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Iconic spots, legal beers and filming for his new OJ part...

    Photography by
  • Wade McLaughlin


Where does this phone call find you tonight mate?

I’m currently in Chiba, just outside of Tokyo. I’m here for the X-Games. It’s pretty sick, big facility, massive stadium…

It must be a totally different vibe to last time you were there competing in the biggest sporting event on the planet…

Oh, man, I wish it was. It’s horrible. We’re not allowed to do anything. We’re in a bubble, only allowed to go from the hotel to the athlete lounge in a shuttle bus. It sucks, while you’re on the shuttle you can see so many good spots, but you can’t go skate anything.

Are you allowed to skate the course?

It’s not even built yet. But apparently it will be all done by Friday, and the first practice session is on the same day, 30 minutes before the comp.

 Wow, so not exactly ideal for getting things dialled in?

Yeah, it will be interesting, but it will still be fun.

Let’s talk about this OJ part that just dropped, set the scene for me…

I was on a call the OJ team manager Alex Foy, just chatting about stuff. I mentioned I was going home to Australia for a month and he just threw it out there ‘it would be sick to film a part while you’re out there’ and I said ‘Ok, let’s do it, let’s get this going!’. And, yeah –  I got it done, so I’m pretty stoked.

 So you should be! You headed south for the most part, right?

Yeah, I flew to Melbourne for 10 days – stayed at Wade’s (McLaughlin) place and we got out every single day.

I’ve spoken to a few people who pointed their lenses at you, including Wade during that time and the general consensus is you were stacking clips at a record pace.

Yeah, we averaged about 3 or 4 clips a day. It was pretty sick. Maybe one day I even got 5. During that whole time I only took one rest day, so it all came together super good. I kind of had to approach it a bit differently, I wasn’t going for the gnarliest stuff every day, just because I knew I couldn’t kill myself, otherwise I could put myself out for 3 days and defeat the whole purpose by not being able to get clips.

Do you have routine, or certain things you do to look after yourself?

On this trip, it was pretty rough. We were kind of just skating all day then going to the bar. But if I’m preparing for a comp I definitely make sure I stretch, go to the gym a few times a week, I try to eat well and just do anything I can to keep me healthy. But the second you’re on the road, it’s super hard to do that stuff. It’s late at night and it’s like ‘Oh, Maccas is open, let’s go!’. On this trip Wade was taking me to the bar Yellow Bird every night. They were open till 11 and they have a really good chicken Parmy, so I was kind of living off that.

You hit a bunch of spots, but one of the real crusty classics was Corio – how was that?

Yeah, my first time there and it was so sick! I’d seen heaps of clips of people skating there, like Chris Russell. Just before I went there, I hit him up – I texted him ‘Yo! Did you boneless the channel?’ and he was like ‘Yeah!’  and I went ‘Ahhhh!’ cos that’s what I had in mind.

 When you saw the channel, were you thinking ‘Chris Russell did the trick I wanted to do’ or ‘Wow! Chris Russell is gnarly’

It was definitely ‘Chris Russell is gnarly’ – that thing Is huge! I tried to frontside air it, just the one attempt and that thing is sketchy. But I ended up getting a couple of tricks there, so I was stoked.

I’m always seeing footage of you skating huge parks in the States, are there any particular behemoths that come to mind, as far as the size and sketch factor?

All the parks in Oregon man, they’re all insane. They’re all super crusty, with 13-14 foot bowled walls. I went to FDR too, some of the walls there, well just the park in general is like 15 foot. You’re going up those walls and it feels like it takes an eternity to get up them, it’s so scary, but it’s also really fun, because you can go really fast.

Are there any parks out here that measure up – or at least compare?

There are a few, I really like Pizzey, that place is sick and there’s also some sick bowls in Western Australia. I haven’t been over there for a few years, but when I did it was just like big transition everywhere. It was all new and all really big.

 Belco must stack up as a classic old bowl? I know you love that place.

Belco is amazing! That’s definitely another one of those parks, while it isn’t as big, it feels big when you skate it, and it’s just iconic, super iconic. You get in a loop there and just keep goin’. You can’t stop.

You were only there a few months back for the comp and shenanigans right? It was so good to see everyone there hooking in to the good times.

Yeah, this year they were going for kind of a Copenhagen Open type of vibe and it was fuckin’ sick. Everyone was skating, we were hitting street spots, at the bar they had 1/4 pipes and were giving cash out. The next day there were like 300-400 people and we were all skating through the city, went to the double set and people were throwing down there, and that thing is insane, it’s so big and from there we cruised over to the bowl for the bowl jam. That really was a day to remember. So much fun.

You got back home for the first time in a while earlier this year – other than hook in to filming the OJ part, what were some of the first things you ticked off the list when you got back?

The day I got back, I went to my local skatepark, Kiama and organised a filmer, because I wanted to back smith the rail there…

The one above the big lump thing?

Yeah, I didn’t get it that day, got close – but the next day I said ‘Alright, let’s get this’ and ended up getting it. It also ended up being the ender to the part.

 Handling business before pleasure.

Yeah, had to get it, I was hyped. I also had my first legal beer. Went to the local, Minnamurra golf club which is like a kilometre from my house. Got all the boys together, it was so good to see em’ all, have a few beers, then woke up the next morning and a had a surf on some really good waves. I was stoked – it felt so good to be back.