How did you get the name pineapple? I got it one day at a Bahne skateboard team practice. I was about 11 years old. My good friend Joe Roper started calling me Pineapple. Not sure why, but it stuck ever since. I think the fact that he knew my parents were from Hawaii kind of played into it.
You seem to have deep roots in San Diego what parts are you from? I was born in San Diego 49 years ago. I grew up in Kearny Mesa. When I was in grade school, I hung out in Pacific Beach. I would hang out there after school and in the summer surfing and skating with Joe Roper. We hung out at San Diego Surf Shop by the Crystal Pier at the time. I went to middle and high school in Linda Vista. This was during my skate years. That’s when I got into lowriding as well.
So how many years have you been skating? A long time, I started when I was 8 years old, right around the 3rd grade. I skated for about 11 years. I took a break for a number of years and didn’t skate. That’s when I got heavily into lowriders, playing in bands and riding Harley’s. I started skating again when my son Shey was 6 years old. He’s going to be 16 this year.
What are your favorite moments in your career as a pro skateboarder? As a pro, getting my signature “Pine Design” model on Gordon and Smith. Being the first skater in San Diego to get sponsored by Indepen-dent trucks. The 2 covers and 2 centerfolds with Skateboarder Magazine are high on my list. The Lowrider Magazine feature in 1980 on my skating career and 1964 Impala was cool. In 1978, coming out of competing in the Hester Pro Bowl Series and winning the Oceanside Professional Freestyle contest, and skating in the Rose Bowl and Indy 500 Parades too.
Who were your Past Sponsors?I rode for Bahne Skateboards from 11 – 13 years old. I got on the team right after skating in the 1975 Del Mar Nationals which was the contest the Z-Boys showed up to. After that, I rode for Gordon and Smith Skateboards, ACS trucks, and Kryptonic Wheels (with Steve and Mickie Alba.) I then finished up my pro career still on Gordon and Smith, while riding for Yoyo Wheels, Independent Trucks, and Nike Shoes.
How’s your current skating going. I know some new pics are out there.Skating’s going good as long as I keep it in perspective. I try to skate as much as I can. I’m usually down at Washington Street most of the time. But I often head up to Clairemont Skatepark or Memorial skatepark. The coolest thing about skating for me now is that it allows me to hang out and skate with my son Shey a lot. I couldn’t ask for anything better.
How does todays skate industry differ from your era as pro skateboarder? Good or bad. I think there are more opportunities and choices now on how you “want to”, or “can promote yourself” as a pro to make money. What I really like is that there are a lot of skater-owned companies.
Who is your favorite current skater and if you don’t have one who are you most stoked on still? I have a bunch of favorites. Duane Peters and Salba still kill it !!! I’m always hyped to watch and skate with them. Peter Hewitt is probably my all-time favorite though skater right now. The stuff he does is rad and blows my mind … I’ve got mad respect for him! I’m hyped on the new generation of skaters like Tom Remillard, Raven Tershay and Grant Taylor. Then I’d have to add Brandon Perelson from San Diego. Kid rips, has a style of his own and pretty much does his own thing. Jake Reuter from Huntington Beach is definitely on the rise. And then I have to say my son Shey too. I’ve been getting fired up lately watching him skate. He keeps getting better and better every day … I think the fact that he skates Washington Street all of the time has something to do with it … he’s at the point now with it that he’s calling me out there ….
When did you get your first taste of riding a bike and what was it? I think I was around 27 years old, probably 1990. 1981 FXWG Shovelhead. The friends I rode with all had FXWG’s. Since we were all ex-lowriders and hot rodders, we carried that into how we built our bikes. Though, it wasn’t “low and slow” with our bikes . It was more like “low and fast“. We slammed them, and ran drag bars. We rode them like dirt bikes! Back then, everybody used to call us the “Drag Bar Boys”.
What do you think about the bike scene today? The scene’s different today than when I first started riding bikes. I think all those who ride nowadays, have their own take on it and how they embrace it, which is understandable. It’s evolved and changed just like everything else. For me, I can probably compare it to when I was lowriding in the late 1970’s. Back then, not just anybody had a lowrider. It was a culture and lifestyle. If you were into lowriding, you had to know, understand, and respect everything about it before you got into it, and that went along with it. You also had to deal with what came with the territory so to speak. With that said, I have a lot of respect today for all of those who rode before me, and who have lived, or still live the lifestyle.
LOW RIDER SCENE. When did you get into the low rider scene? It was probably in 1978. I had my first lowrider at 15 years old before I was old enough to drive. Check this out … since I wasn’t old enough to drive yet, only having my permit, my mom used to park it on the side of my high school and wait for me to get out. After school, I would meet her, ask her to get in the passenger seat, and then drive it home from school blasting the oldies like The Platters …
Tell us about your Low rider feature on your car? That was super cool !!! Cheech and Chong were on the cover of that issue. In 1980, Skateboarder Magazine did an interview with me. In it, I had pictures of my 1964 Impala that I was lowriding after my Monte Carlo. This guy, Salvador Casillas who worked for Lowrider Magazine back then, saw the interview and thought it was cool to see a pro skater into lowriding. I remember getting the call from him asking me if I’d be into doing a feature in their magazine on my car and skating.
Do you think the low rider scene will ever return the way it was in the 80’s with the mini trucks and the whole 9? There is a bit of it still in Japan. I’m not sure. Just like skating and bikes have evolved, so has lowriding. What I really dig is seeing the youngsters lowriding who have had parents and family with roots in it, going back to 14” Supremes with 520’s on them, and chain steering wheels. I got a lot of respect for them. Tell us about your brand and what its all about? Damon Mills and I started Patines Americanos on Cinco de Mayo 2006 at Washington St. skatepark. We were inspired by the guys doing Terror Skateboards and their DIY ethic. That in mind, it's become more than we set out to do initially and TY has added to their catalog. Damon is still the mastermind behind the scenes. Route 44 in SD and Joker's in HB still have exclusivityin their areas. It's a blue collar brand with skaters making boards for skaters!
Thanks for the interview Pineapple. Many thanks though to all my close friends (you know who you are), Patines Americanos (Damon Mills and Tum Yeto), N.H.S. (Independent Trucks and Rhino, O.J. Wheels and Alex Horn), Converse and Steve Luther, Route 44 and Matt O, and Joker’s in H.B., Element Cases and Bill Ruff. And much love and respect to Shey, Alethia for our son, Fuzzy and my family.