In collaboration with Pocket Pistols and premiering exclusively through Confusion Magazine, skateboarder Nic Rivera rips through backyard pools, DIY skate spots, and streets across Southern California in his new video part, “No Future.”
“Waiting” by Strife
“Drop” by Turnstile
Interview by Veronika Reinert
Nic Rivera has a long history in the California underground skate scene. Besides being involved in the Urban Skate Project building DIY skate spots in Southern California, Nic also rode competitively for independent skater-owned brands like Hoax mfg, Powerflex Wheels, Pocket Pistols, Black Flys, and Ace Trucks. After surviving the pandemic and going through some big life changes, Nic is hitting 2021 with a fresh outlook and a brand new video collaboration with Pocket Pistols called “No Future,” premiering exclusively through Confusion Magazine. We caught up with Nic to chat about the new video and what he’s been up to lately.
Congratulations on your new skate video release through Pocket Pistols. Can you give some background on your relationship with Pocket Pistols and how this collaboration happened?
Thank you. I was introduced to Chicken six years ago. At the time I was hopeful of making skateboarding a career and Pocket Pistols had my heroes skating for them: Pedro Barros, Josh Mattson, Heimana Reynolds, Ben Schroeder and DP. Chicken ended up sponsoring me and getting me a job at the PPS warehouse silk screening boards. Not long after, I became engulfed in what most people think is what “cool industry dudes” do, which involved a lot of late nights and rough mornings. I started coming into work late, or not at all. Showing up to contests and events with little or no sleep, still smelling of alcohol from the night before or the same day. After a while I was embarrassed to even talk to Chicken and that relationship fizzled out.
Fast forward to 2020. I got sober and with a clear mind I reached back out to him, and he was there for me without judgment. I’ve been paying for the boards I get from him since then, not asking for handouts, just giving him money as a way of amending my past behavior. I told him I’m working on a video part and asked if I could make it for PPS. Now we’re here…
How long did this video take to complete, and what’s the story behind “No Future” as the title?
Cyrus Read and I have been going out to film one day a week for the past 6-7 months, generally on the weekend. Justin Deandrade and I would also try and go out in the last hour of light left after I got off work to film. I have two kids, so I’ve had to incorporate having them on weekends, finding time to skate and film while fulfilling my responsibilities as a dad.
My son, Shiloh asked me why I don’t make another video part, and that’s where the drive to start this project came from. The title, “No Future” kind of clicked listening to music one day. The song, “Drop” by Turnstile has the video title in one of the lyrics and I thought it would be cool to use it in a part. The other song, “Waiting” by Strife clicked too. I had been “waiting,” hoping and dreaming of “making it” as a skater. As a more experienced, responsible adult I realized I have “no future” in the skateboarding industry. Thus the title. As the comedian/skateboarder, Taylor Clark says in a joke about skateboarding, “you’re just destined for a life of bad knees and no money.”
I noticed you included other skaters in your video. What’s up with that?
My friends are my heroes. They give me the hype to push it further and without them I wouldn’t have had the inspiration to get some of these tricks. Andiey Lerma is the muscle, always charging at 110%. Travis Clark is a calm and super spiritual fella. His calm demeanor and clear mind brings peace to my mental battles whenever he’s around. Eric Hutchinson is the creative, doing things that just drop your jaw during the session. All these dudes are underground pulverizers and I feel the underground community should know about them.
The last time we saw you in a video part was about 5 years ago. Why the long hiatus? How would you say your skate career is different now from where it was back then?
Well, I had to burn my life to the ground, lose things that I thought were important to realize what’s truly important. I mentioned before about getting engulfed in the party scene, and that tanked my career entirely. I was also homeless for a portion of this “hiatus.”
Fortunately I got sober in 2018, but I had nothing and basically had to start over. I just celebrated three years of sobriety this month and in that time I have recreated my life, acquiring a residence of my own again, a rad life partner, and going from supervised visitations with my kids to now having custody on weekends. So finding time to film a part with all this happening has been tough, but we did it.
About a career in skating–I don’t feel I ever had a “career” in skateboarding. However, I now see myself as having a career as a service plumber, father, and recovery advocate.
Besides the video, have you been working on any other skate-related projects?
Yes, actually. Travis Clark and I have partnered up with Curt Eichelberger from Skate Straight Dallas and started an Orange County chapter. Skate Straight is a collective of sober skateboarders with the main goal of helping people who are struggling with alcohol and drug addiction while having a safe place to skate. We welcome skaters in recovery, people trying to get sober, and people that identify as straight edge or drug-free.
Good stuff. Thank you for your time answering these questions. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you to Pocket Pistols, Cyrus Read, Justin Deandrade, Confusion Magazine, Powerflex Wheels, Black Flys Eyewear, Attic Skateshop, Joey Tershay and Shrewgy, Veronika Reinert, and my kids (Shiloh and Destiny) for coming out on skate missions to get this video done.
Question Everything, ¿It’s all a Hoax?