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    Photography by
  • Wade McLaughlin
  • Jason Morey



 What’s going down good sir?

 Well, we’re here at the House of Vans Melbourne event and we’re currently having a refreshing beverage. We have some incredible talent down here, if you look to my left we have a young up and comer called Jackson Pilz, he’s one to watch, just took out SOTY.

 What are your House of Vans duties?

I’m here running some coaching clinics. They call them clinics, but I’m not exactly sure what that means. Let’s go with sessions, coaching sessions. A lot of people applied for them, and I’ve been working with the people who were lucky enough to get accepted.

 What age groups are we talking?

Well, we just finished one up and we had a five year old in the mix all the way up to a guy who was 40.

“It’s amazing everyone who starts off skates around like Bart Simpson with robot legs. The most important thing is to relax and grease up those hinges.”

 What do you deem the absolute basics, or fundamentals of learning to skate?

Foot placement and bending your legs. It’s amazing everyone who starts off skates around like Bart Simpson with robot legs. The most important thing is to relax and grease up those hinges.

 The whole skateboarding and coaching thing is interesting territory…

Yeah, it is. I actually don’t like to think of it as coaching, I prefer thinking of it as friendly advice. I’m not yelling at people, like “Do a Nine hundred!! and drink your Red Bull!!!” That being said, I do save that style of coaching for Jackson and that’s why he’s SOTY because he has the best coach and he drinks his Red Bulls.

 The venue here looks amazing!

 It’s amazing here! It’s on par with London, New York all those big houses of Vans’!!!!

 Tell me about your own Skate School?

Well, I recently started my own business called Rock’N’Slide skateboarding based out of the Gold Coast and it is the best place to learn how to skate! I refer to Jackson once again; he was the youngest person in the world to do a 720 and that never would have happened if he hadn’t have come through the ranks of Rock’N’Slide skateboarding.

 How old was he when he did that

He was 12. So that actually means we’ve been around for almost 13 years. Give or take 12 years [Laughs]

Some of the camps you do look pretty hectic, looking after dozens of hyperactive kids…

Yeah, it can be gruelling. One of the first camps we did we finally got everyone to bed about 1:00am and Mitch and me were like ‘Finally, we can go to sleep’. I don’t know how long I’d been asleep for but I was woken up by Mitch running around going ‘Red, Red! Fuck! Fuck!’ and he had a hose and he was trying to put out this huge fire. The kids had thrown hay bails on fire at 3 in the morning and the flames had gone up in to the gum trees, it was gnarly. So ever since then we’re a lot stricter. I mean what if the bush had have caught on fire? They keep you on your toes, but for the most part it’s fun. They are hilarious, sometimes I’m laughing so hard on the inside but on the outside I have to be ‘Oi! Stop that!!’

 What’s the most satisfying thing about your job?

I think the most satisfying thing for me is working with a group of kids and getting to know them. You go from complete strangers on day one, and eventually you’re best mates and when they rock up, it’s like “What’s up Johhny?” and there’s high fives and it’s like I have my own mini skate crew and they’re always so happy and psyched. That’s the Rock’N’Slide skate family right there, it’s our crew and it’s only getting bigger. I couldn’t be happier!