How long have you been riding for Nike SB Australia?
I’ve ridden for Nike Australia since 2006. That started with Midds (Chris Middlebrook) getting his job at Nike as team manager. I started getting shoes and being able to go on a couple of trips, and now here I am 7 years later, doing an interview about it…
How would you describe your style to someone that hadn’t seen you skate before?
If someone hadn’t seen me skate before and wanted to know about my style I would suggest they see me skate and figure it out for themselves, ha-ha. Nah, if you wanna know about someone’s style watch the footage, that’s the whole point of us filming skateboarding.
Who are some of your past and current influences in skateboarding?
Past influences would probably be Diego Bucchieri, Anthony Pappalardo… I watched Transworld I.E. quite early on, I got that for Christmas and yeah Bucchieri’s part stood out a lot and I was really in to him, he was jumping down stuff. I liked Pappalardo a lot because of his song and because he was wearing baggy clothes… My friend gave me ‘Man Down’ on VHS and I was in to Marc Johnson for a bit. I had a big Mark Appleyard stage, which I think everyone has. Living in Perth it was pretty isolated so I was in to Perth skaters as well. Not just people that were in videos like Simon Edwards, Ben Stevens and Morgan Campbell but people that I skated with like Harry (Clark), Adam Morris, Daniel Morris, everyone that skated in the city with us.
They were a big influence as well.
Would you consider Koston to be an influence? What were your thoughts on Koston getting on Nike back in 2009?
Well, its Koston. I think everyone is somehow influenced by him. I was stoked that he got on, it’s Koston. I thinks hes the kinda skater that, any team he would wanna ride for would make sense, and Nike made sense.
Do you have a favourite Koston part?
Girl – Yeah Right. For a number of reasons but the main reason being the time in my skateboarding life. Seeing the level of his skateboarding blew my mind. I mean everyone loves Mouse and Goldfish because they’re sick videos, and his parts in those are fucked up as well.
What do you think of his first shoe? The Nike SB Koston 1
The Koston 1 is really sick. I’ve skated that a bunch, particularly the Air Max collabo. I was really in to that shoe.
What were the main differences you liked about the Air Max version?
The lace loops were different and the toe was a little bit different. Both of those things were taken from the Air Max. And of course the little panel on the side. Only design stuff, the shoe still fitted and skated the same, which was already really good. The look of it was mainly what I was in to… He took most of the things I like about an Air Max and put it into a shoe that I already liked wearing. I’ve never owned a pair of Air Max’s. I thought it was a cool shoe but I would never wear it because it was kinda nuts. But yeah, he toned it down to a really cool version of an Air Max.
And his new shoe? Koston 2
His new shoe is sick. I like that it still has the Lunarlon, the shape is still really awesome, it’s like stream line and fits the shape of a person’s foot, some skate shoes are a bit mismatching to some people’s feet… I like the shape of the toe, it doesn’t have a lot of crap all over it, it’s clean. It’s an individual shoe but it’s still super wearable.
Are you in to the Free Runner influence? You’re wearing Free’s right now, do you think you’ll slow down wearing them and wear the Koston 2’s more?
Ha-ha no. The Nike Free is still completely different to a skate shoe. The parts that they chose from the Nike Free to put into the skate shoe are the right things to choose. A skate shoe is never gonna replace a Free because you know, different tool for a different trade. I like the Free influence in the Koston 2 a lot. All breathability is good especially if you can keep the structural integrity of the shoe, which it does. They’ve integrated the Nike technology extremely well. So yeah, it’s a clean simple shoe, still individual, light, skateable, what more do you want…
You’ve skated with most of the international Nike team on tour and in demos, are there any riders in particular you’re good friends with now?
Um yeah, I’ve got to skate with most of the international team, they’re all really nice guys. Particularly being able to meet Gino Iannucci was a highlight, I got to skate with him in New York more than once actually. That was a pleasure, he’s a super nice guy, legend. Wieger Van Wageningen, he’s one of the other dudes I forgot to mention earlier who influenced me when I was younger. One of the first international magazines sitting next to the dunny in my parent’s house had a Firm article called Riding Shot Gun With Wieger and it made me super interested in his skating. About a year ago I got to skate with them for nearly a month when those guys were filming for Nike Chronicles 1 in LA. Aside from the Nike connection I’m good friends with Daniel Shimizu who’s a big influence for me. He’s a super good guy and I got to meet him through riding for Insight. I was staying at his house the whole time so it’s pretty much thanks to him that I got to really get to know a lot of those guys like Clark Hassler and Stefan.
So you’re working on the ‘Two Up’ video at the moment, what’s that all about?
Yes, it’s a Nike Australia project with Chris Middlebrook, Alex Campbell and myself, it’s called Two Up. We’re filming for it right now and it’s coming out in 2014. We’ve been filming for it in China twice, Sydney, Perth, the States, lots of filming in Melbourne too.
And you’re filming for the new Zero video ‘Cold war’ too?
Yep, I’m going to China again for the third time in 12 months, which is crazy and pretty exciting. I leave in 3 days.
Which other countries have you skated in? Do you enjoy travelling?
Yeah I love travelling, it’s one of the biggest perks for me in skating, to actually go to different countries just for skateboarding. I’ve been to Barcelona, London, Osaka, and probably four different cities in China. Street skating is as much about what you’re skating as what you do at the spot you’re skating. It’s like anything else, you’re constantly hungry for something new and interesting, and for street skating the answer to that is travel. Its really about diversity, skaters are always influenced by their surroundings.
The more places you go, the more spots you get to skate and the more foreign the place is, the more interesting and diverse those spots are going to be. Even in your own city you have to travel, when you’re a kid if you live outside the city you want to go in to the city because there are more spots. Then once you know that city, you want to know about other cities, and then spots that aren’t even in cities. Its crazy. It doesn't end.
So you think it's a combination of the skater, the trick and the spot, captured on footage that makes it count?
Yeah it all counts, it’s funny because I mentioned we’ve gone to China a bunch and some people don’t like the aesthetic of China footage. Whether it be the crowds or the blank sky… But we go there because the spots are so good. It’s just aesthetics, some people don’t like the look of it but yeah I don’t think it makes sense to dislike the look of any street footage. It’s cool though, that’s something cool about skateboarders and how important what you skate is. Not only are you in to certain skateboarders, certain tricks, certain styles… You’re into certain places and how it all looks.
Are there any new places your want to go? Where do you want to skate/live in the next 5 years?
I’d like to live in California. I wanna go back to Japan and I want to go to Morocco and Turkey. I don’t know why, it just sounds exotic, and it’s near the Mediterranean. New York too. But yeah, Melbourne is going really good right now. Ever since I’ve been living here I’ve been really stoked that I made the move. It’s a really awesome city.