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Brooding. Photo Tim Peare
Who is Niko Cioffi, other than a grammatical nightmare that almost crashed the spell checker on my laptop? Well, he’s a dirty, stinky, dread-locked disaster, but he also has one of the best work ethics of any young shredder out there, and the video parts to prove it. He loves people-watching, his dad’s Italian food, skateboarding, but most of all, he loves the East Coast. As a New England-born, west-coast transplant myself, I just can’t quite grasp the concept, but maybe that’s just because I didn’t grow up in Rutland… — Jim Ferrigno
JF: A lot of people think you moved out west after high school, but according to your facebook you graduated from North Tahoe in ’08. What’s up with that?
NC: I actually didn’t go there, I’m not sure why it says that. I graduated from this special school in Rutland called Success. I went to school in the summer instead of the winter, it was sick.
Oh, did you take the short bus to your “special school”?
Haha, no bus. I walked or drove when I had a car. But we did have cig breaks every 30 minutes and it was for 2 hours a day. My graduating class was only 2 people and I was an honor student for the first time in my life…don’t judge me.
Rail sliding to the great white north of Rutland. photo: Tim Peare
Were you studious? Or did you spend your school days daydreaming about double-kinks?
I have no clue what studious means… I didn’t daydream in school, I would actually just sleep through it. I hated it a lot.
Tell me about life in the Rut.
I love Rutland almost too much. A typical day for me is wake up around 2 to 4 pm, instantly go get Iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts and go to Bagel Cafe for a breakfast sandwich. Then I‘ll hang around my yard, wait for dinner. My dad makes the best Italian food ever. Then I go skate at our new park, which is sick. Then nocturnal life begins. Walgreens is open 24/7, so I usually hang out there for a while and people watch. That’s an average Rutland day
Rut-Vegas Style! Photo: Tim Peare
As a former east-coaster myself, I have to ask, why so proud?
Gotta know where you come from. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the East Coast.
So everybody says the best part about coming out west is the transition from riding ice to riding pow, but that’s just the played-out snowboarding answer. What do you REALLY like best about the west?
Good weed in Cali. I don’t really smoke that much anymore, but that’s a definite plus. Casinos, I love Reno, and the never ending party, and black jack come-ups all night. Good sushi…
What was your favorite shred flick back in high school?
Any Iron Curtain movie, those were so sick. I wish I still had copies of those. The first Grenade movie, Kyle Clancy’s part was my favorite then. Video Gangs is classic.
You know, just chillin’ with his friends. Photo: Tim Peare
How did you manage to hook up with the FORUM crew?
Basically, my good friend Lucas Magoon got on. Then, I don’t really know exactly how but, I synced up with him shortly after… Thank you Lucas!
What was it like suddenly being on the same team as legends like Peter Line, Pat Moore; and following in the footsteps of former FORUM-ers like JP Walker?
Well, first off, fuck JP. He denied the come-up on me for a while, but it’s all good now. It must have been fate, but he’s a hater. But Peter and Pat, man, I couldn’t believe that shit. They were both in the movies I would watch everyday, several times. It’s a dream come true. I’m blessed.
What was your most intimidating day filming for FOREVER?
The first day was intimidating. It was a flat-rail to a huge drop down onto a snow bank. My first couple of tries I landed shitty. One time I rode out and smashed a $500 light. I felt so bad.
Pennsylvania is like Rutland, except not at all. Photo: Tim Peare
Did you ever think “maybe I’m in over my head”?
Yeah, all the time, but the best feeling ever is overcoming those feelings. You can’t be a pussy in the streets, but you also can’t be all roids-out. You’ve got to be on the thin line between.
Worst bail of the season?
In the new F’ it teaser, when I do the gap to switch front board, that took 2 days. I hit my head twice, really hard, probably got minor concussions.
Too bad Nico isn’t bigger or he could ride a board that said “sex.” Photo Tim Peare
What can we expect to see in Gremlins 3?
Hopefully more fighting and wild shit. More skating too, Tyler Lynch is on point.
Will you guys keep that name now that rumors of an actual “Gremlins 3: 3D” are floating around?
I think we’re gonna call it “Gremlinz 3” with the z, so it’ll be all good. I really hope they come out with a 3-D version, that’d be sick.
Have you ever thought “maybe I should take a shower and get a haircut?”
I actually just got a hair cut today, and got some new rattails!! And they washed my hair and combed out my gross dreads so I’m all fresh now!
Tree hugger. Photo: Binky
Now that Tahoe chewed you up and spit you out (in a financial sense), and you’re back east, any ideas which run-down Vermont flop house you’ll be calling home next winter?
I had a place in Tahoe all winter with my fellow Gremlins, but I just had to get back to the Rutland for the summer. Soo nice and green, I love this place
What are your plans for this summer?
Getting roids-out at the gym, training on my flat-ground game. Mingle with some weird Rutland people. And possibly end up in Hood for a little summer shredding.
Far from the Rut. Photo: Tim Peare