BACK TAIL, FRAMED BY SOME HIGH BROW HOOD-RAT ART
What part of New Zealand did you grow up in?
I grew up in this beautiful coastal town called Mount Maunganui located on the Northeast coast of the North Island. Home to the mountain Mauao, which is the icon of the area.
What was the skate scene like, as far as spots and people you looked up to?
There was plenty of diverse places to skate while growing up there, from vert, park to street. I initially grew up skating vert with the likes of local legends Cale Tolley, Curtis Osbourne and others just to name a few. They were the driving force behind my skating at the very early stages and not to mention my brother lance Boucher and childhood friend Nate Coleman. I would have been about 12 when they managed to convert me from the rollerblades.
What was their method of conversion?
It was civil words of encouragement from the older boys [Laughs]
You mentioned Curtis Osbourne, father of young Nixen Osbourne. Do you ever run in to him in your travels?
Every so often, yes. We do skate together occasionally. I’d actually love to get the opportunity to skate with Nixen more in the near future. He’s one talented and gifted skateboarder and I guess that resonates over from his father’s background in skating.
Where do you live now and what was the motivation to leave New Zealand?
I currently still reside on the Gold Coast, Palm Beach. My main motivation to leave NZ was basically a change of lifestyle and to further my passion for skateboarding. I knew the Gold Coast had an abundance of good parks and good weather and also has similarities to where I grew up which made things more comfortable with the transition of moving. My good friend Izy Mutu also offered me a room to rent right up the road from most of the popular parks.
Did you spend much time visiting Oz before moving here?
I spent about a month on the Gold Coast familiarising myself with my surroundings before I moved. This all took place while traveling over for the Bowlzilla contest. Before coming to the Goldy, I visited the likes of Melbourne and Sydney too. The big differences between the two places that came apparent to me was this nation’s love for rugby league and AFL, back home we’re really into our rugby union and that’s what I grew up playing. One other thing was adjusting to the Queensland climate once summer sets in, it gets so hot and humid. But, to put things into perspective, we’re basically neighbours despite the vast ocean that separates us.
The Gold Coast has so many parks – living there it’s easy to take them all for granted….
There are SO MANY good parks! Especially coming from NZ, where the quality of most skateparks were below average. I couldn’t believe the amount of variety that was built up on the Coast when I started venturing around the area. My stoke levels lifted to an all-time high. You’re right though, it is easy to take them for granted and it’s easy to get into your comfort zone with the ones you favour the most.
“…to put things into perspective, we’re basically neighbours, despite the vast ocean that separates us.”
What do you rate as some of your favourite spots up there?
Pizzey old bowl, Elanora, Salk, Mallawa and most of the DIY spots.
Any new ones being built that tickle the fancy?
Not from what I’m aware of. Saying that, Mullumbimby recently got renewed and now it’s better than ever.
You seem to have a penchant for the DIY spots too…
Absolutely! There’s just something so pure about skating DIY spots every DIY is built differently with its own uniqueness and character. Shout out to local legends Jay, Atsu, Jason and others for holding it down on the DIY front up here.
What are some of the things you’ve done to earn a dollar over the years?
I’ve worked in retail selling skate/surf product, they were also an old sponsor which meant they were lenient with me and my skateboarding getaways. I also did my time being a postie, however that job grew old relatively quick due to cycling 6 days a week and battling the elements. These days I’m a delivery driver for Balter Brewery. This involves countless hours driving around delivering beer and keeping occupied with listening to good tunes and podcasts.
What are your favourite personal tipples?
Balter, first and foremost. The boys are always brewing up something new and delicious. Other local breweries like Burleigh Brewing and Stone and Wood tickle my fancy too. The whole craft beer scene is thriving up here in the sunshine state.
Some people might be surprised to see all these photos were taken by Kristian (Moose) Philipp – a stand-alone skateboarder in his own right…
Yeah, Moose is one of those guys with pure talent no matter what he sets his sights on. He’s still throwing down on the sessions too. I wish I could switch things up and shoot some photos of him. I’m incredibly grateful for what he’s shown me, taught me and done for me since I moved to Australia.
He mentioned you have also started your own skate coaching company…
Yeah, it’s called TheSkateProject. The concept stemmed from my passion and love for skateboarding and wanting to help others improve their ability, skills and confidence on the board. I’ve been up and running for the past 6 months despite Covid putting a bit of a pause on things. Feel free to follow us on Instagram @_theskateproject_
As a beer delivery driver – you’re basically hauling what would rate as the highest forms of Queensland currency. Do you have any wild tales of being chased by crazed beer enthusiasts?
[Laughs] I haven’t actually, But Australians do love a good beer! So, maybe the chances of that happening are actually pretty good.