In your career coming up, did you have any mentors, or do you remember your first moment riding as an amateur with some of the pros?
I remember back in Australia riding with guys that were a lot better than I was. They gave me something to look forward to and to aspire to. Overseas I would be reading the magazines about all the big name pros and I wanted to be like those guys one day. I definitely remember that whole experience. It’s pretty important. 

Was Jamie Bestwick one of those people that you looked up to?
Yeah, definitely. 

What was it like taking him out last year?
That was an interesting experience. It wasn’t really a changing of the guard, but it showed that vert had a very bright future, and then winning in Vegas, too, it just solidified the fact that anybody could win. It wasn’t as dominated as it once was. 

I’ve ridden everything now, and I wish I would have focused on one event more than trying to do three events at once.


How has the sport changed since you went pro in 2000?
I don’t think it’s really changed that much. People have gotten a lot better, which has helped the sport grow and it’s also made it harder for people to get to that level. It’s interesting when the really good start working harder, it makes it difficult for people to come up, because they don’t want to let those spots go. We see a huge influx of little kids each year, especially in skateboarding this year. The pros are working twice as hard to make sure those kids aren’t coming in to take their spots. It’s a huge revolving circles, and you need those kids to push the limits. People have gotten a lot more consistent and the tricks have gotten a lot bigger within a run. It’s not just one big trick. You’re doing a trick into your big trick. 

How is the sport evolving with these new events and new tricks coming up?
The mini-mega is a great event for the Dew Tour. It’s exciting, brings new guys in and opens it up for different champions. 

What have you learned over the years of competition and what do you wish you knew before?
I’ve ridden everything now, and I wish I would have focused on one event more than trying to do three events at once. That’s not really something I learned, I just feel like if I had focused on one thing, I might have had more success at it. That’s why in vert, if something is on the same day, I’m not doing anything else. At this point in my career, I take one thing at a time, instead of trying to do too much. 

If you had to pick one, which would you stay in?
Now, I know what I’m doing. Before, I was trying to do vert, park, and dirt. I think I would have picked park and focused on that. I don’t regret it, but the people that win week after week are the guys that ride in one event.

The Dew Tour Toyota City Championships, taking place in San Francisco, October 18-21, air live on NBC on October 20 at 1:30pm ET and on October 21 at 2:00pm ET. 

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