Fun is fun, Martinez skates on by with a smile ... even if his car breaks down [lower left photo]. Photos: Adam Dorobiala
About two years ago I received a text message from Josh Martinez about writing a trivia column to give away a deck he had. It fell through the cracks because we were both hella busy and the content we were pushing out around then was too rad to cut. Afterwards, I stayed in contact and throughout the last few years, I have come to know him quite well. From filming and jumping around town with him at bars and just life in general, I got to know enough about him that I realized that someone like him deserved a spotlight. No doubt.
Fresh out of Reno, Nevada, Martinez rolled into the SLC scene (well . . . more like the Utah County scene first) and was hustling to meet new people however he could. You gotta respect that kind of drive from someone who has so much love for skateboarding that they will reach out to total strangers to make something happen. Any respectable gentleman or gentlewoman in the world of skateboarding knows respect gets respect. Dig? Through all the struggles of leaving home to transplant to a new area, he seemed to do a pretty solid job of getting things accomplished. After making a few connections within the greater Salt Lake area, he was able to film and produce a whole feature film known as Love It or Leave It. “I always wanted to make a video, so I bought [a camera] and was like, “Alright . . . Shit’s goin’ down,” he said. All the talent was there (obviously, Salt Lake is pretty fucking great, right?) and he worked relentlessly to finish the project late last year. He actually premiered his film in Salt Lake a few times, but that’s not the point here. It’s about the intent with which he filmed and promoted the premieres.
“I want the scene to be different.” Martinez says, “A community fundraiser with charity, everyone involved to help the scene y’know?” Even after he was done with Love It Or Leave It, he had bigger plans. Helping get local companies in on all his ideas, he soon made them become part of the wider river of how things flow around the world of skateboarding. Whether it was helping get Odeus in on “Skeighties Night” (R.I.P.) at The Manhattan, or helping Lenitech (R.I.P.) make some local headway in the scene, he definitely bridged the gaps within the community that should have been bridged years ago.
Nestled on the corner of S. Virginia and Taylor, Out Of Bounds Boardshop is “the only legit shop in Reno,” Martinez says. It was here that he decided to really premiere his first video. Apparently, being an “out-of-towner” didn’t help him with his first premieres, and I could see in his face that he was excited to be premiering Love It Or Leave It to his friends and family instead of some people who wanted theirs.
I traveled with Martinez and a couple friends, Ashley Bloxham and Shauna Seguin, back to Reno for his family/hometown premiere at the end of July and it was full of highs, mediums and, unfortunately, some lows. Almost getting struck by lightning driving through Wendover (high), his car breaking down (low) on the way up to a relaxing day on the beach at Lake Tahoe (high), floating the Truckee river (medium to high) and dealing with the towing of his car back to Salt Lake (medium to low), (thanks Tommy and Zardo Knoor) all in a short amount of time. All that bullshit aside, the Manchild Martinez kept a pretty positive outlook. Love It Or Leave It was set to premiere after a bbq and mini-ramp jam (thanks to Kathy Griffin) on Out Of Bounds’ front yard ramp. The very fact that his friend, Chris Ray, pre-premiered his video, Hallelujah, for Love It Or Leave It to headline that night, is such a fantastic fact of truth that only the people who know Martinez know how great the evening was.
Most people here know Martinez as a filmer. Maybe I am still young and naïve, or maybe I just see the good in seemingly bad (appearances aren’t everything), but that night was amazing. Yes, he does film, but more importantly, he skates and he does a pretty bang-up job doing that, too. He is one of those guys that can show up for a session and you have no idea he rips as hard as he does. Before you know it, he is the one getting the “oohs” and “aahs.” It was enjoyable to see him film with the friends that still know him as a skater above all else. Brandon Guttierez, Javelle Witz and Shawn ‘D all are fuckin’ psyched to see Martinez take on the unspoken sacrifice that comes with the drive of skateboarding in their life (search Kyle Camarillo or Garrett Taylor via the Interweb and you best recognize how we do.)
I think it’s about time to take a step back, a step back from the preconceived notions as to what skateboarders, riders and lovers are as a whole. Aren’t we all trying to get something that is already there? Can’t we all just get along? At times, Martinez can be a bit forward and a little too blunt, but when you see what type of work he will put into something he wants to see happen for the whole scene, it all of a sudden makes sense. Be on the lookout for his follow up to Love It or Leave It, Move It Or Lose It, and his collaborative project with Garrett Taylor as well, and I am sure you won’t be disappointed. ‘Nuf sed.