position I am. There aren’t many people that get to do what they love for a living so now that I have that chance to do that, I’m going to do it the best that I can. A legacy isn’t really up to me, so I just do what I do the best that I can and that’s up to other people to critique what I do. Who are some of the skaters that are on your radar? What are some of the skaters you think are the next generation of elite? As far as street skating, Nyjah (Huston) has just been dominating and it’s unbelievable that he’s so young. It’s amazing that he’s so consistent at a young age and came through with such a good video. A few years ago, you were either a good contest skater or a good video skater and there weren’t that many guys that were good at crossing over. As far as Vert and Mega Ramp skating, Eliot Sloan is definitely getting really good. He’s really powerful and goes big. He did a Tail Grab 900 at the Maloof Money Cup last year and almost landed one at X Games. Mitchie Brusco’s been doing really well too. He’s definitely going to be really good if he keeps skating the way he is. With skateboarding becoming so rooted in American culture - do you feel like it has become too accessible? Has the sport lost some of the edge/danger that originally drew so many people to it? You can’t have everything. Now that’s skateboarding is more accessible it is helping pros to make a decent living at it. Now I can actually save a little money and not be living check-to-check. Now I don’t have to be stressed out that if I break something I’m going to have to get a day job in a couple of months. It might be a little more mainstream, but on the flipside, that’s helping a lot of people to actually focus on skateboarding a lot more because they can make a living from it. Even if skateboarding is mainstream, I’m not going to let anything dictate how I skate. I always try to be original and unique and if you’re doing that, it doesn’t matter if it’s mainstream. If you’re still keeping it real like when skateboarding was underground and you were broke then it’s the same thing except you have some money in your bank account and you can actually eat. Did the Warped Tour really play a part in you turning Pro? What’s that story? For sure. I grew up in Montreal, Canada. It was crazy when I came to California for the first time, way before Warped Tour. Every kid was sponsored. When I won the
Warped Tour, I finally got sponsored by Vans and they gave me a travel budget that allowed me to travel from Canada and come out to California and to Europe to enter all those contests and that’s how I turned pro. If it wasn’t for Vans I wouldn’t have been able to do that on my own. I would have been stuck in Canada and no one would have gone out there to find me. With your roster of sponsors and professional obligations, do you still skate for fun? Is it difficult to skate as both a passion and for your paycheck? If it wasn’t fun, I would probably suck at it. It’s as simple as that. If you’re not having fun then it becomes and job. If you’re not having fun skating, even if it’s professionally, you should probably find something else. When skateboarding isn’t enjoyable for me, that’s the day I’m going to hang it up and try to figure out something else. I’m still having a lot of fun and there’s so many aspects of skating between Vert, pool, park, street, superpark. There’s so much you can skate that you can always reinvent yourself and try something new. You have delved into MMA - how has that kind of strength conditioning impacted your skate career? It’s more like boxing than MMA. It definitely makes skating a couple hours easy because it’s pretty hard physically to be boxing and getting hit. It’s definitely made me stronger and tougher. I enjoy doing it and it’s just another way to stay in good physical form and challenge myself in another way. I was getting really bored just going to the gym and doing the same old stuff. Boxing is a way for me to work out and have fun and challenge myself and stay in shape and it’s fun to learn something new. I’ve always been a fan of boxing and how those guys get ready for fights. You’ve said before that by the time you are 40, your skating career is pretty much done. What are the plans for you after skating has that ever crossed your mind? I really don’t know. As of right now I’m trying to save up money so I have something to either start my own business or invest in something or actually have a cushion to refigure out my life and not have to be rushed into something else. It’s definitely going to be a tough transition, but I want to keep skating for the rest of my life whether I’m making a living from it or not.
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