Interviews

Interview: Enoch Chan

“Over the course of the last 25 years, Enoch has been blazing a trail of quality through the clutter of medocrity. Through skateboarding, art, and confidence, Enoch has been constantly elevating standards with a style and flair that has taken him all over the globe. In a world full of one trick ponies and two dimensional views, it’s so refreshing to still witness his relentless gift of progress. His contributions to skateboarding in Calgary were cemented long ago, when claiming “doing it yourself” wasn’t a flag of pride to wave around, but the only way things got done.
-John Boletta

Where were you born and when did you start skating?

I was born in Montreal, Quebec 1974. I started skating around 1986 but still rode freestyle BMX most of the time till about 1989.

Why did you start skating?

In grade 7 I started at a new school (Queen Elizabeth Junior/ Senior High School) and had to take bus/train to get there and wasn’t gonna walk so I started riding my skateboard (Jesse Martinez SMA).

Queen E was a big school so there was a lot of skaters from different age groups that would go skate, practicing grinds on parking curbs, ollieing over garbage cans etc. There were a lot of good spots right around school. Seeing all these other skaters motivated me and challenged me to prove to them that deaf guys can skate too!!!!!

Another reason I started to skate was being sick & tired of repairing hundreds of flat tires on my bike.

You were part of the Underworld crew. Can you tell me more about that?

What do you want to know about it? There is lots to tell. If you know anything about the Vancouver Red Dragons, Underworld was Calgary’s version on a smaller scale.

Do you still keep in touch with any of those guys?

I’m still in contact with one guy. “Cue” was his tag– Rob Brandt.

Did you have any sponsors?

I was first sponsored by FreeWheelin’ when Chuck Bell owned it by Wendy’s on 17th for a few months but he closed down. Then in ’92 or ’93 a new shop opened in Kensington called “THE SOURCE”.

I was only team guy for about a year then The Snowboard Shop got bought out and turned into MISSION. I went to ride for them cause they gave me better deals. I’d get free Mint decks anytime, they told me I was on Vans team but never got any Vans gear. I remember a contest in Chinatown for some reason I didn’t have my board so I borrowed somebody’s and got booted from team.

Shortly after that in about ’95 I moved to Hong Kong partly cause the heat was on too much from cops about the manslaughter case that another Underworld member was involved with. I came back to Calgary in ’97 for some reason lost motivation to skate, most of UW guys were gone and other friends that skated were doing other things.

Did you compete at all?

A few street contests.

Where did you get your first board from?

My first board was a Sims Steve Rocco, a birthday gift from my Grandma.

What were your favourite spots to skate?

The court house (gone now) was the most popular spot in the city. Petro Canada building, James Short parkade, Eau Claire. Hong Kong had killer spots– best I’ve been to.

 

 

Do you still skate?

Not really, once a month maybe.

What keeps you busy these days?

Ive been tattooing for nearly 8 years and continuing… making art and sometimes spray painting walls around the world.

 

Calgary Skateboarding History in Swerve Magazine

Today’s edition of Swerve Magazine includes a great article about Calgary’s skateboarding history. It covers early skateparks, founding figures like Chuck Bell and John and Barry Hiebert, along with some general skateboarding information. Pick up Swerve in today’s Calgary Herald or click the image below to read:

Photo by Brent Mykytyshyn / Swerve

Photo by Brent Mykytyshyn / Swerve

Interview: Mike DeVries

There are a lot of guys that have been skating for a long time in Calgary. Some of them you may know, some of them you may not. What’s important is that some of them have made some very large contributions to Calgary skateboarding. Mike Devries is one of those guys. We chatted with him about what he’s done and what he’s up to now.

mike

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the Oakridge area of Calgary.

How long have you been skating for?

I’ve been skating for 35 years now.

What spots did you grow up skating?

Downtown. The rest of the time we made ramps and everyone would check out everyone’s ramps all over the city.

What about skateparks?

There were only poorly designed city-owned ramps, so a few people made their own indoor parks and I spent a lot of time riding them: Skate World (Lindsey’s park), Ramp o Rama (Barry Hiebert’s park) and Skate Jungle (TJ’s park) and All Skool(Trevor Morgan’s park). They were some of the first parks in Calgary aside from Skatopia in the 1970s. It was a concrete indoor park– before my time.

What made you open your own indoor skatepark (Four o Three)?

I wanted to create a space for all of the people in Calgary to unite and build a great community of skateboarders and support for Calgary Skateboarding.
I was intending on opening an indoor park and found out there were some guys already building a indoor park. I was super disappointed. I didn’t get into it at first but after thinking about it I decided it wasn’t a big deal and I should go and help. So I did that and ended up becoming friends the 3 partners: Tony, Jarrod, and Devon. The building team was hired from Toronto (Bruce Carson Ramp to Ramp and two of his friends Gosh and Russ). After some time helping I bought out Devon and that’s how it all happened.

millz shredding

How else have you been involved in Calgary skateboarding?

I worked with a group of people called the Fellowship of Calgary Skateboarders (A non-for profit organization similar to CASE) for 10 years to get Millennium Park built and built a temporary outdoor pilot project skatepark out of wood. This was right around the same time the indoor park Allskool opened and the interest was overwhelming from the City of Calgary. They pushed forward to make Millennium happen with help from the Calgary skateboarders and the Parks and Recreation department.

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Tell us about the vert ramp you’re working on. 

The ramp I’m working on right now is a ramp that I’ve had for quite a few years many people have helped out financially and with working on it as well. We used to have it outside of the Four o Three then it moved Priddis until a few people that ride vert wanted to turn it back into vert ramp. So we moved it and restored it. And after many man hours and thousands of dollars we are now to the point where we are ready to fundraise to get the final layer put on. And the people that support what we’re doing will be the people who are eligible to come ride whatever we build.

vert ramp

Any last words?

I’m very happy to see all the new parks springing up and can’t wait to see some of the next generation of kids turn into future rippers. Shout out to everybody that supported me in the past and present times. It means the world to me. Thank you.

“So Stoked, My Dudes”

Unless you’ve been living/skating under a rock for the past two weeks, you’re probably aware of Calgary skater Kyle Conway‘s now-legendary appearance on CTV news. When asked by reporter Jamie Mauracher what he thought of the change to the bylaw that will now allow ramps on private property, he replied, “I’m so stoked, my dudes”, gave a quick dab and a “skurr” and skated out of the frame. All this after boardsliding the big rail at Southwood Skatepark!

 

It’s gone viral. In the past couple of days the clip has been featured on Metro Skateboarding, GawkerVice, Huffington Post, Mashable, Esquire, and the list goes on. Councillor Woolley tweeted about it. It’s even been remixed into a really bad trap song:

The reporter has been a good sport about what has become the meme of the moment. We asked Jamie about it and she said, “I’m surprised it took off. I just made him promise to answer my question and not swear”.

We got in touch with Kyle to learn more about him, his skating, and what’s happened since the clip went viral:

What’s the deal with the video? It was live, so did you plan what you were going to do with the reporter?
So, pretty much the reporter told me to just do the trick and then stop and come up beside her and just say I’m stoked, but my friend Connor gave me the glasses to use and said it would be funny so I wore them.
Did you think it would get big?
No I didn’t think it would get big, but once Metro posted I was really surprised haha.
What area do you live in? Do you skate Southwood a lot?
I live in Cedarbrae in the Southwest, and yeah I’m pretty much at Southwood every day.
How long have you been skating for?
I’ve been skating for about seven years now.
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Photo by John Rajic

How many Instagram followers have you gained?
I think I gained about 2000. I had 1400 before or something like that.

Did you get the idea from the “It’s Wednesday my dudes” video? 
Yeah, I got the idea from the “It’s Wednesday my dudes” Vine clip.

Do you think a lot more people will build ramps at their homes? Any shout outs, thanks, or anything to add?

I hope more people will be building backyards ramps, and I’d love to sesh some of them! And shout out to my dudes.

Hieberts’ Southwood Ramp

We spoke with local skate rock legend, John Hiebert, about the vert ramp he and his brother Barry built in the late 1970s. The ramp was featured in Thrasher Magazine in 1981.
ramp1

How big was it?
10 feet high, 9 foot transitions 16 feet wide. Somewhere around 14 layers of 1/4 inch ply after its 6 year history, which means it was 4 inches thick including the base.

Who was involved?
My brother Barry was the leader behind the design and build along with our friends Greg Olekson and Terry Orr.
TH8107

Where was it located?
10315 8ST SW. 1 block south east of Elbow Dr and Southland Dr.

When was it built?
Spring 1977.

How long did it last for?
1977-1983

Why did you take it down?
My bro and I moved out of our house after high school and my mom sold the house.
ramp2

Was it the first Vert ramp in Calgary?
Not sure, i know a local ski shop that started selling skateboards made one as well. Our ramp was made because *Skatetopia* indoor cement skate park in Marlborough shut down. Skatetopia was awesome!! Vert pools , 2 snake runs. Probably a dozen different bowls and runs. My mom would drop Barry and I off Saturday mornings at 10am and come pick us up at 6PM.

Did your ramp inspire others?
I think so. Woodbine ramp i believe

Do you hope to see ramps on private residential property in Calgary again?
Definitely.

What do you think of the new skateparks?
Southwood is good. Have not been to Huntington yet. Looks rad. The one by Wisewood is small but good for street riders. My mind has mostly been “any skate park is good to have” through my life. Do you have special pride for the Southwood park? I was so stoked to find out about the Southwood park. Spent grades 4 to 12 in Southwood, went to Southwood Elementary and Panabaker Jr high. Played hockey from 8-11 yrs old on the rink mere feet from the current park. Super stoked. I had my van stolen this January and my skateboard was in it. I had bought my first new skateboard (top to bottom) in almost 30 yrs. I showed up on the unofficial first day at Southwood with my new skate. Giddy as a kid. Rolled my ankle in the first 30 minutes. Was so stoked i skated on my ankle for another hour which I’m paying for now. I couldn’t stop; new skate and new park in my old hood!
ramp3

Interview: Dillz from Millz

50-50. Photo by Liam Glass.

50-50. Photo by Liam Glass.


What’s your full name?
Dylan Cole Righthand.
Where were you born?
Calgary.
How old are you?
21.
How did you get the nickname Millz Dillz?
Always being at the skatepark and it rhymes.
Dylan Righthand_No Comply

No comply. Photo by Liam Glass.


How often do you skate at Millennium these days?
As much as possible.
Where else do you skate?
Everywhere, lately I’ve been in Vancouver and filming a lot.
Who do you skate with?
Everyone. I don’t really skate with one posse.
Feeble tail grab body varial. Photos by Liam Glass.

Feeble tail grab body varial. Photos by Liam Glass.


You’re known for some unorthodox tricks. What’s your favourite?
Tailslide half-side (backwards ski stance).
What’s your favourite skatepark?
Millz.
Do you film at all? Is the footage being used for anything?
Yes I do film and the footage is being used for friends videos and hasn’t been released on the internet yet.



Summer plans or trips?
Travel as much as I can, hopefully moving out to Vancouver for the summer if things work out.
Thanks/shout outs.
Shoutouts to all the homies.

Keep up with Dillz on Instagram: www.instagram.com/dillzzz/

Interview: Kevin Lowry and Tyler Warren

We sat down over coffee with roommates Kevin Lowry and Tyler Warren to find out about what makes them tick. Enjoy!


You guys have been roommates for a while, right? Tell us about the spot you live in, as there’s some great skate history there.
Tyler: We’ve been roommates for almost a year now.
Kevin: I’ve been living there [above Kalamata Grocery] for eight years.
T: I just moved back last winter from Vancouver.

How long were you in Vancouver for?
T: Like two years, on and off.

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Kevin, ollie.

So who else lives with you guys?
K: Bacon [Cory McNeil]
T: Bacon. Cory. Haha.

You’ve had a lot of roommates at that place, right?
K: Drew [Merriman], Andy, Sean MacAlister, Ben Blundell, Dylan Homer, Paul Gonzalez.



Where do you guys skate in the winter, with no indoor park in Calgary?
K: I skate one indoor spot but I can’t talk about it. That’s about it. My friend had a mini ramp but he moved.
T: There’s one secret spot but we can’t go there that often. It rarely happens. So Skate Church.
K: Every Tuesday.
T: You give’r cause it’s two hours a week that you get to skate.
K: Those guys that run it, I always have to go say “thank you” because they volunteer every week to put up with mayhem.
T: We were actually just talking about Source Park last week. And how #$%#ed it actually was. It was insane. Guys like Bryan Wherry moved here just for the park. He didn’t know anyone. It was solely because of the park. It was the craziest park ever. I was watching videos of it the other day. I was so young at the time so I only went there for birthday parties and stuff.

tylerftcane

Tyler, hurricane. Marentette photo.

Do you guys have any trips planned?
K: I’m going to SF in a couple days and then I’m coming home for five days. Then I’m going to Europe for six weeks. I’m going to Lisbon and all around Spain, London. Tyler’s gonna come meet up in Spain.
T: First time in Europe!

Have you been to all those places before, Kevin?
K: Yeah, pretty much. But not every single one.
T: We’re going to small places, small cities in Spain.
K: I’ve never been to Alicante or Malaga.

Is Barcelona still the spot or is it blown out?
K: I went twice last year. It’s still good; the police kind of suck. People are pretty over it. Almost every skater in the world has gone there.
One thing that people don’t realize is in Calgary is, the city builds something new and it turns into a spot…
T: People just go all in skating it and it gets capped in like two weeks.
K: And people don’t realize that they have to take care of these spots. If you bring a drink, don’t leave it on the ground. Be respectful. If someone walks by, it can be pretty intimidating if eight dudes are skating– just say, “Hi, how’s your day going?” or something like that. That can make them feel safe.

Kevin, 50-50

Kevin, 50-50


Any favourite spots?
K: I like City TV. That’s my favourite ledge to skate.
T: McDougall was the best but they’ve capped it and sandblasted it.
K: I like Chalk too.
T: Yeah, Chalk.

Kevin, you aren’t originally from Calgary. What brought you here?
K: I’m from Saskatoon. I came here to get sober when I was 16 years old. I was court ordered to a rehab center. A lot of people ask me while I still live here. I like it here. It’s central. I have good friends here, a good house. It’s comfortable.

What about you, Tyler? You came up with the last generation of the Skaters shop team. Who did you skate with growing up?
T: I grew up in Forest Lawn. None of the guys I used to skate with skate anymore. I met Ben (Blundell) and Dustin (Henry) when I became allowed to go downtown on my own. It’s because of meeting those guys from skating downtown and at Mills that I just hung out with them and no one from my neighbourhood.

How did you get the nickname “Crazy T”?
T: I don’t know, man.
K: Just trying to be crazy.

tylerWarren_2k13

Tyler, tailslide. Nicholas photo.

How did YOU get the nickname “Kevlar”? And is that one sticking?
T: Hahaha!
K: I don’t know. A couple people said it and then Gonz said it. Yeah, it’s sticking. I actually don’t mind it. It doesn’t bother me. Kevlar is pretty tough.


Have you skated with Gonz more than once? What’s he like?
K: Yeah, a bunch of times. He’s super down to earth. I think it’s hard for him because he’s been in the limelight for so many years. If you’re just walking down the street with him he gets stopped and asked to pose for a photo. He’s famous in the skate and art world. He’s pretty full of life– almost like a big kid. He skates every day. He’ll go out by himself and skate an 8-stair.

50popout2

Tyler, 50-50 transfer. Snow photo.

What photos/videos are you most proud of?
K: The video part I’m most proud of is Elephant Direct. I just like that whole video. I also like Sus Monts though because it was all filmed in Calgary. It was also probably the most fun I’ve had skateboarding.

T: I haven’t had many. I guess Civic Affair. And my first published photos would be my favourites: the 50-50 on the red bar on the underpass [KingShit] and the gap 5-0 that was in Color. The blue one. Jeff Thorburn shot it.

TylerWarren-Five0

Tyler, 5-0. Thorburn photo.

Do you have copies of them?
T: Yeah, my mom collects them. If I get a photo I’ll tell her and she’ll go pick up the magazine.
K: I actually save everything I’ve been in: every video, every magazine.

unnamed

Kevin, 50-50.

Are you guys filming for anything right now?
T: Squad Massage. We’re going to Spain and then Bacon’s gonna put it out.
K: I’m kinda done filming for that.
T: The Antisocial video.
K: I’m filming for the adidas video. They’re making a full-length.

Thanks/shout outs:

K: Jascha Muller, Skin Phillips, anyone who’s ever filmed me. Chris M, Bacon, Lars, Brandon Conroy, Joe Castrucci, my parents.

T: Clubgear, Antisocial, CASE, Jai Ball, Wherry.

CASE Talking Skateboarding on Shaw TV

One of our board members, Josh Etherington appeared on Shaw TV’s Calgary Now to talk about skateboarding in Calgary:

Skatepark Petition Organizer Interview: Bretton Brulotte

Bretton Brulotte is a 14 year old Calgary skateboarder who recently started a Facebook petition for more skateparks in Calgary. To date it has over 1,700 members and is growing daily. Bretton was overweight until he lost 70 pounds in the two years since he started skating. We asked him some questions about himself and the petition he started:

 

Hi Bretton, how long have you been skating?

About 2 years technically but I really started going to parks and progressing last summer.

What got you into skateboarding?

The Mission that opened in Aspen, went in there one day just to check it out and started asking about getting into skating. The guy that worked there showed me Guy Mariano’s part from fully flared, the creativity and art that I saw in skating inspired me to start and I bought my first board soon after, it was a  Mariano deck.

Why do you like it and keep doing it?

Everything about skating is awesome. Its the coolest art, sport and community you could imagine. Skateboarding keeps me active and getting exercise every day for multiple hours and I have met my best friends in skateboarding.

Are your parents supportive?

For sure, before I skated I would never get any physical activity and hated doing any sport. My parents used to put me on soccer teams that I hated. Skating gets me 3 or more hours of exercise a day and I’ve got some really good friends through it.

Where do you usually skate?

Westside in the summer– it’s small but it’s a safe place that my parents don’t hesitate to let me skate at. Having more supervised parks or even just good parks in more youth friendly parts of the city would be a good idea.

Where do you skate during the winter months?

In the winter Skate Church when I can get there, Millennium but my parents don’t really feel safe sending me there, and my garage.

What made you start a Facebook petition for skateparks in Calgary?

There was a lot of negative energy towards the city and I wanted to change that into passion to make a change. I wanted to show that there was need for parks and places for us to skate. At the end of the day i just wanted to do whatever I could for what I’m passionate about.

Why do you think Calgary is so far behind compared to other cities when it comes to skateparks?

Having the mountains so close is one factor, the city may not see need for amenities within the city with such natural beauty so close and don’t understand what a large part of our lives skateboarding is. Money is probably another, we are one of the wealthiest cities in the country and many people go to lakes and wake board or the mountains to ski or snowboard but skateboarding is a lifestyle and just isn’t substituted by other sports and is more accessible than others.

Tommy Carroll Has Been Skating Since He Was Ten, but Has Been Blind Since the Age of Two

This posting is a little out of our normal mandate of Calgary content but it definitely on topic for the importance of skateboard parks. This video has been making its rounds on the web so you might have already seen it but if not it’s a good one. Tommy Carroll has been skating since he was ten, but has been blind since the age of two. He hits up his local park and makes his riding time count. Get inspired and shovel the snow off your favourite spot/park, find a parking garage, beg or buy your way into a garage mini sesh just get some skateboarding in any way you can. No excuses just skate!

 

Want more? Here is an interview and some more skateboarding by Tommy:

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