Davis Torgerson is the future of skateboarding and it’s not just because he’s amazingly talented on his skateboard. It’s because he’s PG-13 – he is relatable and gives enough to all audiences to make them happy. As skateboarding continues to move closer to the Olympics and a normal sport, it’s going to be the skater’s personalities and potential marketability to mainstream audiences, that will dictate their success (financially at least).
Davis has a seemingly conventional background: grew up playing team sports in Minnesota (and was good at them), was accepted into college, enjoys SportsCenter and is smart and articulate without being threatening. He’s talented, agreeable and relatable but entertaining and carefree enough to not be labeled boring or a robot by the core skate community. While there will always be the P-Rods pushing 100% sport and Pontus Alvs pushing 100% art, Davis is the rare breed able to dance in the middle, holding the respect of both audiences.
Some people have said the music in your video parts so far has sucked. What do you think?
I have heard that. I don’t really give a fuck, I guess. Everyone skates to such similar music. There are so many genres and then if something is different, then yeah, it’s gonna get hate I guess. Not that I’m against any of it. Old school 90s rap.. It’s like, OK yeah, I like it! But I’ve seen it. I used a Brian Eno song in the REAL video, Brian Eno is sick, and I thought that song ripped but I can see why people could hate on it because it could be perceived as not a “skate song”. What are you supposed to do? Is there a rule about what I’m supposed to use…?
You just started skating in Street League this year.
Were you there when Nyjah Huston was booed in Chicago for winning the contest?
Yeah… that actually sucked, I felt bad about that. It was kinda fucked up. To boo someone like that… he’s just winning. It’s kinda fucked up to boo him. Maybe he didn’t hear it?
They announced that Nyjah won, handed him the trophy and he got booed by the audience. I think everyone could hear it…
It looked like he brushed it off and ignored it. I kept thinking it’s probably real hard to pretend to not hear that, he did a good job at it. That’s gotta hurt to hear that and have to fake being excited and smiling or whatever. He’s so good and he does deserve to win pretty much all of these. The Chicago crowd was booing some of the scores too. In sports, the only time people will get booed is if someone comes into the stadium that used to play there, or there’s something between the city and them or the home team is completely blowing it. There’s never been a boo like, “oh god dammit, he made the shot!” It’s usually just quiet. If that happened to me, I would be devastated. But I’m not making as much money as him, so maybe that changes things?
Did you ever do your SATs or go to college?
I did my ACT. I got a 25 I think. I did really well in science and math, and then really bad in reading and writing, so my score averaged in the middle at 25 out of 36.
I was accepted to the University of Minnesota actually. I didn’t get flowed Real boards until I was halfway through senior year in high school, and by that point I had already applied to all these schools. When I started getting flow, I was still planning on going to college. Then for orientation in July where you get your classes set up and go through the campus, I got asked to go on my first Real trip. It just happened to be the same week as orientation. So I was like shit, at least they have late orientation in August too, I’ll just go then. But then after that, I got asked to go on another trip, that just happened to be the same week as the late orientation. That’s kinda when I was like, “hey uh, mom, can I just take like a year off from college?” Luckily after that second trip, I got on Real. My dad still brings it up all the time how jealous and how psyched he is that I get to travel and basically that my job is where I don’t work really. Like I do, but it’s skateboarding, it’s not really a job.
Skateboarding must feel like a job sometimes though.
Yeah, but it doesn’t equal out. For me, sometimes it feels like I’m still in high school and I don’t have a job. There are times when you have to take certain things more seriously, when someone needs something you gotta be like, “oh yeah, I’ll fly over there, for sure,” but you skate for a living. And if you’re a pro skateboarder, that’s just what you’ve always done. And now you have people like feeding you all the time and taking you everywhere. You kinda get pampered in a way, like you’re fake-lifing it.
”You don’t need a lot of mental capacity to be a pro skater”
Do think the pampering of pro skaters handicaps a lot of dudes and makes it hard for them to do things on their own?
I always wonder that. You see certain pros, and whether they are just totally fried or just a couple beers short of a 6 pack, you’ll wonder how they are gonna be after skating. Like, will he find a job or anything? Because you don’t need a lot of mental capacity to be a pro skater. Companies buy your flights. They pay for your meals. You just have to do your taxes. Maybe the hardest thing is going to the AT&T store and setting your phone up.
You have to do interviews though…
Yeah but you don’t have to be good at them. [Laughs] with an interview, there isn’t really a standard that you have to meet like, “oh he didn’t come through in that interview.” Someone will read it and just be like, whatever…
I heard you are a big golf dude. What else do you do when you are not skateboarding?
It’s usually just golf and other than thats it’s probably just like, veg out, honestly. If you go on a few trips back to back and you haven’t been home for like a week, sometimes it is nice just to spend one day sitting on the couch. Hanging out with your friends and sitting around watching the football game, totally just being a pile. If I watch TV I always gotta start with some SportsCenter, it’s such a comforting show – always the same, you know what you’re gonna get.
Who are some other pro skaters that are good at golfing?
I used to play with Ronnie [Creager] a bunch. He would always beat me [laughs]. You can tell that he like, takes lessons. He’s like a dad golfer. I can see him being the guy that’s actually buying the shirts and the hats. We’ll just go out in a t-shirt or whatever but he’s looking the golfer part. I play with Sean Malto. I’ve played with Koston. He plays like once a month because he’s so busy, but when he does he doesn’t lose. And he hardly plays! Biebel… I played with Ako a bunch… Matt Miller.. It’s like a secret society of golfers.
Who’s better at golf, Ronnie Creager or Koston?
Koston. If he played like once a week, I think he could play in amateur contests. It kinda translates to his skating where it’s like yeah he got into skating and now he’s the best. I feel like that dude is talented in anything.
What has been the biggest struggle or change for you in skateboarding so far?
Well..skateboarding is changing. I mean I’m not the first one to say that, I think everyone kind of knows it but, you know. I’m a younger guy, but even since I started skateboarding it has changed a lot. When I started it was a way to get away from team sports, yadda yadda. And now I see it and I think the kids see it and it’s more relatable. Like basketball or baseball. Like, yeah yeah, I’m gonna be a professional skateboarder! They get into it and they have some different idea of what it is. Like when we did it, it was fun, we taught ourselves, now I just see it as a mainstream sport.
So for me, as a professional skateboarder, you have to change too. You actually feel like an athlete at times. You can’t be the bitter guy and just talk about how it used to be. You kinda have to swallow your pride, accept it, and at the same time kinda go along with it. Especially as a professional skateboarder, you only do it for so long. That means, if you’re gonna do this contest, then fuck it, do it.
”As a professional skateboarder, you have to change too. You actually feel like an athlete at times.”
Whatever used to not be cool, do it anyways – you’ll probably end up being happier and have more fun skating if you just accept the fact and take advantage of whatever you are given. Instead of just being like, “oh Redbull sucks, that’s a stupid sponsor.” But you know what? They will probably send you on trips, you will have fun and you will get paid for it. At least that’s what changed for me when I was kid a coming up, till now.
Yeah you were offered to ride for Redbull early on, right? But didn’t do it.
I think as a kid when they offered the option to me, I kinda didn’t wanna do it because I was still coming up. I thought getting a sponsor like that needs to happen when you are a little bit more cemented into skateboarding. When people already know you, rather then coming up with the Redbull hat on. But now this is my livelihood I guess, and I can only do it for so long. I’ll make as much money as I can, I guess.
So you didn’t wanna sell your “identity” before it was even developed?
Exactly. Our roots and attitude in skateboarding come from a fuck whatever is mainstream type of thing. But now it’s like, well shit.. I guess now you just gotta take advantage of it.