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Friday, December 27, 2013
Tom Karangelov -- post "Cold War" era

By Andrew Cannon
XGames.com

For Tom Karangelov, the road to success leads back to 2009. After winning the Slap Magazine "One in a Million" contest he was promptly put onto the Zero Skateboards flow program. From there, he came up the way most of the guys do on the Zero squad, silently. With bits of coverage coming out in the magazines and online, he rubbed elbows with some of skateboarding's greats and things finally fell into place. With his first part in a major video, Zero Skateboard's "Cold War", still fresh in our minds, I had the opportunity to catch up with Karangelov and see what he has been up to since it's release.

XGames.com: What have you been up to since "Cold War" came out?
Karangelov: I've just been skating a lot and traveling.

What was the hardest trick for you in that part?
The gap to lipslide on the green rail. There's no run up for it and it's in Newport Beach, so I offended a lot of people. It took two days.

"Now it's all about quantity over quality," says Karangelov in regards to the number of skate videos on the Internet

You had a bit of a different part than the rest of the guys, people don't usually have little intro parts in Zero videos. Did you have a lot of input in it or was that all Jamie Thomas?
I just wanted to skate to Fugazi "I'm so tired" because the lyrics are really powerful and a lot of people can relate to it instead of some stock rock song. Mike Gilbert and Jamie [Thomas] thought it would work well when they heard it. I also picked the Joy Division song because it's really heavy lyrical wise and I always liked that song. I love being able to connect and appreciate everything in skate videos: music, spot selection, editing, etc. People used to actually care about all that stuff in skate videos but now it's all about quantity over quality.

In skating, people wear all black all the time and nobody cares. Was it weird to get backlash from people for wearing all white because they said you were trying to be Heath Kirchart? Was it Heath inspired?
No one can be Heath. I don't think there was too much backlash. I saw it coming though, and no, it wasn't Heath inspired. But it also didn't help that I tail slid a hubba to straight in all white. The person that inspired it actually isn't even a skateboarder at all. I would have tried those same tricks in all white or not. Although the gap to lipslide in all black was Heath dedicated, the Ed Templeton "Jump off a Building" dedication trick was skating the gap to table down ocean view 12, and the white rail in Westminster was Brian Anderson dedicated. They were three of my favorites growing up. You have to have those dedication tricks.

Speaking of favorites, what's the most epic non-skate related thing you and Arto Saari (pro skateboarder) have ever done together?
Chopped a tree down in the middle of the night in a forest. I ruined his axe and he was bummed.

How was filming for the New Balance Numeric video "The Second Narrows"?
Fun! A lot of cool people skating together. And McCrank!

How long did you spend in Vancouver working on it?
A week.

What did you guys do to keep track of all the tricks? Did you guys write it all down or did you film one and then the next in sequential order?
Joe Pease and Russell Houghton brought their computers out skating and uploaded the footage and used transparent tape to mark where the other person landed in the viewfinder.

How did that project compare to filming a regular part? And which do you like more?
It was hard because trying to get a good relevant line is really difficult. I'd rather film a regular part probably but it's good to mix it up every now and then.

Since you got your start with Slap Magazine's One in A Million contest and the Internet, do you think putting parts out online is better than doing it on video? Or do you still prefer the physical copy and the idea of a video premiere?
Online parts are fine as long as they're consistent with the filmers the ideas and vibes. But I prefer physical copies and video premieres -- especially homie videos. Those are the best!

What is on the agenda for you next?
I'm working on a little part for Thunder with my friend Matt Bublitz who is filming and editing it. And I've also been raising a pug.