Daddy Dave is NOT your typical Longboarder. He is a man of MANY boardrider hats. You name it, he's ridden it: Snowboards, Mountainboards, Dual Snowboards Drift skates, Snakeboards, Wake skates, Longboards, Wakeboards, Surfboards, Body boards, he's even a natural on the Jetski Hoverboard. If it can be ridden sideways, Daddy-is-rippin'-it.
We met Dave at the second annual Skate the Cape competition where he wowed the crowd (and us) with his unorthodox Freeline drift skates. He continued to come to events and became a part of the Faceplant family by just BEING HIMSELF. Over the years we've watched him progress in the longboard community from LDP to DH disciplines, all the while spreading the stoke.
Where are you from originally?
"I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but my entire family is from N. Syracuse, NY. I spent my teen years and graduated high school in a little town called Wadsworth, Ohio."
Did you skate before the Army or during?
"I always enjoyed skateboarding, I had a Santa Cruz board as a kid but I preferred my rollerblades. I was a kid when rollerblades FIRST came out, so there was a lot of hype surrounding blades at that time and that's what I gravitated towards. While I was in the army I purchased my first Sector 9 Pintail but still didn't take it far, I pursued aggressive inline instead. My passion for boarding really began in the Army while stationed in Europe. I was a skier as a child and my first experience with a snowboard was traumatizing, but while in the Alps of Southern Germany I gave snowboarding a second chance and everything just clicked. I enjoyed snowboarding so much the next spring I bought a mountain board with other friends to emulate snowboarding and to "skate" on the gravel roads of Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo."
Coolest Army experience?
"Every day was a cool experience in retrospect, I was a 19-year-old Blackhawk Crewchief living in Germany. I got to do a lot of cool missions, humanitarian aid, Cargo Sling load operations, Insertions, VIP missions, search and rescue missions, delivered supplies to outposts, and of course, my favorite Night time live-fire exercises with NVG's and LASER SIGHTS. PEW PEW PEW... and that was just the helicopters. One time while on duty for securing a live-fire range we had to go to a tiny village in Kosovo. Maybe a few houses, no stores, nothing. There were kids though and of course, me being me, I had my mountainboard in the back of the HMMWV. Even in my 20's, I was "Daddy" Dave, teaching the little Kosovo kids how to ride."
You said you want to help Veterans with skateboarding? Tell me more about that.
"I was in a near-death HMMWV accident while in Iraq. Long story short, the vehicle I was driving flipped and I flew out the door. The HMMWV came to land on top of me crushing my pelvis and a bunch of other stuff. I said my prayers and TRULY felt that I was going to die at that moment.... after a long physical road to recovery I thought my accident was behind me, but mentally, It was not. It took about 12 years for me to emotionally recover from that accident and I feel like longboarding and Faceplant were the Genesis of that healing process."
"I'm having trouble processing the logistics of how to help veterans with skateboarding but am actively seeking a path towards creating a skate therapy program of sorts. I have talked to many veteran skateboarders and we all share the same story. The bottom line is, we were in a bad place mentally and boarding helped. Skating and the associated camaraderie is the Great medicine for the soul. Boardsports are an untapped resource for dealing with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. As a veteran who's been through the system, I KNOW if there were a Skate program for Veterans of some sort I would have Jumped On that and perhaps found my road to recovery sooner."
How do you find time to work, have a family, keep skating and going to all of these events?
"You WILL ALWAYS find time to do what you love. For sure, it can be difficult, you cant do all three at the same time. So I do my best to focus on one thing at a time. Today its work, tomorrow it's family and the next its shredding something. I try to plan skate stuff in advance so it doesn't interfere with work or family. I also have the most understanding wife in the world. She understands that shredding is not just a party all the time but a huge piece of my mental and physical well-being. She Knows that when I say "babe, I gotta go skate" it means "babe, I need to clear my head, get some fresh air, exercise and have some ME (and the boys) time". "
Do your kids skate? Tell us more about what you do for the kids in your neighborhood (give them boards, take them to events and mountain).
"My kids DO skate, but they're kids and its just "another thing to do" for them at their age (8 and 12). I try to be the example and hope I inspire them to have the passion I have for boardsports. As for OTHER kids, here are a few examples of how I spread the stoke."
"My niece and nephews see me as this killer rad dude, they've watched my progression and it made them want to get more boards and try different shapes and setups too. One cruises, the other loves parks, and the other is progressing toward DH and LDP and I couldn't be more stoked about that."
"I watched my High school English Teacher's kids grow up and when her son was a teenager, I gave him a pair of Drift skates. He succeeded in learning them and Since then I've passed on the love of longboarding and snowboarding to him also. He, in turn, got other friends to get longboarding with him and now he has his own crew of riders where he lives in Ohio."
"We have a lot of kids in the neighborhood and NONE of them had a skateboard before hanging around "Daddy Dave" now almost all of them have one. ANY kid who is interested in a skateboard need only show interest in skateboarding and I find a way to make it happen. Bustin has donated some boards to kids, I've bought a few boards and as my quiver grows, I pass on boards that i don't ride anymore, thus, the skate circle of life continues. I see their progression and it's becoming second nature for them now. I've planted the seeds of shred and I just love watching them grow."