Go Fast Down Hills: Dexter Manning Interview
Dexter Manning flies so fast and smooth it is often under the radar. Hailing from the middle east of Canada, Dexter has a classic Ontario skate resume from Club 54 to an ES patch and like many of the legends before him, all the skills despite none of the hills. Making regular skate trips to find the hills he craves, Dex even spent last year in BC making the most of the terrain, events and community. Dexter is never aiming to be in the spotlight. He’s humble, happy, funny and friendly. More often than not you’ll find Dexter on a speedboard, ripping hands down and taking as many runs as he can with the homies versus filming and chasing insta likes. Ontario teaches you to skate like a Ninja anyways, so it’s best to hit it and quit it an not lurk the spot for clips and cops. Fortunate for all of us, we’ve been getting a bunch of footage of him charging lately and I personally can only hope for more.
Dexter! Stoked to see all the media from you. Want to give us the run down? Full name, age, where you from, where you living? I don’t think we’ve done an interview before?
Hey Les, thanks a lot. My name is Dexter Manning, I’m 22 years old from Toronto, Ontario. I’m mostly living in Toronto right now, but I’ll be in Montreal full time at the end of April.
So you’re living in Toronto, again, you were living in Vancouver for a while right? Why did you leave the best coast?!
I lived in Vancouver for pretty much all of 2015. I dig what you guys have going on over there so much, and a lot of my best friends live there so I had a pretty great year. Plus the skating is pretty world class, so that helps. I had to come back to get my wrist fixed though.
Are you back at Club 54? Does anyone live there?
I’m not living at Club 54 now. It’s pretty dead which is sad, definitely the end of an era for the Toronto skate scene. I had some good times at that house, both living there and partying there when I was younger.
You’re an Escarpment Surfer right? What does that mean exactly?
I’m definitely ES for life. I’d say it means a lot to a few of us and probably nothing to everyone else.
How does one become ES? I hear Wolfgang Coleman is ES now?!
There are a couple ways in, Wolf is in now for sure. The only rule is that you can’t ask to be in.
Top 3 Club 54 parties in history?
Oh wow, this is a serious question.
Number 1 would probably be the Board Meeting party that you and Aidan were at. So many highlights. The purse, Kitchen DJ sets, attacking Sean Malto, drinking a whole bottle of Fireball with Aidan….so many…
And Eric Jensen… ha ha
Number 2 would probably be the ES party the year I got patched in. Scotty and Amanda brought a keg and Cam Brick was doing kegstands with a broken wrist. Plus I was stoked I got a patch that night.
Number 3 would probably be the Christmas party last year. It was the last one, and I went expecting no one to be there and for it to be kind of depressing. It turned out to be a banger though and everyone was stoked. It felt like a good way to send it off.
Favourite Escarpment Surfers to skate with and why?
That’s the thing, those are all my best friends and favourite people to skate with so it’s impossible to pick 3. I do spend an unhealthy amount of time on the road with Matt Noseworthy though, and Cam Brick pretty much taught me how to skate fast so he’s up there.
Is Justin Readings ES?
Asking all the hard questions.
You’ve been riding Landyachtz for a while now right? Whole package with Bear and Hawgs?
I got on Landyachtz for real maybe 2 years ago, and I got on Bear and Hawgs at the same time. Haven’t looked back since.
Landyachtz makes an incredibly diverse line of great product, what’s your quiver like? One board? 10 boards?
Usually just stick with an Osteon with Kodiaks and then whichever wheels I’m feeling. I’ve been so happy with that skateboard recently, feels pretty much perfect for how I ride.
This year there are like 20 Dinghy-esque boards in the line up. Why don’t you have one? I have one.
I honestly just haven’t had a chance to grab one yet, I’m sure I will. That new Ramathorn looks cool too.
Is it all hard and fast or in true Ontario style, do you parkade?
“Parkading” as you guys call it, is so important if you want to learn how to skate somewhere as flat as Toronto. We have hills but they’re a couple hours outside the city, so if you want to skate more than once or twice a week the garages are key. To be honest though I haven’t skated a garage in a couple years at this point, but the OSNS sessions are still going strong in Toronto from what I’ve heard.
Okay, so you’re fast as all hell, you race pretty well, but you’re broken. What’s the plan for the coming season?
Well I’m heading down to NC April 1st with Matt and Graham Mundy, another Ontario homie, and staying there until Mt. Jefferson which is the 23-24 I think? After that, moving my stuff to Montreal and heading straight to Van for Danger Bay, probably for a couple weeks after. Beyond that I’m really not sure. I’m hoping for more skating and filming than racing, but we’ll see what the year holds.
Will you ever come live in Vancouver again? Why does everyone seem to leave Ontario for Vancouver? Montreal is great!
I’m pretty excited about spending more time here in Montreal, but I could see myself ending up in Vancouver again somewhere down the road. People leave Ontario because the hills are just gnarly enough for people to get really good at skating, so they start travelling and realize how much better the hills can be.
You just had a sick raw run down a California Classic. Balls to the wall. How does that feel?
Thanks man. That road is a very exciting one to skate that fast. I really scared myself in the first chicane and exited really close to that wire catch fence, so I definitely had more adrenaline going than you generally want. Super relieved at the bottom though.
How about doing it on a Dinghy?
I’ll follow you.
Some people say that if you think about the game, you lost the game. Do you play the game? Did you just lose?
I think you just lost too.
Lets get serious for a second. You’re injured right now, right? Whats wrong?
I’ve had this ongoing problem in my left wrist for about 4 years now. I fractured my scaphoid at an outlaw in Ontario in 2011, went to the hospital and they x-rayed it and missed the fracture. So I, thinking it wasn’t broken, continued skating and doing normal stuff, and damaged it a lot further in the next couple years.
I came back to Ontario cause it was getting really bad and I thought I must have reinjured it, but finally the doctors realized that it had all been caused as a result of the original fracture not healing properly. I’ve had a number of other fractures in the past year and there’s almost no cartilage left in the joint. Pretty lame.
Shout out to John Barnet for knowing it was torched even when the doctors were telling me it was fine though.
How are you still putting down banger runs and charging hard, but are so broke off?
I’m just kind of used to it I think. The range of motion is super limited but it’s fine as long as I don’t put a lot of weight on it when doing heelside drifts.
When will you get fixed up?
Well they can’t replace cartilage so I’m pretty much past the point of no return on that front. There’s a surgery they can do to eliminate the pain, but it even further limits the range of motion so we decided not to do that. Maybe once I’m finished skating and if I can learn how to write with my right hand I’ll get that.
Generally just trying to walk it off.
Tell me about this video and photos from Stephen Vaughn? How long were you in California? Who were you there with?
Pretty stoked on the video, I was down in California for 3 weeks with Cam, Matt and Eric Mroz.
The video happened because I wanted to film a run down one of the Malibu canyons that not a lot of people skate. So we went out to do that and then figured we should just get as much footage as we could while we were out. It turned into a cool little edit when we stopped at that lookout on one of the ridge roads and found all that cool graffiti on the rocks. We ended up filming the run I wanted to get and there are a couple clips from it in the edit, but hopefully it comes out on its own at some point because that road is so insanely gnarly.
Well, I am stoked on everything about you and what you’re up to. Sorry [oh Canada] for the cheeky spots in the interview. Did we miss anything? Any shout outs? Call outs?
I think that about covers it.
Crucial shouts out to everyone that keeps me rolling Landyachtz Longboards, Bear Trucks, Hawgs Wheels and everyone over at Mill St. Brewery. I couldn’t do anything that I do without those companies’ support, they all rule. Big thanks to Stephen Vaughn for the photos and video, he killed it!
ES for life.