It’s no secret that Mason Silva has been leaving a path of absolute destruction in his wake for the entirety of 2020. Dropping parts for Huf, Nike, Spitfire and his new board sponsor, Real, this year has been nothing short of monumental. We caught up with him recently to talk about his insane year, pushing himself harder than ever before, and the time he got sprayed in the face with a garden hose.
Nike SB: How would you describe this last year for you?
Mason Silva: Looking back, I would say it was fun because I was never bored or looking for something to do. The whole year I was just keeping the ball rolling from one thing to the next.
SB: Do you think the pandemic actually gave you leeway to be more productive in a sense?
MS: Yeah, it seems like that’s been the overall consensus. People are able to skate more than ever because there aren’t any real distractions. People can’t go to the bar. People can’t go on vacation. People couldn’t do stuff, so the only thing to do was film.
There was nothing else on my mind besides filming...
SB: Your “Welcome to Huf” part came out first. How long were you guys in Puerto Rico for that?
MS: Probably about two weeks. At the time I didn’t know it was going to be the last hurrah before everything went to shit.
SB: How were the waves?
MS: I didn’t actually ever paddle out, but I was checking the forecast. They weren’t that great.
HUF Welcomes Mason Silva To The Team
SB: After not having a board sponsor for a minute, what made getting on Real seem like the best fit?
MS: It just felt super right with talking to Jim [Thiebaud] every day and knowing that every aspect of the company has good people behind it. Obviously, I’m insanely stoked to be on the same team as Ishod and people like that. Definitely life-changing. After that, there was nothing else on my mind besides filming, knowing I had good people behind me.
SB: How did your Real part come together?
MS: They knew I was filming a part for Nike and they said it’d be cool to get a trick or two and put it on Instagram. Honestly, I just felt like I’d be selling myself short if I put something out that people forgot really quickly. So I wanted to do it the right way and put out something that actually felt like a welcome to the team edit.
SB: That part’s almost all Northern California footage. Growing up in Southern California, how is skating in the Bay Area?
MS: I’ve grown to like it a lot more after being in Southern California for so long. Completely different landscape and I feel like we go to something new every time we skate
Mason Silva is on REAL
SB: When did you get started on your Nike part?
MS: I’d say the bulk of the footage came from the second half of 2019 and the very beginning of 2020.
SB: Were you filming for this and the welcome to Real part at the same time? How did you divvy things up?
MS: I was taking trips up to San Francisco while we were starting to edit the Nike part. Pretty much everything I filmed for the DLX dudes I’d save for the Real part and then bounce back to LA and film some stuff for Nike.
Nike SB: Mason
SB: How does Ryan Lee factor into your life? What’s it like being best friends with the filmer?
MS: He factors in heavier than anyone else I’d say. About 80% of things I’ve done in skating I owe to him. He pushes me to do it over again if I’m not happy. He’s not afraid to tell me to try things, which is a good relationship to have.
SB: How did the Real Short Part come about?
MS: We started putting things together for the Spitfire part and we wanted to trim the fat. So the Real Short Part was stuff that wasn’t strong enough for the Spitfire part, but that we thought was still strong enough to put out in the world. And I had always wanted to use that Sonic Youth song and thought it’d be perfect for that.
Mason Silva: A REAL Short Part
SB: And how’s having to pick this many songs?
MS: The Roxy Music song for the Nike part has been something I wanted to skate to for four or five years, but was waiting for the right time. I just always kind of have a list of songs in my head that would be good for skating. It was fun this year to actually be able to put those to use.
SB: When did you start filming for the Spitfire part?
MS: Towards the tail end of editing the Nike part, I started saving things. Ryan and I just felt if we kept the same pace going we might be able to film another full part. We probably filmed for five months for Spitfire.
He sprayed me directly in the face again and said,
“I own the property!”
SB: What in the hell did you do to that gentleman in the intro to get him to spray you in the face with a hose?
MS: I was trying to be nice. I just wanted one more try because I had just stuck a trick on that rail. I thought it was just an apartment building so I thought I’d be in the clear. He came out and when I was running back up asking for one more try he was already spraying me. He was furious. When I was down at the bottom of the rail I said, “Dude, why do you care? It’s just a rental” He was like, “What?!” and sprayed me directly in the face again and said, “I own the property!” It was hilarious.
SB: Seems like you traveled a little on this one, but still nowhere near what you’d normally do for a video part, right?
MS: If COVID didn’t happen I would have tried to travel more, but obviously we had to play the cards that were dealt. New York was the only option and I’m really happy that worked out.
Mason Silva's "Spitfire" Part
SB: What single trick of all the parts did you battle the most?
MS: Probably the back 3 over the wall in the Nike part. The first day I tried that was probably the most sore I’ve ever been from a trick. It felt like I was getting so close but I didn’t realize that I was trying it for over two hours. It’s an overhead drop so it was killing my legs. The second day we went back I got it, but it was probably another two hours of trying it.
SB: How long does the stoke last after filming a harder trick? Couple of days? Couple of hours? Couple of minutes?
MS: That feeling has shortened a lot over my lifetime. It’s almost down to a day now. You watch it 10 times and you’re like, “All right, that’s enough. What’s the next thing?”
SB: Can your girlfriend tell if you got a trick or not just by the way you walk into the house?
MS: Oh, for sure. She knows more than anyone that my mood is pretty hard to change if I didn’t get the trick.
SB: Were all these parts filmed in the same model shoe?
MS: I had a couple of tricks in Bruins, but for the most part it was all in Blazers.
SB: What color?
MS: Black and white! If it’s not broke don’t fix it.
The Blazer Mid takes a heritage design and tailors it to the needs of skateboarders. Soft cushioning and a flexible sole work together to provide great boardfeel and traction.
For the drop of his new part, “Mason,” we talked to fellow teammates, tourmates, friends and family about what makes Mason tick
Best of 2020: If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that skateboarders will always find a way to roll.
Mason Silva: SOTY 2020