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Heavy tricks, spinal damage and the soothing sands of Bondi

    Photography by
  • Wade McLaughlin

 BONDI, SYDNEY – 9:42pm

What’s happening on this Wednesday night for you Chris?

I’ve just had a long day. A massive day. Mostly spent getting a lease signed on a space in Bondi to open up a little skate shop. So, yeah, I’m pretty excited. The place is really run down and it’s crazy what we’re walking in to, but the price was right, considering other places in the area and I think we can make it something really special.

 You have an opening date in mind?

 Whenever we can get stock [Laughs]

Ahh, the great skateboard stock shortage of 2020!

 Yeah, if you can put that out on the internet and let every distributor know, we need stock!

You and 1000 others! So, I with a few other projects in the works it looks like 2021 will well and truly have you immersed in skateboarding?

Yeah, well immersed in the Eastern Suburbs culture of it anyway. There’s a small skate community here at the moment, but I’m really confident I can help grow it in to something bigger.

Is it true you’ve appeared on Thrasher’s Hall of Meat five times?

 Yeah, that is true [Laughs]. I think I’ve featured more than anyone else. When I was younger, I skated rails all the time and if I turned up to a spot, I’d always want to do something. I’d just convince myself it was doable and roll the dice. I’m getting to an age where I don’t really roll the dice any more, everything is a lot more calculated. Even if I think I might be able to do something, I’m a little more comfortable leaving it to someone else.

Wade (McLaughlin) once referred to you as a ‘Hucking Psycho’…

 [Laughs] I worked as a chef for years, and that was doing 60 to 70 hours a week, so on one hand I would be so keen to do tricks when I wasn’t working, and on the other maybe if I swapped that ratio around to a few hours working and the other percent skating my consistency might have been a lot better.


 And Hall of Meat would have had far less content… Is it true you actually broke your back on the Hyde Park Rail?

Yeah [Laughs through gritted teeth). It’s the one directly opposite the big set of stairs people have been skating lately. I went there 3 or 4 times, looked at it, then went there with some ply, rolled up to it a few times. I was really keen, but it started raining. I thought ‘ I really don’t want to come back again…’ so, I committed to a frontside 50-50, but I was just going too fast. I locked in and when I hit the kink I fell and landed with my back directly on the last set of steps. I walked away from it…

Adrenaline is one hell of a drug.

Yeah, then it all seized up and I ended up in hospital for the next 3 weeks not being able to walk. It was shit-house.

Is that the worst hit you’ve taken?


I’m glad – I wasn’t looking forward to the next story before bedtime.

There have been plenty of bad ones, but none quite compare to this. It was like, every 4 or 5 hours a day I had to get injections in to me, just because I was in so much pain. It got to the point they couldn’t put any more needles in to my stomach, so they had to go in to my arse, my arms, my thighs just because I’d had so many.

 “There’s no North Bondi yoga at sunrise for me, and if you saw me try to touch my toes, I think you’d believe me.”

There’s a lot of mixed opinions on Bondi. Being a local these days, what’s your take on it?

Yeah, everyone definitely has their own little takes on it, but I love it. When you live here, you get to know all the locals, and it has its own vibe, its own click. I’ve grown to love it and it’s definitely where I’ll call home for many years to come.

 I also received some intel; you were recently spotted at North Bondi doing yoga at sunrise?

[Laughs] There’s no North Bondi yoga at sunrise for me, and if you saw me try to touch my toes, I think you’d believe me. But it’s definitely something I can get in to, just to look after my body, especially after all the slams. That stuff definitely catches up to you. There are some things opening up here soon, like infrared saunas and stuff, I’ll definitely be hitting those up. 

What are your 2021 predictions for the world?

 I reckon 2021 is gonna bring back more of a community aspect to the world. We’re not trying to go anywhere else; we’re not jetting off overseas all the time, so I think it’s just a really good time to bring back that whole community vibe and celebrate all things local.