– Welcome back to the letters,
I’m your host Jeff Grosso, and this is Geoff Rowley, and
this is “Eat Shit to Live” or “Go Big and Go Home” or– – Or whatever. ♪ Now that we’re old and ugly ♪ ♪ We’re middle-aged and hurting ♪ ♪ Loveletters with Jeff Grosso ♪ ♪ Will remind you of the salad days ♪ ♪ The best of days ♪ – We’ve always wanted to do an episode with just all the gnarliest
stuff that we could find. 12 minutes of just sheer death. – [Geoff] 12 minutes of just sheer, raw skateboarding tour. – [Jeff] Yeah. – Well, where does it start? Where does it start? That first guy that’s just an animal and just wants everything
and the moon, day one. (laughing) And he’ll do whatever
it takes to get there. (rock music) – For me it would’ve been Dwayne. – Yeah.
– It would’ve been Dwayne Peters. You know, going back to
the ’70s skate park stuff, like anything to make it, or die. (rock music) And then later on Schroeder. Schroeder was another one. – [Ben Schroeder] It’s
all or nothing, you know, I’m going for the gold, so to speak, and I’m either gonna get there or I’m gonna go down in bloody flames. – I like that, though. They skate like that, they
don’t know any other way. Right, they’re kind of like
hanging by a thread at all times so the only way for them to learn tricks is to hang by that thread. – Yeah.
– Right. Like in-control, and your out of control. – [Jeff] Yeah. – Like that to me is like the gnar. Like you can skate like
that doing a G-turn. (skating) At any second is the board
gonna get ripped away from me and I’m just gonna fly down
the stairs face forward, which does happen; it happened
to Gonz’ in Blind Video Days. Right. Gonz’ bounces on his board. – [Jeff] Yes he does, for sure. – [Geoff] And he can look,
like, on the edge and gnarly when he does certain things, right? – [Jeff] We called Gonz’
slam-man when we first met him. – Really?
– When he was like 13, 14. And then, of course, he showed up one day and he actually could ride. (laughs) And the rest is history. He stopped being slam-man real quick. – When you talk about that
pushing, and faster and further, it comes in different shapes and forms. – Yeah.
– You know what I mean? And like that hit the mark
and you remember that. And it was Gonz’. Natas skated really fast on streets, so when I seen him, really,
like for gnar, straight up, Natas skated fast on the street first. (fast rock music) Cardiel. Cardiel did massive rails,
massive hubbas, big kink rails, and he pushed the boundaries
of it too, at that time. That rail he did in SF, right. That one was gnarly at the time, like for anyone that was doing rails. That was probably bigger
than everybody else had done at that time. And also because of the
rail, the rail was nasty, it was angled all, like real
sharp stairs all the way down, you couldn’t really run out
of it, it was into traffic. Julien Stranger. I was really hyped on like
the way that Julien skated. – [Jeff] Yeah the zero-to-a-hundred guys. If it was like shifting in a car there’s first and sixth gear,
and no gears in between. – See for me that’s Julien
Stranger, like straight up. The guy whose clutch is broken. – Yeah.
– Right. And he can’t get it back
into second to slow down, but he’s gonna keep going forward ’till he’s forced to lift his head back and look where he’s going. The ‘Reason for living’ video there, where he just bombs the hill and he doesn’t even do a trick, and that’s his video part. (laughs) And it’s the best video part
from that era, in my opinion, one of them. Just the way that he skated through the… you know, what you were seeing? – Yeah.
– I could feel it. You know that was the basis for like, wanting to skate faster and go further, and all of that, you know? (crowd cheering) (crowd cheering) And they were pressin’. – Yeah.
– Like it comes in all shapes and forms, getting gnarly isn’t just doing a gnarly handrail, right? Like it’s a particular way of skating, I think, a lot of times. The guys that I enjoy watching
do that, like, they look like they’re gonna slam, you
know, at any minute. You know they shouldn’t be dropping-in and trying to do a 540 in the snow. But it takes guys like
that to go “it’s snowing and I’m in the mountains,
there’s snowboarders everywhere, check this out I’m gonna
do a 540 in front of you on a skateboard” – That is one of the greatest photos, – It is!
– Ever taken. – You know I like to see
when someone’s going fast and they’re going far, I want
them to freak me the fuck out, and Markovich was like that. I saw him a lot, do a lot
like full-speed 360-flips, full-speed kickflips on the flat ground and stuff like that, and that makes you wanna
go faster on the street, makes you wanna do the
tricks that you can do going quicker, if every time you see like your favorite skater pushing it. But even P.J. Ladd skated
really fast on the flat ground, it was like aggressive flat ground. Somewhat quick, fast feet, and all that. (rock music) – Danny Sargent. – [Geoff] Oh yeah. – [Jeff] Danny Sargent was a– – [Geoff] See he knew how to
do a frontside-boardslide. – [Jeff] Yeah he did. – Like he’d do one and
you’d go “oh yeah…” – [Jeff] I’m sure he still does. He was a little before his time. – Yeah.
– For that world. It was like “oh man, this
dude’s on a whole other trip.” – For me, like Jason Lee is gnarly to me. Like Jason Lee was so smooth
and fluid on the street, it’s beautiful to watch. – Yeah.
– Right? There was no one that skated
like that before that. (rock music) (punk rock) When you’re going down rails
that are high, steep and long, there’s not a lot of weight when you’re on the rail and stuff too, so you have to gauge
the weight and the angle and get it right first time. If you’re ollieing as
high as you can ollie, and you’re going as far as you can go, and you’re gonna land in what would feel like a normal frontside-boardslide on a flat-bar essentially, but when you’re up, there
you’re then balancing how far are you off the ground, and you’re probably like six, seven, eight feet of the ground. You have that in the back of
your head as you’re locking-in and landing-up, so you can’t like, you have to almost gauge a
lot of it, is what I find, when you have to ollie high,
and go far, and balance, and slide far, the
variables are so sketchy. It’s either like you flow through it, or your dead, you know? That’s it. (crowd gasping) – [Spectator] Oh god dude! You alright dude? – When you’re dealing
with the biggest stuff you have to know that you can
do it, you know what I mean? You can go “I think I can do this, “and I’m gonna go and do it,” but your confidence has to be “but I know I can do it.” You know fuck, everyone during
that rail period, you know, Heath Kirchart was insane
during that period. And Andrew Reynolds, you
know, Jim Greco, Arto Saari, he was rippen’. Jamie Thomas, you know, even Eric Koston was doing fucking crazy
kink rails and, like, a lot of technical rail tricks, which was very progressive, you know, Sean Sheffey, fuck, like
just power on the street, there was no one before
that that skated like that on the street, and it was gnarly, it was a really aggressive
approach, I loved it. – First try baby, let’s do this baby. Let’s get this fricken’
part over with dude. Right, right here. – [Geoff] People are gonna be angry that we never mentioned Jaws right? Yeah, I mean he can drop
like no one I’ve ever seen. Drops out of space and lands on concrete. – [Jeff] Yeah, talk about, fuck man. – [Geoff] Jump off a
building, jump off a roof. – [Jeff] Yeah. (laughs) – I remember when we were
pushing all that rail skating there’d be days I’d maybe break
like three or four boards. Trying to do a trick down stairs, and you break four boards trying
to do a frontside-heelflip and you snap the nose
off, and then you go home, and you go through four boards, and then you go back and
jump down stairs again. You do that for five or six
years, it’s the same feeling, it doesn’t matter what trick you’re doing, but at the time you wanna know if you can do all those things
as big as you can do them, and during like the fricken’
time that I was hammerin’ out all the rails and
stairs and everything, it was just progressing each
trick as far as I could go and when I felt I’d
pushed them without dying as far as I could go,
it was then adapting, finding new terrain, finding
new ways to get gnarly, and like it isn’t just
then finding another rail and at that time going like
“hey let’s do a 50-stair, “we’ve done 20, 30-stairs, let’s
do 40, 50, 60-stair rails.” It was like “hey, we’ve been there, “we’ve got bruises from that, “let’s try and adapt some
other sides of our skating” ‘Cause it’s not just,
like the ‘gnar’ for me has never been that. Like whenever anyone is
like “fuckin’ do more rails, more stairs. I can do ’em man, I
know what it feels like. And when I do it, it
feels the same, right? But I don’t need to like
tap into that too heavy ’cause that’s not where I wanna go, I wanna go faster on the
flat-ground, you know, I wanna go faster downhill, I wanna go faster uphill,
you know. (laughs) I wanna film a line uphill really fast. Well some of that bigger stuff, when you step on your
board, you don’t feel good, you have to like, just turn
around and get out of there. – Yeah. Like what was the
gnarliest thing you’ve done that you remember, that’s like
“okay, this one was sketchy.” – Anything where there’s a big drop. All the roof gaps are the same ’cause you can’t be in that space. (laughs) Right? You got to go over and over it. Like those, every single
roof gap that I’ve ever done where there’s a drop, like
I said, is just the same. The preparation is just the same. You have to feel really
intuitive on your board, and if you don’t, like
if you get on your board and you’re feeling a little bit sketchy, I have like gone like
“no, need to go home” kind of thing, cause
you have to feel good. – [Jeff] You can’t hesitate. See I– – And then sometimes there isn’t, sometimes we’ll be at
the spot, and we’ll go “okay, it’s go time.” Because we’ll never be there again or we have to come back in a month, maybe I don’t wanna feel like what it feels like to look
at this spot ever again, I just wanna get it out of the way. You know, that’s happened before, that happened with Fred in Leon, like I had the cover of Thrasher, gap onto back 50-50, years ago. (beep) – I always enjoy working with Geoff because it’s the kind of skater who, of course he’s super
good, but outside of that, like he knows exactly what he
wants, he has like a vision of where he wants to go, it’s really easy to work
with people like this because, just like ‘pff’, going for it. – I won’t be going back, I’m
not going to Leon, France again within the next 12
months when I was there. – Yeah. – I’m like “Either do it now
or I will probably never, ever do this.”
– Yeah. – Every now and again it’s like that, and that’s never a good
dynamic, that’s forced pain. (laughs) And then your just,
it’s flipping the coin. – Raven Tershy is a fucking beast. (acoustic guitar strumming) – We can’t even mention Grant Taylor, he’s on a whole ‘nother level. – Yeah.
– Sorry. Grant, you’re to good to
be in an episode on gnar cause you’re above and beyond.
– Yeah. – You’re in a whole
nother category of beauty: it’s called finesse and gnar. (laughs) (skating and crowd cheering) – Jamie Foy holds it
down for the big boys. He’s sitting there chomping
on a piece of pizza, and then he goes out and does some fucking just animalistic bullshit
on his skateboard. Like. – He’s in the zone. – [Terry] (laughs) That’s
the only thing you say when you go there now, like how the hell did Arto
back-lip through this thing? – I mean Arto was like that. Arto’s what, like 6’3
or something like that. – Yeah, he’s a thick man. – He’s a big guy right. And when you see dudes
going at it like that right, and they’re bigger guys,
like just different shape, fuckin’ rad! – Yeah. – [Terry] What about on that
one he land to fakie almost, that was crazy too. That was the first one he almost landed. then that one he just
back-lipped, held it, held it, and just, rolled away,
straight to regular. – Danny really deserves like a big badge, a big golden badge, that just says “frickin’ king of skate” or something. – [Jeff] Yeah, for sure. – Because if you wanna talk about gnarly you need to just bring Danny Way in here because he really is
that for a lot of people. And he was that for me
of like big picture, like we can always go bigger,
we can always go further and if our body can’t do it,
we’ll make our body do it. – Yeah.
– We’ll strap it up. (banjo) – When vert died, or whatever, like when the great shift came, he was one of the only ones
that really transitioned over and like fucking handled
it on every level. – Yeah.
– Like oh fuck, like you really are that fucking good, like you’ve got it all. – I mean Duffy started it with
the technical and big rail, like he started, that video
part was groundbreaking, that video part in
‘questionable’, Plan B video. It was ten years ahead of
everything for rail skating, it took ten years before
we could go at that. – Yeah.
– He laid it down, I’m sure there was loads of other dudes, but he laid it down. – We definitely have to mention Wade. You know Wade was another one. Dennis ‘Busenitz’, or however
you say his last name. – [Geoff] Yeah. Jamie Thomas. – There’s just this
laser-like focus, you know, and if he got an idea
in his head, you know, “I’m gonna do this”, you know, he’s gonna put in the work until
he got what he came to get. (skating and crowd cheering) Dustin Dollin, every time
he steps on the board he looks like he’s gonna slam. But what’s beautiful about Dustin: every time your out of
the van he’s on his board. He’s the first guy to step
at it, and he’ll take a slam; and get back up and still do
it, very few people do that. – [Jeff] Frank Gerwer,
fucking kickflipped Walenberg. Before they built the ramp. – [Geoff] But the fact that
he kickflipped it, like that, the proper way, like. – Frankie’s fucking the real fucking deal. – [Skater] Zzz, just
starts winding up man, and just fuckin’, everyone
wants a piece of it, ’cause it’s like, fuck… I just want to say man
it’s good energy dude, and you just feed off of it. You feel it and you want a piece of it, you wanna fuckin’ bite into
it, it’s fuckin’ great dude. – [Jeff] I’ve seen Tony drop-in
and do like three tricks, I don’t, it’s alien shit, like you’re tuned into some higher plane. But there are those people, like Tony T., that can just they inhabit that space. (rock music) Peoples preferences about who they like and why they like them, and who they don’t like and
why they don’t like them; you take all of that out of the equation and just talk about the
drive to fuckin’ get down. That’s universal. You can respect that no matter what. (rock music) Well thanks for sitting down and talking with us.
– Yeah man. Yeah man, go big or go home. I hope you enjoyed the episode. Go out and skate man, that’s all it is. Fuckin’ go out and ride with your friends. See what you got. Thanks for watching. (rock music) – [Geoff] When you found those spots, those were your places that you pushed at. Right?
– Yeah. – That happened a lot on like the rails and like the bigger stair stuff, just finding the spots was part of it too. Someone’s gotta go and
look for that stuff. So actually being out and looking for it, I enjoyed that too. – Yeah.
– ‘Cause you’re out as a skater looking at, like
driving through the cities or driving through back alleyways, or places you should be or shouldn’t be, and you’re looking to find like these gems that you’re gonna go back,
and you might hit by yourself or you might have a whole
crew with, you know. But it’s no different than
finding a pool and going: “Fuck, we’re gonna go back “but only three of us can go.” – Yeah.
– Right? You can’t have more than that at the spot.

Loveletters Season 10: Geoff Rowley | Jeff Grosso’s Loveletters to Skateboarding | VANS
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32 thoughts on “Loveletters Season 10: Geoff Rowley | Jeff Grosso’s Loveletters to Skateboarding | VANS

  • August 29, 2019 at 11:37 am

    That landing Ali took.

  • August 29, 2019 at 11:49 am

    13:20 He's a thick man. – Jeff Grosso

  • August 29, 2019 at 11:59 am

    That was rad. I would add Vallely.

  • August 29, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Got to put Chris Senn on that list!

  • August 29, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    I want that shirt Jeff

  • August 29, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    420th view love you jeff

  • August 29, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    No love for Ben Gilly?

  • August 29, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    So vans will show a Corey clip. Mention that man!

  • August 29, 2019 at 1:03 pm


  • August 29, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Uh, this is so right, big thanks

  • August 29, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Corey Chrysler, Alan Peterson, Frankie Hill, Laban Phedias, Reese Forbes …

  • August 29, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    I love that Geoff is still, at heart, that cheeky little scouser that deathbox exported to the US 20odd years ago. Always humble and goes his own way.

  • August 29, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Greysons another one. goes fast and reckless and seems like he doesn’t know what he’s gonna do until he’s halfway up the wall.

  • August 29, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Rowley still flies the flag for the type of skateboarding we like best after decades and huge endorsement deals, what a guy

  • August 29, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    That shirt.

  • August 29, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    I saw Dwayne at a demo with Mike V and he was smoking a cig after the demo and he was so intimidating I was afraid to get his autograph. Regret that one.

  • August 29, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Where's fuckin Grant Taylor…?

  • August 29, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    This is a great video. I know you can't name everyone but I'll just say Chris Motherfuckin' Senn! The dude skates head first.

  • August 29, 2019 at 2:10 pm


  • August 29, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Loving all the love for the dead Grosso!

  • August 29, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    18 forever!

  • August 29, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    The dislike is a scooter kid.

  • August 29, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Get Natas Here!

  • August 29, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    This was a fucking great episode!! Love ya Grosso!! Cheers from south San Francisco

  • August 29, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Milton Martinez is the current definition of gnar! #SOTY

  • August 29, 2019 at 3:22 pm


  • August 29, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Top 5 British skaters:

    Geoff Rowley,
    Ben Raemers (rip),
    Tom Penny,
    Danny Wainwright,
    Sam Beckett.

  • August 29, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Dude, i can't see the whole film. Geoff was fkng great till the moment he decided to kill animals for fun. He has no credibilty for me now, sorry. Cheers from Bcn.

  • August 29, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    “Go out and skate with your friends”. I don’t have any fucking friends. Thanks for that Grosso.

  • August 29, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    cough cough do a bob burn video

  • August 29, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Geoff is my favorite skate ever. Love this.


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