Greg has worked his way up into the ranks of being one of the Almost Skateboard Teams top riders with his unique flair and big balls. Zac went to meet the Almost team during November 04 whilst they were in London for the premiere of Round 3 and armed with questions from Ralph LD and a few others on the web, this is what went down….
Full name please sir…Gregory Robert Lutzka haha!
Age: 19 years old
OK Gregory, let’s start at the beginning. What was it like growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?
Haha, no one calls me Gregory, that’s funny man!
Anyway, growing up there was really unique and as a kid and we played hockey, we started playing that at an early age on skates and that led to skateboarding, just because the fact I wanted to do my own thing, you know, if you lost a game you could always blame the goalie or something and I always wanted to be a part of something where if it didn’t happen it weren’t my fault, and skateboarding brought that to me, it’s different and you can’t blame your shoes, your board or whatever, it comes down to you and that’s what made me want to skateboard.
It was not big back there as it’s cold and people snowboarded and in the summer you would go to the quarry, and jump of cliffs and stuff. One day me and 3 friends were driving down the freeway and saw the Turf Skatepark and we went there and got into skateboarding. It took me a good 3 months to learn how to ollie at first, but you could only really skate seriously about 6 months of the year because it is an outdoor park and then the park got shut down as it was not as popular as when the bowls were there back in the day. So there was no skatepark in Milwaukee for about 4 years and you would skate in the summer and snowboard in the winter only and then we had a new park and learned how to skate tranny. I like skating all year round now in California.
Parks are important to learn at the beginning huh?
Yeah, everything I learned was at the skatepark, they are very important.
Did you ever get to skate with Paul Zitzer?
I met him and his brother owns a skate shop in Milwaukee that I used to ride for called Faze 2 Skate Shop and he moved out years before I started really skating and we hook up now and then and share stories of skateboarding. He used to skate a barn to develop his skills, a great vert skater and there were no vert ramps in that area..
Is Beer City an appropriate nickname for the city?
I used to ride for Beer City Skateboards, Mike Beer hooked me up and that was my first sponsor. Back then everybody wanted to represent their home town. I sent him a video, they hooked me up, I went to Tampa Am, I ruined myself there on a flat bar, went to hospital. Then the next year, I got back home and there was a pile of boards on my door step and I quit, and they were like “what is going on here, why are you quitting?” and that is when I met Al Partenen and got hooked up on Illenium, then met the Globe guys and it all fell together after that.
Do you still hook up with the Beer City and Illenium crews?
Illenium is kid of retired now, but Al Partnen is still my team manager on Globe. But the Beer City guys are a good crew man.
Steve Firstner used to ride for Illenium, have you heard from him, he rides for Antiz and lives in Lyon now?
Oh wow, that is a good name to bring up! Is he still skateboarding yeah?
Yeah, The Antiz Team are rocking France right now you should see the DVD.
That is ace, he is awesome, I think he is Austrian, he stayed at my house for 2 weeks with s broken ankle or whatever and we hung out a lot.
Why did you quit Krooked?
Ah, man that was a weird deal, you know sometimes things don’t work out how they are planned out to be but I think it’s better off to be this way, so I’m really stoked to be part of Almost and these guys treat me amazingly compared, what else is there to say?
How many times have you been to Barcelona? You state it as your favourite city…
Only actually the once but it was amazing. The scenery is amazing; you can cruise around there with all the spots. There are signs that say “no soccer” but you can skateboard, it’s great! One of my favourite spots out there was the Library, the ledges were cool, manual pads and they even had a graffiti area where you can share your artwork, it was pretty unique. Europe is amazing.
What do you do when you can’t skate?
Oh tough question..when I get hurt I play pool, go to the beach, hang with friends, hit the quarry back at home, snowboard and stuff like that.
You like to snowboard?
Yeah, I like to cruise, not really tricks as such, I can do them but cruising around is so much fun.
Do you ever get tired of being referred to as The Lutzka?
Oh man! At the beginning it was weird but I don’t mind it I guess.who gave me that name? I think it was Burnett in an interview.
So would you go down on Paris Hilton?
haha! Oh jesus! I think I might have to, don’t tell Chad!!
What’s your approach to contests? You’ve won loads, and skated in loads too…
When I ride contests I just try not to think about it too much and mentally return to the skatepark at Milwaukee, blank out the people around me with a little help from my headphones.
You enjoy riding in headphones because I can’t do that?
Yeah, some people freak out and they can’t hear their board, it makes me relax and I can do my own thing.
What do you listen to whilst you skate then?
I like a lot of different music really. I like a lot of classic rock, a lot of hip hop, reggae etc
What are your top 5 artists?
Ok, Jimmy Hendrix, I used a track on my video part for the Almost DVD, er. Nirvana, Wyclef, and ah.RJD2, have you heard that stuff?
Yeah, new instrumental album is about to be released here soon I hear. So what are your fave and worst contests?
European contests are great, they are so different to the US ones, you are free to skate there with no pressure, but Germany Dortmund and Prague were great. The worst is probably the X-Games, you have to wear a helmet and it’s corporate hell you know.
What was it like moving to Huntington Beach?
At first I moved there with 2 of my best friends so that made things easier, but getting used to the freeways and stuff was a bit weird but it’s great. I’m by the beach, amazing skating so all is good.
Is Jan’s Health Bar still there by Huntington Pier?
Yeah man!! It’s such a good place, they do the best smoothies..
And the turkey sandwiches are the best you will ever find.is Wahoo’s still there?
Yeah, that place is a legendary spot for food, that is awesome and for a Brit you know where we eat man!
Well I spent 2 months there skating a while back so I should know where the best smoothies are at! Haha!
Do you ever use that little bottle of lube that comes with your bearings?
Haha! You know what, no I don’t as I change my bearings a lot so I don’t need to but you know what, if you use the lube in the trucks and they move smoother, there’s a tip.
How did you once break three toilets in the space of one night?
Oh man, you know what, maybe, after a drunken session sometime on tour. maybe I just shit myself! Haha! (Chris Haslam is laughing hard at this in the background!)
If you had no choice, would you fight a grizzly bear covered in fish oil, GG Allin covered in shit, or Mike Vallely on Viagra?
Ha-ha! If it was Haslam then I would choose the grizzly bear! Definitely not Mike though!
Just everyone that supports me, and it’s a pleasure being part of what is going on right now at Almost and everything.thanks everyone and thanks Zac, good luck with Crossfire man, this was fun!
No probs, you are welcome mate, welcome to the UK!