HT: Happy Tooth is a nickname I was given when I was 14 or 15 and it’s a reference to a b-side sample song from the hip hop group Atmosphere. Originally it was used to make fun of me because I had really crooked teeth and I would smile a lot. But later it became more of a term of endearment from friends. Then I started to make music/started a band and that is the pseudonym I use for that to this day. I skate under that name for lots of different reasons though.

My actual name is similar to other pros, and lots of pros have very similar names that are easy to forget in my opinion. This name stands out, whether you like it or not, and then whether someone wants to refer to me as that or not is also a matter of respect. If you respect someone you’ll call them or refer to them however they’d like. So it’s a good test in that way too. Also if anyone’s ever dealt with a stalker they get wanting to keep their info private.

Happy: Hawke and I probably filmed the first tricks for this around mid-December 2023 and then we filmed just as much as you can in the middle of winter in Ohio until early February 2024 when Hawke had a seizure in ATL filming Montre, and then the first clip back was March 29th, and we filmed from then until it dropped April 29th. So a long roundabout way of saying maybe 2 months of filming altogether.

Fame Vouchers is just me trying to play off “Clout Tokens”, and “Survival Tickets”, two of the last sections we made together. It’s basically saying I’m trading in these clips for my 15 minutes of rollerblading “fame.” Just poking fun at the idea of clout and notoriety in a smaller culture like rollerblading. I already have the next section name as well. I’m a very language focused person, so I think deeply about names and descriptions, and answers to interview questions.

Happy: When I found out Hawke was in the hospital and had broken his neck and foot and busted his head open from having a seizure I was a wreck for a few weeks. You know you care about your friends obviously, but I had never had my best friend almost die before and it really shook me. I’m happy he’s a strong and resilient person who can stay positive in the face of all this because I’m not so sure I could do the same. I’ve never had a friend in a wheelchair before this, so that was new to experience having to get to certain spots and realizing maybe we couldn’t go here or there or that he would need help just doing whatever throughout the day, though he never wants to take anyone’s help if he doesn’t have to. We had to take our time and consider a lot more variables with him filming in a wheelchair. Things like getting kicked out and needing to get away quickly is much harder obviously. Or could he film with a fisheye safely etc. I’m just happy he’s alive and here today.

Happy: I have had a lot of health issues myself that were holding me back from filming to my full potential for a lot of my past sections. It’s a lot to get into, but I had just gotten a cyst finally removed from the side of my knee, and that’s when we filmed Clout Tokens in November in 2 weeks because I was just so happy to not have to think about rupturing something on my body while skating if I made a mistake and fell wrong.

Not to mention several other issues I had for the sections prior. So having a sort of fully healthy body influenced some of my choices. But honestly I have a list of tricks I think I can do that are based off of things I’ve done or things I’m good at and I just keep adding ideas to it while we skate.

Happy: I write everything down and the current list has tricks on it that could rival or top the ones in “Fame Vouchers” in my opinion. But there’s no saving of tricks it’s just whatever happens in that current time frame. All of these tricks for the most part were premeditated I’d say. There are only 8 naturally occurring spots in the whole section. So a lot of them need to be made and that requires some planning. I have a list of specific tricks on specific spots, a list of tricks to try in general, a spot list, and a list of spots to check out. I’m about as methodical as you could get with it. Obviously ideas don’t always work out and lead to other ideas but it all starts somewhere. Lots of it is Hawke helping direct me or pick the right thing as well. We both have to like the trick for me to go for it. Hawke and I just sit around and go, “wouldn’t it be crazy if someone did blah blah blah?” And then I go and try the idea eventually.

Happy: Each of these tricks took me hundreds of tries. It’s hard saying which one was the most satisfying but the ender took an entire day to figure out and we had to go buy a third chain and padlocks to make it work and i tried it for literally 8 hours off and on. My process is pretty unhinged honestly and it only works because Hawke is also unhinged and he is willing to sit with me while I try a trick 300 times and somehow lace it on 301. I push myself to the point of complete physical and mental breakdown often but somehow pull it off. And I’ve done it so many times it’s actually a joke between Hawke and I. It helps having a filmer who believes in you more than you believe in yourself too. The other that comes to mind is the sav 3 sav I did. I landed 4 of them but I tried it 214 times to get it right. And that’s a whole story in itself. Honestly every trick in this was satisfying to me because my stubbornness prevailed over and over throughout the process.

Happy: I’m always very careful now about saying the term NBD now because a lot of people in skating treat it like a bad word. So I say they are personal nbds, maybe they are NBDs maybe they aren’t, but there’s always one guy who’s willing to argue to the ends of the earth as to why it’s been done. It’s kind of strange to me really. I’ve never been a good core traditional skater. I was always good at weird things that maybe weren’t cool, or I convinced myself they weren’t cool at the time when i was younger. I just want to do what I find interesting and profound in skating. I just follow the inspiration every time I go skate. I stopped trying to skate like everyone else and started skating like myself. I am at a point in skating where I’m not even sure what I’m capable of and I think that’s the best place to be. I also have Hawke to help guide me and convince me some things possible or not. Having friends who believe in you is what makes NBDs happen. I also am bad at knowing when to give up.

Happy: There’s so much to this really but the first time I ever skated a chain I was shaking and scared as hell. I was terrified the next 5 times I skated a chain. And long after that. Now though I don’t warm up at all. I am so used to skating them, I’ve skated chains hundreds of times now so I don’t really hesitate. I’ve skated then for a few years so I’m comfortable on them and I’ve been weirdly good at them somehow. I often warm up on a chain. I used to think I needed to warm up but now I just warm up on the spot itself however I can. Just going through the process. I break the tricks down to their simplest forms and build them up. I will do all the pieces of a trick before doing the full trick. Chains are really just mind over matter. It’s the most mentally challenging obstacle you can skate in my opinion. I think every street skater should have grinding a chain on their bucket list.

Happy: Thanks for taking an interest in it and spreading the word about my stuff it means a lot because I’m just a random skater who represents no one. All the thanks goes fully to Hawke. None of this would have been possible without him for so many reasons. He’s one of the greatest of all time and it’s a privilege to get to make sections with him. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves and he’s a huge inspiration to me and a ton of other people. We went through a lot together for this section. Shoutout to all my Columbus brethren of course, and I know he probably thinks I’m a weirdo for talking him up so much but shout out to the chain hammer OG Alex Sams. He made me want to try grinding a chain and here we are. Also, my favorite skating has a lot of emotion to it, and I think his has a ton. Thanks again for asking me about this section Kevin!!! It’s an honor to have you do a piece on it! Sorry for all my long-winded answers!