SPONSORS:Northern Co (Flow)
Age : 27
From : Longmeadow, MA
Currently Resides : Roxbury, MA
Day Job : Global Marketing
City People OG known for finding obscure spots. He’s a true spot seeker and Skrella Door afficianado. Originally from western Ma, he has brought his unique approach to skating to Boston for over a decade.
Lee Berman was one of the original shop team riders when we first opened in 2006, and we’ve always been fans of his unique approach to skating and spot seeker mentality. In this November 2014 interview by Dave Lewis, Static mysteries are revealed, Kangol conspiracies are rebuked, and young Lee learns about being responsible and stuff.
Photos by Rob Collins.
DL: Alright Lee, what’s your real name?
LB: Lee J Berman
DL: Where are you from?
LB: Longmeadow, MA
DL: Alright, enough of the easy stuff, there’s something I’ve been wondering about for a long time. The nollie 360 shove you did in Static 2 down the set at south station. What was your thought process there?
LB: That was actually completely random. It was the dead of winter and I went to that set with my old homie TC Mulhern who wanted to do a switch shovit. It was so cold that I was standing inside South Station freezing my ass off watching him skate the stairs from the window. I saw his jacket come off once he was warmed up so I figured I would just start jumping down the stairs to warm up a little. A few tries later I just pissed one out there and rode away.
DL: Do you still own any of those Kangol hats?
LB: I think you might have the wrong dude…are you thinking of Fred Gall?… Or are you talking about the hat I was wearing that day? That was an old GAP hat I found, 100 percent cotton. I’ve never owned any Kangols, I think the spandex would give me a rash on my forehead.
DL: You just blew my mind. I am pretty sure 100% of the skate community thought you, Shier and Kenny Reed were getting flowed Kangol. Weren’t you also wearing IPATH Grasshoppers or something in that clip?
LB: Ha!! Yes, those were Ipath grasshoppers and I was skating a Rasa Libre board..Man I miss that era in skating.
DL: I saw you playing S.K.A.T.E. with Rob Collins the other day, who won?
LB: Me, I have this window of opportunity of when I’m perfectly warmed up and he misses the switch flip. We finished that game and he actually jokingly asked how many games I thought I’d beat him with a fakie varial flip in our lifetime.
DL: Speaking of Rob, if you had to be stranded on a desert island with either him or Kevin Coakley, who would you choose and why?
LB: Coakley for sure, Rob wakes up and listens to the most depressing music he can possibly find. Every morning its like his girlfriend broke up with him the night before, it would drive me insane.
DL: Would you rather skate like Lee Yankou or Lee Ralph?
LB: Well I’ve skated with Lee Yankou before and I admire the heart and commitment he puts into skating, so I’m going to say Yankou…. Lee Ralph skated for Vision and is friends with the Gonz. I’ve intentionally avoided speaking to the Gonz because I think its always best to avoid meeting your idols.
DL: Lee Smith or Jason Lee?
LB: Jason Lee Jessee, I’d love to do an invert.
DL: Alright, let’s talk Stone Soup. Seems like you had a little concept going there…tell me about it.
LB: I just wanted to put together something interesting and show people there is still a lot of Boston to be uncovered and waiting to be skated.
DL: Yeah, I think you’re known to be a spot-seeker. Anthony Pappalardo recently talked about spot seeking, and Ricky Oyola did as well in his Epicly Later’d. These guys are of the school of thought that the spot is more important than the trick itself. What’s your take on all that, and how do you feel when you find a spot, and then shortly after it gets flooded with kids trying to one-up?
LB: For my personal skating, I completely agree with what they’re saying. For me, I want to see new, I want exploration. Once I see someone do a line somewhere, unless they’re going to skate it in a different way, I don’t ever need to see them do a line there again. I want to see someone skate something new, or skate something old differently. That’s kind of why that ollie up the bench to board slide on the bike rack at back bay station was in my part. I haven’t seen anyone skate those benches in 15 years and its something that every skateboarder in the city constantly walks by getting off the train. Its kind of like a social experiment for me, I get a good laugh.
DL: Right on. So what are you up to these days?
LB: Skating, walking my dog. I work for Converse Skateboarding now which has been a pretty big life change…having to be responsible and stuff. I run now on my lunch breaks, too.
DL: Shout outs?
LB: Skateboarders world-wide.