"Ed Duff embodies the hometown kid. A normal skate rat, he absolutely loves skateboarding and would give anything to do it as much as humanly possible. He got good at skating but never changed his love for it. Giving him a chance to make his dreams come true is like giving hope to all small town kids who love skateboarding for all the right reasons." -Chris Cole
This is The Ed Duff Interview
Ed Duff | Noseblunt | Photo: Michael Tessier
How tall are you? How do you think it effects your skating? Do you have to think about tricks different than most people?
I'm 6 foot 4 I think... Maybe 5. I never really thought about it helping or not helping my skating till recently, it helps I think; I can get out of some sticky situations a bit better because my legs are long. But it has its disadvantages as well... Like every spot I go to looks super small but that just makes me want to skate bigger stuff, its not bad.
Does the name Sean Payne ring a bell? If not him, who is your favorite pro at or above 6’2?
Can't say that it does ring a bell I'm sorry about that. Figgy for sure, he's been one of my favorite skaters in general for a long time, he's gnarly and is tall and skates big shit.
Do you remember your first board?
My first board was a Mongoose from Kmart. Mama Duff got me that, shit wasn't spinning right. My uncle took me to the Tony Hawk Boom Boom Huck Jam Tour when I was in like 4th grade and he got me a Birdhouse board they were selling there. That was like my official first "real" board and I was so hyped we sat first row and I gave The Birdman a high five, it was great!
Growing up in Doylestown, PA was there a period of Philly skate history that you related to most? Like, would you get hyped on old Ricky Oyola parts when you were growing up?
Definitely not. Sorry to disappoint, I'm from the suburbs and I didn't have internet for a long time. I knew about Kerry Getz and Bam and Chris from being around the Philly area. My friend had the old Toy Machine videos and watching those with Kerry and Bam would get me hyped. I'm not OG enough to be watching Ricky Oyola.
The DC video too! When that shit came out with Kalis and Stevie and Wenning's parts... Also Mosaic was the shit, Wenning and Tim O'Connor and Kerry Getz, I loved that video.
Ed Duff | Frontside Feeble | Photo: Thrasher Magazine
What’s the best spot to skate in Doylestown, PA?
No skate spots in Doylestown... The YMCA in Doylestown... The skate park is the best spot in D-Town. I grew up skating there till i was 15, I've gotten my skateboard taken twice just riding it around trying to get to places. The cops suck, don't got anything going on so they love any little bullshit they can.
Love Park has passed its heyday, so what other spots do you like to skate in the city?
I wouldn't say that Love Park has passed its heyday at all! That place is still getting murdered, have you seen the sabotage videos? They still kill Love!
And Ishod's parts he's been putting out there, you gotta skate it past 10, then the bike cops are off, but other than that if there aren't bike cops posted people will be skating it for sure. There's definitely still skate life at Love.
How did you come to ride for Zero? What was the initial introduction?
I was getting Habitat rep flow when I was 17. It was right around the time of the Habitat video coming out and I went on a little trip premiering the video with the rep, Kerry, Guru, Marries and one other flow homie.
Then a week after I did that, the Halloween Zero Tour was in town so me and my friend Matt Steindel went to go watch the demo. My friends Ant Travis, Tom Asta and Ian Berry were on the tour at the time. Jamie Thomas brought his wife and kids on tour; they had a big van and a mini van maybe. Jamie had to take the mini van for his family so later at the skateshop after the demo, Ian asked if I wanted to drive my car on the rest of the trip with them down to Virginia and back. I was down as could be! Long story short, went on that tour, was with Chris, Garret and Joe Hammeke in my car and I was with the whole Zero Team the whole time. It was a dream come true.
It made more sense than the Habitat trip I went on, so after the tour we were at Reign and I asked Ian if I could get some Fallen's because he was the team manager at the time. I was getting Habitat shoes and boards so after I told the dude I was getting Fallen I wasn't getting boards no more so I asked Ian for boards too.
I wasn't sure at first if it was homie flow or real flow but it was shortly after that I started coming and staying with Ian for a week or two when Tom Asta would fly out to skate. It turned into something real.
Ed Duff | Kickflip Boardslide | Photo: Thrasher Magazine
What sort of culture shock did you experience moving to LA from PA?
Not really, I started coming out to San Diego when I was like 16, but I never stayed more than a night in LA. I'd fly out with Tom Asta sometimes when he went to skate in the winter cause it's shit back home. Then just staying for a week or two in SD when i was like 16 to 18 with Ian Berry and Ant Travis.
I didn't really get until now how much different it is. I can appreciate being out here and coming home more, I always loved being out and skating and when I first started coming to San Diego just seeing all these famous spots was the coolest shit.
Do you have a favorite LA spot?
Umm LA spot not really I'm kind of not that hyped on LA... A lot of traffic and people, its got a bunch of great spots, but just like traveling there and shit is a lot. LA is to me is anywhere north of SD pretty much as dumb as that is, there's so many damn spots its insane. I don't know, can't really call a favorite, I've been to Hollywood High twice in my life. First time I was 15 and didn't skate the rails. When I was 20 I skated the rails and it was a good time with one of my favorite skaters ever... Brockman. It was a great day.
Dane Burman tatted his name on your leg… How did he convince you and who’s next? Chris Cole?
No convincing needed, I was down! I love the homie tattoos. Anthony Travis, Louie Lopez and I went on a homie trip to Austraila last year. This time for an Australian escapade we stayed a month at Dane's place and at night we would hangout. We had a few tattoo parties, we are good friends so it was only natural that we get each other names tatted. Some people don't appreciate the homie tattoos as much but I like a lot personally. It's fun to have your friend do it, people may talk shit on that, I love it though. I don't think that would go down with Chris though, he is one of the people who doesn't appreciate the homie tatts. He's got all proper ones, as he should, he talks shit saying I just got black lines on my body, which is fine... I love them!
Do you have any other tats?
Yeah I do. When I was 17 I went to Indiana with my friend Wes. He had a bunch of tattoos. I got three in like a 2 week time period I was there. I hid them from my parents for a year or two, getting more and having to hide them all but cats out of the bag now, they don't care.
Ed Duff getting a homie tattoo from Zero Pro Dane Burman | Photo: ESPN
At what point did you find out you would have a part in Cold War, or was it a complete surprise?
It was half and half kind of... I got hurt in June before the Cold War tour, came home and was laid up in bed for like 3 months. While I was back home I was hoping I'd just have my footage in the video somehow but I was on the East and when your home you get pretty out of the loop.
Jamie called me saying there was some talk about me getting on Threat and there being a Threat section in the video but that never happened. I talked to Garret and he mentioned me sharing a part with Chris so I immediately called Ant Travis. When he said they were talking about doing that I was blown away at the idea, it was unreal to me... It still is! Then I talked to Chris as well and he was down too.
So I talked to Jamie again. He said Chris had to get like two or three more gnarly tricks in 2 weeks for me to share a part with him cause I only had a minute of footage and they only wanted to use my better stuff. I didn't think Chris had time to still go for it like that, then out of nowhere I got like texts from Ant telling me about these heavy tricks he got.
I was getting on the flight to SD when Ant texted me just saying not to get my hopes up, but if I had something in the video I'd be hyped. Then before the premier I saw Jamie and he gave me a hug saying how I'm gonna cry and that I shine like a diamond in the video! When it came on I started tearing up, it was insane, it's still a lot to take in.
Was Cold War part of your official transition off of flow and onto the team?
No I haven't done enough to get on Zero. Of the past two years I've been out for a whole year. I hurt my knee June 2012, had to get surgery, was out for 6 months, then June 2013 I tore 3 ligaments in my ankle and was out for 5 months. I would love to keep doing what I've been trying to do and get on the team but I don't think that's gonna happen. I'm so thankful for everything that Chris, Jamie, Ant, Lannie, Mike and Ryan at BlackBox have done for me.
To be in the Zero video is a dream come true, I wish could still ride for Zero. It's the reason I skate how I skate. I'm a product of watching that anthology before I went to bed every night, those dudes are like family, I love them all. I'm glad I got to be a part somewhat of the BlackBox family while I could.
Click to watch Ed Duff at the 3:20 mark
How long did the biggie heel to boardslide at Rincon take you, and how did you get it in your head to try that in the first place?
First time I went there I was 16 and James hardy was trying to 180 sw crook the hubba rail, it was insane. He didn't make it and got mad but I skated the gap to rail. Then I boardslid it. Then tried to back bluntslide it. I didn't know what I was doing. But when I was looking at the rail I thought about that trick like it may be able to work.
I went back like a year later and tried it three different times. First time it was just me Ian Berry and Ant. I stuck it, rode away, then fell... It was devastating. Second time I broke my truck and tried to use Chris' board, but he failed to tell me he rode slicks! I didn't bother trying to boardslide, first one I put in I slipped out and broke my knuckle. Third time was me, Ant Travis and Ian Berry again. We went out skating Lindsey Robertson and he heelflip indy'd a 14 stair! I was so happy being able to witness a heelflip indy by the one who wrote the book on them. It got me amped! So then we went to Rincon and I made it with not much of a battle, it was a very happy moment. We went to Chris' kids birthday party after, it was a solid day... A catered meal of PB&J's with a moon bounce to boot!
Who else do you ride for?
Currently I ride for Zero (flow), Fallen Footwear (flow), Reign Skateshop, Thunder Trucks, Spitfire Wheels, Volume 4, and PHATHOUSE SOCKPOSSE!
In your own words, why is Chris Cole your favorite skater?
He's a genuine badass, no denying that. He is from Longhorn, PA and put a serious hurting all over the damn place, especially in Philly! I bought The Hot Wax video back in the day and he just murdered it. I saw him at the indoor skate park I'd go to sometimes when I was like 11, it was insane. Then I went home and looked up the Fallen website and saw him, I was so hyped! They had this photo of him, tuck kneeing this double set at The Philly Stadium, I remember staring at that just blown away!
What is your favorite Cole part?
Dying To Live/New Blood... Probably New Blood. Ride The Sky part is insanity.
What is your favorite Zero video overall?
Probably Dying To Live or New Blood. New Blood was the first for me, Tommy and Garrets parts are insane.
Click to watch Chris Cole in Zero's "New Blood" aka Ed's favorite Cole part
Was this your first year going to SOTY? Best moment?
It was, that was the first time I've been to SF. I would have never thought I'd go to a SOTY party, and with my good friend being the one who won, it's crazy. Best moment... Probably when Ishod dropped the mic on stage, the whole thing, it was so good with all the good homies from back home out West. Just getting turnt with the bros is a great time in itself. Thank you ISHOD for being the most genuine skate rat there is, luh dat boy!
Were you at all conflicted being that both Dane and Ishod were both nominated? Who did you vote for?
That was definitely a hard decision. I stared at the voting page for a solid 4 minutes, but I had to vote Ishod, I'm sorry Dane!
How was the SOTY trip? Tell us about Lil Wayne's house and how you got there.
The SOTY trip was intense! First night me and my friend Pat from Philly got there everyone was already at Lil Wayne's house, Ishod was too busy skating to ask if we could take a cab there so I used my resources and called Michael Burnet. He asked and gave us a pin, it was insane, never would have thought I'd be there.
Highlight was probably gettin handcuffed with Ishod in an alley for smokin pot, the cops ended up bein our boys after, it was rad!
How is your ankle recovering? Are you back to skating now?
I started skating like the beginning of December, just rolling around. It was my flicking foot I messed up and I really did a number to it so it's hard for me to let myself not worry about it and try flicking my ankle around. It was heavy when I rolled it... I was stuck in the room at BlackBox for three weeks, probably saw sunlight for an hour, I'd get up to pee and I could feel my ankle hanging. I'd get back to my couch and just sit up for hours, my ankle throbbing, the shittiest pain. Surgery on my knee didn't hurt as much as my ankle, no pain killer, just bong packs to the face all day.
It was a dark summer, the doctors told me I'd be cool in a month... A big fuck you to the Scripps in Encinitas! It sucked a lot. Getting hurt and not being able to walk, crutches are a bitch. I was crazy about my knee too cause I got surgery on that. I didn't on my ankle, just a cast. After that I went home for physical therapy too. Went to the same place as my knee, just right by my house in PA. I'm in there with like grandparents who can barely walk, no boards up on the wall.
Who do you skate with most often these days?
Ant Travis, Kyle Fredrick, Kurt Hodge, Julian Heller... Anyone who rolls through BlackBox. I skate BlackBox park everyday pretty much now, just trying to learn how to skate again.
Click to watch Ed Duff in Memory Gun | Video: Ant Travis
Are you still crashing at Black Box or have you got a new apartment yet? Who are your room mates?
Still at The Box! We got a killer room, two bunk beds, a futon, 2 mini fridges and a TV with a ps3 and a VHS player. We got half ass internet from California Skateparks next door.
We are gonna have to get a place though. This place is moving at the end of March. We kind of been looking for houses but its hard when you're lazy skateboards.
Current bunk list at The Box is Ant Travis, Kyle Fredrick, Kurt Hodge and myself. Dane Burman is here when he comes to the states... He's my original bunk buddy.
Describe a typical night sleeping at Black Box.
Wake up whenever we can. There's no windows, so it's a hole of time in the room, it disappears! If we don't got much going on for the day we skate the park all day, eat food, skate more at night, watch skate videos, at a certain time no more skate videos, a lot of smoking pot... Dane hates weed and he lives with some potheads, we all get along though. When dane's there anything can happen, it's great he's a wildcard! He will build shit, bring girls over, its great. Kyle Fredrick is one of the craftiest motherfuckers I know... He and I are top bunk bros and he fully rigged this proper pully system for our bunks that drape down so we got our own little cocoon.
Do you have any other passions outside of skating? Electrical Contracting?
Just hanging with my family and friends. I used to snowboard back home when it was cold but that was only when I was a lot younger, I always want to skateboard! Can't say that electrical contracting is my passion, but I'll probably end up working in the tool room at my dads place one day.
What are you working on for 2014?
Skateboarding as much as possible. I hope I can get a full year of skating in. The past two I only got 6 months out of each year, I would love to be able to skate during the summer/fall haven't done that since I was 18.
What're you going to do now that you’ve finished all these damn questions???
Put this computer down and live!!!!