Zero Club | July 2022 | Irving Savage

1. Name / Instagram Account?

Irving Savage/Thosser
Insta: @sk8chimp
Tiktok: @greatsk8ape

2. Age?


3. Where are you from?

Born in New Jersey but lived all over. Grew up bouncing between Arizona and Florida mostly.

4. What’s your history with skateboarding?

I got my first Free Former board around '83 as a hand me down. I rode it till the wheels would no longer turn. In '84 I got my first real skateboard, a pink Lester splash and I was obsessed. I was pretty serious about it and sought out sponsors. I tried to be competitive in my teens but never got anywhere. After that it was off and on until my late 30's and needed an outlet for stress so I picked it back up. The last 9 years it's become a permanent part of my life again.

5. What role does it serve in your life today?

After family it is top of the list. It keeps me healthy and motivates me to be better. I eat healthier and take better care of my body in hopes of keeping the wheels down longer. I have lost a ton of weight and in general feel better and stronger. I have the energy to run around with my kids and play. My youngest has picked it up and we have a mini ramp in our workspace to help with the Portland weather. My wife is very supportive and skateboarding is just a part of life around here.

6. What’s your set-up, including shoes?

I ride a hand pressed 8.5 pop with a squared off nose. I make my own board on a small press in my basement. Independent hollows, Mob Grip, Spitfire Formula 4 Grosso Mashup 56mm 99a and Superfly Speedball Bearings.

I have had the same trucks for around 6 years now and the same wheels and bearings for 4. My decks usually last me around 6 months. As far as shoes go, I have super wide Hobbit feet and nothing really fits me. The Vans Docket shoe is pretty wide and I have been using them for years. I had to start ordering them on eBay since they got dumped a while ago. I keep a pair just for skating and don’t wear them walking around. I don’t care for change in my setup at all so I try to use gear until it is completely useless and falling apart.

7. What terrain do you like to skate?

Mini ramps and small flow parks/ bowls. I used to skate vert and large stuff but as I got older the fear of heights turned into vertigo and anything over 6 feet off the ground and I get dizzy and can’t focus. Just looking up from the flat in larger transitions can make me feel like I'm gonna lose my balance.

8. What stokes you out in skating?

EVERYTHING but the misplaced hatreds. I love the petty hating on brands and pro skater/styles, shoes, wheel color etc. but I can’t stand all the directed hate because of gender, race or orientation. We can find common ground agreeing that black wheels are just gross and move past the shit that doesn’t matter like who you want to fuck or not.

9. What could be better in skateboarding?

Skateboarding is perfect. It is one of the few truly subjective things in this world and if there is something you don’t like about it, you are doing it wrong or looking in the wrong direction. I skate to escape and to recenter myself. It’s a fantasy world that exists just to entertain us. How could anything possibly be better?

10. What inspires you, in skateboarding, and life?

Progression. Moving forward and feeling like I am constantly learning or doing. Having kids and a family is great source for that, watching them grow and learn is the best. My kids are so much better at things than I am and it is so amazing to see what they are capable of.

11. What bands/music do you like?

Propagandhi, Clutch, Melvins, Stereotyperider, NOFX. I also dig a lot of the alternative stuff from the 80’s and electronica but mostly punk with either a funny message or political theme.

12. What makes you laugh?

Everything, I am either spastic and laughing or frustrated and cussing…. The best is laughing at the stuff that almost caused severe bodily harm.

13. So, you started ODSC. How did that come about?

I moved from Tucson, Arizona to Aurora, Colorado and had a super hard time meeting people to skate with. I interacted on FB with the guys from CC Texas, mainly the Godfather Arnold and the first chapter of ODSC. I ended up starting a Denver chapter so when I did meet someone, I could tell them how to find me and some other dudes to skate with. I believe I did some shirts for Arnold somewhere in there and ended up printing a small batch of the “Shut up and Skate” stickers. We gained around 100 followers in the Denver group and it turned into a huge group of guys that now take family vacations together and do skate camps. We even built 21 boards one xmas and set up a skate program for some kids in transitional housing. Denver has an amazing skateboarding scene.

The large group is a funny story: When a massive skateboard group was hijacked by the Rad Railz guy he ended up booting like 5000 members for some reason. Like half the group got blocked and couldn’t find the group anymore. My wife suggested I start a new group with the same exact name and see if I can pick up the stragglers looking for the old group. We got like 1000 members the first day and it ended up being the best people from the original group. Turns out the dude that booted everyone was a total kook and all the people he didn’t like were super active in skateboarding and on social media.
After talking to Arnold for a bit we decided to do a little branding and changed the name to ODSC. I operate a clothing business with my wife and just used our shirts and equipment to start making shirts and stickers. We make a point to donate by giving away boards and shirts. We have also done a few raffles over the years to help some members and their families in time of need.

14. There are like other ODSC chapters and stuff, correct? Are you, like, a cult leader? Should we be concerned?

We do have a few local chapters; I lose track if they don’t stay active. The chapters need one guy pushing to make it really work and so far Phoenix, Denver and Texas have taken off. I wish we had cult like numbers, just not enough old dudes out there to drink all the Kool-Aid. I wonder what the minimum order on robes would be for a bulk discount.

15. Favorite books/movies/tabloids?

Anything Marvel or Star Wars seems to be amazing, what a great time to be a nerd. I used to read a lot but don’t have time for it now. I just cruise around social media and read articles that interest me when I have time.

16. Major injuries?

Too many to list. I just recovered from a Grade 2 MCL, that sucked. I once ripped off my big toenail inside my shoe slamming on a rail. I kicked the ground so hard that it popped off the toenail and left a permanent flat spot on the toe. That was probably the most intense pain I have ever felt. I ended up tearing my labrum by throwing my board so hard because I was freaking out over the pain. I get hurt a lot but that is just part of it, right?

17. Skating as a kid vs. skating as adult over 40…talk about the differences and similarities.

Back then it was all about proving yourself, if you didn’t have at least one trick that nobody else could do you were snubbed. Now you get extra points for showing up early to sweep and everyone is just stoked to be there. I hated the way things were and always felt like an outsider to the culture. Skating is so much better at this age because the stoke is coming from such a deeper place and all the people out there know we have just a short amount of time left rolling so they want to make the best of it.

18. Favorite skate videos?

I love the Bones Brigade stuff and Video Days but most skate videos go over my head and I lose interest. I like the modern social media format of just bangers or a couple quick hits then move on.

19. Talk about cargo shorts.

The situation fucking sickens me. They are all a shell of their former glory. Cheap, ripstop fabric, thinner than single ply toilet paper, zippers and Velcro instead of giant buttons. The entire situation is insulting. I can’t seem to find proper surplus BDU shorts so I am stuck wearing this milspec crap. I feel like fraud knowing these knockoff shorts are not high enough quality to die storming a beach in. I get nods from other dudes in their store-bought cargo shorts and feel like I am living a lie. Target “cargo” shorts might be good enough for most dudes but not this guy. Some things need to still mean something in this world and high standards are important. It’s like I can’t even be who I was born to be anymore. As you can tell this is a very emotional and bitter topic in my life and I think it would best to not get into it if we want the rest of this interview to be civil.

20. Favorite skaters?

Older Generation would be Hawk or Danny Way, Gonz. Modern guys would be Wilkins, Shibata, Flemming. Just too many to list. Skateboarding is such a huge spectrum of things, it's impossible to narrow it down. I prefer park and transition skating because I can understand the tricks. Most street skating goes over my head so most my favorites are the people skating that terrain. Hail Cardiel and GROSSO should be made into a Saints!

21. Favorite skate graphics? Worst skate graphics?

Worst is of course Gator. Even without all the horrible shit he did, the graphic just sucked. I don’t really have a favorite. I don’t think I have ever cared about what was on the bottom of a skateboard.

22. Who should we interview for the next episode of the Zero Club?

The Godfather or Yourself since you seem to have a hand in just about everything awesome in old man socialmediaboarding.

23. Last words?

I am super grateful to have so many awesome people to interact on social media and almost all of them came from ODSC. It is pretty rad that so many of us found each other and created this weird little corner to hang out in. I appreciate all the support everyone has shown over the years and hope it just keeps getting bigger. Thanks for doing what you do BTW, you are the glue holding together quite a bit of social media veneer.