I first met Scott Waters as the guy who I thought stole a spine ramp from our skate spot in Fallon NV. Weird way to meet a guy who would end up a good friend. As the years went by and I skated 293, I got to know him better and we became good friends. It was only a matter of time until his skating got him noticed in the skateboard industry. I still skate with Scott to this day and his skills are as sharp as ever. I recently sat down with him to start the interview process and Kyle Volland came through with the photos. Check out www.skatenv.com for Scott’s sequences. To start the Wheel Bite Blog off, here is Reno’s own Scott Waters. -ERL
1. Scott, what year did you start skating and what was your get first real set up? I had a Sears special back in the 5th grade, but didn’t really start skating until the summer before 7th grade. I wanna say that was 1988. My first real set up was a Bill Danforth with Indys, and OJ’s.
2. I know you skated Sparks a lot at first, who were you skating with at the beginning? In the beginning I was just skating with my firend Brian who got me into skateboarding. Then he moved away and I was skating with Chris Siedler, Sean Stringfellow, Beau Bevier, Blake, Josh Stockwell, Steve Galicia, Jason Inman, Brian Medley, Spencer Benavides. Sometimes Boozer and his crew would roll by to skate my launch ramp and just destroy it. Those guys were doing all the cool stuff back then the rest of us would watch and then try all of their tricks when they left. Later on the Sparks crew I chilled out with was pretty steady with Dean Christopher, Spencer Benavides, Tim Leosch, Josh Stockwell, Rob Allen, and Scott Brown who was way ahead of his time and seriously underrated.
3. What pros were inspiring you at the time? What made them stand out to you? I was a big fan of Frankie Hill because he was doing stuff that was mind blowing at the time and Steve Caballero because he had the smooth style. Kris Markovich and Sean Sheffey around the time of the A1 Meats Video and Soldiers Story (1991) got me really stoked because they both skated so fast.
4. When 293 hit, you were a local. That was a great time in Reno skating. When did you start getting hooked up? Yeah, 293 was awesome. I was more of a local there during its second coming after the roof was gone. We used to skate that place everyday for hours. I remember teams that were on tour would always end up there so it wasn’t all that uncommon to see sponsored skaters show up to skate. My first sponsor was World of Toys (thanks Ben) which was back in 1992. Then I got sponsored by Simple Shoes and Venice Clothing which was a funny company run by some OG type guys out of Venice Beach, but they were really cool and hooked me up pretty fat. Gershon helped me with both of those two hook ups.
5. You started to stack up quite a few sponsors, what were some companies you rode for? I rode for G&S, Standard Trucks, NC Board Shop, Pacific Drive Board Shop, Duffs Shoes, Venture Trucks, Chikara/Red Line/Competition Wheels, I was on GullWing for a minute, Simple Shoes, Human Skateboards, Republic Skateboards, New Deal, Flow from Vita Shoes, Flow from NC Clothing….I know I am missing something. You have been there with me most of the way, I am sure you can add something I forgot…oh yeah, and MadKap Skateboards.
6. Did you get to get on any tours? Yeah, I got to go on a few. I did a US tour with Republic which was awesome. It was Ozzy Alvarez, Johnny Fonseca, Paul Zitzer, Tommy Bujanec, Ricky Dixon, Billy Joe Yarbourough, and Me. We got into all kinds of trouble in every city we visited. I remember sleeping at a rest stop in Florida or something on the floor of the tour van because we spent all of the tour money at a club. I did a South West Tour with Human and Enemy Skateboards. Gershon, Tommy, Patrick Melcher, Preston, Me, and a couple of others. On that trip is when I met Steve-O. At a party after a demo he taught me how to blow fireballs with rubbing alcohol. I accidentally caught his hair on fire…bad night for him I guess. I did a few other smaller trips to demos for Venture, Human, Duffs, Chikara, etc. I had a lot of fun on the Vegas trip for the Chikara demo with you, Janess, Caine, and Peter from PD.
7. What were some of your favorite photo shoots? It seems like a lot of pressure might hit when your at a shoot. I always liked shooting with Atiba and Pete Thompson. Both those guys are really chill and don’t put a lot of pressure on you. I remember my first shoot with Atiba, I was so nervous because the trick (Heel Shuv for a Republic Ad) was taking me a little while. After a while it got to the point where I didn’t feel the pressure as much, but it was always there. Sometimes the pressure was a good thing and made me do stuff that I normally wouldn’t. I liked having you, Ozzy or Caine around to push me in those situations. Gershon was also was a huge inspiration was good at helping me focus when I would go into freak out mode if I couldn’t make a trick I was trying to film or shoot a pic of. The craziest photo shoot I remember was the ad I had lip sliding the 12 stair City College rail in SD. I flew down from Reno, and right off the plane Ozzy took me there. I looked at it and thought “no way”. I had never done a rail bigger than 6-7 stairs. I went over to the little 6 stair rail on the other side and skated it for a while. I remember learning lip slides that day on the 6 stair and Ozzy just looked at me and said “cool, now go do it on the big rail”. I am not one to be called out so I said “Ok”. Went over there and did it in about 4-5 tries. I remember being so stoked. Now that I think about it, Ozzy did that type of thing to me on every trip I took to SD back then.
8. You were pretty damn close to getting a Pro Model on Republic. After Republic, how did the Mad Cap deal go down? Yeah, I was really bummed when Republic got closed down. I really felt like we had a good team and a lot of momentum at the time with the Marketing and Design work you were doing, and of course the timing was really bad as far as me getting a board out. After Republic, Mark Oblow and Caine helped me get on New Deal, which kind of went away when they fired the Team Manager that put me on. I think Spencer put me in contact with the guys at MadKap. Those guys were very cool and I really dug what they were trying to do. They decided that they wanted to put out a board for Spencer and Me which was cool. I still have one of my boards, but wish I had one of Spencer’s. I wish I could find the Republic board that had me and Ricky Dixon’s name on it, but that is doubtful.
9. What’s a day in the life of Scott Waters looking like these days? Well, now I manage an IT department, am married and have 4 kids, so I am pretty busy. I generally work M-F and train in Muay Thai, Brazillian JuiJitsu, and Taekwondo 3-4 days a week. I coach my kids soccer, baseball, etc teams. I try to skate as often as I can. A typical day is a combo of some or all of those things.
10. Any advice to some of the up and coming skaters in Reno? You seem to have a pretty solid blue print. Enjoy the ride, it is over quicker than you think. The times that you may complain about now, you will look back on with fondness. Be nice to people you encounter and don’t have fun at their expense. My biggest regret is that I wasn’t as cool to people as I should have been when I was younger. As far as the skateboard end of things, I think all of the above applies and just keep the creativity flowing.
11. Thanks for your time Scott! Want to drop any Props or Shout Outs? If so, nows the time buddy. Yes, I would like to thank the following people for their support throughout my skateboarding adventures: My Mom and Sister, Selena, you (Eric Lantto), Scott Brown, Dean Christopher, Ozzy Alvarez, Josh Stockwell, Beau Bevier, Gershon Mosley, Caine Gayle, Jim Gray, Mark Oblow, Ludwick, Ricky Bedenbaugh, Greg Janess, Ben Dickson, Keith Allen, Alex and Adrianne at NC Board Shop, and Classic Skate Shop. If I forgot you, sorry…just know I appreciate everyone.