Interview with RODNEY TORRES
Rodney Torres without a doubt has been one of the most influential professional skateboarders to come out of New York. Aside from everyone in the skate scene loving his personality, his skating speaks for itself. Rodney is also all over Full Bleed.
How long have you been shredding the streets of New York?
I’ve been shredding the streets of New York for the last 2 decades.
How have you seen skateboarding progress throughout the years?
I’ve seen skateboarding progress in a positive way over the years. Skateboarding in NYC has gone from being an unaccepted, underground, raw, rebel culture with the city streets as our playground, to becoming a mainstream, trendy, accepted lifestyle with an edge. Now, because of that positive change, there’s been a lot of attention drawn towards skateboarding here in New York City that has enabled us to propel the development of skate parks in all 5 boroughs which is providing the resources for more progression of the talent here in NYC.
What has your role with Flushing Meadows Park been?
Long story short, I grew up skating at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. When I heard they were shutting down the unisphere fountain for repairs, I took an initiative and reached out to everyone i could within my means both in and out of the NYC skateboarding community to help me save the globe. And, with the help of the following, a non profit called Open Road of New York, Robert Lim, Jeff Pang, Kanten Russell, Seamus at ZooYork, Joe Maloof and the NYC parks department, I was fortunate enough to meet and work with Bill Minadeo of CA skateparks in building of the flushing skate park for the 2010 Maloof Money Cup competition. I was also able to work for the M.M.C. as one of the judges of the event. So, to answer your question, my role has been the role of the advocate for skateboarding at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Many thanks to everyone that helped make it possible.
What has it been like, going from am, to pro, and eventually to Zoo York’s master division?
Honestly, for me, it’s been a crazy roller coaster of ups and downs. All I can say is that Zoo has always been the company I’ve wanted to be apart of since I was a kid and I’m honored to be on Zoo York now.
You have been both behind the lens at times and in front of it at times. In what ways did you find filming skating different then doing the skating?
Around the time I was out filming people a lot, I was healing from a mild injury. I couldn’t skate for a while though and wanted to be out there cruising around as much as possible. I had a Sony TRV-900 at the time and wanted to help my hommies get out there. I would go out with Taji Ameen, Luis Tolentino and Danny Falla most of the time. Filming them for Their EST parts and Sponsor me videos. You have to be a skateboarder to know how to film skating. It’s all relative. You need to focus, be creative and visualize how you would want the clip to look if you were the one getting filmed. Like when you picture yourself landing a trick. Same difference. I’m just glad I was able to help my friends.
You had a bunch of photos in Full Bleed, what are the stories behind them?
I only saw the book once at the launch party, when it was being passed around the drunk crowd. I honestly don’t really remember what photos I have in there. Alex Corporan is gonna bless me with a copy of the book soon, so I’ll let you know.
Who are some of your favorite New York based photographers?
My long time friend Jay Maldonado is one of my favorite photographers, he’s got a unique and classic photography style. I heard Taji Ameen is killing it on the photo tip too. Finally, my boy Ryan Zimmerman. Ryan’s coming up hard in the skate photography world. Check out their websites.
Any last shout outs for the skate scene?
Yeah, I wanna give a shout out to everyone in the skate scene. Keep doing your thing. I also want to thank everyone who’s supported me and my skateboarding over the years. My current Sponsors, ZooYork, In4mation, DVS, RockStar Bearings, and Savage Urethane. My Family and girlfriend for all of their love and support. Finallly, I want to thank you for this interview. Thanks.