Skate Mental to Stacks

A few years back, when Rasa Libre came out, it was something new and exciting with art direction by, among other people, Michael Leon. But, when Rasa disappeared, as a result of some differences about direction, it left Forbes without a sponsor. With fellow pro Brad Staba working on a burgeoning project at the time—Skate Mental—Forbes came aboard. As Skate Mental has grown, Reese has also taken on the duties of constructing the Quiksilver skate team, split between the two. Now, with new opportunities on the rise and a chance to connect with Michael Leon again, Forbes is looking forward to a new venture. Coming a long way from Washington D.C.'s Pulaski plaza to Southern California, Reese talks about his new project, how skating has changed as he's moved and why he left Mental.

You recently split from Skate Mental. What caused your departure and what other plans do you have for the future?
I left Skate Mental for various reasons, but mainly because an exciting opportunity came up to do something with Michael Leon that fits my personality a little more, which is the company Stacks.

You've been a part of the team since its beginnings. What are some of the changes you've seen over the last few years?
I had been skating with Brad [Staba] for a long time in San Francisco, when Brad was doing Skate Mental as a "fun" T-shirt, frisbee and sticker company. We had talked about taking the company to the next level and making skateboards on many occasions. When the prospect of Girl distribution carrying the brand as a board company arose, it was a no brainer to get involved and make it something really cool and get the "fun" vibe of the company out on the street. People responded and here it is today. At the same time of the turn over, I received an offer to take over the Quik skate team and direct it. So the majority of my energy went into stabalizing and building that team. It left very little spare time for the Skate Mental communication with Brad.
With the recent split of Mental from Girl and the new venture with Michael Leon, it is a good time to collaborate with someone I've had success with in the past (Rasa Libre).
Best of luck to Brad and the amazing team. I'm sure they will do great things in the future.

Another big change was Daryl Angel's departure...I wish that had worked out. But, a more positive change was the re-birth of a long time favorite, Matt Beach. It's great to see him back in the game. Also it's been nice to see Brad get into a groove and get his sea legs with design direction.

What memories stand out the most to you in that time?
One of my favorite memories was Brad and I driving a Jaguar across country following the Badass Meets Dumbass tour. That was a good trip.

You've been out on the West Coast for a very long time. Does skating feel a lot different now than when you were really rooted in the East? If so, how?
I have been out here (Greater Los Angeles) skating for a long time...And leaving SF and the East Coast was probably the worst decision I've ever made for skating. It's miserable down here for the things I like to skate...and it's too bright. To anyone who loves it down here, I'm not hating. I love it, too. Just not my cup of tea for skating.