Name three things you don’t like. And I’m not accepting dishonesty, cruelty, or unfulfilled potential. This is Thrasher, let’s keep it angry. Well this is me, and I’m not angry. I don’t like people putting other people down. I hate injuries and feeling like crap. And I hate giving up on tricks. I’d rather try for three hours than have to come back. I hate surrendering. I hate being lazy.
You’ve always been known as an all-terrain shredder. Who are some of your favorite all-terrain shredders? Chris Senn, Alan Petersen, and Jeremy Wray.
What about of the new generation? That tall lanky kid on Alien Workshop. What’s his name? Grant Taylor.
You’ve never seen a distinction between street skaters, vert skaters, or mini-ramp skaters. I grew up skating vert, and when street skating started to happen, it was just a natural evolution to do that—once we saw videos of Natas and Gonz.
Where do you get your competitive streak? Probably from my family, from my dad and brother. They raced motocross when I was young. My dad always kept us busy with motorcycles, bikes, surfing, and skating. I was even more competitive back then.
"Intoxication is not rebellion"
Where you tend to be a hippy, competitiveness isn’t a very common trait. I don’t think I’m very competitive anymore. To me it isn’t about winning, it’s about knowing I did my best.
But when it comes to video games, you’re very competitive. Yeah, I guess. Winning is more fun than losing.
In the last couple years, some skateboarders have gained attention for partying rather than skating. Do you have any insight you want to offer kids who might be getting distracted? I’ve always liked this saying: “Intoxication is not rebellion.” John Rattray and I saw a kid with that written on his board in the South of France and I thought it was pretty amazing. I went through that phase, so I tend not to be too critical of it.
You’re well-known for your contest skating. What kind of strategy do you have against someone like Greg Lutzka? I don’t. You can’t defeat someone like that. That goes back to my competitiveness. It’s me going there and trying to do the best I can. So when they call my name, to me, it’s like a 45-second test to do the best that I can. It’s a challenge to see how well I can do in a stressful situation.
You never seem nervous during contests. I’m really not; I’m usually just trying to have fun. I always find a smile on my face. I’m constantly trying to look at things differently. It’s too easy to be negative and say, “This sucks, fuck it.” Being negative is way too easy. It’s way too easy to always do the wrong thing. It takes so much more to have self-discipline and self-control. That’s the challenge, and I’ve always enjoyed the challenge.
Bluntslide. Photo: Rhino
What does your to-do list look like right now? Keep improving my skateboarding, stay healthy, and have fun.
What does your to-don’t list look like? Don’t get stuck in a rut, or mentally get down on myself. If something bad happens, move on. Get stoked and go on to the next thing. It’s too easy to dwell on negative things. I get frustrated with injuries, but when you have a bad attitude it takes longer to heal.
You’ve always been the gadget guy. What video game are you currently hooked on? “Super Mario Kart.” Currently playing it against Joe Pease.
Who’s better? We’re neck and neck. He had it first, but I’ve been spending the last two months learning all his little tricks. I just recently finally beat him. My competitive streak is really high right now, apparently.
You’re an iPhone guy. What’s you’re favorite app? My handicap app for golf. I used to have a whole bunch, but then I had a cold-turkey app day and deleted them all.
"He gave me the Locke look"
Have you ever ridden a Segway? What the fuck is a Segway?
One of those upright leaning things that the cops ride. Oh, no fucking way.
When was the last time you focused a board? Years. I don’t even remember.
A golf club? Never. But I’ve thrown a lot of them.
A video game controller? Never.
What about a dream catcher? No, but my mum has heaps of them in her house.
Backside ollie to tail. Sequence: Rhino
Your mom’s a wizard, right? Possibly. Well, no. She’s a type of wizard called a Wicca, which is the religion of earth. Summer solstice, winter solstice. The moon, the stars. Pretty much the original religion, which everything’s based on.
Have you ever focused a magic crystal? No way. That’s bad karma.
Any superstitions? Black cats, broken mirrors? Superstitions are man-made.
Do you have any guesses as to the secret ending of Lost? No, but Locke is tight.
I heard you met Locke. Yeah, at a Starbuck’s in Hawaii. And he gave me the Locke look.
For being a healthy person, it seems like you always have some kind of health problem. I currently have indigestion ’cause I eat too fast and too much. I took one of the gnarliest slams I’ve taken in years at a pool last week, so that messed up my lower back, both elbows, and my wrist. I was fucked.
"Mumford says i'm crazy, but I accept these challenges"
Among our group of friends, you have a reputation for having terrible taste in film. What would you do if there were indeed snakes on your plane? I’d go Crocodile Dundee on their asses. Interesting enough, I was skating a gap today in Vista with Jordan Hoffart and we saw a baby rattlesnake slither by.
In what movie was Snoop Dogg piloting your plane? …Soul Plane!
Dream Catcher starred which professional skateboarder? Jason Lee, and one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. I actually told Mumford it was amazing, so he took a date to see it, and he was super pissed at me.
What was worse in the Transformers movie, that the Autobots urinated—lubricated—on each other, or that they made Transformers II? Transformers are tight. Seriously.
Who’ll be playing Chad Bartie in the Lifetime channel original movie? Meredith Baxter-Birney, Rod Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres, or the host of Hell’s Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay? I don’t know who any of those people are.
I’ve found they all have a similarly wild, blonde, chopped-up haircut like you. But you don’t know who any of those people are, so we’ll move on. I know who Rod Stewart is.
You’re currently shopping around for a new deck sponsor. In a mock job interview, “What are your strengths? And why are you right for the job?” To be perfectly honest I’ve never been in a job interview as I’ve always worked for family business.
Heelflip noseslide. Photo: Rhino. Click image to enlarge.
Alright, so you have to attend one of the following concerts. Lilith Fair, the Juggalo Gathering, or New Metallica? Metallica, without a doubt. I’ve been loving Metallica lately. A massive Metallica kick.
What’s a skateboarding trend that’s built to last? Speed.
Who out of your friends is the biggest ball buster? Of our friends and in life, without question Matt Mumford.
When you and Matt go for coffee to catch up on stuff, what are three topics of discussion you know you’re going to cover extensively? Chicks, “Why aren’t you drinking?”, And, “You’re an idiot; life is too short to not be drinking.”
Name three famous mullets, besides yours. Jake Duncombe. An Aussie singer named Johnny Farnham. He has a pretty gnarly one. And, of course, Billy Ray Cyrus.
What’s your definition of “zorched”? When you’re disoriented or exhausted from having too much coffee or beer. Like a hangover, or just worn out or general tiredness. Fried.
What’s more spiritually appealing to you, Buddhism or The Force? To me, they’re the same thing.
What’s a bad habit you’re most proud of breaking? Just avoiding bad habits. Not getting into them. Maybe it comes back to my competitive nature. Always challenging myself. I’ve taken time to quit drinking for a while. Mumford says I’m crazy, but I need and accept these challenges. Just working on my self-control. You have to work at these things. They don’t come easy.
Looking back, what was your favorite era in skateboarding? Back in the early ’90s during the European contest series. When I was riding for New Deal. When all the companies and teams were there together. And everyone skated and partied. We did tours and demos and traveled. You’d be there for a month, and it was just amazing. It was also before all the contests were televised. It was just skateboarders doing it themselves. It isn’t that it was better then, it’s just that is was different. It was new then. It was a great experience.
Out of your video parts, which one are you most proud of? Actually, I haven’t had very many. But probably New Deal. I was happy with the way that one came out. Also, I have people ask me about Physics a lot. That was my first big United States part. Any video project, I try to invest myself entirely into it.
You just returned from a great Cayman Islands trip. Who was the crew? It was great—one my favorites trips ever. It was a wild FUEL TV trip with myself, Duffel, Lizard King, Jonny Layton, and Mike Peterson. Lizard was funny.
Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like to address in closing? I’ve learned a lot in the last year, with losing and gaining some sponsors. If anything, I feel like I’m skating harder and more often than ever before. I feel like I have a newly-revived passion, and everything looks positive.
As long as I’ve know you, you’ve always been reading one of those terrible self-help or motivational books. If you had to recommend one of your personal faves, what would it be? The Four Agreements. It’s a small, quick read, and it presents stuff quickly in a very practical way. It’s a lot of stuff you already know, but it presents and sheds new perspective on common problems.
If you wrote a self-help book, what would the title be? The Best is Yet to Be.
I asked your wife what she would title the unauthorized tell-all biography of Chad Bartie. Here’s what she came up with: Sarongs and Deepak Chopra: Why My Marriage Failed. He Listens to Enya. I listen to Slayer. How Positivity Drove Me to Alcoholism. Living with an Eternal Optimist. How to Not Kill Yourself.
In This Issue Classic power meets innovation on the March front as AVE goes over the back to switch 5-0 in NYC. There's 14 more pages of Van Engelen inside, so don't sweat it; Cyril Jackson talks about skating the streets (and sleeping in them), the Naawwsty Crew rolls deep from ATL to FL; Krooked krushes Korea; the Deathwish team spreads some love on the East Coast and Shane O'Neill has a killer ten-page feature. You heard what he did at Wallenberg, right? Add this one to your collection.