Shredding with Justin Readings

Justin tells us about racing around the world, his new deck and Ke$ha magic.Hey Justin, how are you doing?
Pretty good.

Where are you from?
Toronto, Ontario.

When did you start skating?
Sometime in 2004 I think.

How did you get into it?
Started with a board to kick around on, then got a bit into downhill and more into slalom. After a few years racing slalom I got back into downhill and started racing at Maryhill.
Is there a big slalom scene in Toronto?
There was a big scene back in the day. Now not so much.

How has the scene in Toronto evolved?
It got a lot bigger. It went from a core group of skaters to thousands. I used to know everyone who would come out to a session. Now I barely know any of them.

Who were the guys you were skating with back then?
I remember skating with Luke Melo, Adam Winston, Rob Sydia, Benjamin Jordan, Chris Barret, Smooth Chicken and a bunch of other people who aren’t really involved anymore.

Who organised sessions?
Everyone would organise sessions. Ben would have the Old School Night Shreds every week, Rob was responsible for most of the slalom that was going down.

Who are Ben and Rob?
Benjamin Jordan is one of the originals who started the board meeting in Toronto. He’s a photographer and since then has been heavily involved in fundraising. He did Push for the Cure from coast to coast, not just the BC leg, and was also involved in Above and Beyond which was a paragliding trip across Canada.
Rob Sydia was also OG and raced slalom at the time I started. I actually picked up my first board from a slalom session he was at. He was generally the one giving out slalom advice, setting courses, bringing out cones, just getting people stoked.

What is the board meeting?
A friend of mine Nathan Ng, another OG, explains it fairly well: “The story goes that Jordan, a dynamic commercial photographer, loved going to the sessions, and riding with other people, but hated getting up in the mornings to attend. In mid-2003 he was taking a course in self-expression, and there was a community leadership module he was completing. The module required him to “give something back” to a community he identified with.
Mixed together, these elements inspired Jordan to create an occasion that combined his passion for longboarding in a pack, with the artistic expression he enjoyed through photography. He had a vision: a fluid mass of skaters — all wearing business suits — coasting down Yonge Street, having fun. Along the way, photographers would capture the mayhem.”
You can read a little more about the board meeting here http://skritch.blogspot.ca/2012/09/short-history-of-toronto-board-meeting.html

What do you enjoy about slalom?
Slalom was just another form of racing. It was really cool to see your own improvement, to be able to dial in a course or actually make it through when you hadn’t been able to previously.

How does it help the rest of your skating?
It helps in a few different ways. I’ve won outlaws based on the fact that I could pump after kick lines and get ahead of people right off the start. It also just taught me a good amount of board control on a short wheelbase.

What’s your role in the local community?
I don’t really have one anymore because I’ve been doing so much traveling and have recently moved away. I used to organise sessions, I’ve held a few events and helped some people get started.

When did you first skate outside Toronto?
I think it would have been in Ottawa for the Dovercourt Open Slalom race. Or in the surrounding area for downhill sessions.

How did you get into skating down hills?
It was a feature of the area I lived in, so it ended up being another place to skate. I lived downhill to the beach in Toronto.

Who did you ride hills with back in the day?
I rode mostly with Luke Melo, and Smooth Chicken. They both lived in the area.

What do you enjoy about skating fast?
Everything. I don’t really know how to explain it.

When did you start to compete?
Not long after starting slalom. I think my first downhill race was in 2007. I’m really bad with dates and times. Sorry I haven’t had anything to eat yet.

How come you haven’t eaten?
Slept in a little bit. Then took care of some business, then this interview.

You’re a gangster?
No, by business, I mean emails, and editing videos.

You’re a film-maker?
I wouldn’t say a film-maker. I occasionally dabble in some edits.

What’s your weapon of choice?
Sony A57. It does 1080 at 60fps, so if I ever have the need for slow mo I can use it.

When did you start filming skating?
I started filming a few years ago. Got much more into it this year, bought a nice camera, and figured out how to use editing software.

What do you try to achieve with your edits?
Not get bored watching my own video.
What do you ride?
I ride a 2012 Rayne Avenger, on K4s with Abec 11 Wheels. Generally I stick to topmounts.

Are any of those your sponsors?
Rayne and Abec 11 are two of my main sponsors. Kevin helped me out as well.

What do you like about the Avenger?
Its got a new fat-bottom construction which means the board is thinner at the rails. Its incredibly light but still stiff, and I don’t get wheel bite even with BIG wheels.

How is it different from the other topmounts in your arsenal?
I don’t really have any other boards but compared to what I’ve ridden, it fits my feet. Its narrower than most.

When did you get sponsored?
I started getting real helpful sponsorship last year. So 4 years after starting racing.

What was your first full season of competition?
I guess last year was my first full season competing. Traveled all over and tried to work as little as possible.

How did it go?
Last year went really well. I went to a ton of events, too many to name. I did the full BC circuit, then went to Europe, and South Africa. Managed to place 15th overall. Got to semifinals or finals 4 races in a row. Got a 2nd and 7th in South Africa which I was really happy about. On top of that I did a ton of freeriding, hitting mountain passes, and skating with friends.

How did Europe compare to skating in Canada?
Its very different. 20km runs with a mix of everything. Fast technical hairpins, sweepers, gripping corners, and even straights.

What is the BC circuit?
The BC circuit is all the races in British Columbia. There are a ton of events running all year round. Some independent some IGSA.

How long have they been going on?
Some of them for a longer than I’ve been skating. I think Danger Bay is on its 11th year.

Who organises them?
A variety of people. Lee Cation does some of the big ones.

How do the independents compare?
Amazing. They all have their own feel.

Which do you prefer?
The independant events are usually more about skateboarding. Generally more enjoyable.

What was the highlight of your time abroad?
I can’t ever pick one moment. I love hanging out in Germany. Mountain passes in Europe are incredible. The people in South Africa are amazing. Time in Vancouver is just as nice though.

How was this season for you?
This season was rough. At the beginning of the year I was super excited, really stoked for it all and had big plans. Got 4th at Jakes Rash against some big names, then got taken out at a bunch of events in BC, then got taken out in Mexico and separated my AC joint which put me out for the rest of the season. Went to Europe but couldn’t be competitive so it was a bit of a downer. Still got to go on a cross Canada trip with Switchback Longboards which was rad, and met up with Rayne in California.

Did you at least place in the short shorts comp in MILF?
Unfortunately they didn’t take male entries. Billy Bones showed up all the girls and they wouldn’t even call his name.

How come you got taken out so much?
Wrong place wrong time I guess. It’s not any more physical its just tighter.

What plans did you have for this season?
I had 20 races/events planned plus the cross Canada tour.

When will you be healed?
I am now. Might make it to South Africa.

How did you spend your time in Europe?
I skated, just cautiously. Did lots of filming and lots of editing.

Who did you travel with?
I was with Cam Brickenden and Braden Tibbles.

Did your cross Canada trip end in Calgary?
No it actually started in Calgary. Switchback started on the Island on the west coast and drove all the way to Cabot Trail and back.

What is Switchback?
Switchback Longboards is another one of my sponsors. They are a shop based out of Nanaimo BC. (www.switchbacklongboards.com). They are truly a magical group of people and they have a history of being the top sponsor for almost all Canadian events.

Harry Potter magic or Lord of the rings kind of magic?
Ke$ha magical.

Who is the grand wizard?
Kelsey Krozier.

Where would the community in Canada be without them?
The events certainly wouldn’t be as grand and overall less exciting, at least for me. They certainly make everything more fun.

Do you have any other sponsors?
Yeah. Dr Vie Superfoods is a small health food company based out of Vancouver and shes been helping me out a bunch this year.

How was your experience at the World Championships?
No comment.

What happens next season regarding racing?

Not sure. Hopefully a lot.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
Think about skateboarding. Plan skate trips. Edit Videos. Answer emails.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-39.
2, 3, 4.

2 – Would you rather have a hook for a hand or a wheel for a foot?
Hook for a hand.

3 – What impact has longboarding had on your life?
It impacts everything. All my decisions are based on skateboarding.

4 – Who is the best person you’ve seen skating?
Too many people to name.

It’s been really great talking to you tonight bro! Thanks for your time, maybe catch you in Europe next season!
Sounds good!! See you around

Any thank yous?
Of course I would like to thank all my sponsors for getting me where I want to be!

Links.
www.raynelongboards.com
www.abec11.com
www.drvie.com
www.switchbacklongboards.com
www.facebook.com/justinreadings
www.justinreadings.com
www.twitter.com/justinreadings

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