Pro Skater Jerry Hsu - Epicly Later'd - VICE

Uploaded by vice on Aug 31, 2011


PATRICK O'DELL: What videos do you have that you're in?
I can see one of them?
JERRY HSU: I can't believe you're making me watch this.
Wait, this is a trick that I worked on for weeks, like
weeks nonstop trying to learn it.
PATRICK O'DELL: Dude, you have the hugest pants.
JERRY HSU: I know, it's funny because I wanted them bigger.
Because that was what skaters did, and I just wanted to look
like skaters.
Like skaters looked so retarded when I started
skating, and I wanted to look like that.

PATRICK O'DELL: What is this so torturous for you?
JERRY HSU: I don't know.
PATRICK O'DELL: I mean, is it from watching yourself state?
JERRY HSU: I don't think I'd like it.
PATRICK O'DELL: Hi, welcome back to the
"Epicly Later'd" show.
This episode is about Jerry Hsu.
I went on a little trip to San Jose, met up with Jerry.
He just took me around in his car, we went to some of the
spots where he learned how to skate.
Jerry, since the first time he started skating it seems, was
a total child prodigy.
At 13, it seems like he was as good as most pro skaters.
He also entrusted me with a VHS tape of all his home skate
videos from when he was 13.
Anyway, this is the Jerry Hsu episode and I
hope you enjoy it.
JERRY HSU: So basically now we've entered the hotbed, the
one mile radius of the house I grew up in.
So this is basically where I did all of my skating.
It's right there.
Oh, dude, they knobbed it.

PATRICK O'DELL: Your first handrail?

Probably slid like here to here, did a no slide.
PATRICK O'DELL: That was your first handrail trick?
PATRICK O'DELL: Because of you they put a knob on it.
JERRY HSU: Yeah, I hadn't really been
skating that long--
just like three or four years.
MARC JOHNSON: Did he show you the footage of him skating in
his garage?
JERRY HSU: Filmed it himself?
MARC JOHNSON: Yeah, like just doing [INAUDIBLE]
around his garage.
Like him just going back and forth, doing really hard
tricks for back then and stuff.
PATRICK O'DELL: Did you just set the camera up?
JERRY HSU: Yeah, I'm just setting the camera up and
filming myself because I wanted to know what everything
looked like.
I just wanted to know what skating looked like.
I wanted everything in my life to revolve around skating.
So this is where my parents live.

And this is where I started skating--
and there's my parking block.
My mom figured out that skaters liked the skate
parking blocks.
One day after work she went to a construction site or
something and bought one and brought it
home for me to skate.
Hey, dad.
JERRY HSU: Dad, he's filming me for a little internet show.
CHING HSU: OK, cool.
JERRY HSU: Yeah, is mom around, too?
JERRY HSU: Hi, mom.
SU HSU: Oh, he's going to interview me?
JERRY HSU: Yeah, is that OK?
PATRICK O'DELL: When he was young did you ever worry he
was going to get hurt or anything like that?
SU HSU: Sure.
Which mother doesn't?
PATRICK O'DELL: Did you want him to go to college?
SU HSU: Sure.
That's probably every parent's first choice.
Well, I'm happy for him as I said.
This is his job, not mine, and it's his life, not mine.
MARC JOHNSON: It's traditional Chinese, like comes from a
traditional Chinese family.
And it's just the cultures are different and he just chose a
different road and I don't think he'd have been happy
being a computer programmer or something like that.
I think he knew what he wanted to do, despite
what anybody said.
He just kept doing it.

JERRY HSU: Are you waiting for me to speak Chinese?

JERRY HSU: I got caught shoplifting here
when I was like 13.
And they called the cops and the cops took me home.
And my grandpa was there and he didn't speak English.
And the cops dropped me off, and my grandpa
was freaking out.
And he thought I got arrested, which I kind of did.
But I totally lied to him in Chinese and told him that I
got lost and the cops just brought me home.
PATRICK O'DELL: What did you steal?
JERRY HSU: This is pretty funny, but I tried to steal my
own photos.
PATRICK O'DELL: What were they photos of?
JERRY HSU: Probably just me and my friend skating.

This is like my first line spot.
We would come here after school and hang out with this
guy who worked here.
And he was like an older guy who claimed to be a pro skater
in the '80s, but we totally believed him because we were
just like 12.
So it was so impressive to us that we believed anything he
said, but really he was kind of just like a liar.
me and his brother went to play basketball down the
street from his house.
And there was these two kids skating and they came over and
said hello, and it was Jerry and his friend Will.
He was just like some dorky little kid.
He was wearing these Dickies and they were blown out ass.
And he was just going for it--
hucking his body off of the deck, 360 flip, and just
eating shit.
And we were all like oh my God, this kid wants it.
But it was pretty incredible.
JERRY HSU: These are like some stairs I ollied once.
These are actually stairs that we skated like
every single day.
And we'd try to do every single trick that we possibly
knew how to do down them.
And we would just like throw ourselves down
these little stairs.
One of the myths that we heard when we were little kids is a
skater ollied from the stairs to the street, which is
basically impossible--
I don't like anyone could do it.
But we would try and ollie, like long jump, we would try
and ollie as far as we could to try and eventually get to
the street.
I made it to here.
MATT EVERSOLE: Darkslides, he did darkslides back then.
PATRICK O'DELL: Yeah, I couldn't believe
that, I was like what?
MATT EVERSOLE: A kid in middle school doing darkslides.
PATRICK O'DELL: And landing them.
I could see him getting into them.
MATT EVERSOLE: Oh yeah, I just watched him
just grow into himself.
Like he found a uniqueness like
unmistakable Jerry, you know?
FEMALE SPEAKER: Quiet down everyone.
We have a new student today in class, his name is Jerry Hsu.
OK, Jerry, why don't you tell the class a
little bit about yourself?
JERRY HSU: My name's Jerry Hsu, and I'm 14-years-old and
I live in San Jose.
Sorry, it's just like I'm watching this and
it's kind of crazy.
It's like every video part that I make, I want it to be
the best I could possibly do.
Of course it never really ends up being like that, but
definitely every time I start a new project, I just want it
to be really good.
I think it's just wanting to be good at something, and to
get better at it.
And then when you don't want to do that, then
you stop doing it.
Oh, this kid?
He tried to pickpocket me in Moscow and I caught him.
And then he swung around and did a karate kick,
but he missed me.
He was like a gypsy kid.
His whole family were gypsies and they're all trying to rob
us by creating diversions.
Like his sisters were all doing cartwheels in front of
us, and then all the brothers were behind us trying to
pickpocket us.
And their dad was walking alongside of us, supervising
the robbery.

This is a photo of my friend Louie.
We're just riding mopeds in Cambodia.
That's the only country I've ever been to that doesn't have
a McDonald's in it.
But it's crazy, it's one of those countries with like
naked babies walking around, and people with no arms, and
people with machine guns just walking around--
it's pretty fucked up.
But yeah, we went to a gun range.
And for $20 you could shoot AKs and throw grenades.
And for a little more money, you can bring a cow there and
throw a grenade at it and just watch it blow up.
This was in Moscow, and this guy was just wasted and
couldn't stand up.
And then we were all watching him and then he just tipped
over like a tree falling over.
And he fell, like his head right on the curb, there's
blood was everywhere.
And everyone walking around was just ignoring him, like it
wasn't even happening.
This is kind of like a gem.
This is me, I used to play Rambo when I was a kid.
I seriously have no filing system, it's so disorganized
and kind of embarrassing.
This is my drawer of sketchy photos.
PATRICK O'DELL: That's hidden?
JERRY HSU: But you probably can't film it.

PATRICK O'DELL: I see that you spend a
lot of money on framing.
JERRY HSU: Yeah, I take really good care of them, too.
I like to collect masks.
I got it in Japan, and the name of it was Hollywood Girl.
MATT EVERSOLE: The way that Jerry lives his life is like
he lives it on his own terms.
He wears what he wants to wear, he sleeps
when he wants to sleep.
He does whatever he wants to do.
And when you're in a business situation, they either don't
like that because they can't do that, or they don't like
that because it's not marketable or whatever.
He's kind of like an old soul, like he's way ahead
of people up here.
He's the guy that's younger than you and
you look up to him.
JERRY HSU: This is kind of like the rec room.

PATRICK O'DELL: Dirt floors?
JERRY HSU: Yeah, this is probably the
coolest room in my house.
PATRICK O'DELL: Are you going to build a well?
I started, but it's underneath that piece of plywood.
And it's not done yet, so I don't really
want to ruin the surprise.
PATRICK O'DELL: Are there any chicks down there?
JERRY HSU: Not yet, but hopefully soon.

Whoa, look at this one.
PATRICK O'DELL: Oh shit, that's
worth money right there.
JERRY HSU: It's like one of the best skate
videos probably ever.
PATRICK O'DELL: What do you consider the job of being a
pro skater?
Like, what are the things that you're supposed to do?
JERRY HSU: Well, I guess the main thing you have to do is
be good at skateboarding.
It's funny, because there's nothing involved and there's a
lot involved.
You can be really, really good, but no
one will give a shit.
There are amazing skaters who are really
unsuccessful as pro skaters.
It's crazy, there's a lot of discrimination in skating.
But also it kind of makes sense, because they want the
people that endorse their shit to be interesting and they
want people to like them and stuff.
I don't know, ask me another question.
PATRICK O'DELL: Oh, this photo is pretty controversial.
PATRICK O'DELL: What was the deal with that?
JERRY HSU: That's my friend Tim's cat.
I just, I don't know.
Nothing's happening there, I'm like really close to the cat,
but I'm not touching it.
That photo ended up on a porno website, too.
It was like a porno website, one of those sites like has
just shocking photos of things that your friends email you.
Some guy just sent me a link to that.
And it was on some sketchy website with chicks with dicks
and guys' dicks tied in knots and things like that.