No one likes to admit it but there’s a lot of things in life that can get in the way of you skateboarding. Dallas Ives was an early bloomer in the Canadian skate scene and racked up quite a bit of coverage in a short period of time, only to disappear just as quickly as he showed up. We caught up with Dallas to talk about some of the heavy life circumstances that kept him off a board over the past few years and what it’s taken to get back to ripping the way he is now.
By Jesse Landen
Hey Dallas, it’s been a while! Nice to see you’re still out there ripping on the west coast. Where exactly are you calling that home these days?
Hey Jesse! Yes it’s definitely been awhile! It’s great to be back on the west coast, and I’m calling East Vancouver home right now.
What was it like starting your skateboard journey in Windsor Ontario? It seems like even though it’s not that big of a city there was a pretty good scene and some notable skaters.
I actually started skateboarding in a small town outside of Windsor called Stoney Point. Our little scene was so strong at the time that we turned the tennis courts into a skatepark so many times that the town finally gave us a permanent one. My dad lived in Windsor so I would go to the city every weekend and became a part of the scene in Windsor. It was such a great time to be skateboarding in Windsor because we had an indoor skate park, with a shop called Ian’s Old Skate Shop, and a really solid group of dudes in the skate scene.
Did you start getting hooked up while still in Windsor or did that start once you began visiting places like Toronto and Vancouver?
One of my first sponsors was based in Windsor, by the owner of Ian’s Old Skate Shop, which was a board company called “Change”. We had an amazing group of skaters and we all eventually moved to Toronto, where I later got on Fallen shoes through Centre Distribution.
I remember at some point you having a pretty strong presence in the Canadian skate magazine world. One notable trick being a switch lip slide on the legendary Skydome rail in Toronto. Can you tell me about that?
Funny story actually, I would go to the skydome rail and hustle people for money saying that “if I landed the boardslide down the rail they would have to pay me 2$, and if I fell they wouldn’t have to give me anything”. That went on for a few weeks until I could boardslide it every time. I was at CBC manny pads one night with a few friends, and I just had this thought that I could switch lipslide it, and went and did it. I think it took about 10 tries. After that, went back to take a photo of it, and did it 2nd try. Then did it one more time for a cover shot, that unfortunately didn’t make the cover, but I did get a 2 page contents photo that I was more than stoked on.
I remember you being on Zero around that time did you ever get a chance to skate with the US team at all? Pretty sure they would have driven you straight to Hollywood high from the airport haha.
I never got the chance to skate with the US team and I’ve still never been to California, but would love check it out sometime.
While doing a bit of research on you for this interview I read that one or your life long best friends was killed by a car. Can you tell us a little bit about the incident and how that impacted your life/skating?
In 2016 my best friend Ryan Barron was killed in a hit and run in Vancouver. Losing Ryan had a very deep impact on my life and skateboarding in so many ways. I can’t begin to explain how hard it is to lose such a close friend of so many years. It’s like a piece of my life has been taken away that can never be replaced. He is loved and missed by so many.
As I understand you’ve recently been recovering from some long time drug and alcohol abuse problems. Would you consider the death of your friend something that pushed you over the edge or was it something that had been snowballing for a while?
My drug and alcohol abuse had been a long time issue that took me to a lot of dark places. I was in a very dark place in my life when Ryan died. I knew I couldn’t keep going the way I was, and that something had to change. I can proudly say I haven’t had a drop of alcohol or done any drugs for over two years now and I have never felt better.
One thing I find interesting about skateboarding is that we as a culture seem to play a game where we try to see who can get as messed up on drugs and alcohol as possible and still be able to skate and function in society. Which really isn’t a sustainable way of living. Did it ever feel that way to you?
I don’t feel like it was of a game for me personally. I feel like it was more of an escape or coping mechanism.
Was there a point of intervention or rock bottom that finally influenced you to make a change?
Drugs and alcohol are the reason I lost all of my sponsors and fell out of skateboarding for so long and I just knew it was time for a change.
So tell me a bit about your life these days? After a short instagram stalking I see you’re skating just as good as ever.
Life these days hasn’t really got much easier my amazingly talented girlfriend, who is such a big part of me changing my life around, is in the battle for her life against breast cancer, but I am glad that I can be the man I am today for her. Anyone who knows her knows what a great person she is, and how talented of an artist she is! She has received a lot of help from the skate community, and for that I am so grateful and would like to personally thank anyone who has helped us in anyway.
Other than the excellent photos from this interview do you have anything else in the works we can be on the lookout for skate wise?
I have a new part coming out with the tricks from my interview and more. I guess you could say it’s my sponsor me tape, because I don’t have any sponsors currently. So if anyone is looking for riders, I’m a free agent!
Well we appreciate you sharing your story with us. It’s great to see you coming out the other end of some of this stuff in a positive way and you being back on a board killing it.