It just keeps getting better. In interviewing Jordan Hoffart, I got to talk to a wickedly cool guy who is down to earth and about as easy going as they come. Check out this journey with Jordan down the streets of “dog town,” as well as what influences the skateboarding “community” today, the upcoming Bones Wheels video that drops at the end of January, and the new “life” regimen that we all could benefit from. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
At the inception of skateboarding we saw tricks that were more mechanical in nature. As revolutionists, Jay Adams, Stacey Peralta, and Tony Alva came on the scene the style of skateboarding changed and was highly influenced by surf. What inspires you now?
Good question, as you may know, skateboarding has evolved a great deal since the “dog town” era. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I tried to “surf” the concrete waves. It’s sad really when I think about it. I find myself spending a lot of time at the park learning that next big trick I’ve been eyeing up in the streets.
A ton of spots are at schools, which are pretty much off limits until the weekends. Most weeks are spent practicing that trick at the parks so when it is time to bust on the spot, you have it so dialed that it only takes a few tries … in theory. Most of these tricks are usually big, scary, highly technical or a combination of all three.
I find when I watch video parts from the gnarly street skaters in history: Kirchart, Reynolds, Cole etc. I get into a mind frame where I can tell myself these things are possible and to stop being a pus*y, so to speak.
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Along the same lines, guys weren’t catching big air initially; they were boarding on streets and sneaking into backyard pools not in parks geared specifically toward skateboarding. Is it easier to try new tricks with all the resources currently available to you?
Oh definitely, it’s almost counterproductive. A lot of the parks have made the obstacles so easy to skate that there isn’t even a street spot to mock it. When am I ever going to find a perfect bank to 8-foot long marble flat ledge with perfect ground, no cracks, and not get kicked out? It is not gonna happen, no time soon anyway. So I find the difficulty is to force yourself to skate the bigger things in the park. The ones that get you out of your comfort zone and more focused as if you were on the streets. These obstacles will give you the tools you need to bring new tricks to life on film.
Still sneak into empty backyard pools?
I’ve done it a handful of times and if you ever watch me skate a pool, you’ll see why. Haha.
When I interviewed Pro Snowboarder Eddie Wall, we touched a little on how the snowboarding community has been affected by the down turn in the economy and sponsors not having the dough to throw around. Has it impacted the skate community?
Oh definitely. But it varies in skateboarding. When it comes to the actual skateboarders, the majority of “sponsored” skaters don’t really make much money to begin with. So when the economy turned they were not affected as much. But when you get into the top pro leagues, there is a pretty diverse scene and when the big companies start making cuts, it is usually the biggest salaries that are cut first.
Like in my case, the parent company of Adio’s, manufacturing costs sky rocketed to the point where they decided to cut their whole skateboard program just to save their margins. It sucks, but business is business I suppose. It’s also been noticeable with team trips and annual travel budgets. I was lucky enough to get out of the country on a Dubai trip with Bones Wheel this past February. But other than at, I’ve pretty much stayed in the U.S., which is pretty unusual for the most part. I think a lot of companies have been able to keep it under wraps as too how broke they are getting, but this next year a lot of companies won’t be able to keep it a secret anymore.
How has skateboarding evolved since you first came on the scene?
Well, I got engulfed by skateboarding in 1995, so I watched and looked up to guys like Jason Lee, Tony Hawk, Geoff Rowley and whoever else was in the Airwalk promo video at that time.
A lot has definitely changed. The boundaries have been pushed way beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, the spots are much bigger and scarier, and it’s much harder to impress the viewer, not just in street skating but also vert and now mega ramp alike. Seeing/doing some of the tricks that go down now would be unimaginable back then, but that is just natural progression, like any other professional field really. But as much as it’s progressed, a lot of characteristics have stayed the same.
People still look for style in tricks, because it’s all about the way people do them. Watch an old Jason Lee video part and you’ll agree he still has one of the best styles to this day.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed is how “mainstream” skateboarding has become. We have parks or plazas in every major city, we have multiple skateboard contest circuits that have ridiculous pay outs, some toppling over 100K. We have skateboard companies like DC sponsoring everything from motocross to rally car with celebrities such as Lil Wayne rocking their gear. We also have skaters signing multimillion dollar contracts with corporate tycoons like Nike, Monster Energy, and Target. So in that regard, I think a lot of skateboarders have prospered financially far beyond their expectations (which in most cases, is practically nil). It is pretty cool to see. Core realists will argue that there is a lot of “sh*t” that comes with growing popularity and major corporate sponsors getting on board, but as long as the true skateboarders stay involved and steer the industry ship, I think everyone can prosper long term.
How have the X Games and the Dew Tour changed the face of the sport?
Its done wonders for its popularity and sales; it has brought skateboarding into every household in America and potentially the world via the Internet. Parents and kids alike have a new found respect for these “athletes” that display so much talent and “balls”. It really is a spectacle! Even I trip out on how amazing it all is. With that being said I still find, however, as soon as its brought uncomfortably close, into their neighborhood or more importantly their property, people are quick to switch back to their traditional way of thinking skaters are “disrespectful” adolescences that need to “get a real job”. So it’s a double-edged sword.
I find the more professionally you carry yourself the better people treat you and let their guard down. But if you act like a douche bag with a chip on his/her shoulder, people are not going to be having it for long. Contests have also helped a lot of skateboarders put their face on the map, it’s an outlet for the unknown ripper to blow up, essentially over night and make a great living off the prize money. I still trip out on how much there is to be won nowadays. It’s truly a blessing for a lot of skateboarders.
How much does branding yourself affect your success within the skateboarding community?
It’s pretty much everything, especially nowadays. Everyone is good, everyone. A 12 year-old kid could watch a pro’s video part, pick out his hardest trick and learn it at his/her local park in a few hours. It’s crazy. The thing that is going to separate you from the rest of the pack is your personality and willingness to go above and beyond what is expected of you. The skateboard industry is relaxed, there isn’t really a “boss” that hovers over you all day making sure you are getting a quota of tricks per day or handing out enough promo to the kids. It is kind of left up to you how hard you want to work.
Some guys are extremely talented, which puts them in the spotlight quickly, and their talent keeps them there as companies can market them very easily. But for the majority their talent isn’t enough. You have to constantly be interacting with your audience and getting them on your team – whether its constantly producing quality content for them to enjoy or holding giveaways for them to get involved or doing demos, camps etc. The attention span of a kid is that of a fish these days, so to hold their attention and getting them to vote for you requires 100% dedication and 24/7 hustling on your part. Being up to date with social media outlets, and attending every event keeps your name fresh in people’s heads and creates that many more opportunities to be a part of.
You recently started a new regimen in health/wellness by eating organic and taking vitamins. How has this affected you both personally and professionally? Do you see a benefit to this lifestyle change?
Well I’d like to think it’s more than just placebo, but I started when I went to see this new doctor, Dr. David Sales, at South Coast Spine Center. I’m pretty convinced he’s done the most constructive rehab for my personal health and professional ability. His methods just make sense. We do a lot of stretching, frequency laser to reset the injured cells and rid of the cell waste, stem treatments, spinal realignment and adjustments, core exercises and injury specific rehab exercises. He also highly recommended cutting alcohol out of my diet along with dairy and gluten (wheat), which releases a lot of cortizol into your system, which creates swelling and therefore poor blood circulation = prolonging recovery.
I’ve tried to go all organic, but realistically that can be a bit too expensive. I also started taking this regimen of vitamins called Metagenics. It is supposedly one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies that is still privately owned and have their quality control highly regulated for the most accurate, trust worthy products. Finally, I train and attend yoga with my good friend, Sean Hayes, who has kind of been my life coach to some degree. He is like my family away from home. He keeps me motivated and makes sure my head is where it needs to be before I skate an event or try a gnarly trick etc. I’m not sure if each step I’ve taken would create much of a noticeable difference on their own, but I find the combination of everything has pretty much changed my lifestyle and quality of life for the better.
What advice would you give to someone looking to make this change?
Start slow with little changes – maybe to your diet or by stretching more regularly. It’s hard to just switch your lifestyle overnight, especially if you are accustom to a certain way of life. I find the biggest mistake is when people jump in and attempt to change their life 100%. They come out swinging but then they tend to burn out quickly and then fall right back into their old life style.
Starting with small and reasonable changes often produce the best results, as once they become a habit, and you feel good about it, you are excited to keep up the good work and make the next change.
You are a part of the Bones Video slated for release in January, what sick tricks can we look out for?
Honestly, when we initiated the idea of making a video we were not really sure what kind of response we would get from the riders and also what kind of footage we would receive. But as time progressed and the parts came together we stepped back and shook our heads in awe. The video is going to be GNARLY! Definitely one of the better videos you will see to date and if not the best video a wheel company has ever produced.
As you may know, the more common videos are ones made my your board and shoe sponsors; wheel videos are not very common. But Jared and Rob (the bosses) have done such a great job with the marketing of the brand and bringing the right people on board – it will definitely reflect a new light on the idea of wheel videos. I don’t want to give any parts or tricks away but I’ve pretty much seen the video from start to finish and there isn’t one part that didn’t hold my attention. I was stoked to shred from start to finish. It drops late January 2011.
Jared Lucas spent two years filming this video. How much were you are a part of the process?
Well since Jared and I lived together during half that time, we did end up spending a lot of days filming together and watching the time lines as the footage piled up. Jared likes to invite me over to bounce ideas off me and get my honest opinion with tricks, songs use, editing techniques etc. I think he does that with a few other guys. It just gives him a wider perspective on the project. Being cooped up in that editing bay for months at a time puts a strain on the creative process after awhile. He wants to produce the best video possible. It’s his first one from start to finish, so he is extremely passionate about it.
What is the best part about filming?
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THE BÖNES VIDEO TEASER from BONES WHEELS on Vimeo.
There are so many awesome things about filming, especially with Jared. From finding new spots, to fixing spots, or just being out with a tight crew feeling the vibes, the whole process is fun. Obviously landing a trick makes for the best part as that is kind of the point. But it is definitely the process along the way that makes the victory that much sweeter. I’m super sore today, but just talking about it makes me want to call up the crew and skate right now! I’m addicted to it. It’s such a huge part of my life. Plus, Jared and I are like brothers; we’ve been pretty much best friends for over five years. So it’s like being able to do what you love with the people you love for a living. It doesn’t really get much better than that.
Do you find filming as challenging or fulfilling as competing?
I find filming more challenging, so in turn, yeah, more fulfilling as well. Competing is awesome too; don’t get me wrong, but its just different. A lot of guys have contests as part of their contract, especially the ones that are hooked up by more mainstream corporate companies. The pressure is high in those spots for sure. Its not really a requirement from my sponsors, so I haven’t really been training for contests. I’ve been skating a lot more street and filming for my video parts, which have been the main requirement from my sponsors. I think once this Bones video is done, I will try to concentrate on the contest circuit a little more. I think its fun to get diverse and mix it up a bit – keeps everything fresh.
What can we look out for in 2011?
The Bones video drops in January. I’m trying to have my Skateboard Mag Pro interview finished and out by then as well. I will be competing at Tampa Pro this spring, Dew tour, Maloof Moneycup, and hopefully X Games this summer. I’ll try to break into the Street League circuit as well.
Towards the end of the year we will be releasing a Bones Brigade documentary directed by Stacey Peralta and shortly following that we will be releasing a Powell Peralta promo video featuring the new 2011 team. I’m sure there will be a bunch of touring and demos in there somewhere, there always is. I’m looking forward to some road trips for sure.
Tell us, what’s your MaleStandard?
I try to remind myself that life is a gift, and being a young man living his dream in a land full of opportunity has far surpassed any standard I could possibly think up. I’m blessed inside and out.
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Very cool. Okay, Lightening Round of Grooming Questions.
Razor or Electric?
Ever have manicure or pedicure?
Yeah. Actually my girlfriend took me in for my feet once. It was awesome. I felt bad for the old Asian lady that had to touch em though. Not a pretty sight.
Is Style and Grooming important to your brand?
No, I would say it’s probably the opposite. I find “not giving a sh*t” sells really well in skateboarding. Haha.
Manual or electric toothbrush?
Manual – Electric toothbrushes make my hand numb.
Sparingly on EXTREMELY formal occasions. I usually just wear it for my boo.
Soap or body wash?
Tea tree soap bars are what’s up. They smell amazing and clear up the skin fungus.
Bad grooming habits?
I’m pretty on point for the most part. I’d say on long road trips athlete’s foot can spread among the crew pretty rapidly. It’s hard to continuously change your socks and shower when you are skating hard all day, then jumping into a van and are on the road for a month at a time. Lotrimin Ultra and baby powder have been known to be available in the bulk supply during those trips.
Favorite grooming habit?
Mouthwash. Brushing your teeth after a “big night” is one thing, but feeling your gums burn with freshness after 30 seconds of torture is a whole other realm. You feel like a new man.
Who cuts your hair?
I used to go to the Encinitas barber, but then a friend of mine left his clippers at my house and I’ve been using those ever since. I like the feeling of a shaved head, just get up and go. Beanies fit, hats fit. It’s all good.