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The Original *Useless Wooden Toys



Muck Mouth x New Deal Interview: John Montesi

Where are you living today, and what is your current job?

I am currently living in Odessa Fl. I have been the owner of Westside Skate Shop for 22 years now, with shops located in Tarpon Springs Fl. and in Largo Fl. Instagram: @westsideskateshop

When was your favorite era in skateboarding?
My favorite era in skateboarding has to be late '80s to mid '90s.

Who was your first sponsor, and how did you get hooked up?
My first sponsor was a company called Exile from Valdosta, GA. The owner, Eric Stuck came to a place called Astro Skate by my house for a local contest. I won the contest and afterwards, Eric asked me to ride for Exile.

Who is your favorite skater of all time?
My favourite skater of all time is Natas Kaupas.

How much, if at all, are you still skating?
I skate about once a week.

Do you still follow skateboarding - even if it is just browsing YouTube/Instagram?
I still live skateboarding with my business everyday. I have been blessed to be able to still live it everyday.


How did you get on New Deal? How long were you on, and were you pro or amateur?
I skated in the NSA Qualifiers, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Paul Schmitt was at the contest and saw my runs. Schmitt came out to Astro Skate a couple weeks later. He saw me riding an H-Street board that Ron Allen had gifted me for giving him a ride to his hotel after the NSA Pro contest. Schmitt asked if I was riding for H-Street. I told him no, and he asked if I would like to ride some Schmitt Stix product. I was like "Hell Yeah!" He told me they were making a video and to send some footage and I might make it into the video. I sent in my tape within the month.
About a month later I opened up the latest Thrasher Mag and saw this ad - New Deal “As long as we’re not a rock-n-roll band and we don’t make coffee...” Literally 2 hours go by and the phone rings, my mom tells me this guy named Steve Douglas is on the phone for me, and that he had an English accent. I pick up the phone and Steve asks me to ride for New Deal. Starting Am and then turning Pro, I rode for New Deal from 1990-1996. I rode Pro for New Deal from 92-96.
Best time of my life, traveling and skating!

Which of the videos you were in?
I’ve been in Useless Wooden Toys, 1281, Da Deal is Dead, Whatever, Children of the Sun, and the 1996 New Deal promo video.

What was your favorite video part of yours, and what was your favorite part of someone else?
My favorite video part of all time is Armando Barajas in 1281. My favorite part of my own was my 1281 part.

Best thing about riding for New Deal?
Great owners and company, awesome people involved, being able to pick your own graphics, traveling and running with an awesome crew. Great times!

Worst thing about riding for New Deal?
Can’t think of anything!

Who was your favorite skater on the team and why?
The whole team! Every skater on the team was unique.

What do you think about New Deal coming back?
Super stoked and beyond excited! New Deal was a major part of my life and was such a family to me. I might not be doing what I’m doing now if it weren't for going Pro with New Deal.

Do you remember coming to Newbury (a small town in England that I grew up in) in 1991 with Danny and Armando? I hope so. You did huge ollie lien disasters, and an ollie to tail sex-change drop-in on our local mini ramp. Then you ollied a shopping trolley on flat. It blew all of our tiny minds.
Oh that's awesome, thank you! I totally remember that trip! Had such a fun time on that trip.