How old were you when you started skateboarding and where? I was 8 years old when I started skating in Bethesda, MD. A few years later I started skating in Washington, DC and the surrounding area.
What was the defining moment growing up skating where you realized you wanted to pursue skateboarding as a career? I don't think there was a defining moment. I just always loved skating and things sort of fell into place recently.
Who was your first sponsor? My first sponsor was Evolve Board Shop. It was right down the street from my house in Bethesda. My good friend Dave Lawerence was the manager and he helped me out alot. Bobby rode for Evolve for a little bit too.
You’ve been on a few tours with the éS team now, are there any things that stand out as great memories? All the trips have been a great time. The first trip I went on was amazing. I flew into LA, and we drove from there to PA and back, spending most of our time in the Midwest. I was just meeting everyone for the first time and the trip was about a month long. It was cool because we had no schedule and we would just check out different cities and move on to the next one whenever we felt like it. The Europe trip we went on last summer was also awesome. I had been to Europe before that trip, but we got to go to some places I had never been to before, and skate some really good spots.
Is there any place that you haven't been to that you want to travel to skate at? Where? I've never been to Asia and I've always wanted to go there. Thailand seems amazing. I have a few friends that have been there before and I would love to check it out. It seems like its super cheap, with amazing scenery and good skatespots.
What éS shoe has been your “Go to shoe for skateboarding,” in the past and what éS shoe have you been skating in lately? In the past I would always skate in the Square One's and the Theories. Lately I have been really psyched on the First Bloods and the Square 2's. They're both really simple and they break in really easily making them really good to skate in.
So what was it like growing up in Bethesda, MD and claiming DC? It was just great. I would skate around downtown Bethesda all the time and when me and my friends would get bored of that, we could just take the train into DC to skate Pulaski and tons of other spots around the city with people from all over the area. Claiming the city was a pretty normal thing to do because many people skating downtown DC at that time that were from Maryland or Northern Virginia.
Which Pulaski killers did you look up to as a little pre-pubescent wood pusher? I was always really psyched on Paul McElroy. He used to work at a skatepark in MD when I was pretty young, then I would always see him ripping at Pulaski when I was growing up. I was also psyched on Brian Tucci, Sam Wientzen, Adam Graham, John Igei and lots of others that I would see around the city as a little guy.
How many keg stands did you do at Temple University? I actually did one by accident when a few friends grabbed me and forced me into it a few years ago...
Tell me about the first time you got in the 5boro van.... Well, I met up with the crew at a demo in PA, about an hour outside of Philly, and hopped in the van to go back to NYC with them afterwards. Once I got in, Steve Rodriguez handed me a mega-phone and said, "Alright, we have a little tradition here at 5boro. Everyone that gets in the van has to tell us their gnarliest pussy story!" Needless to say the crew was a little surprised by my response being that I was a full bearded 20 year old virgin at that point... To make matters worse the van was unusually packed that day. Everyone on 5boro was there, including a couple flow dudes that were under the age of 17 that had most likely already been laid. Steve R's wife was even in the van, and photographer Angela Boatwright. Following this scenario, we had a two-hour van ride to NYC and an extremely awkward night at the bar due to the fact that I didn't drink then either.
Now why don't you tell us about the last time you drove the 5boro van.... That was on my first trip about 3 or 4 years ago. We were in upstate New York in Alexandria Bay. It was nighttime and everyone was relaxing around a fire drinking some beers. I drove the van with Joe Tookmanian out to get some more beers for the crew. As we drove through a little bar area I ended up hitting a side view mirror on a parked car. Joe and I thought it was no big deal and that the mirror most likely just folded in, so we drove a few more blocks and pulled over at a liquor store. Once I pulled over, a few cops came up behind the van, asked me to get out of the car and reminded me that I had just been involved in a hit and run. They walked me over to the car I hit, and the owner was standing right beside it. He told me we wouldn't have to get the cops involved if I paid him the amount he would need to repair the damage. I happened to have a good bit of cash on me at that point, so when he told me the amount he needed, I instantly paid him and went on my way. Since that point I haven't taken the position as captain of the ship too often on 5boro trips.
You moved to NYC from Philadelphia after college only to stay a little over a year then move back to Philly...What gives bro?? Couldn't make it in the big city? No, I love NYC, but after living there for a bit, I wanted to get out and be free to travel more without paying so much for rent. So we got rid of our apartment there, went on some trips, did a little couch surfing, then I met my girlfriend in Philly and got a new place there with her. It works out well because I'm paying a fraction of what a paid for rent in New York City, I have a really good crew to skate with in Philly, and I can go up to NYC whenever I want because its only a short bus ride away.
How does the frugal life of Jimmy McDonald in Philadelphia differ from our life in NYC? Well, I worked as a barback for a little bit in the east village when I was living in NYC, and I wasn't too into that. Getting home from work at 5 or 6 in the morning wasn't really for me. So my sleep schedule is a little better in Philly. Also, I have a room with a door in Philly. In NYC I lived in a 3 bedroom railroad style apartment with only curtains separating the rooms. That meant you had to walk through each room to get to the other, and I had the middle room. Although, I did have a great time living in NYC, it's an amazing place to live with tons of spots, I'll probably move back there at some point, but living in Philly is awesome too.
Tell us about the last time you spent the night with a parking cone and a bottle of cheese wiz? That was just a night out in the big city with you, Tombo. We went out for a drink, one thing led to another, and when I woke up I wasn't alone. There was a parking cone, and a can of cheese wiz laying beside me.
Tell us about your new tattoo... Can we expect you to get tatty blasted like your bro Bobby Worrest in 2011? Probably not, all I need is the cute little friendship tattoo I have with all you fellows.
I remember seeing a clip of you eating 12 donuts in one sitting and since then you have proved yourself to me as one of the most dynamic slobs in the Northern Hemisphere... Which one of your éS homies could out eat you? I think Bobby might be able to hold his on in the gluttony department.
Who are the Best and Worst dudes to sit next to in the éS Van and why? Hmmm, the last trip we went on we had a good crew in the back row. We called ourselves the back panel crew. It was me, Justin, and Sam McGuire. We saved all our change throughout the whole trip and piled it up in one of the seats. We called it the fun fund, and at the end of the trip we all got shots of Absinthe with our savings. Everyone gets along pretty well, so there's no worst dude to sit next to.