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Fight for your right: GX1000's Ryan Garshell talks cops, crews and cruising NYC.

So the G in GX1000, is that for Garshell or is it for Gangsta?

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That's funny. It's kind of for both.

Where'd the name come from? Who coined the phrase?

I get asked all the time, "Where can I buy a GX1000?" and that camera doesn't even exist. I don't know if you remember the SLAP Map Masquerade videos, but I started working on those and then Mike Hubert, the guy that hooked that up, was, like, "I want you to have your own series of videos that come out monthly or bimonthly that have a theme to them." And he just wanted me to continue to film with whoever I wanted to film with. I had no intention of upgrading to HD, so I thought it was kind of strange that he was so willing to back me at the time. 'Cause everybody who was legit back then seemed to be upgrading. Kinda jokingly I was, like, "What if we call them GX1000?" and he's, like, "That's it. Seriously, that's it. That's the name. You've got to run with it."

So that's the name of your edits, but it's kind of morphed into the name of your skate crew, huh?

Yeah, the name became the crew. It was kind of my last name, but it was more just, like, G, you know? It's not just me that's GX1000. It's all of us.

Besides the nostalgia's sake that a lot of pivotal videos were filmed with the VX1000, what do you like so much about that specific camera? I've heard people say they like the sound of it--

I like the sound a lot. The sound thing kind of breaks down to the fact that the mic is actually kinda shittier than most mics because the VXs have moving parts in them so it can't have a very sensitive mic.

Because a sensitive mic would pick up the camera noise.

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Yeah, a good mic would pick up the camera noise. I think that's why they have a shittier microphone. But you know, skating's super abrasive and loud so when you film a skate trick with the shittier mic, it almost sounds more like it does in real life. It sounds more like how you'd want it to sound. Also, I used to film so much with the fisheye and when things changed to HD, it was just, like, why would you want to try to fit a circle into a rectangle, you know? You're working with a round lens. Why would you want to try to stretch that out into a wide rectangle? A circle fitting into a square makes much more sense.

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Now that you're known as the GX1000 dude, do you feel like you can never upgrade to HD? Do you think you're stuck with this camera for the rest of your career?

Nah. I mean, I hope not. Because one day those cameras are not going to exist. But as long as I can use them I'm gonna probably use them because I like the way they look.

How do you go about picking who goes on one of these GX trips?

I'll kind of just start planning a trip and then the homies will be, like, "Yeah, I want to go," which is rad but it can be kind of hard because sometimes we end up with a big crew and it's hard to stay places when you got a bunch of people with you. But the trips are just kinda like all of us, you know? We kind of choose where we're going together.

I know different people go on different trips, but is there a set GX1000 crew?

Nah, I think it's just, like, whoever we wind up skating with, you know?

Kind of an evolving cast of characters?

It's not an elitist thing. We don't really go out of our way to skate with certain people--I don't know how to explain it.

It seems like it's a legitimate crew of friends as opposed to trying to orchestrate something.

Yeah, that's the whole thing. From when I started at SLAP, I was told, "We're hyped on your thing and you should just do what you do," I was, like, "So I can just make videos and skate with my friends?" And then when I transitioned to Thrasher, Tony Vitello just said, "Keep doing your thing." So it has never been a matter of considering who is going on a trip. It's just, like, we're all friends and we decide to go somewhere. It's never, like, "We're gonna bring this dude and he's gonna do this trick," it's just natural. I feel like that's why people relate to us--our videos and stuff--because we are actually chill with each other.

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Yeah, it's relatable--

It's not a team, you know what I mean? Sometimes people will ask, "Who's on the team?" and I'm, like, "Yo, there's no team. You're on the team, homie." It's not some jock shit.

If you could pick one contemporary skater to bring on a trip, who would you be stoked to film with?

That's a heavy question. But I guess it would be Gonz because I only got to film him once. It was just natural the same as anything we do. We just happened to be skating Blubba and he rolled up and was super hyped that Jake and Manchild were trying really gnarly tricks. He got all pumped and boardslid it. Just watching those guys skate together was really sick.

According to the Internet, you guys made some spots in Japan unskateable. Is there any truth to that?

I don't know. I hope not.

Is this the first you've heard of it?

I mean, I doubt we actually made anything unskateable. We barged some spots but it's the same thing we do everywhere, so I feel like--I think maybe the locals there hearing about it, it's crazy to them because the culture there is just so different. They're so respectful. If someone tells you to leave, no matter who it is, you're gonna leave. But to us, dude, we traveled around the globe for this shit.

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We might never come back. We're gonna skate the shit we want to skate. But we're the same here. I guess we're just a different tone than them, you know? We're kind of ruthless when it comes to street skating.

Another online conspiracy is that the clip of Yonnie running from the undercover cop in the full-length video is fake.

That's pretty funny. It's crazy because you make this long video, you spend a lot of time making it and, dude, everyone asks me about that clip. There's only a few clips in the video that I didn't film and that one of Yonnie running from the cop is one of them.

But to your knowledge, is that clip fake?

It's definitely not fake. Gotta give a shout out to Stephen Buggica who filmed that. When I saw that footage I got so hyped. I was, like, dude, I've got to get that clip for the video. It's too good. You watch it and you're, like, "What the fuck?!" I had to get that footage no matter what. And he didn't want to give it up because he was gonna use it for his video, of course. But he needed money to go on a skate trip so I gave him some cash on the spot for that clip. But that's a real undercover police officer.

So you grew up in Florida, right?

Yeah.

Do you think cops and security are harsher on the East Coast than they are on the West Coast?

Man, that's a hard one. In Florida it can get really bad. On that Map Masquerade trip, we were finishing that in Florida and it's like something out of a movie how racist and corrupt the cops are there. They were laughing about how they killed some kid and it was all over the news at the time. They had arrested a bunch of dudes just for skating, basically. It's really gnarly in Florida. It's a police state, you know? East Coast is pretty rough but it can get crazy out here in SF too. I guess it just depends on the cop. All cops suck. Fuck them. Except for that one.

Who's that?

There's this cop at the end of the "San Francisco Is Grate" edit. The footage kinda makes it look like it's set up. But everything I film is really street. I just skate around with my bag and film, so it's funny that people would assume I'd make up some shit. But there's a cop at the end of that video and it looks like he's bummed or that he's chasing us out, but he was actually talking to Al. And then Al just did that ollie in front of him and he was literally surprised that he did it. He wasn't bummed or anything. But later on I saw him and he remembered us and was, like, "Al Davis, yeah!" And I guess he went into Deluxe and asked about me and gave them his card and said he used to skate with Huf. His name's Troy. So that cop's cool. The rest of them can save it.

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What was the craziest interaction you guys had on this New York City trip? What was the craziest thing that happened with cops or security?

Well, I don't know if he wants me to put it in there but my one homie that skates got arrested for doing graffiti. But I don't know if he'd be too hyped if his name was in here.

Yeah, I think graffiti dudes don't usually want their names printed. But let's just say skate-wise--

We went to this one spot that was outside of the projects. Taylor Nida had already ollied it but he wanted to back 180 it. But there was this crack in the way. Like, a really East Coast crack and you couldn't skate it without fixing it. Somehow they were still ollieing it, but we needed to fix it. So I wound up going there with some bondo and filling it in. It was starting to dry and this superintendent type of guy came out and saw it and got all bummed and started trying to chip it out. He couldn't do it so he went back inside and came back out with a pick and a hammer and chipped it all out. It was gnarly. It was just a shitty-ass crack on a community sidewalk. It was insane.

Did you guys have anyone showing you around New York or did you just mob around and find stuff on your own?

All of us have been going there for a while. But we have a lot of homies, a bunch of GX type of dudes, there that I skate with. Like I said, it's not a team. It's not some elitist thing so we're all spread out. No one's really showing us around. We've been there a lot.

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Who's living out there right now?

Brendan Carroll, Aaron Herrington, Richie Rizzo, Josh Wilson, Jordan Trahan and Dustin Eggeling. A lotta guys are out there and they're all homies.

So your filming career has been in the streets. You make videos the way they used to be made. What do you think about a whole generation of kids growing up watching skatepark edits?

I don't know what to think nowadays with the direction skating's been going. I don't want to sound like a hater or anything. I think there's a place for everything in skating. It's just not my--I'm not into that at all. I could never devote my time or life to doing that. It would just be like a chore or something.

Are there old videos that you grew up with that you look to for inspiration? Obviously Static--

Yeah, and that Zoo York Mixtape. Fuck, man, everything about it was really sick. It was for sure one of the sickest. And Static and all of Dan Wolfe's early shit. Those are the ones that I immediately think of.

I feel like you're very much carrying the torch--carrying that tradition of those videos.

Thank you. I appreciate that.

On this New York City trip, it seemed like you guys were not only battling security and cops, but pedestrians were hassling you as well. Do you guys think that trouble seems to find you because you're exuding a certain fuck you kind of attitude?

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I don't really look at it like that, psychologically. I'm not looking for trouble but when shit's happening and I'm filming, I kind of get hyped, you know? For a long time, running that was the basis of the whole GX thing and it would always end with something crazy happening or some people doing doubles or something like that. It's something that would only happen if you're out street skating with your homies. Some crazy thing. So it's not like I go out looking for it, but yeah, I think that's a reason why people relate to the videos. You're not gonna film something like that if you're not out skating with your friends. Street skating is not meant for the general public to like.

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We interviewed Mike Anderson recently and he said that "Skateboarding's gotten soft." Do you agree with that? Do you think it's lost some of the edge that it once had?

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Yeah, it's gotten really bad to be honest. I get a lot of secondhand embarrassment within skating now. But then there are still people that are out there doing it in the streets. There's still a rad side which is the best thing ever. The kids that want to go street skate with their friends, get away with skating something that's super hard to skate and doing something difficult or something challenging to them, getting their creativity going with their friends--those are the type of kids that I'm psyched on. And yeah, there's a whole side of skating that is getting super soft, but there will always be those kids out there doing it for the right reasons, and that's what gets me stoked.

PHOTOS BY JONATHAN MEHRING

BY MICHAEL SIEBEN
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Author:Sieben, Michael
Publication:Thrasher
Date:Nov 16, 2016
Words:2412
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