I’m a fan of the dream, and equally a fan of the people living it. Davis Torgerson and Tim Fulton are a pretty damn good example; two friends who met at 16 while making skate videos and are still doing it together to this very day. I decided to catch up with them while they were back home in Minneapolis to hear how a funny named video put them on the map and kick started a life in skateboarding for them both.
– Damon Thorley
All right, so what’s up? What are guys doing out in Minnesota?
Davis: We basically flew back home to Minnesota to try and rekindle the fire of some of the spots we used to skate.
Tim: Most of them are pretty rough now.
Davis: Yeah. It turns out the ground’s rough out here, we’re finding out now.
Tim: It’s been going good though. We’ve been getting tricks.
Nice. So, for those who don’t know you guys and your back story, can you explain how you know each other, how far it goes back, and how you got from Minneapolis to where you’re at today?
Davis: Sure, yeah. Tim, You want to start this one?
Tim: I don’t know … I guess we met, at least I think we met through Dan and Neal probably.
Davis: Yeah, our friends Dan Narloch and Neal Shipe just local kids that I met at the skate park, Third Lair. They’re all from a small town called White Bear Lake. I was always skating with them and somewhere along the line Tim just started popping up, “Yeah, our homie Tim films.” I would drive up to White Bear Lake and skate and Tim would film.
Tim: Then it evolved into Davis staying in my parents’ basement like every single weekend.
Davis: Yeah, I think in senior year of high school I would get out of school on Friday and just drive straight to White Bear Lake. It would be like a 45 minute drive and I would just drive straight out there and skate with Dan, Neil, and Tim, and then stay there for Friday, Saturday night in Tim’s basement, drinking fucking Mountain Dew and watching skate videos.
Is it safe to say that each of you guys helped each other to get to where you guys are in skateboarding/life today?
Davis: I mean, I would say it was any skater/filmer combination, they help each other out, you know, because, you need both to do what you’re doing. Maybe it started as Tim helping me out because he was the one filming me, and then my footage was getting out there and maybe some of that footage was what Darin Howard, the old team manager saw and got me on REAL, and then down the road, every time I’d go home I would stay with Tim, and then he got an HD camera. He was still making local videos, so down the road he just drove down to California and was like, “Fuck it. I’ll just stay out here and film.” I think at that point there were so many REAL and Deluxe dudes in LA that it worked out for him to stay there and film all those dudes. Maybe that little small connection was my help.
Tim: For sure, when we were kids it was just like, we’re going to do something regardless, not trying to help anybody or anything, but, yeah, I think definitely when I moved to California, I think Davis was pestering Darin a lot to help me out, to give me a job. I think Nate (Deluxe TM) helped me out a lot as well.
So, Tim, I knew you for awhile before I ever put together the fact that you worked on one of my favorite local videos ever, the Boondoggle video. Was that your whole project or were you working on it with a couple people?
Tim: That was me and two of my friends, Phillip Schwartz and Pete Spooner and I think it started as their project and then I just was filming so much at the time and I was filming everyone in the video just as much as they were that they had to put me on board.
Davis: It was basically like every single kid who was around our age, like younger kids, basically was just filming for Boondoggle in the twin cities, so it was their child at first, then and all my friends were skating with them too. There were so many kids ripping at the time that they needed Tim to help film everyone. It was basically everyone our age making a video together. It was really cool.
That’s awesome. I remember it came out before I started working at Deluxe. It was the first time I’d heard of you Davis. That video was kind of just blowing up and everybody was talking about it. Did you guys know it was going to have that big of an impact when you were editing it, or were you surprised when it got out there as much as it did?
Davis: Tim you want to start?
Tim: Ahh, you start.
Davis: Fuck no dude, hell no.
Tim: Yeah, I don’t think so either. There were like a couple local videos in Minnesota before us, too.
Davis: Yeah, you know what, I think that’s a good point because there were other videos that generations before us made that we looked up to and that was when we were like 14, 15 years old watching the local videos and the locals that we looked up to. So, for us to make that almost transition to, oh now we’re becoming locals and we’re becoming old, and all of our friends are ripping harder and harder. You don’t realize when it’s happening but looking back it’s like, “oh that’s that transition period.” When we were making it, it was just like we were just trying to get good at skateboarding and make cool shit, you know?
Yeah, totally, and then it just kind of snowballed from there. Do you think it was a matter of timing as well, like that’s when people started putting stuff on the Internet and that’s when YouTube parts and YouTube videos became a thing?
Davis: Yeah, I think that was everything for us honestly.
Tim : Yeah, because that era, I remember as a skate rat kid, there was YouTube accounts that would always post single video parts, maybe from all these independent videos that were really sick. I remember when Boondoggle came out wishing that would happen for us, and thought it would be so cool if our video part got on YouTube like that too.
Then it did. Davis, right after that video came out things started going pretty fast for you, right?
Davis: Yeah, super fast. That was it. That was the one. I still do demos and kids will ask me about Boondoggle. If it’s not the Nollie Hurricane, it’s something about Boondoggle.
What was your living situation when you first left Minnesota and started to travel with REAL? Did it happen pretty quick? Did you all move out to L.A. at the same time?
Davis: Boondoggle came out, and I had just graduated high school. I moved out and lived in the city, and I was working at Cal Surf, the skate shop. Living in that apartment, that’s when I started going on trips. I remember one month, I was gone for basically a month, and Tim rented out my room that month, because he was going to college in the city. Instead of his dorm, he stayed at my apartment with my homie. That’s when I started travelling a lot more. I was there for a year. I moved to L.A. for like five months with Sam McGuire. I moved back, and then I was living with Tim and a couple other homies in an apartment they had. I lived there for another five months, and then I moved back out to California.
Tim, did you finish college before you ended up moving out to California?
Tim: Yeah, I graduated and then moved maybe a month or two later.
Gotcha. So, you went from living in skate houses in Minnesota to living in a skate houses in LA and driving around some of the REAL team, like Jack and Robbie. Does the average skate house compare to living with dudes that are pro and obviously on a little bit different level skating-wise, or is it pretty much the same?
Tim: The skate house is probably the same in that aspect. It’s still a skate house.
Davis: I think it’s the exact fucking same, dude. It’s a skate house!
Tim: Yeah. Skating-wise, it’s a little different, because now that’s all everyone has on their agenda in the house, because that’s what they do for a living, and that’s what I do.
Davis: Yeah, other than that, the coffee table in the living room is fucking tall cans, coffee mugs, and fucking joint butts & roaches.
Can’t change some things I guess. So to transition, I fuck up all the time at my job. What are some of your guys’ most embarrassing moments or mistakes since you started traveling with Deluxe?
Tim: Oh, God. You go first.
Davis: Oh, dude, I don’t know, man. I remember one time, actually, right when I got on D.C., I drove down and stayed at the old D.C. TM Shawn Roger’s house in Carlsbad. Actually, Nick Dompierre rode for D.C., so he was staying at the house too. I think Wes met up. Maybe Miller was there, too. I drove down for the weekend, and Saturday, we’re going to go down to downtown San Diego and skate. We get in the van, and we all go down there, and we get out to skate, and I fucking left my board at home. I just got on D.C., and I’m meeting some of these guys for the first time, and I leave my board at home. That wasn’t a good start.
Hah. Tim, you got anything like that, where you just fucked up? You thought you were going to get cut?
Tim: I have something kind of like that. I remember, right when I started working for Deluxe, I don’t even think I was actually working for them yet, but I started to skate with everybody, and I was starting to skate with Na-Kel when he was getting REAL Boards. I remember it was one of the first times I ever skated with him, and we drove … Fuck, where were we? Somewhere deep into Hollywood, and we got to some spot, and none of my batteries were charged. He starts trying to trick, and I had to tell him that my batteries were all dead.
Davis: Damn, dude. That sucks.
That’s too fucking good.
Tim: Obviously, he was cool about it, but I remember being like, “Fuck.”
Speaking of filming, currently in skating full-length videos are definitely dying or possibly going to be dead soon. At least it seems that way.
Where do you guys see skate videos going, both in local shop scene and from bigger brands? From your guys’ perspectives, the guys actually out there filming and skating in videos, what do you see as the pros and cons of full-length versus single parts, shorter team edits?
Tim: I like the shorter team edits because no one has the attention span for a full-length anymore. It makes sense, just because before, with a full-length, that’s all you would see for two years straight of a person. Now you see this person all the time, so shorter videos go further in my eyes.
So, as a filmer, you’re backing the way things are progressing?
Tim: Yeah, I think so.
What about you, Davis? What are your thoughts?
Davis: I’m not going to lie. As a skater, it’s a lot nicer when you can sit and work on something for two years, and that’s what people see you as. It was maybe even longer than that with some videos. You could work on this thing, this baby you had. Now, for example, it’s like we’re here in Minnesota to film this thing in two weeks.
Yeah, it’s kind of intense.
Davis: Yeah, kids are getting so good. There’s always a natural progression, so it makes it way harder on you and way more pressure every time you go skate, you’ve got to get something, and it’s so diluted to the point where, even if you don’t film a trick, it’s like, “Okay, cool, I’ve got to make sure my Snapchat is fucking lit AF bro,” or like, “I got something for my Insta you know?” Take a picture of my fucking board and tag everyone. Hah. I’m not going to lie. It totally sucks, but we make it that way.
Yeah, as skaters, we are in control to a certain extent.
Davis: You can either accept it and do your best, or you can be salty and complain, and fucking… good luck with that.
Random one, but what would 16 year old you think of your current life, career situations?
Tim: Probably pretty hyped.
Davis: Yeah, dude. I would be so hyped. We probably met when we were 16.
Tim: Yeah, I think 16.
Davis: Yeah, that’d be a trip if you said, ten years later, you’d be doing the same thing but getting paid to do it.
Do you guys remember, was there ever a moment being friends growing up, that you imagined that this would be where you were at, or was it always too far off, like, “Oh, that could never happen,” type thing, or did you guys really think for a minute, “All right, we could do this?”
Davis: No way, man. Maybe after Boondoggle, I was getting sponsored and going on trips, Tim was in college, so for me, looking back, at that time, it was like Tim was still making local videos, but I was always like, “Oh, he’s in college. He’s going to get a job, whatever job you get after college, so he’s done.” Even now, to be like, “Oh, shit, Tim, you went to college, and now you’re living in L.A. filming us,” has been like, “Oh, sick, okay.”
Tim: Yeah, I always wanted to film for a company and stuff, but I just didn’t see it as realistic.
Davis: When I met Tim, his dream job was to be a Lakai sales rep.
Tim: Something like that.
Which, from someone who works at a skateboard company, yah know, that is still pretty fucking cool.
Did you ever think you’d be filming with RC helicopters?
Tim: Hah, Ha, No, definitely not.
Davis: You mean, crashing helicopters?
Tim: Yeah, I crashed one like 30 minutes ago.
Back to the 16 year old you question, do you think you’re a bigger skate nerd now or then?
Tim: Probably now, Hah, Hah.
Davis: I would say then for sure. I still will watch, and I watch as much as I can. I go online every day and watch shit, but back then I literally only listened to skate songs that were in videos, and I only watched skate videos, and my life revolved around skating.
Yeah. Now there’s just more on the table?
Davis: Yeah. You find different things you like.
The last one is kind of an emo one, but what is something in skateboarding you hope never changes?
Tim: I hope street skating never stops.
Davis: Yeah, I was thinking about the same thing because, with the Olympics, it’s cool and all, and you can’t stop this crazy, rolling ball that just can’t stop you know. One person’s not going to stop it. It made me think about how maybe kids that will watch that will want to … They’ll want to start skating because they want a gold medal and they want to be a winner, you know? It made me think about how kids will watch it, and they’ll want to strive to win a gold medal or just win. I hope that kids don’t ever stop waxing ledges and street skating. I really hope street skating doesn’t ever die. Filming videos is totally dumb, and it sucks, but video parts. I want kids to work on something like that, you know?
Tim: I always trip out when there are people who go pro off of not having a video part or one video part. You need the street skating, you know? You got to be out there in the street.
Davis: It’s almost like, your video parts is like your homework and your projects you work on, you know? To graduate high school and college, you just need to do the work to show that you’re capable of problem-solving and working at something, you know? They go pro. It’s like, “Yeah, do some projects,” you know?
Yeah. That’s the stuff that sticks out in your mind. You think of people’s single parts or that one video that changed the way you saw skating. It has a big effect on that, at least for me, growing up as those videos of those people that definitely changed the way I looked at skating or the way I wanted to skate, the way I wanted to dress, all that stuff.
Davis: Yeah, and your way of thinking’ is dying. Ha hah.
Exactly, but I don’t think it ever will. I think, as long as there’s a friend with a camera and skaters, they’ll make something. It may not be what it was before, but I think there’ll always be that urge, even just out of curiosity to see what your skating looks like on film.
Davis: I say kids will watch the Olympics and just want to win and maybe the first year or two when they start skating, that is it, but if they keep doing it, and as soon as you get into anything, you become particular, and you find your own craft in it. It’s not even skating, but anything else. People have to go through art to where they like fine art. They become picky, and they like what they like. I think even kids that start skating to win a gold medal, if they get super into it, then maybe, three years later, they’ll have rails on their boards and do no complys. They’ll find what they like eventually.
Yeah, it’s like that gateway. Whatever gets them into it, they’ll find their own path…Well, That’s all I got. Thank you guys for the little walk down memory lane. I appreciate it. Any last thoughts that you guys have?
Davis: I don’t know. We might need another two weeks to film this thing. Hah Hah.
I think that can be arranged.
Cool. Have fun out there, guys. I will talk to you soon
Davis: Also, I’m very sarcastic, so….
Hah, yeah I’ve picked up on that.