FS Nose slide Christchurch Photo: Barber
SCOTT LAI By the Gemmell Brothers
Scott Lai has evolved from a Rock n Roll street bum to one of New Zealand’s finest optical assistants. This change has also reflected in his skating, he now has a more defined style and definitely looks at home on his board. However he has not lost all of his raw attitude, when some sort of authority decides to confront him Scott will not hesitate in piss taking and arguing his point until the bitter end. He has an amazing ability to force civilians to boiling point, but always manages to weasel his way out unscathed. All in all Scott has been a great friend and skater, and he is definitely a missed part of the Hamilton scene for his pumped tude and trouble making. Scott sure knows how to get it done. Hard and Fast. In the last couple of years you’ve lived in Sydney, back to H-town, and now you’re in Auckland. How do they compare? Australia is mean as. Sydney rips for beaches, pubs/beers and skateboarding. It’s so good. Melbourne and Brisbane are really close and flying is pretty skull. Australia has some of the best spots in the world, it’s gnarly, everyone’s killing it. H-town is just same old shit different day nothing new happening, sorry lads. But you are bang in the middle and have good small towns close by and Auckland is not far away, heaps of shit is close. I miss all my homies and the Casino rips. I had to get away and find a new place… Auckland’s good and I’m feeling the vibe.
T HE SKU X X I N T ERVI EW You’ve hit some big rails in your time, do you like skating rails? Ha-ha I try. It’s a rad feeling. It feels cool and I’ll keep hunting for more for as long as I can. I get nervous sometimes but find if I have a couple beers I’m more confident. What about mannys and tech tricks? I like manuals and flipping my board, I’m no super skull tech dog but I kill it sometimes. The chill fun skates, I try to do some new shit but I just go with the flow and see what works mate. How was filming for your part in New Morning? I wish I had more stunts. Nice work Jono, good shit for filming and ripping mate. Can you magically make my part amazing? I want it to be a good part… but I’ve been slack. I just like going out and skating with the homies, if I can do something well I’ll try and do it. Lately it’s been more shooting than filming. Now I just feel like filming more and getting some power slides, street ollies and hill bombs. So who’s part are you backing in the vid? I haven’t really seen the parts yet so I’m psyched to see the final product, I know Dan’s pretty much killed it so his part should be amazing, and I heard Josh filmed a pretty dope slam the other day which should be sick ha-ha. Also Little Penis Nuku should have some skull maneuvers.
Who are you currently representing? Traffick, Cheapskates Khyber, Fortune wheels, Silver trucks, LRG threads, Adio kicks, Sabre goggles.
How does shooting for an interview and filming for a video part compare? I like shooting more but there’s way more pressure. I think you have to have your trick you want to go do and just do it. Sometimes it works out but if I have bad days it sucks, I just don’t concentrate and I’m a slack dude. It’s always good to see the footage evidence as well. Been tough lately to film, shit, it’s been a lot easier to shoot and I think I’m enjoying it a lot more than filming.
How has shooting for this interview been? It’s been cool and bad. Been on some fun missions. Cheers to Mark and Jake for their patience and the fun trips, good times and some long adventures but we smashed it hard and fast. I’m pretty happy now.
How did you find filming and skating in Barcelona? Amazing, I wish we were there for longer. We did well lads, we found a lot of spots, skated a lot and had heaps of fun. We had one chill day, hired bikes and raced around
Where do you want to be in the next few years? Keep skateboarding and travelling around doing something choice. Get myself a dog, own a Harley, house/pool and spa.
Deen Rakich Interview By Chris Brooks
Backside noseblunt. PHOTO: DARWEN
By Harry Wilson Photos Mark Barber
“An arm like a cannon and the mind of a scientist.” – Justin Keeley.
BS 5-0, Auckland.
Bjorn Johnston Switch Crooks, Sydney Photo: Barber
Mike Bancroft Stale Fish, Auckland Photo: Darwen
By Simon Kerr and Max Couling
HE’S NOT PLAYING POKER AT THE CASINO HE’S AT A HOME GAME. AND IF HE’S NOT AT A HOME GAME HE’S PLAYING ONLINE, AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT COMING OUT BETTER OFF. AND AFTER ALL THIS HE SOMEHOW FINDS THE TIME AND MOTIVATION TO WORK A FULL SHIFT HOLDING IT DOWN AT QUEST, PART OF WHICH COMES DOWN TO THE MAN SIZED FILTER COFFEES HE IS RARELY SEEN WITHOUT. THIS LIFESTYLE OF MINIMAL SLEEP, RUNNING ON CIGARS, HASN’T SLOWED HIM DOWN ANY THOUGH. GUS CURWOOD, STILL SMASHING IT. Barber: You grew up in Ashburton, what’s the vibe there? Seems like a bunch of spots for a small town, some heavy shit into that pool and the racecourse has seen some shit go down.... Gus: Yeah, Ash was alright, it’s what you make of it, like anywhere. Good for hacking round on motorbikes and old cars at this place called the Butts; spots are getting pretty blown out now. We just skated a curb height ledge every day when I lived there. Si: What made you move to the big smoke? Gus: Christchurch was only an hour away so it was always pretty easy to get up here. Just hitchhike down the highway, hitchhiked about 100 times. Si: Any favorites? Gus: Yeah, just stuck in Hornby, nine o’clock at night, in the dark. Si: Who was the first person to hook you up for skating? Gus: Wide Load, Aaron Bolt, looked after me then, and he still looks after me now. Si: You told me once you were an apprentice beekeeper for six months, is there any truth to this? Gus: Yeah, it’s true, I got a certificate, took it. Most of my time was spent just chiseling wax out of the crates, I got stung in the eye and my face swelled up that’s about the best thing that happened… whole face dude, looked f#%*ed up. Si: How would you compare skating in the 90’s to today? Gus: It’s hard to say because when your a kid growing up it’s going to be intense
BS Tailslide. PHOTO: Barber
5050 pop out in Kobe.PHOTO: JAKE MEIN
JUST LIKE JOHN BLACKTHORNE IN JAMES CLAVELL’S 1975 NOVEL, SHOGUN, ADRIAN VERCOE IS A FOREIGNER IN A STRANGE LAND. UNLIKE THE PROTAGONIST, HE’S THERE BY CHOICE, AND HE’S LOVING IT. ONLY A FEW MONTHS HOME AFTER A SUCCESSFUL SKATE TOUR OF JAPAN, HE’S RETURNED TO WORK, SHOOT AND LIVE A LIFE FEW ARE ACCUSTOMED TO…. – Mark Barber In August I moved to Japan to participate in the JET program. Jet is an initiative run by the Japanese government to promote internationalization within Japan. The program employs roughly 4500 people from all over the world to work as either an ALT (assistant language teacher) or CIR (information pending). I am an ALT, I teach in 4 primary schools and 2 intermediates, I work 35 hours a week travelling around different schools teaching English. Since I landed at Tokyo airport 3 months ago I’ve had a whirlwind of experiences. I speak no Japanese, so I have hilarious interactions on the daily. One thing we had drilled into us before we left was “everyone’s situation is different” and it really is… apartment size, rent, school duties, travel distances are just a few of the variables. This is just a slice of my experiences so far. PLACEMENT You get placed at random. I’ve been placed up the top of Honshu (main island) in a prefecture (province) called Akita. Akita doesn’t see many foreigners so you automatically become something of a local celebrity… this means lots of staring, girls giggling, boys pointing and random people saying hello and bowing to you for no apparent reason. Akita has one main city and many small rural towns. I am in an area called Daisen-shi, it’s an amalgamated city made up of many small areas. The biggest city houses approximately 40,000 residents. Within Daisenshi is my area, called Nakasen, it has approximately 10,000 people and reminds me a lot of Alexandra in Central Otago. The trade off for living rural is a decent house and the opportunity to own/lease a car. I have a big department store five minutes drive from my house, this has all the general needs: a super market, clothing, photos, 100yen shop ($2 shop but a million times better), books/ magazines and a whole lot more. The nearest skate park is 40 minutes south in Yokote city, it consists of a pyramid, two steep banks, a mellow 5ft quarter pipe, two grind boxes and ground reminiscent of the Mornington Bowl. LANGUAGE BARRIER The first three days were the ‘honeymoon period’, we were put up in this balling 5-star hotel in central Tokyo. With 1000 other jets in the same complex, you never felt deprived of an English conversation, and Tokyo is a very foreigner friendly city. When I got to Akita 3 days later it all hit me like a Dan Pague switch front board slide… no one here speaks English, even my English teachers have a very limited palette. This was the start of ‘old mate’ - culture shock. It’s a funny thing culture shock, you hear so much about it, people throw it round so freely, “Oh yeah this girl broke down crying in the super market from culture shock” or