Eric Koston Interview
Bangkok-born, 24-year-old Eric Koston is the posterboy for the phrase “actions speak louder than words.” Since his early days with H Street, Eric’s skateboarding’s stood out in the sea of cookie-cutter pros and trendy tricks, but he’s been far from vocal about it. From mini-ramp 540s to nollie heelflip noseslides on ten-plus-stair rails, Eric may not have written the book of modern skateboarding, but he was certainly one of its biggest contributors. Just don’t ask him to read it aloud.
What was your favorite year in skateboarding?
Maybe the first years.
Because everything was new. Everything. Now it can’t be as new as it was then.
Who’s been your biggest inspiration in skateboarding?
Mark Gonzales from the beginning.
What about him inspired you?
His skating, and it seemed like he was always joking around, too. It seemed like he enjoyed what he was doing. He was having fun with it. Danny Way, too. Just how good he was at everything. And all the guys from way back – the whole Bones Brigade days.
What’s the stupidest trend you’ve seen skateboarding go through?
Long handrails laughs. No, I’m just kidding. Probably all the bad clothes, like in ’92 all the big, bad, ugly clothes. Big T-shirts, crazy-colored Fuct pants, and late flips and everything that went with that whole 1992 era. It was pretty awful. Late flips, late shove-its, skating was just horrible.
Did you get mixed up in the horribleness?
Yeah, it sucked, everybody got mixed up in it in one way or another.
No one’s innocent of that era.
What do you consider your biggest contribution to skateboarding?
My biggest contribution? I don’t know what I’ve contributed.
I think you’ve contributed a lot to the progression of tricks.
I don’t know if I have, but other people have as well. I’ve just always tried to keep progressing, but there’re other people who’ve influenced that as well. It’s definitely not just me.
Describe the current state of skateboarding.
Skateboarding’s cleaned up its act … a lot. You know, not completely, but in a lot of ways. It’s progressing, but not so much trick-wise as how big people are going. Like the size of handrails, stuff like that.
But you don’t see it progressing in regard to how technical trick are?
It is, a little, but it’s hard for it to progress too far too fast.
I guess if you progress too far, you end up with late flips and late shove-its.
Yeah. And it’s going back that way, too; some people are doing that stuff again … which is kinda weird. But for the people who are doing it, maybe it’s new to them. Maybe they weren’t skating in ’92, you know what I mean? Maybe they saw an old video full of all these weird-ass tricks from ’92, and that could be influencing people who are doing stuff like that now. Who knows?
Do you have any predictions for skateboarding’s future?
I don’t know.
Can it get more technical, trick-wise?
It’s gonna be both big and tech, because there’s that mix. There’re so many more people skateboarding than there were before. There’s going to be a variety – both big and technical. Skateboarding has become a lot more consistent in the last few years – even with the most technical stuff – and it’ll probably keep getting more consistent.
Do you see it getting more and more popular?
It still is getting bigger, and if the ratings keep going up, skateboarding’s going to keep growing. But when the ratings go down, if they do, it could definitely get smaller again.
I guess it works in cycles.
That’s true, it does work in cycles. I don’t know where the peak is for skating this time around, hopefully it’s a lot further away.