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Tosh Townend.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES that you would be bore into a life in Huntington Beach, Califonia, with the great weather of constant sun? And what are the chances that your father would be a world-renowned pro surfer from Australia, meaning your whole life is centered on days at the beach playing in the water, surrounded by thousands of bikini-clad women? How ironic is it that skateboarding becomes really popular just at the time you hit high school, and instead of the captain of the football team being the big man on campus, it is you, because at 15-years-old you are feeble grinding one of the world's biggest handrails? Yes, what would that be like--at 15, being paid top dollar to skate and wonder about the rimes you get hurt if you should just switch over to pro surfing? Because in reality, you probably could. And after all of this, could it be real that you were also blessed with a strong frame, handsome face, and two-feet of naturally platinum blond hair? Tosh Townend definitely ranks high on the all-around enviable person list, but in meeting him you realize that his life may have been charmed from the start, but you don't get anywhere in life without some hard work. Tosh has put his body through it all for what he loves. After surgeries on each ankle and a damaged knee, especially with the waves calling for him to take it easy, you may be amazed to see some of his best skating yet. I'm not. Once a skate rat, always a skate rat.

What's up with your ride?

It's a 2002 Lexus 300, with a stick.

How many times have you crashed it now?


How do you crash a $40,000 car twice?

The first time--I had decided not to smoke that night and I was sober--I went around a corner too fast, did a big fish tall because my traction control button was off, and slid into a telephone pole.

And the second?

The second time I went up to Burnside with my homie Pete. We had to drive home at night for one of Pete's finals the next morning. After blazing the whole night I pretty much just fell asleep at the wheel. Then somehow we ended up going head-on with the cement divider. When I woke up I jerked the car to the right and ended up doing a back Smith on the divider. It was pretty dope.

How are the ankles?

Well, they still hurt from the surgeries.

What do you mean surgeries plural?

I've had three different surgeries within the past two years, on both ankles. I still get pains in them. I guess it's from rolling them again and again.

What do you think about people criticizing your Emerica video part?

Oh, that's some guy named Rob Brink from some magazine. I just saw his little review. I wasn't too psyched, but it's chill. He's a hater.

What about the collective world of skateboarding that perceives you as a big rail/stunt skater?

I guess people probably expected big shit, but there was no way my ankle would have been able to take that right after surgery.

"Why didn't you skate any rails in the course?"

Maybe because my ankles hurt and I don't want to do it in front of all your kids!

I guess having those surgeries severely limited the amount of time you had for the video.

Yeah. I had six months. Not too many people think about that when they're talking shit, I guess.

Do you ever think that kids saw how you came up, skating big rails, and thought that was the way to get sponsored?

Maybe--everyone is so caught up in going down huge shit. It should be an all-around part, showing you skate, and not just going down shit.

Are you trying to change your style of skating, as far as what you skate?

I can't just skate the big shit all the time. I enjoy skating other stuff. Some kids are so fucked. When I was in Slam City some kid was like, "Why don't you skate rails anymore? Why didn't you skate any rails in the course?" Maybe because my fuckin' ankles hurt and I don't want to do it in front of all you kids! I want to do it on my own time.

So you finally stepped into the real world and got yourself a mortgage payment?

Yeah, my dad and his ex-girlfriend were living here. She owned half; I just bought her out. I had to keep that shit, put a mini ramp in the back, you know.

I keep it pretty mellow around Huntington or else I would probably get myself into a lot of trouble.

What's up with your dad? He's a big name in the surfing world.

He was the 1976 World Champion. He's really helped me out a lot, showing me it's alright to travel. He's been through this stuff before, so he knows how it is.

Do you think he'll be let down about the fact that you'll never be a Bronze Aussie?

No. That's his original crew/company. He got over it; it kind of just faded away.

Do you still like to go to the beach and ride the tubes?

I try to go every once in a while. It helps my ankles, like physical therapy.

Any good shark attacks?

No, but I've been in the water and seen a few. Sketchy shit, dude.

Was it crazy, when you were first coming up, how companies were throwing a bunch of stuff at you?

After the On Video part everyone was starting to offer me shit, but I wanted to keep it real with my first sponsors. If you move around too much, the industry sees that.

Now you're a contest dog?

I guess, lately. I went up to Vancouver and just got back from the Boost Mobile contest in Vegas. If was sick, and I made some cash on the side.

You also lost some cash on the side.

Yeah. I pretty much gambled away all of it. To the homies but you know, I'm about to come back up on them.

What's the best part about skating contests?

Going out and having fun, coming back and partying.

Wes wants to know if you like battle rap.

Did he really say that shit?


Yeah, lately I have been into hip-hop. My friend Preston tries to go and battle a bunch of guys, so I go and support him. Go to the clubs where the hoes are at.

What's your situation with the girls around Huntington?

I keep it pretty mellow around Huntington, or else I would probably get myself into a lot of trouble. I try to just keep it on the tours.

Is that because of the bumps?

You don't want the rep getting around town?

The bumps were nothing! My doctor said they were nothing.

Fine, if you don't want to talk about it. Let's just go back to the generic questions. Who have you been skating with lately?

All the homies, and of course the SH crew.

What's the SH crew?

It's the Stoned Hessians. The crew from back in the day. When my friends lived in the Regency Palms we would go over there and get stoned every night, then we would go and skate some gnarly flat ground. It was pretty gnarly.

Now you just sound like Spicoli. You seen that movie?

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is the shit!

So what's your favorite movie?

That's it. Fast Times.

What about all those porns you're always talking about?

I don't watch porn. I make it.

Is that your dog chewing on my new camera bag?

That's Cheeba. He is chewing up your bag. He chews up anything he can get to.

What kind of name is Cheeba?

I got him by the Cheeba Hut, a little sandwich spot in Arizona. So that's what I named him. He's the Cheeba skunk.

Who were some people you looked up to when you were coming up?

I would have to say Reynolds. His part in The End was the shit. I also liked Kalis a lot, His part in The Sixth Sense was dope. But also, Cardiel is the shit!

What's up with patchouli? Do you use that stuff?

No. I haven't really used that stuff.

What are some of your hippie accessories?

Natural tooth paste, natural deodorant, natural hair products.

Speaking of hair, when are you going to cut it?

Shit, when I get board of it and shave it off.

You're beginning to look like a young Meg Ryan.

Yeah, whatever.

Has anyone ever mistaken you for a chick?

Fuck you, Scurich.

What kind of shit do you usually listen to?

Rasta. Reggae. I've been reading a lot into the hippie ways.

Well, I'd say you're just a couple steps short of being a full-fledged hippie. What kind of trouble have you been getting into around HB?

Plenty of tickets lately; mostly speeding. Some for skating, the other for possession.

What's the most memorable?

I've gotten lucky a few times. The other night I was racing someone going 80. The cop pulled me over; I just got out and fessed up. He let me off with a 60 in a 40. He could have impounded my car right there. I was pretty psyched that he didn't.

What should we be on the look for from Tosh?

I have a shoe coming out pretty soon. I also got my website up, Other than that, just skating.

So, Mr Goldenchild of Skateboarding, do you feel like you have a rep to live up to?

Shit, I guess. I'm not trying to think about it.
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Title Annotation:Once a Skate Rat, ... always a Skate Rat
Author:Templeton, Ed
Date:Oct 1, 2003
Previous Article:Schmitz Park Washington: skateboarders pool talents, land in hot water; W. Seattle underbridge project runs afoul of city.
Next Article:Lost Vegas.

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