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Matt Rodriguez - Chrome ball interview #134

Chops and Mr. Sunshine talk hot sauce. 

So your loose trucks are the stuff of legend, but before we get into that, I have another set-up related question.... grip over bolts? Why?


(laughs) I don’t know if I saw someone do it or what, but I just like it. And I’ve been doing it for a long time, too. I want to say since right around the time I turned pro. I just like the way it looks and feels.


How so?


It feels smoother, for some reason. And honestly, I just got sick of looking at my bolts. They look lame to me... they’re kinda distracting. This way, it makes my board feel more like a hovercraft. (laughs)

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And you’re still cutting your bushings in-half? Just the top one or both bushings?


Both bushings.


Yeah, still doing it. Still making my situation harder than it has to be.


There are pros and cons to it, though. Because with tighter trucks, you definitely have more pop and your tricks level out a lot easier. But you don’t have that instant carve. Looser trucks make me feel like I’m more embellished in my grinds or whatever. It’s definitely harder for flatground tricks, but I love that cruisey, carvey feeling... and the way it rattles. It sounds like it’s fuckin’ broken. It’s a good sound effect.


One thing you gotta remember is that it also makes me feel heavier on my board. Because I’m super light, man. Fucking featherweight with popcorn legs. So when I ride someone else’s board with tighter trucks, I can feel how light I am. I don’t feel like I have the weight to lay into things. Because I’m only a buck 25... I’m the same weight I was when I was seventeen. I got a little beer belly now but that’s about it.


But how did you come up with the idea to cut your bushings?


It just popped into my head one day. Because you can only ride your trucks so loose until the bolt rattles off. And that’s what I did for a while, just tighten it back up with my hand. But shit would come off in mid-air sometimes, you know? It’s no fun landing on your kingpin. So fuck that, I started chiseling my bushings down with a razor blade so I could tighten the bolt better, to where it’s more secure but still dangly as fuck.  


But it has to make things harder, why not just try harder tricks?


Everything’s hard! It’s funny because people will tell me that I did something “effortlessly” or whatever. Nah, shit takes work.


For whatever reason, I’m doing this to myself. Making it harder. Because I don’t want any help. With tighter trucks, you have that tension from rail-to-rail. But when your trucks are this loose, all you really have is the beam going down the middle of the baseplates. You have to be more on-point, but I like the challenge. Like, fuck that, don’t help me. I want my shit fucked. I want to be wondering how I’m even landing this shit... I guess it’s just a suffer mentality. (laughs)

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