Pro Skater Erik Ellington - Epicly Later'd - VICE

Uploaded by vice on Aug 31, 2011


ERIK ELLINGTON: This is where I'm going to put the tire
swing, and eventually I'll build Julius's tree fort.
That's going to be sick.

I'm going to refinish that, get it all cleaned up, maybe
put some white Christmas tree lights around here, make it
all enchanted.
This is the grand finale right here.

There's downtown Hollywood.
MALE SPEAKER: In life, like--
I mean, you seem like you've come a long way in life to get
a place like this.
ERIK ELLINGTON: Yeah, I feel like that.
I'm definitely pretty thankful, man.
I try not to take it for granted.
MALE SPEAKER: You didn't grow up wealthy or anything?
We moved around a lot.
When we lived in Alaska, my step-dad--
he had money.
He made a decent living.
He had a body shop for cars and stuff.
But then like, move back and forth, shit goes wrong up
there, move into a janky little apartment.
Or, you know, whatever.
We've been up and down.
I think it's a good way.
It's a good experience.
To know both sides of the tracks.
Hey, how you doing?
Oh, I just bought the house right here.
I'm Erik Ellington.
Welcome back to the show.
This episode is about one of my favorite
skaters, Erik Ellington.
Erik's style is always really cool, and the
way he lands tricks.
He's got something that he has that not very many other
skaters have.
It's kind of sketchy, but it just looks so cool.
And he's still of my favorite dudes.
He's the kind of guy, you see him do a flat ground kickflip,
and you go, oh, that's why that guy's pro.
MALE SPEAKER: Wait, what's on that tape you were
going to give me?
ERIK ELLINGTON: Old footage from Alaska.
Like, sponsor me tape footage, when I
was like 15 or something.
We had a launch ramp.
We put the launch ramp up to a high ledge or something.
Just all kinds of stuff.
Like, little rails and curbs and shit.
MALE SPEAKER: What kind of gear are you wearing?
Oh actually, 101 had just started, maybe.
It's just maybe like shorts and a beanie and--
I don't know--
a purple t-shirt or something.
I don't know.
I did a 360 flip board lipslide on a curb, just a
regular curb where you're sliding and your wheel's over,
so it's like--
What else was there?
Nollie nose manual.
Just some stuff at the time, it seemed like it was like--
at the time of that, it was kind of--
I was pretty psyched.

Maybe it was a little bit before that, I sent the tape
to H-Street.
And they sent me the Mike Carroll
Calvin and Hobbes board.
Yeah, I was freaking out, man.
I was shaking when I got the box.
That was pretty cool.

Fuck, that was bad.

This is Patrick.
JAMIE THOMAS: Patrick, this is Jamie.
PATRICK O'DELL: What's up, man?
PATRICK O'DELL: How would you describe Erik's skating?

JAMIE THOMAS: This is kind of a hard one.
It's kind of like, that's not really a good--
I know you probably will only use the things that make sense
in this interview.
But what am I supposed to say?
He looks sick.
And doing stuff good.
Like, that's a hard thing to answer.
MALE SPEAKER: What tricks have you done that you were the
most psyched on?
That you look back and you go, that was my pinnacle trick?
ERIK ELLINGTON: I don't know.
I hope I really haven't had a pinnacle trick.
I don't even know.
I mean, I'd say like an era or something.
Like, just times--
times in your life different things are happening, and you
feel differently about--
you know, I don't know.
First video that I was in that was--
I guess it would have had to have been
the first Zero video.
Thrill of it All was the first video I was in that was kind
of major, where everybody saw it.
But before that was the Welcome to Hell video in the
fringe section.
Because Jamie Thomas came out to Arizona.
Me and Scott Copalman talked to Jamie quite a bit.
And it was like we were on Balance at the time, and he
was starting Zero clothing.
So he wanted us to ride for the clothing.
Actually, he wanted Scott to ride for the clothing.
And Scott said he wouldn't do it unless I was on too.
Well, he just said, I won't leave Balance unless Erik
comes with me.
So by default, I got on Zero.
JUSTIN REGAN: But he did have some slams.
There's this one where--
and I'm not even sure if it's the same video.
But it's like this kinked rail.
And like, I don't know.
He just decided he wanted to go off and do this rail.
And he got wrecked on it.
I tried to boardslide that thing.
I don't know what I was thinking.
I can't really even boardslide kinked rails.
I just thought, maybe I could do it.

ERIK ELLINGTON: Dude, that thing was like--

I think it was like three or four kinks.
No, I tried it about maybe 20 times or something.
No, I slid through a couple of the kinks.
You got to, like--
I don't know.
I just don't really know how to do it.
I was just amped, you know?
MALE SPEAKER: You just thought--
ERIK ELLINGTON: I thought I could do it.
JUSTIN REGAN: Erik's one of those skaters that--
he puts in the work to get his part.
When he does a trick, it just looks so cool.
And there's like sweat flying, and his shirt's dirty because
you know he was battling for it.
But somehow the one that he makes, it's effortless.
ERIK ELLINGTON: Zero time was cool because
I was kind of like--
I was on the verge of being kicked off Zero, and I was on
the verge of not knowing what I was going
to do with my life.
And then it was like--
I was just like, fuck, I'm in California.
Tripping out, ready to be chop, chop, chopped.

I don't know.
Adrian Lopez told me.
One time he was like, man--
because we were on a tour, and it was just sort of towards
the ending.
Like, it was after that Thrill of it All video came out.
And it was like, I think Jamie had a little bit higher
expectations for what I was supposed to be doing.
And then I didn't really come through.
I kind of was just piled out.
I was thinking like, oh, I was just smooth sailing.
And then he kind of let me know I wasn't, but in a way
that it was like--
I think it taught me quite a bit about things that have
worn off on me-- to where to this day-- that I look back on
and think like, those are some fucking pretty important tips
or pointers or whatever.
JAMIE THOMAS: We're trying to film for Misled Youth, and
Scotty and Erik went through a spell of several months
without doing absolutely anything.
And everybody on the team was trying to film, and everyone
was trying to do things and get stuff going for the video.
And those guys were starting to drink a little more and
starting to do their own thing.
It kind of really didn't have anything to do with what we
were doing.
And Eric had this sketchbook, and he just-- it was basically
a sketchbook and a journal, and he just wrote everything
about every day and all this stuff.
We're riding in a van on this tour, and Lopez like leaned
over and borrowed Erik's pencil and drew a boot.
Like, when we were filming for Misled Youth, he probably had
10 or 15 tricks right up until the last month of the video.
He seriously probably filmed a trick a
month up to that point.
And then all of a sudden he filmed like 25
tricks in one month.
And it was all the gnarliest stuff in Misled Youth.
It was all done in one month.
And so it goes to show what he's capable of and his
potential, but he just always put it off until
he had to do it.
And then when he had to do it, he would always get it done.
So that's pretty much the story of Misled Youth.
His part came together in the last month and helped launch
his pro career.
It's pretty rad.
ERIK ELLINGTON: They take a look from outside of being in
his circle, and they just hear what he's doing.
And a lot of the things I disagree with, a lot of things
he probably disagrees with what I'm doing.
And then a lot of people fucking--
I don't know--
talk shit or something.
But it's like, he's down to work.
And if somebody's not putting in the work, then he's going
to let them know.
He's not going to pussy foot around the fact
to that, you know?
MALE SPEAKER: Fuck him up!

ERIK ELLINGTON: Julius, come here.

Come here.
GREG: My name's Greg, by the way.
GREG: How do you do?
ERIK ELLINGTON: Nice to meet you.

Yeah, pro skater.

What is it?

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
But I wouldn't be able to tell you without knowing
what it was, but--
GREG: You understand why--
ERIK ELLINGTON: I understand that, though.
I understand that.
But I pretty much--
I can give you some--
you could probably talk to the people that are running this
thing, and then maybe they can give you some advice on what
to do and kind of handle things that way.
And I was like, I'm a little confused.
You know, I can't really give you much advice.
I don't know what it is.
I pointed him to Erica.
I pawned him off on Erica.
NECK FACE: Oh, Ellington is--
Ellington's my favorite.
I mean, he was my favorite growing up.
Like, seeing his skating and shit.
Like, damn, this fool's straight white trash fucking
skating and shit.
And then when I met the dude, it was like
even more of my favorite.
I was like, damn, this fool doesn't give
a shit about anything.
He's fucking crazy.
Ellington is nuts.


ERIK ELLINGTON: Let's get fucked up tonight!
ANDREW REYNOLDS: To me, when I look at him,
he's like Eric Koston.
But just with this like--
take away all the perfection and everything and add this
lazy attitude problem or something.
He's that good, but it's just like, well whatever.
He's really that good.
And it's just like, everything he does has this special
Ellington style about it, like every move he makes.
It's in his skating, in his walk, when he bowls, when he
carries his kid.
It's just this certain way of doing it.
ERIK ELLINGTON: It's not too bad except that the top
doesn't really match the pants.
All right.
Ooh, let me get a little--
MALE SPEAKER: Te-qui-lia.
ERIK ELLINGTON: Have a bit of that.
MALE SPEAKER: Little standby.

ERIK ELLINGTON: Little tequila right in there, huh?
You look beautiful.
Look at you.
Look at you.
MALE SPEAKER: How'd you meet her?
ERIK ELLINGTON: She was out here.
I wanted to take her out for dinner, and then she took off
the next morning and ditched me.
So then I took a train down to San Diego, and I
shacked up with her.
Ever since then, I moved into her apartment with like three
of her friends.
They bought a Suzuki Swift, this fucking piece of shit.
And we were driving that thing back and forth all the time.
It's like, damn, got a car, rolling.
Yeah, we got married three months after that.
Three months?
And we've been married for seven years in October.
MALE SPEAKER: Whoa, so you just knew at three months?
ERIK ELLINGTON: How do you like that?
MALE SPEAKER: You got actually--
did you plan it out?
We were like, well let's just get married.
Fuck it.

One, two, one, two.
What it is.
Please get the stages of Erik.
The drunken stages are by far the best thing of him.
Like, his skating, amazing.
His life, amazing.
Drunken stages, golden.
First, OK.
Like, I've seen him tonight.
He has a button up shirt on.
So this is where you can fully catch his stages.
What'd he start with?
Probably like five or six buttons down it.
You know what I mean?
The more he drinks-- because this is an open bar in here.
The more he drinks, every half an hour, a
button will be popped.
Was that a fourth button?
ERIK ELLINGTON: That's a fourth button.
BRAYDON SZAFRANSKI: Did I just see a fourth--
I seen it.
I actually witnessed it with my own eyes.
DUSTIN DOLLIN: Look, it fits perfectly in there.
Look, look, look.
BRAYDON SZAFRANSKI: Whoa, it does fit perfectly in there.

MALE SPEAKER: Don't do that.
DUSTIN DOLLIN: Anyway, he's basically my father.
I don't have one.
So he's pretty much the tough guy I got to look up to.
You know what you should do?
You should do an episode on all of our mothers.
That would be a fucking--
our mother--
his father.
Like, whoever we think's weirdest in our family.
BRAYDON SZAFRANSKI: Yeah, everyone in the family that's
just jacked.

ERIK ELLINGTON: Well, I'll call you in a little bit.
All right?
All right.
MALE SPEAKER: You had to get permission for another night?
ERIK ELLINGTON: Well, I didn't really get permission.
MALE SPEAKER: What'd she say?
ERIK ELLINGTON: She's just over it.
Yeah, it's been like a lot of nights in a row.
I normally don't even go out anymore.
Me and her, we just chill at the house, watch
movies or do whatever.
It's like, all this.
This makes me so happy.
My son makes me happy-- my wife, my mom, my family, my
friends, all that.
But then it's just like, you land something that you didn't
think you could do or something.
And it's just like--
I mean it's like the best-- gives you chills, you know?
It's the best thing ever.

Give the camera a kiss.

Where'd you guys park?
Down here?

One, two, three.