For a brief moment in May 2013, no one knew what the hell was going on in skateboarding.
Dill and Ave announced that they were leaving Alien Workshop, Brian Anderson quit Girl and Alex Olson left shortly after. The elder statesmen, the infastructure of our favorite companies seemed to be crumbling as message boards blew up, skate nerds popped boners and rumors were at an all time high.
As the dust settled, there were a couple of things that became more clear: Ave and Dill were doing their own project while Brian was starting his own company, 3d skateboards and taking riders Alex Olson and Austyn Gillette with him. With no other information out there besides a few scattered Instagram posts, we got the first details on 3d and the breakup with Girl, all straight from the big boss man himself.
Dill and Ave left Alien Workshop around the same time as you announced you were leaving Girl. Were you in touch with them and did their announcement impact your decision to leave in any way?
It was a complete coincidence, I had no idea those guys were gonna do what they’re doing. I had quit Girl already but I wasn’t telling anybody. I had decided that at this point in my career I just wanted to do something to challenge myself, to go on and move forward. And then Dill and Ave put out that announcement and I was like holy crap, this is crazy. We talked a lot because it’s such a weird a thing when you split up with someone that you care about, it wasn’t easy. It was actually great to have both of them to talk to during everything because it’s stressful and there’s friendships involved.
Rumor has it that 3d stands for 3 dudes or 3 dicks. Are either of these true and if not, why did you choose the name, 3d?
[laughs] No no, none of that is true. I had like 5 names I was really thinking about. One of the things is, I’m really conscious of layouts and aesthetics. I just thought that because Skate Mental is two words, to have a brand name on the same box that was small would look pretty cool aesthetically. There’s Girl, there’s Zero, Flip – a lot of 4 letter brands. They are easy, 1 syllable. I just thought 3d, it rhymes and it’s easy. I didn’t wanna do it because it’s already an existing name in our culture but I just had a good feeling about it. Brad [Staba] liked it too and I’m happy how we chose to call it that.
As you know there is clothing company, “3d Innovations” that was started in Connecticut in 1990 by Matt Landon, the same state you are from. It had riders like Jeff Pang, Matt Reason and Jahmal Williams just to name a few. Were you aware of the company before you chose your name, 3d skateboards?
I was unaware of 3d Innovations. When Brad and I licensed 3d Skateboards it wasn’t a name that was “taken” so… I’ve been in touch with Matt from 3d Innovations. We’re on cool terms I do believe. Lots of companies and corporations in life and business have similar names. Restaurants, clothing, distributions..etc. So I think everything is fine in that respect.
Besides wanting to start your own company was there anything happening at Girl that you were unhappy with that played a part in your decision to leave?
There was absolutely nothing wrong with the way things were going with Girl. That’s why it was hard to go through with everything because we’re all really close friends and I love those guys so much. I just felt like I wanted to do something for myself, instead of in a few years realizing that I can’t jump down stairs when I’m 45, and I kinda wanted to have my own thing started by the time that happens. I have a few Girl tattoos, and I’m happy I have them because it’s great memories of fun trips and great years.
Yeah I saw some people comment like, “Looks like he’s gonna have to get rid of all his tattoos!!”
I know, I love that people said that. It’s like what are you talking about..
How did Alex Olson and Austyn Gillette get involved?
I had already left Girl, and Alex called me to tell me that he was thinking about leaving too, but nothing was planned. I am good friends with Austyn, and he kinda learned that I was gonna do my own thing. It was hard for him as well because he really respects everything Habitat has done for him, but we all thought doing something small would be fun at this point in life. As far as right now it’s just gonna be the 3 of us and again, it wasn’t intentional – I named it 3d just thinking it was gonna be me. I wasn’t planning on “stealing” riders or taking anybody, it’s not like that. Things kinda just flowed naturally. As of right now there’s not gonna be any more announcements, it’s just us, and were just gonna put our stuff out at the tradeshow [Agenda LA] and cruise and see how things are received.
I saw Anthony Pappalardo pop up and write some stuff on 3d’s Instagram, any involvement potentially with him or have other people been calling and trying to get involved?
Oh – I actually didn’t read what he wrote but everybody is always saying to put him on. I love Anthony, he’s awesome. But again, I just gotta take care of Alex and Austyn first and get it rolling. Of course there has definitely been alot of people contacting and asking questions and wanting to be involved, I just want to start it really small so I can take care of my two guys.
From riding for other people’s companies for many years now, are there things you have seen or always felt should be run differently? If so, what are they and will you do it differently at your own company now?
Ya, but I don’t wanna say that I was not OK with the way Girl or Chocolate were ran. I love those trips, they were amazing. I just think, these days a lot of kids are getting burnt really quick. I mean you gotta go out and film so you can make your career, but going to these trips to China and all this stuff, it’s just kinda not that fun. I just wanna go on a trip in a car with my two homies and we’re gonna film everything and skate ditches and just have fun. I love every single person we traveled with but I think it’s rad to do something small. So we don’t have to be in a van with a whole bunch of people to get coffee and take a crap and go to Target and all that stuff. Just 3 of us, it’s just quicker and easier.
I also want people to skate where they live, I think of Eastern Exposure and stuff like that. People skated in Philly and skated in their hometowns. I want Alex and Austyn to be happy in LA and go out and film tricks in like a schoolyard there. I’ll skate NY and be in SF all the time, film there hanging out with Brad and all of us will skate where we are comfortable.
There’s a rumor that Nike has some stock in the company or has some involvement in it. Is this true?
No, Nike has absolutely nothing to do with 3d. It’s just me and Brad, Skate Mental and Big Time. That’s it. And I love that people think that, the conspiracy theories are just glorious. Nike doesn’t do hardgoods. It’s a huge corporation, that’s not where they’re at or I’m at, they are just my awesome shoe sponsor. We are doing this on our own, with our own funds and on our own terms. No truth to them having any involvement but they have been really supportive of the whole thing, they got my back.
Are you still going to be riding for Fourstar clothing?
That was something cool to talk about with Carroll, when I was thinking about doing 3d, I was so happy he was like, “You still wanna do Fourstar?!” I was like, “Of course!! Please!” I love it there. I love those guys.
How did it you break it to Girl & Crailtap that you were leaving?
I mean this is pretty personal, but I talked to Brad [Staba] first, then went to LA to talk to Girl about it and told them I’m getting older and I wanted to do my own thing. And it wasn’t fun for any of us. But they know I’m not trying to be a jerk about it. People leave record companies, leave bands, leave basketball teams. It’s not fun but it happens. I just wanted to give them the respect of talking to them about it in person and I kinda went a little fast.. I just wanna convey how much I love those guys, there was absolutely nothing wrong and I’m glad they are my friends. I want to go on Fourstar trips with them and maintain our friendships for the rest of my life.