Skyler Wilder

Bred to Shred

When Josh Matthews first started skateboarding, he had no intentions of going pro. He just enjoyed it.

“I think he played baseball, like tee ball, but that was about it,” said his sister Kelly Matthews. “Skateboarding was really his first and only love.”

Matthews grew up in a big family made up of six siblings plus his parents. It was a stable home life, but they were, as Matthews puts it, “broke, always.”

One year, Matthews recalls, in the middle of the night a candle fell onto a bed and the family rushed out of the house and into the street where they proceed to watch their house burn. After that the family moved into an apartment temporarily, and it was in that apartment where Matthew’s got his first board one Christmas.

As the baby of the family, he was always a bit of a daredevil living his life out there on the edge and in turn he took to skateboarding really early. Around the age of 7 he would tag along and skate regularly with his brother, Billy. The rest is history in the making.

Take a trip with Matthews back to his hometown of Springfield, Ore., where he says he will inevitably end up back at but for now it simply rains too much.

— Skyler Wilder

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    Skate Dreams vs. Hoop Dreams

    Ishod Wair grew up in Bordentown, N.J., and in order for him to have a life on his skateboard he had to push past a potential life on the basketball courts.

    Wair was constantly pushed to pursue basketball and for good reason. Wair is an amazing player and a childhood friend’s father recalls the days when the kids would avoid the courts whenever out skating. Why? Because if Wair’s friends saw him they would take his skateboard force him to play.

    Growing up Wair’s parents also played a key role in which path he would take. His father, for example, continued to encourage a life of basketball. His mother, however, took a different approach.

    “I believe it is my duty as a parent to find their gifts and cultivate that. You should let your kids tell you what they want to do,” said his mother, Ann. She asked if he wanted to play basketball in high school, he said no. He wanted to skate, so that is exactly what she encouraged.

    Around the age of 12 is when Wair’s friends remember him standing out from the group and starting to get really good. By 15 he and his friends began taking the train into the city of Philly where they would skate all day long all across the city. Wair was on the path of a professional skater but still had a long way to go.

    — Skyler Wilder

    Crashing the boys club

    From being called a lesbian by her friends to getting kicked out of spots by men with machetes, growing up as a female skater in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was anything but ordinary for Leticia Bufoni.

    Bufoni first found interest in skating around the age of 9 and started out by borrowing boards from her friends. For Bufoni, finding support for her newfound passion wouldn’t come without some convincing.

    “Skateboarding was for guys, not girls, so my dad was not supporting me,” says Bufoni recalling the initial struggle for support. “My friend’s dad came to my house and talked to my dad for, like, three hours so my dad finally agreed to take me to a contest.”

    Bufoni won that contest and, in return, opened her father’s mind to a potential future.

    Bufoni was later invited to compete at X Games at only 14 years of age, and despite placing last in the event she was hooked on living in Los Angeles and did not want to return to Brazil. The rest is history.

    Now as she embarks on the creation of her first video part, Bufoni is determined to prove to the world that she is a true street skater and intends to make a part that will be watched time and time again.

    — Skyler Wilder

    Jaws of life

    Aaron “Jaws” Homoki is the epitome of a daredevil on a skateboard. Though, growing up without fear is not as innate as Jaws may have you thinking.

    In fact, it is thanks to Jaws’ father, James, that he has become bold, building-hopping, skateboarding stuntman he is known as today. According to Jaws, his father has always been, “his influence, his safety,” and it is that special bond and support system that has allowed for him to be the person he is.

    “You’re here to live, not to sit on the couch and worry about stuff,” says, Jaws’ father, James Homoki.

    With a trampoline in his backyard, Jaws conquered any potential fear of heights at an early age while training himself for a future of jumping off buildings. By flipping off the trampoline to the ground on a regular basis, Jaws was developing the unique characteristic that has, in turn, propelled his career.

    Jaws has always been recognized for how he has absorbed impact, the way he bends his legs. He looks different.

    Visit Jaws’ parents’ house in Phoenix — across the street from his own home — and meet the parents that helped shape this thrill-seeking skateboarder.

    — Skyler Wilder

    Boy from Brazil

    Luan Oliveira grew up in the rough city of Porto Alegre, Brazil, with only two choices; get out of the ghetto, or stay there forever.

    Abandoned by his parents as a baby, Oliveira’s grandmother was the most important person in his life taking the place of his parents. After she passed away, he was left wandering Brazil with no interest to do anything besides skate.

    Oliveira started skating at the age of 10. After two years of falling in love with skating Oliveira began to compete in every local contest he could enter. By the time he was 17 years old he was on his way to the United States after winning a contest that awarded him and a friend airfare to Los Angeles. His life was forever changed.

    “Skateboarding saved my life, that’s for sure,” says Oliveira.”Where I was born, it’s just a ghetto.”

    Retrace the intimate steps of Oliveira’s past starting from the death and abandonment from his family, to the time spent skating around his sketchy hometown and how he eventually earned his a ticket to a new life.

    — Skyler Wilder

    Dew Tour PUSH — Ben Raybourn, Ep. 1

    Ben Raybourn has consistently broken every boundary that ever applied, right from the start.

    “I didn’t really know what to think of him at first because he was just so good at skateboarding, and he was kind of weird, too,” says, childhood friend, Jake de Los Santos.

    He dressed like a punk, as if all of his clothes were bought at Hot Topic, and to top it off, his trick selection was something out of an early ’80s skate flick that hardly resonated with the rest of the kids his age when he was growing up.

    The skatepark that Raybourn grew up with may not look like much to most, littered with pebbles and only containing a few junky ramps, but for him, this park opened the door to a realm of skating he thirsted for — transition skating. It was his heaven.

    These are the nuances that make Raybourn unique. If it wasn’t for these subtle, or not so subtle, differences there is a good chance that Raybourn’s abilities may have been missed entirely.

    Travel to Rosenburg, Texas, a town most recognized for hosting the local county fair each year, and see how its simple setting placed Raybourn on a path to skateboarding success.

    — Skyler Wilder

    Dew Tour PUSH — Cody Cepeda, Ep. 1

    Hailing from a town with a population of only 2,447, Cody Cepeda faced stacked odds against him breaking out as a skateboarder.

    Getting noticed is hard enough when you live in the heart of Southern California, where the skateboarding industry thrives, but to make a name for yourself while growing up in a town as small as Croswell, Minn., is a feat most would claim as impossible. Still, Cepeda made it happen.

    While juggling high school and a job at the town’s sugar factory, Cepeda received the opportunity of a lifetime when he was entered to play S.K.A.T.E. (skateboarding’s equivalent to basketball’s game of H.O.R.S.E.) at The Berrics. He would have to work his way through a 16-bracket tournament if he wanted a shot at the grand prize of $25,000, but more important than the money was the exposure he would gain by competing against top professionals.

    Fortunately for Cepeda, he had spent his childhood mastering the art of flatground skateboarding and, sure enough, he would need every ounce of ability when it all came down to the wire.

    In this episode of Dew Tour PUSH, venture to Cepeda’s hometown to meet his family, friends (The Crew) and learn just how he turned his small town dreams into a big city reality.

    — Skyler Wilder

    Dew Tour PUSH — Trevor Colden, Ep. 1

    Everyone has a story. Everyone comes from somewhere. Popping onto the California skate scene seemingly out of nowhere, Trevor Colden struck the industry as a young gun with a big future in the space, but with no background as to who he was or where he came from. All skateboarding knew was that there was a new kid in town, and he had the support of some of the most respected brands in the space.

    In the first episode of Dew Tour PUSH, we head back to Virginia Beach, Va., with Colden and friends, so they can show us where it all began and fill us in on some of the details that helped shape him. Find out about Colden’s short-lived stint in school, where he routinely could be found honing his skateboarding skills and his hasty decision while on a week-long vacation in Huntington Beach, Calif., to call his mom and tell her he wasn’t coming home.

    Never forget where you’re from and always know where you’re going. Here is your official introduction to Trevor Colden, an electrifying up-and-comer on the board with a world of opportunity ahead of him.

    — Skyler Wilder