|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|Children||Mia (daughter) Julius (son)|
Ellington was born in Anchorage, Alaska, United States (US) and grew up in Tempe, Arizona, US. Ellington explained his early life during the filming of his "Epicly Later'd" episode for Vice Media's internet channel:
We moved around a lot. Like, when we lived in Alaska, my stepdad, you know, like, he had money. He made a decent living; he had a, like a, body shop for cars and stuff. But then, like, you know, move back and forth, shit goes wrong up there, you know, move into a janky apartment, or what, you know, or whatever. But we been up and down ... and, ah, it's a good way, I think it's a good experience, you know? To like, know, both sides of, both sides of the tracks.
In relation to Anchorage, specifically, Ellington has stated, "There wasn’t a whole lot to do up there in winter. But in the summer you’d get between 16 and 22 hours of daylight. So you kind of got a year’s worth of skating in those four months.”
Ellington early skateboard influences were the brands, H Street and 101, and Ellington sent video footage, filmed when he was around fifteen years of age, to the former company; he was sent a Mike Carroll signature model skateboard deck in response.
Ellington's first skateboard video part was during his time as a Zero rider, when he appeared in the video, Thrill of it All; prior to this, he had appeared in the "Friends" section of the Toy Machine video, Welcome to Hell, but the Zero video was his first official part. At the time that Ellington was recruited by professional skateboarder, Jamie Thomas, who is the founder/owner of Zero, Ellington had relocated to San Diego, US, from Tempe. Ellington has explained the initial development of his relationship with Thomas:
Jamie Thomas came out to Arizona. We talked-me and Scott Copalman talked to Jamie quite a bit, and it was, like, we were on Balance at the time, and he was starting Zero clothing. So, like, he wanted us to ride for the clothing-actually, he wanted Scott to ride for the clothing, and then, uh, Scott said he wouldn't do it unless I, unless I was on too. Well he just said, like, "I won't leave Balance unless Erik comes with me.", you know? So, by default, I got on Zero.
Following the release of Thrill of it All, Ellington has revealed that while he was on tour with Zero, fellow professional skateboarder Adrian Lopez informed him that he was on the verge of being dismissed from the company's roster. Thomas has explained further in a telephone interview:
We were trying to film for Misled Youth and Scotty and Erik went through a spell of several months without doing absolutely anything. And everybody on the team was trying to film, and everyone was trying to do things, and, you know, get stuff going for the video, and those guys were, you know, starting to drink a little more, and starting to, kind of, do the wrong thing, and, it kind of didn't have anything to do with what we were doing. And, uh, Erik had this sketch book, and he just, you know, it was basically a sketch book, a journal, and he just wrote everything about every day, and all this stuff, and we were riding in this van on this tour, and Lopez, like, reached-leaned over, and, like, borrowed Erik's pencil and drew a boot. Like, when we were filming for Misled Youth, he probably had like, about, ten or fifteen tricks, right up until the last month before the release of the video. He seriously probably filmed a trick a month up 'til that point. And then, all of a sudden, he filmed, like, twenty-five tricks in one month. It was all of his gnarliest stuff in Misled Youth; it was all done in one month.
Ellington was a co-founder of the Supra footwear company in 2005 and, since that the time, the company has released six different Ellington "signature" skate shoe designs, with the sixth model released in late 2012 ("The Ellington").
In 2012, Ellington travelled to the Philippines as part of the "2012 Supra Asian Tour", where he was welcomed by the local media as a "living legend". While in the Philippines, Ellington and others participated in a street skateboarding demonstration at the Centris Walk in Quezon City and Ellington also received a tattoo that reads "Thrilla In Manila". The Asian tour also visited Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, and Taipei.
Ellington cofounded the skateboard deck brand Deathwish with professional skateboarder Jim Greco in 2008 and, as of 2013, the two partners continue to co-own the company. The initial professional team roster consisted of Ellington, Greco, and Lizard King. Shortly after inception, the promotional video Baker Has A Deathwish was released in conjunction with the Baker company. As of 2013, Copalman is an employee of Deathwish.
In April 2013, the first full-length Deathwish company video was released worldwide and Ellington appeared at international premieres, such as the Melbourne, Australia event at the Astor Theatre. Entitled The Deathwish Video, the brand's inaugural production features Ellington, Greco, Jon Dickson, Hansen, Neen Williams, Furby, Moose, and Lizard King. Production of the video was overseen by Ellington, with assistance from other professional skateboarders such as Dustin Dollin.
Alongside sponsored skateboarders, Geoff Rowley, Louis Lopez, Arto Saari, Curren Caples, and David González, Ellington is a client of management company, RPRT. RPRT was founded by Matt Meyerson, is managed by Ken Perkins, and is described as "a hybrid agency whose core competencies include film/tv production, talent/athlete management, event production (they currently produce Expose NY, a twice yearly fashion showcase during NY Fashion Week geared towards the media and stylists) and brand consulting."
In 2007, Ellington and fellow professional skaters Andrew Reynolds and Greco established Bakerboys Distribution as an umbrella company for four skateboard companies—Baker Skateboards, Deathwish, Brigada sunglasses, Heroin, and Shake Junt (created by Shane Heyl). Ellington explains on the distribution company's website:
Bakerboys distribution was founded by Jim Greco, Andrew Reynolds and myself. In 2007 we rented a small studio in Hollywood to make a home for our new sunglass company Brigada. Once we figured out that we were going to start Deathwish skateboards we upgraded to a larger warehouse in the barrios of North hollywood. Every member of our crew here we've known for years and our goal is to continue to provide our friends with jobs. As of late 2008 we added Shake Junt to the line-up created by our close friend Shane Heyl.
As part of a "Day in the life" feature by Transworld Skateboarding magazine, Ellington provided a tour of the company's headquarters in early 2011, stating that "Now days me and Jim sign every dollar that leaves this building ... didn't used to do that." The tour of the premises reveals a large storage area, a conference space, a sales department, and an art department ("We have Alfred here, art director; Ryan Romero over here—he's the in-house artist.").
Skateboard journalist, Patrick O'Dell, has identified Ellington as one of his favorite skateboarders, stating:
Erik's style is always really cool, and the way he lands tricks ... he's got something that he has, that not many other skaters have. It's like, kinda sketchy, but it just, it just looks so cool; and he's still one of my favorites-he's the kind of guy that you see him do a flatground kickflip, then you go, "Oh, that's why that guy's pro[fessional]."
When asked the question, "What do you think of Erik's skating?", Thomas replied: He looks sick and, you know ... his stuff looks good. You know, that's a tough one to answer." However, Thomas later explained, in relation to Ellington's part in Misled Youth, "It goes to show what he's capable of, and his potential, that he would just always, he'd always put it off until he had to do it, and then, when he had to do it, he would always get it done ... It's pretty rad."
Reynolds' perspective on Ellington's skateboarding has also been publicized:
To me, when I look at him, he's like, he's like, Eric Koston, but just with this, like ... take away all the, all the perfection, and everything, and add, like, this, like, lazy attitude problem, or something, you know, like, he's just, like, that good, but it's just like, "Well, whatever". He's like, he's really that good.
In a 2011 interview, Ellington stated that, among his friends, he is "probably" best known for "being a bit of a lagger. I'm always late. Nobody can really rely on me, for, uh ... being on time." In his spare time, Ellington enjoys carpentry.
Ellington's nickname, "Mule," is included as part of his title on a 2014 signature skateboard deck for Deathwish. A photo of the deck was published on the internet by fellow professional skateboarder Daewon Song, who received a signed copy in early April 2014 that read: "Daewon, thanks for all the years of inspiration."
- Zero: Thrill Of It All (1997)
- 411VM: Issue 20 (1997)
- Baker and Bootleg: Baker Bootleg (1998)
- Zero: Misled Youth (1999)
- Landspeed: CKY (1999)
- ON Video: Spring 2001 (2001)
- Baker: Summer Tour 2001 (2001)
- ON Video: Fall 2002 (2002)
- Emerica: This Is Skateboarding (2003)
- V7: Teenage Tour (2004)
- Emerica: Kids In Emerica (2004)
- Baker: Baker 3 (2005)
- Thrasher: King Of The Road 2006 (2006)
- The Berrics: "Battle Commander" (2007)
- Streets: LA (2007)
- Baker and Deathwish: Baker Has A Deathwish (2008)
- Shake Junt: Chicken Bone Nowison (2009)
- Baker and Deathwish: Baker Has A Deathwish Summer Tour (2009)
- Supra: European Tour (2011)
In late 2012, Ellington revealed his perspective on music in skateboard video parts:
It's really important to have something that, like, you know, either reflects you, or reflects the skating, you know, and, like, kinda like, ties the two together. But I think the funny thing is, like, you know, like, now days, you kinda have to get rights to everything, and, and I think a lot of the labels, you know, maybe not necessarily the band, but the labels, I don't think they understand that, you know, when, when, like, a certain song is put to footage, and, if the kid is stoked, you know, they, like, look up to that person, or whatever it is, then they actually start listening to the music, you know? So, like, that's how I was when, like, I was growing up, with all the H Street bands, or whatever. Or Operation Ivy, or Danzig, or anything like that; or Misfits.
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