BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA: 2:23PM
Where have you been based during all this pandemic business?
I’ve pretty much just been in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, just staying between my parent’s place and my girlfriend’s place. I’ve been lucky enough to be working quite a lot lately doing skate lessons for a company called Pavement, with the legends Pat Gemzik and Jim Dandy – so been pretty busy with that all through the school holidays. It’s been good, really productive.
You used the word lucky – I’d be running with that…
Yeah, I’ve had a few trips get cancelled or I haven’t been able to go on them, but I’ve been really lucky compared to my friends in Victoria and New South Wales, that’s for sure.
I see you’re also getting back on board after some forced time off, what was the deal there?
I was finishing up filming a part with Patty G and I went to this rail a week before, I think it was like a 17. I did a 50-50 and then wanted to go back and 5-0 it the next week. I also noticed a gap at the spot and was like ‘Yeah, that looks possible’. When we went back the next week, I wasn’t really feeling the 5-0 so I just decided I’d try and ollie the gap. On my very first shot, that’s when I realised that the gap was actually sooo big. My board was really old and thrashed and flimsy and when I landed my toe kind of slipped off and dragged on the ground. I ended up falling back and kind of sitting all my weight back over my leg.
Other than an ambulance ride, what was the damage?
The end result was a hyper extension, high ankle sprain and torn ligaments.
You been doing recovery properly, or being a maniac?
Well, that was about 3 months ago and it’s going good. But you know how injuries are – some days it feels good and other days not so much. For the first 2 months I was icing it, putting all the muscle creams on it, eating healthy and stuff and then about 2 and a half months in I started skating a little bit, and since then probably haven’t been taking it as easy as I should have. I just have to make sure not to get too far ahead of myself – it’ll be a while before I’m jumping on rails again, but I can skate a bit of transition for now so that’s keeping me sane. Also, doing all the skate lessons with kids keeps me on board every day so that’s been good for getting comfy again. I’m just gonna try and take it easy this summer and come back swingin’ next year.
One thing I definitely have to ask you about is danger-in photo at the old brick works in Sydney. I’ve seen a lot of people get up there in my time, laugh and get down just as quickly, but you actually committed…
Oh, man. I’d seen pictures of it and stuff, and I thought it looked possible – so I claimed it before I even climbed up there [Laughs] – So, Wade (Mclaughlin) was like ‘Fuck yes! Let’s go! I’ll call Zoolz and get him to film it too’ So, the boys were all there, so I had to fuckin’ do it! I swept the landing and everything, then eventually climbed up there… and it was fuckin huge!!! I totally didn’t realise how big it actually was until I got up there.
And rough as guts!
Sooo rough. I think I got it first or second shot, I can’t remember, but I can remember being glad I got it done without having to try too many times.
You also don’t mind a decent sized handrail
Yeah, big rails, kinked rails – that’s the kind of stuff I prefer skating because I’m not that technical, but I’m working on it. I’m trying to get there, once I can get this ankle trained up.
“That’s a few things I don’t mind in life, tackling the concrete and taking a punch!”
Do you feel things out when you’re skating a big rail or just embrace the do or die mantra?
I’m definitely about just going for it and most of the time that works for me – you just have to get in a zone where you believe in yourself and then just go for it.
You’re also really comfortable on big transitions – where did you cut your teeth as far as that goes?
Where I grew up in Western Australia, all the ramps there were under 5 foot, so I never got to skate any big stuff over there. But whenever I got to fly from WA to New Zealand to my family’s hometown there were bigger ramps around that area. So, every time I saw a vert ramp I would try and take advantage of it. I grew up doing gymnastics, so bouncing on trampolines and getting really high has always been really comfortable for me so I was just never that freaked out by it. Vert just feels so good, the whole motion of it and flow. I’m still learning so much – just trying to get proper backside airs and stuff, but I just love it, just that when you learn new stuff or get stuff better it’s so rewarding.
Predictable question time, but being in to skating a little bit of everything I’m curious who’s skating inspires you…
Growing up it was David Gonzales and David Gravette that I was in to.
And closer to home my cousin Lakyn was who really inspired me to skate the way I do.
He’s your cousin? Wow. Talented human indeed – big fan right here.
Yeah, we’re really close. I grew up watching him and thinking he was the best. He grew up in the hood in New Zealand, like South Auckland – and skating and music have always been his thing and what our family loves. So, yeah – he’s been a huge inspiration.
I just saw you’ve been added to international creature team roster too – congrats.
Thanks, man – yeah, I’m officially one of the fiends! [Laughs]
Then when I tried to call you a few days ago you were busy getting a tattoo. I was thinking it could have been a Creature full back piece!
[Laughs] Nah, it was a Parliament skate shop one!
Down for life!
Yeah, the guy who owns Parliament, Jesse – he’s like one of my Dads. I look up to him a lot, so it was just a way to show my appreciation.
While I’ve seen a few clips of you skating again, I’ve also seen some of you going to town on a punching bag, giving it a hiding in fact – remind me not to step to you anytime soon mate…
[Laughs] I’ve done Maui Thai since I was young, and I love to box, boxing is really fun. I haven’t been competitive with Maui Thai for a while now, but yeah, that was just me burning some energy, which I’ve really needed to do. I’m the most jittery person, so not skating has made me go insane, it’s been fucked! So yeah, that’s just me burning energy and trying not to lose it.
Do you like sparring?
I love sparring!
So, you’re not scared to take a few to the dome?
I definitely don’t mind getting a punch aye! My Stepdad is huge, like 6 foot 7 or something and when I spar with him, he just fuckin’ kills me! Where I grew up in Western Australia, it’s pretty rough, so there were always little punch ons at school and stuff. Me and the boys would always chuck on the gloves and fight each other. I love that stuff. That’s a few things I don’t mind in life, tackling the concrete and taking a punch!