Real Street 2016: Torey Pudwill

Watch Torey Pudwill's entry into X Games Real Street 2016, the all-video, all-street skateboarding contest, then tune in for the full behind-the-scenes snow on the making of Real Street, Saturday, May 14, on ABC.

Plan B's Torey Pudwill has no chill. Every piece of footage he produces is consistently better than his last, and his new Real Street part is no exception. Pudwill's video is one minute of straight bangers, and when we sat him down to discuss this he had some choice words for any skater that would choose to phone it in for a video part. That, friend, is the making of a true professional. Both you and Daewon start your parts off with similar, non-traditional street spots. What is the story with that stretch of busted highway, and how hard was it to skate?
Torey Pudwill:
The broken road was such a sick site to skate. I saw a photo of my friend skating it and it looked like nothing I had ever seen before. There was a landslide and it messed up the road in a way I didn't even know was possible. I knew that was going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a chance to skate it! I didn't think it was in California, though, but when I asked my friend where it was it turned out to be only 20 minutes from where I lived. At that point I knew it was on.

It was confusing what had happened and where the spot was. ... We had to disregard no trespassing signs and park the car pretty much in the middle of a shut down highway. It was a lot gnarlier than it looked in the first photo I saw. The landslide was still moving so the spot got crazier every day. The cops pulled up to the trespassing barricade and kicked us out over the loud speaker. We did a fake pack up, but once they left I finished my battle and walked away with a clip.

It definitely was a rare experience to skate something like that -- because what are the chances of that happening and it creates a perfect skate spot in the middle of the road?


Real Street is an entirely different sort of contest than skating is used to. What are your thoughts on it?
I've been skating in contests since I was 9. I have won my share of pro contests, which differ very much from X Games Real Street. Competing and skating under pressure in a competition always seems unnatural, but Real Street is who we are.

I am a street skater naturally, so when I'm filming and working towards a goal to make a video part. ... It does matter if I'm having a good day or a bad day. I can work as hard as I want and make anything that comes to mind possible. If I can't land a trick, I know there's still a chance to get it another day or somewhere else. With the world as your skate spot the possibilities are endless. Filming video parts is what I live for. I've been making footy tapes since I started, so filming a Real Street part has always been something I wanted to do. 

What was your approach to filming this Real Street part and how has your approach to filming changed over the years?
My approach to filming this part was that I want to keep following up my last parts with progression. I didn't want this to just be another Real Street part. I want this to be my new part that will back up my most recent part in the Plan B "TRUE" video. It has to be only the best tricks that I can get. When I film something now I make sure that is going to hold its value. It becomes a challenge -- a lot of work goes into filming a part because I'm trying to always make it better than the last one.

How long did it take you to film this?
Since I had started filming for another video part at the same time, I had to keep both projects separated. I prioritized my time to focus on Real Street when I was not focused on my other part. It was never on the back burner. I wanted to take my time so I could gradually film my part, instead of trying to stack it all in one month.

Was your goal to have it all killer, no filler? Because you packed a lot of heavy, heavy tricks in.
Yes, the plan for me was to film only bangers. I was looking to do it my own way. Skating iconic skate spots around LA and doing tricks that would be an ode to skateboarding. I like the challenge of trying tricks that nobody has done yet. I knew exactly what tricks I had in my mind that I wanted to accomplish for this part.

Speaking of iconic spots, the back tail on the long fountain double set Santa Monica Courthouse ledge really harkened back to a different era. Why is no one hitting up that long ledge now the place has been redone and legalized?
That big courthouse ledge is a legendary spot in Los Angeles. Only a handful of tricks have been done on it. Chris Roberts' frontside nose grind was mind blowing. I've been skating at that spot since I was about 10. Over the years it got skated too much until it was forbidden to skate there. Every ledge had been knobbed, including the big ledge out front. It wasn't skateable for years.

I had my eye on that ledge for the last seven years. I thought about hiring someone to saw the skate stoppers off to make it possible. When the courthouse got redone it was unbelievable. Having the legendary skate spot with so much history come back to life was a dream come true. But for a year the big ledge was still never brought back from the dead. Luckily I got word one day that it was skateable. As soon as it was ready to go I was there trying to make that back tail mine.

I thought it would have been a race to see who was going to chomp the highly anticipated skate spot first. But nobody is really stepping up to it because it's no joke. If you go down it's unforgiving. There's definitely some more tricks that need to be done on that ledge. We will see if anyone steps up to it.

What trick was the hardest for you to get?
Every trick was a battle! I took a beating on most of those clips. The kickflip over the top to 50-50 down the rail felt like the biggest accomplishment for me. I don't skate down hand rails too often anymore, so mentally it was kind of scary. We got kicked out as I was trying it. Once again we pulled the fake pack up maneuver, walked away for a sec, then came back and started going for it again. Luckily, I got it that day. Walking away from the battle and not having to go back is a blessing. 

Any good stories from the filming of this part?
Unfortunately, filming was cut short because I got hurt. I was in Miami trying to get a hammer and was basically rolling away from an ollie up a three-flat-three double set. Because my legs were so crouched I couldn't lift my body up when I was rolling away, so all my weight shifted to my knee. I felt it snap.

Seu Trinh

Torrey Pudwill, frontside smith.

I went to the hospital after that, and then flew home for an MRI. It ended up that I tore my meniscus resulting in knee surgery. Luckily I worked hard enough to still have a part that I was stoked on. I'm healing up very nice and fast and will be back on the board soon, stronger then I ever have been.


Have you watched the other Real Street parts? Who have you liked?
I've been watching the Real Street parts from the beginning. I always look forward to seeing who is going to film one. It's good to see skaters putting in the hard work. When I see a Real Street part that someone didn't work for, and just gave throw away clips, it's a shame. I would be embarrassed to put out anything that I didn't try my hardest to do. My favorite all time part was Tony Tave! He smashed it and got a medal. 

Who do you think is going to win this year?
It's a tough to say. This year's competition was no joke. It put a little more pressure on the line. I'd like to see Daewon or Chris Joslin win. They both are completely different skaters but the best in their own way. I know both of those dudes will bring it with heavy skateboarding that nobody else can do. Daewon could take it this year! We'll see.

If you could see a new one-minute-long part from anyone past/present/future who would it be?
It would be amazing to see a Lil Wayne minute-long part! Honestly, I like the idea of filming a part that is short and sweet but jaw dropping. I think every skateboarder should be putting everything they've got into trying to film the best minute part possible. It was fun. 

You recently left your long-time shoe sponsor to join Diamond Footwear. What has that change been like?
It's been going great. Having the opportunity to be fully involved and do my own thing has been amazing. I'm really stoked to be building something with my vision and taking a chance to make it be successful. It doesn't matter to me what shoes I skate. What matters is that I skate with a passion and and never give up anything that I am working for. 

What's coming up next for you?
I'm filming a full-length flat bar video part with Red Bull. It's called "Flat Bar Frenzy." I'm traveling the globe to track down the best flat bars the world has to offer. I'm very excited to film a part with a new concept that has never been done before. I'm planning for this to be the best part I have ever filmed while also having a unique story behind it. I'm hoping to have it out in 2017.

Lastly, if you win the 20 grand what are you going to do with it?
Well, I promised [filmer] Erik Bragg I would split it with him if we won. After that I would probably get a Jacuzzi built in my pool -- that's key!

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