By Ralph Lloyd Davis
16th January 2006
Between the fashionistas, prima-donnas and straight up bizarre, Pete Ramondetta drops in to the category of a skater’s skater. He doesn’t sell himself on flair or or someone else’s coat-tails – Pete skates, and he skates hard!
This was the second time I got to meet Pete in the flesh (the first being for a Real demo, this time being courtesy of Circa), and he never ceases to amaze me with his calm demeanor yet steely determination. Needless to say Pete holds down his business: He’s about to score a major role in the first ever Circa video, ‘It’s Time’, he’s also working on the next Real video, he’s touring and he managed to pocket some Crossfire dollars at the X-mas Jam thanks to a barrage of tricks down the round rail.
Whilst the kids went for broke on the Gap of Death, Pete and I caught up on things for Crossfire…
So, Pete how are you doing? How long have you been on these cold shores and what have you been up to?
Oh, I’ve been here since Wednesday, skating everyday.
No tourism then?
Nah… We’ve just been street skating everyday. So far, we’ve been to Bristol, Wales and now London for the Crossfire Jam.
Did you get a chance to see any of the new street plazas we’ve had built over here recently?
We went to that one bus station place..? Milton Keynes.
With all the new parks popping up, do you think the next generation is going to be fucking hard to catch up with?
I think so. All the new kids coming up now have such high standards, and they just keep getting higher. They start out way stronger than we used to. It’s definitely because of the parks and videos. They see one another in the videos and think what’s being done is everyday shit, you know?
You’re originally from a small town named Wichita in Kansas. What was it like growing there skatewise?
There are some alright spots in the surrounding cities like Oklahoma and Texas, Kansas City has a lot of stuff.
Ernie (Torres), you team mate at Real, is from Kansas City, right?
Yeah, Ernie lives out there right now.
Did you know one another prior to getting on Real, or was it one of those strange twists of fate?
No, actually I kinda grew up skating with him. I’ve known him for like 10 years probably. He’s amazing! Every time I see him he’s got a whole new batch of tricks to unleash.
In fact, the first time we met was at another Crossfire jam a couple of years back. There was yourself, Dennis (Busenitz) Mic-e (Reyes), Darell (Stanton) and this unknown ripper, Ernie…
Yeah, that’s right. That was one of Ernie’s first trips with Real and he was just psyched- It was the first time he left the country.
At the moment, the hottest thing to do is King of the Road, or something very similar. What was your experience like?
It’s kinda like the new craze every year with each team trying to go for it. It’s actually like a lot of work because you pull all night drives to get to various destinations, and you have all these tricks that you have to do- not really that you want to! It’s fun at first, but towards the end you start to get really tired and you just want to get home!
You’re over here with Colt Cannon at the moment and you have both taken part in KOTR, if you joined forces as the Circa team, what do you think your chances are of taking it?
I don’t know how serious Jaime is with the Zero squad, but I don’t think anyone wants to step up to those guys! (Laughs) He doesn’t even let those guys sleep at hotels during KOTR; they are just always in the van looking for something to skate, so… I don’t think anyone else would take the trip that seriously.
Well Chris Cole just won Skater of the year didn’t he? What would you rather win: SOTY or KOTR?
I’d rather want to win SOTY, but KOTR is cool too, but it’s basically just a kind of contest. I think the fun comes from just taking part and having the experience of being on the road, rather than just winning it.
Did you find yourself doing tricks that you never thought you could do before?
Yeah, yeah! There were these lists of weird flatground tricks you had to try, so you’d just be sitting there at a gas station having a go to try and tick them off the list. But there were a few flatground tricks that I had never landed before, so I was pretty psyched!
At the moment you’re filming for the new Circa video- What’s it like filming with Lee (Dupont) because he had worked with some tough teams in the past?
It’s not like he pushes you, but more like positive motivation. Lee’s definitely pretty professional about it, so if you’re going out with him you have to be quite serious and really try and get something done.
I know he has his ‘Ask Uncle Lee’ column in the Skateboard Mag, has he ever helped solve any of your problems?
(Laughs) Whenever you’re on a trip with him, he keeps things under control. You never have to worry if you get in a bar fight! The dude’s gnarly- He’ll take anyone out! But, he’s really cool, a nice fun guy to hang out with.
*Some kid practically paralyses himself in front of us whilst attempting to bridge a huge kicker gap- The crowd winces in unison…*
What do you think of this: Kids killing themselves? Was it this hard for you as an amateur, or is it still just as hard now you’re pro?
There is still some pressure because people look at you and think, ‘Well, he’s a pro, so…’ It’s kind of a standard you have to meet when people are watching you skate. Of course some people have bad days, and some people have their good days, but there will always be that pressure that people are watching you. If you are having a bad day, they don’t know and they’ll just think, ‘Oh yeah, that Ramondetta guy he sucks!’ But the amateurs need to get the attention and prove themselves. I’ve already proved myself, so I tone it down a little bit, but I’ll still push myself! It’s kind of like you’re putting in the work- you’re out there doing it- but working like that is made a little easier when you turn pro.
*A kid lands his leap of faith and the crowd erupts!*
The kids are crazy, like killing themselves right now…
Yeah, but they are loving every minute of it!
Related Links: Crossfire Jam with footage of Peter