On Saturday night Jack ‘Squish’ O’Grady was lucky enough, or should I say talented enough to be one of 11 Sydney skateboarders featured in Nike SB’s Cumberland County which premiered in Martin Place, Sydney. As you’ve no doubt seen, this wasn’t just your average premiere with a few homies at the local shop. The skaters had their names plastered on flags, not to mention their faces and skateboarding blasted to hundreds of people on a cinema sized screen in the middle of one of Australia’s most iconic skate spots. As if this wasn’t surreal enough, less than a few hours later young Squish found himself being the recipient of a surprise shin-dig at the Cricketers Arms Hotel, where it was announced he was Pass~Port’s latest recruit…
CLOUD NINE, SYDNEY – 12:55pm
The past 24 hours… What a trip, right?
It’s been incredible! I still can’t believe it. It was so much fun. It’s still like a dream to me.
It’s obviously an honour to have had a part in a production like Cumberland County…
Definitely, I’m so grateful for it.
Let alone have the premiere blasted to the masses at the Pit?
Oh, man, it was incredible that it was in the Pit and that it was such a big event. I’ve been skating there for years, so to see a premiere at such an iconic Sydney spot was just crazy. I would have been about 8 years old the first time I went there. It was when GetRad made that massive Go Skating Day in the city clip. It was the first time I’d really been skating in the city and my first time at the Pit; I just remember the whole day was amazing. It was seriously one of the best days of my life.
Who were the Sydney skaters you looked up to when you were younger?
The people I looked up to most were people like George Kousoulis, Jake Hayes, Nik Stipanovic… and like now, they’re some of the people I always skate with, which for me is like a dream come true. I used to watch all of George’s clips and see him working at Monster Skatepark when I was younger. Now we skate and film together all the time. It’s crazy.
You had your family there at the premiere too right?
Yeah, my Mum, my Dad, my brother and sister were there and they were heaps proud. They were also there at the presentation at the pub later on too.
“I woke up on Sunday morning and was like “What the f**k? Did any of that stuff really happen?”
So tell me more about this presentation. You’ve gone from being one of the stars at this crazy premiere and next you’re dragged off to the pub. How did it all unfold?
We were all hanging out there and I kept trying to go down stairs at the pub, but every time I went to go, George (Kousoulis) kept stopping me and saying “Nah, wait around, we need a group photo.” Then Midds yelled out to me to come over and it was so funny, cos’ as I was walking over to him Wade Burkitt grabbed me and asked if I wanted to ride for Amnesia Skateboards, before I even knew what to say, Midds grabbed me, and next thing everyone was there and they pulled out the cake. It said ‘Jack ‘Squish’ O’Grady on it and then Pass~Port underneath some dumb photo of me holding a pizza, Everyone was cheering and stuff and then they put the Pass~port dressing gown on me, which I gotta say actually feels great to wear (Laughs), I was so excited man, and then next thing everyone’s going wild and rubbing cake all over my face. The whole thing, like I said, I still feel like I’m in a dream. I’m so appreciative of the whole thing.
Your Dad ended up kicking on with the crew all night too…
Yeah, it was so good to have my family there; when they all left I said to Dad, “So, when are you going home?” And he said, “I’m not!” We got kicked out of the Crix about Midnight and then he stayed out with me at Bar Cleveland till like 3:00am (Laughs) until we got a taxi home. It was great; he was having a good old time.
I heard him drop a pretty good Dad joke on Burkitt at the bar actually. He walked over and said something like ‘We almost had your son on Amnesia?’ and Phil goes ‘Amnesia? Ahh, he probably forgot about it!” I think maybe 2 out of the 10 people standing around actually got it. But ole Phil went up a notch in my books.
Yeah, Dad. (Laughs)
I hear Pass~Port are off to Greece later this year too. I don’t suppose getting on the team came with a plane ticket?
Well, this is where it got even crazier. Right after the cake thing, I think it was Geoff Campbell leant over and said “You’re comin’ to Greece baby!” I was like, “What?” and I asked Trent (Evans) and he was like “Yep, you’re coming to Greece with us!” I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t really understand, I was like, “What are you talking about?” and he says something like “We got you a ticket to Greece, you’re coming with us mate!” I couldn’t believe it then and I still can’t believe it now. I woke up on Sunday morning and was like “What the fuck! Did any of that stuff really happen?” (Laughs)
Well, big congrats Squish, enjoy the dope board graphics and Souvlaki…
Oh, thanks heaps. I really appreciate it and thank you to all the people involved.
“…How is that ollie down to tre flip? Dylan Rieder ollied down to BACKSIDE flip, Josh Pall ollied down to heelflip, so when I saw this young guy ollie down and tre it, I was like, yep that SEALS it, he’s on the team!”
TRENT EVANS: Pass~Port Boss-man