Late last week, the Diamond Footwear ‘European Summer Tour’ departed from France and made its merry way over the English Channel, with the assembled crew of Jamie Foy, Brandon Biebel, Torey Pudwill, Boo Johnson and Nick Tucker finding themselves in our nation’s capital for a weekend of skate-tourism, though obviously there was a Saturday afternoon appearance at Slam City and a packed out demo at Southbank thrown in for good measure.
On the Friday morning, before the London leg of the tour got into full swing, we managed to grab an hour at Mile End skatepark with everyone’s favourite Florida born big lad, and the deserved winner of Thrasher Magazine’s coveted 2017 ‘Skater of the Year’ accolade, Jamie Foy.
Read on to find out what Jamie has to say about his recent travels, life at Diamond Footwear, filming with Ty Evans and his thoughts on London, then enjoy the clip he managed to bang out in 30 minutes before hopping on the Central Line to further explore the streets of the Big Smoke…
To start with – congratulations on the ‘Skater of the Year’ win.
Thank you very much.
What were the reasons behind you guys heading off to Australia to celebrate?
One of the main reasons was that me and the homies I was taking on the trip had never been to Australia, and asking people where some of the best places are to skate, that’s always one of the countries that pops up. We were skating around, and each spot that we went to would have three different spots, so it was kinda crazy. It felt like we were almost on the East Coast of The States because it had those types of spots, but we were in Australia so it was a little bit rugged, but still some of the spots were really perfect.
I wanted all the homies that I was taking to be stoked to go somewhere that they’d always wanted to go and they’d never been, and I feel that’s the best way to get the most footage and to keep the hype up, so that’s how we picked that one. It was a lot of fun.
Watching Pedro Delfino, Alex Sorgente and Zion Wright skating bowls and vert, did you get hyped to hit some transitions yourself whilst you were out there?
Oh, of course. Every time I watch them skate I get hyped to skate some transition. We went to this one vert ramp – it’s pretty famous, it’s one of the more famous vert ramps there – I guess it used to be a little smaller but now it’s 13 foot and all metal, and Pedro was fucking that shit up, he was just killing it, doing his inverts, his airs, grinds, just hauling ass. Watching that, I’m like “they make it look so fun and easy and good at the same time…I want to get there!"
I’ve always been practicing my tranny so that way when we go out and skate, I can skate with all the homies. I don’t wanna be the one sat there at the ramp like “I wish I could do that", I try to go out there and do it.
Moving onto the Diamond Footwear ‘European Summer Tour’ that you’re currently on, you guys were just in France. How did you find the cities over there? Has it been strictly skating or have you found time to fit in some tourist business too?
I got in one day late (to Paris), and they did all the tourist stuff on the first day, like they went to the Eiffel Tower. I honestly didn’t get to go to the Eiffel Tower but I saw it from afar, I saw it in the distance though, so that’s cool. The main thing I was stoked on was the skate tourism – we went to the double set that the Emerica guys skated a bunch, that really perfect marble one, and then all these other spots, all these ledges that are super good granite with great edges they make great noises – when you grind them it’s so satisfying. Going out there was cool because we did a good amount of skating. There were definitely some spots that we didn’t get to hit that I wanted to, but the next time I go there I’m definitely going to check them out.
When and how did the opportunity to ride for Diamond Footwear come about?
It was about two years ago – I was riding for Nike SB flow at the time, before Diamond, and I had a homie that worked at The Berrics and someone hit them up to get my contact info…and that someone was Torey (laughs). I got wind, my homie hit me up like “hey dude, someome’s gunna approach you with an offer for a company, it should be pretty cool", I was like “oh sick", because I was flow for everything at the time, I’d never had someone come at me with an offer for anything. I was like “who, man?" and he was like “I don’t wanna tell you, I don’t wanna tell you!" but I got it out of him, so I was waiting for it. Eventually Torey hit me up, we talked for like two to three hours on the phone, I went to Biebel’s and tried out some shoes and stuff, then I talked to Nike about it, and for me I think it was just a better look to go to Diamond. I was super stoked because it was a small squad, they were hyped to have me on and do stuff and start the relationship right away. They welcomed me with open arms and it’s been great times ever since.
You’re currently working on a shoe for Diamond, right?
How’s that shaping up?
It’s shaping up good! We’ve got the Deathwish collab with the Diamond ‘Select Hi’. I wanted to make it look kinda simple because I like all black shoes and it goes well with the Deathwish vibe I feel. I threw some red on there with the Death spray in the middle, going all the way down the tongue to the toe, and then we had to keep it a little classy with the embroidery on some parts of the back and the sides. I’m stoked on it – it’s a great shoe to skate in.
Having been involved in a wide array of video projects this past year, how does it compare filming for a Deathwish project to filming with Ty Evans for ‘The Flat Earth’? With the latter, was there an extra element of pressure to not crash into extremely expensive camera equipment?
Yeah, yeah (laughs). It was definitely different; skating with Ty was a whole eye-opening experience, but a great eye-opening experience. Ty is one of the best dudes, and he’s super motivated. Whenever we’d go to a spot, if we were wanting to skate it but there was something wrong with it, as soon as we’d point it out, Ty would be like “I’ll fix it!" He’s the first one on it; that’s almost like his part of skating – he’s the filmer, but to help us get the trick, he’ll fix the spot if he has to, and he’s always stoked to do that.
Having Ty be there and be super stoked, he pushes you to do tricks that he wants to see you do and that he wants to film, but he sees the stuff in you that you want to do, which is why I feel that he’s so passionate about what he does - he wants to help you be the best you can be at the same time as being the best that he can be.
There’s always super positive vibes with him. (Filming for ‘The Flat Earth’) was a lot of pressure on myself I feel like, because I wanted to do the best I could because Ty was doing the best he could. He helped me do tricks I didn’t think I could do; there were some tricks that were just dreams, but I told him about them and he was like “lets go!" and then you get there and you’re like “I don’t even wanna try this right now but you’re here, you’re so down, I told you ‘yeah’…I’ve gotta do it!" then it just happens. Ty keeps the hype up and gets you to do stuff you’ve always wanted to do, and sometimes you make stuff you honestly didn’t think you could do. It’s great.
You’ve been in London quite a bit recently – how have you found the city, and what are some of your best memories from the time you’ve spent here?
Definitely my best memory so far is just being out here with my mum. She came out here for Street League two weeks ago, so that was cool because we were staying in the same hotel and we got to hang out. She’s always down, she was walking while me and the homies were skating around; she’s always down to just come along. She wants to see the skate sights too because she grew up with it as well. I’ve been skating since I was 1 and she’s always been super supportive so skating is in her life too, 100%. She loves it. That’s one of my best memories. It’s been cool coming here because I love that everyone speaks English, which makes things super easy (laughs), it helps everything out a lot. Also the city is beautiful; there are so many bricks and so much graffiti…it kinda makes you feel like you’re in a ‘skate town’ at times, you can take the train to so many spots and plazas; I’ve been having a lot of fun times out here.
Lastly, what’s next for Jamie Foy?
I’m gunna keep doing the same things I’ve been doing. All I do is skate pretty much, so I’ve been filming with the homies back home; I’m always working on some type of project, because if I’m not then I’m probably just skating a skatepark, and that gets a little boring; you always have to get out of the park. Some homies are coming up right now, like Tyson (Peterson) just went pro and all that, so it’s sick seeing the boys come up, and I feel like there’s one giant hype generated behind Florida with everyone hyping each other up. It’s been a sick year.