ChrystieNYC's "Chapter One" Article
Pep Kim and I started ChrystieNYC a couple years ago. We decided to build a team around skaters that we were friends with, hyped on and think have a unique approach to skateboarding—which was easy because all of us were already friends and things seemed to fall into place. This article and video showcases our efforts over the past year. Cheers! –Aaron Herrington
Photos by Pep Kim
This isn’t an ollie. John Baragwanath is going the hard way with a nollie backside 180 into the bank. How’s that for a unique approach?
Alexis Sablone plots the perfect line
Shane Farber and Johnny Purcell—stoop/sock life Photo: Murrell
Shane Farber InterviewBy Aaron Harrington
Shane’s been on ChrystieNYC since day one and he’s a personal favorite of mine, so I hit him up to shine a little light on this gentleman from GA.
How old are you and where are you from? Give us a little background about yourself?
I’m 18 years old, I’m a senior in high school, I was born in Orlando, Florida, but my family moved to Georgia for my dad’s job right after I was born. I’ve lived in Alpharetta, Georgia, in the suburbs, ever since. My parents were in the middle of building their house in Florida when my dad’s job told them they had to move. Pretty funny. I started skating and filming with Grayson Miller when I was, like, 12 and have been skating with him ever since. He runs Widdip Atlanta. He’s the one who filmed all my Atlanta footage from the Chrystie video.
Back tail transfer on the Manhattan bridge—see you again when school starts
You were recently accepted into Pace University in New York. How does that feel? Are you stoked to be coming to NYC for School?
Yeah, it feels cool. I was less fixated on the school and more interested in New York. My parents have to move to California for my dad’s job so I have to decide if I’d rather go straight to NY or go to California for a year and then transfer to Pace. Would maybe be nice to help my parents settle in out there, not to mention I’m sure I’d enjoy it. My parents would be super psyched if I went to California. Ha!
A lot of moves have gone down here but Shane’s Losi grind (with the back truck assist) was heavy to witness in person. Allen is no doubt stoked
Your parents seem to be super supportive of your skating. They’re cool letting you skip school to visit NY from Atlanta or go on other skate trips. Can you tell me a little about your family?
Yeah, definitely, they’re super cool. They’re relatively normal but they get how it is and know I’m not an irresponsible idiot. They’ll help out with writing notes or whatever to school. My principal just let me take a 17-day trip to Spain, so he’s cool. He longboards from his car to the front of the school. Ha! When I was younger I would skate a bunch of contests so they would always take me to wherever the contests were and let me miss school for them. They’re cool with me doing whatever for skating, as long as I pass and graduate from high school. My parents are cool with me going to New York, but only if I go to school there—I also have to pass. Those are the conditions they have. Ha! Love you guys.
Not another ride-on grind—Shane ollies into the first grind before riding onto the second 50-50 at Columbus Park Photo: Shafer
You have a very unique approach to skating and have an eye for interesting and rad spots. Do you have a method to finding the spots you skate or do you keep it spontaneous?
It’s cool to skate a spot that is pretty much only good for a one-off trick. Obviously, finding something just driving by and being able to do something spur of the moment is a nice option because there’s less anticipation or overthinking. There’s benefits to both, like, making a list of ideas for spots and tricks can feel productive. If you plan stuff out, you can kind of pick most of the spots you intend to skate, which can be cool. That way, I feel like people get a full idea of your taste of spots. It can give the viewer a certain feeling at the end of your part because of the spots you chose to skate.
Most ride-on grinds are kinda sketchy but this one’s downright GNARLY! Good looks, Pep! Keep ‘em comin’
Pep is always pointing out drop ins and sketchy ride on-grinds for you to skate. How does that make you feel? Does it get you stoked?
Ha! I’m not sure if Pep knows I can kickflip. I definitely don’t want to have a part of full drop ins and ride-on grinds but doing the best one you can find is fine. Pep keeping an eye out for spots I can skate is more so nice than anything. It’s really funny when he tells me to drop in on everything, though.
Do you have a favorite memory or moment during the last year while filming for the video?
Speaking of Pep and kickflips, after I did the Losi in the Bronx, he stepped on my board and tried a flatground kickflip and broke the tail. Pretty awesome. I really liked it in Spain when Pep got hungover, ate clams, puked at a cafe and then laid on a bench outside and slowly took a bite of a snickers. That’s might be the funniest thing I’ve ever filmed with my phone.
Any last words or thank yous?
Thanks, Aaron. You’re the best. Love you. Thanks for taking me to Spain, Pep, and for having me in the video. Thanks, Grayson and Widdip, love you a ton. Thanks, mom and dad.
Aaron Herrington Bondos a spot in the Christmas-colored Chrystie socks. 'Tis the season…
Kaue Cossa goes the extra mile with a frontside flip over a gate to the street in Chinatown
Kaue, way more pop than necessary on a switch heel back tail. God bless you
She’s got one of the fastest flicks in the game—Alexis Sablone, traffic-stopping backside flip in LES
Jesus Chrystie! Brett Weinstein, bump-to-bump ollie. No wonder his part is one of Aaron’s favorites in the vid
John Baragwanath, switch wallie into some Canadian crust
What’s more rare than a photo in Brooklyn with nobody in the background? Aaron’s backside 50-50 kickflip out
Aaron Herrington InterviewBy Lee Berman
For those who don’t know, what is ChrystieNYC?
ChrystieNYC is a clothing brand that Pep Kim and I started about three years ago. It initially was just a small idea to create some socks and some tees that would be comfortable to skate in, but as it was growing over time, we made the choice to turn it into a full clothing brand. Now we do more than just socks and a few tee shirts.
Wallie method to the street—more often than not, the basics are totally sufficient
What is your day-to-day role in the company?
My day-to-day role, honestly, isn't as much as it should be. Pep takes the bulk lot of the workload, since I still have to skate, film and travel. But on a day-to-day basis, he and I are constantly communicating about what’s happening with the brand, designs, concepts, riders and other matters. Recently, I've been taking care of trying to do all the communication with all the team riders. I'm a professional skateboarder who is involved in the industry, so I've been slighted before and I know how certain things go and how they can make you feel. That’s why I try to communicate with the riders as much as possible. I want to make sure everyone is doing okay and is happy, so there are no miscommunication between Pep, myself and the riders. We recently did a skate trip to Spain, and at times I tended to be very generous which then lead me to being somewhat controlling. I sort of took on a team manager position, so I'm trying to continue doing that. I just want everything to always be clear and for no one to be unhappy or bummed on something we've done or are doing. On top of "team managing,” I enjoy shopping and buying vintage designer clothes or just stuff that is rad in my opinion. As I've gotten older, I’ve really started to like stripes and straight-cut pants, so I'll go out and look for those sorts of things. That way I’ll find some inspiration for some clothing designs that I'll pass along to Pep.
He’s camouflaged but we still see him—over the top to 50-50 to backside 180 out. You can’t hide from us, Aaron!
How does it feel to both be sponsored as a pro while also, now, having to sponsor other skaters? What do you look for in team riders?
The team sort of came together organically after some trial and error. Early on, we had some other skaters and sponsor conflicts, but once we got over that little speed bump, I knew off the bat I wanted Shane to skate for the brand. I've known him since he was, like, 13 and showed us around Atlanta. He also just always sent me footage updates over the years for advice and because I'd ask. I love his skating. So, although not living in NYC, he was one of my first people we contacted. John Baragwanath and Brett Weinstein are like true Americans. They work Monday through Friday typically and skate in their off time. They are always trying to film when they have the time and I think their hard work and love for skateboarding shows in their skating. Everyone we have on the team all has known each other or heard about the others for some time. So when we started really reaching out to certain people, it was basically just homies that we knew were genuine skate rats that would vibe well together. When everyone just loves skateboarding, that makes running a brand and making a video easy.
He must have packed some Bondo in his carry-on for this backside grab wall crawl in Montréal. Skate rat confirmed
I know it’s like a parent choosing their favorite child, but do you have a favorite part?
Shane Farber and Brett Weinstein, for sure.
You’re definitely a vocal person and someone who likes to be involved in what your sponsors are doing. You’ve had a lot of conversations and have become close to people like myself, Josh Stewart and Pontus Alv. Now that you’ve seen a company from their perspective, has there been a time when you’ve been dealing with your riders where you’ve looked back and thought, Oh, that’s why they did that, or said that, or have you thought, maybe next time I’ll realize how they feel in this situation?
Absolutely, 100-percent. I mean, during the Spain trip we did recently, I was texting with you, “Dude, respect. I don't understand how you can handle all this shit.” Or I would also say, "This shit is exhausting and non stop—skating and buying groceries for the crew at spots.” I just wanted to tell you, “Props, dude. Respect." It’s definitely humbling and makes me think back on every trip I've ever been on and where I had been difficult—especially in my party days. Like, I truly do not understand how you put up with my shit for all these years. Ha! But now that I’m in a similar but smaller version of your position, I’ve started to communicate differently with you and my other sponsors or other people I'm involved with in skateboarding. Because we all can be a bit selfish at times and not look at the bigger picture or what someone else has on their plate.
Frontside 50-50? No, sir! Aaron takes the hard road and goes backside off the skinny ledge. Nothing good in life is easy
At a time in skateboarding when there’s no shortage of companies, what does starting a brand mean to you? Are you just in it for the fame and fortune? Maybe you’re the next Nicky Diamonds?
Fame and fortune, fo’ sho. Nah, Pep had a vision that he shared with me and I backed his vision. I believe in what we are doing, whether we make money off of it or not. You'll still want to produce things and content you're stoked on and when you have your own brand it only reinforces that feeling. I don't think Pep and I are afraid of failure with the brand at all. We’re not worried if people like it or not, because we are doing something that we are wanting to do. Anything you do in your life is a representation or expression of who you are, so doing this brand is just another way of us expressing ourselves and doing something we love and believe in.
I noticed in your part you do a lot of the same shit, but at the same time, you’re skating in NYC and many of the spots I’ve never seen before. I don’t mean this in an offensive way—truthfully, this is an approach I’ve always admired. I’ll watch ten exciting ollies at places I’ve never seen before over mind-twisting manuals at the local curb any day. How important to you is searching for spots? Is being the first person to skate something you’re mindful of?
Well, I would say that I'm not very mindful of the fact that I actually can be very diverse on my skateboard, if I chose to be. Not to suck my own dick, but I know how to do more than just ollies, backside grinds, boardslides, kickflips and the basics. But I really am more into the idea of spots. Being the first person to skate them isn't exactly always my end goal when I'm looking for spots or trying to find a spot that someone has skated. I don't personally enjoy asking people where things are, because I think it’s a weird thing to do, especially if they found it first or skated it first. I don't really share where spots are if people ask. I'll give them a general idea or area of its location but only once I have selfishly done what I've wanted to do on it. And it’s not that often really that people ask me for a spot. But spot searching, for me, is very important because it allows me to see and experience things that I wouldn't have if I hadn't gone up to 218th Street in the Bronx, or out to Kew Gardens in Queens. I'm fascinated with NYC as a whole, so spot searching is just urban exploring, really. NYC is very saturated with a lot of skateboarders, so for me to continue to skate the way I like to and the spots I want to skate, I find myself going further and further away and going deeper into parts of NY that I would never have a reason to be going to. I could skate below 14th Street all day, but then I would just be adding to a list of tricks done at a spot you can find on a skate spot app on your phone—that is just far from appealing. Not saying that everything I skate is a fresh find or new spot, but it’s something I think about a lot before I skate something. A lot of the time, if someone skates something that I've been looking at for awhile and that I just haven't repaired or skated it yet, power to them. They went out spot searching, found some dope shit and utilized it. Good for them. Respect!
Boardslide at an Upper-East-Side rail that you’re not gonna find on a spot app
From Atlanta to Chicago, Montréal to Boston, NYC to Berlin and back, ChrystieNYC has been a lot of places and we’re gonna keep it moving. We hope everyone enjoyed the video, the article, and the hard work that went into both. Major shout out to Lee Berman, Pep Kim, Waylon Bone and our team riders. And thank you to NYC for all its inspiration and anyone/everyone that has ever supported the brand.
Aaron, frontside 180 into a skate-stopper of a bank. Killer job on the vid, Chrysties! Keep hunting, keep crushing
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