese homage come together anyway?

Hjalte, Ben and I were just trying to think of old DC locals we could have pop in there for a quick cameo and Reese was our guy. Nike was so rad about it, too. They sent him a box and flew him out here, just so he could get some footage for our video. It doesn’t get any cooler than that.

(laughs) …And it was so fucking hot out there, it was insane. He came out to skate with us for a couple days during probably the hottest time of the year. We were just melting out there. But we got what we got. It’s Reese at Pulaski. Rad as fuck.

Had you ever skated Pulaski with him before? And did you reach out to anybody else for potential cameos at other spots?

Nah, Reese was our only one. And no, I’d never skated Pulaski with Reese before. I saw him out there filming with Dan Wolfe once, a long time ago, but that was it. It’s funny how much a little age difference can change things between different generations, especially back then.

Is “Looks Ok to Me” a reference to something?

(laughs) At the end of the video, there’s footage of me walking up a set of stairs. I’d just 50-50’d that rail in Paris twice… which I’m not sure if anyone had even skated that thing before. And honestly, I felt like that was a pretty big rail.

But because we only had one filmer, I had to do it twice. So that was the thing. That clip of me walking up the stairs is after I’d done it the second time… and I wasn’t going to do it again.

“Ben, you’re a great filmer. I don’t even want to look at it. Whatever you got is what you got. Looks okay to me… and I don’t care. I’m done.”

Amazing. You’ve said in interviews that you and Hjalte skate “completely different.” How so?

Just little differences in our trick selection. We both like the same type of shit and we’re both coming at it the same way, but where I’d do a tre flip, he does a backside flip. Shit like that. I’ll look at a ledge and see backtail fakie where he sees a back smith. It’s just weird how we both interpret the exact same shit so differently.  

Did you find yourself being influenced by him as the project went on?

Yeah, we were definitely feeding off each other throughout the whole thing. That’s really what made the project so fun.

“Yo, what should I do in the middle of this line? I’m not sure, my switch heelfips aren’t working today.”

“Try this.”

“No way, I fuckin’ hate that trick!” (laughs)

Talk a little bit about the switch lipslides on the Gold Rail through the nubs. Was all that the same night?

Funny story, I had to do that switch backside lipslide a few times actually.

I’d already boardslid and front boarded it with the knobs, but it just so worked out that I was starting to think about my last tricks for that plaza video and was feeling a switch backlip. Let’s go hit up the Gold Rail. Ben wasn’t even in town that day to film so I went over and got it with Rodent and Tim Cicalino.

The problem was the footage didn’t quite match Ben’s filming style for the rest of the video. And we’re talking about the ender here, too. So once Ben got back into town, I went back and did it again. That’s when the frontside lip went down, too. I figured they’d be good to complement each other in the edit. 

Because the thing with those knobs, it had to be some type of boardslide or you weren’t getting through. But we made it work… which is good because without those lipslides, what would my ender have been? I’d probably still be out there.

So what’s next for you, Bobby?

Well, I’ve been working on a Welcome to Venture part that comes out in March… yeah, I’m on Venture now.

Sick! What prompted that move?

Yeah, I'm really hyped on it. I mean, Indy's always been nothing but good to me. Rhino's still my man. I just felt like doing something different, you know? A nice change of pace. 

But yeah, that part basically started out last summer with me fucking around on the tall ledge at Pulaski.

“Hey, film this real quick.”

We got three lines that day and that’s really all it took to get things in motion.

I can’t wait to see it.

(laughs) Me, too!

I still haven’t even seen the final edit yet. It’s my roommate, Jeremy, who’s actually making it with me. I’ve seen a few earlier versions leading up to it, but I’ve never actually seen the final piece he sent out. He says he wants it to be a surprise.

Would you say your process with video parts has changed at all over the years?

Oh, when I was younger, I would’ve bit your head off if there was something I didn’t like in there. But I’ve definitely mellowed out a bit over the years.

My approach now usually starts with a few ideas and building from there, basically filling in the blanks as I go. Like, if the last clip I got was a line ending in a kickflip noselide, I might try to play off that same move with something similar at the start of the next line, you know? And after a while, I’ll take a look at what we got and start to think about the edit as a whole… I mean, this Venture part is almost another Pulaski part, with the exception of a few other spots around town. But that’s just what I’m feeling, man.

But no, I’ve never really made lists. If I come up with an idea, I’ll type it into my phone before I forget… but then I usually look at it the next day and won’t even know what it means. (laughs)

Like I said, I’ve actually been working on this new one with my roommate, so it’s a different type of a scenario. Because before this one, I’d never sat in on an edit. But after filming three minutes of footage with him, it was just too tempting.  

“Let me see what we’re working with, man.”

It was just too easy to pop in and give my little two cents. Because he’s right there, you know? (laughs)

“Nah, move that over here, make this a little bit closer.”

I realize that this is his art and I respect that. But at the same time, this ain’t exactly my first rodeo, either. (laughs)

Big thanks to Bobby and KVL.


Anonymous said...

Favorite Skater. Favorite Website. Favorite Interview.

Anonymous said...

The best.

Warm Up Zone said...

What a great couple of days with the surprise drop of Bobby's Venture part and now this interview.
Bobby has built one of the most consistent careers in skateboarding and this interview just solidifies it. Just great video part after great part. And some of my favorites, like Luxury and Loudness and LSD didn't even get mentioned here.

Ducky said...

Good read

Anonymous said...


Watson said...

I Get My Dinner From Dumpsters - Best song choice for a part of all time.

slime rancher 2 said...

when I was younger, I would have bitten off your head if there was something in there that I didn't like. Nonetheless, I've mellowed considerably over the years.