Growing up, the first time I saw Paul Rodriguez skate was in the video "Street Cinema" when he skated for City Stars, and then again in the Transworld video "In Bloom" when Eric Koston introduced him, which was crazy because he was this little kid just destroying it on a different level than anyone his age, or any age for that matter. He's a skating machine—professional skateboarder doesn't even begin to describe how professional he really is. He's a pro’s pro. A true gentleman on a piece of wood. One of the greats, so when I got an email saying Mountain Dew wanted to fly me to Los Angeles to take photos and skate with him, I said, “Absolutely not.” Just kidding. I cancelled the work I had and got on a plane.
I arrived at his personal training facility in the Valley before Paul got there, but his manager let me in to wait. Being at his park waiting for him to show up was kind of weird. It would be pretty amazing to have a park like that all to yourself. I felt pressured to skate better and I even ollied the six-stair, which is the most stairs I have ollied down since I quit doing that when I started skating 13 years ago. I even managed to ollie over him down the six-stair, which was terrifying. All I was thinking was that I might end his career if I hit him in the head or something with my board, but then I realized what a great asset to my Instagram it would be and I sucked it up. All he said the first time I didn't land it and almost hit him was "Go faster!", which in any situation is always the best advice in my opinion.
After skating for a bit and making him also ollie me, we went to eat some food in the Valley, and talked casually about traveling and skating and his future plans in the business of skating, as well as his plans for acting someday.
After food, we went to his house and on the way there, he told me that he and his girlfriend had found three stray dogs earlier that day and they were keeping them in the backyard until they knew what to do with them. So not only is he a self-made millionaire and one of the worlds best skateboarders with looks that could kill, but he is also an animal activist who saves lives. Dream boat!
I don't know what else to say about Paul other than that he is the man and it was a total pleasure spending the afternoon with him. Check out the photo gallery to see what went down.