General Ops

FLASHBACK: FIGGY’S 2013 INTERVIEW — From The Skateboard Mag Issue 106

figgy the skateboard mag


The following interview is a little bit like that report you turned in on that book you didn’t read. Magazine publishing being what it is, Bake and Destroy was scheduled to be released in the lag time after Figgy filled us in on filming for it and before this issue showed up in your mailbox. But it doesn’t take a Nostradamus to predict he’s riding the rails like a champ once again. Here he talks about the tricks that gave him the worst beating, why he didn’t get any last minute clips, and how long he’ll chill before he starts (literally) pounding the pavement again.

figgy the skateboard mag

Getting killed is the worst that can happen—and Figgy’s fine with it. Nollie 50-50.

When was the last day of filming for Bake and Destroy?

It was two weekends ago, but I’ve been hurt so I couldn’t skate the last two months. I fucked up my ankle at first, just like a bunch of cartilage built up, and also I got appendicitis, and I had to get surgery and was out another month. By the time I was able to skate again, the deadline was already up. So the last two months I was fucking out, just hearing about all these tricks, it fucking sucked. But I’m good to go now, I’m about to go to Maloof Monday in South Africa. I’ll probably suck ass, but it’ll be tight.

They took out your appendix?

Yeah, I don’t need that thing. It was just getting in the way [laughing].

Did they give it to you in a jar?

I fucking wish. I’d fucking burn it, have a sacrifice. Fuck that thing [laughing].

Did you have ankle surgery too?

I’m getting it when I get back from South Africa. They shave off all the scar tissue, and I’ll be out for like three weeks tops. I’ve been rehabbing it up just for this contest. I did about 50 kickflips the day before yesterday [laughing].

Let’s talk about the video, how satisfied are you with what you ended up getting?

Psyched, fucking whatevs. I definitely feel like I could have done some more shit, but for the eight months of filming that we had, I worked my ass off, skated every day, just kept it going.

Going into filming for a part, after everything you had in Stay Gold, do you try to do things differently or is your focus on bumping up in gnarliness?

Well, after Stay Gold was the Shake Junt video, and that was fucking big-time party season. I barely got any tricks in there. For this one I’d have spots in mind and just hit up Beagle and we’d go mash. I didn’t have the same mindset of Stay Gold. That was way different, with fucking [Jon] Minor it’s way gnarlier. Everything is pretty planned, you gotta get the right angles, it’s a different type of vibe.

figgy the skateboard mag

Even Figgy doesn’t dwarf this beast. Monstrous back Smith.

Did you put your life on the line for every trick?

Yeah. I was trying to fucking mash as hard as I could, and it was scary as shit to me, but sometimes you gotta bite the bullet. But after seeing David Gonzalez’s part, that fucking dude put his life on the line for all of his shit. Those types of tricks you can fucking die, all those kink rails. That was the fucking shit. But yeah, I definitely got focused a bunch for sure, it comes with the game.

Did you crack your head at all like you did on that one front feeble from Stay Gold?

I did. Probably gnarliest slam in this part for sure. I cracked the back of my head, my feet went over my head and slapped the ground and I slid on the back of my head.

What trick?

I was trying to back 50 this curved rail down in San Diego, and I clipped my heels.

Did you go back and get it?

No, I went back to the spot but did a different trick on the other side.

What was the scariest thing you tried?

Definitely my last trick. I crooked that kink rail in San Pedro, the one that Arto lipslid. I slammed a few times, but I only got tangled up on the rail once, and I kind of made it out. I got lucky. But that was the most grueling, torturous trick I’ve tried in my life.

Really, in your whole life?

Guaranteed. Hell yeah. It took forever, and you don’t want to be trying a trick like that for a long time, because you’re not getting on the rail every time, you’re bound to fuck up. And for us stoners, it’s different every time, dude [laughing].

How do you get yourself to try the stuff you might get killed on?

I get amped off the homies. I get amped off the ride-away feeling. No drug will match the high of rolling away [laughing].

So you picture making it.

Or I think about the worst thing that can fucking happen and just accept it and fucking go for it.

figgy the skateboard mag

7’4” 520-pound giant switch backside flip.

What’s the most dangerous handrail move?

For me, backside boardslides. When I was a kid I clipped on the way up and sacked this rail by my house. I’ve never, ever tried to pursue that trick. I’d rather just go for a 50-50.

Is there a trick in the video you had to go back to again and again?

Yeah, the kickflip front board on that Vermont rail by the train station. It’s a tall-ass blue rail. James Hardy did a Barley grind on it. It’s just so high, so for the first half hour or whatever of trying it, I’d get on and then I’d get tired and couldn’t make it up there. I was literally going as fast as I could because I don’t got that much pop [laughing].

After getting worked like that, can you skate the next day?

No, I’m definitely out. When I was seventeen doing it, I was definitely able to skate the next day, but not anymore.

Who in your opinion killed it the hardest for the video?

Oh shit, I’m going to go with Riley Hawk, and dude, holy fuck, Baca and Nuge killed it. And Herman probably has the most hijinks footage out of the whole video.

Do you ever think past the video you’re working on, like, “What am I going to do for the next one?”

 I’ve been talking with Sole Tech. I’m definitely going to go straight into filming a whole Emerica part for my shoe that’s coming out.

That’s a good motivator.

Hell, yeah. I’m going to keep it going. Get this scope when I get back, be out for three weeks, and then start mashing again.

figgy the skateboard mag

Picture-perfect everything. 360 flip.

How picky are you about the way tricks turn out? Are you like Reynolds, doing them ten times in a row?

No. If I make one I’m lucky enough to get that one, and I’ll do everything I can not to do it again. But it also depends on who you’re filming with. Sometimes Minor won’t like the way it was filmed, or I did it weird and he’ll ask to redo it. If the filmer isn’t happy with it, it’s almost like you didn’t really do it.

Who were you skating with mostly during filming?

I filmed up in LA with Slash, and then when we moved out of our house I cruised down to Oceanside and I was skating with Frecks, Stoogles, and this kid Booya—he’s a filmer and he filmed pretty much half my part. Those dudes are the shit.

Did you try to do anything you feel like you’re not that great at but you wanted one for the video?

Yeah, this crook pullover, like a crook yank over the rail into a bank. I definitely learned that kind of randomly. I was hyped to get that out in the wild. I did that and the crook on that kink rail while my ankle was hurt. Those were the last tricks I filmed, and then I didn’t skate for two months.

Anything else we need to know about?

Just stay on the lookout for Jon Dickson’s Deathwish video part. He’s about to fucking melt your mind.

 figgy the skateboard mag

Figgy chases the dragon … and slays it. Frontside 50.

Subscribe to The Skateboard Mag today and get 12 issues delivered to you for only $19.95. Issue #155 is out now, including a feature on the upcoming “In Transition,” Santa Cruz’s “Right To Exist,” The Education of Simon Bannerot, Ben Raybourn’s “Ravebourn,” and much more!

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