Influx Enterview: Tim Brauch

Influx Enterview: Tim Brauch

Interview by Josh Rabinowitz.
Photos by Chris Kardas and Lance Dalgart.

Tim Brauch hails from San Jose, California- area code 408. Tim is an advanced skater, a master of speed and precision. He can often be seen applying his technique at various locations throughout the Bay Area...

When did you start skating?
I started skating about 10, 11 years ago-- or even younger than, but when I really got involved, probably when I was about 10, I started learning tricks and stuff. Got my first skateboard from my dad, because he used to skate when he was younger, and I got his skateboard and started pushing around on my knees down the driveway, kind of thing, and took it from there, and just kept learning tricks. So about 10 to 11 years where I've really been into it.

Did you have like a backyard ramp or something?
I started off with a quarter pipe me and my dad made. First launch ramps, small ramps that we just threw together, then we made a double sided quarter pipe. Then from there, me and my friends, one day when my parents were away on vacation we started making a ramp so they couldn't say no. It was already up when they kind of got back. So we had a half pipe but we built it really crappy, so it didn't last long. But I had a ramp. I mostly traveled just to other people's ramps, you know, use other people's backyards and stuff.

This is in San Jose?
Yeah, in San Jose.

Who did you used to skate with?
Just all my friends, locally. When I was really young it was just me and my friend Todd, and my friend Mike, and we'd just skate together around our neighborhood, and the local school, and store. And then as we got into Junior High and stuff, a bunch of my friends, we had a group of a bunch people that now are professionals. Jason [?], Salman [Agah], Sean [Mendoza], a bunch of people that all turned out to be in the skateboarding, you know, "world of today" or whatever. So it's kinda cool. It's like our whole group kind of moved a step up.

Were they your strong influences?
They had a little bit to do with it. Mostly the strong influences were pros at that time, people like Tom Knox. Other ams that just skated off the wall, people like Wade Speyer and Jaya Bonderov. Just the people that were super fast and burly. Like I'd go to a spot, and I'd be "I want to skate like that. Some day, I want to be like that". You know, these guys who would just bust out with all this stuff. So those are my influences, probably. And even people like Christian Hosoi and Lance Mountain, just all the pros when I was younger, I totally looked up to them. I think that's the way it is for everyone, though, that and just the local guys, or whatever.

You have a company now?
Yeah, it's called Este, and it's a clothing company that myself and Salman Agah, we're like partners in it. We design clothes, and do the graphics on computers. Keith Meek helps us out, he does a lot of the computer work. Like say draw up some designs, and we'll scan it in and then work from there, clean them up, and then it turns into T-Shirt designs, pants, everything. It's really fun, we get to travel a lot with it, so it's cool. We've been to Japan, Germany, and Florida a couple of times, just for the clothing, so it's really cool.

Are you guys gonna have a booth down in San Diego [at the Trade Show in February]?
Yeah, we'll have a booth. Usually what we travel for is the trade shows, for like Japan, Germany, we went over there for the trade show. And then we show our clothes and take new accounts and orders and stuff, and then after the trade show is over, that night afterwards, we go skate and do demos and stuff. So it's like, a little work, but pretty much fun. More fun than work, when you look at it, so it's killer.

What kind of music do you listen to?
I like all kinds. I don't like country, classical is alright sometimes, but I like mostly punk rock, kinda hard core stuff, a lot of underground bands that play around the area and stuff. Some of my favorites are bands like NOFX, Green Day, which turned out to be like a big name, but I still like em. Supernova, a lot of bands that just pump you up. I like so many different bands, Bad Religion, all kinds. A lot of them I've liked before they became popular, and now that they're popular, I hear them so much it's like, oh, you know, but I still like them. Punk music's my favorite.

Have you ever heard Steve Caballero's band?
Yeah. Shovelhead? Yeah, they're good. I've seen them play a couple of times, actually. He's really rad, he can play; he's a good musician, he can like play whatever he wants. I guess he just broke up with that band.

Oh really?
Yeah, he split, they're still going. He's going to try do a punk band. We'll support him (smiles).

Where do you see skateboarding going in the next few years?
I just see there's a whole new generation of kids that are involved with skateboarding, a whole new generation, like how we were when we started, and it kind of went through a dead period, where there weren't as many new kids. I kind of see it going to more solid skating, people that skate everything. It went through a period that was a lot of freestyle, which is cool, but now people are taking the freestyle to ramps, and it's just all intertwining, it's getting really intense. Really big skating, big airs, that kind of stuff, plus technical involved. So it's getting crazy.

Just everything coming together?
Yeah, it's all just getting so crazy that, you know, kids watch videos and they're like, "aww, how could I ever do that", but then they start busting out. And kids now, they'll learn like a crazy trick before they learn a rock'n'roll on a ramp. They'll learn a 360 flip to fakie. It's cool, man. When I'm forty or fifty, and I look back on skating, and I will, just be like, can't imagine what they'll be doing. Really crazy stuff. A lot of switchstance. I think that the thing that will set skating apart, with all the back(ward) skating stuff, is just people just using their minds to do something weird. Like some kind of flip to grind on a a handrail or something like that. Just more creativity I think will be what's coming up in the future.

What do you think about small wheels?
Small wheels? I rode them for a little bit, but I like big wheels. I'm riding 55's right now. I think big wheels, you can go faster go faster, you can still do all the flips and stuff. But everybody has their own thing that they like to ride. But they (wheels) are getting bigger, definitely. (smiles) The 39's are gone.

What question should I ask?
Maybe where have I travelled? (laughs)

Yeah, where have you travelled? (laughing)
All right, this last summer we did a tour through Europe, which was really cool, it was me and a group of people, plus my girlfriend, which was really cool. We travelled all around Europe, we flew into England, hung out there for a contest, and then travelled to a few parks in England, took a ferry across to Holland, then from Holland we went to Germany, went down to Barcelona, Spain, France, Switzerland, just through all of Europe, just touring all the skateparks, it was killer, really fun. And that was the most recent trip we've taken, as far as like "the big trip". Every summer we go for like a group of contests that are held over there.

Like the Munster...
Yeah, like the Munster, and then there's this contest at Radlands, in England. And then that's pretty much all of them. There's some small ones, but the big ones are those two.

What about Japan? Are they, like, way into skating?
There's a certain group that are really into it. The Japanese are really crazy about, like, say Americans, and that kind of thing. Japan is so crazy, and the people are so different; it's like culture shock, to go from over there from here. Or even Europe, because there's so many tourists, and, still in Europe, the people still sort of look the same, and most people speak English, but in Japan, it's like all these people, there's so many Japanese people running around, and most of them don't speak English. And it's totally crazy. All the food's different, besides McDonalds, which is everywhere. Even McDonalds had like soy burgers and stuff.

Yeah, it was kind of weird. They had like teriyaki burgers, so it was still wierd.

Did they know who you were?
Some people did, but other people... there was a contest in Japan while we were there, and it was super cool. Some people, before I had skated didn't know (who I was), and then after the contest, some people were like, "who are you", because I placed really good in the contest and people were like, "who are you", and they'd find out, or whatever, and they'd just like go crazy. Like autographs, and that kind of thing, "could we take your picture?" They're like really cool people, as far as like the way they treat each other and all that. But I didn't really see any of the crime part of it. Most of the people in Japan that you meet are just kind of like, "Hi, how can we help you?" Kind of like if you needed help, they'd just be there to help you.

Who do you skate with these days?
I skate with Salman Agah a lot, Jason, Todd, all kinds of people. I travel to a lot of spots. I try to skate different stuff all the time, instead of like one same spot. I'll sakte this miniramp one day, and like Phil Chao and a bunch of other people will be there. The next day we'll go to Palo Alto skatepark, next day to the cannery. Variety is really good, in anything you do, so you don't get burned out on it. I see a lot of kids, just whoever's at the skate spots, usually.

Is there anything you want to say specifically to kids who are into computers and skateboarding?
Sure, I think it's great, that you have other hobbies besides skateboarding. Cause I love to play on computers, I do a lot of graphics, and maybe someday, if youre involved with skating and do computer work, maybe someday you'll be the artist for a skateboard company, and you can be laying out the ads that you see in the magazines. Because it's all done by computers. I work with about four or five guys that work on computers, though skateboarding, they lay out my ads, my board graphics. They design wheels on it. I mean everything you see is on computer. So anything you touch, you know, you look at the magazine, your riding your skateboard, even some clothes I sure are designed on computers and stuff. You know, so go for it, it's killer.

Who are your sponsors these days?
I'm riding for Santa Cruz Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Vans, Speed Wheels, and Este Clothing.

Which is like your...
Yeah, we ride for them, but we also produce their stuff. So it's like a sponsor, but ownership kind of thing.

Sponsored by yourself? (smiles)
Yeah we sponsor ourselves, so we're trying to promote our own thing, which is fun.

Well, I guess that pretty much wraps up. Is there anything else you want to add?
Just have fun, and if you're skating keep skating, and if you're not, just keep doing what you're doing, and everything will work out. That's about it.