Tony Trujillo Reignited: A conversation with TNT

Vans recently introduced the new signature shoe from renowned skate icon Tony Trujillo, the TNT Advanced Prototype. Emphasized by Tony’s tenacious DIY attitude, the TNT Advanced Prototype is in a class of its own, engineered with Vans’ UltraCush Lite 3D footbeds, Duracap-reinforced uppers, and a brand new waffle tread pattern designed to extend durability and grip over time, and maximize boardfeel.

Last week end I had the chance to have a conversation with the man himself. Read on.


You grew up on a farm right? What kind of farm was it?

Yeah, it was just a farm for ourselves, we had like, cows and chickens and geese running around.

Is farming something you’d like to pursue in your old age?

No way, no. I just want to be on the road you know. We have a dog and we have a few kids and its already hard enough to get out and travel with them you know…

Yeah I totally understand. My girlfriend and I have a small farm so I had to ask you.
What makes your new shoe different or better then other shoes out there right now?

Its made for skating. Its a skateboard shoe, its not just a revamped like other brands that take a design they have and reinforce it. No, it’s design for skating and thats what it’s meant for and it’s build to last.

What was the inspiration for the color way?

I don’t know, I use to wear a lot of weird shoes when I was a kid, like different coloured shoes, like I’d wear a red and a black and a blue and a brown or whatever and Vans always got me as the guy to push different colour ways so when they mocked up the pink ones I was like, yeah this one look sick, I like that one.


How was your trip to Montreal back in 1997?

  1. That was the first road trip I went on. My mom dropped me off at a restaurant in San Francisco and Mickey Reyes picked me up and I was on my own with these fucking guys.
    Not only was it my first road trip but also the first time I left the country. It was a gnarly trip. The cast of characters alone was insane. Back then it was not just an Anti Hero trip or Stereo trip, it was a Deluxe trip so it was a mix pack of everybody. Yeah it got crazy, there was fights and booze and shit…

How old were you?


Is this the same trip that you rolled in from the roof into the Big O pipe?

Yeah. That is the same trip.

Is this the only time you skate the Big O?

I feel like I skated it a second time but it might have been only that one time.

How did you like skating it?

It was awesome. I heard they moved it but I skated it when it was in it’s original zone and it’s cool man, perfect little skate spot.

photos: Morford


Your name is associated with Park Terrain skating, what do you think of the evolution of park skating?

I mean it’s always gonna get gnarlier and gnarlier just like any type of skating these days, the kids have bumped it up way to intense. It’s hard to go skate with these kids you know. But park skating, for the most part I’d rather see just a nice fucking stalefish or something rather then back to back 540s. You have to have a good style and power.

Who’s one of your personal hero?

Right now just on top of my head, Peter Hewitt. Because he is 10 years older then me, which means he is 45 and he is fucking killing it. He always has been and he is a pretty big inspiration. For anybody. He does his own thing and he’ just himself and you never know just looking at the dude how gnarly he is.

Last book you read?

I didn’t finish it but I was reading The Handmaid’s Tale.

What happened to the mohawk?

It’s still there. My son Whalin he has long hair too, he’s 9 years old and he’s got just as long hair as me right now and I am trying to get him to shave it with me. Once your hair get to 12 inches, you can shave it, pony tail it and send it to Locks of Love for cancer patients so I am trying to shave it with me and donate our hair.



Portrait and Interview by Dan Mathieu