Photo: Cam Noren (left) & Peter Furnee (right)
Interview w/ Peter Furnee
Where did you grow up and how old are you?
Ha! You're assuming I've grown up! I spent most of my teens in central New Hampshire. Its a great place to be from, literally. The climate is amazing for three months out of the year, but outside of that it sucks to live there, never mind live there as a skateboarder. My junior year of High School, I moved to Northern Virginia, and stayed in the Mid-Atlantic until moving to the Midwest. Next year I'll be 48...
Tell me your skate story ? (when you started,why, favorite sessions, favorite tricks, inspirations, why the love for skateboarding)
My Skate Story? I do 90-95% of my best skateboarding vicariously.
Getting started? I rolled down the street on my brother's board around 1982 or 83, and in 1984 he helped me make my first board. It wasn't too long after that bought a Phillips Breakout. I guess like any of us who still ride, I had to have had something wrong in my head. My parents were divorced early, I was living in rural New Hampshire, I sucked academically, I was a square peg. Skateboarding was mine. Its truly one of the most clear and defined examples of you get out of it what you put in. Nobody could tell me how to do it, or that I was doing it wrong. I was never really good at riding it, and to this day still have an incredible sense of mediocrity, but again, I go back to the vicarious part.
Favorite sessions? The ones where my friends are ripping and pushing each other, and we get rollin' and laughing. Those are the ones that create the best memories. I've been fortunate to have hundreds of those, so they all stand out!
As for favorite tricks and inspirations? They kinda go together. Inverts and things to fakie. Its funny, because about twice a year I get to tell the same story over and over about Inverts. It was seeing Hans Jacobsson and Owen Neider doing Inverts in an early Transworld that made me want to do them (I tell them this every time I see them, I am sure they're like "Oh No, here comes Peter!"). Then I saw video of Jeff Phillips and saw that he dialed them so well he used them as set up tricks. I always felt I wanted to do inverts like that, where I could use them for speed. My top three tricks these days are still Frontside Grind, Inverts and Pivot Rocks.
Why the love? There are few things like it. Like I mentioned above, its mine.
What have you been up to lately?
Real world? I have a beautiful Wife and two teenage boys, and a challenging job that affords me worldwide travel.
Skateboarding? Well, after a few years of just being bummed, I realize that I am not done yet. I've made some personal and lifestyle decisions that have renewed a fire. After sitting it out for 3 years, I went back to Vert Attack in Sweden and met my own goals. They were simple really; Have a blast, represent the event well for John (I was tasked to co-host the Webcast) and place higher than the three years I had been before. I'm getting tricks back, I'm feeling better and stronger. I feel that if I'm going to give my friends as much crap as I do, I only have a few years to back up my words with actions. I'm just having fun with it all.
Top 3 Foods
I am a carnivore, but appreciate good veggies too. I'd eat steak every night if my budget and Wife would let me.
Top 3 Bands
This always changes. All time? Metallica, Testament and Pink Floyd. This month? I've really been getting in to Symphonic Metal, especially Female Leads. Devilskin out of New Zealand has just taken back burner to Beyond the Black out of Germany. The session playlist should be very heavy with Slayer, King Diamond and Metallica.
Top 3 Things your passionate about
Life. I'm pretty passionate about anything I determine as worth doing. If its worth doing, its worth dedicating 100% to it, right? I mean who catches the ball and doesn't want to score?
Top 3 Activities
I spend way too much time on Social Media, so that cuts into my activities. Outside of Skateboarding, my job makes it tough for me to develop a routine. I'm trying to change this bit by bit.
Top 3 People and Why
My Wife and two Sons. I am the luckiest person alive to share in their lives.
Top 3 Memories
Meeting my Wife, meeting my first Son and meeting my second son. I generally try to live a pretty happy life, so every time I have a chance, I want to make a memory.
Top 3 Dreams / Goals
I really want to travel with my Wife in an RV, one that we own. I want to do that while I can still skateboard. I want to take her to Europe. I really don't have any skateboarding goals or dreams other than to stay healthy enough to keep doing it indefinitely. Seeing another piece of wood with my name on it would be cool, but I've got a way to go for that to happen.
Top 3 Movies
Fish Called Wanda, The Boondock Saints and Falling Down!
Top 3 Favorite Places you have traveled to:
Vert Attack! I know its not a place, but it kinda is. Scandinavian Skateboarders are an amazing bunch. Zero drama and so welcoming. Other than that, its really hard to say. I've had the fortune of traveling a lot in my life, and seeing the back country of Appalachia is just as amazing as walking the streets of Antwerp.
Top 3 Places you would like to travel to:
Giorgio has extended an invitation to come to Italy. I'd love to skate his ramp and fish his spots. My Father told me absolutely amazing things about Russia, and after meeting Popov at Vert Attack, I think I really want to visit. Lastly, I really want to do Norway and ride with those guys over the Solstice some year. I think 23 hours of Daylight in that region would be beyond radical.
Peter wears the S1 Mega Lifer Helmet