Congratulations on the board Mitch!
Thankyou! I’m stoked and it was kind of the biggest shock ever. We had talked about it for a long time, but due to how shitty this year has been, I just never thought that it would happen.
So, it was a total surprise?
100% – out of nowhere and everyone that helped it happen behind the scenes was amazing. I’ve heard so many stories about what went in to it all and it’s just nuts. My fiancé Kathryn was going crazy getting everyone down to Geelong and planning this whole night afterwards and Sam Atkin’s mum let us go back to The Park and party after everything. It was crazy.
They basically hosted a YOU appreciation day?
Yes! I guess it was like that. It was gnarly how hard they all had to work to keep it a secret. Supposedly a shop in Japan got the boards early and they’d put up an Instagram of them. I think it was Steve (McInnes) who managed to get them to take it down before I’d seen it. They got Kathryn to click it out of my phone or something, but yeah, there was so much shit that went down that I was completely oblivious to that almost ruined everything.
Geelong skate shop was where the initial surprise presentation went down right?
Yeah, Katherine had made up this whole story that was along the lines of having to get shoes for her nephew or her sisters husbands’ nephew or something like that. She said she spoke to Sam (Atkins) at the shop and he had them in the right size, and that we should go down there to get them because I can discount at the store or whatever. I just ran with it, like ‘Yeah, that makes sense’ lets go. So, we went down there, walk in to the shop and I see a few of the boys and Sammy, who I knew would be working. But he was being so strange. It was the funniest thing, he looked straight at Kathryn and said ‘Hey, I’ll get those shoes’ and I was standing there just thinking ‘What? He didn’t even say hello to me or give a high five, he just walked away…’
So, Sam has no poker face?
Nah! Well, I have actually seen him play poker in Vegas and he’s pretty good.
Maybe just not cut out for acting?
Yeah, when it comes to acting or at least surprises he’s shit house!
“It’s crazy to think of me as that young kid with all these pictures of Jake hanging up. If you told me that one day I’d be riding for a company that he started, I wouldn’t have believed it for a second.”
Tell me about the artwork on the board…
Well I’d been talking with the team about some ideas for graphics and I had this idea that without making it super Australian or anything we could use the bank notes, or at least the colour of them. One of my mates, Jacob Hayes, Hayesey, who’s a Geelong dude I’ve known forever had started doing this Instagram page @Chernobyl_peaceprize He does all these random cut-out artworks from magazines and old newspaper articles. I’ve always been stoked on how sick they look and always want prints for my wall. I mentioned it to Steve and he was like, ‘If Hayesey is keen, for sure!’ and I mentioned it to him and that was it, I just told him about my note idea and the first stuff he made up was literally what ended up on the boards.
What note did you score?
I’m the $20, Joel (McKilroy) is the $50 and Jake (Duncombe) is the $100, cos he’s the big dog.
The T4 big dog…
Yeah, the whole thing started through Jake, he had the original idea and made it all happen.
Did you ever ride a Jake Duncombe pro board when you were younger?
Oh, man! The craziest thing ever and I was only talking to my brother about it when this all kicked off, is that the back of my bedroom door at my house, which was the only place we were allowed to hang stuff or like stick stuff up. I just had Jake photos all over it. Jake and Shane (Cross) everywhere! As far as Australia, to me they were the ones! It’s crazy to think of me as that young kid with all these pictures of Jake hanging up. If you told me that one day I’d be riding for a company that he started I wouldn’t have believed it for a second.
The circle of life, it’s a beautiful thing…
It’s pretty damn sick.
Throw some thank-yous in the air…
Oh, man, the list could go forever, but I’ll try and do a short one. First of all, Kathryn, she has gone above and beyond with everything, more than I could ever imagine. Thanks Steve McInnes, Jake and all the boys on the team for backing me so hard. Niddy, Potty, Wade, and Zoolz. Mum and Dad, brother and sister, they’ve always backed it.