Friday, June 19, 2015

SLAPCHAT: With Matt Field

In the mid 90’s Matt Field and his Real Skateboards teammates like Keith Hufnagel, Mark Gonzales, and Greg Hunt did just as much to bring flow back to skating as any of the Sub Zero or Zoo York crew. Although he may be more renowned for wallrides and one of the best nollie front 180’s ever popped, Field’s east coast roots and soulful style means he’s also deeply connected to the dao of slap. Subjecting Field to the slapchat grind revealed that this smooth operator had a lot to say about slapping curbs. No doubt, he’s one of us.

First off, what counts as a slappy?  Some folks consider a nose slide on a curb where you don’t lift your tail a “slappy noseslide” or a slapped in blunt slide a “Slappy blunt”?

No on nose slides. I don’t count that as a slappy, but the slappy krook I see a lot these days is probably a slappy. Maybe it’s a new school slappy, but I’m not a big fan. Bluntslide slappies are the bomb though. Stoked on those.

Is there a height limit on the slappy? When you’ve got guys slapping up knee high hubbas and grinding down them, is that still a slappy? (Remember Sarge slapping the big block at EMB back in the day)?

I would call it all a slappy, and Sarge’s slappy on the big block was epic and will stand the test of time as the definition of raw street skating.

Frontside or backside?

Both are amazing. Switch slappies are a dream. Probably one of the best feelings, because your doing such a classic trick, but switching it up just gives you that channeled essence of the feeling you sometimes get when you see Gonz skate. It just feels special.

When are your trucks best for slappies?

I would say when they are a little past mid way and you’re starting to dread the fact that your kingpin nut is so thin you don’t know when your front truck is going to fly off.

What gets you more stoked: A nice, immaculately smooth and styled out slappy on a nice buttery curb, or powering through a crusty curb?

Hard to say. The SF DMV curbs are worked in so good that they almost shimmer metallic, but there is nothing like hitting a virgin red. Then again, there are the metal edged curbs in NYC, where the whole curb is metal and always perfect.

Favorite slappy variation?

I am by no means a slappy master like some of my mentors, but a full speed feeble slappy over a double sided curb to fake is pretty pretty Blessed.

Toughest variation you can do?

Just learned the slappy frontside nose grind pop out. That’s a pretty cool feeling.

Craziest slappy you’ve ever seen?

Barker Barrett’s frontside slappy at Fort Mason in the first Planet Earth video 25 years ago.
What are some slappy style mistakes?

Running your front truck into it and getting totally pitched and thrown

Did you have a slappy sensei? Someone who inspired or even taught you?

Rodney Smith at Shut skateboards, and Bruno Musso from old school Shut. I was probably 9 years old at a Brooklyn banks contest and they where out in the street. Inspiration and priceless memories

Wax: when is it appropriate?

Just don’t get carried awy

What’s the worst you’ve ever got wrecked on a slappy?

The other day I went to slappy this cheese as hell mini ramp flat bottom. It was like 2 inches high and got totally pitched into the side of the ramp. Fuck that thing.

What kind of set-up do you prefer for curb skating?

I just ride my board normal board

What makes a good curb? What are some of your favorite curbs of all time?

DMV SF, Rock Ridge bart is pretty tight, and this red curb in the cul de sac turn around by my house. It’s rad because it feels like you’re grinding around a corner in a bowl. Since I can’t do that too good I use my imagination. Ha ha.

Do you still like to look at the grind marks on your hangar after a session?

Oh, most def.

Do you ever rip a good one and have to look at your hanger right there at the session?

Sometimes when I get a lot of paint on one I will definitely rub my finger tips on there for a little extra juju.

Do you catch yourself scoping out curbs when you are just running errands...hanging out with your family, etc. ?

Insanely, yes. It occupies my every thought pretty much. Sad but true.

Have you ever gone to a skate park and then found yourself having a slappy session on some curb in the parking lot?

Most of the time I find myself having more fun on a crappy curb or wall ride than at the park. Sad but true.

What is it about slappies? Why are they so rad?

It blows my mind when I see kids that can just kill it on everything but can’t even do a slappy pole jam or wall ride. I’m blown away right now with all the new school kids doing no-complies and slappies. It’s pretty rad. Skating is just one big karmic wheel. It just goes round and round. I feel so blessed and privileged to have been turned on to such a phenomenon when I did. It is one of the most fulfilling and satisfying sensations and experiences ever. Life would be absolutely boring without it. Jah.

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