So to start off, we're here on the Supra Chino tour in Barcelona with you, Oscar and Dee rocking a new signature colourway each. Where has the tour been through so far, and what spots have been stand-outs?
B: The standout spot so far is definitely Paris - because Paris is Paris – and here for sure. But we hit a few little spots in between, Avignon, Marseille. It was fun, it was really cold though so I didn’t see much on the way, I was just bundled up in the van…I was ready to get to Barcelona by then. But the skatepark in Avignon, its rad. I really like that skatepark, the kids were cool, it was mellow. It was really windy but the place was sick. And yea, being in Paris!
How does the shoe feel compared to previous Supra models?
It’s a new shoe pretty much – I mean it’s a Supra so it has the same feel, but the Chino is a souped up Pistol. If you’re a Supra fan you’ll know we had the Pistol back in the day, but we had complaints that it was too thin and it’d blow out quick. So this is basically a newer version of the pistol; a simple, basic, authentic skate shoe that a lot of people should be able to relate too. It’s the shape that everyone’s going for nowadays.
You were involved with We Are Blood, which I wanted to ask you about; a video with a massive production budget which feels more like a big budget documentary than a skate video. How was the experience of that compared to filming for a more straightforward video?
That was insane! It was pretty wild. The funny thing was that Ty (Evans) hit me up way more than I expected and I didn’t actually get out on too many missions with him, just for the fact that I always have a lot to do. You know, as a skater you’re always like “Should I go out and get footage with this guy for this project, or this guy for another project", and it’s a struggle getting footage for your other sponsors. I knew he was filming for something, but I didn’t know it was going to be this big of a project so I missed out on a bunch of trips – like the US trip they did, that looked rad. But what Ty did with the whole video looked sick. I did go to Dubai with them, Mountain Dew hit me up last minute to see if I wanted to go out and cruise with them for a couple of weeks. It was insane dude. I went to Vegas and Vegas was the first time that I saw the level of production; the camera equipment and whatnot, I was like “This is next level!" So it was a cool experience, way outside the box but with a good outcome. It’s different – it brings skateboarding to the everyday person that has no clue what a skateboard is. I think that’s a good thing and a bad thing because now everyone knows what we’re doing…
Instead of people heckling with shouts of ‘Tony Hawk’ or ‘Sk8er Boi’ they’ll be shouting “We Are Blood!!"…
Exactly! And the skate industry – it gave outsiders the key to the skate industry, like “Oh shit, that’s what they do". It’s a good and bad thing, but at the end of the day Ty Evans did his thing and it was sick.
So you’re pretty on top of Twitter, Instagram etc…
Yea I’m non-stop, I’m a media fiend dude! My phone, I fucking need to get that thing away from me…
What do you consider the pros and cons of social media for a professional skateboarder in 2016?
I don’t know man…so everyone has their own way they run their own Instagram; you have the fools who post selfies or just them doing their thing, or you have the dudes posting all the homies doing whatever, but it’s down to you how you run it. Now Instagram is part of your job I guess and that’s how I do it. It’s gnarly, your sponsors hitting you up going “Yo, can you post this?" or “Yo, can you take this down, it’s kinda inappropriate…" and it’s crazy because you’re like “Wait, this is my Instagram – who cares what I post on it?" It’s like, going back, someone telling you that you can’t put something on Facebook or Myspace. But at the end of the day it builds your persona and builds who you are to people. Kids these days, it’s a major thing for them and they think they know you through that – like, “I know Boo Johnson", or Dee, or Oscar, just from Instagram – then when they actually meet you they’re a bit more comfortable, they can relate to you a bit.
On the other hand, kids will talk so much shit on Instagram, just to get a response. I block kids all day dude, they’ll say something so rude and I’ll immediately block, then a day later they’ll be on my girlfriends DM like “I was kidding man, I’m a big fan, I just wanted to see what Boo would say!" I’m like, c’mon man, think before you post! Social media’s a funny thing for sure – but it’s fun, and I’m definitely a fiend for it.
There’s an actual theory, I can’t remember what it’s called, about how long a comment thread gets before people get super offensive on it...
Dude, I don’t know what it is but fools go in on it. I’m like dude, you’re probably some kid who sits at home all day on his own. I’ll post something, then be checking my shit and there’s 200 comments, I go through and its two kids all the way through (laughs).
Carrying on from social media, judging by your presence on there as well as some of your graphics you’re clearly down for a smoke now and then – what countries stood out chronic-wise for you?
Dude, outside Cali right? I won’t include Cali, because Cali has the best stuff. But otherwise, I dunno. On this trip I’d say Barcelona, but every trip is different. I can’t say anywhere else has the best because that’s definitely California – LA and Long Beach. Other than that its hit and miss – you’ll be in China and get some good kush or something, then be in Barcelona and I got some sour diesel and I’m like, “This is like some Cali shit right here". At the end of the day, you gotta try all these different types.
So you’ve been to the UK a couple of times on Supra trips – how does that compare to California, driving massive distances to hit spots, and then being on this small, rugged island?
I think it’s sick! You watch these videos from here then you want to know what those spots are like. You come out thinking you’ll hit it full potential, like “Alright, I’m gunna try and skate it like they skate it" and the learning experience is rad. Those dudes get respect for killing it out here, because in the States everything’s smooth. There’s no cracks, we complain about a crack in front of a rail, like “where’s the Bondo at", so that’s a huge difference. I mean we got hesh fools in Cali for sure – Thrasher boys, San Francisco – but we’re still picky. We like perfect things you know, so it’s sick to be out here and skate some rough shit.
I’ll be skating round London and see some spot Tom Knox has had footage at, and realise how grim it actually is…
Dude! Tom Knox is insane. He’s on Kr3w now and I’ve been on a few Kr3w trips with him, he’s rad. And his parts are insane – it’s like Mark Suciu, when you get to a spot he’s skated you’re like “yeah right!" Quick feet, the whole nine yards.
So to close up, here’s a final question; Supra, DGK and Gold Wheels – you skate for some of the most hip-hop focused companies out there – so I’ve got to ask, what’s your favourite era and place for hip hop music?
Favourite era? Fuck man…I mean I’d say the 90s, early 2000s. Favourite place? I like Cali rappers, Atlanta as well, I got homies from Atlanta. In Cali we got Dom Kennedy, he’s ill, we got Wiz – even though he’s from Pittsburgh but he’s still out there – we got Snoop Dogg…it’s all Cali love man!
That’s probably a good point to finish on, cheers man!