I remember going on a Foundation trip with Daniel Shimizu 11 years ago and being blown away by how smooth and consistent he was–I was instantly a fan. Since then Daniel has remained just as smooth but his coverage became less consistent, to the point of being non-existent. He claims Portland was to blame. In November he dropped a really good Nike SB Chronicles part, recently moved back to LA and today has announced that he's officially on Heroin, (Skateboards, that is.). We caught up with Daniel to hear how he turned his life around.
ESPN. com: How did this Heroin deal come about?
Daniel: Justin Roy works down at Baker Distribution and he threw my name out there when he knew Fos was bringing his company out to The States and Fos thought it was a good idea. I didn't have a board sponsor at the time and it just worked out.
What happened with Green & Wood?
Bummer High? It fizzled. I don't know what happened. I stopped getting boards and I stopped getting paid.
How long were you operating without boards or a paycheck?
About a year. Brad Staba was nice enough to flow me some Skate Mental stuff for a while; I was stoked. It was nice being able to ride anything I wanted.
How were you functioning for a year? Strictly Nike?
Yeah and Insight, my clothing sponsor. It was fine. Times are tough for everybody these days but it doesn't take much money to make me happy.
What did they say happened with Bummer High? Most people never even saw the boards in shops.
Dude, I have no idea. I know nothing about the business side of it. I talk to Ethan [Fowler] all the time and it seemed like it had something to do with the other money guy.
It's always the other guy!
It's never our fault. It's always the other guy.
Do you think your gangbuster Nike part is what bought you a few more years?
I don't know. It's not really for me to decide. It was fun to film and I'm sparked on skating again and I'm hyped to have a board out again.
Was not having a board or a board company part of what caused the disappearing act for a little while?
No, not really. It's called living in Portland for three years and not skating as much as I should have. There's a good scene up there but it rains all the time and I just hung out. But now I'm back down in LA and skating a lot again and having a lot of fun. All my friends in LA do what I do and all my friends in Portland have normal jobs so it was easier to not go out and film and shoot photos. What's the motto? "Portland, Oregon: Where young people go to retire."
To kill time while your friends were at their real job did you ever think about getting a real job?
No, not really. I thought about it recently because I have so much free time to fill anyway maybe I should do something with my life. It would be cool if someone I knew had a store or something where I could help out.
How about being a librarian?
Yeah, I could do that.
Now that you're back down in LA should we expect more footage from you?
Yeah, I've been filming with Jason Hernandez a bunch and skating with a lot of the Stereo guys like Clint [Peterson] and Benny [Fairfax] and Raymond [Molinar]; they live really close to me. We just started filming the Heroin video. Not sure when that'll be out; you know me, I take forever to film a video part... compared to Ishod [Wair].
Yeah, Ishod filmed a video part while we had this conversation.
He probably did. We've been on this trip for four days and he seriously has enough for a video part.