Fun talk with a bacon loving lad from Vancouver. He tells us about working in the Rayne shop, his skating buddies and some interesting ideas about theoretical physics.
Hey Aidan, how are you?
Doing great! Stoked to have the chance to be here with ya. How ‘bout yourself?
Are you trying to charm me?
Haha if I was trying to charm you I’d show up with bacon n’ steak.
What’s the best bacon around your parts?
Canadian maple bacon obviously. Mmm so sweet, so succulent .
Where in Canada are you from?
None other than beautiful BC, specifically Vancouver. I just live in the hills. I couldn’t imagine moving anytime soon, I’m hooked. BC definitely lives up to her name.
What’s she known for?
Her blatant extravagance. Beautiful mountain ranges, ocean lapping at your feet, and unfortunately a lot of rain. You get really good at wet riding quickly.
When did you start skating?
3 years ago, I picked up a skull skates cruiser deck to get from point A to point B quicker than walking. I got more into sliding and downhill when I was cruising to school and rallied a corner a bit to hard, and my board slid out from under me. I went straight on my ass and stayed there for a while. When I got home, I googled “Longboard slide” and watched a few of the old-school coast videos. From there I slowly progressed and I was immediately hooked.
What coast videos made an impression on you?
Coast evolutions videos. All of them! They really showcased a type of riding I had never seen before. If you haven’t seen them yet, I suggest you search for “Coast Evolutions” on YouTube!
What difference has Coast made to your life?
Those videos really changed my life haha. I went from a skinny little kid who played video games to an avid skater. Downhill skateboarding ruined my life, in the best possible way.
What would your life be without skateboarding?
I’d probably be working an average job, doing average things, and hanging out with average people. Instead I’m working at Rayne and doing what I love: skating everyday, and hanging out with the coolest people ever!
When did you first find other skaters?
I got a few friends from school into it and we started skating parkades during our spare blocks, and sometimes even created our own spare blocks to go skating haha. We got pretty devious with our tactics after a while. Posting on the coastlongboarding forum and attending Saturday sessions (hosted by Mike Benda) got me more into the core scene and attending regular sessions.
Who is Mike Benda?
Mike Benda is a mothfucking panda. He is one of the OG’s of the BC scene and does some of the gnarliest, fastest and most epic toesides I’ve ever seen. He gets major props. Kids these days are doing all these fancy flippy comply tricks. Mike will never get tired of shredding purely downhill. Thrashing the pavement, his wheels, and his body. True legend.
Who are the other BCOGs?
Kevin Reimer for sure, he really popularized his sleek and elegant style back in the day.
Hayato “the dragon” Tanaka. Nothing more needs to be said.
Mike “the trashman” McGoldrick. He was doing standups and making them look easy while I was playing with lego.
All 3 of those guys have been crucial to the sport and what it is today.
What’s your none average job?
At Rayne I started as shop bitch, I was picking vinyl stickers and putting velcro on pucks. Les realized I had a lot of passion and that I actually cared about what I did, so he took me under his wing. I’ve been working under his supervision for a while doing a bunch of media, social networking, and other awesome things. But if I told you, I’d have to kill you.
Are there any other bitches?
Yep. There’s always a shop bitch. Nowadays that position is being held down by Aly Baba and Darth. 2 local guys who recently started working at the Rayne shop. Kevin Hashimoto holds it down for the shop. but definitely isn’t a bitch.
What’s your typical day?
Slowly drag my ass outta bed and into the shower, make some tea on the way out the door (Yorkshire, like a real brit). Catch the bus down to the china town offices and do whatever tasks Les has set out for me. Hit up Kents kitchen with Tommy Watson for a greasy $5 lunch. And once the work day is over I’ll head back to Les’ place to chill out and orbicle, eat some delicious crock pot food, and maybe put on a movie. The choice for last night was “American Psycho.”
How has your skating evolved over these past 3 years?
I am always trying to progress and learn new things. But I’ve been really into racing for the past 2 seasons. And with the construction of the flatspot shop skate bowl, I’ve been getting more into transition and that kinda stuff. But I’m always down to go sideways and throw fat slides.
When did you get hooked on going fast?
When I moved from skating the local freeride hill to doing more bus runs in the british properties. Everyone was stoked on seshing corners and walking up hills, and even had a group called “team corners”. I got tired of walking up hills and found out you could bus to the top of the local runs and skate from halfway up the local mountain, all the way to the water. Non stop downhill skating for over 8 mins!
What was your first race?
Somethings Fishy outlaw on Vancouver island. It was wet/patchy and I think I ended up in 4th place in the juniors division.
Are there a lot of groms racing in the BPs?
NO. Keep the kooky groms out of the bp’s! The last thing we need is more kooks clogging up our local runs. Stay in your lane, skate safe, and don’t fuck it up for the rest of us. If you don’t know how to stop or skate properly you are not welcome. However there are other groms killing it in the BP’s. They remind me of myself 2 years ago. The idea in the BP’s isn’t to race down them. It’s a fun run where you have lots of room to skate however you want. It features pretty much every type of skating possible. Railing through sweepers, Tucking in 80Km straights, shredding hairpins, straight freeride style slopes, and big drops and early grabs. It’s utopia for skateboarders.
When did you hook up with Rayne?
October 2011 I sent them an e-mail, asking for a hookup on some product. Best email I’ve ever sent. Les called me into the shop to talk and hook me up with a board, and I ended up leaving with 2, and a backpack full of griptape, shirts, and swag. I was stoked out of my mind, and our relationship has been going strong ever since.
Is Les your big bro?
Its kinda hard to describe my relationship with Les. I’d consider him a brother now! He’s taught me more in my year of working with him than my final years of school combined. He provides me with countless opportunities and helps me out big time. Definitely one of my favorite people to hang out and skate with. But be careful, if you fuck up, he will make you you know what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it. He won’t deal with any bullshit and gets shit done. He’s all shit and no fart.
How many races did you do in your first season?
I made it to as many events as I could afford, my mom was pretty supportive during my first season and helped me out financially. Pretty sure I attended Britannia, Whistler, Mount wash, Kelowna skylands, Saltspring slasher, and Giants head, and somethings fishy island outlaw. All these races are native to BC and make up the “BC Race circuit”
What is special about the circuit?
They are all local to BC and you don’t really have to travel more than a day to get to any of them. The tracks are all unique. You have giants head, which has 13 hairpins and is a 1 lane wide road, and mount wash is the fastest race in north america, with speeds of over 100km/h and sweeping corners. Britannia is one of the most technically interesting tracks I’ve skated. It starts with a fast sweeper over a bridge, with a straight section into the first right hand hairpin, then a short steep straight leading into the left hand hairpin, which has marbly slippery pavement and a flat exit, making it very hard to take a perfect line. The final straight gets you going over 70km/h and leads into the final right hairpin, with the finish line about 100 feet after the exit of the corner. Creating tons of opportunities for lots of “make or break” passes.
What did you learn from your first year of competing?
I progressed my racing skills, but a lot of it was mental development. Becoming more comfortable with tight pack riding and making those close sketchy passes.
What was the highlight of that year?
Having the chance to skate with all my closest buddies every weekend. And being able to make podium placings in my first race season was a huge accomplishment for me.
Do you have a gang?
Not quite. I have a few guys I really enjoy skating with, but we don’t call ourselves anything haha.
Those guys are:
Charlie Darragh, A bro since the start and now recent teammate. My all time favorite guy to skate with and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Tyler Peterson: Super fast skater and freerides with steeze. Always a pleasure to skate with.
Jonas Richter: Fucking homie. Lives in brazil and I met him this past season. He is someone I to try to keep up with and he has graceful racing style.
Levi Purple: Rolls hard straight outta Nor-Cal and has some of the cleanest style I’ve ever seen. Homie for life.
What was your greatest achievement that season?
In my first season of racing: 3rd place in juniors at the whistler longboard festival. I ended up getting knocked out cold being pushed across the finish line, and still managed to take 3rd place.
How did you get ready for the 2012 season?
Lots of Bp’s runs with the local crew. Rain or shine!! A little rain doesn’t stop an event from going down, why should it stop me from skating?
What were you looking forward to before the season?
Dry weather and sun haha. Rain skating is fun and all, but 6 months of it and you’re pretty ready to slay some wheels on a dry warm road.
What did you get up to this season?
Lots of Tiffany trips to skate events and races. I spent a lot of time on the road this season. Chilling with the Rayne crew and rolling deep. In case you don’t know, Tifffany is the one and only Rayne RV! Shes a sexy bitch and always has a couple of guys inside her. She’s got enough beds to sleep 7-8 stinky skaters. And she was the savior this season. No more tents getting ripped open. Can’t fuck with an RV haha! She travelled to almost every event in BC this summer and then some. We put a hell of a lot of KM’s on her. Everyone in Tiffany is down to orbacle and just hang out, race day or not. I feel like I had a lot more fun this season because of it. She made her final trip this summer down to the Maryhill freeride, then all the way to Nor-Cal to the menlo park slide jam. That trip was a blast. We had a good crew and we kept it real. Unfortunately, on the way back, we made the mistake of running her dry (no oil) and she blew a rod through the oil pan. We were stuck on the side of the highway in buttfuck Oregon. Got her towed to the local mechanic shop and got her all fixed up with a new engine and she was ready to roll. TIFFANY LIVES.
Who did you travel with?
The crew for the Nor-Cal trip consisted of Myself, Les, Levi Purple, Tommy Watson, and we acquired Justin Readings for the drive back. All homies.
How did you do this season?
This season was my final one in the junior class, so I was really gunning it. I placed 3rd in juniors at the britannia classic this year after a super tight heat with Jonas Richter, Spencer Smith, and Jackson Wells. I also advanced a fair bit in the open class beating out James Kelly in my first heat. I had the opportunity to race in Mexico this year (thanks to Rayne) and took 1st place in the junior class. And at Maryhill this year we had a SUPER stacked junior class and some of the tightest racing I’ve ever experienced and I made it to the semi finals but couldn’t quite make that crucial pass. Ended up in the Consi finals and 7th overall. Not too bad for a 64 man bracket. Shout out to Mike Slota for taking the win!
What was it like racing outside Canada?
The scene is quite different in foreign counties. However the community is usually rad no matter what. Some of the riders in other countries that you don’t know can be sketchy to ride with sometimes. But I usually just try to be in front.
Are you looking forward to the transition to open?
Yes! It will be a much bigger challenge and I can set myself bigger goals. Making a podium in open class would be a much bigger deal to me than in the junior class. Time to pony up and race with the big boys. I don’t have the weight a lot of the other guys have and that can be detrimental in some courses. However I just like to think that I grip harder in corners. Its all about that inside line.
ALL THE BACONS! haha
Are they all your sponsors?
Pretty much, I’m lucky enough to get support from Rayne, Aera, Sector 9 wheels, Vicious Griptape and Flip flop shops.
What are your plans for the future?
Keep skating and and living the dream. Travel as much as I can and improve my skills in skateboarding. I’ll figure the rest out when the time comes.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
Everybody asks me this, and I dont really have an answer haha. I live, eat, sleep, and breathe skateboarding. I guess I like to edit videos and listen to music. But you rarely see me without a board in my hand.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-40.
7,33,and 69… whats my prize?
Cactus tissue paper.
Don’t you mean vicious griptape toilet paper?
7 – What is your favourite meal?
Sushi beats everything
33 – Daniel.Hawes asks: What’s the most interesting thing regarding string theory you have recently learnt?
If the multiverse theory is true, then there must be a universe where it is untrue. therefore… mindfuck!
6 – What is the strangest food you’ve eaten?
I traveled to Korea in grade 9 and lived there for 6 weeks. I ate some pretty strange things. Horse, cow head soup, and bull penis were by far the strangest.
It’s been hella fun talking to you bro, stay rad!
Likewise man, super stoked Thanks a bunch!
Any thank yous?
Yes! First off Les at Rayne for hooking it up and providing me with the opportunities that he has.
Brian at flip flop shop who underwent a quadruple bypass heart surgery and pulled through like a champ!
Charlie Darragh for being rad.
And my family for being as supportive as they are.