Built To Shred

Built To Shred

Words by Migdol

Words by Migdol

JEFF KING AND I GO WAY BACK. As a matter of fact Jeff was one of the creative forces behind this magazine in the early years. If you are a long time reader perhaps you remember the editorial gems, “Jeff Kings, Bathroom Pranks”, or the “What’s in Jeff’s beard contest” we had back in the day. In fact, Jeff’s tomfoolery nearly cost me my left eye. The emotional scars are there as well. One day out of the blue Jeff decided he was going to start calling me Boner Milker, for no reason, really, just because. To this day, I’ll be in a crowd and inevitably hear off in the distance, “BONER MILKER”! Fucking great! Some fool heard it like ten years ago and thinks he can take the liberty. Another time I completely folded my ankle skating a friend’s mini ramp. Nauseous from the pain, I sat down, took my shoe off, and while I was watching my ankle swell to five times it’s original size, Jeff was pointing at it and laughing hysterically. In fact I still have this image burnt into my head. Jeff helped us get the Battle Of the Shops going that first year. Eventually Jeff went on to do his own thing, now he has a hit show named Built To Shred on Fuel’s American Misfits. With the great Dave Bregthold behind the lens and editing station Built to Shred has become one of the best, most entertaining things to watch on TV right now. I decided that the bastard deserved an interview now that he’s all Hollywood and shit.

SO WHAT IS BUILT TO SHRED AND WHY BOTHER?
Built to Shred is all about making spots skateable that aren’t. Like that ledge, that electrical box, or the rail you just couldn’t get at. We try to get creative and make the spot so it can be skated. We’ll just set it up for the day and shred it. When we go to locations we try and find something rad that makes the spot unique like a rock that sticks out or that ledge underneath all those leaves and weeds and stuff.

STEVE SHIPLER |Shredillac Boneless into the bank. PHOTO | Donez

STEVE SHIPLER |Shredillac Boneless into the bank on the set of Built To Shred. PHOTO | Donez

I’VE NOTICED THAT YOU DON’T LEAVE IT FOR OTHERS TO SKATE IT AFTER YOU’RE DONE.
Some stuff we do but a lot of it is just plywood and 2 X 4s any way. I’m down to leave it but we don’t want to leave trash. I don’t want to bum anyone out because it is kind of rad what we are doing. It’s all about positive energy these days.

TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE MORE FUCKED UP THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED TRYING TO MAKE THIS WORK. LIKE HAVE YOU HAD TO DEAL WITH COPS?
Surprisingly, we’ve actually been able to get away with it with out too many hassles. No problems with the cops. The biggest issue has been finding riders. It’s not for everyone, that’s what I’ve learned. I’ve done twenty-six episodes now and like there are some people who are so psyched to come out and skate. Dudes like Chad Knight, Kyle Leeper, and Jesse Hodgekiss are always down for it.  Then there are other guys who we bring out to the spot and they just sit there, look at the their watch, and act like they want to get out of there. They act all bummed while waiting for me to build it. That’s the kind of energy you don’t want. I’ve got Laban and Ted (American Misfits) up in LA telling me it’s so easy finding legit talent. I don’t know what they are talking about. Skateboarding is funny like that because you have people that are so worried about their image to the point where it paralyzes them. A lot of guys are like, “Ah, I don’t know if I can do it. Is this guy doing it?” “Because he’s cooler than I am, and if he’s doing it than I’ll do it”. That’s why I’ve been psyched on doing most of the filming here in San Diego because at least I’m here with my friends and I can go out skating with the people that I have been skating with for the past 15 years. It’s no different than when I was building stuff and skating it 15 years ago. Except now we have a couple of video cameras out there documenting it. We’re just out there skating and doing stupid shit. Built to Shred is just fun. It’s three minute little bullshit segment. It’s all about fun. It’s about doing something that hasn’t been done before.

CHAD KNIGHT | Shopping Cart Lipper. PHOTO | Donez

CHAD KNIGHT | Shopping Cart Lipper for a Built To Shred episode. PHOTO | Donez

HOW IMPORTANT IS SAFETY WHEN YOU ARE ON THE JOB SITE?
Safety first, for sure.

SO YOU HAVE A LOT OF SAFETY MEETINGS?
Yeah we do. Dave is not too down for safety meetings so I have to pick up the slack. I got these Safety First shirts made. My character in the new Tony Hawk game will be rocking a Safety First shirt.

OMAR HASSAN | Drop in from the fence. PHOTO | Donez

OMAR HASSAN | Drop in from the fence Built To Shred style. PHOTO | Donez

HAS ANYONE EVER BROKEN THEMSELVES OFF BECAUSE OF SOME SHODDY WORK ON YOUR PART?
There are some dodge ball moments. I just did that thing at Tony Hawk’s ramp. I put the San Dieguito rail up on his vert ramp for him to skate. I looked at the stairs afterwards and I was like, “Wholly shit, I’m up on a million dollar ramp and I’ve built this piece of crap!” Most of the stuff is strong enough for a session. Allen Young got broken off recently. We set this thing up, it was a quarter pipe over a fence. It was like 9 feet high to a sketchy assed landing that I made. He bailed it and totally wrecked his knee. He was out for like six months. Neil Mims took one to the face recently. He tried to ollie this pyramid and landed back on his board and did the bar of soap and took it to the face.  He had to get like fourteen stitches. That was on one of mine. We built this shopping cart for one of the episodes and Jesse Hodgekiss landed on his head twice.  The two pieces of angle iron didn’t meet up right and he tried to grind it and it totally stuck and did a flip over it and landed on his head. This stuff freaks me out because the last thing that I want is one of my friends to take a slam.  I got racked on this 14-foot log rail. It was at the BMX track that we covered in plywood. On this arc-ed log, I took a piece of that recycled plastic material and I just screwed it on top of this arc-ed log. It went from BMX jump to BMX jump. There was this super narrow landing and the runway was all sketchy it was totally sketchy. The middle was like waist high so you would get nutted for sure. I went for it, ollied; I didn’t even bring my board with me. I jumped right to my nuts. “Boooah” I was so pissed. I kept skating until I made it. I just blacked out and chopped my board in half with an axe.

The Dirt Ramp PHOTO | Donez

The Dirt Ramp a Built To Shred success story. PHOTO | Donez

WHAT IDEAS HAVE BEEN SHOT DOWN?
Nothing really, it’s all about the location I think. We have ideas like the foldout flat bar bike that was rad because you can take it around to wherever you want to skate it but on some of the other ones it’s up to the location as to what it wants to be. It’s all about fitting out spots. Sideways loop is something Dave wanted to get going. It would be like the top of a round bowl. It was going to be a track like four feet wide.

THAT’S A GREAT IDEA, WHY’D THAT GET SHOT DOWN?
It got narrowed down. There are only a few people that we’d call for that, like Bob Burnquist. It’d be expensive to build so it got scratched.

Frank Hirata | Saw Board Tail Block. PHOTO | Donez

Frank Hirata | Built To Shred Saw Board Tail Block. PHOTO | Donez

WHAT HAVE YOU FILMED for Built To Shred THAT DIDN’T WORK OUT?
I wasn’t so amped on the thrift store episode. I built like six or seven skateboards out of stuff we bought at a thrift store.  I made skateboards out of a vacuum cleaner, a guitar case, and a toaster oven and some other stuff. I got a good set of boards out of that one.

PETER WATKINS | Thrift store merchandise to krooks. PHOTO | Otto

PETER WATKINS | Thrift store merchandise to krooks. PHOTO | Otto

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE Built To Shred EPISODES?
I really like the bike flat bar. I thought the shopping carts were pretty cool.

WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?
I made some shopping carts that could unfold and turn into different stuff. One of them was a jump ramp and two could turn into a couple of different types of ledges. The dirt pipe one was rad. I didn’t get to skate it because I was coming off a folded ankle. But it’s not like I really have anything for an 8-foot ramp anyway. Omar Hassan and Danny Dicola, and Chris Lambert and all those guys killed it. That one was rad because it just kind of formed out of nowhere. It was like Boom. We basically got a fully skate able half pipe to come from nowhere. That was fun.

WHAT’S IN THE WORKS for Built To Shred?
We just wrapped the Built To Shred season yesterday. We did that thing with the San Dieguito Rail.  Fuel was going to give us a whole show but the budget went to something else. It’s all about the budget. This could be the end of the road. It’s a funny industry up there. It just doesn’t feel like you can bet on anything. Don’t quit your day job. I’m still doing build outs for Skate demos. Fuel would be fucking moronic to not give Built To Shred full time spot. It’s the best, most entertaining, thing on the network. You can catch Built To Shred on Fuel TV’s American Misfits. You can also hit up King about demo build outs at www.kingrails.com

JEFF KING AND DAVE BERGTHOLD | Built To Shred Lifestyle. PHOTOS | Otto

JEFF KING AND DAVE BERGTHOLD | Built To Shred Lifestyle. PHOTOS | Otto

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