Turning pro is a huge enough transition but Coda Skateboards‘ Pat Galloway added moving to back Michigan from NYC as the cherry on top of major life changes. We talked about what it was like having the whole Coda crew head out to surprise him. Pat also had a lot to say about living in Michigan, new projects he’s working on, and Pat Smith‘s pet lobster.
You recently moved back to Michigan from NYC. How long were you a resident of the big city?
I lived in NYC for 5 years.
What brought on the move to Michigan? How’s life there compare to your NYC days?
I wanted to move back to Michigan to be closer to my family and to try to save some money, rather than spend it all. I thoroughly enjoyed spending it all in NYC though. It was a tough decision for the ex-lady and I to make, but we headed back and I’m glad to be here. Life is nice in Michigan. I can feel the city vibes but then be surrounded by wilderness in a matter of minutes. The skate scene is thriving.
Now that you’re back there, can we expect a follow-up to Bottle Commander?
Well, my Bottle Commander part was put out through the homies’ old website called the beerics (our spoof on the berrics) which has kind of fizzled out since then. It was a super fun website that was masterminded by my BushwackedSkateMafia dudes in Chicago. I’ve put out a few parts since then. So no follow up to the Bottle Commander per say, but I am definitely out filming, attempting to get clips for a new Coda video.
I heard the Coda dudes brought you quite the surprise when they turned you pro. Can you tell us a little about that?
Yes, it was so rad. Basically, I knew very few details about some of my buddies coming out for a trip to Detroit from NYC this summer. Pat was extremely vague with what their trip entailed and who would be coming through. When they were getting into Detroit, I told them to link up with us at this skatepark. Suddenly, I see a big white van pulling up. My friend Bobby was driving and I caught glimpses of a bunch of different homies in the van. The majority of the Coda team, and about 7 of my close friends poured out and we proceeded to hug, scream, shred, and cheers beers. I was truly surprised and fucking hyped. The rest of the weekend consisted of more good times and me being surprised again by seeing my boards on the wall at PLUSkateboarding. We skated and celebrated. It meant so much to me.
Name 5 top things people should do on a skate trip to Michigan:
1. Skate Northwestern High School in Detroit
2. Skate The Wig
3. Go to Plus
4. Jump in a lake
5. Go to the Motown Museum
How is riding for Coda different from other sponsors?
To me, riding for Coda is a mix between an ongoing art project and family vibe business endeavor. Pat gives us creative control and encourages our input on all decisions. Whether it’s suggesting an artist for graphics, or deciding to hook someone up, all ideas are welcome.
In the Project Pat edit, you skate this pretty fun looking DIY spot, what’s your favorite DIY of all time?
That was Junk Spot in Jersey City which was super fun, but I believe it’s gone now. I always really liked Shorty’s but I never really got to skate there because the two times I went, I was recovering from knee surgery. We’ve got some good ones here in Michigan. Clemente Park in Grand Rapids is sick. My favorite DIY spot is definitely The Wig, here in Detroit. My friends started building it when I was still living in NYC, but I’ve been able to help out and build some stuff since I’ve been back. Now I live a block away and skate it all the time. Good vibes.
Sometimes I enjoy the work and exploration just as much as the skating.
Speaking of DIY, Coda has become known for it’s spot building projects. What part have you played with that aspect of the brand?
I’ve given a helping hand here and there on a few DIY parks and spots, but definitely need to contribute more and continue to pay my dues. My buddy, Evan, always takes me around to crazy buildings in Detroit and we put in some good work to make spots skateable. Sometimes I enjoy the work and exploration just as much as the skating. Jerry Mraz is the godfather of that shit. Legend.
You got any good Pat Smith stories for us?
One time we were in upstate New York on a trip and went to a store for some food and beer. I was driving my car back to our camp/skate site and realized Pat had bought a live lobster. For a minute or two he had it contained in a large metal pot. The next thing we knew, that lobster was roaming free crawling on dudes and secreting some sort of black goo. At one point, the lobster was on my front console. It had me freaking out as I was trying to drive. He cooked it over a fire and had it for dinner.
that lobster was roaming free crawling on dudes and secreting some sort of black goo
With you turning pro, Coda has a pretty stacked team right now. Will there be a full-length video or any other projects coming soon?
We’ve got some rippers on the squad for sure. We’re working on a promo video right now that will be coming out this winter.
Sounds good. Finally, any thank you’s or shout outs?
Big thanks to Pat Smith, Rob Woelkers at PLUSkateboarding, and Paul Shier at adidas. Shout out to all my friends and family and to anyone who points a camera at me. Much love.