Tim Gavin
Get Your Grind On

interview by AnimalChan
skate photo by Blabac
gavin grindin

Tim Gavin a.k.a. the Gavinator has seen alot of skating at the ripe age of 24. With over 5 years of pro skate experience, his own skate shoe company, and now a new clothing company Matix under his belt he's a busy guy to say the least. I found he was a very humble and easy person to talk to, even if he didn't smoke weed. With only one of us in lah-lah land we preceded to conversate about groupies, skating, and even managed to squeeze in a little bit of Hip Hop. Read on to GET YOUR GRIND ON, Gavinator style.

KRONICK: Are you originally from L.A.?

GAVIN: Nope. Grew up in Phoenix, Arizona.

KRONICK: When was this?

GAVIN: When I was 17. I lived with Dune; Chris Pastras, Eric Koston, then uhh...

KRONICK: So you moved out here and started bouncing form crib to crib?

GAVIN: Yup. Been here for 7 years.

KRONICK: You wanted to be closer to your sponsors?

GAVIN: Yeah. I just moved out here to skate. Be in the lime-light.

KRONICK: How was it in Phoenix?

GAVIN: Hot! Too hot to skate. I like the scene out there, but it's just too hot to skate.

KRONICK: How did you get sponsored being in hot ass Arizona? Did you do the skate version of a demo tape?

GAVIN: No. I never did a "sponsor me" tape. I don't know how actually. Through a friend I guess. One of my friends rode for H-Street, Colby Carter, he got me on. From there it was just being seen on videos.

KRONICK: H-Street was your first sponsor?

GAVIN: Actually no. It was a company called Airborne. An old school company.

KRONICK: Is there anyone I would recognize that skated for them?

GAVIN: Nobody. Nobody. My first (skateboard) model was on Blind. Around 93 is when I turned pro. I turned pro with like Guy Mariano, and some other buddies. Now I'm on Girl (skateboards).

KRONICK: Seems like Girl is a tight group.

GAVIN: We've all known each other forever, that's why. We don't have to worry about anything, know what I mean? People robbing us, or like being kicked off or dropped out of nowhere without even knowing. If we were to get kicked off, we'd know it, we'd feel it.

KRONICK: If Girl Skateboards were the Wu-Tang Clan, which member would you be?

GAVIN: I would be... Who would I be? I'm a weird guy. I'd have to say Old Dirty Bastard. HIME (Tim's roommate): Naw, the fattest one. Raekwon.

GAVIN: Either him or old Dirty Bastard. I mean I'm nowhere near the guy, but if you asked me, and you did, then I'd say Old Dirty Bastard.

KRONICK: It's well known that Hip Hop artists have to deal with groupies. Do you, being a pro skater, have to ever deal with it?

GAVIN: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

KRONICK: What's the craziest story you can legally tell me?

GAVIN: Oh mercy. Jesus Christ. On the record?

KRONICK: Yeah, on the record.

GAVIN: Wow. Geez (he's stroking his goatee now). You mean on tour, or what?

KRONICK: Anything, whatevs.

GAVIN: Right off the bat I couldn't think, there have been so many little... skits. Hehehe

KRONICK: Are you afraid of incriminating yourself?

GAVIN: It's not even about incriminating myself. I just can't think of one right now. Not one that's even worth saying.

KRONICK: Of course not, that's the point, they're groupies. My impression is that they're all really young.

GAVIN: Yeah, they're all young. They're not like 24 and hot or nothing.

KRONICK: You go to the clubs for that?

GAVIN: No. I get no love at the clubs. I'm chopped liver at the clubs. But I do get mistaken for Eric Koston alot. That helps. But it still doesn't work. I still get no love. I always find a way to blow it somehow.

KRONICK: They figure it out eventually?

GAVIN: I think they just figure me out, I guess. After that I go home alone, drunk as hell. But getting back to the groupies, man on tour it was just... little hummers here and there.

KRONICK: Excuse me. Hummers?

GAVIN: Yeah. You know, just a little (holding his hand about a foot in front of his garbage) sucky sucky. A little blow job, I guess.

KRONICK: I get it. I wasn't knowing.

GAVIN: Groupies are groupies.

KRONICK: I'm always drawing comparisons from Hip Hop to skateboarding. Like industry wise, I see a big independent movement much like the one in Hip Hop.

GAVIN: Oh yeah, there's alot of similarities. In Hip Hop you get respected if you get your own label. In skateboarding, skateboarders get respected if they start their own skateboard companies. Instead of some corporate fags that don't know shit about skateboarding. That's why right now me and Daewon (Song) started a clothing company off of DVS called Matix Clothing. It's doing good. Daewon is a really respected guy. We have some really good guys on the team. Yeah, Hip Hop and skateboarding have alot in common.

KRONICK: What was the last trick you've learned?

GAVIN: The last trick I've learned? It's been a while. Gosh, innovation skateboarding for me is tough right now. I can't really think of a trick, just doing different stuff. I'm trying to get out of the question, can you tell?. Just kidding. I mean, some skaters go out everyday and try to learn the new hardest trick and some people like to just skate, be consistent, and look good on a skateboard. Know what I mean? That's what I'm trying to do right now. I'm trying to just be consistent when I skate, instead of going out to a spot flipping your board and breaking you knees and ankles trying one trick.

KRONICK: Do you feel old?

GAVIN: Naw, not really. I'm only 24. That's still really young. Tony Hawk is skating vert. I don't know how he's doing it. He's breaking himself and still doing it. I'm just 24, so it's not about getting hurt, but I'm definitely feeling it more. I just don't like to do certain tricks. That was me when I was 15; trying one trick all day and when I finally make it, I'm crying I'm so happy. That's not even what I'm about right now though. Just trying to skate, look good on a skateboard and be consistent.

KRONICK: How do you feel about skate contests?

GAVIN: I don't really like contests because if you look at Xtreme Games half the people that are skating street contests aren't even street skaters, you know what I mean? I would like to see people go out and try hard tricks and if they don't land them, they don't land them. Depends on what contest you're talking about though. The contests you see on TV, half the viewers don't skate. They want to see high flying crazy airiels and all that, and that's why half of the major street skaters like Guy Mariano, Eric Koston, Rick Howard, Mike Carrol, none of those guys are even into that, know what I mean? They're into doing their own thing, which is hardcore street skating. I don't really like contests, what they're about. That's not really my style.

KRONICK: How about demos?

GAVIN: Demos are rad, 'cause demos are just skating. Kids come out, they want to see you skate. I like demos alot, they're fun.

KRONICK: Have you been able to travel the world because of skateboarding?

GAVIN: When I was young I was too stupid, too stubborn, too ignorant, too cocky. I don't know why. I had opportunities to travel to places like Europe and I just passed them up because... I don't know. I don't know. Stupid I guess. Now I want to go and no one will send me. But now that I own a couple companies, hopefully I can send myself. I managed to go to Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Hawaii. Hawaii is dope.

KRONICK: What motivated you to start your own companies DVS Shoes and Matix Clothing?

GAVIN: Just because it was there for me I guess. It was just an opportunity I had. Now I'm psyched, I get to make my own stuff. Skateboarding is me. That's where I'm at right now. That's how I got everything, skateboarding. I want to give back to skateboarding. I want to do it right. Alot of people aren't doing it right. Hopefully we'll do it right and the kids will be psyched.

KRONICK: Keeping it real?

GAVIN: Keep it real, definately. There's so many people doing it just to make money. That's why you have like 48 shoe companies right now, know what I mean? I don't know, it's crazy. All these shoe companies, they'll be out of here pretty soon.

KRONICK: There's not enough room for all of them?

GAVIN: That, and they're not skateboarders doing it, you know? There's only a couple out there where skateboarders are actually behind it.

KRONICK: What did your parents think the first time they heard you wanted to pursue a career in pro skating?

GAVIN: They tripped. My dad was definately not into it. My mom had to sneak me money to get boards. My dad was the suburban dad who wanted an All American kid who played football. To tell you the truth I don't even know how I got into skateboarding. One day I just started to ride a banana board.

KRONICK: What was your first real board?

GAVIN: Valtera "Meltdown". Oh that's not a real deck, that's a K-Mart board. My real deck I think was a Mark Gonzales. I remember those days, that was when the first Beasties album came out. I had Vision Blurr wheels. We're talking your era now.

KRONICK: Ha ha (I nervously laugh not knowing how to take that one). I think this interview is over.

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