GREG LUTZKA TALKS TEQUILA, NICKY HILTON AND BEING A “CONTEST SKATER”

You know when the most controversial thing about you is your choice of hats, things are going pretty well. Dude has some pretty ridiculous sponsors, gets paid well, parties with celebrities, and doesn’t cause too much drama in our little skateboard world. He definitely knows how to handle himself off the board, which is why it’s no coincidence that he has had sponsors like Jose Cuervo and Toyota knocking at his door. Read on to find out how the master of all things frontside does it.

Being sponsored by a tequila company must be nice. What’s a package like from Jose Cuervo?
I don’t even ride for Jose Cuervo anymore. They sponsored myself, an olympic champion snowboarder kid, a motocross guy and we all did a one year deal with them. It was rad though, it was more of an appearance thing and they sent a lot of product to the house. It was more of an endorsement deal than a sponsorship. We’d have to show up to the clubs and parties that they throw.

Must have been nice not ever having to go to the liquor store.
Yeah man it was cool.

I heard you’re friends with a bunch of celebrities.
Lil Jon is a good homie of mine. Benji and Joel Madden from Good Charlotte, Cisco is fucking awesome. They’re just people I ran into throughout the years because the world of skateboarding and world of music are pretty similar.

Give me a good celebrity story.
Ahh, alright. We went to Nicky Hilton’s house, Paris Hilton’s sister, and I brought this chick and we’re just kinda hanging out at this party. Nicky kinda walks by and looks at the girl I was with and was like, ”UGH, EW”. Just made this comment at us, it was kinda funny she was just drunk being Nicky. I was up at the bar upstairs like 30 minutes later and I see Nicky up there with the producer of Street Dreams and her boyfriend. I know her boyfriend and it’s all awkward now because I’m friends with him and she just made that comment.

How often do you go to celebrity parties like these?
Not on a weekly basis, especially not anymore. You just kind of hear them come along, I never really go out to find them or anything. Benji from Good Charlotte invited me to that one because he was dating Paris at the time.

Have you ever fanned out on a celeb?
No. No, I could care less. Half the time I don’t realize who they are unless it’s obvious.

Do you have any weird stalker fans?
No, not really. There’s some kids who make fake profiles of me and stuff. I have a connect over at Facebook so we get rid of them as soon as possible so people aren’t misunderstood that it’s me. You don’t know what those kids could put up.

How come you left Almost skateboards?
Basically, it was a tight crew over there but I found myself skating, traveling, and doing a lot of contests with Adam Dyet and the Decenzos. I built a friendship with these guys and we’d be out skating every day and party together so it just made sense to me to switch over. I feel like skateboarding is about a crew and this felt more like a crew than Almost.

I mean you have dudes like Rodney and Daewon that have families and they’re not on the road all the time so we go on trips half the time Daewon wouldn’t be there, Rodney wouldn’t be there. They’d put me on trips with Cooper Wilt and Haslam but I didn’t hang out with those guys that much. They’re friends of mine but I wouldn’t see them for 6 months between tours where I hung out with the Darkstar guys more because they live in my area and we all skate a lot alike. Me and Decenzo pretty much skate the same stuff so we connected really well and we traveled to all the events like the Dew Tours and the Maloof cup. We were all sitting around the fire in my backyard and they were like, “dude you should come over to Darkstar” so they talked to Chet [Thomas] and he calls me up and was like let’s make this happen.

What’s going on with your shoe sponsor K-Swiss?
They’re building up the program but the economy kind of took a hit right now so like every company is cutting back. Actually I don’t think they’re cutting back that much as they are just taking time to think about the decisions we make. My shoe is pretty much done it just comes down to when they want to release it. Really it’s on them to pull the trigger and push it out to the public and I know a lot of kids are hitting me up and them up about it. They skate amazing though. I jump down big sets of stairs and they don’t bruise my feet and they’re comfortable. The shoe is phenomenal and I can’t wait to get it out to the world.

Has there been any sponsors that approached you that seemed unreasonable to endorse?
No, not really. I used to ride for Toyota. Having a car sponsor was pretty rad. I got a free car, the Matrix, that I got to drive around. I rode for them for like 2 years and it wasn’t the craziest deal it was just an awesome one. Who would have ever thought that skateboarding would get to the point of getting free cars and a car company putting your name on the side of a car

Were you driving around a car with your name on it?
Oh, no. They put one of my graphics on the side of it and gave it away at the Dew Tour. It was like a one time signature car which was insane because no one’s ever done that before. Bob Burnquist got one too.

Did you ever have the urge to crash it and get a new one? Just because you could?
No, I didn’t. I wasn’t going to ruin a sponsorship over that.

How come you’re not rocking the fedora anymore?
I still do actually! I rock all sorts of hats. I still wear the fedora but not so much while I’m skating. I’m a big fan of hats.

In your new part in Forward Slash, you weren’t wearing one it so I thought you were over it.
That was more of a promo and they didn’t use all my footage it was super short. We didn’t film for it for too long it was a couple trips but it turned out great I’m happy with it.

Does the label “contest skater” bother you?
You know what dude, skateboarding is like high school and you’re going to get labeled. People just say that because I skate at a lot of events but they don’t say that to Ryan [Sheckler] or P-Rod. I’ve had 7 parts in my career from Digital to 411 to Globe, all that. I think the parts get seen and played then 6 months later they just forget about them and then when you’re skating in a contest on TV every couple of months they just put you in that category. I just love to skateboard no matter what it is could be a mini ramp, the streets, or a contest. It’s all skateboarding to me.

Do you ever go online and read some of the trash talk about you?
Honestly dude, I go on the internet but I don’t really go on skate sites that much. Maybe the only skate sites I go to is The Berrics, I think it’s cool they update it every day, and skateboarding.com. I love to skate but I’m not really a super skate nerd and follow everything that just came out like picking up magazines or going on blogs and forums to see what people are saying. It’s not something that drives me to go skateboarding. What drives me to go skateboarding is progressing my talent and progressing me as a person and that’s what drove me to skateboarding in the first place. You learn so much through traveling and working with companies. Al Partenen helped me get through the industry and told me that I could be a pro skateboarder and make a living off of it. And I was like okay cool let’s go to California and see how this pans out. It’s been 10 years of living breathing and loving skateboarding.

Have you ever had beef with another pro?
I’ve never really had beef with anyone I just keep to myself. I dunno I’ve never gone out of my way to fight someone or anything like that. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten into a fight in my life. People are always going to talk shit no matter what you do but I just kind of ignore it. I’m doing what I love to do and I’m happy doing it which is more important than trying to make everyone else happy. I can’t worry about what other people are saying. It keeps me sane and humble.

What can we expect next from you?
I’m working on my own video part kind of like what Torey [Pudwill] did and give it away in a magazine and put it online. We’re just trying to figure out which mag to go with right now. We just worked with Thrasher with the new Darkstar video and that was just awesome. So yeah, it’s going to be a new part and Rockstar [energy drink] is 100% behind it so it’s going to be a great journey over the next 9-12 months filming. I’m going for broke. That’s what I like to do in skateboarding, I like to out do myself.


Words: Pat Maloney
Intro: Ian Michna
Original Illustration: Lauren Kolesinskas
Photos courtesy of Greg Lutzka
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Comments

  1. B34NS:

    Rad stuff man, I remember back in the days of that old WI-Skate site and those OG mini videos, glad to see you makin’ it alright homie!

    -B34NS SFCA

  2. bangerbill:
  3. Sean:

    Sick interview. Nice to hear that he’s going to put out a new full part. The only negative feedback that i really have about the article is the editing. There was a lot of awkward phrasing and run on sentences. It wouldn’t have been that hard to take your time and type his words up with care..

  4. Mike:

    Dude became a huge sponsor slut. I remember when he was Illenium skateboards and he made a point that he wanted to support them to the fullest extent. After it folded he went hard into getting a series of the worst, offensive sponsors. I used really respect this guy as a young teenager for his choices but now, fuck.

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