WHERE ARE YOU FROM, DAN?
I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I lived there until I was twenty years old and then I moved out to Oceanside, California to live with Kristian Svitak. I’ve been out in California for a little more than three years now.
WHEN DID YOU START SKATEBOARDING?
I was about ten years old. Now I’m gettin’ to the age where I have to do the math to figure out when I started skating. I think I started like fourteen years ago … in ’96.
DID YOU GROW UP WITH GREG LUTZKA?
Yeah, I always saw him around. I think the first time I skated a park he was cruising around. I remember he gave me some Beer City Skateboards stickers because he was riding for them at the time. He was killing it and he was only thirteen years old. But I wasn’t really good friends with him until I moved to California and then we started skating more together. A lot of people from the Midwest who moved out here all kind of stick together somehow.
WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP IN WISCONSIN, WERE YOU INTO OTHER SPORTS?
Not so much. When I was about eleven or twelve, I’d race around on my BMX bike and hit up some dirt jumps. I kind of realized at one point that skateboarding is just that much radder. I don’t want to go out in a field with a shovel and dig some stuff up. I just want to be rompin’ around in the streets, jumping over fences, and running from security. Skateboarding is just more raw. It’s pretty intense.
NOT LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL OR FOOTBALL?
Yeah, I’ve “been there, done that” growin’ up. I did some baseball, basketball, and football. But it was all in little short stints. It was like, “Let me check this out. Umm, I’m not that big, so football’s not cool. Umm, I’m not that tall, so basketball doesn’t work.” With skateboarding, anyone can do it. You don’t have to be a freak of nature to be skateboarder, so it works out good for everyone.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO SKATEBOARDING?
One day I was out with my parents and we drove by this skate sport (the local hot spot) and I remember seeing some kids behind this Blockbuster building just ripping. It was pretty much just like seein’ superheroes when I was ten years old. It was like “Oh my god! They made their board flip! How do you do that?” I had this trashy little skateboard set aside and then just started skatin’. When I was in middle school, I had some friends who were into skating and that just fueled the fire.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST SET-UP?
It was a Walmart complete with some goofy graphic. I rolled up a bank and the plastic truck broke off. After that, I took the plunge and tried to get the parents to buy me a $130 skateboard. They eventually gave in and got me one for my birthday. It definitely wasn’t easy convincing them to do that.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SKATE VIDEO OF ALL TIME?
That’s a good one. There have been so many good videos comin’ out lately. I’m a huge fan of all the TransWorld videos. I think they’re put together so good. The And Now video is definitely in heavy rotation. The music and the ripping—everything just worked out super good.
FAVORITE VIDEO PART?
I would say Arto Saari’s part in Flip’s Sorry video. I mean, any Arto part in general gets me hyped.
WHO MAKES YOUR TOP 3 FAVORITE PRO LIST?
For me, they always change but I’d say Heath Kirchart, Rick McCrank, and Arto rounds out my top three.
WHAT ABOUT THE AMS?
I’d say Peter Watkins was long, long, long overdue in turning pro. In my eyes, he’s been pro for years. He’s just recently turned pro, so it’s awesome to see that. With the ams, it’s so hard to keep track of all the guys now.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE ON THE SAME TEAM AS DAN DREHOBL, NAVS, AND RYAN SMITH?
Man, it’s awesome. It’s hard not to get start struck. It’s really weird seeing these guys that were basically you idols growing up and then you’re kind of in the mix with them. When you meet them, you realize that they are just normal people. It’s super rad. The biggest nightmare is meeting a pro that you really looked up to and they’re just not that nice to you. Everyone that I’ve met so far that I really looked up to has been awesome.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PAIR OF VOX TO SKATE IN?
Oh man, definitely the Trooper. Any color. That thing just rips so good. It breaks in good and is comfortable to wear. You can mix it up with a bunch of different colors, too. IT’s a really nice basic shoe and it’s cheap for all the kids so that definitely helps out a lot.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE WEBSITE THAT YOU CHECK OUT EVERY DAY?
I feel like I check the same websites every day and I don’t even realize I’m doing it. I usually check the Thrasher site. It’s definitely my favorite. They have so much content and it’s always really good. I pretty much check out all the magazines. I always go to Thrasher first. I always check The Berrics, the TransWorld website, and the Skateboard Mag’s website. I end up there every day. It’s kinda fun.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE REST OF 2010?
I think we have a 1031 tour coming up and they’re also wrapping up another video. I’ll also be filming a lot for the VOX video, so everything’s looking good. I’m just tryin’ to stay focused and keep everything gnarley.
Words: Aaron Schmidt
Photos: Donez and Mario Miller
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