The “completely unknown ripper” phenomena is hard to pull off these days, mostly because Instagram spoils everything. But Diego Todd is doing a good job at it.
You may only be familiar with him as the guy with glasses in the Hockey videos. Or maybe you’ve never heard of him at all. So I decided to poke and prod him with questions to find out what Jason Dill and AVE have in mind for their newest talent.
Despite skating in videos that tend to be cut like horror movies, Diego is pretty even-keeled. I tried to rile up his teenage brain by focusing on the three J’s — jacking off, Juuls, and j’alcohol — but nothing phased him. So I tapped into his teenage sense of existential dread and we might have gotten somewhere.
Read on for your daily dose of youth perspective.
Do you think your glasses help you stand out among other kids trying to make a career in skating?
I don’t know. They have in the past but I feel like there’s a lot more people wearing glasses nowadays. I used to trip on it. I thought people wouldn’t like me just because of them. I would try to put on contacts but they suck.
Do they make you feel like a nerd?
I guess I am kind of a nerd so it doesn’t matter.
How old are you?
I just graduated high school, I’m 18 right now.
What’s high school like nowadays?
There’s vapes everywhere. The teachers have been getting briefed on what Juuls are so they can point them out. Before if kids got caught with one they’d say it was a USB drive and it was no problem.
Do kids vape in class?
Yeah, blow it into their shirt or ghost it. That’s when you keep it inside your mouth and don’t let the smoke come out.
Have you ever vaped?
For sure I’ve tried it. The tobacco is fucked up. It’s so awesome, that’s why I’d never get one. Vapes hit you harder and they taste better, so they’re sketchier. You can hit ’em forever and you wouldn’t get over it. I’d just be sucking on it all day. Cigarettes are way better.
What about fighting? Do kids still get beat up at high school?
Not at my high school. I’m sure every high school’s different. Did you get beat up?
Somehow, no. What about you?
Yeah. I just lost a fight and got beat up a couple months ago. I broke my finger but it healed in two weeks.
Have you ever beaten someone else up?
I don’t know legit beaten someone up but definitely punched people in the face. It feels good right after you do it but then you’re stuck thinking about it and you’re like, “Shit, I should not have done that.” Then you just think you’re an idiot.
Since school shootings have been increasing, do you have training on how to stay safe during one?
There’s been threats to the schools in my area but we never had training. But since it’s so common kids will make threats and then not do anything, and we just won’t go to school for a couple days.
One time in high school this kid brought a gun onto campus, but I don’t think he was intending on shooting a bunch of people. I think he just wanted to shoot one person. But he got stopped before anything could happen.
So some kids do it as a prank just to get everyone out of school?
Yeah, I think that’s what it was too. It’s pretty jacked.
How do they make the threats, just call the school?
No, it’s through social media.
So someone writes online, “I’m gonna shoot the school tomorrow”?
I honestly don’t know.
That seems so much more elaborate than calling in a bomb threat the old fashioned way. So what are you doing now that you’re graduated?
I’m just skating. I want to go to college but I want to figure out what I want to do or if I even want to go at all. Maybe I’d do something with writing. I write down my dreams because I have fucked up dreams sometimes. They’ll scare the shit out of me.
Do you ever have wet dreams?
Nah, I’m actually bummed on that. My friends and I were talking about that the other day. Some of them were saying that they’ve gotten like two in one night before.
Two wet dreams in one night? That’s excessive.
Yeah, and I’ve never had one before. I’m pretty bummed.
Why are you bummed?
It sounds awesome. Sounds like a sick dream.
Yeah but when you wake up there’s jizz in your underwear.
Yeah, that’s a bummer, but whatever.
There’s things you can do to try to have a wet dream.
Like not nutting for a long time?
Or watch porn before you go to sleep but don’t jack off.
Oh, maybe I’ll try that.
Do you jack off a lot?
So how much are we talking, five times a week?
Yeah, probably five times. Because I don’t really do it on the weekends.
Have you ever jerked off to a skate video?
No. That’s gnarly.
I knew a guy who used to jerk off to Photosynthesis.
To Photosynthesis? No way. Why?
I think he just tried it one day to see if he could.
Which do you think would be the best skate video to jerk off to? Pretty Sweet?
Pretty Sweet? No. That is not a video to jerk off to. Too much slow mo and weird camera angles.
Maybe something more raw like Eastern Exposure 3?
I don’t know. I watch skate videos to forget about girls and stuff like that. It would never work for me.
When you first got into skating, were you watching full-length videos or just clips on YouTube?
I would watch YouTube and get some videos. I never had any on VHS but I would always watch Mindfield, that’s a big one. I have Blind What If? on DVD. I really like that video.
That one dude in Blind What If?, Carlos Ruiz, he’s so jacked, that part is insane. He switch 50-50’d the Heath hubba that he sticks on and dies. It looks like he can’t do it, but he does. That’s probably my favorite part from that video. Mindfield has so many good parts, it’s hard.
What did you think of the Rob Dyrdek part?
I actually like that part [laughs].
What do you like about it?
I think it’s sick that he still did it. He was doing all that MTV shit at the time and still made a part. He didn’t have to make that part. He would’ve been fine not doing it and he still did. And that shit when someone says to him, “Fuck yeah, back in the streets,” then he’s like, “Fuck the streets.” I say that all the time.
Why do you slam so much? Do you like slamming?
No, I just I’m not that good at skating. But I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of getting out of slams. I never get too hurt.
What about the photos you posted of your fucked up shoulder and back surgery?
The shoulder was from snowboarding. And the herniated back, the doctor said it was bound to happen. I just have a bad back. I was in Europe when it got really bad so I had to get surgery in Germany. It was better medical service than I’ve ever gotten in the U.S., and insanely cheap. It only came out to $700, but if I’d gotten it in the U.S. it would have been $50,000.
What kind of surgery did they do?
They made a little incision in my lower back, went in, pulled it out. The doctor filmed it and gave me the video. It’s a video of my back opened up and he’s talking to me for when I watch it. He’s like, “So this is your herniated disc, it’s the same consistency as bubble gum.” Then he uses the tweezers and rips the piece off that was touching my nerve. And then I was fine. He was like, live your life and forget that this ever happened.
Are you going to release the footage of your surgery in your next skate part?
No, I’m going to hang on to it. It’s pretty gnarly, I don’t think anyone really wants to see it. It doesn’t show them cutting, but it starts with it all the way open. That probably would’ve fucked with me if he was cutting it.
Did they let you keep the part they took out of you?
No, but I posted a photo of it on Instagram. It looked like bacon.
It’s funny how human flesh can look like meat. Would you ever eat human flesh?
Probably not. I hope not.
What if you went to a friend’s house and they just happened to be cooking human meat. Would you try it?
No. How would they get that?
I don’t know, it’s part of the mystery.
So did the doctors give you good German drugs when you were in the hospital?
Yeah, they gave me a beer too when I was in the bed afterward with IVs hooked in.
What do you think about age regulations for alcohol and cigarettes in the U.S.?
They should all be 18. If you can own a gun at 18, why can’t you drink beer or smoke cigs? A gun is way more dangerous than those.
Did you buy cigarettes or porn when you turned 18?
No. I registered to vote. That’s the only thing I did. ‘Cause California’s 21 for everything. I mean, not guns. I could get a shotgun. I was thinking about getting a gun, but I don’t know when I’d ever take it out to shoot. I’ve never shot a gun so I guess it’s just curiosity. I’ve shot a .22, but it felt like a pellet gun. I want to shoot a shotgun or a handgun.
Do you ever worry about the world?
Yeah. Like, it seems pretty crazy for me to have a kid and bring it into this world. Say if I have it later on in my life, that world is already gonna be so much more jacked than it is right now, so that kid will have the craziest life. I don’t know if I would want to have a kid just ’cause of that.
So much shit can happen. Your kid could turn out to be a serial killer. And every year the weather seems to get crazier. Storms are getting gnarlier. I feel like every year some town gets ripped up somewhere on the east coast, just gets hammered by a hurricane.
Well you know about the fault line on the western edge of the U.S.? There’s going to be a massive earthquake there someday.
Yeah, the San Andreas fault that goes straight through California. But you can’t tell when earthquakes are gonna happen. I think they know a few minutes before it’s gonna happen, if that. That’s why every time I’m in my friend’s car and there’s a bunch of freeways that are connecting over us or we’re on a bridge, it’s in the back of my head. If it hits. Or if I’m laying in bed sometimes I’ve thought, what if it hit right now?
Would you say you’re pursuing a career in skating?
I’m trying to pursue a career in skateboarding.
Is that something you had to convince your parents to get on board with?
Definitely with my dad there’s been some convincing, but not my mom. I’m always doing it and she knows how happy it makes me.
How do you convince someone who doesn’t believe in it?
I guess it helps to tell them you’re sponsored and you film stuff for a company. That’s the most dumbed down version of it, but that’s what it is. I wish it was still like you go around and do demos for kids. That shit’s awesome. But there’s not as much as it used to be. I mean, I wasn’t even skating when people would go on straight demo tours. Like not tours to film, just to build wooden parks in random towns and put on a show. I was watching old videos with my friend the other day and he said it used to be like a band. Doing the demo was like playing the show, and then you just party at night.
What kind of advice do Dill and AVE give you for your career?
How to not blow it, I guess.
Soo, how do you not blow it?
I don’t know. I can’t give out that information. Just don’t be selfish.