Thursday, November 7, 2013

White Bread Interview No. 9

Scott Braun

Self Portrait

Editors note : I did not feel comfortable writing an introduction to Scott's interview. Although I have skated with him numerous times, I have not spoken much to him. He isn't the kind of person who hangs out and skateboards, he just skates. There's something to be said about that. Perhaps the old cliche "He lets his skating do the talking" could fit. Therefore, I reached out to his best friend to write his introduction. Enjoy the read.

Scott Braun is rad. He has been riding his skateboard since 1988 and does not look to stop. I have had some of the best memories skating with Scott. The raddest sessions and the most laughs have been with him. He has progressed with skateboarding. He has adapted. Scottie will never be that "old dude" that talks about how rad skateboarding was and do "old school" tricks, instead he will shut his mouth land all
kinds of shit and have a smile on his face the whole time. Scott
belongs on a skateboard. When you see him ride you will see what I mean. I am honored to call him my best friend and here is to another 20 on our boards! Roll forever bro!
- Steve Durant

"I was only thirteen and my parents would have killed me."

360 Flip Up. Click to enlarge.

Skateboarding chose me. I won my first skateboard at a baseball banquet when I was eleven. It was a red Powell Peralta Skull and Sword model with white Tracker trucks and Slimeball wheels.

At the corner of my street was an elementary school with a few waxed parking blocks. I would skate those and then there was a stair that we would do “lip tricks” on... kinda a lost art but I’d spend hours doing nosepick shuvits and pivot type tricks. Also at this time jump ramp skating was in and we would build those and skate them.

"Skateboarding chose me."

Frontside Tailslide over the hip. Click to enlarge

Not long after I won that board the kids that I grew up with on my street got boards. They skated for a year or two and then moved on to other things. Around that time skatings popularity took a nose dive and most kids quit. There were a few older kids that stuck with it and they took me under their wing. Thanks Danny Shane Done and Steve. I skated with these guys till I was around 15 or so and then they got busy with other things. The only one that I think still skates is Anthony “T” Bushey (Editors note : The person whom the "T" gap at Hart Plaza is named after). He lived not far from me and we have kept in touch somewhat but he now resides in California. Since then for good or bad most of the friends that I have had in my life have been contingent with skateboarding. I would befriend a new group of guys that skated, I’d hang with them for a few years, they’d quit and I’d move on to different group from maybe a different time. Eventually, I met JP, Steve, and Aaron through T and have been good friends with them for probably the last 15 years or so.

Looking back a few defining moments stand out. I remember when I was about twelve my dad built me a bank/jump ramp. We had it in the back yard. One day I was skating it with a kid from down the street. All of a sudden a gang of neon clad skateboard warriors barged down the street, there must of been close to twenty of them, they saw my ramp and came through each took a few runs and they were gone. I was star struck at the time and yearned to be a part of that gang. Another memorable time when I knew that this was for me was driving in my cool older friend’s beat ass Camaro to a half in Detroit. I was sitting on some home speakers that he had for a back seat and Suicidal Tendencies was blasting through them. Pieces of the car were falling off and you could look down and see the freeway through the floorboards and there was no other place I would have rather been. I was only thirteen and my parents would have killed me. They thought I was just skating around the neighborhood.

" definitely felt a strong bond with anyone who skated."

Frontside Smith Grind, with a Mike Carroll-like hand. Click to enlarge.

I try to skate a few times a week. This year I have been battling a few injuries and am stubborn when it comes to seeing doctors, so I haven’t been able to skate as much as I’d like. With having a family and a job I have to be a little more efficient in my skating. I can’t jump in a car and drive around for five hours and hit a few spots, but I can go to a skatepark and skate for an hour and a half pretty easily. I feel very fortunate that there have been some parks built within the last few years. I think shifting to being more of a park skater has allowed me to skate and progress for a few extra years. I’m not 360 flipping down a gap anymore, but enjoy switch 360 flipping over a little hip just as much.

Sometime in the nineties there was a shift in skate videos that was kinda interesting. In the early nineties you would watch videos as a way to learn tricks. Videos today are totally entertainment. Around here no one really skated then. With that there were good and bad things : If you saw some guy with Vans or Airwalks on you could walk up to him and talk about skating with him. Skating was so dead than that you definitely felt a strong bond with anyone who skated.

" has never and never will change."

Frontside Ollie. Click to enlarge.

I can honestly say that I gave skating my all. I can’t look back and say that I wished I would have tried harder when I was younger, or even at 37. It bums me out when I see skaters either my age or younger that are just “cruising” or have made a conscious decision to skate “old school”. Skating for me has always been about progression. I could be an old fart that carves bowls, and I do have a mean slash grind, but until I can’t flip my board, I’m still gonna flip it. Skating is rad because you can try a trick for sometimes years and then something will click.
Probably one of the last things that I thought was rad was Jason Jessee’s Cons ad. He could be on Cons just because he is Jason Jessee, but he lost some pounds and put out a pretty good little welcome video.

Being a dad hasn’t really changed my outlook. Obviously my kids and family our priority number one. I am very lucky in that I have an awesome wife who basically does about 90 percent of the homelife stuff. She just ran in the Detroit marathon, so she understands what it is like to be passionate about something.

As far as skating goes it has never and never will change. As with anything else its your perception that changes. I would have to say that sometimes skaters take an elitist attitude with skating that I don’t like. I think skateboard does have a unique subculture to it, but I would never hang on to skateboarding just to be a part of it or be a spectator to it. Once I can’t do it anymore, I’m sure I’ll find other interests. While I’m on my soapbox I’ll also take a shot at skaters who define it by what they do. In other words skating is all about carving and finding lines in a pool says the old pool skater or skateboarding is all about skating gaps and rails says the young skater with good knees. Both are right and wrong, because again it goes back to one’s perception.

"...and I do have a mean slash grind..."

The mean slash grind. Click to enlarge.

Thank you to Scott Braun for being kind enough to answer these questions, Steve Durant for writing up a worthy introduction and Bren Sungahid for giving me the idea. We still have some things coming down the pipeline, including a special surprise from Scott Braun. Sorry there's been such a delay on these interviews. Go skate.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to moving from group to group of skate friends as time progresses