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Tom Rohrer's Smiles For Miles

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READER & ADVISOR

Tom Rohrer's Smiles For Miles

Village Psychic

We've got a new part ^^^ from Tom Roherer plus an interview vvv :)

So Tom, give us a run down of some basics.

My name iss Tom Rohrer, I was born in North Dakota and raised in Minneapolis, MN. I moved a lot when I was young and to me, Minnesota is my home. I ride for The Friend Ship, Lakai, The Quiet Life, Footprint Insoles, Jessup Griptape, and Mondo Vertical Wheels

How did you end up in Los Angeles?

So I got pretty damn lucky with my move to California.

I knew Jordan Maxham and Chris Colbourn from skating contests,  and they'd been riding for Silent Skateboards, a small company out of Palmdale, CA. Cookie (Chris Colbourn) found them on MySpace (laughs).

I met Paul Wilson, the owner of Silent, and realized how awesome of a dude he was, and then asked the guys about getting on the team while we were all in Tampa. They were down!

I was almost finished with my training to be an assistant manager at Jiffy Lube, and put in my two weeks notice immediately. Then I moved out the original 'Silent House,' which was Paul's old house that he was completely paying for! So rent was 100% covered, which was insanely selfless of Paul. I knew I wanted to move out here around that time and Jordan told me to come out and that I had a spot at the house. So I jumped on it, not a second thought in my head. And I've been here since, over 7 years now. 

 

Switch ollie. Photo: Sean Michon

Switch ollie. Photo: Sean Michon

You recently left Boulevard to skate for The Friend Ship, was that a tough choice? 

Yes, it was extremely hard to quit. I hate having to leave a crew of people that you've grown close with. Danny Montoya and Jason Maxwell and the rest of the guys were so cool about it, so understanding. I really cherished that, because I knew after meeting Tim Olson (The Friend Ship founder) that I was going to get to do a lot with them, and those guys were able to see it from that same perspective.

I became so close with Tim that I almost couldn't not get on. Tim is hilarious and we go back and forth constantly. We skate together on the weekends and after work and he pushes me to do things that I don't even think of. He's the ultimate TM/skoach/friend (laughs).  I couldn't be more stoked to be on a company.

You had a serious knee injury on a skate trip in Europe - did that ruin the trip? What did you do to stay sane while recovering?

I tore my ACL in California the year prior, then while I was in Europe on a fun skate trip I tore my meniscus in the same knee about 11 days into a 3 1/2 week long trip. It was brutal.

Luckily we got to skate and hang in Zurich, Switzerland for 10 days and I was able to film a bunch during that time, but I missed out on skating in Geneva and Barcelona. I still ended up having one of the best trips I could have ever had. I was scared I'd re-torn my ACL, until a friend I'd made in Barcelona reassured me that it definitely wasn't my ACL. That took an insane amount of weight off my shoulders. I was able to play some games of S.K.A.T.E at MACBA, too, which made me feel a lot better. 

 

A silver lining of natural disasters. Tornado heelflip. Photo: Alex Uncapher

A silver lining of natural disasters. Tornado heelflip. Photo: Alex Uncapher

What did you do while you were recovering? 

I changed entirely the way that I ate and how I took care of my body. My sister gave me a book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, that completely opened my eyes and changed all of my eating habits. I also did a ton of physical therapy to get my knee back in shape and really took it seriously.

Since I started eating better, cooking all the time, and cut out so much of the bad stuff I'd eaten in the past, like dollar store chicken nuggets, fries, and Taco Bell, I literally felt the change in my body the second I started skating again. Once I was 100%, I was skating like I never had before. I had so much more control and I swear my style even developed a little more. I was seriously surprising myself and once I realized how good I felt. 

I also watched a lot of skate videos too and still went out on some sessions and filmed second angles, just to be there and with everyone. 

 

Jkwon BS Noseblunt. Photo: Andy Wissman

Jkwon BS Noseblunt. Photo: Andy Wissman

You are on of the most positive people we've ever met, what are some pet peeves of yours?

That's actually hard for me. There's a list on the whiteboard at work labeled "Things that Tom Dislikes", just because people are always trying to figure that out. That's how overly positive I am.

There are things that do really annoy me. I'm super OCD, so when something technically isn't working right, I will seriously go nuts! It's always the smallest things, too, and I don't even understand it sometimes, but I can seriously lose it! It comes out in my skating as well from time to time, which I'm not always proud of.

I don't even think this is really a pet peeve, but I legit straighten everything around me, and don't even notice. My mouse and keyboard are always flush and parallel with the edges of my desk, along with anything that's in front of me or that I have to organize.

AlI can think of right now is when I film a trick, and consider doing it again, but my homies tell me it's good and I finally agree that it's fine, but then go home, watch the clip, and notice that little detail that I did before, it bothers the shit out of me (laughs). Even just the way my arms move. If I want to try it again, I'm going to, because I know that will be the most satisfying for myself.

You work at The Berrics, what you do at there?  How did you get that going?

I do social media for The Berrics. So I run our Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube accounts and help out with Instagram as well.

I was in the same classes as Simon Dargan, who now does Graphic Design for the Berrics. He was interning there when I met him and he'd just moved here from Ireland. He told me The Berrics was going to be hiring interns, knowing I was interested, so he got me an interview and I started the internship for Social Media, which was in higher demand. Eventually it led to a job offer and I couldn't have been more stoked to be on board.

You must see a ton of young talent working there. Who should we look out for in 2017?

Nate Greenwood is about to drop a really insane part in the near future. I've skated with him a lot and he is a serious legend. He'll be on your radar in no time.

Corey Millett as well. We're both filming for this video, DROUGHT, that is almost finished, and he'll have last part. Corey's trick selection is endless, he is so good! Zion Wright, too. He is way too good, and way too pleasing to watch. John Dilo has been hyping me up a lot, and Dashawn Jordan is always at The Berrics killing it. Dude there's a lot! I could keep going on.

 

Not too many people have jumped down this gap, even less can say they have done an NBD down it. Varial heelflip in Minneapolis.

Not too many people have jumped down this gap, even less can say they have done an NBD down it. Varial heelflip in Minneapolis.

You are on the very exclusive list of people who have done tricks at the One Financial gap in Minneapolis - can you tell us about how the varial heel flip went down?

I always wanted to get a trick at that spot. I tried to do a frontside shove-it a couple different times, and even stuck it but couldn't ride away. This was probably a couple years before I did the varial heel, and I went through ACL surgery and everything in between. When I was on a trip home I was realizing that I had varial heels down so much better than before, and that it might be even easier than a front shove-it, or at least just as easy. We had a couple good buddies with us too, getting hype from Pizza and having Ryan Yost make friends with the security guard so I could get my last tries in. I probably got an extra five tries or so because of it, and rode away so fucking stoked!

Who do you normally skate with in LA?

I skate with Corey Millett, Craig Clements, Elliott Vecchia and the DROUGHT crew a lot. We're all working to finish this video. My part is pretty much done, unless I want to film anything super last minute. I've been dealing with a lot of injuries the past few months, so haven't been on it like I'd like to.

I also skate with Tim Olson at The Friend Ship all the time, and whoever else is on the sessions with us. I skate with lots of different dudes at the Berrics after work, including all the staff! And honestly, anyone who's fun to skate with. I'll go skate with anybody. It just depends what's going on and what everyone has planned, but I like to feed off of different people and switch it up from time to time.

What's up with the DROUGHT video? 

Dude, there isn't a set date but Elliott (Vecchia) has been editing all the parts! He's finished with over half of it and getting last-minute intro shots. 

 

LA BS Flip. Photo: Sean Michon

LA BS Flip. Photo: Sean Michon

Myskate, which had your first real part, turns 10 this year. In the decade you've been releasing video parts, do you have a personal favorite?

Honestly, I think my favorite is the Tall Order part I put out for The Skateboard Mag. I like the song, the editing, and the clips in that part better than all the others. We originally planned to do a Mag Minute, and it turned into having a full part, so I was super stoked and it all happened pretty quickly. Elliott killed it on the editing. 

Lastly, give us your 3 favorite skateboarders from Minnesota:

Dude, this is like choosing my favorite friends.  Big ups to Corey Millett, Dalton Jones, Tabari Cook, Kirian Stone, Davis Torgerson, Jack Olson, Alec Majerus, Steve Nesser, Jamiel Nowparvar, Ryan Yost, Cody Davis, Tanner Van Vark, and whoever else I missed, because I know there's a handful of you. These dudes are the first to pop up. There are so many motivated skaters from MN, it works its way into every new generation.

Tom that should do nicely, thanks for ripping and being the nicest dude around.

Thank you guys!