Louie Lopez Interview
Once in a while, something great crests the horizon of the mundane, stopping dead the masses, numbed by style and finesse, inspired by what they can’t comprehend. So simple it, can’t be true. You heard about the little guy with long hair and braces, now witness the man melting faces; Louie Lopez is here, people! Kicking in tables and knocking down chairs in a restaurant in a West End town, call the police there is a MADMAN around!! —Ewan Bowman
What does skateboarding mean to you?
It means a good time with your friends and having fun on a skateboard.
If having a good time means doing this kickflip wallride, sign me up Photo: Broach
Your dad is OG, the best example of how a skate dad should be. Do you have any advice for the up and coming skate dads out there?
My dad never pressured me to do anything. He always made sure that I was having fun. He was always there, supporting me. He wasn’t trying to tell me what to do too much, just to support me. It was more of a friend relationship, rather than a pushy parental one. My advice is just let your kids have fun. Don’t push them off of a vert ramp.
No skate dad can pressure their kid to do this—frontside bigspin Photo: Strand
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Probably an eagle or something. Just fly around everywhere, just soar.
Why did you cut the long hair? Don't care?
I cut my hair because I had it my whole life. I got sick of it. I remember I was in Barcelona and I got a haircut but it kept bugging me because it looked like a mushroom. It was really pissing me off the whole trip. Right when I got off the plane and got home, it was around midnight, I asked my dad to just buzz it.
Blast from the past Photo: Burnett
Father and son bonding moment: buzzing the hair.
Are you a mama's boy?
Yes, I am a mama’s boy. I take after my mom, being able to sleep anywhere. I can’t make it through a movie or anything. That’s thanks to my mom, for sure.
He definitely went to sleep in the car after landing this late-night half Cab flip crooks Photo: Papke
Is your little sister going to be the better version of you but in the ice-skating world?
Yup. My sister is crazy and is doing good things. We’ll see her.
What’s the ice skating equivalent of a switch flip? Whatever it is, his sister would be doing that instead of this kickflip Photo: Broach
What's the weirdest advertisement you've ever done?
When I was younger I used to do skate commercials. I would go to auditions and stuff. I did one for The Children’s Place. I had to skate in a harness. They had me come and fly into the school. It was weird and funny.
Louie continues to up his WTF game. Bluntslide to 50-50, trip on that Sequence: Hammeke
Why was Jon Coulthard about to name his child after you?
We went on a trip to San Francisco for a weekend and the deal was that if I got five tricks he would have to name his newborn child after me. I was down but I only got two. Didn’t quite make it.
I feel like this 360 flip alone is good enough to have a child named after Louie Photo: Coulthard
Did you skate SF spots to get on Thrasher's good side?
I feel like it’s always good to have some SF footage. It’s kind of like the East Coast or something. Spice it up a bit. Plus, it’s not far. You do something in SF and you probably got a good trick; it’s going to be memorable.
Not just one SF trick, but two! Very East Coast halfcab heel Photo: Coultard
Lui wanted me to ask you about when I blew up the spot at the Bush street gap.
We were skating the Bush street gap and you have to bomb a hill to skate the gap. There were tenants of the building complaining about the noise on the street and this guy came out trying to kick us out, telling us to leave. We told him that we were going to get a couple more and the guy got super aggro. One thing led to the next and then you are in a full-on argument with this guy. You guys were about to fight. He was saying you weren’t being respectful to your elders.
I thought he was trying to fuck with you guys, so I was trying to get him to chill the fuck out. I told him, “Sounds like you want to fight.” He asked me if I wanted to fight and the next thing you know he’s in my face.
That was a funny one.
If he can get him to slash this, Louie should get back-to-backs with his dad at this spot. Switch backside overcrook Photo: Broach
Who's better at skating, Jake or Mike Anderson?
That’s a tough one. I’m going to go with the classic answer: they’re both gnarly. I can’t pick one or the other. Mike’s a legend. Jake’s still got some work to put in. He’s on the good path, though.
Didn’t someone bet him $1,000 to quit smoking?
Yeah, Curren told Jake he'd give him a thousand bucks to quit smoking. I don’t think he made it. I think he had to quit for a year.
Who would win in a fight between the two?
Mike would take Jake, for sure. Big bro.
Who would win in a fight, you or Ugly?
I got Ugly for sure.
He’s a little shrimpy dude.
I got you Lui Elliott.
No more braces or long hair, Big Lou’s all grown up! Photo: Papke
Have you ever seen that funny commercial, with the guy in the Philippines? He’s like the mini, mini James Bond? He’s kind of like that guy, right? What was it like to meet the ugly version of you for the first time?
Oh my God. It was funny. The first time I met Lui was at the skatepark. We had mutual friends. He told me, “We should share a part and skate to "Louie, Louie." It would be sick!”
So, you weren’t thinking, Damn, this is an uglier version of me?
It might’ve crossed my mind.
I’m always saying that because the first time he introduced himself, he told me to call him Ugly. That’s what he introduced himself as.
That’s what he said? He said, "I’m ugly"?
He was ugly on Instagram. I was, like, "Don’t sell yourself short. For an ugly kid, you’re pretty hot."
He is pretty hot.
Louie doesn’t need to be reborn as an eagle, he’s already soarin’ on this front shove Photo: Broach
If you are awarded the coveted SOTY trophy, where do you want to go?
If I could pick somewhere to go, it would be somewhere in South America probably.
That would be a cool one.
Is there any shit to skate there?
There’s some stuff. My dad talks to people out there all the time and they send him spots that he tells me we should check out some day.
Will you bring your dad on the trip?
If I were to win, I would have to bring my dad on the trip. He’s just gotta be there. I could set him up a new board, too. Get him to cruise.
I would love to see your dad on the board.
My dad can skate. He can slash the pool in the backyard. He hasn’t skated in a while, though.
Let’s see him on your Instagram! You gotta get your dad some love on the 'gram.
It’s been a while, but I think he’s got it.
You can get his social-media presence to explode.
Get him some followers?
No Hair, still don’t care. Bald-ass bluntslide Photo: Coultard
When's the last time you cried in public?
Probably when I won Tampa. It was such an emotional moment; I just got teary eyed.
We might’ve cried more than Louie after he won Tampa when we saw this beautiful varial heel Photo: Coulthard
That’s cool. Let the emotions flow. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Sometimes they just take over.
What’s the story behind you and Ryan Lee having a race to see who can find a spot first. He looked for two hours on Google, but you found it in five minutes.
We saw this spot that someone posted on their Insta-story, screenshot it and tried to find it. Ryan had already been looking for it for a couple of hours and he couldn’t find it. I told him, "Let’s have a race." That’s his move: finding spots using little hints around it. Ryan found a spot one time through a shopping cart in the background. He looked up every market in the area he thought it could be in until he found it. So he put in some time and he’s got it dialed. I told him I would see what I could do using the clues. I saw this thing in the background that was a barber shop and I kind of knew where it was. So I looked it up and called. I figured it out and sent it to him. I told him, “Ha, got your ass!”
Not a movie still Photo: Papke
I heard you were in a movie with Keanu Reeves.
Yeah, got randomly hit up for it by someone that was doing a movie. They had seen some videos and he wanted me to do this little role. I guess if Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey were going to be in it, it’s something you can look at when you’re old and with your kids. I was, like, fuck it; I’m down. They gave me cornrows and they gave me this gun. My part was just skating with a gun, letting people into this place that they had. It was in the desert but they had their own—I can’t explain what it was. It was a rave in the middle of the desert that was just dark. I was at the gate holding a gun and letting people in.
Wow, they played you as a gangster bouncer with a gun. Did you skate in the movie?
No, I’m just rolling by on one scene. I did a lot more stuff. I was actually talking and acting. It was funny but they didn’t put it in. I don’t think I made the cut for it.
Have you and Keanu hung out since the movie?
Yeah, actually we’re good homies. I’m about to go meet up with him right now.
A million things could go wrong but it’s Louie Lopez so none did. Front feeble transfer, no problem. Photo: Broach
How did you feel about your West End video part?
I’m stoked the way it turned out. I’m happy. Ryan Lee had a huge role in that whole thing coming together. He’s got all the spots and he’s down to skate whenever. It was easy to go skate and have the good vibes flowing. It wasn’t stressful. He’d come pick me up, just hop in the car and that was it.
I heard he’s going to start charging people for spots. He gets hit up a lot.
That wouldn’t be a bad move. He’s got all of the spots and people want to skate 'em.
What do you think he should charge, $50 a pin?
I would say they would have to give me a spot as well—and $50. Spot for spot and a finder’s fee.
If you film a trick with Ryan Lee at his spots do you still have to pay him a finder's fee? Switch crook half-Cab flip Sequence: Broach
Did you have a gnarly schedule filming for this video part?
Yeah, it was kind of hard because we’re working on a Converse video as well. I wanted to have a full part in that, too, along with this project. What I do on Converse trips, that’s for the Converse video. What I do at home, that was for this other video. I’m stoked it worked out.
What was one of the hardest tricks for you to battle in your part? What did you get the most satisfaction from?
I got the most satisfaction from the hurricane kickflip. We drove to Sacramento, lit it up then got kicked out straight away. The next day we woke up, skated, then tried to light it up again. We skated it for about four hours and it didn’t work. I was sticking them but I just couldn’t roll away good. I was feeling fucked the next morning, so I got a massage and kept it mellow. We went back and it ended up working out in about two hours. It was a bit of a mission but I was the most hyped to get that trick.
Are you sure you didn’t have a harness floating over this thing Louie? Bigspin heelflip Sequence: Jones
What should we expect from the Cons part?
I’m literally filming for that now.
You’re putting the hammer down for that part, too?
I’m going to try my best. Just get back to it. Stay healthy and get some footage. Have a full part for next year.
When is that supposed to come out?
May, I think. There’s a little bit of time but that’s coming up pretty quick.
FC Milan? Great team, but team sports are wack. Luigi crooks into the bank. Must be nice Photo: Brook
All of the hammer time in this part was filmed in what, three weeks, a month?
Something like that. I'm stoked it all worked out. Lee from Converse, Jake from Volcom and all of those guys were super supportive. They let me stay back from some trips so I could really skate when I was back home.
If he’s doing heelflips like this when he’s eating meat, imagine what he’s doing on trips when he’s vegan Photo: Coulthard
I heard you were a pescatarian for a few months. What are your eating habits like these days?
On the Converse trips we go on, everyone’s pretty much vegan, except Jon Coulthard. He has to have a fat steak every night. For the most part, we’re eating healthy. I feel like everyone is on this thing that they’re trying to cut down on meat. It’s trending. I was on the trend a little bit. Cutting down, just eating fish. I’m eating chicken now, though, so I’m off the trend. I ate steak yesterday, actually. I’m letting loose for the weekend.
Coulthard doesn’t give a fuck about trends, right?
Oh, no. He’s gotta have his filet.
Lou sure could use a comfort beer at this point Photo: Burnett
Can we talk about comfort beers? What is a comfort beer for anyone who doesn’t know what that is?
The comfort beer is something Coulthard has to have. It’s like a baby bottle for a baby, but with a beer. When he goes to bed, he has to have a beer that’s half full by his nightstand. Every night. Have a half-drunken beer, lukewarm, right by the bed. Only then can he go to sleep.
That’s weird because when I shared a room with him when we went on that SF trip, he needed to be burped like a little baby. He asked me to burp him and I told him I wasn’t going to burp a grown-ass man.
Your guys' room looked fun on that one.
Yeah, he’s a great roommate. He said he has really high standards for his roomies but I don’t think I passed the test. It was like a prelim.
He was hyped. He said the vibes were there.
I would probably wake him up at 6am…
If you were to have a sit-down dinner with Jesus Christ, where would you take him and what one question would yuu ask him?
I'd probably go to a strip club with Jesus and get a steak. Steak and legs with Jesus Christ.
Jesus owed Louie a steak dinner after he landed this massive heelflip crook Photo: Coulthard
And what would you ask him?
What have you been doing? What are you up to?
Any last words?
Have fun and keep going. You can achieve anything you want if you put your mind to it, so go get you some.
Riding walls was invented in Los Angeles and favorite son Louie Lopez proudly upholds the tradition—ollie in, ollie out. Photo: Coulthard
2/15/2018Take a seat, settle in, and prepare yourself for a long haul of heavy skating. Louie is on another level. Can’t wait for the Cons video...
12/04/2017A star-studded lineup loads up into the Wanderlodge and barges across the United States. As you would imagine, the result is a heavy-duty vid!
12/04/2017The Volcom Wanderlodge video is straight-up gnar! Now check the RV article from the January '18 issue of the mag to see the snaps and hear the tales behind the triumphs. Human skate stoppers suck!
12/01/2017When you pack this many rippers into an RV and hit the highway for a few months, the result is pretty obvious: absolute spot desecration! The full rampage rolls out on Monday.
11/30/2017Too many shredders? Glaring omissions? Looming conspiracies? All part of the SOTY experience! One thing’s for sure – the dudes on this list all kicked skateboarding’s ass in 2017. Read the stats, watch the videos and cast your vote who YOU think should get the little man in shorts. Congrats to all our contenders and everyone who ripped this year!