P-Rod on Dew Tour, nerves, and his past year

From films to competitions to family, P-Rod is a busy, busy man. He’s just arrived in Boston for the Dew Tour, and took a minute between interviews and practice to catch up with Paul Zitzer.

What have you been up to the past couple of weeks?
Maloof Money Cup just happened, so I’m just getting over that one and I’ve just been back home skating.

What was the difference between the ’07 Dew Tour when you finished 20th, and ’08 when you barely missed winning?
Well there’s the difference right there, you know what I mean? (Laughing)

Yeah but what caused it?
The cause of the difference was that I couldn’t deal with being so low in ’06 and ’07. I know I’d performed well at contests before then, I’d won some X-Games before, in ’04 and ’05 I was doing great in contests. Then in ’06, ’07 I kind of had a lot of things on my plate, that’s when we were filming our Street Dreams movie and I did another thing called Vicious Circle. I was just trying to conquer everything I could and it wasn’t working out for me competitively. So ’08 I was just sick of doing terribly at contests. I was sick of coming to contests already mentally defeated, and I just told myself, “That’s it, I did everything I could, I know I have the ability to do it” and it was time to prove it to myself.

Leading up to the Dew Tour have you been skating any differently, like in sort of a training mode or are you just doing your normal day to day?
Well a normal day to day I’d consider sort of training anyway. That’s what I get off on, knowing that I skated hard and I really try to progress myself every day. So I guess you could say, the week leading up to it, yeah, I was definitely at my park the whole week and trying to stay on point and hone my maneuvers.

You recently updated your private skatepark so it’s a little more park-y than street?
Well, it’s a blend. I kind of tried to add elements that I found at most parks or contests, but I still have a proper handrail, and I still have a proper double set, well it’s a set of stairs that you can pull out into a double set. You can start it out super small and you can bring it out as long as you want. So I added a little pyramid, and I also got a little Pier 7 two-stair ledge/manual pad. So I tried to do an overall blend and then we’ve got like a forty-foot long ledge.

Have you learned anything with contest skating in mind, like, “I can bring this to the Dew Tour?”
Not in particular, but I’ve learned like small things, like there’s some quarterpipes in my park now so things like little back disasters, little back tail stalls, and if the course allows I’d like to throw in a little five-o to fakie or something. But that’s it.

Did you look at the course yet?
Yeah I just looked at it.

How does it look?
It looks crowded (laughing).

How is skating in the Dew Tour different than say skating at Maloof?
I’d say the Dew Tour has more of a traditional competition style, meaning you take a full minute run and then you do a jam session, which personally I kind of like. I like being able to plan out a run and then do the jam session afterward. But Maloof is more like an endurance challenge, you have to be able to withstand the beat down of the obstacles, they’re so much bigger and they have you jumping down Rincon or a sixteen stair, trying to kill yourself. Maloof is good for once a year but I wouldn’t be able to skate all these contests if every one has a huge set of stairs and a huge set of ledges and you’re killing yourself on a regular basis. I like the mix of the Dew Tour now, having good obstacles but not having a huge something or other that you’re forced to jump down if you want to do well.

Where do you feel the most nerves, if any, coming into a contest like this?
When they call my name to do my run. When it’s “And now riding for Plan B, Nike…” That’s when all of a sudden the nerves start kicking in.

Do you plan your first trick accordingly, knowing you’re going to be feeling that?
Yeah, I definitely like to start off with I guess you could say the easiest trick of my run first. Because I just like to get the ball rolling, get the momentum of my run, I hate missing the first trick of my run because your mind gets flustered and you lose your pace. I like to get the first trick in the bag to kind of get the ball rolling.

Is there anyone coming to this contest that you’re psyched to see here?
I’m not going to say I’m psyched. I’m not going to be a hater but I’m here to compete and do my best. But, I’ve got love for everybody here. I know Chris Cole is new to the Dew Tour, which is going to be a very hard, competitive time. I heard Tommy Guns is here, I’ve seen Jake Duncombe, I heard Dennis Busenitz is here, Terry Kennedy is here, as far as new guys that haven’t been on the Dew Tour. And then of course Chaz, Lutzka, Sheckler are all going to be here. We’ve been here every year since the beginning, and now a lot of newcomers are going to be here.

You won your first match up in the Battle of the Berrics. Out of the remaining dudes, who do you think would be the hardest person for you to beat?
It’s hard to say on flatground because anybody can do really good because of one or two random weird tricks that are just kind of your specialty. But if I had to pick one his name is coming up again, Chris Cole. I’ve seen his flatground game and I don’t know how he knows all these tricks. So, if I get to him of course I’m going to give him my all, that’s what I come to do.

Are there flatground tricks that you can’t do?
I mean of course. There’s all kinds of tricks. That’s what so great about the flatground game of skate, because a guy that you wouldn’t necessarily consider can come out and have the one or two crazy pressure flips or whatever, 540 whatever kind of weirdness, and take everybody out.

You recently released your second independent video, Proof, how did the process of making that compare to Forecast?
Well the first one was kind of like, after a while we spontaneously thought, okay, lets just do a video. I was coming off of the Girl video Yeah Right! and I just kept filming and kept filming and the next thing you know it was two years later and I had five minutes of footage. And I didn’t have any sponsors that had a video planned so I was like, “I don’t want this footage to get old, let’s put out a video.” I had met Mike Mo at that time and I had a few other friends that had footage ready to go and we just did it.

With Proof we went into the process like, “Okay, we want to film this video.” We talked to the guys before hand and said, “Do you want to be in this video we’re going to put out?” And we said, “Okay, let’s start filming now.” With Proof we’d already been through the process once and we knew what we were doing and we knew that we were filming for this specific project. I didn’t have a full part, it wasn’t my intention to have a full part. I had some random little tidbits I wanted to put in, but right now I’m mainly focused on Plan B.

Besides the Dew Tour, what else will you be focusing on this summer?
Well I go home and next weekend is X-Games and then after that there’s still a few more Dew stops, but mainly my main focus is filming for Plan B and just trying to make that the best I can.

Do you have a deadline?
We don’t have a deadline yet, which is good and bad. It’s good because it gives you a lot of time to film and learn new tricks, but bad in the sense that you don’t want the footage you already have getting too outdated.

Do you feel like the deadline gives you that extra kick to finish it off?
No. I don’t necessarily like having a deadline. That’s why I started filming for the Plan B video a year, year and a half ago. I like the fact that there’s not necessarily a deadline because it allows me to really take my time and think of stuff I want to do. When there’s pressure and you gotta move fast it’s like, “What am I doing to do? Let’s just go skate all kinds of random spots and see if something randomly happens.” But this way you can really meticulously plot what you’re going to do, and if the spontaneous tricks come along, they’re obviously great too.