Theotis Beasley was made for this game we call skateboarding. On board, it’s Theo’s flawless style, execution and perpetual innovation that’s led him to the ranks of professional skateboarding.
And when it comes to real life, Theotis is as genuine and grounded as any human being I’ve ever encountered. In an industry where inflated egos run wild, it’s refreshing to see someone with talent and a sturdy head on their shoulders graciously succeeding.
After a few phone tag sessions, I managed to get a hold of Theo as he was still deciding where he’d be skating for the day. Have yourself a read and get to know a true original in every sense of the word.
What are you up to Theotis? Just at home, chillin’. Trying to figure out my plans for next month and November. I have to figure out if I’ll be home or going on a trip soon.
How do you keep track of your schedule? From trips, demos, contests…do you have a hard time managing your calendar? Yeah, I need to get a calendar (laughs). It’s so tough. Like one team manager will be like, ‘You want to go here?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, of course.’ And then I’ll forgot about the trip I was asked to go on and then they’ll be like, ‘Pack your bags and get ready, you fly out tomorrow.’ And I’m like, ‘Huh?!’ And the next one will be like, ‘Yeah, you fly out this day too.’ And I’m like, ‘Whoah, I won’t even be back by then.’ It’s so crazy, I got to get a calendar, I really got to. A lot of agents have been hollering at me. So that’s been crazy. But I talked to Andrew [Reynolds] about it. He said don’t get an agent. You got this far doing it on your own, so just keep it going. And he said he never had an agent, so I’m like, ‘All right.’ I always go to him for advice since he been through it all.
When you have questions about the industry and your career moves, is Andrew usually the one you hit up first for advice? Yeah, I’ll hit up Andrew or I’ll hit up Andy or Kaspar from Nike. Timothy from Altamont. I’ll hit up the dudes from my sponsors and see what they say because they’re older dudes and have been around and know how things work. So I go to them and they always give me good advice about what to do.
You’re such a big fan of skating and the industry as a whole, I always wanted to ask you, did you ever get CCS Catalogs in the mail growing up? Oh yeah definitely. I get the CCS catalog as we speak. I got one yesterday! I went to go skate; I looked in the mailbox on the way out…CCS catalog. I forgot who’s on the cover, but it’s tight. I still flip through them to see all the new product. CCS has like cool flannels and a bunch a good stuff.
Are you still living with you mom and your sister? I stay with my sister her husband, his kids and my niece. We live in Gardena and my Mom lives in Inglewood, which is pretty much the same. The reason I stay with my sister is because when I started getting boards from Baker; my sister saw how it happened. And she wanted it to work out for me. My mom lived in Alabama at the time. So she was like, ‘You should probably stay out here and I’ll look after you. You could do good in school and work on skating as a career. She took me in, got me home schooled, and it all worked out from there. I just got used to living with her for years. And I go see my mom sometimes and spend time with her.
Do you have plans to get your own place sometime soon? I was thinking about moving out. For a while I didn’t think I was ready but now I’m ready. I think I’m gonna try and move out sometime at the beginning of next year and get a roommate or something.
You want to stick around LA? Yeah, stay around LA but on the low because people be breaking into houses.
In your neighborhood? Well around here is good. But my last house, the one I was in front of in an Altamont ad, that one got broken into like three times. It was a crazy neighborhood. So we had to move.
You think they scoped your place out because they new you had a bunch of product in there? I think so (laughs). They’re like, ‘He’s got some boards and shoes, we’re gonna get him.’ It was the corner house and cars would always passing by so I guess they knew. I never knew nobody really over there, just skater kids that were young. Like 14, 15. There was one kid on my block and he happened to break in. I had hooked him up with a board before and he got out of school. And he was like, ‘I want’ to buy a board from you.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, no problem.’ And then I saw this kid outside with a board I had had in my house. Me and the family were all together cause we were gonna do a yard sale in front of the house. And the little kid came up with the board. We went knocking at the kids door and he wasn’t at home and some lady who lived with him answered the door with my sweater on. And I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s mine.’ And she’s like, ‘My nephew gave this to me.’ Well that was tough because I looked out for him and he went and stole from me. Other than that, it was good. But I like where we living now. It’s more mellow.
How did the recent Baker/Deathwish East Coast Tour go? It was really a good time. I was supposed to go to China on a Nike trip with Paul, Omar Salazar and Shane O’Neill and I got kind of sick. I was supposed to go from China straight to the Baker tour. So I was at home trying to get better. Once I got better I flew out to meet those dudes in Philly. The Deathwish team manager, Doughnut got me from the airport. We met up and all the dudes were at a Philly Cheese steak spot. That was pretty tight. The tour was amazing and Moose was like MVP. Every spot we went to he got like four tricks a day. The Boss was killing the demos, Neen Williams was killing it. Everyone was on point.
Were you guys filming for the Deathwish video? Yeah, I filmed some tricks. I think most of the tricks I have might go to the Chicken Bone Shake Junt video. And we have like three weeks to film for that. Every Baker rider is gonna have four tricks in the Deathwish video. I have a little more time for that, but I’m gonna try and come up with four tricks.
When you’re on tour and your teammates are at the bar, how do you stay busy? I’m usually just chillin’ at the hotel checking at the Transworld site, Thrasher, Hellaclips, SkateDaily. Just checking out all the sites. And if I get real bored, I might put on my ipod and zone out until I fall asleep. For a while me and Moose would be roommates, but now he’s 21 so he can go out. I got 5 more months so I’m just chllin’ until then. That’s all I can do.
So when you turn 21, you think you might roll with the guys to the bars? Yeah, just to roll with the crew, just to see what they get into and all the hijinx of what’s going on. It’ll be better to roll with the crew so I’m not bored and just fall asleep in the hotel. I ain’t got no choice right now. I’m stuck like chuck.
You don’t own a car, right? Nah. My sister’s been telling me to get on that for years and I’ve just been sitting around. I actually paid for driving school but I still have to go back and take the test. I know how to drive but not necessarily that good.
How do you end up getting around LA without a car? It’s tough, sometimes dudes from the companies will ask me to come down and take photos for a photoshoot, come pick up boards…and I’ll have to hit up my homie to take me. Beagle will pick me up sometimes. I kind of feel bad when they get stuck in traffic. But I got good homies. I look out for them, they look out for me.
Most recently you’ve been skating some bigger rails. Was that a conscious decision you made? I was just doing the same tricks for a while. And like Chris Cole and P. Rod skate rails so good and that really influenced me. You just want to learn something new. And I was hyped that I was able to put some rail tricks in my part. I definitely worked hard for them and it’s always sketchy getting on top of rails, but now I feel more comfortable with some tricks I can do. It’s a blessing and each day I’m working a little bit harder to try and learn a new trick on a rail. I just wanted to learn something new. I want to learn tranny to. I’ve been skating with Louie Lopez a lot and he’s definitely good at tranny. And I’m going to him for advice. I want to learn some Backsmith’s how Louie does’em. He can get down.
You got a good Backside Heelflip. Who’s got some of your favorite Back Heels? Definitely the Boss has an amazing Back Heel. Like the six block he did in Paris. Lindsey Robertson always had a good one. Those two made me want to learn Back Heels.
I feel like you single-handedly made the Backside Double Flip cool. What inspired you to start busting that one out? Like I don’t ever do regular Double Flips. I think since I like Backside Flips I would just put my toe on the corner and flip’em out harder. Backside Flips and Backside Heels are two of my favorite tricks, so I just figured I’d try them double. It just came one day. I woke up and figured I’d try one.
What’s next for you, Theotis? My whole signature launch for Altamont is coming out with like some jackets, pants, some button ups and polo shirts. Definitely more contests like Maloof. Working on more board graphics. I got a truck out now and they’re working on a wheel for me. I’m just gonna keep working and pushing myself as hard as I can.
Theotis Opening Portrait & KF Krooks by Jon Humphries Courtesy Nike SB.
Nosegrind & Waffle House Photos Courtesy of Altamont.
Board Holder Portrait Courtesy of Skullcandy.
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