Being a freestyler in Australia is like being a needle in a haystack. It’s very secluded and hard to find many people who skate freestyle dominantly. I can name about 4 skaters from Australia that purely skate freestyle that I personally know of who are big inspirations to me. These include, Liam France, Shaun Gladwell, Michael Malyszko and Ricky Glaser. I’ve been skating for 5 years now mostly freestyle and mostly by myself.
I feel skating by myself helps my creation flow a lot easier. I’ve been able to invent tricks such as the rail/primo Nollie Laser flip. I am getting different variations of that such as landing cross foot, body varial or turning it into a big flip.
Skating started on the road In front of my house when I was 14. It started as a hobby which stemmed into a passion which branched into a lifestyle and almost leading to a future career. Freestyle in particular drew me in because of the beauty and creative control.
Watching guys like Kilian Martin really made me appreciate the artistic value of freestyle. Another big inspiration comes from someone who’s not a skater, in fact it comes from music, specifically electric violin composed by Lindsey Stirling. I don’t know why but something about the way violin flows helps me with my footwork in freestyle forming it into almost a dance.
I never knew many freestylers until I flew to Canada in May 2016 to compete in my first ever freestyle contest at the World Round Up. I placed 7th in the world in the amateur division. It really set me on a path to success and gave me the opportunity to make lifelong friends and freestylers who inspired me and motivate me. These are guys like Mike Osterman, Jordan Sterling, Connor Burke, Dan Garb, Tony Gale, Danielle Trujillo, Marcio Torres and Andy Anderson. From those friends I was able to network with legends like Kevin Harris who got me in contact with Glen Billwiller, a freestyle legend and now great friend and also sponsor. Glen runs a skate shop in Perth called Aikenheads Skateshop and he supplies me with Chance Skateboards, Fury trucks and Momentum wheels.
After my success in Canada I’ve also been able to pick up a watch sponsor called Toro Luna Watches which make world class watches perfect for skating and Proteus Clothing. The road to sponsorship however hasn’t been an easy path. In middle school I was expelled for leaving class and just skating. It’s all I wanted to do and all I loved.
My principle called me delusional and crazy in front of my own mother and said it was a one in a million shot at making it in skating. Ironically he said I’d never make it into a magazine. I look back and laugh at the whole situation now. I don’t regret what I did. I just regret putting my mum through that pain of me being expelled and almost being a disappointment.
My plan for the future is to go to the Round Up every year and set up a skate shop in Melbourne. I want to expand freestyle around the world and show the beauty and art that is what we do, hopefully in the next 3-4 years I want to be able to set up an Australian Freestyle contest and have freestylers all over the world compete and experience this beautiful country and it’s four seasons in one day. I wish to see more people skating freestyle and loving it. I want to see the freestyle family expand and grow, break away from the norm and create something weird and goofy.
Thanks to my sponsors:
Aikenheads skateshop, Fury trucks, Momentum wheels, Chance skateboards, Toro Luna Watches, Proteus Clothing.