While it seems like just yesterday that Corey came onto the scene as an adolescent carcass hucker with a love for punk rock and elastic knees, Corey is now an established veteran with multiple video parts, boards, and pro model shoes to his name.
Still as much a skaterat as ever, our interview sheds light onto Corey's approach to life beyond skateboarding, how he feels about home ownership, why Punk Rock isn't dead, and how injuries have affected his career. This is The Corey Duffel Interview.
William Corey Duffel | The Man, The Myth, The Legend
You've been pro for over a decade now. What’s the secret to staying relevant these days?
I just watched the new Zero video, I don't think I'm relevant anymore. The only guess I could have is because I'm not a phony. Maybe kids and others feel a sense of belonging with me. I'm a pretty interesting dude that is into much more than skateboarding. I think some feel like they relate to my music taste and outlooks on life. Obviously it's not me being a skater cause I'm pretty terrible at riding one. You've got me beat there, I really don't know but I'm stoked people still care.
How is your perspective different now than it was when you first came on the scene?
The industry is very small and just recycles the same people so you better be friendly with people. I made a lot of poor choices that I never thought would affect me 15 years later.
What's something in skateboarding that was better ten years ago? What something that's better
I liked skating better ten years ago, I still love riding my skate just as much. But being sponsored was more fun. There were bigger budgets for trips, YouTube didn't exist yet so skate companies still thrived off of video sales. I just liked how much easier it was, it didn't matter if your footage looked like crap. I don't think videos need to be a Hollywood movie and filmed in HD. It's just hard for me now because I don't know anyone with an HD camera and lens that is down to film with me. I use to just give my friends my camera and we would go out and film.
Corey Duffel | Crooked Grind | Photo by Dave Chami
"foundation always had cult riders and riders that were into much more than skating."
What has kept you riding for Foundation so long? Have you ever considered leaving?
I like Tod Swank and what Foundation has stood for, for 25 years. A DIY indie/alternative skateboard brand. Foundation always had cult riders and riders that were into much more than skating. I have had a few offers over the years and obviously considered it. It's hard to ride for a company you love when you don't get invited on tours or know the team riders all that well.
Who is your favorite Foundation rider? (Past or Present)
My favorite team mate was The Nuge or Tony Silva. Tony and I were both 17 when we got on, so it was awesome going on tour with another teenager that just wanted to skate and have fun. The Nuge is one of my favorite skaters and people, so having him on the team was killer.
Are you the Foundation OG Shot Caller Big Dick Swinger Vet these days? Um I mean, Is there an official team leader?
I might be the bigger name there but I don't have any final says or anything like that. I think I'm pretty low on the totem when it comes to team stuff. If I was in charge there would be many different skaters on Foundation throughout the years. I think it's Mike Sinclair.
Tell us about the new Osiris shoe. How many pairs have you worn out since the release?
I just got my first sample of them. I only have two pairs, but they seem to be killer. I am really hyped on it and believe others will be stoked too. A basic looking shoe with some extra padding in the sole.
Corey Duffel | Front Boardslide Pop Out
"...i have learned to deal with the pain and skate as hard as i can until i feel like i'm going to pass out... injuries aren't fun, but i love skating more than anything."
Ranks these skate videos by personal preference: Super Collider Conductor, Barbarians at the Gate, Tentacles of Destruction and Rolling Thunder?
Barbarians, cause that was the first F video I saw... Tentacles, Rolling Thunder, Super Collider.
In 2007 you filmed 2 really good parts for Cataclysmic Abyss and Feed the Need. What made that such a productive year for you?
2007 was a killer year until I snapped my leg. I had a good 8 months of the year with out injuries. I was going on a lot of tours and the guys I was filming with didn't have jobs or girlfriends so they were always down to go skate. Not to be a cocksucker but I'm really proud of both of those parts. I don't know how many people ever saw them because they both came out at weird times: One right after the Nike video and the other right after Lakai, so I think a lot of people missed them.
Also the fact that I was 22 years old and had no chronic foot problems. I think if I didn't have these terrible feet I'd be able to do the same. My mind wants to skate like that everyday but my foot does not allow me to jump like before.
What have you been filming for recently?
Probably YouTube or Instagram it seems like that's all that matters now. Just kidding, but seriously, I'm hoping Foundation wants to work on a video. I have no one to film with so I've been just doing tricks for photos and not getting any footage.
Can you explain your preference for filming HD over VX?
I'd prefer to use any type of 3 chip digital over HD because I could pull out my lens and camera again and go film with my friends and pass the camera back and forth.
What's the gnarliest bank you've filmed a trick on?
I don't know, but I'm always down to have some fun on a bank. I just like going fast.
"i don't know how to give up and i don't wanna start quitting now."
Blunts, Frontside or Backside?
I'm more of a backside guy. But front blunts to fakie feel killer.
Being a “lifer” comes with it’s fair share of injuries, What has been your worst injury ever?
I've had so many goddamn injuries over the years. Having my wrist fused together sucks. Breaking my leg in '07 sucked because it took me out for a year. Being out for a year after the most productive year I had was tough. I never came back the same. I lost a lot of movement in my ankle and my flip tricks were never the same. I've been dealing with some nerve damage and soft tissue problems in my left foot for the past 3 years and it really sucks. Although it doesn't sound like much, it is the worst injury I've had. It has left me in pain 24 hours a day and unable to preform the way I really want to. I tore some tendons that connect my toes to my foot, destroyed the planters plate, busted the joint capsule, nerve damage and sesamoiditis. I've been battling with these conditions for a while now and have had two surgeries on the foot, but nothing is going to fix the problem. So I have learned to deal with the pain and skate as hard as I can until I feel like I'm going to pass out from pain. Injuries aren't fun, but i love skating more than anything so I'm willing to deal with the pain to put out more parts.
What band is best to listen to before hucking your carcass down a gap?
I've always liked singing Motorhead to myself while skating.
How do you get back to "business as usual" with rehabilitation?
Determination! I don't know how to give up and I don't wanna start quitting now.
What advice do you have for skaters trying to standout with today’s super crazy competitive industry?
Stop worrying about what others think. Don't be a sheep. There are too many clones out there. Be yourself and don't try to emulate someone else's style. Skate how you skate naturally and have fun doing it.
Corey Duffel | Ollie | Photo by Jason Hainault
"as long as there are kids that wanna learn to play music, ride skateboards and not give a shit about modern living, punk rock will always live on."
What's the best VHS tape in your collection?
I've always enjoyed, "Tin Can Folklore".
Do you have a favorite Tim Burton movie?
Big Fish can make me cry every time. For some reason it also encourages me to have more fun in life and do the best I can.
What do you think of punk rock these days? Does it still exist or are we all just nostalgic for its heyday?
I love listening to 77 punk records, but I never felt like I needed a mohawk or bondage pants to rebel. To me, punk rock is not wanting to be like everybody else. I don't wanna be a "normy" and to do what I'm told I'm supposed to do in society. And I've never cared to fit in with the popular crew. I prefer to be a lone wolf and move forward with my life. Punk dies as you grow up. At least it did for me. I have a mortgage, a wife, a vegetable garden that needs watering... I don't have time to waste sniffing glue and talking trash. I have a life that needs to be lived. I don't wanna waste away on a corner talking about anarchy. I have too much respect and standards. But don't get me wrong, I think it's great for youth to rebel and find out who they are. I'm 29 years old now, and grew up a lot, but obviously I still love the music and always will. As long as there are kids that wanna learn to play music, ride skateboards and not give a shit about modern living, punk rock will always live on.
Tell us about what you are doing with the Music is Revolution Foundation.
I'm not too sure whats going on with it these days since Michael passed away.
Other than Corey Duffel, who else kills it in the moustache game?
Sam Elliot is The King.
Corey is your middle name, Why don’t you go by William? Or Billy? Billy Duffel???
I like to go by William. I can't say R's so I usually introduce myself as William. I'm named after my dad's brother who was killed a few months before I was born. He was named after my grandfather. My dad wanted the name to live on, my mom liked Corey though, so she stuck to the middle name.
"be yourself and don't try to emulate someone elses style. skate how you skate naturally and have fun doing it."
What’s DeathSquad exactly? Do you skitch off Harley’s or what?
A crew of friends that skate and ride motorcycles. Bobby Worrest, Jason Jessee, Chris Yvon, Danny G and a few others. They also manufacture parts for Harley's made in the USA. not a club or gang, just a rad crew of blood brothers that wanna go fast.
Do you have a pick for SOTY this year? Why?
It'd be great to see my man Tommy Gunz take it. Tommy is the shit and has been killing it for years. Dane Burman has an insane part and did the gnarliest grind ever.
What’s on the agenda for WC Duffel in 2014?
Nothing is set in stone. I proposed to my long time lady Rachel, so I'm sure there is a wedding in the future. I just wanna skateboard and continue living the dream.
What does the Duffman want for X-Mas?
New feet and lots of records. A phone that works could be good too.
Who should SkateMore interrogate next?
Jason Dill is fucking awesome.