The Skateboard Mag linked to Jimmy Marchand's sponsor me video one day, and I got really stoked. So stoked and inspired in fact, that I found Jimmy on MySpace and asked if I could send him some etnies shoes (He's a fan of the Arto Mids.) He sent then me this footy you see above via email to check out... and yeah, that's a switch backside flip to manny down a bank.
After watching it, I explained to Jimmy I felt he could have done the backside noseblunt a little better. His reply:
"Well to tell ya the truth I had just eaten a special brownie a half hour prior to that noseblunt going down, so it was alright with me."
And I decided at that very moment I wanted to interview him. So over the last few months, via email and at Tampa Am, I did.
RB: Tell us about your condition…
Jimmy: Well I have what is called scoliosis, which is a curve of the spine. I also had blood clots in my legs when I was born so it kind of stopped me from growing.
Were you born with scoliosis? How did it affect you growing up?
Yes I’ve had this condition all my life but it has not brought my morale down in anyway. I actually started walking with a walker when I was young, but by the time I was five the doctor switched me to Canadian-style crutches because I could literally do handstands on my walker! Once I was off of the walker and onto crutches I figured “shit, what the hell else is possible?”
How’d you get into skating?
So when I was about eight or nine the kid next door to me had gotten a skateboard and wouldn't let me try the damn thing. So I went out and got one of my own. An 80's deluxe banana board. My doctors have always told me that its good to keep my self active, but they did not think skating was safe for me.
Well, it’s been about ten years since I’ve been told to stop skating because its dangerous, but I feel its what keeps me alive. When I started skating I had a dog at the time and I wasn’t good at pushing the board yet, so I took the dog for a walk down the bike path and he pulled me so fast on my board that I could have shit myself. So since that day I’ve wanted to go fast and always skate, skate, skate!
Do people hate on you or talk shit? Or maybe even react weird to you over the years?
I’d have to say “fuck ya” to that one! Lots of times I get kids that come up to me an say that I’m cheating an that it isn’t really skating or some shit like that.
Did anyone tell you that you wouldn't be able to skate? Or have more people been cool and positive about it?
No one has ever told me I couldn’t skate but doctors that I grew up seeing have told me to switch to bowling or something more mellow like that.
What’s the most common thing people say to you about your condition or your skating?
Usually when I travel out West, people tend to give me props for skating and ask how I can do the stuff I do. People tend to ask me if I can ollie.
Are you in pain from your scoliosis? like does it hurt to skate even if you don't fall or anything?
From time to time I get sore from having scoliosis, but nothing a hot shower can't fix.
What are your favorite skate videos?
I’d have to go with Shorty’s Fulfill the Dream because of the skating and music selection. Welcome to Hell by Toy Machine and anything 5-Boro puts out because those guys skate with soul!
Who are your favorite skaters?
My favorite skaters would have to be Aquil Brathwaite, Nick Dompierre, Zered Basset, Pete Eldridge, Jereme Rogers, P-Rod, Apples, and everyone at home.
Did you get a lot of email or attention from your skate videos on the web? The one I saw and wrote to you about originally?
I’ve gotten some feedback from my skate video online and managed to get myself some flow packages every now and then.
You got a girlfriend?
No girl, so holla at me, ladies!
What do you wanna be when you grow up?
Well lets’ see, I’m 24 now so when I grow up I’d like to be a more tranquil person. And still be able to roll down the street on that bad Larry!
So what was the first trick you learned?
I’d have to say the first trick I learned was a fakie shove-it.
Because of your scoliosis, how do you have to skate and do things differently than other skaters? Like, can you not pop or jump of flick? What’s the deal?
Well, basically I cant ollie. I kinda do everything by pressure flipping and by popping the board one-footed, and then just hope I land the shit! It’s just really hard to explain my style of skating. I love it and the fact that I can’t even tell you how I pull shit off boggles my mind!
What’s your favorite stuff to skate?
Favorite shit to skate? Hmm… well flatland has always been my thing, but since I’ve progressed, I’d have to say banks, hubba sets, tranny, ledges… anything in the street that looks like ya can fuck with. I stay away from the damn handrails fool! I’d like to keep my nuts for a while.
What’s the newest thing you learned?
One -footed pop shove-it 50 -50. I’ve been getting into a habit of trying shit down stairs lately. But for me it's a lot harder to accomplish than you might think. Since I cant ollie, I have to pressure flip every trick down a set in order to land it. Lots of times it doesn’t work out. But never-the-less, its intense and fun!
Do you fuck up a lot of sets of crutches?
I do fuck up lots of crutches. Sometimes ill be at a spot an the shit will snap first try! I go through a few pairs every few months. And they’re expensive as hell.
Can you beat anyone you know in arm wrestling?
Arm wrestling I'm pretty good at, because I pump using my arms. I get a good work out.
What’s been your worst skating-related injury?
The worst thing I’ve ever done is almost tear my ACL. My knee was swollen like a grapefruit for a few weeks.
How was Tampa Am for you?
Going into Tampa Am was like crossing a 12 lane highway on your skateboard and hoping for the best! At one point I felt so nervous that Jello legs just took over, and the board was everywhere.
How was it skating in practice for you? A few times I thought you were gonna get clobbered, dude.
You must have missed the collision then. I was going for a salad grind on the quarter pipe and I ran into some kid full force!
How bout your runs? I think you didn’t do much in your first but your second you landed a bunch of things...
Haha, well actually I totally blew those two runs, man! The atmosphere was all so new to me I couldn’t relax.
How’d you feel after? People seemed to be going nuts for you.
After my runs I was so relieved to come out of there not too banged up! So right after that I left the course an got the sickest free tattoo.
Here's Jimmy's second run from Tampa Am '08
Get into any trouble while you were down in Tampa?
Well, if by trouble you mean running from white Dodge Duragos with flashing lights at 3:30 AM, then yes! Oh an there was a rumor going around that I had gotten into a fight with the door man at the skate park.
Wait? What happened?
Well at the end of the night everyone’s outside at the club and a fight breaks out and people are punching everybody, so cops show up in durangos. Meanwhile the Flip team manager and I flee with two chicks we met. We hop into a cab at 3:30 am and that’s the last the we remember of that night!
And what about the doorman?
I didn’t really fight the door man. I got into an argument with him because he told me I couldn't bring my board in. So I said, "If your not gonna let me bring my board in then I’m going to go around the fuckin' back." So then he let me in.
What are your plans for ’08?
I hope to enter more contests and get over being so nervous! Also work on getting some more coverage. People seemed to like what they witnessed!
Also, what would you say to anyone else who might have a condition like yours, or a disability, that is thinking about skating or something like that? Perhaps there's a few people out there, or a lot of people, who think they just arent able to do it or scared to try?
I'd have to say that anyone that is handicapped in anyway should always stay positive! And shit if your already in crutches how much worse can it get? Skate 'till you cant walk anymore!