|ESPN.com: Skateboarding||[Print without images]|
|Zered Bassett now switch flips for Expedition Skateboards.|
Back in May of this year ESPN.com ran a story about Cape Cod's favorite son, Zered Bassett, leaving his long-time sponsor, Zoo York skateboards. I never imagined it would take six months before I was talking to him about a new sponsor. I've traveled the world with Bassett over the years, from Hawaii to Cuba to Portugal and more, and I've witnessed firsthand his heightened level of skating that videos only hints at. I don't think it's a secret to anyone that Bassett is a great skateboarder, but he's way better than you can even imagine. That said, I figured the next day after the Zoo story ran he'd call me and tell me he was picked up by Krooked or Chocolate or whoever -- but he didn't. And as weeks passed, I asked him if everything was okay -- and it was. Behind the scenes he was fielding and refusing numerous offers until the right fit came along, and that fit was Expedition Skateboards. Here's what Zered had to say about his newest team.
ESPN.com How did the whole expedition thing come about?
Bassett: Basically there were rumors about Zoo York going out of business pretty frequently. During that time my name had been tossed around over there at Expedition and Joey [Pepper] mentioned it to me. I started thinking about that more because Joey and I live super-close together and we skate together all the time. And then there's the other dudes on the team who are fellow Massachusetts people and people that were previously on Zoo. All together I just knew a lot of the dudes on the team and it just made sense because I've travelled with all of them before. It seemed like a good fit.
I know you turned down a bunch of bigger money offers from board brands. Why?
Yeah, I turned some other stuff down just because it didn't feel right. I didn't know anybody else on the team. I just wanted to wait it out until something made sense.
You were part of a Zoo York family for over a decade. Was that a key thing you were looking for? A family vibe to a team more so than a paycheck?
Yeah, definitely. You have to pay the bills but at the end of the day if you're just paying the bills and you're not happy it makes your job a lot harder. I'm not one to really jump around teams at all so I just wanted to find a spot where I could find a long future and build and grow with a company that's been around for a while.
You were without a board sponsor for a second. Was there ever any concern that you wouldn't find something that would fit?
I wasn't rally worried I wouldn't find something I was just more worried about staying in The City [NYC] and being able to pay my rent and not having to move back to Cape Cod. So there was definitely a little bit of worrying, but it wasn't about finding something. It wasn't like I rushed to get on Expedition to pay bills. I thought it out and I am very psyched on the whole team and everything they do.
When does your board come out?
I'm waiting for them to send me graphics. It should be out soon.
Was Cape Cod or where you live in Brooklyn hit hard by Hurricane Sandy?
No, we lost cable in Brooklyn for a couple hours but we had power through the whole thing. We got lucky. We had strong winds and rain but that's about it.
Did you go skating afterwards to see how bad Brooklyn got beat up?
Yeah, I was actually lurking around on Instagram and saw this kid posted this spot out on Long Island. Me and my buddies drove out there and drove through every little neighborhood trying to find this uprooted tree with this slab of sidewalk propped up against it. I talked to the kid and he told us where it was and we got to go skate it. There's definitely a lot of new skate spots that have popped up from the hurricane but I didn't realize how bad the storm was until we started driving around. It was a good four days after it happened and there roads that were blocked off and we'd sneak through them to look for spots, thinking it's fine, and there'd be ten telephone poles down with wires everywhere on the street. Areas got really messed up, houses gone, the area where the spot was you could barely see the houses because of all the fallen down trees. It looked like huge snow piles going down the street but it was chopped up trees.
What do you have planned for 2013?
Just go on some trips, skate with the dudes and do a lot of filming. I'm going to film for Vicious Sequel, the sequel to Vicious Cycle, which came out about ten years ago. I think we're going to do a trip for that next spring or summer. The plan is to get a Winnebago and go cross-country and have people fly in and out; a real skate-rat tour with all the homies in the bus.