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Steve Roche: "lots of things got broken, but in a good way".

So Roche, how long have you been a computer geek? Since my parents bought me a Commodore 64.

How did you slip through getting a master's degree and maintain riding a skateboard all these years?

Undergrad at BU was ldnd of gnarly; I sure missed a lot of sessions. Grad school at UCSD was definitely a lot mellower. I worked in a robotics lab and they paid for my schooling, and the hours were super flexible so I always made time to skate. I also don't really party; that gives me extra time.

What have you been programming lately, some Sony robot?

No robots since I finished school. Lately I have been programming cell phone games for Sony pictures, writing software for Wintriss Engineering, and working on a video with Zack and Hitz.

What turns the brain of Steve Roche on a daily basis?

Tall fences, lock boxes, and boarded windows.

Give me a good Sloppy Sam story.

One year I built avert ramp in my parents' horse pasture, and Sloppy Sam found out about it and somehow got my number. So everyday I would get a phone call that would go something like this: Ring-ring. "Hello?"

"Yeah, this is Sam. I called the other day. So, uh ... how's that ramp?"

"Oh, good. I could use a hand tomorrow if you guys want to come and help."

"Oh, a-l-l-right. We'll come over and help." Click. So everyday for a week or so these phone calls would repeat. Finally one day I finished everything but putting the last few sheets up, Ring-ring. "Hello?"

"Yeah, this is Sam. I called the other day. So, uh ... how's that ramp?"

"Awesome, man. I just have to finish up a few things, so if you guys want to come over and skate tomorrow ..."

"Alright, we'll come over! How do we get there?" So the next day Sloppy, Big Tim, Merk, and Bato showed up.

How long have you been riding the stuntwood?

Since I was 15. Some punker moved into our small town, made me listen to some DK and told me to buy a skateboard. Thanks, Les.

Who are you riding for?

l had a brief stay with 151--thanks Darren and Sam--but management left me a voicemail telling me that l wasn't in the budget. But Sun Diego has been hooking me up for the past few years. Thanks Paul, you rule. I also get stuff from Sessions (thanks Joel) and Vans (thanks Henry and Dana). Glen gave me some Terror boards, and you gave me some wheels. So this week you guys are my sponsors.

Top five San Diego transplants?

Crazy Eddie, frontside corner invert. G-man at Washington Street--oh, transplants. I thought you said handplants. San Diego has a lot of insane skaters, and most of them aren't from California.

Favorite terrain to ride?

Ever since I moved down here and started hanging out with you it's been backyard pools, which is a damn good thing. I wish I skated vert more often, but it sucks when you have to go to some YMCA park with a bunch of lifeguards running around telling you to put on shin guards and turn off the boom box. I miss the old West Seattle Ramp House days. I also like skating little messed-up trannies that no one else really wants to ride. I used to have a vert ramp that was four-feet tall with four-inches of vert That thing sucked, but I loved skating it.

Last good band you saw?

A few nights ago I saw Shed play at Cane's in Mission Beach, but it turned into more of a bouncer-jock-gangster boxing match. It was pretty stupid. The only venue I've seen Shed play where things didn't end badly was my old baokyard with the ramp. Actually, those shows were pretty violent and lots of things got broken, but in a good way. Last week I saw Dieeide and Hate Eternal play at Brick By Brick. That was definitely one of the best shows I've seen this year

When's the Roche shoe going to debut?

I don't see any Roche shoe in the future, but I am sure some Roche Toe is in the works. Texas Dan coined that term and I think I hate him for it. I have the tendency to be kind of sketchy sometimes and I try to land shit when my feet are barely on my board. So now Texas fucks with me and screams out "Roche Toe" in the middle of my runs. And sure enough those fucking flippers will start falling off.

What's the difference between the Washington Street Project and other Southern California skateparks?

Washington Street is what skateparks should be like and is what happens when skaters are in control. The YMCA parks are what happens when ESPN-types are in control. And the shitty public parks are what happen when politicians who don't know the first thing about skateboarding are in control.

What made you move from the East to West Coast in 1994?

In 1994 skateboarding was plagued with small wheels and baggy pants. Yeah, I had big wheels back then ... 47s? Anyhow I had just finished college and wanted to move somewhere where people still skated vert. Davey Rogers told me that Portland was the spot and he was flying out there soon. It sounded good so Preston and I got in a car, told Davey to rent a place when he got out there and we would meet him in a month. So two-and-a-half months later, Preston and I drove past Portland and pulled into Seattle. Preston hung out for a few months and then split down to San Diego. It took two and a half years of rainy winters before I decided to move south and go to grad school. So I moved to San Diego, and then the most insane skateparks started getting built in the Northwest. Poor timing on my part.

You've been to Preston's moms' house in Switzerland?

Yeah, she has a killer little place in Basel. You have to take an elevator to get up to it. As soon as Preston and his brother got in the elevator they would start tackling each other, and when we got to the top Preston's morn would be screaming: "Preston Maigetter! You're going to break that elevator." When I showed up there, Preston had all of his school pictures lying out on the floor in chronological order; it was outstanding. It was the evolution of the mullet.
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Title Annotation:Heads_Roche
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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