Chrome Ball digs deep once again to bring another benchmark interview with an unsung legend. Gideon Choi’s name will always resonate with skaters of a certain era—particularly those of us that grew up owning a VHS copy of Trilogy, and let the tape rock until the tape popped as B.I.G. infamously said. That Stevie Wonder track and switch tre flip will live on in our memories forever. Gideon has been off skateboarding’s collective radar for well over a decade save his cameo in the most recent Tired video, shoutout to Seu Trinh. For his latest C.B.I. feature, Chops provides a proper recap of an under-celebrated career alongside a Manolo remix of Gideon’s greatest hits. The below account of why he rode for Blind instead of 101 is the stuff legends are made of.
So Blind was your first sponsor?
Yeah, but I was kinda floating around at first. Because you can’t really sponsor someone off of a sponsor-me tape, you know? That’s never the most accurate portrayal. They need to see you skate in real life first.
Rodney didn’t know what company he was going to put me on, either. He’d always say “We’re going to find a place for you, we just haven’t figured it out yet. Hold on, but know that we’re going to take care of you. Just keep getting footage.”
Then, I get a random call from him one Friday night.
“Hey, Natas is coming down and he wants to skate with you.”
But the thing was, I was just getting over the flu. I’d been sick all week!
“I don’t know, I’m fucking sick… but it’s fucking Natas. Fuck it, I’ll go!”
So the next day, a mini-van pulls up to my house. I climb in and it’s Natas, Gino, Dill and Clyde Singleton. And just like that, I’m totally fucking intimidated.
“Aw shit, are you serious? What am I even doing here?”
We go skate and, of course, I skate like shit. Because not only was I miserably sick, I felt like a total dork around those dudes. And I’m sure it was super awkward and weird for them, too. Because I probably didn’t say a single word all day. Just grunting at these dudes and probably laughing too hard at their jokes… oh, and hoping I don’t give them the flu!
Now, I’m not totally sure about this, but I do kinda feel like that was a try-out between Clyde and I. Because I don’t think Clyde was on the team yet… but I’ll tell you this, Clyde was ripping that day! He made me look like a fucking chump.
So yeah, I didn’t end up getting on 101.
How did Blind happen?
I had another “audition” with Rodney, Soc and Lavar at Fullerton. And thankfully, I didn’t blow it this time.
Because I was in San Diego and they were in LA — it just so happens that Fullerton High School is right in the middle there, so that’s where we decided to meet. Totally cool with me! That’s my home spot!
I had butterflies the whole time but I ended having a really good day. I was throwing out stuff that I’d never even tried before, hoping to impress them… I even landed a couple things to my surprise!
Read the full interview here.