Profile of an Israel Outdoors Alum – Skateboard Style

Here at Israel Outdoors we are always interested in finding out more about our participants and learning about the interesting things that they do. Jordan Zuppke attended a free Taglit-Birthright Israel trip with Israel Outdoors just a few weeks ago in May, and shares his skateboarding experiences with us.  Thanks for sharing Jordan!

Zuppke SkateboardWhere are you from?
West Bloomfield, Michigan. Born and raised in Oakland County. West Bloomfield High School to Western Michigan University to Thomas M. Cooley Law School and into the future as a Michigander. I currently live in West Bloomfield.

What do you do for a living?
I’m a criminal defense lawyer, I like to say that I defend the wrongfully accused, although many of them are guiltier than sin. Most of my clients are skateboarders. I do some civil work too. I like to help people. I love what I do. Everyday is something different. I work with my Uncle, David Zuppke, a great lawyer, my mentor, and my friend.

When/how did you start skateboarding?
I started skateboarding when I was 10 years old. That was 16 years ago. I never stopped. It’s more than a hobby, it really is my life, it’s what defines me. My family and I went to Florida, I jumped on some kid’s skateboard and never looked back. I plan on riding until my bones won’t let me. I’m putting it in my will that skateboard trucks and wheels will be drilled to the bottom of my casket. It’s a bit morbid, sure, but it’s just that important to me. I’m forever cruising…

To give you some perspective, I hauled my skateboard all around Israel on the Taglit trip. It wasn’t until I extended that I really got to ride. I met some Israeli skaters and went to some of the most famous skateboard spots in the entire country. Tel Aviv is an amazing city to skate. Even the American pros are starting to travel there. Great architecture and a rich culture. What more can one ask for?

What is your biggest skateboarding accomplishment?
My biggest skateboard accomplishment is where I am today. I have a voice in the community. I’ve helped build the local skate parks, won just about every contest around the state, and have a name that people know locally and abroad. My best friend, Ben Clarke, owns the skateboard shop in Keego Harbor. It’s called People Skate and Snowboard. I helped him build that place, I worked there all through law school. I have a key to the skate shop, a key to my home, and a key to my law office. I love it. Once again, what more can one ask for?

Why did you decide to go on an Israel Outdoors trip?
I’m an opportunist. The trip was free and I knew it would be a mistake not to say hello to the motherland. I was right… I’d also like to thank Shosh for making it happen.

Anything else we should know about you?
If you find yourself in times of trouble, just ask: What would a lawyer do? My phone is always open to anyone who wants to talk. About anything: the law, the skateboard world, literature. I love to read, drink craft beer, and rock and roll. I can play the banjo, but don’t ask me to sing. I can honestly, without a doubt, say that I am the best skateboard lawyer on the planet. If you don’t believe me, pick a park, any park, and I’ll put you to the test.