Am Scramble 2018: Gabriel Summers Interview

Gabbers Photo1 750pxKicky nose with a major case of male pattern radness

Have you recovered from the trip yet?
Yeah, I’m recovered. I was skinned for a little bit. I had to go to Australia on another trip straight after that trip. So yeah, I’m good. I got a bit of an infection in my knee from when I slammed on it in Dallas, the one where I fell onto my face. But no, I’m good. Still skating.

How old are you, Gabbers?

’Cause somebody was asking me how old you were and I was, like, I have absolutely no idea.
How old did you think I was?

Well, you look older but that might just be your beautiful head of hair.
Or what’s left of it.

Did you decide to throw in the towel this year?
Yeah, I shaved it. I got rid of it.

You’re not gonna go for one more ponytail?
Nah. I think the turning point was when that My War came out, the 50-50, and it was sort of bittersweet watching the footage. I was, like, Ah, yeah I did it. Then I was, like, Aw yuck, I look terrible. That’s fucked, just the way the hat comes off and everything else it’s like Oh fuck, that’s bad.

I remember when Andrew Reynolds went through the same thing.
Yeah, it was just one of those things where it was, like, Fuck I’m so psyched to land that trick but fuck I wish the footage didn’t look like that. I think after that I was just slowly coming to terms with it, if that makes any sense. I’ve never really been self conscious about it anyway because I’ve been receding since I was a fuckin’ kid almost. It’s not a soft spot for me. Some people try to give me mean shit about it and I’m just, like, Dude, I don’t give a shit. There’s plenty of other things to worry about. This is something that I can’t do anything about.

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Right now you’ve got American sponsors. You’re on Zero, RVCA and adidas, you’re going on trips, you’re traveling the world, you’re on the Scramble. You’re in the magazines, on the websites, you’re doing really great for yourself. What’s been the biggest challenge so far getting to this point?
I don’t know, maybe me personally, some bad decisions I’ve made along the way and maybe not taking advantage of the time as much as I should have. Being, not self-conscious, but not thinking too highly of myself and not thinking of what I can do to get to where I am now sooner, if that makes any sense. Me personally, that’s probably my biggest hurdle. But, I mean, the reason I probably got to where I am now is just from friends that have done it before that have been able to tell me that I can do it.

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Yeah, why are you so hard on yourself?
I don’t know. I think it probably comes off in the way that I skate. I hate myself. Nah, I don’t hate myself but I like to punish myself. I don’t know why. It’s just something I’ve always done. It helps and it also doesn’t help. It’s a 50/50, a double-edge sword.

Right, ’cause you’re really hard on yourself but in the end it seems like you do pretty good and you succeed.
Yeah, I know that’s something that I definitely do a lot but I think me being hard on myself also motivates me to do better which is good in a way. But it’s also not so good too because, fuck, I’m gonna give myself a heart attack with the way I’m going sometimes. You know what I mean? You probably saw that on the trip. But I try to work on it. It just depends what mood I’m in on the day.

Have you ever come close to quitting trying to be a sponsored skater?
I mean, yeah. One day I was super close ’cause everything wasn’t really working out. I was talking to my mom about it and she was just like, “You’ve come this far. Nothing really matters, so do whatever makes you happy. If it’s making you happy do it and if it doesn’t don’t do it.” Pretty straightforward. And I kind of realized, like, Yeah, it does make me happy and I’m not gonna be able to do it forever so fuck, I may as well just give it my all. Who knows what’s gonna happen, you know? I’ve found myself in a situation where I’ve got two choices—go for it or go be a chef again. And I’m fine with doing that and I know it’s coming soon but why do that when my body is still working and I can still have fun by jumping down shit and hanging out with my friends and going on cool trips to Texas and shit like that? Why would I give up now? It’s almost comforting being in the situation that I am sometimes because I’m ready to go and get a job but I’m also still down to skate. I’m ready for it.

Gabbers Photo7 750pxThe chef served up a nosegrind into the ramp. Not surprisingly, it was delicious

So having worked an actual job and seeing the other side of it you know it’s not terrifying and it’s not the end of the world?
No, it’s not terrifying at all. Fuck I’m from Penguin, Tasmania. I’m from a beautiful place. I got no fears of going back home. That’s the thing, you don’t have to be worried about it if you don’t have anything to lose. I got nothin’. It doesn’t matter. I’m fine with getting a job.

Well, let’s not get there quite yet.
No, I’ve got time. I’m not trying to have a depressing Dane Burman interview.

What was the crew like on this one?
It was good. I was a little bit scared to be honest leading up to this trip just ’cause on the last one I was almost having nightmares. Going straight to double-kink 20 rails? Fuck, I better be on my game! But it was nice this time because it was a very diverse crew. Everybody was different and everybody brought something different to the table. Everybody had a good time and everybody was supportive. It was very fucking impressive to see some of the new ways that people skate.

Gabbers Photo3 750pxAfter battling a pack of drunk ladies, gap to crooks on this skinny kinker was a piece of piss

What jumped out at you?
I guess Jaakko and Tanner especially just because they’re doing some shit that no one really does. Especially Tanner. I mean, he treats a gutter like a kicker. Who the fuck does that? That doesn’t really add up! Jaakko, too, just because of how well-rounded he was. It got to a point at the end of the trip where it was, like, Oh yeah, he can do anything. If he’s going to try one thing he’s gonna do it. It seemed like there wasn’t a trick that he hadn’t mastered.

Totally. He just cruised in there.
And not even tricks, just ways of skating. He can skate handrails; he can skate stairs; he can skate out ledges; he can skate tranny; he can do anything. I know that whole ATV thing has been around for a long time but it seemed like he was damn good at everything. Like a Skankie, I guess.

You know what’s crazy is we didn’t even go to any of the kind of spots we’ve seen him skate before.
I know. Like where were the little manual pads that definitely aren’t manual pads?

The micro manual pads.
Yeah, we didn’t even go to any of those so who fuckin’ knows? It was just impressive to see. But then Henry was fucking gnarly and you can definitely tell that he has it pretty down. It was sick to see Fabiana. She was killing it. Pedro—Pedro’s one of my favorite skaters. It was sick to see everybody just rip. It was just so different, everybody was so different.

Gabbers Photo8 750pxSkateboarding isn’t supposed to be easy. Gabbers took a slam but claimed this pop shove 50-50 in the end. Hard work pays off

Well, you’re obviously born and bred on the Zero/Baker model of skating but these days it’s like there’s stuff coming from everywhere. There’s all this New York action that’s happening; there’s the GX1000. What’s getting you fired up these days?
I like people that don’t really give a fuck and kind of just go for it and it doesn’t seem like it’s very scripted. To be honest, I like all of those Supreme dudes. I think that they skate fuckin’ sick. I like that sort of skating. I think it’s cool. I like Pedro’s skating a lot nowadays and Chima as well. It’s so diverse these days. I like to see people try. I want to see them being hyped when they’re landing that trick. I want to see that they’ve worked very hard for it. ’Cause skateboarding is meant to be hard. When you see an element of hard working I’m into it.

So in Dallas you got a little bit of that good old fashioned seccy presh, security pressure, at the hubba. Were you hyped those guys showed up? I know you like a little security pressure.
Yeah, I like it. I like it for sure, it just depends on what. In that instance it was sick because in my head I knew that I was going to do it eventually. Even if it meant that we’d have to come back, I knew that every single attempt I was going for it. And that security guard was cool. He came out nice; he gave me a few goes. It sucks when they come out really hot and it becomes something where you’re fired up and they’re fired up. It doesn’t mix and then you end up saying some bad shit. You know what I mean.

Yeah, you end up pulling a Burman.
You end up pulling a Burman and you’re just thinking about it later, like, Fuck, I’m 27 years old and I’m being a dick to a person that’s doing their job. It kinda sucks. But I guess that’s just how it works when you’re coming out hot to someone. That kinda sucks. Sorry to the security guard. I hope he didn’t lose his job.

Gabbers Photo4 750pxA little rage, some White Clams and a double dose of seccy presh set Gabbers straight on this Texas-sized NBS

How’d you feel when you saw Kader crawl underneath that handrail?
We’re talking about the last day, right? I mean, fuck, we’ve all been there. I’ve definitely almost shed some tears skating those sort of rails. I think it was a bit of a stressful trip for him. I understand. It sucks.

We shoulda just gotten ice cream.
Yeah, I dunno. We’ve all had those trips. I’ve definitely had trips where I was that dude crawling under the handrail.

Every single one of the Scramblers from last year now have a pro board and half of them are on the Skater of the Year finalist list. How do you think this lot’s gonna do?
One of my personal goals is to get on that Skater of the Year list. Not a winner, that’s for damn sure, but I’d like to get on the list next year. But fuck, who knows? I guess there’s a Zero video coming out. Hopefully something happens. It would be nice to give my parents a board.

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Is being a pro skater a goal? Is that important to you?
I don’t personally care, but I just feel like because I’ve invested so much time and energy and it hasn’t been the end game for any other shit that I’ve done, but I think at this point it would be nice to just be, like, Hey, mom and dad, this is what I’ve been working towards for so fucking long. It would be cool to just have that. It would be cool to have something to validate all of the hard work that I’ve put in. All the minimal hair that I had, lost, you know what I mean?

Who’s your Skater of the Year 2018 pick?
Fuck, that’s so hard. I honestly think Tyshawn will get it but I wanted to see Chima get it. Chima coulda done it for sure. Just because I’ve been around Chima and seen all the shit he’s done recently after that part. I think with how good that part was with the song and how it was edited, I think Chima. I’d like to see him get it.

Is there a skater you really admire as far as how they’ve done the thing?
Dude, I’m gonna have to say Chima again just because I’m around him so much. I know what he’s like, the way he is in his personal life, the way he deals with skating. He still has fun. He’s not too uptight but he knows when to switch it on and handle it. But Ellington is such a G as well. The way he deals with shit. He’s had a pretty flawless career. So I’d say either Ellington or Chima. Ellington international, local Chima.

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