Danny Supa stays on point. He’s always skated with a lot of power and style. Clearly, he has a good business sense, and has taken full advantage of all of the opportunities that came his way. Those factors seem to weigh heavily on why Danny has managed to maintain as a professional for more than a decade. Despite sponsorship troubles, self-admitted lazy periods, and intermittent lack of coverage, Danny continues to thrive and remain relevant in skateboarding. With clear goals set for himself, Supa is ready to be back in the public eye. I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next.
48 Blocks: Where are you from originally, and when and how did you get started skateboarding?
Danny: I’m originally from the Bronx, New York, and I first started skateboarding seriously when I was in Florida living with my dad. My parents separated, and me and my sister went to Florida to live with my dad.
48 Blocks: What part of Florida was that?
Danny: It was in Ocala.
48 Blocks: Did you travel to any other different cities like Tampa to skate back then?
Danny: No, I was like eleven. So I pretty much just stayed in Ocala, maybe Gainesville a couple times.
48 Blocks: Was Tree Fort your first sponsor?
Danny: I was on Zoo York first. But I left because I wasn’t getting enough money. Vinny [Ponte] was like, “Fly out here and these guys will pay you.” My first sponsor was actually Dead End, then Zoo York, then Tree Fort.
48 Blocks: So you actually went from Zoo to Tree Fort, then Back to Zoo.
Danny: Yeah, pretty much, I just wasn’t getting paid enough, and I was getting pissed off that I wasn’t getting paid and I was skating. I wasn’t gonna wait around for guys to pay me. It worked out. (laughs)
48 Blocks: What was it like going to San Diego from the East Coast? What was your impression of California?
Danny: It was a really big change. It was super mellow. I kinda liked it cause I felt like I could live anywhere. Being from New York, I feel like I can live anywhere. It was a nice change from hanging out on the block everyday, and shit like that.
48 Blocks: How did you end up switching back to Zoo York from Tree Fort?
Danny: This guy that had Tree Fort, he was working in accounting. I guess he was writing checks over to himself, and he messed up a bunch of money. Tree Fort went down, and I started talking to Zoo again.
48 Blocks: So after you got back on Zoo you moved back to New York.
Danny: Yeah, I was only in San Diego for a year, maybe a year and a half. I was sixteen.
48 Blocks: Let’s talk about the Mixtape era. I think those videos were really influential on skating as a whole. What are some of the highlights and memories for you that stand out from that time in skating?
Danny: That was definitely one of the best times of my life—the ‘90s in New York. We would just skate all night. All those sessions, we would just skate Downtown in the city all day, and all night. Being on those trips too, those are the funnest trips I’ve ever had skating-wise.
48 Blocks: You were with Zoo for a long time, and then parted ways and went to Vehicle. What happened?
Danny: They had gotten bought out by Ecko. It was kind of good and bad at the same time. We got a bunch of money. But to tell you the truth, I got a little lazy and they were seeing Zered more than they were seeing me. He was getting a lot more shit done. They were like, “We’ll give you two or three months to shape up. If you don’t, we’re gonna cut your check in half.” That time came around, and the photos took a little while to come out because I really wasn’t skating that much. I actually had an argument with the guy from Zoo. He was gonna cut my check, and Anthony and Todd had already left. Well, Todd had quit. Anthony, I don’t know what happened with him. He got let go or something. I was just over it—not being with the homies. I guess I wasn’t skating enough, and just kinda left. I was like I’d rather not have any money then not be with all my boys. Now that I think about it, it was kind of stupid of me to leave.
48 Blocks: How long were you with Vehicle?
Danny: A little under a year, we were just trying to make it happen, and it was going super slow. I ended up leaving before I even got on anything else. Then, the whole Stereo thing came about.
48 Blocks: During that time you also hooked up with Nike and Red Bull, which are really heavy sponsors.
Danny: I got on Red Bull when I was still over at Zoo. I walked into one of the offices, and Jeff Pang was sitting down with one of the guys from Red Bull. He was one of the team managers, and was talking about putting people on. I walked in there and was like, “Hey, I’ll represent Red Bull to the fullest.” We met up at a bar two nights later, then signed contracts the next day. It was like, “Boom, you’re on.”
With the whole Nike thing, I had an old friend over there. I had some bad stuff go down with Converse. I was about to get a shoe, then they got bought out by some huge company and just killed the whole skate program. Everyone’s shoe got taken away like Chany, Felix, and Kenny. I was without a shoe sponsor for a couple months. Then, I got a call from my friend who said he had some friends in Portland at Nike that wanted to restart the skate program and really do it right this time. Once I heard that, I was like, “I’m all in.” I was a big fan of Nike and Jordan. A month later I found myself sitting in Portland with Gino, Richie, and Reese.
48 Blocks: That must have been a really awesome feeling to be a part of that from the start.
Danny: Yeah, it was crazy. We were just chilling, sitting two tables away from Patrick Ewing. It was like a dream come true to get Nikes for free. I still can’t believe it.
48 Blocks: I actually hit Ebay the other day and saw the Supa Dunk going for $1,200. Does that trip you out—that something that has your name attached to it is so rare and valuable?
Danny: Yeah, it’s pretty crazy. A lot of people, they just know my name from Nike, just from the Dunks. People that don’t skate are like, “Oh, I had your shoe.” I trip out whenever kids recognize my skating period. I think that’s cool. It’s pretty sick, but yeah all thanks to Nike.
48 Blocks: Let’s talk about Stereo a little bit. Shortly after they re-launched, they approached you. How did that go down?
Danny: I was on a Red Bull trip in Puerto Rico with Benny Fairfax. Things weren’t going good with the board sponsor. We were talking about Stereo. I was down for Benny and Clint. I was down for Dune too, and Jason. I have a lot of respect for those dudes. I wanted to see how it went. Benny was like “Yeah, we were kind of already throwing your name around. We were gonna see what was up.” Then, a month or two later, I was talking to Chris and I was on – it was just up to Jason to watch my footage.
48 Blocks: Is that when you decided to move to LA?
Danny: I was getting kind of tired of New York to tell you the truth. It was just the same shit every day. I just wanted to do something different. Dealing with the snow and stuff, I just wanted to skate all year round. There’s no place like New York. But I like Cali a lot.
48 Blocks: Do you make it back to New York much these days?
Danny: Lately, I’ve just been going once or twice a year. I’m going on the 9th to see my new niece, and my mom and sister. My sister is back home in New York now, she lives out there. I try to get back to New York as much as possible just because I miss it so much.
48 Blocks: So back on Stereo, you recently parted ways with them to join up with Boulevard.
Danny: Basically, I just think it could have been done a different way. I think it could have been handled a different way on Dune’s part. Maybe I was just a little irritable and that was the way I was treating him, we were kind of fed up with each other. We both agreed like, “okay cool, I won’t ride for Stereo anymore.” I just felt like money was going in places that it shouldn’t be going and I wasn’t getting any of it.
48 Blocks: So what’s coming up with Boulevard?
Danny: Actually, we are working on a promo. We just got some shit the other day—me, Nate, Danny, and Rob. We’re out every day skating. The team rips, and we’re filming this Boulevard promo. It’s going real good. It just feels right. The boards feel great. I get along with the team. I’m really stoked right now.
48 Blocks: What’s an average day for you like now?
Danny: I pretty much wake up at 7:00 AM every morning because my girl goes to work around 7:30 AM. I get up, walk the dog, and go get my coffee. I’ll play a little Skate 3 with Vinnie Ponte just to warm up for skating, and try to get the emails out of the way. I do whatever I gotta do for my sponsors and stuff. Then I’ll go hit The Berrics, or just film some tricks. It’s whatever the day brings. If it’s
raining, hit the park. If it’s sunny, hit the streets. We usually go to Long Beach. I’ll meet up with Montoya or whoever’s around.
48 Blocks: You got to travel quite a bit with Harold back in the day. Any good stories?
Danny: Yeah, there’s some good ones. This one time he started calling girls donkeys. We had a demo in Michigan, and Harold was always trying to holler at some chicks. The demo was over, and everyone was just chilling in the van. He starts yelling out of the back, “A yo ladies.” And these two fat girls were just walking away. Then, he’s like, “ A yo girls.” And they don’t respond. Then, finally, he’s like, “A yo donkeys,” and they look back. And we all just start cracking up. Then, it was like all fat girls were donkeys from now on. Then, it turned into all girls. Whenever we were talking about girls it would be like, “Hey yo, look at that donkey,” all because of Harold. There’s just endless stories.
48 Blocks: Is there anything left that you want to accomplish or do as a pro?
Danny: Well, since I’m on Nike, I wanna get that chance to have a shoe. I wanna get a shoe and work for it, not just ask for it. I wanna kill it so hard that those dudes ask me if I want a shoe. To get a signature shoe on Nike, I’d be pretty hyped on that. I almost had one on Converse. But then it all went wrong. So I’m just working on getting that Nike shoe—skating my ass off for the rest of this year and next year, and for many years to come.
48 Blocks: Is Nike working on another video?
Danny: There’s plans for some filming missions right now. So yeah, I think there’s definitely one in the works. The team is so big. I think they’re just gonna split everyone up. I haven’t heard anything definite yet. But I’m sure they’ve got some stuff lined up.
48 Blocks: What’s it like skating with Paul Rodriguez and the guys on Nike?
Danny: Paul’s super sick to watch skating. Everyone on the team is super fun to be with, and just to be around. Wieger and Koston, it’s just a good feeling. I’ll still trip out. I’m looking at Lance Mountain and Eric Koston in front of me in the tour van. I still look up to those dudes.