Professional legend Tony Trujillo on a life embedded in skate tradition
You! Up there! …Inform me what to do.” Tony Trujillo is standing within the gray bowl at London’s Home of Vans, playfully yelling at a photographer and looking out in poor health relaxed.
His manner appears odd in an area the place Tony seems so at dwelling; it’s simply that having a digital camera in his face causes him to seem like a child in a grown-up’s physique.
The 35-year-old – shoulder-length hair and glasses, black Cannibal Corpse t-shirt and shorts – begins twirling his board till it lands between his legs and he pretends to jerk off with it. The gesture is much less ‘Fuck you’ and extra ‘Please get this over with’.
Tony Trujillo is a residing legend. He has cemented his place within the skateboarding corridor of fame due to an uncompromising fashion that includes a mastery of each road and transition. However even past that, his life has been deeply intertwined with the historical past of skate tradition over the previous twenty years.
That is somebody who filmed John Cardiel grind the Golden Rail, who performs in a band with Thrasher’s Jake Phelps and who had DIY innovator Mark Hubbard as his finest man.
A human jukebox of skate tales, Tony’s on the town to launch his new signature shoe – the Vans TNT Superior Prototype, designed to replicate his tenacious perspective – though he’s continuously going off on tangents, speaking simply as a lot concerning the future and the way it intersects along with his previous.
Tony grew up on a farm in Santa Rosa, a small metropolis in northern California, surrounded by open land. “We had 10 acres with horses and chickens and all types of shit. [I’d be] climbing on all of the fences, the roofs of the barn… after which had been the ramps.”
Tony first began skating at age six, when he’d spot his neighbour an acre away and shout, “Do you wanna play?” Taking advantage of an impartial life, he’d bomb the most important hills in sight, even squeezing in some follow time on the mile-long journey to the bus cease each morning.
“My dad labored the evening shift, my mother labored early mornings, then my sister would depart dwelling earlier than me – as a result of she was 5 years older and went to a special faculty. So I used to be left alone.”
Round age 12, he began skating beginner comps round northern California. Not one of the large firms had been watching, however Tony managed to get picked up by a neighborhood skate store anyway.
One Halloween, he discovered himself packed up in a van on a 100-mile drive to a skate jam in Sacramento. What occurred subsequent is virtually skate folklore.
Seeing professional skater Bob Burnquist within the crowd, Tony grabbed his ‘sponsor me’ tape from the van and requested the Brazilian to have a look. He did, and was so impressed that he put Tony involved with Anti-Hero, who would go on to turn into his first main sponsor at age 14. Two years later, Tony went professional.
However in actuality, hardly something modified. “‘Professional skater’ now shouldn’t be what ‘professional skater’ was then,” he says with a shake of the pinnacle. “I imply, I received a board and stuff. However I nonetheless needed to work my ass off, I used to be nonetheless in class.”
When he was topped Thrasher’s skater of the yr on the age of 22, that feeling lingered – “I used to be nonetheless a silly child, identical to, ‘Woo, let’s social gathering!’” – however now that he seems again on these achievements, they imply rather a lot.
In Tony’s private life, the crowning second was most likely assembly his bandmate, finest good friend and now spouse, Ashley. He had been in California on a skate journey when a good friend lined up a blind date for himself. With nothing else to do, Tony determined to tag alongside on the final minute.
“I knocked on the door and she or he thought I used to be the blind date. [I was like,] ‘No babe, he’s again there.’” He laughs. “We did a bunch of unhealthy shit that evening, drug-wise…
“She ended up getting a giant factor of shaving cream and slapping me within the face after which I hated her. We simply had that form of pressure that ultimately introduced us collectively.”
At present Ashley and Tony have two children and are settling into a lifetime of home bliss, having not too long ago moved from San Francisco again to Santa Rosa in order that the youngsters may play exterior extra.
The toughest half, he says, is juggling work commitments and household life, with back-to-back accidents making it a problem to maintain skating professionally. “The trade has modified and it’s a lot extra demanding,” he says. “There are such a lot of extra skaters now who can fill the void should you can’t.”
Over the past eight years, Tony explains, skate tradition has turn into far more mainstream. There have been breakthroughs in reputation earlier than, he goes on, however whereas these moments got here and went, now it appears to be sticking. And by the point skateboarding debuts within the 2020 Olympics, there’ll be no going again.
However by way of outsiders “attempting to invade our fucking scene to attempt to promote shit by way of our lifestyle”, he provides, that’s most likely by no means going to go away both. The attract of skate tradition is simply too highly effective.
“It’s ridiculous the cash being spent,” he says. “Children as of late rock Gucci baggage… The priorities have modified, for certain. I by no means fearful concerning the financial shit. [When you’re young], your priorities are fundamental day-to-day residing. Simply spend cash on what you want – like meals, gasoline or a bus ticket – after which put the remainder away.
“It begins increase and sooner or later you should purchase one thing large. However should you can skate without cost, journey and promote skateboarding – that’s what’s essential. Not what sort of shit you’re carrying.”
The Vans TNT Superior Prototype can be found worldwide from 14 July.