Interview with 2017's King of Guapo, Marshall Stinson

representing DFW at the 2017 Tampa Am skate contest

The highest level amateur skate contest in the world is called the Tampa Am, which features 200+ of the best amateur skaters from around the world. Winners of the contest have gone on to amazing professional skating careers.

Tampa Am Final Poster

To help grow the DFW skate community, many area skateshops and skate brands got together and hosted a contest called King of Guapo (#kingofguapo), and sponsored a prize to send the winner to November 2017's Tampa Am contest.

King of Guapo Graphic courtesy Guapo Skateboards

2017's King of Guapo was Marshall Stinson, 19. We reached out to Marshall to hear about his skating and experience at the Skatepark of Tampa.

Marshall with the Guapo team accepting his #KingofGuapo trophy. Photo courtesy Guapo Skateboards

SP4D: We saw you win the King of Guapo contest and killin’ it at the DFW skateparks on Instagram (follow @tincanster on Instagram for some amazing videos). We wanted to get your thoughts on the DFW skate scene and Dallas’ future Bachman Lake skatepark

Photo courtesy Skateparks for Dallas

SP4D: First off, to learn about you--when did you get your first skateboard and how did you get interested in skateboarding?

Marshall: I got my first board when I was 1 and a half, but I didn't get heavily interested til about 9. My dad skated and took me around with him when I was younger.

SP4D: Who have been your biggest influences in skateboarding?

Marshall: Louie Perez, Beau Beagles, Mikey Bock, Daewon Song, and Chris Haslam

SP4D: You are a well-rounded skater, able to do tricks on big transition ramps and consistently land tricks on the street courses. With so much of modern skateboarding moving toward street skating, what got you interested in mastering both styles?

Marshall: When I first started out all I skated was transition. I went to Freestyle Skatepark every day after school until it closed. Once it closed, there were no skateparks anywhere near me for a year or so. I was forced to just skate flat ground and a flat bar. Once The Pier opened, I skated everything every day.

 Photo Courtesy For The Love Family

Photo Courtesy For The Love Family

SP4D: You won Guapo Skateboard’s King of Guapo skate contest last year, which gave you a free trip to the famous Tampa Am skate contest in Florida. What was the Tampa Am like?  

Marshall: Tampa Am is a crazy place. There are people everywhere. Even if you pulled up to the park when it opened up, there's already a plethora of people inside. You can tell everyone there wants to win, but have fun as well, which does ease some of the pressure.

SP4D: What new ideas about your skating and Dallas skateboarding did you come away with?

Marshall: It got me much more interested in skating transition, and just showed me how many people out there skate.

SP4D: California is world-renowned as the mecca of skateboarding. Any thoughts on how we can make our local Dallas skate scene better? What do you wish people knew about the local scene?

Marshall: It is the mecca of skateboarding because its “simpler” to skate spots and other places. In Dallas, you get a couple of tries and then are either written a ticket or kicked out of the spot. I just wish skateboarding was not viewed the way it was by people who do not skate. The stereotypes toward people who skate are all pretty negative. If those were able to be changed in any way (to be more positive), then maybe the scene would improve.

        (SP4D: Skater's come from all walks of life, read about it hereherehere and here)

SP4D: What are your favorite skate parks in the DFW metroplex and why?

Marshall: 

Vandergriff skate park because it is my home park. 

Guapo has an amazing bowl (watch him skate it at the link), the people who skate and run the park are cool and always positive. It is an indoor park which is always nice and it has a fun street section.

Lewisville is fun mainly because of the mini ramp. I grew up skating a spine ramp or “W” ramp as a kid. Plus there are bump to rails and smaller handrails which help you learn tricks.

McKinney is cool because it has lots of flow. You can cruise the whole park without pushing once and hit a lot of different obstacles. Its fun to skate this park with friends and run “trains” which is when we just follow each other and do tricks on the same obstacles.

(SP4D: read about the builders of Marshall's favorite parks here)

SP4D: The City of Dallas has earmarked several million dollars to build a modern, concrete skatepark at Bachman Lake. Being one of the leaders in skateboarding in 2018, what features would you like to see in the new Dallas park?

Marshall: A bump to rail or an A frame. You can learn so many tricks on those types of obstacles. A bowl would be nice too.

Skatepark in New Lenox, IL by Spohn Ranch Skateparks

SP4D: What are your goals for skating going forward?

Marshall: I just skate to have fun. If you are too goal-oriented, it takes out the fun. I just go with the flow and see what happens.

SP4D: Do you plan a return to Tampa Am or enter any other contests in 2018?

Marshall: I don’t know about Tampa again, it was a fun contest, but it is really hectic. I’d like to enter some local mini ramp or bowl contest, if any occur.

SP4D: Thanks to Marshall for taking the time to speak with us, and for sharing his amazing skate abilities on Instagram and at parks all around DFW. For more of his skating, check out his Instagram.

Skateparks for Dallas is committed to working with the City of Dallas and the skateboard community to get a premiere park built for Dallas. SP4D would love to work with event organizers and sponsors to put on local contests to give talented skaters like Marshall venues to show off the results of their hard work. If you would like to help, email us at Skate@DallasParksFoundation.org

Join the Skateparks for Dallas email list to get the latest news on the Dallas skate park project and skate scene. We will be featuring more articles about members of the community, and welcome your ideas for who we should cover.