The Follow Up: Jack Olson, Zion Wright and Willy Lara

Real Intro 750pxThree, that's the magic number     Photo: Hammeke

Follow Up: Jack Olson, Zion Wright and Willy Lara

By Joe Hammeke


So how’s summer treating you guys? 
Zion: Summer’s been fire!

2zionfs5050kinkrail 4J adams DZ 750pxBack home and gettin' it! Kinky 50-50     Photo: Adams

Where were you last week?
Zion: I was just in Copenhagen last week hangin' out for Copenhagen Pro and before that I was at X Games with Jack 
Jack: Summer’s been tight. Went home to Minnesota for a couple weeks and was in Boston just the other day. I was in Europe in May
Willy: Summer’s been dope. I was in Boston last night. Wait, I mean I was in Boston last week with Real for Roll for Rob. Now I’m back in Cali on the beach doing this interview.
Zion: I was in Europe for six weeks, now I’m back home, ready to get it.

 

 

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Willy, these guys said you asked what the currency-exchange rate was when you got to Boston. Did you not know where you were?
Willy: Yeah, man, I don’t even know. I got to Boston and was, like, “Am I in another country or what?” 

Does flying on an airplane mean going out of the country for you?
Willy: Yeah, pretty much, I guess.

Willy, you went to Australia for the Vans Park Series stops?
Willy: I was in Sydney.
Zion:  We were in Manly.

3WillyMadonnaTailMorf DZ 750pxHope T MACK is ready for that T SMACK. Willy, massive Madonna     Photo: Morford

Oh yeah, you’re on that too, Zion.
Zion: I’ve only missed two stops.
Willy:  We were in Brazil and Sierra Negra before that.
Zion: We were in Malmö too.

What has been the best stop so far?
Zion: I’d say Australia was pretty sick.
Willy: Yeah, good friends out there, a good course, good weather.
Zion: Batties!
Willy: Yeah!

Seems like all three of you are pretty busy. How do you manage to juggle all of your scheduling? Team managers? Agents? Your parents?
Willy: Me and some team managers, we get together and sort it out.
Zion: Team managers and agents figure it out.
Jack: I just do it myself and I’ll have Nate Alton help out too.

4JackOlson FrontsideSmithGrind PhotoByRobCollins 1 2 DZ 750pxMaking it all work indeed! J-Olson, heavy-metal Smith    Photo: Collins

Do you have some sort of hierarchy: board brand comes first, shoes, energy drink, bearing sponsor?
Zion: I think it’s just whatever. But obviously if something comes up with the board sponsor you do that first and shoe company next. It just depends on what's more important at the moment.
Willy: I just go with the flow.
Jack: I just try to make it all work.

How does it feel to pay rent for a month when you're not home at all?
Zion: Beast!
Jack: I used to hate it. I used to think about it all the time and how bad it sucked. At the end of the day, it doesn't suck because you're traveling.
Willy: Right now I’m still at my parents’ house not paying rent yet. I’ll be out there soon, though.
Zion: I’ll be on the road and when I gotta pay rent I know my house is good and all my stuff is good. I’m not trippin'.

Zion, how was the Am Scramble? 
Zion: That trip was really sick. All the boys went from North Carolina to Atlanta, ten days just skating non-stop spots with Mike Sinclair and Burndog. It was super sick.

5Zion540Morf DZ 750pxZion goes head over heels on a padless 540. If you got it, let 'er rip     Photo: Morford

You’re from the East Coast. Had you ever been to those spots before?
Zion: I’d actually been to North Carolina before on a trip with Sinclair. I’d been to them before but didn’t get to fully skate them, so that trip was kinda a rerun for me.

Half those guys already went pro. What’s up with you?
Zion: I’m just chillin', not really rushin’ shit. Hangin' out, cruisin’, just going with the flow.

Who’s the most famous guy from your hometown?
Zion: Brad Cromer
Jack: Prince, unless it has to be a skater. Rest in peace.

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It doesn’t have to be a skater.
Zion: Oh, it can be anyone? Lemme think. I'm sticking with my first answer. I can’t think of anyone more famous from Jupiter, Florida, than Brad Cromer.
Jack: Skate-wise, definitely Steve Nesser is the most famous skater to come out of Minneapolis.
Willy: Moorpark—there isn’t really anyone from there but Brad McClain, Curren Caples and Mike Anderson are from the area.

So you guys are from all over: Jupiter, FL, Minneapolis, MN and Moorpark, CA. Jack and Zion, what was the breaking point where you were, like, “I gotta move out West.”?
Jack: For me it was all I wanted to do since I was 15. Once I graduated high school I had an opportunity to move out here so I just took it because I knew this was where I could go to skate and not have to deal with the harsh winters. 

Was it hard? How did you make ends meet? Deliver pizzas? Uber driver?
Jack: For a year or two leading up to the move I saved up as much money as I could. I won some contest money, worked at 3rd Lair skatepark, did random stuff to make money. I lived in California for nine months and then had to move home for about six months because I ran out of money. I saved up and came back and have pretty much been here ever since.

6WIllyNosegrindMorf DZ 750pxThe homies are lurkin' while Willy's working'. Frontside nosegrind     Photo: Morford

Zion, what about you?
Zion: Yeah, pretty much the same thing. Just wanting to be able to skate year round and just be out here with all the shit that’s going on. I came out here first when I was 15 and was hanging out for a little bit and I didn’t really have much. I went home for a bit and then came back and was living in Long Beach.  

So you came out several times on extended trips?
Zion: Yeah, the first time I came out was for about a year.  

Did you have a place or were you just couch surfing?
Zion: Nah, first time I came out I was staying in Malibu with some family friends and stuff, just hanging out. Second time I went to Long Beach. I was couch surfing for a lil' bit and then went back home, came back out and had a spot. I wasn’t really paying rent, though. I just had couch space. Then a year ago I got a place and I’ve been cruisin' ever since.

7 jackolsonswitch5050fromflat jeremyadams DZ 750pxJack, surfed out switch 50-50 on a land tube. Sick, brah!     Photo: Adams

Willy, do you ever think you you need to move closer to LA?
Willy: Yeah, pretty soon. I'm just saving up some money right now, but I’ll be out there soon.


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Do you have a drivers license yet? I saw you have a car.
Willy: I had an appointment with the DMV today but I ditched it to do this interview. You can always reschedule that.

How long have you had a car?
Willy: I just got it last week.

8ZionFsTailMorf DZ 750pxZion, frontside tailslide at Kezar. You know that's Wright!     Photo: Morford

What is it?
Willy: Audi S4. It’s lookin' good out there, you know.

Oh, damn! Zion, do you have a car?
Zion: Nah, not yet.

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So is Willy gonna be your Uber driver?
Zion: Hell no! That kid’s fried. I do not trust him driving.

This video, By Any Means, is about the three of you and Jafin Garvey. How often do you all skate together?
Zion:  I feel like it just depends, but when we are all in town we try to link up as much as possible.
Jack: It’s mainly on trips but between trips we try to link up when we can.

9JackBarleyHammeke DZ 750pxThis ain't no switch feeble—Jack takes the Barley grind down some serious real estate     Photo: Hammeke

How much of No Finish Lines is filmed in LA versus on the road?
Jack: I’d say that most of my stuff is on the road. There’s a good amount of stuff in LA but most of it’s on the road.
Zion: The San Diego trip was the one that set it off.

Do all three of you guys have energy-drink sponsors?
Zion: No, Willy doesn’t.
Jack: Just me and Zion.

9WillyOllieMOrf DZ 750pxSomewhere, over the rainbow… Willy blasts a beachside FSO on a never-ending wave     Photo: Morford

Being an am, are they crucial in order to afford to live? 
Jack: Yeah, I’d say so. Just being able to support ourselves, pretty much.

Can you quit that shit once you go pro?
Jack:  Ah, no. I don’t think so.

Is there any sponsor you wouldn’t take, drug maps, car rims, headphones—but you gotta make a daily Instagram post wearing them?
Jack: I don’t know. I guess it depends on the circumstances.
Zion: That check’s gotta be lookin' right.
Jack: Depends on what they want me to do.

10Group1Hammeke DZ 750pxDaaaaaaaaaamnnnnn!     Photo: Hammeke

What’s the biggest single check you ever cashed for anything, contest winnings, home loan, whatever?
Jack: The biggest check I cashed is probably from Phoenix Am.
Zion: Same, yup.
Jack: And that was three grand.
Zion: I don’t see my checks, though.

So we gotta ask special agent Clements what your biggest check is?
Zion: Yeah.
Jack: So you’ve never actually cashed a check?
Zion: Never.

11jackkickflipfsblunt crenshawcurveinrail jeremyadams DZ 750pxJack, kickflip front blunt with crucial sticker placement. Don't hate; go skate     Photo: Adams

What about you, Willy? Didn’t you win a Diamond Halloween Hellride contest?
Willy: No, I haven’t yet.
Zion: What about that money Nicky Diamonds gave you?
Willy: I think I did get, like, five grand from the Halloween Hellride. I think that was a good, big check.
Jack: What about that In Transition part? Have you got that money yet?
Zion:  Yeah, what’s up with that ten Gs?
Willy: I haven’t gotten that money yet. It’s all good, though.

What, are the Berrics not paying?
Willy: I don’t think so. I mean, I haven’t got the money yet, so—still waiting.

12WillyNosebluntMorf DZ 750pxTop-rope noseblunt at Potrero while waiting on that Berrics check. Free Willy? Nah, pay that dude     Photo: Morford

Who’s killing it right now?
Zion:  Everybody, all the bros, Jamie Foy, Axel, Mason.
Jack: Jamie Foy.
Willy: K Walks
Zion: K Walks, Winkowski.
Jack: Ishod’s on fire now.
Zion: Ishod, Willy, Jack, all the bros.
Willy: Ishod.

What’s it like watching Ishod and K Walks skate? 
Jack: It’s not fair
Zion: It’s not real. It’s really not.
Zion: I would say Ishod’s approach to things is just, like, yeah, get it done. If it’s not done the way he wants it done, it wasn’t meant to be. K Walks' approach is just pull up shut it down real quick.
Willy: Oh yeah, easy.
Zion: I’d say their approach to skating is super dialed. They know what they wanna do and how to do it. They just pull up real quick and get the job done. In and out.
Willy: Quick.
Zion: They have fun and shit, the bros.
Jack: Watching Ishod skate a park is not fair.  
Zion: Dude, he just skates around and loops the park for hours.
Jack: He does not stop.
Zion: He does different tricks, tricks that are sick and then he’ll do a trick and be, like, “Ah, I just learned that!”

14ZionSmithGapMorf DZ 750pxBondo-assisted Smith grind gap out. Why buy a car when you can haul ass for free?     Photo: Morford

Do you ever watch them and feel like anything is possible?
Jack: Watching Ishod skate, It motivates me to skate more. I’m watching him skate forever and not get sore.
Zion: Skate, skate, skate, skate. 

Have any of you guys been hurt and out for awhile?
Jack: A year and a half ago I broke my arm. Right down there at Venice Beach. I had to get surgery, nine screws in my arm. I basically didn’t do shit for three-and-a-half months. I played video games 'til I was so bored.

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Learn any vegan recipies?
Jack: No vegan recipes, leave that to Corey. But every time I get hurt I tell myself I need to pick up a new hobby.
Zion: I broke my femur two years ago. I was out for a total of four months, chillin'. I didn’t have to do physical therapy. It healed fine.
Jack: That was my hobby when I was hurt, physical therapy. I did that two times a week for, like, two months. I tried to get my arm better the entire time. I’ve also had surgery on my left arm three times. I broke it four times and had to get surgery for three of them.
Willy: I actually broke my ankle two years ago on a trip to Oregon. Hit a bunch of skateparks on the way to a contest, tried a nosegrind on the biggest wall at Lincoln City and something went wrong. I ran out and rolled my ankle really bad; it broke. I was out for six or seven months.  

15 JH15029 DZ 750pxBricktown best watch it's back 'cause Jack is on the attack. Kickflip nosegrind     Photo: Hammeke

Got a prediction for SOTY 2017?
Jack: Louie Lopez.
Zion: Oh shit, he’s been fuckin' shit up! That’s such a good one!
Willy: I’m not sure. That’s a hard one.
Jack: We were just talking about this one the other day.
Zion: K Walks could come out with some more heat. Niggas never know. Ishod, that nigga trying to put out a part. We will have to wait and find out. I’m going with that!
Jack: Zion 2017!

Alright, what’s next?
Zion: Clips, more clips and clips.
Jack: Probably just start working on another part, keep skating and traveling a bunch.
Willy: Same. Trying to get a part for the Vans video.

16ZionFsFeebleHammeke DZ 750pxZion, steep and deep frontside feeble. Better throw Wright's name in that SOTY hat     Photo: Hammeke


For this video, is there anything that got away? Something you wanted to get but didn’t. 
Jack: There’s definitely stuff I’ve been trying at spots, rail tricks that I haven’t been able to get.
Zion: It’s like soul skating, man! You just gotta wait for the perfect spot, like the perfect wave. Willy’s gonna go back and grind the wall that broke his ankle.

Group2Hammeke DZ 750pxThe future's so bright, Jack needs to buy some shades…     Photo: Hammeke
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