Devine Calloway Interview

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United Skateboarding was able to talk with Devine Calloway in Minneapolis at Familia HQ. We were able to find out about how he got on Primitive, what he did during his recovery time, and Es shoes making a comeback.


So being newer to the industry, I don’t know a lot of your backstory with Chocolate, leaving Chocolate, taking a break from skateboarding, etc.  Can you tell me about the situation?

For sure-I’m going to give you the short version.  Basically the whole Chocolate situation was a mutual agreement.  I got hurt and knew I was going to be out for a long time  and they were bringing a bunch of new dudes on, so I told them I’d like to take a back seat you know?

 What year did you leave Chocolate?

Oh gosh, that’s a good question.  That was like 2009 .  After that I had surgery on my foot and was laid up for a long time.  After I recovered, I decided I wanted to just try working and living a non skateboarding life.  I got a job working for a cable company-installing equipment and stuff. The cable company began cutting back hours so I picked up some hours at a friend’s local skate shop.  Eventually my friend Heath Brinkley hit me up to start working at his skate shop and park which lead to me getting back into skating.  And with his connection to Primitive, him and Paul came to me and asked if I wanted to be part of the team.  I was so psyched and decided it was time to get back into it.

So you and Diego wear Es shoes!  Do you guys have any ideas on signature color ways coming out soon?!  Or even maybe your own shoe?!

Yeah!  I’m so excited to be a part of Es!  I’m just flow for them right now, but I’m hoping that I will get to be an official part of the team soon!  So no signature color ways or shoes for me at this point, but I love wearing the shoes!

Es is really making comeback with the guys they have riding for them now and the marketing they are doing!  What are your thoughts on the shoe brands that are struggling because of the big name companies?

I know!  I love the fact that Es got out of the business but are now are killing it in the industry again!  They have some great riders with Kelly Hart, Tom Asta, and Diego!  I like what they’re doing and where they’re going.  I don’t hate on the big name brands and what they’re doing for skating either, but I do like to see the smaller skate exclusive companies doing well.

You’re one of the older guys on the Primitive team.  I asked a few of the other guys if they prefer traveling or being at home and skating locally.  They all said they love traveling.  Is that the same for you?

Yeah, you know, I’m 31.  I have a wife and a little girl at home.  It’s tough being on the road all of the time.  I miss them.  But I also like getting to travel around with these young guys, they are fun to watch and hang out with.

How does your wife deal with you being on the road?  Is it stressful for her?  And does your little one skate at all yet?!

Ha ha, yeah she can get kind of grumpy about it.  But she has a business that she’s running at home which keeps her busy.  She also has all of her family and friends close by to support and help her out.  My daughter is almost three now!  I’ll push around on a board with her a little bit!  I love watching her skate, but my wife is always worried about her being on a board.  Ha ha.  I think my injury has made her worry more about the little one skating and being on a board.  But, it’d be cool if she grew up to skate!

Can you talk about traveling to the UK a little bit?  Was this your first time traveling there?  What did you think about the crusty spots there?

The trip to the UK was fun!  It was fun skating with the UK guys and having that experience.  The street spots were for sure rough.  You’d find a spot that was great, but there’d be rocks all over, the cement would be all broken and there were people everywhere.  It was hard to avoid all of those things, but I had a great time skating around there.

You have some of my favorite board graphics!  I love the Fresh Prince board, the All That  board, and your Transformer board as well!  Can you tell me if you have input into what your board graphics are?  And if you do, how do you come up with them?

Yeah!  Aren’t the so cool!  I grew up watching Fresh Prince and All That, so I love bringing back some of the things I grew up with.  I like the fact that people can look at them and think, “Hey I used to watch those shows too!”  And the fact that they can relate to me a little through that is cool to think about.   I get to look at the mock up designs that they send me, and give them feedback, and then they create the boards to be sold.  With the Transformer board, they kinda just said-you’re Primitive foil deck is purple, so we are going to make your Transformer purple, which was fine!  I think the Transformer decks are cool!

I think that’s something that skateboarding can offer that maybe some other sports can’t-I feel like you can get to know a little bit about a skater and his personality and attitude from their board graphics!  What are your thoughts?  And how do you feel about Diego choosing to skate one of your decks?!

For sure!  Like I said before, I love that people can relate to me through my board graphics!  It’s cool to see what people come up with!  And I love that the other guys on the team like my graphics and choose to ride them!

So can you tell me a little bit about the team doing some crazy jump roping recently?

Ha ha.  Yeah!  It’s just fun to do you know?!  One person does something, and  another person jumps into try to do something cooler! Someone always has a jump rope with them and we just pull it out when we can!  It’s a fun way to get ready to skate!

How much longer do you see yourself skating professionally?

You know, I don’t have any plans to slow down right now.  I mean if I could get another great and healthy 10 years, I would be so happy.  I’d love to do it for as long as I physically can.  After that, I’d love to stay in the industry but in the product development end of it or something.  I have a lot of connections within the industry and the products created for the industry.  Maybe I could work with a board company, or a shoe company, or who knows?!  But I’d love to stay in the industry that way.

Thanks so much for the time Devine!  I really appreciate it!  Have a great time travelling through the Midwest!!

For sure!  Thanks!  We are off to  Nebraska next!


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