The Fisher King
Stereo Skateboards newest rider, Ben Fisher, is a rarity among skateboarders. Generally most up and coming ams throw caution to the wind and worry about the now -- never planning for the future. Fisher is just the opposite: he works very hard on the now, (just watch his welcome video part that's a minute plus longer than what Stereo asked for), but his sights are locked on the horizon down the road. He's currently studying real estate and realizes he might not be the next Paul Rodriguez -- but he'll be able to sell Rodriguez his next house.
XGames.com caught up with Fisher to discuss Stereo, Stacks and the art of driving stick.
XGames.com: How did you get on Stereo?
Fisher: I was on Stacks [Skateboards] and I had skated with Chris [Pastras] and Jason [Lee] before at The Berrics and seen them about in LA. We always said hi to each other and have been super cool. Once Stacks went out of business they (Stereo) hit me up and asked what was up. We took it from there. I told them where I wanted to be and they were down to back me and now I'm here.
What happened with Stacks?
The brand didn't work out as a whole. There wasn't enough funding behind it, there was a lack of people running it, which sucked because it was such a cool concept. But it takes a lot for people to run a company. They tried their hardest but there was too much to handle and it wasn't the right time for them.
Is it trippy being teammates with Jason Lee?
Yeah, it's actually pretty wild. It's kind of trippy when I'm watching TV or a movie and I see his face -- I'm like, "That's my boss." It's kind of a weird concept.
You should make t-shirts that say: Jason Lee Knows My Name.
Seriously! I would wear that. He'd probably be like, "What are you doing?" But that guy has always been super-cool. All those guys at Stereo have always been super-nice since the first time I met any of them. It's cool to be somewhere where all the guys are psyched. We're all just positive and everything is moving forward in a productive way.
Stereo is working on a video. Whose part are you looking forward to the most?
That's tough. I'd be really psyched to see a Matt Rodriguez part. That dude is super-legend -- OG. All the ams are hungry and they rip too. It's kind of hard to say who I'd want to see because they're all rippers.
You're not banking on skateboarding though. You just went on a job interview today, huh?
Yeah, some of my buddies work valet so I went over there for an interview. It was crazy though because I don't know how to drive stick and you have to drive stick in the interview so I was rushing to my friend's house that has a stick truck and he just taught me. That was the second time I'd ever driven stick to pass that test. He taught me in about half hour today and I think I'm up to speed with it now.
My wife learned to drive stick in five minutes. I taught her on the side of a cliff in Costa Rica. I was like, "You can't mess up or we die." So she picked it up quick.
No way! Yeah, under the right circumstances you can learn anything super quick.
I heard you go to school for real estate?
Yeah, I go to school for real estate right now. I have a couple buddies who are doing that and they've been coaching me.
Who do you think you are? Richard Mulder?
Well, yeah. He owns Heelbruise and he's the one that got me into it. I skate for Heelbruise and they share an office with Richard's mentor for real estate and he's been teaching me as well. So yeah I am trying to be the next Richard Mulder.
You know what ABC means?
Always be closing! Is that the career goal, more so than being a pro skater?
It would be cool to be a pro skater but it is also cool to be realistic. I've seen it happen too many times with dudes putting everything on the line and then five years later they end up broke with no future and they don't know anything else other than what they learned in skating. I'm not banking on that. I'm not going to put all my eggs in one basket.
Maybe your shtick could be Ben Fisher: Skateboarding Real Estate Guy. And you could skate up in your suit to show houses.
Yeah, if I wasn't selling houses that were worth a lot of money it might work but they'd probably think I'm an idiot if I rolled up on a skateboard like, "Are you serious right now?" It's a funny concept for sure.
Would you give Jason Lee a break on a house if he wanted to buy one?
I would give him the same rates I'd give everyone else but I would do the best job I could, that's all I could say.
How long did it take you to film this welcome video part?
About four weeks.
Stereo told me they asked for two minutes and you insisted on three and a half.
Yeah, if I'm going to have a part and I'm going to try and make an impression I'm not going to half-ass it, especially if I'm capable of doing it. Why would I not step up to the plate and take the initiative? I'd rather have a part I'm satisfied with and have more footage that actually shows I'm skating then a two-minute video with clips from the past that are really old. I'd rather have some fresh stuff come out with Stereo boards.
What's the rest of the year looking like for you?
That's a good question. Finish up my school and then hopefully sell some properties and buy some properties and keep on skating. It's tough to tell -- I don't even know what next week is looking like.