Interview with Ed Nieves

Connor Bewighouse and Tom Leary snagged some time with Earthwing rider and NYC local Ed Neives to chop it up and talk skateboarding, the east coast scene, and what the future holds. Stick around to see what Ed has to say.

Ed Nieves. Photo: Steve Kong

Photo credit: Steve Kong

Connor and Tom (STE): Start with the basics; name/age/location?

Ed Nieves (EN): Name’s Ed, my best friends call me Shred. I’m 21 as of two weeks ago. Born in Manhattan, grew up in Brooklyn, still living in Brooklyn in the same neighborhood. It’s chill.

STE : Any favorite local spots?

EN: Owl’s Head Skatepark, now that I can actually skate it, is my favorite place to skate, since it’s right down the road from me and has a sweet bowl. Other than that, I like going to Watchtower, Darktower, and “uptown” hills that don’t have names (which we also don’t refer to by street names). Oh, and the skate from Times Square down to Chinatown is a sick route for mobbing through traffic.

STE: Rad. Who is the typical crew at said spots?

EN: When we’re skating bowls, it’s usually my teammates Andriy Dash and (little) Bryan Sheehy, and local favorite Max Gnar is present sometimes. Sliding at hills and stuff? It’s Kong, Tazer, Jerry, Camilo, Monica, Bryan, Max Gnar, Connor, Parker, other Max… Quite the sizable grom squad (not all mentioned here) with Kong and I playing as the parents.

STE: You and steve parents, thats fucking scary haha. Why did you start skating and what or who inspires you to keep skating?

Ed Nieves doing what he does best in NYC.

Photo: Khaleeq Alfred

EN: I started skating because I didn’t have many friends, and I sucked at every sport I tried. I mean I sucked at skating too, but I felt like it was acceptable. All the old guys who still skate vert are super inspirational for me. I look at them in their cargo shorts, kneepads and faded Black Flag t shirts doing huge boardslides in the deep end and wonder if when I’m their age I’l be reliving my youth in the same way in skinny jeans and a faded Earthwing shirt slashing frontside grinds.

STE: Fuck yea. Pros and cons to east coast downhill skating: GO!

EN: It’s fucking flat, dude. Generally, you’ve gotta go out of your way to get to a good spot, and the hope the pavement isn’t chipseal. It makes skaters more hungry, I feel, because we have to work for everything, for the most part. This leads to (generally) two types of skaters. The hardcore type that takes every opportunity to steam runs and go as fast as possible, and the ones who don’t try to travel and end up putting their driveway out of laziness. Our events are shitshows 9 times out of 10, but they’re always fun because the northeast homies are a rad, tight bunch.

STE: Great answer, couldnt have said it better myself. Speaking of these shoddily thrown together events, what is your favorite event you’ve ever attended?

EN: Making an “event” page on Facebook is not the same as making an event. Most kids don’t realize that, and they email companies to send product to their “slide jams” which is actually them and their friends skating the local hill. My favorite downhill event has been Central Mass 3, because Mike Girard knows how to do things the right way. It was a rad day of skating and lurking, with a closed road and a perfect freeride hill. My favorite event though, was two weeks ago at the House of Vans, because I met Christian Hosoi and he’s friggin awesome.

The ever steezy Ed Nieves.

Photo: Monica Mikolajczyk

STE: Yea I heard bout that! Hosoi is super rad, I’m sure you threw a couple layback grinds at his feet to show him whats good, haha. So who’s favorite downhill skater?

EN: Favorite DH skater is Josh WILD Wright. He’ll charge anything without thinking twice, and slay it harder than anyone who might be there. He’s a stout, strong fellow, and his style is beastly.

STE:  So uhhh, that’s about it…any shout-outs?

EN: Shouts out to Kong for teaching me how to coleman in 2010, Andriy for being Andriy, Babish for the photos, Connor for being the raddest 12 year old, Connor’s mom for feeding me and stuff, Brian Petrie for being awesome and generous, Tazer for never giving up, David Yang for skating with a bar in his leg, and every single Brazlian skater I keep up with on the internet (Marcelo, Rafinha, Diego, the Yuppies, etc) for inspiring me with the seemingly impossible feats you do on skateboards.

STE: Werdddddddddd! Thanks for your time dude!

EN: Thank you homie, gotta skate to the train and get to work. Peace!

* indicates required