Zero Club | June 2023 | Marc Vettori

1. Name / Instagram Account?
Marc Vettori- lumps_pajamas and lumps_griptape

2. Age?
51 glorious years

3. Where are you from?
I grew up in Newark, DE- although technically, I live a town over now. In Fairhill, MD. An hour to Philly, an Hour to Baltimore

4. What's your history with skateboarding? What role does it serve in your life today?
In the summer of '84, my bike got stolen; I didn't have enough money to replace it, so I bought a Valteera Dragon to get around. I got my first Christmas complete Town and County Quad, Gullwing trucks, and Kryptonics wheels that Christmas.

I skated religiously from 84- until the fall of 91. At that point, I felt like I was the last man standing. All my favorite street spots were a bust. I was 21, and I didn't see a path forward. My local skate shop was a bike shop then, so I got a mountain bike and started riding and then racing mountain bikes. Always felt like there was a symmetry between skating, and picking lines on a bike, and bike driving. We hosted many races that felt DIY, like the skate jams and contests we had hosted as kids felt. As I turned 45, I started to have several overuse injuries. I was sulking around the house when my wife suggested I go to skate parks and carve around.

Skating is one of my life's passions, and I've been lucky to have a few. Even when I wasn't skating, I was skating aware- the bike team I raced on- was made up of former skaters, and we talked about it- "Did you hear Lance is in Nike?" "Dude go check out Guy's come back part- it is unreal"

Skating is a great escapism for me- the few hours I get a week to skate are a chance to recharge, let go of the world, be present, and have fun. I dig learning tricks and progressing, but sometimes just moving around is all it takes. It's this secret world, and it's all happening right before us.

I'm grateful to have developed a great local group of guys to skate with- we came together during covid, as we hit the same parks at the same time, and eventually, a group chat was set up, and shit talk ensued. I am lucky to be a part of such a deep and fun local scene. Several local skaters(in their 20s) were really accepting and supportive of me right off the bat. So grateful for them. I'm also thankful for the internet community, which was more my age and head space in skating. Those virtual groups made the first couple of years back possible. A couple of outstanding Facebook communities (mid-life madness and street plant battalion) were supportive, positive, and informative. I was fortunate to be a part of that SP community which was a fun experience- even if the wrap-up went differently than I would have liked, but always anticipated. I'm grateful for the friends I made in those places, and I continue to share skate stories and jackassery.

5. What's your set-up, including shoes?
My Quiver:
Daily driver is generally a shaped or pop 8.5-8.75 wide, 8.75 slappy trucks, 52mm spitfires. I like a square-ish nose.
The slappy board is 9- with 9.0 slappy trucks and dragon wheels, 52mm
I dig a 14.25-wheel base, but I am not married to it.

I dip my toe in different shoe pools but always return to New Balance.
I'm old and have bad feet. New Balance works for me. 440 highs are my favorites, but
I've bounced around that line; the new 417s currently work well for me.

6. What terrain do you like to skate?
I skate everything, except for bigger transitions- although I am excited to check out the new section of Killar pillar at FDR) and it is GIGANTIC. I joke that my style is slow and low- but I love mini ramps, banks to ledges, and curbs; I'm god awful at bowls because I try to turn them into mini ramps- but they are really fun to skate.

7. What stokes you out in skating?
Just being able to skate is so amazing. I never take that for granted. I love just getting out. That first run, or first ollie- is always magical. I dig learning new tricks and blasting boneless on a bank. I get stoked watching my friends skate and rip—the joyful experience of pumping each other up and having fun.

8. What could be better in skateboarding?
Skating is rad. I'm not a fan of drugs in skating. I'm not anti-weed; lord knows I'll have a few beers from time to time. (including working on this interview) But I feel like we repeatedly watch the same true-life rock and roll story and don't learn a damn thing from it. I don't know that I have the answer, but it super bums me out to see a kid show up to the park super stoked on skating/riding, and a few years later, they are just gray and just seem to come to the park to get fucked up. Too much Hell Ride, and at this point, don't we all know how that story ends?

9. What inspires you in skateboarding and life?
My wife is my biggest inspiration. I appreciate her humor, her creativity, and her toughness. I have been lucky to have amazing parents and mentors – I'm pretty reflective, so I appreciate that feedback. Skating-wise, I enjoy Insta and Facebook, mostly watching my peers or age group – as I find that relatable. I think that informs my skating…

10. What bands/music do you like?
Country music is the reason for the decline of Western civilization.
It's easy for me to fire up a bunch of the Clash, Devo, Love and Rockets and see where that leads me in the Spotify world. I'll admit to having nasty anxiety issues throughout the pandemic (who didn't?) I started listening to kinder, more gentle music- Jack Johnson, Ryan Adams, Dave Mathews, and Marcus Mumford-

11. What makes you laugh?
I try to lead with kindness and humor and a smile generally. I'm so over that tough guy schtick from when we were kids. I tend to crack jokes or lighten the situation whenever possible. In general, I try to be positive and avoid falling into that trap of cynicism and pessimism.

12. Favorite books/movies/tabloids?
I'm embarrassed about the lack of books I have read lately. I read Johnny Marr's Set the boy free, Bob Dylan's Anatomy of Modern Song, and 1000 Skateboards – all fun. Maybe that's why I got kicked out of the English Education Program in school. Closer magazine is the shit.

13. Major injuries?
I nurse many bumps and bruises and some overuse injuries in my knees from a lifetime of overdoing it. I tore my calf muscle last summer, which had me sidelined for a few months. All things considered, I don't have much to complain about in this area for sure.

14. Outside of skating, any other passions/interests?
I still really enjoy mountain biking and watching cyclocross. I've been running a bit lately. I am trying to be more balanced than I have at other times. Echoing what I think several folks have said here – the older I get – the more I realize I need to do other things to continue to skate the way I want. Skating is really the best. Ultimately nothing compares.

15. Skating as a kid vs. skating as an adult over 40…talk about the differences and similarities.
The joy of learning, moving, and looking at the world is very much the same. I was a big fish in a small pond as a kid- I built up some weird pressures on myself that took away from the joy a bit at the end. These days I always make sure to enjoy the session and get after it- no pressure- as a kid, I may have taken it for granted a bit- these days, I never take it for granted; I'm grateful for every session- I only have a few hours a week to skate, and I want to be thankful for those and make the most of it.

16. Favorite skate videos?
I dig watching insta edits of my friends and peers. Label Kills is my favorite. The worble stuff always gets me hyped to skate.

17. Favorite skaters?
Jason Adams, Lance Mountain, John Lucero, Ray Barbee, Ace Pelka, Cookie Colburn, Nora

18. Favorite skate graphics? Worst skate graphics?
Not sure I have a favorite. Blender stuff is always fantastic. I love the current Dan Drehobl shaped board, but damn, the graphic is ugly- the shape is rad.

19. Who should we interview for the next episode of the Zero Club?
Cookie Cat and Alain!

20. Last words?
Thanks for the opportunity to share a little of my story, and thanks for all the inspiration and support.