|ESPN.com: Skateboarding||[Print without images]|
|Dee Ostrander kickflips off a bump-to-rail in the deep south of Tennessee.|
Nashville has produced its share of national figures -- be it country musicians, 45th Vice President Al Gore, or reigning pop princess Kesha. But when it comes to skateboarding, "Music City" has yet to create a bona fide star. That may change with the rise of unassuming Southerner Dathan "Dee" Ostrander.
In 2010, it was none other than tastemaker Andrew Reynolds who personally plucked the 19-year-old from obscurity. Since that time, the lanky Nashvillian has toured the United States with Baker, earned a coveted spot on the Emerica flow team, and recently appeared in the video Bake and Destroy.
You know how thousands of kids in random parts of the country constantly dream about one day getting an out-of-the-blue call from Andrew Reynolds? And how next thing you know, in the dream, you're on tour with Heath Kirchart, Bryan Herman, Brandon Westgate and the rest of the homies? That's exactly what happened to Dee Ostrander. He is, as they say, living the dream. When not living the dream, Ostrander told ESPN.com, he enjoys playing the videogame Modern Warfare 3.
"The thing I like about Dee, and really all the guys that he skates with locally, is that they're kind of the hesh crew," says Scott McDade, owner of Folded, a downtown Nashville skate shop. "They skate really fast and aggressively. The asphalt is terrible here. So, they have to skate faster and they have to try harder. You can see how treacherous some of the spots that they skate are. That makes them very unique. You put them in a setting where everything is pretty, like out in California, and they can excel. I've seen Dee do tricks I never knew he could do when he started filming in California."
As the skateboarding industry takes increasing notice of Mr. Ostrander, ESPN.com spoke with him about his semi-permanent move to California, what he misses about Tennessee and his first and only tattoo.
ESPN.com: Congratulations on finishing your part in Bake and Destroy. Was it intimidating filming with Andrew Reynolds, Lizard King and Justin "Figgy" Figueroa?
Ostrander: No. Not really. It was fun. We just went out skating every day. It's like skating with my normal friends, really. It does get me hyped to skate with them. But I don't feel pressure or anything.
Some describe the premiere of Bake and Destroy as a "riot." What was that night like for you? It was pretty crazy. They had three helicopters circling around. And, like, SWAT. And all that stuff. It was weird. That was pretty crazy. They held us in the back of the theatre. Outside, the crowd was super crazy.
How do you feel about your first major video part?
It's alright. I'm hyped on it.
It seems like there are a lot of tricks filmed in Nashville.
There's a few. The last trick was in Nashville. It's right outside of downtown, off Charlotte Pike. I'd been wanting to do it for like two months or so.
It's uncommon for a skater to come out of Nashville. How did that happen?
My brother sent my footage to Altamont [clothing company]. Andrew [Reynolds] was hyped. So he contacted me and said he wanted to send me some boards. The first time I talked to him I was pretty hyped. It was crazy. I didn't believe it at first. That was almost two years ago. He just wanted to send me some boards and see what happened from there.
What advice has Reynolds given you about life in general?
Focus on skateboarding. Don't get too crazy with drugs or alcohol. Just skate, pretty much.
Have you gotten any tattoos since you've joined Baker?
I got one tattoo. I got "F.U. Crüe" put on my leg. Don Nguyen did it.
Have your parents seen it?
Yeah. They didn't care. My mom was down.
Do your parents have tattoos too?
My dad does. My mom doesn't have a tattoo.
What do they do?
My dad does hardwood floors. My mom works for some fishing and hunting corporation.
Has anyone from Nashville moved to California with you? Do you have any Nashville friends or family in California?
It's just me out here.
What do you miss about Tennessee?
I just miss the homies. Skating with my friends every day, pretty much. Quel Haddox. He's really sick. I miss fried fish. My mom always cooks crab legs. I miss that. She boils them. Steams them.
What's the worst part about California?
There's a lot of spots here. And it feels really good when you're outside. The only thing that sucks is the traffic. But it's not that bad.
What's the biggest difference between California and Tennessee?
The local people are nicer in Nashville. Southern hospitality. [Laughs]
Is there any slang unique to the Nashville area?
I don't know. I might say, "You want to bust this joint?" People think this is funny. That's just something me and my friends say. "Hit it." "Blast it." "Blast this joint."
Did people give you grief for being a skater when you were in high school?
Me and my friends were the only skateboarders there. It was kind of rough. The kids from there try and act really hard. I just wanted to skate. I had to get out of there.