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Foundation Foundation Secret Society Interview: Al Brunelle

Like many skaters discovered these days, we came across Al through a YouTube link delivered by Val Surf's Casey Morrissey...aka Shark Justice. When Shark Justice vouches for an up and coming ripper, you know it's worth taking a closer look. The link contained a solid mix of street footage, anchored by lots and lots of gnarly transition clips. Instantly we knew Al Brunelle was to be inducted into the Foundation Secret Society.
Here's an interview with Al, getting to know him better and learning about his up coming projects.

First off, how tall are you?!
I’m 6’4. I guess I’ve always been tall for skating was always taller then everyone my age that I skated with.

Where did you grow up skating?
I grew up skating in Colorado. Mainly Boulder and Denver which was rad because I grew up watching and skating with people like David Reyes, Angel Ramirez, and Josh Murphy. They have a lot of talent even to this day, they are constantly killing it. It was because of people like them, that made me want to be apart of skateboarding.

You skate a lot of backyard pools. Any crazy stories when you’ve barged someone’s backyard to skate a pool?
It’s always awkward jumping someone’s fence just to skate a pool because you just never know what could happen. I’ve had a few crazy incidents and run ins with cops before. But by far the craziest one happened in Tempe, Arizona about two years ago. My friend Ozzie and I made a trip out to there to skate a bunch of pools with Chris Livingston and friends. We went to this pool in a run down sketchy neighborhood. This pool had skate park like transitions. Super mellow, it was probably one of the best pools I have ever skated. Anyway, after we got done cleaning it out we all got a few grinds. Then all of sudden a 300 pound black dude with face tats walks out of the back door of the house carrying a metal baseball bat. I didn’t notice him right away like everyone else so of course I was the last one hopping the fence. When I got to the top of the fence he grabbed onto my skateboard and then nailed me in the back of the neck with the bat. It hurt so bad. Thankfully it didn’t knock me out and we got out of there. But it did suck because I went home without a skateboard and a gnarly bump on my neck.

Stalefish. Photo: MRZ

Wow, that is sketchy. Do you go searching for pools often? What's that process like?

I do try to look for pools as much as possible especially out here, they are everywhere! If you have a bunch of homies that are into pool skating then you all look at different areas on google maps of a city and see different pools and shapes. Then we do drive bys to scope them out, see if they are full of water (swimmers) or if they are even skateable. If they are skate able then we keep note of them and check up on them on a monthly basis to see if the house is foreclosed or not. If so we are good to go. Or if you are daring enough or if the pool is just that rad then you would barge it as long as no one is home. But be careful it is a sketchy process. The one thing I recommend is just bring a maximum of 3 to 4 people because more then that causes a lot of attention and the consequences are definitely not worth it.

I’ve seen some rad photos of you skating some off the beaten path spots. What's one of the weirder missions you have been on to skate a spot?
One of the weirder missions that I have been on to skate a spot was at this one in the hills of Anahiem I believe. It’s a large natural halfpipe spot that a few pro’s I know have been too. It was just weird because you literally take a dirt road pull off, off the side of a highway/tollway. Its pretty sketchy because you need a long rope strong enough to hold your body weight and you need to belay yourself down into the pipe its about 15-20 feet deep. The crazy thing about it is if you go down there without a rope you will not be able to get back out, plus its in the middle of nowhere so its not the kinda spot you want to go to by yourself.

We met you through Val Surf. Such a rad legendary shop. How long have you been riding for them and how did that come about?
I’ve been on Val for two and a half years. My roommate Matt Harvey has skated for them about Seven years, so he gave them some of my footy and got me hooked up. I was so hyped!

FS Hurricane. Photo: DaVille

Anyone on the Val Surf team alumni that you look up to?

Stevie Perez he is an all terrain vehicle and an all around nice dude. He’s always killin’ it on and off the board.

You skate for Ace Trucks which is really rad because they keep a tight crew. How did you end up riding for them?
Yeah Ace trucks are the best hands down! I went out pool skating with Ronnie Sandoval, Brad Mclain, Mighty, along with Alex Abikasis who is one of the reps and promoters for Ace and Diamond. I guess he was down with my skating and he knew I was down with Ace so it happened to just work out. Again super hyped!

You were recently in the Cayman Islands and skating the Black Pearl skatepark. How was that trip and what were some of the highlights?
The park alone was awesome there is so much to skate I don’t think I could ever get tired of that place. The swimming and snorkeling was great! It was like a huge heated swimming pool full of wildlife. (fish, turtles, sting rays, sharks) The rainforest was also really cool they had crazy looking lizards and these blue iguanas they were like four feet long and kind of fat, but they looked super gnarly and mean. Its always fun checking out things you don’t see all the time.

FS Air. Photo: MRZ

There is a gnarly NBD photo of you skating the over vert at Washington St. Any plans with that photo? If that’s not, whats the scariest thing you have ever skated?

Yeah that was definitely a scary one for me to put down just because that over vert is unlike any other. Hopefully The Skateboard Mag runs it. But if not I’m still hyped that I pushed my boundaries and was able to document it.

What were your first memories of Foundation?
That’s an easy one. I grew up skating in Denver and was always hyped on Angel Ramirez. His part in that’s life was killer. He always was killing it. Ever since that video Foundation was and has always been one of my favorite companies.

Favorite Foundation video/part?
Again gotta go with That’s Life-Angel Ramirez

You filming for a particular video part at the moment?
Yeah actually working on an edit for Levi Jeans at the moment with the good homie Zac Dowdy. We have been putting in a lot of time and work for this.

Sugarcane. Photo: MRZ

What’s next for you, Al?
My plans are to keep skating and progressing. Just keep pushing my own limits/boundaries and having fun while I do it. I want to go as far as I can with skateboarding.

Awesome, thanks for representing Al!

Interview: Tyler Culbertson
Posted October 21st, 2014

Foundation Conlan Killeen | Foundation Secret Society X Metro

In Conjunction with Foundation and Ultimate Dist., Metro is proud to declassify a few entries from the book of (F)'s Secret Society. Conlan Killeen @genghisconlan definitely got the blood of a true Canadian ripper! With both a rad trick selection and smooth style Conlan's skating is all around good time to watch! Foundation Secret Society is a group of riders representing Foundation Super Co. regionally throughout the USA and internationally. With that the riders also are representing their local skate shop in that region. Both the rider and the shop are chapter members of Foundation Super Co. We are all working together to helping build their local skate scene.
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Thanks for watching!
Posted October 17th, 2014 by Tyler Culbertson