In this video, we explore the phenomenon that is the “sponsor me” tape. Sam Smyth, the team manager for the Girl and Chocolate skateboard teams, leads us to the sponsor me tape graveyard at Crailtap HQ. He also names some pro skaters who once sent in their tapes, and shows us Sean Malto’s first submission. Sean then breaks down what it took to get on Girl and reminisces about filming Pretty Sweet. Enjoy.
Sam Smyth is the talent manager for Girl and Chocolate skateboards. If you Google him, most of the links that pop up lead to pictures of him eating sandwiches or his photo website. While those activities make up a large part of Sam’s portfolio, I think his greatest achievement is keeping the most elite team in skating balanced and happy for the last 15 years.
The Girl and Chocolate teams are about to release their first video offering since 2004’s Hot Chocolate, and to the people concerned with such things (everyone who rides a skateboard), it’s the biggest event to happen all year—all that president electing business included. As you may have noticed, last week we released a little YouTube nugget from the Crailtap camp in the form of a bowl jam with Raven Tershy at the Diamond Mine. In preparation for the big day (which is November 16, by the way), every Tuesday we’ll be putting up more bonus junk from the Tap, so check back next week. And the week after that, etc.
I got out my typing fingers and had an iChat conversation with Sam in an attempt to learn something about the video, but we ended up talking more about oops poops, drunken kids, and babysitting a bunch of man-children than anything else.
VICE: Hello Sam. We had to postpone this interview due to our conflicting lunch schedules. How was yours?
Sam: Fine. Had a low-budge burrito and watched the end of the Giants game. Giants won the division series.
Will you brag to James Kelch about the superiority of your city?
Uh, YES. Fully.
As a person who reads every skate magazine and pays attention to people’s names in videos, I always wondered about your history. Can you give me the breakdown of where and how you were born and raised?
I was born to hippie parents in San Francisco, in the house that my mom still lives in. I was a city kid. I had a lot of freedom. I was riding bikes, taking the bus, and skating all over the city at a pretty young age.
Who did you start skating with?
I started skating with some kids from my neighborhood. They were down for a year or so, then they went on to different things and I stuck with it. I met Nick Lockman at Golden Gate Park. His dad and mine would take us skating. They took me to Embarcadero. Nick was six, I was ten. Nick is the team manager at DGK now.
Were his parents hippies or was he just poorly supervised?
They were cool as fuck. They liked to party, so I think there had to be a touch of hippie in ‘em. Like mine, they supported skating to the fullest, which wasn’t a popular move for parents back then.
I heard you say once that you shit your pants at a skate contest when you were 12. Is that true?
Yes. Nick and I stayed best skate buddies for a long time. And then we met Karl Watson, and the three of us were like skate brothers. When Think Skateboards started they wanted our little crew, so all three of us got on Think. We actually came up with the name. They wanted to call it Move, and we thought that was whack.
Anyway, first trip we ever went on with Think was up to Corvallis, Oregon for the NSA contest. This had to be 1990 or so. While we were practicing I did a little oops poops. Unfortunately, I was wearing Ghetto Wear shorts. They were so thin there was no playing it off, and I had to ask Kieth Cochran to take me back to the hotel. He laughed and called me out on the mic, which was slightly embarrassing. When I got back I took my run. I think I did OK, but I puked as soon as they said time.
Had you gotten drunk the night before?
Yeah. It was my first time ever getting drunk. Jason Adams got me a 32oz of Miller High Life. That was my dad’s brand so it was the only beer I had ever tasted. I remember getting wrapped up in the bed cover and drug around the hotel.