Portrait: John Bradford
Interview: Christian Senrud
What brought you to Etnies?
I guess multiple reasons. They have 25 years of experience, so I was really hyped about that, and just basically opportunity. I started thinking if I had the opportunity with another team that’s traveling and getting out there, I’d be super hyped. I thought about different options and how comfortable I’d feel riding for the different companies out there and I felt good about Etnies because I’m friends with Oliver Barton who’s a photographer over there. I know Jose [Rojo] really well. Pierre’s pretty awesome. Everyone’s just seen me on Lakai for a really long time and they’re like “You know I don’t know if it’s good to jump ship after you’ve been on Lakai for a long time.” But it’s not jumping ship. They’re evolving, and it was time for change. I guess I wanted some new energy.
Were there hard feelings?
I love the guys at Lakai. I sat down and spoke with Kelly Bird and Rick Howard and that was a difficult conversation. They have Lakai out of Girl and Chocolate right now which is great and that’s a good opportunity for them and they were really nice. But for me it was time to move on.
Did you hear the rumor that you were the Etnies TM?
Yeah I’ve heard it from a ton of people. People have been asking me if I could get them on the team, because they’d heard that I was the TM. It’s a crazy one because Jameson DeCrew, he’s the new team manager. He’s legit.
Have you also heard that Popwar is back?
Yeah that was kind of a harsh rumor, and it’s not even a rumor. It’s like “Whoa, that’s a bummer.”
Who’s behind that one?
I don’t even know who bought it. It’s funny because I just got an email a second ago, someone sending me a sponsor me tape. I was on the Zumiez Couch Tour and a couple of the dudes who run that were like, “We were just up in the Northwest and there were a ton of Popwar decks.” We thought maybe someone had a stockpile, and then I ran into a couple other people, then heard on the internet. It’s unconfirmed, because I’ve never really searched it out myself, but apparently someone bought the name. Whoever told me was saying they were just reissuing our graphics without the names. Actually I just got hit up on Facebook too. Someone said their buddy just got sponsored by Popwar and asked what I thought about it. I just told him it’s always good to get free boards.
How are things at Enjoi?
They’re great. We’re going on a bunch of trips this year. We’re going to Scandinavia and Russia, then we’re going to Australia. I don’t know if it’s Enjoi solely, but there’s talk of trying to go out to Nestor’s neck of the woods in Spain, because he’s got family out there so a lot of Enjoi riders are going to get together and try to go to Spain. I’m not sure of the full details about trying to do a video, but it must be in the works if we’re doing this much traveling.
How psyched are you for Nestor going pro?
I’m super hyped that Nestor’s pro. He’s proven himself. Times are a little different these days, so sometimes a person gets a board really quickly without getting a lot of interviews, but they have the skills where it’s enough to be like, “All right, this guy should be pro.” Maybe it’s just me being older, but I believe people need to take certain steps to turn pro. With Nestor, I feel like it’s perfect timing.
Are you guys adding any new riders or anything?
Ben Raemers has been on for a while. Everyone knows Raemers is on. We’re flowing Ryan Lay and some others. I’m actually in New York right now, been hanging out with Ryan and he’s been ripping around. Jose and I are gonna go out to Arizona to film with him out there. I think the idea is to make sure everyone agrees with a person that’s going to be on the team. Sometimes you’ll see people get on teams and you’re not even sure if that person knows those people. That’s one of the great things about Enjoi. We’re all homies and we all hang out.
What’s the worst you’ve ever seen Jose get harassed on a trip?
Every Enjoi trip. I can’t even think of a specific. Any time he’s around anyone from Enjoi, especially if Matt Eversole is there: rough times. Really rough time. He’s a good sport though.