Photography and interview by Graham Tait



So, you had your first Mother's Day at the weekend?

Yeah, it was great. We went to a restaurant on the water down in Homestead and yeah, Kate loved it. They had good seafood and it was awesome. It was super mellow. It wasn't crazy. I got them flowers and some cake. I almost forgot last week. I was like, oh, that's right… it's your first Mother's Day!

Now you have all this extra stuff. I'm terrible with dates, and now there's an extra layer to your life. 

It’s a Hallmark holiday, and you’re like I don't want to deal with this. I don't believe in this. Now, I guess this stuff has more meaning, you know? Just seeing Kate come into motherhood is insane. How she's just made the shift. From her previous life to this new life. She's going to be transitioning to it, and me too, but it’s more the mom in the beginning, she wants mommy all the time.

How are you finding the balance between being a dad and skating?

Having a good partner, you know? A partner that allows me to go out and skate, four or five times a week. And even though I'm gonna go to the park those days and film some Instagram, it’s still kind of work in a sense. And she understands that. That's one. And then two is time management—putting time aside for them. And it's having adventure days. We have our family days where we go to the beach, go to the library, go to the mall, go for a hike. Just have stuff lined up every week so you have things to look forward to. Because from my partner's point of view, she needs that because she's just at home, and when she's not on the computer doing a little side hustle, she's at home engaging constantly with Isla, and that is tiring. It's a bit of a bore. It's like Groundhog Day over and over. So you need these certain days in the week to look forward to. It’s like, okay, we're gonna go and do this and get out of the house. Exercise is super important, too. But yeah. How have I been managing it? I’m just grateful that I have a good partner who supports what I'm doing, and I try to have little ideas. So even if I'm not filming, I'm gonna go out and I'm gonna keep the blade sharp and I'm gonna try to either film with my phone or, I don't know. Yeah. Just keep the blade sharp, really.


Noseslide pop out


Are you finding yourself thinking back to when you were a kid and what you enjoyed doing and the places you liked going to?

Yeah, for sure. Just stuff that I did when I was younger. Especially now being back home where I'm from, being back in Miami I know where I'm at. I'm going back, like you said. Like let's go to the library! Let's go to the zoo! You know? I haven't been to the zoo since I was a kid out here. So yeah, I'm applying stuff I did when I was a kid. And it's all new to Kate too because she's not from out here, so it's a ‘feeding two birds with one seed’ type deal.

How old is she?

She's ten months.

So she’s starting to become super active and getting around?

Oh, she's moving dude. She's crawling super-fast. She's getting herself down off of curbs, like, kind of like using her hands to dive headfirst down a curb. And she's standing up on her own and then letting go and then just standing up doing this balancing act and then she'll plop on her booty and it's like, oh my God, dude, she's gonna walk any second now.

How many how many roles of film have you shot of her?

Of her?

Yeah. Being a photographer, are you shooting lots of her? I'm like that with my dog. If you look through my phone, I've just got photos of my dog and sandwiches, so I'm guessing you’re the same?

Yeah, same with with our dog Arlo. So, every day we're shooting either with our iPhone and taking pictures of her, or I'm shooting film, which reminds me, I gotta go and get more—I only have one 20 left. I gotta get 35 later today. I ran out a couple days ago. It’s kind of hard because she's so photogenic and whatever she does, I'm just like, oh wow. I'm shooting and ten frames have gone by, and I'm like, wow, I need to chill. I have some good Isla photos I'm sitting on right now and I'm kind of waiting on her first birthday to show a little bit of them publicly on social media.

Have you been just sharing much in general? Are you working on anything?

No, I’m not working on anything photo wise. I was learning how to use Adobe InDesign and then I got stuck somewhere and really all I had to do was just YouTube it, and then I closed the computer and was like, I'm gonna go skate. My friend Ben Chadourne was kind of teaching me, showing me and saying, ‘Look it's really easy and you know, just YouTube it if you have any questions’. And, you know, I started doing that and then I just kind of got bored with it. Like, I just wanna work on something. I wanna have stuff up here but I need to learn how to put it on this thing. And I know everyone's like, it's super easy. I wanna make a nice book someday because I have a lot of themes. I have a lot of photos of skater friends and things like that. 

Before I made the magazine, I’d never used InDesign, And I bought that big InDesign for Dummies book. Skimmed through it and went, ah, this looks mental. So I just went on YouTube and even now I'm like, shit, how do you do that again? And then once you get used to doing a few things it just falls into place. You just need to pull the trigger!

Yeah. I need to start messing around. It's just hard to really find the time to start messing around right now, you know? And for me, messing around is gonna be like an all-day thing. Once I get engaged in something, I'm like, I don't want to walk away from it. I want to just figure it out. That day I want to figure it out, you know? And just be like, I got this unlocked now. I can’t step away from it and go back to it. But at the moment, she'll wake up in like 25 minutes, 30 minutes. Then I have to close the computer.




I’m the same when I'm scanning film, I'm just scanning all day. I can't just do one at a time because I just feel like I'm getting nowhere.

Yeah, no, I can't! And like you said earlier, it's just pulling the trigger and I'm good at that. I can pull the trigger easy. I'm like archiving basically. I have so much shit I'm sitting on and I just keep shooting and keep shooting and I keep compiling it and I have all these negatives in this plastic container in my garage. And actually, some kid reached out to me recently and was like, ‘Hey, can I get a print of this Baker ad that I shot a couple months ago?’ He wanted a print of it and I said, ‘Yeah, I gotta find the negative’. It’s like a whole thing. Maybe I should start making prints. That's another thing, but am I ready to do that? Am I ready to just start making prints and start selling stuff? But I gotta get out there more and just post stuff on Instagram. I'm just nervous about once I get out there, then there's gonna be like… I don't know.

You feel that people are gonna have an expectation from you if you put yourself out there as a photographer. People are gonna treat you as a photographer and then expect really high results from you or whatever?

Exactly. And I am not ready to take on that responsibility yet, but I'm looking forward to when that time comes. But right now, I'm focusing on filming another video part, and skating, and enjoying the whatever years I have left of my body feeling good to, you know, jump over rails and just skate the way I wanna skate because you know, I'm getting older, and it's like either you lose the motivation or you're just like, oh, I've had enough. Or you start losing sponsors, and people start cutting your paycheck and you're just like, ah, all right. But anyway, it's just that I want to enjoy what I have, because I’m still able, I’m still capable, and I'm feeling good on my board right now still, and I want to enjoy that. Also, I'm not good at doing a few things at once. I’ll have a project in mind and then I focus on that and I really obsess over it. It's crazy. And I know what's gonna happen once I figure out the whole zine making. Once I walk through that door, it's gonna be like the same approach I have with skating.

It feels like you're all or nothing. It's like, right, I've got this other thing that I like doing, but skating is 90%. And then that starts to change.

It's a balancing act. But really I'm all right—body feels decent. And I have some projects in mind and not only just physically, mentally I've got skating on the brain. I'm obsessed with it still. So, I wanna just ride that out as long as possible until one day who knows? I might let it go a little bit. As you get older, you tend to let things go and you tend to manoeuvre. Life kind of throws things at you and you're like, oh, I'm shifting right now. And I'm kind of waiting for that to happen. Then the natural, I guess progression of getting older, the natural shift of life, you know, where it forces you to shape shift. You know what I mean?

Yeah, for sure. It's just life. It's not in your head. If you could, you could skate that way forever, but other things get in the way and your body tells you no, and your knees say no, so you gotta then be like, ah, I can't jump that, I can't do this. It's just like you said—it's just tilting and something else will take its place and you've got something set up ready to go, which is really good. 

As long as I'm like able to skate, I'm gonna skate until I'm 40. I'll still film or more, who knows? I mean, the expiration date on skating as a pro these days can be 50. It could be as long as you kind of want it to be, if your sponsors are still supporting you the same way. But when that stops happening, then you start to shift a little, you know? There are other ways to be involved. Yeah.


Switch Ollie


Yes. But then you’ve got Joel—do you know what I mean? He blew my mind in Miami—this dude who was chilling then there would just be this switch. I was speaking to him about it as well, and this switch of energy just comes. He's 48 and was just skating; I got more photos of him than anyone else. If you had said 20 years ago, someone's gonna be pro at 48, you'd be like, no way. People would just hit their thirties and be like, yeah, I'm done. But it's just totally inspiring. 

Yeah. It's inspiring for sure. And you know, I look to people that are like that, still skating and those who are motivated. And I want to be there in ten years from now. I want that same energy. I want to be like that, you know? Still skating and charging and shooting photos, if my body allows me to. And yeah, seeing him skate, skating with him is really inspiring, but it's different because he's not making money from skating, you know? But he has other stuff that he does to make money, so in that sense, I hope that I'm still skating at that age and ripping like that. But also, I'm still making money from skating. But if I'm not, then I hope I still have that. I hope I still have the ‘want to’ at that age, because at the end of the day, even now, like, I'm 36, right. And no one's putting a gun to my head and saying, ‘Hey, the nice video part you put out five months ago, you have to film another one immediately after’. No one's doing that. My sponsors aren't. No one's calling me and saying, ‘What's next?’ 

If anything, they're more like, we don't expect much from you these days. I'm like, what? That's good. It's interesting, man. It’s great, but at the same time, no dude! I still want to be working on projects, you know? I still want to be traveling for a video. And that's not the case right now. I think more because I had a kid, I could use that scapegoat. Like, I should be around my kid in these early stages of her life where the development moves so rapidly. And so, there's that. My sponsors are aware of that, but then at the same time, I still want to be on trips, and I still want to film for videos, but no one's really asking me or saying, 'Hey, we want to work with you on something’.

Apart from yourself. 


So you have the self-motivation to try and stay at that level, but also you have excuses not to, which I think happens to a lot of people. You just dropped that part five months ago too.

I could have just easily said, ‘No, I'm good. I'm gonna chill and just take care of, you know, life stuff for a while’. But no, I moved to Miami and then immediately started filming with a friend of mine and, and yeah, just continued on. I don't know, that's how I've always kind of worked. And I'm hoping that when I'm Joel's age, I still have that feeling, you know? That urge that I need to do this whether I'm getting paid from skating or not? So, I will say this—it does help because right now I'm doing it and I was gonna do it regardless because it's just programmed in me. It's hardwired in me.


Published in our special Theories in Miami issue in North 37

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