Updated: November 4, 2009, 5:23 PM ET

Almost Amateur

An interview with the Toy Machine up-and-comer. 

Brooks By Josh Brooks
ESPN
Archive

Dakota Servold is another one of those kids who you see a lot of nowadays, but if you take a look at his most recent piece of YouTube footage , you can see he's got a lot of potential. He's making steps in skateboarding, instead of leaps, which tends to make for a better skateboarder down the line. Luckily for him, his parent's started liking his bourgeoning dreads. Everyone knows that there's nothing a teenager hates more than his parents thinking the things he's doing are cool, so he cut them. Now, I'm not saying it would never happen, but I don't think Toy Machine has ever had a rider with dreads. It would be kind of be weird. So, when Dakota slowly creeps his way into being an am and then maybe, one day, a pro, remind him to thank his parents.—Josh Brooks

Where are you at right now, Dakota?
I'm in Phoenix.

Do you live out in Arizona?
No, I'm staying out at my friend Aaron Homoki's house. I'm staying out here for two weeks, but I live in Temecula— the city over from Murrieta.

Yeah, I thought you were from Murrieta. But, you grew up in Arizona, right?
Yeah, I live in Temecula, but I grew up in Arizona. I grew up skating here, but that was in seventh grade. Then I moved to California.

That's funny, because I just did a little interview with Aaron [Homoki] not too long ago.
Yeah, he was telling me about that.

Griffin CollinsA poked frontside feeble, non-dreaded hair flowing triumphantly in the wind.
He's a sick kid—nice guy. So why'd you guys move?
My dad's job. He got a promotion and then we moved there for that. At first I was like, "rad, we're gonna move to California." But, I didn't think it was serious. Then, we ended up staying. My life just got changed around. It was crazy.

You thought you were going on a day trip or something, huh?
Yeah, I didn't really think we were going to stay. I didn't really process it when I was younger. I guess it worked out for the better.

Arizona's got a pretty good scene, though. Do you go out there a lot?
I've been out there a lot lately. I've just been trying to get video and stuff.

What video are you working on?
I gotta try to get more video to send to Toy Machine. I go there to get footage, pretty much all the time, 'cause I'm trying to get on as an am.

You're on flow right now, right? How'd you get hooked up with the Toy Machine dudes?
This one day I went to this 13 stair with my friends and I meloned it and 180'd it. Then, all of the Toy guys showed up and I 180'd it again and 180 meloned it. Kevin Barnett [Ed: Toy Machine filmer and team manager, essentially] asked me if anyone was hooking me up and I told him no, so he took down my info and said he'd send me a box.

Damn, dude, when was that? Was that back when you had flowing hair?
That was in, like, seventh grade.

You were in seventh grade when they started hooking you up with boards?
Yeah, seventh grade. I got one package and then I made a video and gave it to them. Then, they sent me another box. Then, I stopped getting boards from them for, like, a year and a half. I was just skating a lot and getting better. I finally made a decent video and then Kevin's [Barnett] like, "Dude, we want to get you on the flow program, where you're getting boards, like whenever you need them." I was like, "sick." Then, I made another video that I sent them recently.

I just saw a youtube video of you. Is that the one you sent them?
That was the one I took to them just recently. Then, I have some new footage right now.

Just packing away the footage, huh?
School was kind of bummer, so I just wanted to skate.

Oh yeah, you're home schooled. How is that?
You just go in once a week and they give you a packet of homework to do. Then, you have a week to finish it all and turn it in. It was pretty easy, but I don't like it that much. I think I'm just going to get my GED.

I had a homey who did that once (home school) and he hated it. We would go on roadtrips and he'd be there with his little packets. Everything he did was in packet form.
Yeah, that's how it is.

Do you take your homework out to Arizona? Or, are you just over it as far as homework?
Yeah, nah. I'm pretty much out of school now. I just stopped going—it wasn't working out. The teachers were like...I just wasn't learning anything. I figured, "I might as well just take my GED and be done with it."

Especially for home school. Those packets don't really teach you anything.
Yeah...just not my thing, I guess.

Griffin CollinsA crooks to float over the rocky roads.
You'll figure it out. Griff [Griffin Collins, a photographer who shoots a lot of the Toy Machine guys. He had a photo gallery with us not too long ago] was saying that when he first met you, you had long flowing hair, but when he saw you the next time, you had white people dreads. Is that true?
[Laughs] Yeah, I dreaded it. I had it dreaded for about a month and a half, but then I got rid of it. It just wasn't working.

What was the reason for that?
I don't know. My hair was kind of getting nappy and I was over it getting in my eyes anyway, so I let it form into dreads and, pretty much, was over it after that.

Were the dreads inspired by Tommy Sandoval or Tosh?
Oh, no, no. I just like to do random things, I guess.

When you turned them into dreads, were you constantly licking your hands and trying to rub it into dreads, like Ras Trent?
[Laughs] Nah, me and my friend, used a glue stick.

You used glue in your hair?
Yeah, I used a glue stick.

[Laughs] That sounds so horrible, dude.
Yeah, it was pretty gnarly.

Did you tell your parents you were switching religions?
They were pretty bummed. My dad was like, "What the f-?" I tried to explain to him that it wasn't even that big of a deal, it was just my hair. But, they started liking it after a while. He was like, "Oh, it's actually starting to look a lot better," 'cause my hair actually started to look more like dreads. Around the time they started liking it, I pretty much cut it.

Oh, yeah. At that age, when your parents start liking it, you've got to cut it.
Yeah, it's not cool any more.

Did Ed ever see you with your Rasta hair?
No, I only met Ed one time at a signing and that was the night I got on Toy flow. That was the only time that I really met him. I think I fanned out and said something like, "Toy Machine boards are the best," and he said, "You don't have to tell me, I already know." I was like, "Yeah...good talking," and he just said, "Yeah."

Griffin CollinsFormer Toy rider Brian Anderson took a boardslide to this step rail. Hopeful Toy up-and-comer Dakota goes lipslide down the uneven contraption.
That's funny. You're getting on flow for his team, but you're still fanning out on him...having an awkward conversation that trails off at the end. [Laughs] Griffin was also telling me that you have a webbed foot. Is that true?
Nah, that's not true.

He just made that up?
I guess so.

I need to check my sources, I guess. Did he say that because you swim or something?
No, I hate swimming.

Oh, so that's probably it.
[Laughs] Maybe that's it. Maybe he knew I hate swimming.

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