ASK THE GUY
From Berrics Magazine Issue 1
WORDS: Tim Olson
Throughout history, there has been "the guy." In every culture, whenever you needed the scoop on anything—whether in moments of desperation or in "Hey Siri" moments of pure boredom—you'd hit him up. The guy never fails; the guy always gave you the goods. At The Berrics, Tim Olson is the guy. You know the term "ask me anything"? He coined that shit. He cannot be stumped, and he is a font of wisdom unmatched by Siri or Alexa (or the virtual cocktease in Spike Jonze's Her).
How do I get sponsored? I’m probably the best skater in my school and all my friends say I should be sponsored. I hope you can help. It’s my dream to go pro someday.
—Sponceless in Seattle
That’s rad your friends are that supportive. Sponsorship is that elusive, golden egg that so many young dudes and ladies are chasing. And I totally get it: everyone wants free. But almost any company owner will tell you to stop. Most people that get sponced do it by just skating, filming parts, and maybe entering a contest or two. Not DMing companies on Instagram, asking “Do you sponsor?” or bugging them via email. If you’re a good skater, have a rad attitude, and bring something new to the table, someone will notice and help you land that dream sponsorship.
Hope this helps. And remember: just enjoy your skating. That’s more valuable than any box a company could send you.
What do you think of all these trendy skaters? The ones that do the no-complys and sex changes and wear pink camo and edit to trap music? I hate it!
Hey there Will,
I think trends are important for skateboarding. They help to progress tricks, influence fashion, and are super fun to laugh at. And, once in a while, something that’s trendy—and is actually really awesome—will catch on and become an integral part of everyone’s skateboarding. If these trends didn’t exist, skateboarding would stagnate and die. So, next time you’re at your local park, slap that kid with the tricolor camo (a high five) and say thanks!
What makes certain skateboard brands better than others? I heard that boards are made in the U.S. are better than all the rest and that Chinese boards are crappy. Can you explain why?
This is a good question. Most of what you see on a skate shop wall is made in Mexico. There are two major skateboard manufacturers in the U.S. that have factories in Tijuana and a ton of brands use these guys for boards. As far as American-made being better than everything else, that is debatable. Everyone uses Canadian maple. That’s just the standard. How long that wood had to sit on a truck or a boat to get to the factory can have a huge effect on the end product. Especially since it will have to sit on another truck or boat to get to you or the shop or the distributor that’s selling them once they’re done. Glue is another issue. Pressing, too. Curing. So many variables. So, let’s put it this way: if you live in Boston, American-made might be best. If you live in California, Mexican boards are probably best. And if you live in China… Mexican boards are probably best. Get what I’m saying? Do your homework. See who gets their boards manufactured where and, for the love of god, don’t buy anything from a department store.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.