Ozzie Ausband

Mike McGill - Protec

I watched Mike McGill skating the Combi pool last week and I was struck by his consistent power, style and aggressiveness. He was riding with Eddie Elguera, Micke Alba and a few others. He really amped up the session with huge airs, speedy grinds and Egg plants.  Mike was also spinning McTwists. It was inspiring to see. I sat him down & he agreed to a Q & A regarding the Protec, bowl contests and skateboarding in general.

I subsequently phoned Mike and we discussed his last contest. Mike quickly informed me that, “I think my last Protec was four years ago. My last contest though was the Florida Bowl Riders Cup last year in Jacksonville, Florida. I traveled there with my eleven year old son. We had a great time.” Mike went on to discuss the current sessions leading up to this years Protec and he sounded really excited. “I’ve been having a bunch of fun skating with everyone. It seems like I have more fun skating practice before the contest as everyone is riding really well. I skate the Combi when I have time and I ride with Lance and Eddie Elguera mostly. Having three children and the shop keeps me pretty busy so I have to make time to go and skate.”

Mike and I spoke about his long history with the Bones Brigade and his early contests. We talked about his history-making invention of the McTwist and its powerful impact on skateboarding. I will speak for myself and tell the world right now: It is a McTwist people…  not a mute 540. Get your facts in order. Mike shrugs off my enthusiasm elegantly. He is humble and quiet on the subject. He knows what he did. Facts. History. I saw him spinning McTwists in practice and asked him about them. Mike related, “With that trick, everything is scary. It is different all over. I must have a bunch of speed…  but ultimately it’s everything. The speed, the spot, the set -up air. I’ve made the McTwist in the round before but never in the square. I want to do it in the contest. We’ll see.”

I asked him about staying fit to compete and if any tricks were eluding him. He laughed and told me that he really tries to stay in shape as its hard to ride at the level he wants to. Mike stated that some tricks simply don’t feel like they once did. “Stalefish don’t feel right. I just don’t understand. They feel so strange now. Egg plants, frontside inverts and those tricks are generally on lock but other tricks come and go. I just keep doing them and eventually hope that I become comfortable with them again.”  Mike told me that he recently went skating on a vert ramp with Kevin Staab and Tony Hawk. They were all riding trick to trick. Then he went back to Combi and was watching Rune Glifberg, Chris Miller and Lance ride. Mike went on, “I watched those guys ride Combi and realized that it is okay to do a trick, carve a corner, blast a trick, do a grind…  one long line. Lines are fun. I have to re-think the way I skate in the Combi.” Whatever the case may be, I watched Mike skate and he seemed to be on his A-Game. He was ripping and I am happy to see it. I wish him luck in this years Protec.  Thanks to Mike McGill for taking the time with us and thank you to MRZ for the image. Skate- Ozzie