Photography by Aaron Platt
Interview by Everyone
I: How did you first get into skating?
BG: My first memory of getting into skateboarding was my neighbor, like two houses down. I remember he had a Toy Machine board and he was pushing around on it, and I had a little Walmart board, it was a Blind that I used to scrape on the curbs to make it look like I knew how to board slide. He had that board and I was like ‘Dang, I wanna get one of those.’ So I remember one winter, my Grandma took me to Zumiez and got me the full complete, it was a Zero, with pink wheels and black trucks. The board was pink too. It was when Bam Margera was super big and I wanted a Bam board but they didn't have any so he fixed me up with a black and pink one. From there I started skating in my garage. It was pretty light hearted [when I began], it was something I got into because I thought it was cool, I’d bring my board to middle school. Towards the end of seventh grade is when I really started getting into it, like focusing on skating.
I: What was a big turning point for you?
BG: I was really into baseball. I played travel baseball, I was pretty good at it actually. When I got to high school I played my freshman year and then sophomore year I didn’t make the team. My mom was really bummed, but I was like, ‘no, now I can skate!’ From there is when I was like, ‘alright all I’m gonna do now is skate.’ It took a while, it took a while to take off, I was a late bloomer.
I: What board do you use?
BG: I bounce back between an 8.25 and an 8.38. Before I got hurt I was skating 8.38’s and then when I could skate again [after getting hurt], I didn’t have a lot of power in my legs so I moved back down to an 8.25.
I: For all the nonskaters out there, what would be a starting board size?
BG: As a little kid I’d probably say a 7.75. It took me forever to move up board sizes, I definitely ran smaller boards for longer than I should have. I never even did flip tricks either so it’s kind of weird that I liked smaller boards. I still kinda like a smaller board.
I: Where do you draw inspiration from?
BG: I definitely take a lot of inspiration from multiple people but I would say the big one is Andrew Reynolds for sure. Him in Stay Gold, eating a bunch of fruit and stretching a lot, that was sick. He’s not my favorite skater but I’d say he’s the most influential. I’m a big fan of Jeremy Leabres, Riley Hawk, Jon Dickson, Julian Davidson, that’s a good one too, definitely Julian Davidson.
I: What’s a trick that you want to master?
BG: Front side flips for sure. That’s an easy one I feel like a lot of people have that doesn’t work for me.
I: You’re quite the cook, what’s your favorite thing to cook?
BG: Right now my favorite thing to cook is fish. My friend who lives in Alaska, he was in San Diego and he gave me three pounds of Halibut. So I froze all of them and I’ve been learning how to cook fish. I would say the thing I'm best at making is cheeseburgers.
I: What are your go-to toppings?
BG: Okay so mine, and you guys can’t steal this whoever [reads] this because this is fucking my shit. So, honey on the bottom bun, burger, cheddar cheese, cream cheese on the top bun–jalapeño cream cheese. You can go either way, you can get the premade bagel cream cheese or I like to dice jalapeños and put it in regular cream cheese, so it’s a little bit more legit. Then some sort of spicy sauce, like chipotle or sriracha ranch. Oh and grilled onions.
I: Are we allowed to publish this or do you wanna keep this a secret recipe?
BG: No, you can run that. As long as people know it’s mine.
I: You used to cook burgers for everyone, right?
BG: Before I moved, we'd have–we had a jailbroken TV at my house–we would stream the UFC fights and have like 15 people over. It was like a party–pretty much a party. Everytime I would just cook for everyone. I made those burgers with the cream cheese when you guys were there. Oh the mustard sear, I forgot about that part. But that’s only sometimes, that’s what In-n-Out does, it’s how they do animal style.
I: Do you think it’s important to eat healthy as a skater?
BG: I fractured my knee in October 2020, I couldn't skate for three months. They told me the bone would heal back and I'd be good, and it did heal back but then I started skating again and like a month after I started skating again, I was in California and skated all day, I couldn’t walk the next day. So I started doing PT again for like a month, it didn’t get any better, like I could barely ollie. I had to get surgery, I went and got an MRI and they were like ‘your ACL is insufficient, its fucked.’ So I got surgery and tried going vegetarian because I was playing around with diets. I was not seeing the results throughout physical therapy while being a vegetarian–I know it’s a touchy subject. I started implementing meat back into my diet, but healthy meats. I try to not do a lot of grains, no buns, just patties with the same toppings, just not the refined grains. Definitely a lot of fruit but, yeah, eating [healthy] is super important. When I was younger I would eat like shit, like McDonalds, and feel so crappy. I'm on a good regimen right now, I intermittent fast, so I don’t eat until noon everyday. I think that helps with energy, mood, weight, all that stuff.
I: What do you do for work?
BG: I am a behavior analyst, I work with kids who are on the autism spectrum. I’m currently a supervisor. I oversee a bunch of behavior therapists, make sure they’re doing their jobs right, make sure the kids are progressing and all of that good stuff.
I: How did you get into that career?
BG: I had my bachelors in psychology before I got hurt [in October] and I knew I wanted to go back to school but I was just focusing on skating and hanging out. As soon as I found out I fractured my stuff, I signed back up for school. It was an 18 month program through ASU for a masters in special education. It worked out pretty perfectly because right around the time I could start skating again, I was finishing my degree. In August, I moved to California and got a supervisor position.
I: Has this job helped with your patience?
BG: I get way too aggravated, I do not have patience skating. But, yeah, in general with people in my life that I wasn’t super patient with, like my parents. Prior to learning all those things and working with kids, I was not patient with my parents or my family, but yeah, it makes you keep an open mind. I think having a full time job that I enjoy changes my outlook on things.
I: Do you have any dream destinations?
BG: Travel bucket list oooo, probably Greece. My mom’s side of the family are all from Greece.
I: Who are your role models?
BG: Role model would probably be my Grandpa. He came from Greece as an immigrant and worked as a busboy when he was like 15 for a couple of years. He, then, worked his way up in the restaurant business and then eventually opened up his own restaurant. From there he started investing and buying properties, doing all this crazy stuff, now he’s like 65 and hasn't worked in like 20 years. He goes on vacation like every month. He started from nothing, worked his way up. Skating role model is Andrew Reynolds probably, he sobered up skating and worked his ass off. I think a lot of people can appreciate that.
I: There’s kind of a crossover between those two, had to work hard to get where they’re at.
BG: Yeah I never thought about that.
I: If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
BG: Ribeyes, those are so good. I’m sorry my vegetarian friends.
I: Lastly, what advice do you have for people who want to start skating?
BG: Do that shit for fun. Just have fun with it. I know a lot of kids, even myself when I was younger, would worry about if I was gonna get sponsored or be able to make money one day, or shit like that. You can’t worry about that, I think getting hurt puts that into perspective too. Being able to come back to skating after being hurt, I just wanted to skate. I don’t care how good I am, I just want to have fun. Lasting advice is just have fun.