How did you hook up with Red Bull?
This story again? I sent out a Sponsor Me Tape. No, that’s not real. It was on the Red Bull Seek & Destroy, my team won, we went partying and they offered to have me ride for Red Bull and I did. I took the opportunity.
How did you come up with the concept for Manny Mania?
I was a rail dude and I just wanted to change my direction. My legs were getting sore form jumping down the Carlsbad Gap and I saw Daewon Song skate and said, “I want to do that.” No, that’s not right. It was me and Jeff Regis talking. Regis knew I skated a certain way so we just came up with the concept of doing a contest for tech skating. Is that what I do? Tech skating?
It was originally going to be called Joey Brezinski’s Manny Mania and that was the only thing I was opposed to. I didn’t want my name on it because I didn’t want to jinx it. I don’t think it would’ve worked if it had my name on it. I definitely would’ve lost every time.
Is there a jinx associated with self-endorsed skate contests?
Yeah, I don’t think anyone has ever won one that they self-endorsed. If you self-endorse a contest, you’re definitely going to lose. Ask Eric Koston about his Game Of Skate or Reese Forbes about his High Ollie Contest.
Tell me, when did you invent the manual?
I didn’t invent it. I think it was invented in the 70s. Who was the dude that used to do the crazy G-turns? Wasn’t there footage of Stacey Peralta doing it with a ponytail, hanging 10, doing long mannies back then?
Maybe he's your father?
He should be. But who did invent the manual? That is the real question.
I’m going to say Rodney Mullen, since he invented everything.
No, he didn’t do it. I thought that ballerina guy from the old Powell videos did.
Oh. Dan Gesmer. No. I’ll say Brandon Biebel.
Yeah, he invented the switch manual.
I’m sure you’re asked this a lot but what is a manual?
The definition of a manual? It is a skateboard maneuver, skating on two wheels, balancing without hitting your nose or tail. Do you want me to use it in a sentence?
That guy right there just did a nose manual and lost control and fell on his face and knocked his two front teeth out.
Now spell it.
T-e-a-t-h. No, that’s not how you spell teeth is it? T-e-e-t-h. Man, I spelled teeth wrong.
That’s your other area of expertise, how could you spell it wrong?
My teeth were in the wrong way when I was spelling it.
2010 is the fourth year of the Manny Mania contest. What’s going to be different this year?
Four years strong. Hoverboards this year; there’s no wheels. Michael J. Fox is going to show up. No, I guess harder manoeuvres are going to go down, I hope. I’m definitely trying to learn some hard ones.
What tricks are you working on? Can you say?
The Viagra Manual; that’s getting harder.
Do you plan on doing better in 2010 Manny Mania than you did in 2009?
Is it possible to do worse?
I definitely hope not.
Are you nervous now that Brandon Beibel rides for Red Bull that...
They’re going to call it Brandon Beibel’s Manny Mania this year? Yes. No, he’s a homie.
Could you beat him in an arm wrestling match?
If we go left arms.
How do you feel about a second day of Am Manny Mania being added this year?
I think it’s rad because there’s no Back To The Banks; they needed to do something on one of the days. Might as well watch the ams kill it.
There are 25 countries involved in the Am contest. Do you think any of them matter other than America?
Maybe Haiti. Is there one in Haiti? Haiti Mania?
But the cream of the crop of skateboarding is based in America...
Wow, this is turning into the Olympics. As long as U.S. ams don’t choke they can bring home the gold for America but there’s good kids all over the world.
Who are some guys you like from your native country?
That are good at manuals? Ray Maldonado. Steven Webb, Justin Shulte and Marty Murowski. How about that Flip dude? He’s good at manuals. Oh, he’s not from America—nevermind.
There are 25 countries involved in this year’s am contest. And you have to visit all of them.
I’m looking forward to Iceland. Wait! Greenland is covered in ice, right?
I think they all are except South Africa.
Perfect. I don’t really have to go to all 25 countries, do I?
No, but if you could, which country would you like to go to?
I want to go to China, I haven’t been there yet. Or Taiwan. I’d like to see how things are made. Everything is usually made in Taiwan,
Who are some of the pros in this year’s contest that people should be afraid of?
Stevie Williams probably. Brandon Biebel.
Two years ago Stevie destroyed the early rounds...
And then he fucked up. I don’t know what happened. I thought he had it. I was like, “Stevie is on point.” That’s the thing, if you rush it and do really well in the beginning you’re going to tire yourself out for the finals. I’ve noticed the people that kill the first heat, the second heat they slow down and by the third heat they’re just dead.
Is that what happened to you last year?
No, I didn’t kill it. I had a messed up ankle. I killed the mini bar in my hotel room.
You looked dehydrated.
I drank more water than I had done in previous years. I was trying to be all healthy-guy and it didn’t work. I don’t think I should be healthy-guy. I think I look better hung over. I’m a better human being hung over.
Visit www.redbullmannymania.com throughout 2010 for updates, and stay tuned for the Red Bull Manny Mania World Final and Pro Final coming to New York City on August 21–22