Skate Nerd with Rob Thorpe
When I moved to Calgary in the early 2000s, Rob Thorpe was the guy that was keeping Calgary skateboarding on the map. Rob, in his trademark grey hoodie, was always around with a VX in hand, documenting the ripping of guys like Devin Morrison, Dwight Pineau, Reuben Bullock, and anyone else that was putting it down hard. This was back when sharing an independent video meant getting DVDs made, organizing a premiere, and hoping to make a few bucks in sales or sponsorships to cover the costs of the four full-length videos he made. I know Rob never made anywhere close to enough money to cover his costs, but his efforts did not go unappreciated by skaters. Side note: as I write this, I’m remembering once leaving a spot and seeing Rob discover a ticket on the windshield of his grey Honda Civic. His driver’s side door caught a beating after that one. Rob is a very passionate dude when it comes to skateboarding and parking tickets. I’m thankful that there are nerds out there like him. —Leo Hayes
Backside Crail Slide. Glass
First skateboard video you saw: Ban This or Public Domain at Skate Jungle in 1990.
First skateboard magazine you saw: A Transworld in 1986. Not sure what issue, but some vert action in there just blew my little grom mind. Mom wouldn't buy it though.
Favorite video: Welcome to Hell.
Best Part: I should say Heath Kirchart in Sight Unseen, but maybe Kyle Walker's No Other Way part. Or Nyjah's next part.
Favorite trick you have filmed: Derrick Timoshenko's Frontside Halfcab Flip down China 12 stands out. He battled hard, but got it bolts.
Worst slam you have filmed: Tweaks, breaks and dislocations are gross, but bell ringers are always the worst. Dwight Pineau's Back Lip to sidewalk hang-up was a bad one. Kelly Agapi and Steve Graham should probably get a honourable mentions here.
Weirdest encounter you have caught on film: Ryan Curry channeling his inner Neo with some pepper-spray dodging Matrix move. Confiscated footage, but watching it in slow-mo with the cops before they took the tape was pretty priceless.
Worst moment of blowing it when filming a trick: Accidentally deleted Dwight's first Tre Flip down Big 4. He did it again but I've never forgiven myself. I filmed it so good the first time!
Heaviest skater meltdown caught on film: An infamous local focusing two boards at 7am on a freeway on-ramp comes to mind. Thankfully some of mine weren't caught on film.
Spot you've been back to the most to film one trick: Four trips back has happened a few times. Three-stair marble out ledges don't grow on trees!
All-time best Canadian skater and why: Rick McCrank. The Revolution, The End, The Reason, Menikmati, Yeah Right!, Antisocial, eSpecial, all of the Beauty and the Beast videos...
All-time best Calgary skater and why: Ryan Oughton. Two serious contenders in my book, Dwight Pineau and Devin Morrison, both mentioned Oughton when the topic came up. Devin felt it was Ryan's versatility and all terrain skills that really set him apart.
Best skateboard filmmaker of all-time: Tough to narrow it down but I think if you said Dan Wolfe, John Holland, Greg Hunt or Ty Evans you'd be correct.
Best skateboard filmmaker right now: Jon Miner.
Ever focus a camera on purpose? After filming a session I rolled my ankle on the edge of a sidewalk just walking. I was so pissed I threw my bag down with the VX in it. Expensive lesson.
Ever storm out of a session because the skater was being wack? I've never stormed out while filming anyone that I can remember, although I may be repressing some memories.