Tell me the secret to longevity, what’s the secret for Corey or Gary? Is it raw talent? Or is it work ethic? Or what blend, 60-40?
It’s tough because that blend changes. I would say when Corey or Gary or I, anyone - I don’t want to say at that level because I don’t even put myself on the level of Corey Martinez or Gary Young - I think of them as bigger than anything that I could have ever done. I did something different, but they’re my heroes in some senses. Or Chris Doyle, Chris Doyle is a great example. I look at people like that. At one point it was 100% talent and then it just became… Gary and I talked about this last night. It’s easy to be good at something when it’s easy for you to be good at it! It’s hard to be good at something consistently for that long. There’s a big difference. You can be good at something, we’re all kind of good at something at some point, but it’s when you have to stay there and keep going, it’s harder work.
You see kids that are 15, and they come into the scene and no one’s ever seen them ride, so they do every single trick in their book. But when you’re 29, everyone’s seen every single trick in your book. So now what do you do? You have to work hard. You have to go and, not necessarily learn new tricks but you have to find spots, it’s harder, you don’t get 12 clips a day, you get three. But, those three clips you get, they’re more impactful than the 12 that the 18 year old is getting. Times change, you were once the kid who was filming 12 banger clips a day and now, you went from filming 12 clips a day to “I just need to do this”. We could all go out and film 12 clips a day, but who’d want to watch me do whatever, over and over and over for the last 12 years.
Was there a specific moment when you turned the corner and said, ok, this is my playbook, this is my bag of tricks, this is what I do, so I’m not really going to expand that. When you’re 16, you’re like oh I just learned this today, I just learned that today. Did you ever feel like, ok, these are my tools in my toolbox, how do I go apply these? Was there ever a shift in your approach to riding?
No, you think there is. Like when I’m sitting here and thinking about it? You think there is. It changes as you walk up to the spot. Because you’re still creative. I still have ideas of things for other people to now do. So it never changes. Yeah, I understand my tools, but at the same, if the spot calls for something that I’m capable of, that’s a new thing. I’ve said this before, when you’re young you show up to a spot and you do everything. You let the tricks do the talking. As you get older, you let the spot do the talking. You ride the spot the correct way. That’s where you evolve as a bike rider.
That’s a great way to put it...
We all can do a feeble grind on a ledge, but how are you going to change that? You’ve got to think of something new. So I look at it like, 19 to 23, I was jumping off big stuff and doing big tail-whips and big this and big that, and I loved it. And some people are like “You used to do big stuff”. Yeah, I used to, I still do sometimes when the line calls for it or the spot calls for it but at the same time, how much bigger could I have gone? There’s a point when it hits, for me, and then it evolves, it changes, you start looking at things this way. For myself, yeah, I did tailwhip down whatever sized stair at one point and I look at it now and yeah, I could definitely still do that. But I did it.
I look up to people like Corey Martinez. He’s always been good at practising tricks, he goes to the skatepark or wherever, and he gets super good at doing his tricks. And I am not that way. 90% of the tricks you’ve seen me do in a video, I did that day. And that’s it. Because that was fun for me. Being good at them is not fun for me, doing them is fun for me. So going to the skatepark and learning a new trick is not that fun, because then I have to do it again. So I’ll find a spot, and when I find a spot to do the trick, I do the trick and I’m done with it. And yeah, sometimes you go back to the trick and you find a new spot to do it a different way or the same thing or bigger, but doing the biggest drop? I did one, I did what I thought was my biggest drop. There’s been a few that I walked away from, but I was ok with that. So someone like Corey would be on trips, he’d be like “I’ll do this trick” and I’d be like “That is insane!” - first try. “How did you know to do that?” “Well, I’ve been working on it”.
He goes in the lab. That’s his style.
That’s fun to them. That’s how they love to ride bikes. Me, I’m the opposite, I kill myself to learn it, and then I lay on the ground, I’m done, I’m cool, let’s never do that again! I don’t need to do that trick ever again in my life. Because I did it. Right here.
Years ago I think Rob Wise got some hate for being like “I only film bangers”. I don’t know that he got hate, but people talked about him saying that. But I understand that completely. I don’t want to say that everything I’m filming is bangers, but everything I put effort into to film… I’m not trying to film credits stuff. Because to me, like I said, I’m not going to the skatepark to just hang out and film something. So there’s two different ones, I’m going to ride every day for fun, or I’m going to film something. Me personally, I don’t have the middle, like “let’s just get this clip for the bonus”. I’ll just do it by myself. I need the motivation. Well, I don’t need the motivation, that sounds bad, I’ll do it, but clip-wise, I don’t need to show people that I can kind of do something, like “I can do this too, it’s in the credits, it’s in my bonus”. If you go back and look at every dvd I’ve ever been in, I have no bonus footage. I film the stuff I want to film then I’m done. It’s really weird. But people like Corey, I’m so jealous, I watch stuff and there’s ten minutes of bonus footage, that is so cool, I wish I was like that but it’s not fun for me to be good at the tricks, it’s fun for me to do them.