This is the final part of the Wild Ride Focus series, where I focus on certain aspects or characters of the 2008 Wild Ride through my photos and the occasional interview.
What can you say about Jerry Hsu that hasn't been said yet? On the surface a calm, collected and quiet person, but on a skateboard a superhero that blows everyone away with powerful style and technique. No one has released such an earth-shattering double video part as Jerry did in Bag of Suck. Sorry Marc, it's true.
And as a result, he still scares me. His skating is real and raw, but there's still something there that's unsettling, something so on another level that you know you'll never achieve - no matter how hard you try. Even though he couldn't skate on the Wild Ride, his presence was very strongly felt, and I knew I had to face my fears and dig in.
How's your first Wild Ride been so far?
This is my second Wild Ride. Do your research, Ivo.
Oh right. For some reason I still had the impression you just got on the team.
No... I've been fully, fully, FULLY on.
So do you like camping?
Am I much of a camper?
I think camping is cool. I'm not much of a camper, but it's fun on these trips cause it's such a huge group.
Does that mean you enjoy being social?
Sometimes, but not always. This group of people is really cool, so I'm pretty social here. Usually I'm not, really.
What do you think of Sean Eaton?
I think he's in love with me a little bit. [laughs]
I heard you've been riding Spanky's bike.
I did for about ten minutes. Then I crashed into a tree. It was only like two hours into the tour too. I was learning - I got to second gear, going like 40 mph, and I was like, "Oh, this is way easier than I thought!" So I started jamming around the hotel. Then at one point I went behind the hotel, and I was all by myself. I was like, dropping the bike, and I totally didn't know what I was doing so I started panicking, cause no one was around. And Spanky's bike is like, a piece of shit - so I tried to put it in gear, but then it just accelerated because the gas sticks. And then I was in a tree. So this motorcycle is in a tree, and I was like, totally panicking, just looking at it like, "What am I gonna do? This thing is like, 800 pounds and I'm gonna have to go back to get help." So then I walked back and thankfully Spanky, Bob and Patrick were there. Spanky saw me walking up without his bike and his face just dropped. I was like, "You guys need to help me get Spanky's bike out of a tree."
Random guy: Of anything to stick, the gas is kinda like the shittiest thing.
Yeah, of all the things to stick - the gas. So... I haven't ridden a motorcycle since. That was day one... and we're on like, day ten?
Did you have to do anything to make up with Kevin?
No. Not really. He's cool about it.
How's the skating been going?
Not really so good... I'm always hurt. Can't really skate at demos, so I try to make up for it by doing other stuff.
Where did you injure yourself?
My knee. Last year it was my ankle, and this year it's my knee... So I've gone two Wild Rides without skating.
How long has it been since you've been without injury?
Pfff... like, a full year. Over a year I think.
Is it one of those periods where you're just collecting injuries? Cause it always seems like I have periods of carefree skating and then suddenly I start racking up injuries again.
Yeah, totally - cause a few years ago, I like, hurt my back and I couldn't skate forever. And then I'll be skating a lot - not really getting hurt - and then I'll get hurt all at once.
Do you think the Wild Ride can survive another year?
No, I don't think so - cause everyone's kinda over it. Like, the long rides, the camping - no one wants to camp, they always want hotels - the bike rides are long. I think this might be the last one.
If you had to come up with an original idea for an Emerica tour, what would it be?
I'd probably do like, Apache helicopters next year. Everyone gets their own Airwolf and then we'd just jam to each city. My shoe sold really well so I think we can do the Apache tour... [laughs]
Thanks for the interview, Jerry. Keep buying those Hsu's!
That's all for the Wild Ride Focus series. Thanks for reading!