Loveletters: The Rowan Special w/Ronnie Sandoval | Jeff Grosso’s Loveletters to Skateboarding | VANS


– Welcome back to The Letters. I’m your host Jeff Grosso,
and we have a very special edition of The Letters here for you today. From this burned out Generation X’er to a couple of millennial madmen, we have Rowen Zorilla and Ronnie Sandoval. We went skateboarding, talked
all things skate related, and this is the episode. I hope you enjoy. (spunky music) ♪ And for
your favorite freak show ♪ ♪ It’s Love Letters with Jeff Grosso ♪ ♪ And his flying internet show ♪ (intense rock music) (skateboard grinding) (onlooker cheering) – Fuck, man, what do you wanna talk about? – The basic stances,
regular foot, goofy foot. – Everyone I ever meet that I know skates, I have a predetermined, in
my head, of their stance and most of the time it’s right. If I had to guess, I would’ve guessed Chewbacca was regular footed. I don’t know why. (crowd cheering) – I learned how to skate switch. I got good at it when I had like a really bad ankle roll on my front foot and couldn’t like ollie or
kickflip or anything for months, and then I just, when I very
first started skating again, I started skating switch
’cause I was like, “Well shit, if something
happens, where I have to ollie “over a crack or ollie up the curb, “I’m gonna have to do it switch “because this ankle can’t turn.” By the time this ankle was all good to skate regular again or
goofy, I was just like, “Oh, I’m kinda good at both now.” (group laughs) – [Jeff] That’s fucking rad. (slow techno music) (skateboard grinding) – When I grew up, like skating switch was a really important thing for, like, a kid that wanted to be really good. You’re like, “Well, all
these pros are doing, “like, handrails switch and shit.” – Who invented the ollie? – I don’t know. (group laughs) – Yes!
– Sick. – Why would I know that? (group laughs) – [Guy Offscreen] If you know
who hosts the goddamn show, you don’t. – Who did?
– That rules. – Ollie Todd? (buzzer) – Alan Gelfand. – What is it?
– Alan Gelfand. (spunky music) – [Female Narrator] Back
in 1978, a Florida skater named Alan Gelfand invented the Ollie. Gelfand did an aerial in
which he flew out of the ramp and turned 180 degrees
without grabbing the board. This was revolutionary in
the world of ramps and pools. But it would be years before the ollie’s most explosive achievement would
be realized in the streets. – The ollie showed up on Transition first. And it was Gelfand going front side and it was Jeff Tatum going back side, and there’s some discrepancies
about who actually did the no handed aerial first. – It makes sense that you would do the back to ollie first,
because y’know, the edger? – Yeah.
– You know? (Lee burps) It’s not as often you do
a front turn micro edger. – [Jeff] No.
(Lee burps) – But back turned mic,
happened by accident. I’ve seen dudes do it. They just do a little bit of an ollie. (futuristic techno music) – I started having dreams dude, I swear. I was 20, 21, I would have
dreams for like a year of doing a kickturn and ollie, I just imagined doing a kickturn on air. Not just like, you would
just roll on your back wheels and the wall, but on the air, and one day it came true, man. – That’s fucking badass. You’re not wrong on
going with Rodney Mullen because Rodney Mullen gets
credited for the street ollie. (dramatic tehcno music) But it’s really Gonz. (upbeat guitar music) – [Male Narrator] When the
great skate wars are over and the last lip shot is fired, a few heroes will be remembered. One of them is Mark Gonzo Gonzales. The Gonz earned his
stripes in the rad streets and crazed curves of Los Angeles. And he continues to terrorize
all that confronts him with aggro style. A sort of Baryshnikov in combat fatigues. – [Cameraman] Who grinded the first rail? – Grinded the first one? Fuck, that’s a good one. I don’t know that one. – One more time and I’ll make it. (skateboard grinding) – Damn, that’s heavy. – I was at the Thrasher plant
and Bernette wanted to get me the one from the year I was born. I know that one is Mike Carrol
gapped a tail side in SF. – What year? I was born in ’96. – Five. – Nice. (Jeff laughs) – So I was in the archive
room, whatever, and I was like, “Can I take, like, two or three?” And I took 30 max. But the oldest one that I
got was the luging cover. – 1990, dude. – Oh. – Skateboarding in 1990, well you’ve got Dressen
jumping some stairs. – Century City. (electronic music) – Dude, in ’90, Miller was
skating really, really well. It was kind of the era of Lee Ralph. – I’ve always wanted to see him skate. – Who was the best
barefooted skateboarder? (scratchy techno music) – I would say Steve Schneer but– – Well because he could do
the Ho-Ho naked and barefoot. (crowd cheering) – [Jeff] He did fronts in
every channels, barefoot. – I think Raven takes it to another level. – Yeah, Raven takes it to a new level. – Hangups are sick. – Gibson made it up. – [Camerman] What? – The Caster Disaster. Everybody used to do
lipslides and hit their tails to come in, ’cause there
were no noses and stuff. John Tex Gibson was the
first one that like, did fakie ollies and hit his board and came in without touching. – [Rowen] No nose necessary. – [Jeff] Yeah, no nose
and not grab his tail. – Who was the first person to roll in? – The first person to roll in? I know, do you? – No, who? – The first roll in photos
I saw, I think I saw, was Dr. Rick. – This is the guy that did it first. – Frontside. – Rick Blackhart. – Nice, I never knew that. – Oh yeah, we’re just talking about what different shapes,
what tricks they call for in your own, like when you step on them. – What, like fish boards and stuff? – I mean, I think it started– – I’m gonna get myself in trouble here. The fish is accredited to Alba and Hosoi, and both of them– – [Rowen Zorilla] That’s
the fat tail, kind of, cleans up at the top. – That was the original flared
tail, original money bump. There was a dude, Mondo,
that worked at Alba, that did all their airbrushing
and screenprinting and stuff. I’m gonna say probably
Mondo had something to do with shaping the first one. (loud electric guitar music) Because those boards did so
well when they first came out, everybody and their mother jumped onboard and they started cutting
notches all over shit. And every notch was supposed
to do something different, like help you lock in on Smith grinds or be able to do better tail taps, or a notch to fucking grab for a backsnare or a notch for a leaner,
fuckin a slabare notch, Roskopp with the toe notch
for doing Smith verts. It got fucking ludicrous. (upbeat funky music) – The shaped board madness
all culminated, like, at its very height Mark Lake
came out with the Nightmare. – [Commentator] The veteran, Mark Lake. – And he was hype, and we
all just looked at the thing and it was like, “That is fucking crazy.” I mean whatever, they brought it back. – The Nighthammer, after
years of development and republication of wood, we’ve come to the laser
technology labs here, and done our massive research. Now come and ride it, the Nighthammer. (slow rock music) – How do you feel about
eggplants tucked behind the knee. – [Jeff] I don’t like them. – [Rowen] I remember you told me that, you don’t do it anymore. – Indie airs, to me, are
supposed to be done between– – [Ronnie] Right in the middle. – [Jeff] Between the legs, and
eggplants are the same thing, ’cause its just an indie air handplant. (heavy rock music) – [Cameraman] Best flat ground 360 flip? – Stevie Switch. – [Ronnie] I gotta say BA. – Favorite skate video ever? – I think “Fucktards”. (man screams) That one gets me the most stoked to skate. – I’d have to say “Tent City”. – [Narrator] If you’re into skateboarding, and you really love it, then you’re not a part of,
like, the everyday system, like, you are a different breed. – [Cameraman] What’s your
favorite Peter Hewitt clip? – My favorite one would probably be, it’s like a hip, it looked
like a hip vert ramp, vert ramp that hasn’t hit and he does a fuckin crazy lean air from one side to the other, but he lands like this. (heavy rock music) – I like the one where he does the fuckin’ front side flat foot rodeo. – [Jeff] He does a rodeo
flip around the corner in Mousberg’s “Child Games” video. – Peter Hewitt’s my favorite skater. – The dirty pig. – True or false: Neckface got his first frontside grind in a pool today? – In a pool? – Very true. – True. (skateboard grinding) – Do you guys have the mag of Fred Gall doing the switch Five-O? It’s the cover. All right, so one time me and Neck were looking through all
of them, and he was like, “Yo, you know Jake has the
most insane memory, like, “you can send him any
photo and he’ll tell you “what issue it’s from.” And I was like, “let’s
push it to the limits” and on that cover, there’s some numbers, and I can’t even remember them, on the cover, like someone wrote. It’s four numbers, it’s
like 3110 or something. And Neck sent him a photo of that cover, and it’s his fingers
blocking the number, to Jake, and he was like, “What am I covering?” And instantaneously he
sent back those numbers, but one switched. I think it’s 3110. – Skateboarding taught
me a lot about life. That the best people I
ever met in my life were skateboard people not just, you know, weed dealers, graffiti
artists or fuckin DJs, all that shit’s fucking hokey. Seriously, the skateboard
people, the best people I ever met in my life were
skaters and that’s it. That’s how I rate somebody, I met ’em through skateboarding, whether I met ’em at
Burnside or I fucking, know ’em from Haley or they’ll
let me stay on their floor in fucking Prescott, Arizona. Those are the people that’s
the fabric of my life and I will always bank on that. That’s true, straight up. – Thanks for watching. Turn this shit off, go skate. Your life’s out there. – Do your first frontside grind in a pool. – Party dweller dream week. I don’t know, 90 to 2000
is just blacked out. It’s gone. – Jeff Grosso and I’m
from Arcadia, California, and I’m 20 years old. – It’s fuckin ridiculous. (Jeff chuckles) It’s a good episode, you should probably watch it. (Jeff laughs) Do you want to just stop, please? – [Cameraman] Yeah, let’s
go eat, and we’ll come back.

78 thoughts on “Loveletters: The Rowan Special w/Ronnie Sandoval | Jeff Grosso’s Loveletters to Skateboarding | VANS

  1. Finally! Phew, I was starting to get worried there for a minute. Welcome back. Definitely looking forward to this.

  2. Holy shit!!!! Thank God the letters are back. And Thank you for the tribute for Phelps. Didnt know if the letter s were gonna brush right over him but something is better than nothing. Maybe on the one year. But anyway. . .another great intro song – sick episode. Btw was that Cab as chewbacca hahaha

  3. Sick the showed schneer doing a tershey grind and then raven skating barefoot thats exactly where my mind went

  4. The question I have is who was Grosso looking to his left for approval from in the intro?

  5. If you get to Grants Pass Oregon go to the skatepark if you need a place to stay and ask for old man Greg someone will get ahold of me there I got a place you can stay on the floor and I got a pretty fat mini ramp

  6. Fuck yes!! Just bought a Grosso deck today! The skate gods must have been happy

  7. Dude, don't go so long without uploading a Love Letter. Man I thought you might have been with Andy in rehab. Thank Phelps you're not!

  8. Naked Boards had crazy cut out shapes..oh let's not forget the Vision uncut..go nuts with it..

  9. This show is the best thing on internet period Jeff and six stair productions are amazing

  10. We have a special special speeeeecial episode for ya…..Rowan and Sandoval

  11. cardiel and hewitt…most hype one can possibly get is watching their footage. hewitt’s rodeo 540 on that vert ramp with the death wobble just before take off is THE gnarliest clip i’ve ever seen. i’ve probably watched that clip 1000 times in my lifetime and it still gets me amped. great episode. please never stop making these! 🙏🏼

  12. Yo, not trying to come off all cheesedick but I really needed this ( and again no cheesedickin) little gift today. In my world, Love letters brings me happiness. The 8 to 20 / 30.minutes while on the can watching or driving somewhere paying more attention to my phone in hand than the jerkoffs on the roads- L.L. is my dope!!!! Thanks J.G. and crew. Now … And most important… Go Skate!!!!

  13. mark gonzales throwing his sunglasses ot the window is the coolest thing i have seen in my entire life!

  14. Coming in HOT!!! fuck yes the Letters. Great job, as usual.
    less than 3 Grosso and company. Let's Go!

  15. Got to find out whatever vid that is of young Grosso…it’s probably funny

  16. Them: who invented the ollie? Me, a man of culture: mark gonzales

  17. at 6:47 – Rowan says he always wanted to see Lee Ralph skate… then 1-2 seconds image of him doing a Madonna on a sketchy ramp – I organised this demo in summer 1989 in Brussels (Eterbeek spot centre) – we also had Ken Park and Joe Johnson present (Gator was supposed to be there but did not make it)… Ken Park did his first 540 on this ramp, it was nuts… We got some coverage on Flemish TV news the next day that I have somewhere in VHS. Afterward we went in town to drink Duvels with Lee until we passed out on the sidewalk ah ah ah I am curious to where you got the footage – I have never seen this angle but I remember Ken's wife filmed a lot that night – might it be her footage? Would love to see more!

    Grosso – we met a few weeks later at the VB washed out contest – I was staying in Malba and Schroeder's room at the Days Inn (I was first sleeping in my car and they nicely let me sleep and clean up in their room) – I had a car so could drive many of you guys around – picked up Schnneer at the airport… Madness for one week before the contest was finally cancelled because of the rain – good memories

  18. I started in 86 and remember those days. Now im 45 and started back. The only thing that seems to be true to me and never let me down is being on a board. When your a real skater your a skater for life. Everything else goes away.

  19. "I dunno, 90-2000 is just blacked out…" I can attest to that being 100% true. I was one of the very few guys in that era who never drank or touched drugs. Him and Hosoi were the train wreck twins of HB. Meth, the pools, the whole Focus debacle. Yikes.

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