Skater, Bones Brigade Legend, The Firm owner, great video parts, filmer, one of the coolest Pros out there and still ripping all come to mind when I think of Lance Mountain. We had the pleasure of catching up with him and here's what he had to say.
How did skateboarding come into your life and when did you get fully into it?
Older Friend Quique gave me his old clay wheel board when he got a new one with urethane wheels, 1974, by 76 I was into the magazines and fallowing the scene.
Who was hot and what guys did you look up?
Him at first, Gregg Weaver, Tony, Jay, Stacy, Wally. just started fallowing the Mags. 75-77 was one generation 78-79 another 80-82 a whole new generation. Not like today generations are 10 year.
Did you ever get to ride with them early on?
I saw a few pro’s ride some of the early parks, but never was a part of it until my older skate mentors moved on and got out of skating.
Who were some of your favorite skaters to ride with in the 80's, 90's and now?
Neil Blender was the best. It always changes if you want to keep skateboarding, as others move on or have to get working. You need to skate with new usually younger skaters.
What were your favorite things to do and places to ride as a kid? How about now?
Backyard, 70’s skate parks pools, backyard pools. The same today. Anything new. Some street stuff, really anything.
How did you did get sponsored and how did it change things for you?
Went to England to skate as a kid in 79, the kids there thought I was sponsored, that’s when I first thought about it, as I came home my older friends were moving on. I started going to the skate parks more and they had teams. I was put on that and was asked a few times by companies. Everything began to be based on contests. After a few years doing real good at skate park contest I got on a company Variflex by Steve Hirsch and owner Gil Losi. They took me on a USA summer tour in 1981. Then I turned pro. Just a strange time in skateboarding.
Once you got on Powell Peralta what are some accomplishments you are most proud of?
My Son & Wife. I won a ramp contest a pool contest and a street contest. Tried to be creative so the spirit of Blender stayed in skateboarding. Because we were in the first video’s and showed the world you could do this as a living I think skateboarding is able to provide for many many more people than it ever would have.
When did you get to start traveling? Highlights? Funny Stories?
1979 first big skate trip. Mostly being able to see so much ground braking things in skateboarding happen. New tricks at the early parks, miller flips, inverts, Ollie's. Mc twists, 720s. Mark Gonzales coming up, Kareem Campbell catching kick flips, Bob looping baldy.
When did you first skate TX?
Tour 1981, Jeff Phillips ripped, blue ramp back of Zorlac maybe.
I remember great times in the 80's, what are some of your best memories?
Early 80’s were cool lots of changes lots of great product, lots of creative things, tricks, spots, by the late 80’s things just got stale.
I remember you being at the big contest on the Kahuna , what did you think of that ramp since it was one of the first 12ft metal ramps?
Bigger ramps pushed skating to bigger airs but also was the beginning of the end. I thought ramps were getting played out we were doing the same contest in every city. The skate park pools of the 70’s were better venues I think.
But it did bring in a new bread of rippers.
You always looked like you were having fun when you skated which came through in the videos. I thought the parts where you were goofing around on your skateboard with friends was great and important because it encouraged skaters to "just have fun" - was that intentional or did it just kind of happen?
I wanted skating to be fun, some of it was because I was having fun and some of it was because I thought others were to serious. Some of it was because I wasn’t having fun trying so hard so messing around made it fun for me.
I always thought skateboarding was playing with friends more than a sport.
When did you get involved in filming and how has that changed over the years?
Once I saw photos in the magazines I wanted to shoot photos or be in them, they just captured a moment in time and you had to dream what was going on. I think that made skaters more creative. Once video came out I worked with Stacy a lot. That was a new medium and was awesome. Done work with it ever since.
What were some of the most challenging things to film?
Skating along side of some of the best was hard, it took me longer to make things and made me think how to do something that could stand out.
What was it like starting your own company? It's kind of the "American Dream" for a lot of people...
The climate in skateboarding was such that if I wanted to still be involved it was something I had to do. I enjoyed it and also wasn’t that good at it. I love that it got me to here and now. Really enjoyed some of the relationships that were built.
What are some things most people don't know about starting a company?
I think that people think they will be their own boss, and you really go to having more people than ever that you have to answer too. Being a good owner really is being good at trouble shooting, organizing who is good at what and being responsible for many many peoples livelihoods.
How did you balance your skating, business and family?
The best I could, as it came, but it taught me the most important things in life.
You've done a lot of things behind the scenes over the years. What are some of the coolest projects you were involved in and anything you're excited about or doing now?
Any and all things, liked shooting photos of a lot of the up and coming street skaters, it kept me connected to it. I like working with Ca. Skateparks building pools right now.
It was great watching shred at Rock The Cradle in Houston; how have you managed to ride so good and creatively as you've got older?
Ice cream, I have more time now that I don’t have a company and I like skateboarding.
Did you ever imagine back in the day we'd have public skate parks? It seems with all the parks more older skaters (regular and pro) are riding again creating skating families. Where do you think that will take skateboarding?
After the parks closed in the 80s I never thought that concrete would be built again, have to thank Red and the Oregon boys, for bringing it back. Available terrain has always dictated the direction of skateboarding.
It appears more young guys are getting into riding trannies, vert and bowls as well as the industry embracing it again. What are your thoughts on that?
Once the industry embraces it, it is probably on it’s way out, something new is starting somewhere.
What are some things you'd like to see or make happen in skateboarding?
The retail business and the deck industry be healthy for al the shops that put a lot of effort into the support of it.
Skateboarding has always had a creative side and then the business side, Is there a healthy balance between them?
Yes, can’t have anything without the good blend of both.
Since the 90's it feels like product became more homogenized and less creatively differentiated than the 80's or am I just being an old guy?
Skateboarding isn’t young any more, we were blessed to see it in it infant stages.
You have one of the longest running pro careers in skateboarding. How do you manage to do that?
I could have been born in Siberia 1832, I am blessed to live in a country that was based on Gods morals to be free and have the opportunity to chase after a dream. I want to do what I want, but I have learned to put the Lord first then he will bless me. Sometimes it is not what I wanted or had in mind, but in the end it is better than anything I could have got by myself.
Looking back are there any things you would like to have done different?
Learn from your mistakes faster?
Are there any things a lot of people don't know that you would like them to know?
Everything I need and real joy and peace is found in Jesus Christ.
What things would you like to do in the next 5 or 10 years and beyond?
Stay involved, learn kick flip back flips down Hollywood high 16.
How do you think skateboarding will change?
No idea, I never thought I would live to see skateboarding in the Olympics. Bummer.
I debated on asking this, but...a lot of old guys would like to see a Bones Brigade reunion...any chance of that?
Stacy is working on a Doc about the whole team as we speak.
Any final comments?
There has been so many great skateboarders to come and go from this, I want to tell them how rad it was to see their contribution. The dream of a skateboard carrier can be brutal. But skateboarding in itself is always awesome.