If I had to vote today, I’d write in Erick Valdez. Why? First of all, he works fast. Erick is pretty new to the scene, but is making a name for himself being a member of the Deathwish team. Secondly, he’s tough, even in the midst of an injury, this guy managed to get enough footage for a Kill Tapes edit on Thrasher. Thirdly… the stache.
United Skateboarding was able to catch up with Erick while he was in Minneapolis doing a demo with the Deathwish for America tour. Check out why he’s getting our write in vote this coming election.
Hey Erick- Thanks for the time! I have to admit I was pretty nervous about interviewing you since I don’t know much about you. So I thought I’d start out by making you a little nervous too. I’m going to ask you some math questions and see if you can give me the answers, just like some beginning algebra, are you okay with that?
Are you for real? I can’t do that stuff… Like are you really going to ask me some math questions?
Ha, naw, I just wanted to break the ice. Can you start off by telling us some of your background information? Other than your Kill Tapes and the Gram Yo Selfie with Neen on The Berrics, it’s hard to find out much about you.
Can you tell us how old are you, where are you from? Where do you live now? When did you start skating? First board?
I’m originally from Huntington Park, CA and I still live there. I’ll be there the rest of my life, living in the hood. I’m 22 years old and I’ve been skating solidly for seven years. I got my first board at Boarders and it was a Deathwish board. I started noticing a bunch of guys skating around my area, so I starting making friends with them and skating with them.
That’s cool that your first board is the brand that you ride for now. How did you originally get put on Deathwish? How long have you been with the company?
I’ve always been a fan of Deathwish. I’ve been getting boards from them for over three years now. One night they had and open house at the Baker Boys park and I went to skate. Steve Hernandez hit me up to come skate the park again. After that day, they started hooking me up with boards. Deathwish was always the team I wanted to be a part of ever since the company first started, it was my first board. It’s so cool to be a part of the team. I used to watch Baker 3 all of the time growing up. So the fact that I get to skate with those guys, I love it.
At the end of 2015 you released “Kill Tapes” on Thrasher’s site. Can you talk about the process of filming that? Where did you go? What input were you able to have in the whole process?
I was supposed to be filming a whole part, but I ended up getting injured during the process of shooting footage, my cartilage ripped off of my left knee cap. So I had to get knee surgery. I was out for six month so I didn’t get to finish the full part, so I released a Kill Tapes instead. We filmed all of it in Cali just around. We hit up some San Diego places and every other time we just kind of randomly went out to spots and went from there as far as tricks and stuff.
What tricks in the video are you most proud of? Is there one that was the most challenging for you?
No, I hated doing the whole thing, it all sucked. I dunno. It was all super hard stuff that I did but probably the backside 360 was hardest.
What?! You don’t like the part at all?
Okay then, next question, ha.
You guys are traveling on this Deathwish for America tour right now, and you’ve been all over. Do you enjoy traveling?
Not really. I like staying at home and being in my own bed at night.
Any great roommate stories?
Jake (Hayes) is my roommate for the trip. We kind of drive each other crazy. He goes to bed so early and I just don’t go to sleep that early, I stay up until like 3 am.
What do you do until 3 am?
Snapchat chicks. Or Instagram, I’m always on Instagram or Snapchat.
*At this point Jake decides to chime in-
Jake-He drives me crazy. He will set his alarm clock for like 9:00 am and he won’t wake up. The alarm just keeps going off and he won’t turn it off. It’s so annoying. Like, just don’t even set the alarm.
How about a favorite stop on the trip? Do you have one?
Ummmm, I’m not sure, like I don’t really remember where we’ve been. Hey Jake, where was it that I did the back nose blunt 270 shuv? (Asking Jake)
Jake-That was in Madison, Wisconsin
Okay, well that was my favorite stop then.
Do you have a favorite skater? Video? Or part?
Hmmm. Let me think. I don’t know. Um I guess Dylan Rieder, his style is so sick. My favorite part right now has to be Jon Dickson’s Emerica part.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
I just want to skate every day at home. I’ll be out filming and skating with Aleks (Lewandowski), Jacob (Messex), and just other guys on the Deathwish team.
Cool! Thanks again for your time Erick! I was very entertained by your answers the whole time, ha ha. To finish off, keeping with the theme of the tour. If you had to pick one Deathwish team member to be your vice president who would it be and why? Also, would there be anything you’d change if you were president?
Ummm like I don’t know, probably Ellington because he’s just a legend. And nothing. I don’t really care enough to change anything.
Ha. Great answer. Thanks again and can’t wait to see what you have coming out in the future!