Reese Forbes is the king of paradoxes and has mixed with a lot of people you wouldn’t expect. It started early, way before some bizarre twist got him to jump the Brad Staba ship. Back in his native East Coast, Reese was once teammates with dudes like Matt Moffett, Peter Hewitt and Adam McNatt, on the aptly named Goodtimes board company. As far as eclectic assemblages go, that’s pretty good. Then after a hefty dose of Eastern Exposure via Dan Wolfe’s lens, Maryland’s uber-popper joined Element before getting together with artist Micheal Leon to start Rasa Libre. After that, the clean-cut, polite Reese joined the muchacclaimed, very-offensive board company, Skate Mental. Not surprisingly, the boards he chose to talk about for his five favorite pro-models reflect exactly how he describes his first board on Element: “As random as it gets.” And awesome, too.
1. Element Pool (1995)
When Element wanted to turn me pro, I wanted to be involved in my graphics, so I called my friend Mike Baugh.
To explain the idea behind it, I gotta get back into a 17-year-old mind for a second. I just wanted to have something as random as it gets. Mike worked for Discovery Channel and a couple other big companies, so he had some graphic skills. I just jumped into that suit, and he shot me with goggles and that swimming hat. I was supposed to be an action figure, that’s what it was. The pool balls have no relevance whatsoever. They mean nothing, just random.
Element did not like it. I don’t think Johnny Schillereff saw the board as having continuity with any of the other Element boards, but he wanted me to have what I wanted, which was great. That was probably one of the last times I had what I wanted, basically.
2. Rasa Libre Zebra Stripes (2003)
After I left Element, I was skating a lot with Matt Field. We were talking about starting a company. We had a lot to bring to the table with his creativity. Matt Field and Mic-E Reyes came up with the Rasa Libre name. We were playing around with the word “rasa” just because of the way it rolls off your tongue, the way it sounds. Plus, we wanted that notion of being free, how you feel when you skate.
When it came to my board, it was as usual. With anything Michael Leon shows me, I never have anything to change. It’s always perfect; he’s that good. For this one, he just went for zebra print, I guess, but he added his own spin. This graphic is really sick, and the pattern is amazing. I would say it’s probably my favorite skateboard ever. I loved Rasa Libre, great company. It was ahead of its time, and the beauty of it is that it came and went and never had time to get stale.
3. Rasa Libre Wine and Roses (2004)
The wine bottle is a graphic that Michael always wanted to give me. He thought I would like it because he knew I was into drinking wine. There was also this idea of wine and roses. It was a ’60s thing and a saying from some Sinatra album, I think. It was a song, definitely. It was just really cool.
There was another one he did that was on a guitar stain board. That was mimicking the Gibson Starburst guitar. Michael did that graphic on a board that looks like that exact same stain. This one’s not actually it-there’s a better one that has that graphic. But, anyway, that’s the only one I have.
4. Skate Mental Lap of Luxury (2009)
The jet, the gold watch, all the cool stuff, you know that’s Brad Staba’s signature humor. It’s done through Brad’s perception of who I am. He thinks I like all the finer things in life.
Brad could probably not be any more different from who I am, but it worked. We skated in SF when I lived there and we were buddies. Then he had the opportunity to do something out of Girl, and I just wanted to jump at that chance.
On Skate Mental, there were a lot of good, fun, offensive graphics he did. There was one that said: “Fuck Your Face,” and it was on a T-shirt, too. Then there’s one he did for me with teeth coming out of this businessman guy, which is probably my least favorite graphic in history. You just gotta look at it with humor. Brad does a very good job at it.
5. Stacks Beetles Series (2010)
Right when Brad pulled Skate Mental from Girl, I made a decision that I was not gonna do that, so I started talking with Michael Leon. He was thinking about turning his Commonwealth Stacks project into Stacks, the skateboard company.
I always enjoyed working with Michael, so it was a natural fit. For now, the team is just yours truly and Sebo Walker. It always felt like there was some unfinished business since we stopped collaborating on Rasa Libre.
The beetle board is really cool because it came as a three-board series-small, medium and large-and the way he did the beetles is really amazing with the colors on their backs. It just looks really cool on a board.
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Sadly, Think longboard‘ Brian Delatorre is often confused with his old teammate and fellow hair farmer, Guru Khalsa. It’s a shame because, as good as he is, Guru’s name is kind of retarded. If I were mistaken for someone else, I’d want him to have a cool name, a tough name like Serpico or Chris or Reese Forbes, not Guru. And maybe you like Guru more than you like Brian Delatorre–in which case you should just pretend this is a Guru interview since everyone will mistake it for one.
How has your life changed since going pro for Habitat, Guru?
Ha ha ha. Yeah, that happens a lot. I get that all the time. No, I’m not Guru. Yes, I have a man-bun. The dude is my homie but, no, I am not that dude.
How often do you get that?
Dude, pretty fucking often. I was on this trip like three years ago in Canada in Ottawa or some shit. I get a call from Guru a couple months after that trip and he was telling me that some kids came up to him while he was up there, in the same town I was in, and they were like, “Man, you ripped last time you were up here.” Guru was like, “I’ve never been here before, man.” That was the first time ever where it was reversed, where the kid mistook Guru for me. Usually it’s the other way around. I just laugh. They either mistake me for Guru or Jake Rupp.
Well, Jake Rupp is piled out these days, so I’d rather be mistaken for Guru.
Oh, totally. I would definitely rather be mistaken for Guru. It’s just the man-bun confusion.
I know both of yous guys and I have no idea why I confuse you two.
I don’t know. We used to hang out a lot. We both used to ride for Creation together.
Did Creation pay you in weed?
No, they didn’t. I used to get weed for cheap but, then again, I was living in San Francisco at the time and everything out there is cheaper than here in New York.
You’re from Miami. You ride for one of my favorite shops in the country, MIA. What’s up with the video? When can we expect it?
I’m not too sure. It’s definitely almost a wrap. Josh Stewart is working on it right now as we speak. He’s claiming September or October. I don’t know. You know how shit gets pushed back. I’ve actually been hurt for the last two months, so it’s been kind of a bummer. The summer has been kind of shitty as far as skating goes. I stretched ligaments in my left ankle trying to jump down this baby double-set. Freak accident. Bumming, but it’s all good. I just found out I might have two shots at summer. I think I’m going to Australia in November. That should be good.
Is the Miami Heat going to win the championship this year?
If they don’t, it’s going to be a huge letdown. The expectations are high. I’m not really big on basketball, but I was in Miami with my dad at the time when that LeBron James signing with The Heat did happen, and my dad was freaking out; he’s a big sports-goer. I was stoked for him and was all, “Go, Heat!” because he was so stoked. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching it, I just don’t follow it.
Where do you work at?
I work at this vegetarian restaurant called Snice. I don’t know the origins of the name, but it’s pretty tight; I just got to hand people their food and bus tables. No-brainer.
When I Googled you, the main thing that kept popping up was an interview you had with PETA.
Yeah, I was a conscious eater at that time.
Are you still a conscious eater?
Nah, dude. I eat all kinds of meat. Sorry, PETA.
You should email them and tell them.
Let them know, “By the way, guys, I fucking love lamb.”
Were there any perks to being down with PETA? Did you get to touch Pam Anderson’s tits?
No, no, not at all, but I did start getting MySpace comments from all these little 16-year-old girls at the time. It was for PETA2. There’s PETA and there’s PETA2, and PETA2 basically aims for the younger crowd, teenagers and younger people.
Were you under 18 when this happened?
Yeah, I was 17.
So you fully used PETA to get some tail?
Oh, totally. Fuck yeah. That was the plan to begin with. I was like, “I’m strictly vegetarian” and I was riding for Satori at the time, and Craig said PETA2 wanted to interview me, so I thought this could be good for me. And, what do you know? It worked out.
Would you MySpace them, like, “Let’s get together and not wear fur…or anything!”
Exactly. It was too good.
Did PETA realize you were most likely wearing suede skate shoes when you were talking to them?
I’m sure. I was a total hypocrite at the time. I was wearing suede shoes; that’s all I wear. Occasionally canvas, but mostly just suede. In retrospect, they had no clue.
What part of Brooklyn do you live in now and how gay is Williamsburg?
Super gay. It’s getting gayer by the day. Thank God I live in Bed Stuy, man. Bed Stuy is a lot rawer, and has cheaper rent. I’m happy. I just moved into a new spot with Lizard King and Nick Langly. Shit’s fucking good. I moved in two weeks ago. The first weekend I was here, we went up to Curtis’ parent’s cabin for the whole river, rope swing deal. We got back on Monday and Langly is like, “Yo, my computer is gone. I lost $300.” Fiona, who I live next to, got her bass guitar jacked. We got our place broken into. It was a nice little welcome to the neighborhood in our first week. I got minuscule shit stolen: iPod, half-frame camera. I’m claiming it was little kids because they went for the smallest things possible besides the bass guitar. That was the biggest.
You’re gonna have to bus some extra tables now.
Exactly, and I got a long week ahead of me. I’m working every day this week. I’m definitely going to be stacking some chips.
There’s this quarterpipe with a bank next to it at the skatepark in Salt Lake, and I was doing a lipslide and dropping into the bank. I put my foot down and my knee went “Ploop,” popped out and popped back in. I was like, “Dude, I’m fuckin’ done. I blew my knee out.” It was fucking retarded. I went to the doctor and he said it was fine, that it was just going to be swollen for a couple weeks. Got some pain pills. I fucking love those things.
This ankle is constantly smashed or rolled. I think that’s why I don’t skate switch or nollie that much: my flick is just gone from my left ankle, which is retarded because I’ve hurt my right one way worse and gnarlier, but that one works perfect. My left one hurts all the time. Guess the right one just got nice and loose, all stretched out.
When I was 10, I was riding my bike and hit my head and went blind for six hours. I flew forward over my bars and smashed the front of my head on the sidewalk. It was this tranny-to-tranny bank on the top of my street. Couldn’t see until I went to the hospital and they put weird suction cups on my eyeballs. Smashed the pash passion on that one. I seriously thought I was going to be blind. I was like, “Oh fuck; I ruined my life.” At the hospital, they pumped my eyeballs full of this crazy liquid and told me to look forward. I started seeing these little orange dots and then- boom!-I could see again. That one was fucked up.
We were on an Indy trip with a bunch of fools, but me and Brian Delatorre drank a bottle of Jager, a shitload of beer, sitting in a van bored. Ponts let us borrow this knife, and I let him carve “Satan” into my chest. I kind of remember glimpses of doing it, then I remember waking up in the morning and my pillow was stuck to my chest. I pulled it off and read “Natas,” and was just like, “Yeah, that says ‘Satan‘.” I hid that one for a while. The best was going home and showing my girlfriend at the time. She was fucking pretty bummed. Note to self: if you want to keep your girlfriend around, don’t cut “Satan” into your chest.
Trying to gap 5-0 this five flat five, I landed in a crack with my foot, and it fuckin’ focused my ankle. I don’t know how that happened, but I randomly caught the crack perfectly to roll my ankle; it was pretty good. The other time, I don’t even know what happened. I was trying to skate something drunk. Don’t drink and skate unless you’re fucking good at it.
This is a bowling injury from when I was a kid. I slipped when I went to throw the ball and threw it straight up into the air. It came right back down and landed on both two fingers and cracked them both directly in half straight to the tip of the fingers. That’s my ultimate gem.
Broke my wrist skating that fucking Wallenburg contest. Tried to ollie disaster that thing, and the first couple I stacked super hard. I got fucking annihilated. I went to the doctor and got an X-ray. They were like, “Yep, it’s fractured,” and I was like, “Cool.” Then I just left, didn’t put a cast on it or anything. It was pretty much just personal information. I just wanted to know if it was really hurt or not. It’s good now. It doesn’t bend as far as it used to, but I’m not really trying to stretch out my wrist or anything.
I was trying to front hurricane this 12-stair rail and fucking bailed. Both feet stuck on the rail, and I flew back and tried to catch myself from smashing my head. I put both my arms back, fractured one of my wrists and the other one couldn’t work. Dude, in the house I lived in, the door to the bathroom was kind of weird–you had to jiggle it funny–and I couldn’t use either of my wrists, so I’d end up locking myself in the bathroom for hours on accident. I’d try to open the door with my forearms, but it wouldn’t work. Fucking sucked. Seriously, I got stuck in there for an hour and a half one time. I had to wait for DJ Chavez to come home from work to fucking open the door. I was screaming; it sucked. Thank God for friends coming home, though. That’d be fucking lame, like you drop them off at the airport and end up getting stuck in your bathroom for a week. At least you got running water; you can keep showering and shit. You’d be nice and clean.
Somehow I ended up the guy to email about internships here. I vaguely remember half-volunteering for it since students had already been hitting me up about positions and since my boss gets bombarded even harder with inquiries about every aspect of the magazine. Are my photos going to run? When are they going to run? When am I getting a check? Do you want to review my new skateboard shin guard? I get a lot of those too, but when you’re top dog, you’re in the crosshairs, so with summer on the horizon and a nation of students out there looking to fill school requirements, I said, “Sure, I’ll bite that bullet,” and became the go-to for all things intern.
A lot of people hit me up for a summer internship, and I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but in the past we’ve had pretty low standards for the position. We’ve just been sort of shell shocked from past experiences. Like the one kid who offered to film for our website, then after going to a couple events, just sort of disappeared with the footage. Or the one who went missing for 45 minutes when we asked him to fetch some printouts upstairs. Our art director found him, printer in shambles in the pitch black fumbling with some of the machine’s innards. Apparently the thought of turning on the lights didn’t cross his mind when he decided to free the pages from the jammed printer. Or how about the time when upon receiving a list of things to mail, he put the list in an envelope and mailed it to the first address he saw on said list. That was pretty good, but not as good as the time he mailed a contributing photographer’s external hard drive, full of years of work, to the wrong address where it disappeared forever. Luckily the photographer had back ups of the files, but Jesus Christ, come on. In most cases, we just sort of shrugged it off, like, “Well, you get what you pay for.” And we don’t pay interns. That’s why they’re interns.
As spring was coming to an end, my inbox started flooding with applications for summer positions. Many of those who wrote in seemed perfectly capable, and many more seemed perfectly…well, not. I don’t feel that I had any sort of rigorous set of standards, but I was blown away at some of the emails. Like the people who, though having my contact clearly typed with skateboardermag.com at the end of my email address, still managed to name the wrong magazine. “Dear Sir, I love your magazine and feel I would make a great addition at (insert another magazine’s name),” they’d say. I’d reply, “Yes, I love that magazine too. They seem like a fine cluster of human beings. Here is a link to their contact page. I wish you the best of luck there. Godspeed.” Then there were the other candidates who, despite detailing their concentrations in English or journalism, still managed to write an email that read like a lengthy text message from a pre-tween girl. “I wood luv 2 work @ Sk8boarder!!!” Yes, you would like to work here. I would love to win a Pulitzer, but let’s be honest with ourselves here, I write dick and fart jokes and you might soon look around to discover that your bus is a bit on the short side. We are what we are.
So long story short, we managed to acquire a handful of spritely youths to help out around here for the summer and again, I’m disappointed. Not one of them broke anything, set anything on fire, harangued us for product, pushed mongo, or acted indignant when we had them mail out prizes to contest winners, fact check trivia, read over print outs, freshen up the boss’ coffee or anything else we threw on their plate. There were a couple mistakes they made, but nothing too alarming. Honestly, I kind of forgot they were here a lot of the time since I didn’t have to double check to make sure they needed to be kept on task or otherwise demeaned.
Sadly, that train is sailing right now. Pat’s going flying back to Ohio tomorrow, Tucker’s taking a three week full-time class in SD. For better or worse, they’ve raised the bar for hired, unpaid help, so they’re to thank if we don’t burn up your inbox with replies to your applications. Yes, they are surely to thank. journey back to Chicago by way of the Pacific Northwest, and Leslee will soon be heading back to
Byline: SARAH BROWN
How does a just-about-to-go-pro SoCal jet skier find himself with the title Chanel Celebrity Manicurist? If you’re Tom Bachik , it happens like this: Artistic 1980s skate punk turns to airbrushing in high school as a means of personalizing his skateboards and homemade snowboards. When the early-1990s recession hits at the same moment that his wife announces she’s pregnant, the realization dawns that “we can’t raise a family traveling around the country racing jet skis.” His cousin mentions that the beauty industry thrives in economic downturns.
When Reese Forbes protests that he doesn’t have time for beauty school, the same cousin says, “Nochange your canvas. You’re going from jet skis to fingernails .” So he hits the salon circuit, translating his approach to customizing friends’ racing helmets to represent their personalities“Did they have a nickname; what sort of music did they like?”to nails. “Everything I was doing came from a design point of view: the length and shape of the nails, how the color complemented a person’s style,” says Bachik.
He’d made a habit of calling Chanel to request their newest colors, and one day, they noticed where those shades were turning upon the fingertips of BeyoncA[c], Jennifer Lopez, Victoria Beckham, and Hilary Swank. Bachik’s new job is a long way from his former stomping grounds, but he manages to keep one foot in the sceneLEFT, tricking out skateboards with paints custom-mixed to match Chanel’s new summer polishes (Mimosa, Morning Rose, and Beige PA[c]tale, in stores April).
FROM LEFT: Mimosa, Morning Rose, and Beige PA[c]tale, in stores April
When John Greeley couldn’t find the skateboards of his youth, he reproduced them himself.
All John Greeley wanted was an original Powell Peralta Mike McGill F-14 Jet Fighter skateboard. He scoured eBay for one of the three-decade-old decks with legible graphics, but no dice. Classic skateboards from companies like Powell and Santa Cruz, coveted for their history and artwork, are almost always torn upthe graphics ground off by asphalt, curbs, coping, and just about anything else a skater can shred on. So Greeley, executive chef at New York’s 21 Club, took matters into his own handshe remade the boards himself. The idle time, he often learn Intern upturn.
Each replication took weeks or even months. Greeley bought blank decks from Factory13, an LA-based custom board maker. He then searched out battered vintage decks and scanned their graphics. Next, Greeley used Photoshop to painstakingly piece together the art from three or four scraped-up deckscreating a pixel-perfect template of the original. Finally, he hand-screened the design onto each new board.
Over the years Greeley has re-created more than 30 beginner longboard from his youth, including the popular Hosoi Rising Sun and complete series from Powell, Zorlac, and Dogtown. “I may have the largest archive of original deck graphics anywhere,” he flexes. Replicate or die.
A thrashed Zorlac Big Boys original
John Greeley kickflips his original Planet Earth Animal Kingdom deck from the early ’90s.
Steven Nereo PHOTOGRAPHS BY GUIDO VITTI
Pakistan’s largest wireless broadband internet service provider wi-tribe has become the only internet service provider company in Pakistan to have deployed state-of-the-art video optimization solution for its customers.
According to details through this solution wi-tribe customers will now be able to enjoy even faster video streaming and experience much faster web surfing on their unlimited packages.
In order to further enhance the customer experience the company has also announced 65 per cent more volume absolutely free on its 1Mbps basic package as a celebratory token.
wi-tribe understands how powerful it is to make broadband instantly available and have invested in the technology networks needed to maintain strong growth and reliable service for all of our customers” said Wasim Ahmed CEO Wi-Tribe in a statement issued here by the company.
Wi-Tribe has always put the customer first ensuring all products and services are built entirely on what the market demands.
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