Youth Of Today - Stephan August Interview

Fuck a Super Bowl. Let's ride...

10 Feb 2015

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Interview, intro, and photos by Devin Feil

All it took was a session or two with Stephan for it to be abundantly clear that he is a rider that gets it.  He exudes a positive energy, living in the moment, and taking life as it comes.  If I'd known him a bit longer perhaps I'd say more.  I think it's best to let this interview and his riding speak for him instead...

Name, Age, and Hometown?

Stephan August, 19 years old, Northridge CA.

How long have you been riding? And what got you started?

I've been riding for seven years now! What got me started was my older brother and all his friends skated, and one day out of the blue they all got bikes. My 13th birthday was just a couple days before that so I spent all my birthday money on the best bike I could from the local bike shop.  And a couple days after that bikes were "lame" again, my older brother and all his friends went right back to skating (which I was terrible at) so I just stayed with my bike.  I just liked it a lot I guess!

Does your brother still skate? Did you guys session spots together over the years?

Yeah every now again he skates not to often though, he's the master technician at 9k Racing here in SoCal these days so he's onto newer and bigger dreams! We've occasionally shredded over the years, but always skating though it's just something we both grew up doing together and share in common!

What was your very first exposure to BMX?

The local skatepark, my older brother and his friends!

Who was the first pro you saw in person? Did it leave a long lasting impression on you?

Andrew Jackson man, shouts out to that guy for being the nicest most humble dude ever! Meeting him made a impression that'll last a lifetime.  I didn't even know he was pro or sponsored when I first met him. He just rolled into the skatepark so smooth and stylish, so like any other kid I walked up to tell him how pumped I was on his riding and he just started talking to me which turned into us riding all day. When he left some kid came up to me and was like "Do you know who that was!?" to which I answered "yeah Andrew haha" then they dropped the bomb that he was pro for WeThePeople and it blew my 13 year old mind!

How many days a week do you ride?

I try to ride everyday, but if not as many times a week as possible, roughly five or six.

How often are they solo sessions?

Ahhhhh man solo sessions haha, they happen more often than I'd like thats for sure!

We were out riding during the Super Bowl and you remarked that you couldn't imagine choosing to watch a football game over being on your bike. Did you play any organized sports growing up?

Nah I actually can't say I did, my dad was never a team sports kinda guy so I grew up fishing, camping, hiking, and things of that nature.

Do you still get out hiking and camping much these days?

Yeah definitely, they're some of the things I love doing most so I try to keep up on them.

Related Video

DIG Presents - Youth Of Today - Stephan August Video

Presenting one of Southern California's most promising young riders... - More Info

Have you ever had a subscription to a BMX magazine?

Yeah I had a subscription to Ridebmx that I got for entering a contest when I was 14. It was funny because I think it was supposed to be a year long or something and I kept getting them in the mail up until I was 18!

Do any particular DIG covers stand out in your mind?

Most definitely! Issue 92, David Grant and his huge double peg drop is just iconic much like the man him self.

How many BMX DVD's do you have in your collection?

I've got a hand full of riding DVDs, but not as many as I would like to.

Do you own or have you ever watched a BMX video on VHS?

I have actually! Cheers to my man Waylon Burrough for keeping me educated. I don't own one though unfortunately. I should get on that!

Do you remember a time before web videos?

Yeah, but just barely I was such a little tike then!

If the Internet disappeared tomorrow and you were forced to keep only 5 videos which would they be?

Hardest question I've ever been asked!!!

Chase Hawk 'Bad Idea'
Dennis Enarson 'MARKIT ZERO'
Mike Brennan 'Insight'
Mike Atiken 'Fit Life'
Ty Morrow 'The Trip'

Your "Youth of Today" video is all pegless, but you recently tossed on 4. What made you switch it up, and were there any particular influences that go without them before?

Uhhhhhhh yeah I don't really know I just kinda took a sudden interest in pegs, and as far as having four pegs goes I never wanna ride something that isn't on my side! There are countless inspirations for being pegless... Andrew Jackson, Ian Schwartz, Eddie Cleveland, Chase Hawk, Chad Osburn etc. I mean even pegs inspired me to be pegless!

For how long were you pegless? Chance you'll switch back?

I was pegless for six years! Maybe, you never know I'm just riding my bike the way that I feel is right at the time.

“...we've got one chance to live our dreams and the reality is if you don't live yours, you're going to end up in someone else's. So have fun, be good, and juke life!” - Stephan

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Stephan was unfazed by my presence in the "danger zone." Chalk that up to youthful confidence.

Speaking of your new edit, where was it all filmed? You and Chris Bracamonte took a a trip or two right?

Man it was filmed in so many different places I don't even know! Chris and I travel quite often together, it may have been four or five trips I'm not sure.  (Editors note: filmed in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles.)

How long have you two known one another?

I've know Chris since I was 10 years old trying to skate at the local park whilst he was slaying it down on his bike.  We formally met when I was 13 and had just started riding, he did a double peg up rail to tail whip me in the dome (completely on accident).  I was just a kid standing in the way not knowing, but nevertheless Chris was a mad nice guy, helped me up, and said sorry to the moon and back haha!

Well that's quite a way to meet someone! When did you guys start riding together regularly and have you worked together on any projects in the past?

I think about a year and a half to two years now, riding and filming almost everyday! As far as projects go we've done a couple small, but rad as hell projects like Roast To Toast which was our trip to toast this past year! I'm starting a video project called "The Hourglass Theory" with some friends along with Chris so we'll be working on that for a while!

How was that? Is that the furthest you've traveled to ride?

All of those trips were absolutely amazing, I couldn't have asked for a better time! Nah it wasn't, the furthest I've been with my bike was a couple years ago I did a trip called "The Circle of Juke" and that started here in Cali and went all the way to Missouri and back!

And what exactly is Juke?

Juke is a message of pure positivity! It's about everyone and everything whatever your into. I ride BMX, but that doesn't mean it's only about BMX and nothing else.  It's about music, it's about photography, it's about adventure, it's about loving what you do no matter what that may be.  Because we've got one chance to live our dreams and the reality is if you don't live yours, you're going to end up in someone else's.  So have fun, be good, and juke life!

What else is in store for the future? When can we expect to see another video?

Lots of traveling and riding, new for 2015 I started riding for Stolen so there's all of that along with a welcome edit coming out sooner than later and also a Merritt video that isn't to far out that I've already been stacking for!

Any advice for other young riders out there?

For all the young guns out there, have fun, be good, and jukelife!!

Shout out's or thank you's?

I would like to give massive thanks to Chris Bracamonte, Mike Brennan and Merritt, Cooper Bownlee, Glen Girbovan, Rick Moliterno, Dave Wooten, Keith Treanor, Tazz Hernandez, Miles Rogoish, Dave Davenport, Flo Saint Simon, Devin Feil, and everyone else who has given me the opportunity to continue riding my bike. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Cheers!!!

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The Super Bowl was going on while Stephan sat above Thousand Oaks, CA. I don't think we missed anything.