Axel Cruysberghs Interview
Getting along with Axel Cruysberghs is easier than trying to spell his last name. The Crusher is what we all call him and that’s just what he does. Traveling with him has opened my eyes to what I previously thought was impossible at spots—he surfs the concrete and finds new lines everywhere he goes. He’s got power, style and is a new strain of Toy Machine blood. The Crusher will find his way into your heart. Watch out, Lizzie, Axel is coming in hot.
Keep off the grass. Stay in the sky. Axel soars over a sign with some free air. Ollie Photo: Karpinski
Good morning, Axel, where are you right now and what are you doing?
I’m in Belgium at my parents’ house. We are just hanging out with my dad right now. We are about to bike to my mom’s work and it’s about ten-miles round trip, so just a pretty mellow day today.
When are you coming back here to finish this video? You got me stressing.
I will be back on the 29th of this month. I got two weeks left after I return. I’m happy it’s only two weeks left. Let’s put this thing out already.
Is Toy Machine the first team you were ever on or a part of?
No, I was a baby on Flip. I went to the States and skated with them and we also went on a few Euro trips. It was cool at the time but I was just a little kid.
I remember you were like nine years old with a giant headband in the Damn Am parking lot.
Remember you gave me my first Toy Machine boards in the same parking lot?
The street surfer back 50s through the curl. Sick, bradduh! Photo: Rodent
Oh yeah, you won that contest too.
Yep, it was a good day.
All you had to do was grow a little and lose the headband.
I guess so.
Now that I think of it, that same parking lot is where I gave CJ Collins his first Toy Machine package when he was 12.
It all goes back to the Damn Am parking lot.
Wow. Billy Marks still talks about the contest he won there 100 years ago too.
Ha! Old Bill.
A lot of stuff happens in the Damn Am parking lot.
I guess it does.
In the early Toy Machine touring days I had some complaints that you were not good at sharing. You would come back to the van with just one beer or you would come back to the spot with one water while people were still skating.
Wait, one water?
I guess I don’t really think things through sometimes. When I am thirsty I was probably only thinking of myself.
I know how it is, but I did notice a change in your habits in a good way recently.
Maybe the budget is more blessed these days. You got to roll with what you got. Now I can buy a few more beverages for the crew. I know Collin does not like when you come back to the van with one or two beers.
High-risk pole jam and then back to the van with 100 beers Photo: Gerlach
Collin wants you to come back to van with 100 beers.
I know and that’s never enough. You could never win that battle.
Does Toy Machine feel like a family to you now?
Yeah, I love all of the Toy Machine guys. They are so fun to skate and travel with.
Front feeble to back tail over the gap. Kinda like the Venice curbs but with more sack factor Photo: Karpinski
Who is your go-to roommate on tour?
I don’t really have a go-to. It changes each trip for me. Sometimes it’s Leo. Myles and I have been roommates a few times. CJ is the worst one. He doesn’t shower and he has weird dreams at night.
Who is having a better time out there, not just on tour but in life, Collin Provost or Blake Carpenter?
They are two very different people. Blake is living his best life, for sure. He’s enjoying it at all times. He always has his party supplies with him in the streets or on the plane. Blake is making his favorite drink at every spot and he is living his life to the fullest. He seems really happy.
Kickflip 50-50 with some Stone sticker incentive. Pay the man, Remy! Photo: Karpinski
Did you know that you and Blake Carpenter have stressed me out the most filming for this video? You guys got my blood pressure real high on this video.
I did? You forget that I have to go on other trips.
Oh, I didn’t forget.
I’m trying my best, Mike.
I’m realizing that I have been stressing for no reason. You have the most footage for this video, Axel.
I’m always out when I’m not on a trip. I’m always skating, Mike.
Bump to massive frontside 5-0. Wonder what’s in that crate Photo: Lisch
I know but I had to block you on Instagram. I couldn’t stop stressing myself out when I would see what you were up to. I would see you in a field picking berries with Lizzie on video deadline. I would see you on a so called "important" trip and you would be in Rome with Tony Hawk at an award show with Lizzie. Then the Volcom trips where you would miss our filming trips to go skate a shitty mini ramp on top of a building for a small crowd of people that have no idea who you are. The one that pushed me over the edge was the snow/skate trip where it was freezing and nobody was skating. Just you and that bus out in the snow getting no clips while we were in the streets.
I know. I had to go. Nobody wants to go on a trip in the freezing cold. It stresses me out. I’m dying right now, Mike, and you blocked me.
I’ve never seen you stress. I just thought you live this fairytale life and everything always works out just fine. I’ve never even seen you get mad once.
That’s not true. I’m stressed right now, Mike. Ask Lizzie; she knows. I keep it all on the inside. It’s so gnarly. It’s all bottled up.
You got to let it out.
I will just keep it inside. I’m not a mad person. When you stress me out I will never tell you.
Is this when you wait seven days to reply to a text message?
Yes, exactly. That’s when I’m stressed out and I don’t know what to tell you so I let it sit.
By the sixth day I am ready to kill someone over that text message.
Have you stressed on CJ yet?
I can’t stress on CJ. He’s just a baby. Have you stressed on CJ yet? You didn’t finish one trip that we went on this year.
My schedule is so hectic it stresses me out so much and you think I’m just drinking tea all day.
I’m unblocking you at the premiere.
I’m about to unfollow you. You should wait until I get back to the States because you are going to hate what I’m doing until I get back home and I’m filming with Don again.
How many days did you put in on the 74-day Programming Injection tour?
Two weeks but I would have stayed longer if I didn’t hurt my ankle.
I’ve noticed you don’t like to stay on trips that long. How long is your limit?
It all depends on the sleeping arrangements.
Yeah, sometimes that is a problem on our trips. Whose part are you the most excited about?
Collin and Myles the most. I think Myles is going to have a great part and he’s a cool guy. I went filming with him the most.
I’m stoked Myles is on the team.
Yeah, me too.
Axel gives his axles a break and slides a front board through the drops Photo: Karpinski
What’s the strangest thing about living in the US?
People like you. Oh, and the Golden Corral restaurant. It’s so different. It’s like walking into a museum but you are not looking at paintings, you are just looking at all these people and food. It’s amazing.
Remember the time we ate there because it was raining all day so we went to Golden Corral because it was the closest thing to our hotel.
Oh yeah, we went there at like 2 PM. At 5 PM I tried to call you but you were knocked out. Then you slept ’til the next day. I thought you died but you were fine. You were just digesting for a long time.
Give me a typical day of your home life with Lizzie here in Oceanside.
Wake up, make coffee, make breakfast, go for a swim in the ocean, head out and skate/film, meet up for dinner later. If I’m not skating I’m surfing but I try to do three skate sessions a day One in the morning, afternoon and evening. Then Lizzie and I always squeeze in a boba tea each day.
I like street Lizzie
Yeah, me too.
Surfing the vertical plane with a FSW Photo: Karpinski
Who got the hairstyle first, you or Myles Willard? You guys have the exact same hair.
I don’t know. Myles always had it and I always had mine too. Dude, sometimes I see a clip of him and I think it’s me.
We should put a trick in each of your parts to see if anyone notices.
I will talk to Don Luong.
We got to make that happen.
Has Lizzie ever tried to steal you for Birdhouse?
What other sponsors do you two share?
Vans, Indy and Bro Style.
You guys have the same agent, right?
What is the best advice your agent has ever given to you?
Just to do whatever I want to do, whatever makes me happy.
Do you ever have to wash Lizzie’s kneepads?
No, she just usually has new ones.
She’s a smart girl.
Yeah, for sure. She has been trying to get me to wear pads. I can’t do it. It feels so weird. It doesn’t make sense to me.
Why did you want to ride for Toy Machine?
I have always been a fan of Toy Machine. I grew up watching Good and Evil. I always liked the team and graphics so it was my first pick. I’m glad it worked out.
What do you want the world to know about Axel Cruysberghs?
I just want to skate. That’s all Axel wants to do. That’s all I care about in the end.
Do you know Toy Machine has another video coming out in 2020?
Yeah, you told me.
Are you stressed on that one?
No, not yet.
See you at the premiere!
Head-high front blunt transfer in Pedro. Now text Sinclair back! Photo: Karpinski
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