A professional skateboarder’s path can go in a ton of different directions. They can make it huge and start driving insane cars, their career can be stunted by injuries, or, as was the case for Jordan Sanchez, they can gracefully bow out and vanish into regular life.
For those who are trying to recall who Jordan is, he made a name for himself in skateboarding in the early to mid-’10s. Jordan’s last part was in Welcome’s 2017 video Fetish, but more notably in 2015 he released “The Dumpster Part”, which showcased how weird and creative his skating could really get.
Today, Jordan is a family man with a wife, two kids (with another on the way), and a YouTube channel. His life is now pretty much divorced from skateboarding, but he still has the mindset and convictions of someone who busted their ass for years to make it happen. Luckily for us, Jordan was down to talk about what he’s been up to since he went M.I.A from the skate industry.
What’s the secret to landing a good Natas spin?
You have to find poles that are really going to grip and really eat the shit out of the bottom of the board because that’s what’s going to keep you locked in. I got hooked on those for a little while. That was super fun to learn how to do that.
Did the Natas spin kickflip out take a long time?
Not too long, but I actually had to go back and do it a few times. I did it for the Some Things part, and then my buddy came to Washington to shoot photos for an interview so we did it again. Then, that night he accidentally deleted the sequence or his hard drive got corrupted. I can’t remember. He spent all this money on these apps trying to recover lost data and shit and it wasn’t working. Finally, we just said fuck it and went back the next day to shoot it again.
Each one felt like a mini-miracle, just getting it to flip out. I wouldn’t get close for 90 tries then one try I’d be like, “Holy shit, I just landed on it.” Then I would keep trying and a hundred tries later I landed one. I did it three times in total.
During the height of your career, did you ever move to California to really try and “make it” as a pro in skating?
I moved to California to try and make it, but it was short-lived, like less than a year. It was me and my girlfriend and then a couple of my buddies. After six months, everyone was kind of over it.
How much were you making?
I barely made any money skating ever. I was filming and skating hard for like 20-25 years. I only made money for about three years in skating and $1,100 a month was the most I ever made. I never really thought of skating as a way to make money. It was more fun to just go skate. We always wanted to push ourselves but money was never the goal [laughs].
“I only made money for about three years in skating
and $1,100 a month was the most I ever made.”
When did you start your Vic’s Market YouTube channel?
I started after moving back home from California. I was living back with my parents and I just had the urge to get my own video camera. I was like, I’m going to get a computer, I’m going to get a VX1000 because I always wanted one, and I’m gonna make my own shit.
I was 22 which I thought was kinda old in skating and I felt like an old man. Come to find out, I’m 35 now and that’s kind of a bullshit way of thinking. I felt a little past my prime and really wanted to do my own thing for fun and be in control of the editing and stuff. With Vic’s Market, it started with my brother and me, and the crew formed naturally over time through old friends that we used to skate with, like Josh Jones.
As far as the name Vic’s Market, that’s an actual market in the town that I grew up in. It was just this shitty hole-in-the-wall little corner store. It was really just that I needed a name for our new YouTube account.
Did you ever meet Vic?
No, Vic is dead. But all of my friends and I grew up skating in Snohomish, Washington and we all went to Vic’s Market. It’s the under-appreciated spot. It looked like shit from the outside but it had the best stuff in there. I don’t think a lot of people from out of town went in. It’s like a locals-only type thing.
The channel was on hiatus for a few years, and then you started posting again recently and you got some backlash for that, right?
Well yeah, that channel has been dead for a couple of years. I don’t have the same drive that I used to, and a lot of the crew has moved on to different things. I just wanted to focus on things that my wife and kids are doing now, which is home renovation and property development stuff, and reuse that channel and keep that audience. I thought it was a good time to focus on things that we’re into now and show the skating community something different from me since I’m not as passionate about skateboarding anymore.
We posted about what we’re doing now and I got some private messages and some comments about it. I thought about it more and I get why people didn’t like the change. I was like, “Let’s just leave Vic’s Market alone.” We uploaded a second video to say that we started a new channel. I guess I didn’t think it through fully. And for the people who are interested in the building stuff, they’ll move over to the new channel. I took into consideration people’s opinions, and it seems like Vic’s Market stuff is still important to people. It doesn’t get views, but if people want to go back and watch them the I’ll leave it there for them.
“Hopefully, people can look beyond skateboarding sometimes.”
Why do you think skaters have that tendency to hate on someone for doing something different?
Well, that’s complicated. It’s part of the culture a little bit. It all comes down to that “core” thing, and I get it to a degree. There is a community in skating that is sacred and it’s getting more exploited now than it ever has been. With all of the mainstream acceptance and the Olympics, I could see skaters getting mad about that. There are a lot of things I’ve seen that I think are wack too. But for me, it’s mainly been about the exploitation of skate culture.
I think people feel betrayed when someone they like through skating does something that is different. When pro skaters are taking opportunities that are good for them they’re seen as sellouts. I can understand that, but the older I’ve gotten I’ve realized that we’re all people and if you don’t have bad intentions and you’re just doing what’s good for you and your family, people should understand that. Hopefully, people can look beyond skateboarding sometimes.
How did you learn about renovating homes? Is it your full-time job now?
It is kind of a hobby because I do work full time for the city otherwise. We bought our first house when we were 24, newly married, and had fun fixing that up. Flash forward to now, we have renovated 4 homes and are building a new one now. We have just learned as we go. In the beginning, I didn’t know what I was doing so I would just ask family and friends, and there’s a lot of YouTube videos out there. My wife Anah’s family is in construction and they are super helpful.
Anah was always super business-minded, so shortly after getting married she just went out on a limb and bought her first of three coffee stands. I was like, “Are you sure? This is crazy.” The only thing I’ve done like that was opening an indoor skatepark. Everything that I understood was in the skateboarding framework. Long story short, the skatepark opened and we lost a ton of money on that thing.
What was it like owning an indoor skatepark?
It was really fun for a while, but in the end, it was pretty depressing. The cost of everything, especially rent, was going up. We just weren’t getting the type of traffic that we hoped for. After about a year and a half, we were like, “Okay, we really have to pump this thing and do camps and do all this stuff,” and we tried but it was just an uphill battle. I had to tear that thing down with my buddies because we had been in it for two years and we had lost so much money.
So after the skatepark closed, you thought about getting into real estate?
Yeah, in like 2014. Real estate was pretty cheap. Anah and I were like, “Let’s do something different. Let’s look for a shitty house we can fix up and rent out.” Her coffee business was doing really well. There wasn’t this crazy real estate market like there is now. So we bought that first investment property with the intention of renting it out and seeing how it goes. It ended up being a successful venture but it took a lot of my time away from skating. That was kind of the beginning of my trail out of skating because it was taking so much of my time fixing this thing up.
I was still riding for Welcome and was filming and ended up going pro during that time. I filmed “The Dumpster Part” during all that. I was working full time, doing all this real estate stuff, and still maintaining some growth in skating. So for a while, it was kind of a lot. We also had a newborn at the time too.
Was it tough to come to the realization that professional skateboarding might not be cutting it for you anymore?
I was trying to compete with Ryan Lay and guys who were just killing it. It was really tough. With the defeat of the skatepark, I was determined to put my energy into something that was not skate-related, which was these houses, and have them be successful. I was just burnt on skating. I needed to focus on things that make money and do the skating for fun on the side.
I missed out on a lot of things in life because of skating. And I love skating, so that’s the thing. I’ve been detached from being heavily involved in skating for about five years. Looking back on it, I was way too focused on that stuff. I just think differently now that I’m in my 30s and I have two kids, with a third on the way. The bulk of the skating that I do now is with my son if he wants to go do it.
How was it leaving your sponsors?
I was flow for everybody except for State Footwear and Welcome. I was honest with them both from the get-go. I was able to put in as much time as I could give, and it wasn’t really enough.
I told Jason [Founder of Welcome Skateboards] straight up, “I don’t expect you to pay me if I’m not doing the stuff,” because that was the first time in my life I had been paid in skating. Jason was like, “I want to pay you as long as I can but if things start to get tight then I’m going to stop paying you.” That was the deal, and I always felt guilty, like I could’ve done more. He would just say, “Don’t worry about it. I wanted you on my team and I wanted to give you a board.”
You’re still on the team page on Welcome’s website.
Oh really? I still haven’t really quit. We just both understand that this is my life now. I still wear Welcome stuff. My wife wears a ton of Welcome stuff. I still only skate Welcome boards. Obviously, I’m not a front-running pro so I’m thankful for Jason.
Also, I don’t like social media. I don’t like the social media instant clips. I don’t like to have to feed that monster daily. I had a hard time with that when I first started riding for Welcome because I don’t want to water my skating down.
Were you getting burnt of having the obligation to post tricks on social media?
The obligations were your typical stuff—try to get photos when you can and always be filming. The only thing that was hard was keeping up with Instagram. I come from a different era and I was struggling to adapt to this new thing. I also thought this Instagram stuff would’ve blown over by now.
I just thought that it’s better to be unseen until you have something that’s really good to show. Think of this as an example. Back in the day, you go to the skatepark and you try a ledge trick. You work on it and you get that trick perfect at the park. Then, you film it in the streets and it’s in your video part. I would never show myself learning that trick on some stupid skatepark ledge. It would taint the release of your newly learned trick on a dope street spot with good music and everything.
Instagram lent itself to this instant gratification thing. As soon as you land it, here it is! That, as a whole, took away from some of the specialness of trying to go film, because I had limited time. Was I going to go out and spend my time getting clips for a video part that I had a concept for, or just go try to film garbage for Instagram? If I was 18 and I had a ton of time, sure, I could spend the time building a cool Instagram where I can put stuff every day while filming for video parts. But the types of tricks and spots that I was skating took a lot of thought for me to just throw on Instagram.
“I thought this Instagram stuff would’ve blown over by now.”
Was there a point while you were filming for “The Dumpster Part” where you were like, “Fuck, why did I do this?”
Basically the whole time [laughs]. It got more and more exciting as I kept going. I was feeling pretty low for a little bit of it. We’d be at a spot and I was like, “I can’t film a trick here. I have to find a dumpster to do a trick on here. I want to skate this ledge but there better be a dumpster near it.” It got pretty stupid. All of my buddies were finding stuff and sending me pictures of random dumpsters.
Once we learned how to drag them around it got better. I would bring a dirt board and you could lift it on the front of that and you could push those things all around. But there were a lot of low times. When you’re skating the same type of obstacle over and over again the footage all starts to look the same and you don’t want it to look monotonous, you want it to look exciting, but it’s all dumpsters [laughs].
Would you say you’re a Home Depot guy or a Lowe’s kind of guy?
That’s tough. Lowe’s is closest to my house and I’m super familiar with the layout. I’ve been a Lowe’s guy but Home Depot has had their shit stocked lately. Lowe’s has not. I hold no allegiances, but the orange is kind of brutal [laughs]. The blue is easier on the eyes and you can kind of think straight.
If someone was skating on one of your properties would you kick them out?
Dude, that’s tough. When I was younger I always thought that I would have a place that would have skate spots. Like, I would have a sick handrail out front that kids could skate. I haven’t had to worry about that yet because I don’t have any spots. I think it would depend on the kid’s attitude. If I was to walk up and I got some respect, then hell yeah, I would let them skate.
A lot of skaters will just roll their eyes when they hear about skaters becoming landlords.
It’s easy to get written off these days [laughs]. If you’re not 100% speaking the right language then see ya later.
“The housing market is a market,
but it shouldn’t keep regular people from owning homes.”
Are you worried about the housing market bubble bursting?
It’s hard to say because you can read a lot of articles that say it will or won’t, but what it really boils down to is the lending. You’re not going to see something like you saw in 2008, because the new borrowers aren’t getting bad mortgages, like the subprime mortgages.
There’s something to be looked into about all of these investment companies that are buying houses and things like that, though. There should be some regulation there as far as foreign investment and things like that. Housing has turned into such a speculative market that it’s destroying first-time homeowner’s chances of ever owning a home. There are a lot of wealthy huge companies who are really screwing the market for a lot of people. Me being a small-time landlord or something like that, I don’t agree with those kinds of shady business practices.
The guys I rent to, we have a good relationship. They appreciate being able to have a regular person, rather than a property management company. It works out because it does fill a need for people who don’t want to buy property but don’t want to rent from some giant corporation. Imagine you needed a room for six months. If you go to some property management company, they want a lot out of you.
Do you have any predictions about where the housing market will go?
I don’t think anybody has seen anything like what we’re seeing right now. We’re getting to the point in America where people are just going to have to rent forever. Owning a home is going to be unobtainable, and only for the elites. I think that’s bullshit. People need to do whatever they can to be aware. If you’re selling your home make sure you’re selling to someone who is going to be living there and not a big corporation or investment company. The housing market is a market, but it shouldn’t keep regular people from owning homes.
What should skateboarders trying to make it in skating be doing with their money?
Well, my only suggestion is to avoid instant gratification and temporary satisfaction with stuff. Don’t feel like you gotta spend the money that you make because you don’t make enough to save. I would say to save, even if it’s $20 a month. Anything helps. You can grow that and then do your research and invest in something. Nowadays, there are so many different things to invest in. You can go stock market or even cryptos. We’ve been putting all of our extra money in cryptos because the real estate market is crazy and it is almost impossible to compete. It’s been up and down, but they’ve been good overall.
So the housing market was too volatile, so you went into the safe and stable market of cryptos? [laughs]
[Laughs] Pretty much. Like a year and a half ago we started and that shit went way high. We’ve just been adding to that slowly. But, seriously, only invest in crypto what you’re able to lose [laughs]. You don’t want to jump all into that. But, don’t ever think of yourself as too poor to save. We’re doing good now at 35, but when I was in my 20s we were broke, but we wanted to progress, so we lived below our means and saved as much as we could, and bought assets as often as we could.
Where do you work right now?
I work for the city as a building inspector for remodels and new construction. It’s kind of a trip because I’m like this government employee who’s inspecting houses and I do have the experience and qualifications to do it but a lot of them don’t know I was a grimy skater skating trash cans a few years ago. My first city job was in community development, I was processing building permits. That was my entry-level job, then I moved up naturally.
Did you ever go to college?
I didn’t go to a four-year school, but I did get an associate’s degree after high school. It was in some arts and humanities, I forget. It was a worthless degree. But I would say to skaters, after high school, at least go for the associates or community college. You don’t need a four-year degree to succeed in life, but either go to a trade school, an apprenticeship program or get a two-year degree at the very least. It opens up a lot of jobs. I wouldn’t have gotten that first job without that degree.
But there are also tons of entry-level jobs that you don’t need a degree for in local government, too! People just need to not think they’re entitled to a certain job or that they’re too special to work a certain job. You really do have to do things to make yourself a better person, a better candidate for the job.
You’re not going to get anywhere feeling like you’re owed something. You have to work on yourself and then you’ll be in the arena of having opportunities coming to you. There are so many entitled people in skateboarding, like, why do you deserve that? Just go work harder. There are a lot of sponges out there.
What would it take for you to film a full part again?
If I can get away from having a full-time job and we’re doing this YouTube and property development stuff full-time, I’ll be filming again. I got sparked the other day just filming on our little quarterpipe. Every once in a while it feels good to fall.