Skate Shops have long been the center of any local skate scene. No matter where you are from, a local or a visitor, walk through the doors of a skate shop and you are home. Minneapolis local, Davis Torgerson interviewed Steve Nesser to talk skateboarding, The Minneapolis scene and Familia, the shop that Steve started 12 years ago.
Davis Torgerson : All right, so who are you, and when and how did you get into skating?
Steve Nesser : Whoa!
Davis : How many boards can you ollie? haha!
Steve : Well, I am Steve Nesser, and I don’t know why I got into skating. Let me think… I mean, I guess my brother had one. I got my first board from him when I was 12 or maybe 10? Best feeling
Davis : Damn. So was that like, uh, in the 70’s?
Steve : Ha, well, I’m 38.
Davis : I was just kidding…
Steve : Yeah, I know. I knew it was gonna be like this.
Davis : How did the idea to open Familia come about? Where’d you get the name from?
Steve : Well ever since I started skating I thought it would be cool to have a shop and over time and with the right homies we went for it. The name Familia came from, I mean, basically skateboarding is like a family and, yeah. We thought it would be tight to call it Familia
Davis : Yeah. Yeah. I mean you’re … I feel like you’re always traveling to Latin America.
Steve : Yeah, I mean, I’m inspired by the Mexican and Latin American vibe. The name was heavily influenced by that.
Davis : How many times have you been to Mazatlan now?
Steve : Twice a year for 20 years, ha.
Davis : Fuck. That’s insane. So much Pacifico.
Steve : So much but not enough!
Davis : When you opened up the shop, who were some of the people that you looked to when you needed a question answered that really, really helped you get the things going?
Steve : Joe Fobia, Jeff Taylor, Jim Thiebaud, Ed Selego, Danny Montoya and Kenny Anderson. I was traveling or hanging out a lot with them and we would always talk about it on trips and how fun it would be etc.
Davis : Sick. It’s kind of nice you have those dudes to connect with.
Steve : Fuck yeah. I mean they’re like the illest dudes to be inspired by. I’m grateful for that.
Davis : ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ – What does that mean to you and to Familia?
Steve : Simply put… Doing what we can with what we have for where we’re at.
Davis : Yeah, that’s pretty good haha, that’s pretty good I think haha… and you know, five months of winter.
Steve : Yeah. And putting on events for everybody and doing everything we can with our community to have a good time!
Davis : How important is it to give back to the local scene for you? Was that just a given when you opened the shop?
Steve : The local scene to me is the most important because, first of all, I look at skating as one big family, so however we can help the people that support and help us, that’s all it’s about. Theres nothing more fun then doing events and parties and seeing everybody have a good time.
Davis : Yeah. It’s the ultimate core of skateboarding. It’s you and your friends, and it can grow and you can actually do rad shit.
Steve : Yeah, and I think we have one of the most unique scenes ’cause there’s so many good fucking skaters and some pretty epic spots
Davis : Why do you think the Minnesota skate scene is so tight and so good?
Steve : I think it’s because of the amount of indoor time everybody has together and then everybody’s so good and just, no matter who it is, they’re pushing each other.
Davis : Whether you like it or not, you’re stuck in a warehouse with the dude next to you. We all have these private little training facilities that we basically rip and then when it’s finally warm everyone’s all juiced to get outside.
Davis : I just want to say thanks for doing what you do. It means a lot to everyone.
Steve : The pleasure’s all mine. Don’t make me get all emo… Thank you for helping do what we do and I do want to say thank you to EVERYBODY for the support over the years. Truly grateful. Big thanks to Dennis Burdick who runs the Uptown Shop, Tabari Cook who runs the Familia HQ and Todd Bratrud for being the genius behind most of our art. We couldn’t do it without those guys behind the wheel. They are Familia.
Davis : This is for Jim. We can get emo.
Steve : I have a little Jim story. How I met Jim…
Davis : Do tell.
Steve : Well, all right. So, when I was 15, which was 23 years ago… I got invited to skate a backyard ramp by one of my sister’s friends and I went to the ramp with Seth McCallum and it ended up being Jim, Tommy and Gonz. It was Jim’s backyard ramp at his house.
Davis : Damn, and you were 15?
Steve : I was 15 and from that day on I’ve been friends with Jim. He invited me to Deluxe after we skated the ramp and then I got a bunch of REAL boards and shit and then, that pretty much set my fucking spark for skating on. Meeting them and how sick they we’re made a huge impact on my life for sure
Davis : No way. Damn. So just as a little skate rat not like an amateur skater or anything?
Steve : No way, dude. I mean, we could barely … we were still learning how to skate, transition and stuff. All we wanted to do was get better so when we got to skate Jims ramp again we could keep up
Davis : That’s good…. I’m glad we can have that in there. Thanks a bunch… I think we’re good.
Steve : Sick thanks have fun Davis.
Davis : I’ll drink a Pacifico for you.
Steve : Please do! Salud!
Special thanks to Steve, Dennis, Tabari and the entire Familia crew for holding it down for skateboarding in Minneapolis for all these years!
The Familia ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ decks will be available at the shop on Saturday, April 8th.