DAVIS TORGERSON - NEW JACK
From The Skateboard Mag Issue 85
text by mike munzenrider
photography by sam mcguire
Davis Torgerson invented a trick—nollie frontside hurricanes—and even though he’s managed to be the only dude on earth to document it, down a handrail no less, it’s not named after him. Barley got his, and Suski as well; it only seems fair that Davis gets his too. While nobody wants to go around calling something a Torgerson grind—no offense—it’s logical that the trick be called the D. T. Ripper, ala Dave Carnie’s suggestion, long ago, that backside noseblunt slides be called E. K. Rippers, for their standard bearer, Eric Koston. It’s only fair, right?
Alas, it seems that Davis would be way too humble to insist that a trick bear his initials, let alone his full name. He’s too busy anyway—keeping his brain in order, golfing, growing up, and skating like somebody who invents tricks—to worry about some namesake. He’ll be okay.
Why do you still live in Minnesota?
Because I can live at my parents’ house, and it’s free rent.
Do you have a room in the basement?
I’ve got my room in the basement.
Same room you had in high school?
Yeah. I moved to LA a year ago for winter, so I left and my mom turned it into a full guest bedroom. It’s super bland.
You lived in LA and really didn’t like it. What’s wrong with LA?
I don’t know. It’s really hectic. It’s hard to go from a smaller city to LA. I had my car, which was super crucial, but at the same time, driving there is not very fun. What else? It’s expensive. I didn’t really have that many friends. It was me and Sam [McGuire]. And it was crazy, because every time that I was home, Sam would be on a trip. Then he would get back, and that day I’d leave for a trip. So we were never there at the same time.
You’d have this apartment, and we didn’t have any furniture in it, because we were like, “I don’t know how long I’m gonna live here, so I don’t know if I’m gonna do anything ...” Why would I buy furniture and then move?
So, switch backside nosegrind that one electrical box in the suburbs, huh?
Aside from living here, do you see yourself living anywhere else?
Not really. It would be sick to just live here and then travel. Eventually, maybe, try to get a house here. But I love it here.
You still golf pretty regularly. What’s up with golf?
I’ve played a lot last summer with Joe [Hall] and my dad. But it’s cold now. It’s a little harsh.
You ever rent clubs on a trip and break out?
No. Me and José [Rojo] should do that, because he golfs a lot. And we’re always talking about how we need to play. There was this one time on a Real trip when they went to North Carolina … I was supposed to go on this trip, but I sprained my ankle two days before it. They went to the golfing range. That would have been such a good thing ... All right, skate, and then let’s go hit some golf balls. A little relaxation, you know.
Even if he feels all growed up and stuff, Davis can still relish the childish pleasures of kickflipping really big shit.
You got on Real like two years ago now. Kind of a heavy team there. Was that intimidating at first?
I guess, yeah. The first few trips I went on, I was just trying not to be a dumb-ass kid. You know what I mean? I was a little bit more quiet, maybe. It was sick, because that was one of my first experiences skating with people that you watch all the time. And then you skate with them, and you get over it; they’re just dudes. Especially all the dudes on Real, Mic-e [Reyes], Jim [Thiebaud], and Darin [Howard], they have a good eye for guys who rip and are cool too.
How’s the Real video stacking up? It should be out by the time this comes out. Are you done?
I think I have the majority [of my footage], I still want to get a few tricks, like 30 seconds more.
You’re also filming for Flow Trash right now, the local homie video ...
That’s been a lot of fun. Because it’s with your friends, a little less pressure.
Davis is ready to renounce his fandom of the Minnesota Vikings if they move to LA, but he still does gap to tailslides in Long Beach. Conflict of interest? Maybe.
You said there’s less pressure filming local videos. You had that Boondoggle part that was a pretty big hit on the internet. Were you trying to make a really good video part, or did that just happen?
I think I was being a kid, trying to do it. I’d just gotten on flow for Deluxe, so that sparks you a lot. You’re super psyched to skate, so every spot you go to you’re trying your ass off for a trick. Toward the end, you’re like, “Oh, cool, that worked out.”
Did you know that you have a Facebook fan page?
I do? No I don’t.
[Reading the page] “Davis Torgerson, unknown ripper.”
[He looks at it] 112 people. That looks like a really big deal. Just kidding.
How’s that make you feel, does it weird you out?
No, it doesn’t weird me out. As a little kid starting to skate, I’d be doing the same shit with all my favorite skaters. It’s flattering I guess.
Do kids know who you are at signings and stuff?
Not really. Some people do. A lot of people mention the Boondoggle part. I haven’t had a part in a while.
You may remember, I interviewed you for Stuck Magazine like five years ago, and let’s just say that was awkward. You won that Brooklyn Banks contest and gave an interview ...
That interview was harsh!
Davis’ Facebook fan page challenges the reader to, “Just look him up on YouTube. You’ll understand.” This fakie switch feeble grind only deepens our comprehension.
Are you getting the hang of this now?
I don’t know. I haven’t done many interviews. But that was kind of a harsh interview, because the first thing [Chris Nieratko] said was, “So, nollie heel over the Brooklyn Banks rail, huh?” And you’re just like, “Uh, yeah I guess?” What am I supposed to say to that? That’s an interesting question. Then he asked me what I was going to do with the money, and I was like, “I don’t know, I wish I could say something tight, but I’ll probably just put it in my bank account.” I did get an iPhone.
He was like, you really need to work on your interview answers. And at the time, I was like, “Yeah, probably. I know.” I need to work on life. But then afterward, you know when you think of something like five minutes later, like, oh, I should have done that. I would have been like, “You need to work on your interview questions.”
In a lot of the answers you give you talk about being a kid, like, “Yeah, when you’re a kid you do this, you do that.” You just turned 21, and you’re talking about things three years ago. Has much changed?
I feel like I’ve matured a lot from then; looking back, I was really immature. I acted way more like a little kid, I guess. But you travel a lot, and you’re on your own a lot more, and you’re in the real world a lot more, instead of at your parents’ house all the time.
Speaking of turning 21, are you gonna move into the party, face-tat, burn-out-pile-out stage of your skate career?
I sure hope so. No. I couldn’t do that, man. That would just stress me out. I think I need to have a lot of control over things. I try to wing it all the time, I’ll be like, “Just play it by ear; it’s all good.” Then I’ll be like, “Wait, what are we doing?” I have to have control over it. It sucks sometimes. I’m trying to chill out.
You went to Kansas City this weekend for Halloween. What’s this big costume you’re all excited about?
I didn’t make a big deal about it. I’m gonna be Vanilla Ice.
I heard KC is pretty cool. What’s it all about?
Last year for Halloween I went, a bunch of people went, and it was fun because we had twenty dudes, all in costume, skating around to different parties. You’d look behind you, and you’d just see a panda bear skating down the street.
But other than that, it’s cool. There are a lot of people who skate there. Sean [Malto] has a bunch of friends, and they’re all super down to earth, down to have a good time. I feel like when I go there, a lot of stress is put aside, because they’re all winging it so hard. I’m like, “Uh, I’m just following these guys.” It’s always a good time, I go there a lot.
Is it better than Minneapolis?
Dude, what? Is that a question? Hell no.
One would think it might be the other way around, but being a pile in life is way more stressful for Davis than fakie switch crooked grinding handrails.