The Follow Up: Jake Hill

Jake Hill Title updatePhoto: Rhoades

Jake doesn’t care about anything in life besides skating. Personal hygiene? Maybe tomorrow. Proper diet? How about Jack in the Box? He’s been rolling longer than he can remember and he’ll surprise the hell out of you, too. One time our homie was trying to get a trick down a 25-stair hubba. We were there for three hours waiting for him to land it and Jake fell asleep while sipping on a bottle of tequila. I woke him up and told him to hype the session. I was just kidding, but he proceeded to 5-0 the damn thing—first try. Jake just wants to get tricks or slam on the concrete trying. Don’t bother trying to understand him; that’s just how he lives. Read up on his days as an Osiris grom, his stolen Shep Dawgs part and his new outlook on leaving California to see the world.

Three years of clips made this part well worth the wait, Jake and the Juice make a perfect pairing

What up, Jake?
I’m in traffic, driving down to Oceanside right now.

What are you doing down there?
I'm driving down to hang out with Tom.

Who is Tom and what are you guys doing?
Tom Remillard. I’m riding for a new company called The Heated Wheel that we're doing with Ed Dominick and Neil Blender. Tom is the team manager.

DSC 8463 DZBringin' the heat with a gap to crooks       Photo: Rhoades

So did you just get on?
Yeah. I've probably been getting boards for three months. I'm super hyped for this. We're just gonna have a good time.

And you have an introduction video?
Yeah. It's a quick super-8 skate part with some other clips. It was super fun to film. Neil had a lot of cool ideas.

Blender taps Jake as the first rider on the Heated Wheel. Watch the clip here

You were riding for $lave for a while. What happened with that?
I was riding for them for a while, like five or six years. They were the first people to really hook me up and show interest in me—other than my friends trying to help me, which I was super stoked about. I was honored to skate for $lave. It was my fucking dream to skate for them after Radio Television. Everyone on the team were dudes I loved watching skate and all the art was always looking super sick. After a few years, it just came to a point where I wanted to try something new. Leaving was the hardest thing I've ever done.

 DSC8135 DZ A melancholy moment above a mountain of ‘crete     Photo: Rhino

Yeah, that's a real-life decision and that’s hard.
It's real life, but it is what it is. In a weird way I feel like I needed to start a new chapter and try something different.

Well, congratulations.
It was like ripping off a Band-Aid. It wasn't easy. I love the company and I love everything they did for me.

So you had a video part drop. How'd that come about?
It's pretty much just all the stuff I've been filming for the past three years. It's from a whole bunch of trips. Me and Lannie Rhoades worked on it. It all came about from me quitting. It was all my footy for $lave, originally. On my departure, I had all this footage that I was still stoked on and wanted to put out. I was super grateful that Lannie wanted to help me out and edit this footy for me. I’m hyped.

Tell me about some of the trips that you went on. Where did you go?
Oh, Mexico City was probably the coolest trip. I've never really gone to a city that massive. It was a bit of a culture shock for me, but we had good times, good spots, good food and good people. We went to a hot waterfall! We also went to Guadalajara, which was just as epic.

Jake Board Stuck 750
DSC 0766 DZBashing walls south of the border     Photo: Rhoades

You went on some trips to Texas with Riley Hawk and the gang as well, right?
Yeah, all those trips have been awesome. It's been rad traveling with Riley and the homies. We get to borrow the Birdhouse van from his dad. Riley has been super stoked and really motivated to get out on road trips, so he's been doing trips about once every three months. We did a Texas trip that was a week long with me, Tanner Cribbs, Shaun Stultz, and Cody Moyles. We drove the van out from Oceanside to Texas, skated the whole week in Texas and then drove back. The transmission blew out on the way home. It’s been fun just getting out of town no matter what happens.

How long have you known Riley?
I've known Riley since we were little kids skating CASL, like real little kids. I skate with him a lot more now than we had as children, but it’s been off and on throughout my life, for sure. It's pretty cool. It’s rad I can still keep the same friends that I've had since I was so young. You know, with our whole crew, we've pretty much all known each other since we were kids.

If you were skating CASL contests back then with those dudes, how old were you when you started skating?
My dad skated so there was always a skateboard in the garage—he'd always surf and skate. I always felt like that was the coolest shit. So naturally I just wanted to try as well, just kicking around on my knees. I started skating so young that I don't really remember learning to do it. I was just going to the park every day. My earliest memories would almost be going to a CASL and meeting friends to skate with that were my same age.

Yeah, give me some names of the people you were skating CASL contests with.
I mean, all the people that I still hang out with to this day: Figgy, Collin, Gregson, Louie Lopez, Donovon Piscopo was in there with us and Curren Caples, too.

All the big names of today.
Yeah, pretty much. It's kind of a trip. My dad used to go to high school with David Loy's dad, so at the first CASL contest I went to, I guess they noticed each other. Like, What the hell, your kid skates? Me and Ethan were already skating together and were friends that met each other at the contest. Then we find out our dads are friends, too. They used to skate in high school together and surf and go to punk shows and shit. Around the same time, David, Figgy and Gregson were all in same crew with their parents. We all carpooled to contests and were all hanging out together as kids. It's such a trip.

Did you have a child career in skateboarding? Like, were you doing stuff when you were younger? Since you're around all these dudes who kind of had early starts?
I wouldn't say I was at the same level as them, because they were also a good three or four years older than me. But I used to skate for Osiris when I was very young. That was the same era. I was about 12 and Tony Magnusson saw me at the skatepark. He wanted to hook me up, so I'd be cruising around with T-Mag filming shit. Osiris was pretty much the main sponsor that would help me out. They did a kid video and still, like as a kid, I didn't really care. I didn't take it seriously when I was younger. I mostly just had fun. I didn't go to contests to win. It wasn't about that for me. I just tried to do my best, you know? But I just had fun with my friends. It was just cool. It was like a gathering of all my friends at the time. You know, we can enjoy skating the contest, but that obviously isn't the fun part. Everything else, like skating flatground in the parking lot or whatever little shit we would get into, was the best.

jake hill grind rail 2 ledge DZJake serves up a combo platter—50-50 to 50-50     Photo: Cribbs

So did you have a video part and ads and stuff like that?
I had a video part in a video called Children of the Revolution. They use the T Rex song of the same name. Actually, I think I had the last part. It was me, Leticia Bufoni, Shane Borland, Allysha Le was in there as well and Tyson Bowerbank. We were in a small crew, going on short trips and T-Mag would be there the whole time filming with a cowboy hat. I used to be kinda cringed out by it in my teenage years because I kinda wanted to get taken more seriously—not being the-kids’-video kid. It wasn't too core of a thing at the time and I just wanted to skate big handrails and not wear a helmet. I was stoked on that kinda skating from watching Figgy and those dudes skate. I just wanted to do what they were doing. When I first met Figgy, he was skating El Toro with a helmet on and the dads were there filming it. They were doing what I wanted to do.

Crazy lineup. So after that video came out, did you kind of disappear from skating for a little while? What happened?
I was still out filming homie videos in San Clemente for years after that. I was still kind of getting shoes if I needed them. It came to a point where I either got kicked off of everything or kind of quit because I stopped doing contests or talking to the team managers that would give me stuff. I kind of got more stoked on just being a normal kid having a childhood that wasn't skating. I had friends that didn't skate and I enjoyed their company or we got into punk rock music at the time in middle school, you know? Those are the kids that I was friends with. Then going into high school, I didn't actually skate for like a year and a half or so.

What were you doing?
Just being a kid, pretty much. I was just enjoying trying to chase girls—high-school-kid stuff. I’d still skate but not really.

I started seeing you from watching Shep Dawgs videos and things like that. How did that all come about?
The way that came about was actually from getting my footage stolen. It got put in the video in a T-Spliff shared part. It was like my 14th birthday. I went to San Francisco—me, Paco, Taylor Kirby and Tanner Cribbs. I’ve know all them since I was younger, but I started skating again and they invited me to go on the trip. I was like, Sweet. So I skated with them, and to this day it was still one of the funnest trips I've been on. It was one of the first times going out of town somewhat as young adults, or having freedom on a skate trip. I started filming with them and kind of rejoined with Riley and all those dudes—the Shep Dawgs. Then the night of the premiere, I still had no idea. Taylor went on my computer and stole all my footage and gave it to Paco. He edited a part with me and T-Spliff. I had no idea and then they had a premiere. I couldn't get a ride to the premiere so I didn't even know I was in the video until it actually came out.

Jake Hill Feeble 750 GIFFeeble flat, down, just another day for Jake

That's pretty sick!
That was pretty rad. Taylor Smith was definitely my favorite, still is. He was the best. He was doing some really impressive stuff on a skateboard and had really good style and made it look good, so I was pretty stoked to share a part with him when I was younger.

So fast forward to now. What's a day in the life look like for you?
Mostly just skating, in addition to other miscellaneous activities like fishing, golfing or maybe surfing. But I’m pretty much just skating. I'm super fortunate as well where I can just skate every day. I’ve been enjoying that time.

Who do you go skate with on a daily basis? Who gets you psyched to ride your skateboard?
Definitely Collin. He’s down to do whatever. He's down to fix any spot. If you're rolling up to something, it doesn't matter how far it is, he's down. He's down for both of us to just get shit done. If it's not me, it's him. We're just out trying to get tricks.

Who hooks you up? 
I skate for The Heated Wheel, Independent, Bronson, OJ, Grandeur skateshop, Psockadelic and I get flowed Converse. I’m super lucky to be able to say any of those names!

DSC 0386 DZDouble-hubs lip to lip—that's how you get on the roster   Photo: Rhoades

What do you want to do with your skateboarding in the next few years?
Travel. I've been stoked to skate new terrain. Traveling makes skateboarding a lot better in a bunch of different ways, just the excitement of seeing new things or spots in the world. You go to somewhere like Texas and it's just so much different. I can just imagine the spots somewhere in like Asia. I've always been a Southern California kid, but I really like seeing new things these days. I’m getting older, too, and maybe a little bit wiser about skating in a creative way. There are just so many more options and I want to get out there and see them. It keeps your mind fresh when you're moving from new spot to spot, not going to the same stuff. So you're stoked to see something new and just skate it.

Can you tell me any stories about filming with Mumford, or maybe what that meant to you?
That was the sickest time. Right when I started getting $lave boards, Mumford was the TM and he had the club wagon van. He would pick me up with you, AJ and Noah. We'd also get Dicola and Schultz—pretty much the team. We would go skate every day and Mumford was the funnest, coolest person I’ve met in my time filming. He made it really funny. I remember the first couple of times where we both warmed up to each other and started having a couple of beers together and shit. We skated that Jeremy Klein wall, and I did a front blunt on it. He dropped off everyone at their houses except me and then started driving the wrong way. I said, "Hey, dude, where are you going?" and he's just like, You'll see. You'll see. I was like, "You know I can't go into bars." I was 20 years old. But we ended up pulling up to a strip club and he just hands me a 100-dollar bill and he says, "Go all out; have fun." It was my first strip club in my life as well.

Jake Hill Suski Crail 750 Goin' all out, mixin' a crail with a Suski

I like that. Those were very fun days right there.
Those days are fucking timeless, man. That was a fun era for me. It was me, you and Mumford. Even if we weren't skating, we’d just find some funny shit to do—definitely alcohol-infused shit, but it was it was a fucking good time, man. I miss that dude. I don't really get to see him as much. He's a truck driver now. He was like the big drunkle in the van, you know?
Can you tell me how you ended up moving to Oceanside and living at the Loretta Street mansion?
I was in high school and it was my senior year. I pretty much barely graduated high school, and they took me into the office and kind of like fucking degraded me. Like, What are you going to do in your life? You need to start to take life seriously. What do you want to do with yourself? They were cornering me, asking me what I wanted to do and I was like, Skateboard. I have so many friends who are doing it in Oceanside. I was like, I'm just gonna go over and skate with some friends there. And it wasn’t even from a place where it's wanting to get hooked up, but I just knew that there was a lot of skateboarding happening. So I started staying at Riley's house on the couch here and there, definitely every weekend. I was 19 and they were freshly 21 at the time, so they'd go to the bar while I'd stay home and sleep on the couch. Then I’d get woken up, have to stay up until the party ended and wake up and go skate the next day. At that time it was party, skate, party, skate—just going for it. Then I ended up meeting Bobby Long. He was seeing the situation that I was in and he's like, “Dude, you just hang out and these dudes are partying. You should just come to Loretta." So I started to stay on the couch there and ended up staying there. Right after that was when I moved upstairs. I had $1,000 in my bank account. I took all that out and I gave it to one of you. I just put a mattress in an empty room that was upstairs. I was like, I got two months. I'll just skate every day and just use this almost like a bought vacation. And I just skated as much as I fucking could at the time. Then it came time for the next month of rent and I was like, Dude, I don't want to leave. So I started working and doing what I had to do to stay there. The rest is history. I haven't really left Oceanside and never wanted to. I never really wanted to live anywhere else in California. I would never want to live anywhere else but California right now is my mindset. It’s a perfect place for all of us to skate. We got a really good tight crew here. We're all down for each other. People will be there for me if I want to try something. We're all trying to motivate each other. Shout out Big Bowse, John Rhoades. I would have never been anywhere without him. He hired me on jobs, let me pay rent late. He gave us lots of freedom.

There's a lot of people that are just like you, that had that place help them out. It changed a lot of people's lives, for sure.
Him giving us that place put a lot of us in the situation we are in right now. Housing all the skaters, he was just supporting the whole deal. He was so down for it. If I was short on rent—I never really had the stablest job—he would take me to work. He would say, "You don't got rent, fool? Well time to come to work for the week." He would take us to work for two weeks to get rent money. Nothin' but love!

DSC 0874 DZFully-loaded gap to front feebs      Photo: Rhoades
What's your dream sponsor?
Probably Twisted Tea. Actually, I take that back. Dude, this is a heavy question.

It's a loaded question for a loaded man.
The loaded question. I’m fucking sitting at Alberto's Burrito Shop. Maybe something like food? Any food thing would be cool.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I'll go anywhere tomorrow. I'm down for any trip. I'll go to fucking Texas in the dead of summer and I’ll go to Finland in the dead of winter if I’m able to skate—even not to skate, just to travel. I'm just down to not be here for too long.

DSC 5641 DZBack board down a splinter factory. Check that roll in and give the man his due props. Stoked to see what's next    Photo: Rhoades
  • CPH Pro 2013: Blog 1

    CPH Pro 2013: Blog 1
    Dan Z checks in from Copenhagen with these photos.
  • Five Sequences: July 12, 2013

    Five Sequences: July 12, 2013
    Rhino brings you this week's 'five' with Paul Baldwin, Jimmy Cao, Kyle Berard, Lincoln Ueda, and Nyjah Huston.  
  • Five Sequences: June 28, 2013

    Five Sequences: June 28, 2013
    Rhino brings you this week's 'five' with Chase Webb, Shawn Hale, Jimmy Cao, Robbie Russo, and Joey Ragali.
  • Five Sequences: June 14, 2013

    Five Sequences: June 14, 2013
    Rhino brings you this week's 'five' with Dakota Servold, Dominic Walker, Julien Klincewicz, Shuriken Shannon, and Windsor James.
  • Five Sequences: May 24, 2013

    Five Sequences: May 24, 2013
    Rhino brings you this week's 'five' with Jake Duncombe, Dolan Stearns, Brendan Keavany, Ethan Loy, and Ryan Reyes.