Andrew Reynolds (skateboarder)
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June 6, 1978 |
|Other names||The Godfather, Drew, The Boss, Turtle Boy|
|Occupation||Professional skateboarder; owner of Baker Skateboards; co-owner of Brigada Eyewear; co-owner of Bakerboys Distribution; Head Designer of Altamont Apparel.|
Andrew Michael Reynolds (born June 6, 1978) is a professional street skateboarder. He is the co-founder and owner of Baker Skateboards; a part owner of Brigada Eyewear; a partner in Bakerboys Distribution (distributors of Baker Skateboards, Shake Junt, Deathwish Skateboards, Heroin Skateboards, Palace Skateboards, Hammers Skateboards, Death Lens, and Ashbury Eyewear), and head designer at Altamont Apparel.
He first picked up a board when he was 9 years old. Influenced by Powell videos at the time, Andrew began to skate jump ramps as well as wall rides.
He's got good style, too. Yeah, yeah, I used to see him when he was, like, eleven, twelve years-old—he lived in Lakeland and I lived in Fort Myers, like, three hours away. Yeah, I remember he killed it, and, ah, everybody knew it, too. He was, he was always great.
Reynolds emerged in the skateboarding scene in the early 1990s. Following a phone call from professional skateboarder and ex-Bones Brigade member Tony Hawk, Reynolds joined the Birdhouse (Hawk's company) skateboard team; Reynolds has stated that Hawk contacted Reynolds with little knowledge about the latter's skateboarding. Reynolds explained in 2008:
To me, that was such a trip when they told me, "The ams [amateurs] on Birdhouse are gonna be you and Ocean Howell." And I'm, like, "Me! And the guy, from the H Street video, with, like, the Doors song, and everything?!" I was, like, "Oh my god!", like, it's not even right. Like, some little kid from a hick town, and the other am is Ocean Howell? It's, like, wrong; it's just ... it just was so wrong. At first when I met him I was, like, just a fan. But then, like, we became friends, you know? He, like, would get a girl at every demo, almost, and I'm just, like ... amazed! I was just, like, "Man, how does he do it? He's so cool!", you know? ... He was sick; he was so cool.
Professional skateboarder and Emerica team manager Heath Kirchart revealed in 2007 that he perceived Reynolds as his competition, as Reynolds was recruited to Birdhouse after he joined the team. Kirchart further explained:
... I don't tell many people this. But there was point, I remember when were filming The End, and I would see footage of him—when he kickflip noseslided the UCI ten-stair, I was just, like, "Holy shit! Hopefully, I'll do that." And I didn't. But it was, like, my coming to, like, "Wow! He's better than me." And, since that time, it's been, like ... it's like, way better than me. He's not just better than me—he's, like, way better than me.
In 1999, Reynolds left Birdhouse and started the Baker brand with Jay Strickland; the company was named after a lifestyle in which a person "gets baked" (smokes and experiences the effects of the drug cannabis) and skateboards every day. In 2007, Reynolds provided a detailed account of the company's beginnings:
Well, I was living in Huntington, riding for Birdhouse. We just thought to ourselves, all these companies are really lame. Like, Birdhouse doesn't promote piles, you know what I mean? Like, Zero's [skateboard deck brand] not promoting, like, what we're all about. You know, we met up with Jay Strickland, we started telling him about our ideas, like, "We wanna do something. We wanna do a company." And we're, like, "All of us, together.", you know? It was just, like, a big mess, you know? I went and talked to Tony [Hawk] and Per [Welinder]—"It's either, I quit, and take a bunch of guys and do something, or, you guys help me start a company, you know?"
The skateboard deck brand signed a distribution deal with Blitz Distribution, the company that, at the time, was distributing Birdhouse and other brands, such as Fury and Hook-Ups (Blitz had originally been formed by Per Welinder and Hawk to distribute their own products). As of 2008, the brand was the top-selling brand under the Blitz Distribution umbrella. Reynolds has publicly disclosed that all of the Baker team members, including himself, receive the same amount of remuneration: "I get paid the same as Braydon. Dustin tried to ask for more money one time…I had to tell him, like, everybody gets paid the same…There’s no favoritism."
The company parted ways with Blitz and, in 2007, Reynolds and fellow professional skateboarders, Jim Greco and Erik Ellington, established Bakerboys Distribution to distribute the Deathwish brand—Baker's distribution was then newly managed by Bakerboys in 2011. As of July 2014, Bakerboys distributes seven brands, some of which are owned by past and current Baker riders. These companies are:
- Baker Skateboards
- Shake Junt
- Brigada Sunglasses
- Deathwish Skateboards
- Volume 4
- Heroin skateboards
- Palace skateboards
As of July 2014, the Baker team consists of: Reynolds, Riley Hawk, Bryan Herman, Dustin Dollin, Don "Nuge" Nguyen, Terry Kennedy, Sammy Baca, Justin "Figgy" Figueroa, Cyril Jackson, Dee Ostrander, Tristan Funkhauser, and Theotis Beasley. Former riders include Kevin "Spanky" Long, Braydon Szafranski, Jeff Lenoce, Shane Heyl, Jim Greco, Erik Ellington, and Leo Romero (Greco and Ellington left to form the Deathwish brand, while Romero moved to the Toy Machine team and subsequently received a "Skater of the Year" award from Thrasher magazine). Reynolds formed Baker Boys Distribution with Greco and Ellington in 2007, and the company distributes both Baker and Deathwish, in addition to the Heroin, Vol 4, Brigada, and Shake Junt brands.
For the "Fall 2014" catalog, released in September/October 2014, Reynolds collaborated with Australian musician Nick Cave for the production of a skateboard deck. The design on the bottom of the skateboard deck features an image of Cave in the process of lighting a cigarette (repeated three times), while wearing a T-shirt that reads "Suck My Dick." Reynolds said: "NICK CAVE HAS BEEN ONE OF MY FAVORITE ARTISTS FOR YEARS NOW, AND I AM SUPER EXCITED TO DO THIS BOARD WITH HIM!!!"
As of November 2014, Reynolds has released eleven signature shoe models with skateboarding shoe company Emerica: The Reynolds 1, The Reynolds 2, The Reynolds 3, The Boss, The Reynolds Light, The AR Slim, Reynolds Cruisers, The Reynolds Classics, The Reynolds, The Reynolds low and the Reynolds Low Vulc.
In 2006, Reynolds collaborated with Sole Technology, the owner of the Emerica shoe brand, on the joint skateboard clothing venture Altamont Apparel. During the launch event, held at the Altamont Speedway car-racing venue, Reynolds stated that he had been inspired by the spirit of rebellion and freedom that had defined the Rolling Stones concert at the speedway in 1969. For the launch, a select group of retailers, journalists, and members of the skateboarding community were driven in limousines to the Altamont Speedway, where they listened to Reynolds speak about the brand and participated in the brand's launch.
In collaboration with the creative direction of Reynolds, the head designer for the brand is English artist FOS, who is also the owner of the Heroin skateboard brand. As of October 2012, the brand's team includes Mike Watt, Brian Hansen, Neen Williams, Kenny Hoyle, Jon Dickson, Justin Figeroa, and Bryan Herman. Former riders have included Garrett Hill and Theotis Beasley, with a signature Beasley clothing line released in early-2012.
Called "Madness" by Reynolds himself, the skateboarder experiences a "condition" while skateboarding that has been perceived as a mild form of obsessive compulsive disorder(OCD), even though an official diagnosis has not been confirmed. In a 2007 episode of the online show "Epicly Later'd" the Vice YouTube channel depicted an example of the "Madness" while Reynolds was filming a trick in San Francisco, California.: "And he's gonna walk right up to the top and tap the wall three times. And then he comes and checks it [the area where the trick is being performed] again. He's gonna say, 'Lance, Beagle, Mike' ... ready? [Reynolds] 'Lance?' ... 'Beagle?' ... 'Mike?'
Reynolds explained in the Vice interview:
Like, before I go to bed at night, I go to the door, and I, and I, I lock it ... nine times, but, like, three, three, three; three, three, three; three, three, three; and I do that ... three times. And, then, sometimes I'm layin' down, and I'm, like, "Did I do it?", and I go back. And then it's, like, once I do that, then it has to be the nine, the whole thing—three, three, three, three, three, three—three time. And, then, if I messed up and did it, then I have to do that whole thing three times. You know what I mean?
As part of the DVD release of the Emerica video Stay Gold, a bonus section on the "Madness" was included. While watching footage of his pre-trick behaviour, Reynolds states, "I don't know what I'm doing right here. Ha ha. I don't know. Like, if you would've told me, if someone would've told me, 'You rolled up, without trying a noseslide, twenty times, or thirty times, I woulda said, "Nuh. You're wrong." Professional skateboarder and teammate Jerry Hsu explained in the same video:
Well, lately, he's been, like, really, like, he's really into being healthy, and exercising, like, I'm rooming with right now, and it's, like, we're in, like, a gym; the room is like a gym, where he's just constantly eating bananas, and, like, only healthy stuff, and he's stretching all the time, and, like, it's only to get tricks. Like, that what he says. He's just, like, "I just gotta do whatever I can to get tricks." Do everything he possibly can to do it just the way he pictured it. He's, like, totally obsessive about it and it's, like, really rad; I like it.
In an interview for the online series "Free Lunch", produced by Hawk's RIDE Channel, Reynolds stated:
... and then Tony's just, like, Tony Hawk—he's like, basically, to me it says, "You can be a skater and take over everything and be, you know ... and use skateboarding to be ... a businessman, a ... role model to young people", um, he's just the best. And, he called my house when I was fifteen, and was, like, "Do you wanna do something with us?", not knowing anything about me. Yeah, Tony's the man, sure, he's the best.
In 2012, Reynolds recruited Hawk's son Riley for the Baker brand and he explained the process in an online interview:
... I was just, kinda like, "it's kinda touchy, you know what I mean, like?" It's kinda weird, you know? Tony's kid, he rides for Birdhouse. But I look at it, like, I picture him on Baker, you know what I mean? So we just approached Tony, "Yeah, we wanna talk to Riley about maybe gettin' some Baker boards, or something like that." And Tony's like, "Man, he's rippin', he's nineteen years-old, he can, you know, it's really up to him. You guys talk to him, you know?" So we just kinda said, "You wanna get some boards?", he's like, "I'm down, man!" And I look at it, like, there would be no Baker without Tony and Birdhouse. I know it's an ongoing process, you know? Tony quits to start Birdhouse; I quit to start Baker; my guys quit to start a new brand, you know? It's just an ongoing thing.
On Mark Gonzales, Reynolds has stated:
Gonz is the most influential skater of all times, no question. Mark Gonzales created how to street skate, for doing handrails and things that no one has ever done. When people were doing a boardslide on the rail and people thought that was super crazy, he was doing 180 nosegrinds and 180 fakie 50-50s. The best and most technical skater today doing the hardest tricks beyond what anyone could think of is not doing what Gonz was doing then. It’s just not the same. He was an alien or something.
In 2012, Reynolds explained Gonzales' influence in further detail:
Gonz, to me, is, like, the reason that we do handrails, and the reason we jump stairs and kick flip in the street; it's, Gonz. Besides what Rodney Mullen did, to me, he, like, opened up the doors for, like, street skating. One of my first videos was Ohio Skateout; all the top pros were board-sliding the handrail—that was like a big deal. And he comes up, and 180 [degree] to fifty-fifty down it; first try. It wasn't like he did just, like, a front [side] board, you know? He did, like, a whole entirely different thing that they, no-one even knew what it was. His brain ... I don't even know.
Reynolds has also been a vocal supporter of Flip professional skateboarder Tom Penny and stated in a 2009 article, entitled "The Church of Tom Penny":
The switch flip. It’s unexplainable. That whole thing is just like the Penny package. It’s like a display. Not many people have got kickflip, frontside flip, switch frontside flip, and switch flip all looking exactly the same. It wasn’t even really that common to do tricks over handrails at that point. He just killed it.
In December 2011, Reynolds was identified as the tenth most influential skateboarder of all time by Transworld Skateboarding magazine.
Professional skateboarder, friend, and teammate Braydon Szafranski has stated, "You're a complete fucking moron if you don't think that Andrew is the best skater in the world. Every single day he does tricks that I've never seen him do, and I've known him, like, six years." Professional skateboarder, teammate, artist, and company owner Ed Templeton has stated: "I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he jumps down the stuff he jumps down, year after year, and, and, still be like ... I don't know—to me, it's shocking. He's been number one for so long, that it's mind-blowing at this point." Emerica teammate Jerry Hsu has also expressed his admiration of Reynolds:
He just has, like, a really cool obsession with skating... it's like being around a little kid... as long as you are focused about skating, you can do whatever you want. You can... he is pretty nice. He does a lot of crazy shit in skating. Like, you wouldn't believe it. All he, all he eats is fruit. I don't know how he skates when he just eats fruit and salad... oh, he eats tons of vegetables. He's crazy.
In July 2013, professional skateboarder Paul Rodriguez included Reynolds in his "top ten" list of favorite professional skateboarders, explaining: "If you ask me, nobody jumps huge stairs and gaps better than Reynolds. Nobody does it with better style, more grace, or more control ... He’s another guy with amazing style. He is everything you could ever ask in the most pristine pro skateboarder."
Reynolds' skating profile was featured in the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video game. He has subsequently been involved with Pro Skater 2, Pro Skater 3, Pro Skater 4, Underground, American Wasteland, Proving Ground, Pro Skater HD, and most recently, Pro Skater 5. Outside of the Tony Hawk's series, Reynolds was featured in EA's Skate 3.
Reynolds won Thrasher Magazine's Skater of the Year award in 1998. For his video part in the 2010 skateboard video Stay Gold, produced by the Emerica brand, Reynolds received Transworld Skateboarding magazine's award for "Best Video Part" in 2011.
As of October 2012, Reynolds has been sober for ten years following a period of problematic illicit and licit drug use in his early twenties. Justin Regan, a member of the skateboard industry, has explained: "... But, in his early twenties, like, he definitely hit a rough period, with, like, partying... boozing, getting involved with drugs, and just kind of, like, living the lifestyle to the fullest." Friend, bandmate, and former Baker team rider Shane Heyl referred to him as a "cop magnet" in a 2008 interview, stating that "... we'd be having a good time and he'd just step it up to another level, just act... just act crazy!"
In response to the question "What in particular triggered you going sober?" in a 2011 interview, Reynolds replied:
Um, cocaine - just messing with hard drugs and not being able to stop. My drinking was way out of control; I couldn't drink one beer without ending up blacking out and doing drugs. It would happen over and over again. Probably from like seventeen years old to twenty-four, I just didn't know how to control my intake of drugs or alcohol. It just happens to certain people. You are either that way or you aren't that way, you know? I smoked weed like my life depended on it. Then one day, I woke up and I knew it was a problem. The hard stuff - I knew I shouldn't be messing with it.
He has expressed that his inspiration is his family,like his mother Laura, his father Paul and his brother David and sister Maria. In a September 2014 interview, Reynolds expressed concern over the influence that the recorded behavior of "Baker, Pissdrunx and our whole crowd" might have exerted upon young viewers and fans. Reynolds explained that he'd "like to try and repair that" as much as possible, and added: "I feel like that’s a good job for me."
In 2008, Reynolds resided in Hollywood, California, U.S. with his daughter Stella. However, in 2012, a report stated that Reynolds had undergone a divorce and subsequently sold the Hollywood house, as well as his Cadillac, in a process of simplification. In response to the life changes that Reynolds has undergone in his older years, Regan has stated, "That’s how he simplifies things down. If you want what he’s got, do what he does."
In a 2012 interview, Reynolds revealed the origin of his nickname "The Boss":
It's just a nickname that [professional skateboarder] Jim Greco came up with. I guess growing up watching mob movies and mob documentaries, there's always like has to be a boss. I had a Cadillac, it was just little stuff. I had an apartment; Jim was, like, "He's the Boss". That's it. And then he just kind of stuck with it after that. I don't take part in it. I don't go around, like, "I'm the Boss", you know? I don't care, whatever.
Reynolds has been involved with film projects on a minor level. He starred in the short film Shadows (2000) and the feature film Cop and 1/2 (1993), appearing as "The Skateboard Kid" in the latter. He was also a stunt performer in the documentary Collage (2001).
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