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Monday, November 8, 2010
Updated: November 10, 3:01 PM ET
Ploesser leaves nest for High Five


Last Spring Steve Nesser left his long-time board sponsor, Tony Hawk's Birdhouse skateboards, to ride for artist Todd Bratrud's fledgling brand, The High Five. For Nesser, the move made some sense. Bratrud and Nesser have been close friends for decades and Nesser still had a solid paycheck from IPath coming in as well as a stake in his skateshop, Familia to keep him afloat. This past weekend, another Birdhouse rider, Randy Ploesser also flew the coop to ride for The High Five. Ploesser has no lucrative shoe deal or notable outside source of income. So why would young Ploesser opt to leave the nest for The High Five? We spoke to him to find out.

Randy Ploesser ollies out to stall on the beam at left and smiles at right.

How'd this switch to The High 5 come about?
Steve Nesser pretty much put me in a headlock and made me do it, more or less. It was something that we talked about when they were first getting the brand together. Things were going pretty well with Birdhouse but I was never super happy with the look of the company or the graphic identity, which is something I always wanted to be more involved with. Basically it came down to me going on this Midwest tour or not and I opted not to and told them I was gonna ride for The High 5. It wasn't really a big deal; no hard feelings.

Did you have to tell Birdman [Tony Hawk]?
I did have to tell Birdman; over email because he was traveling at the time. He was super cool about it. I think he got it. He knows what its like. He has had to switch companies and do his own thing multiple times to get to where he's at. I don't think there were any bad feelings there.

You talked about wanting to be apart of the graphic look. Todd Bratrud is a great artist. Is he going to let you have any say in that?
It's just about being able to throw out ideas and know that he'll be down for them or at least work with me a little closer; that was never really an option at Birdhouse at all. It's kind of cool to have a feeling of really being a part of something as opposed to being a cog. I don't know if my skating really ever translated that well with what we did at Birdhouse so it should be a better fit for me, for sure.

Everybody on the team is from the Midwest. Is The High 5 secretly an anti East and West Coast company?
Ha! No. We have Preston Harper from Arizona.

Randy slides a frontside boardslide across a doubleset rail.

There's no beach in Arizona.
That's very true. But there's a lot of sand. I think it's just because Todd is from the Midwest and a lot of the people he put on straight off were his homies from the Midwest. It makes me feel more comfortable, too because I'm pretty much located in the Midwest at all times anyway.

Nowadays people have welcome videos of skating. You had a welcome horror movie. Why and what were you thinking?
We sort of winged it with that one. We were all sitting around one night close to Halloween and we didn't know what was going to come of it but it came together and turned out pretty funny. I like doing stuff like that. I'd rather have that than some boring intro video that you see every single day nowadays with some dude holding his board, sitting on a curb, taking some pushes through traffic.

Are you related to KRS-One? Because you have his nose.
No, but I think Frank Gerwer is though. No, I don't even know what KRS-One's nose looks like at all but I have a shnoz. I do. I know.

Is it true that St. Louis has the best ribs?
It's a toss up between Kansas City and St. Louis but yeah. There are some good spots, man. If you ever go to St. Louis, go to Pappy's Smoke House. It's slamming.