From Shredder Pizza Guy to Full-Time Skate Dad, Alex Barnett Still Skates Appleton Like it’s His Day Job

-Dilla-

There is meeting somebody for the first time, and then there is REALLY meeting somebody. It’s not the handshake, or that awkward you go in for a five and they go in for a pound situation.

Sometimes that first experience is scary, like watching that chill dude at the park utterly freakout in what looks like a 3-year-old’s tantrum, screaming expletives at the top of their lungs while throwing their board across the park.

Other times it’s that 4 a.m. McDonald’s stop to order 100 chicken nuggets on the way back from a skate trip.

Skateboarding is not skateboarding, without the homies…it’s a proven fact. So, when you really get to know thy fellow skateboarder, it makes every session after that so much better.

I think the first time I really got to know Alex Barnett was back in 2012. I had just moved to Milwaukee for my Freshman year of college, and I didn’t know many skaters. At the time, he was my fellow Surfin’ Bird teammate, and Appleton homie. Though I didn’t skate to the caliber he did, Barnett welcomed me to sesh and even let me kick it at his apartment above a Chinese restaurant.

Though I had plenty of sessions with Barnett, I think when I really met him was when I seemingly thought Fleischman’s and Kool-Aid was my drink of choice. I just so happened to order Toppers at 3 a.m., as I occasionally do, and guess who shows up to my dorm…Alex Barnett.

That night sticks out so much in my head because even in my most inebriated state he was so hyped to see me. Even on the job, dealing with my drunk ass that early in the morning he was simply stoked as he always was. I slurred some words, I gave him a college-salary tip, and we shook up. Eight hours later we were skating Estabrook.

Even after watching him go through a skaterboarder’s worst nightmare with a torn ACL, he kept the positive vibes afloat.

It’s been dope to witness Barnett go from ripper park hippie, to shredder pizza guy, to full-time working skate dad. I caught up with the Appleton native to see what he’s been up to.

Dilla:

Hey dude what’s up? I saw you had your lawn mowing hat on today. 

Barney:

Yeah man just making some extra cash when I can. Did 6 yards for $25 a pop, so I got like $150.

Dilla:

Damn dude straight hustling!! I’ve seen you’ve been killing Telulah lately...I guess the real question is, how’s the scooter situation?

Barney:

Haha!! I never really had a problem with scooters. The way I look at it is whenever I’m skating a park, I’d rather have more people than less. I like the idea swerving and dodging and it makes it fun because you have to skate the park different then if you had it by yourself. Appleton’s a big circle anyway, I love the park but that’s the bummer. You drop in hit the hip come up the ramp or up the step up hit the quarterpipe, decide whether or not you want to go down the rail or hit the quarterpipe and hit the five stairs. Lowkey was going to say I’d rather go to Menasha.

Dilla:

Haha!! Dude that’s so funny because I was just going to ask if you still went there. I remember the first time skating with you there for the Appleton Surf’ opening and you were killing it.

Barney:

Yeah dude love Menashsa. With the homies, it’s always a 50/50 split because some people are like, “Let’s go to Appleton,” and the rest of us are saying, “Let’s go to Menasha.”

Dilla:

Haha!! I totally feel you on that. All indecisive and nobody knows what to do. So, I saw you had a baby girl, congratulations.

Barney:

Thanks man! Her name is London, but we’ve been calling her "Dunners" recently.

Dilla:

So how is the dad life treating you? I guess you’ve been finding time to skate.

Barney:

Blessed!! The way I look at the dad life, especially with skateboarding that not many other dads have is because I tore my ACL. So, I’ve been off for a year/year and a half type deal, and I know what skateboarding is like outside of skating. Even before I had the baby girl, I was content with being at the level of skating that I was at, and even before I tore my ACL. So, now that I’m a dad I only get to go three or four times during the week and I only get maybe an hour and a half. So, when I get to the park it’s like, “Ok, what am I gonna do?”

Dilla:

Almost like it’s a mission.

Barney:

Time is more like a clock, “tick tick tick tick.” So, you know I show up to the park I’m like, “I only have an hour,” and Dave (Witt) will be like, “You need more time!”

Dilla:

Haha! For sure dude.

Barney:

Dude its awesome, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Alex Barnett is sponsored by Finatik Clothing and Surfin’ Bird Skate Shop. Check out his Beeramid Re-Edit Below.