Jared Henry: Comet Skateboarder

No Coast bro Jared has a sick attitude to skating and even sicker skills riding everything. He shares stories about being on the road with Comet and building boarder cross obstacles. 

Waldo Broodryk photo

Waldo Broodryk photo

Hey Jared, how are you?
Doin aye ok! It’s raining outside though. No skating today.

Where are you from?
I’m from a lot of places haha. Born in San Diego, raised in Arkansas and currently live in Asheville, NC. I also lived in Seattle and Boston back in the dizzay.

What’s it like in NC?
North Carolina is a super cool place man. We have some good hills to skate, there is literally music to vibe on every night and there is an “epidemic of fat asses” as my buddy Matt likes to say. Speaking about Girl’s butts. Not fat people.

Is your buddy Matt secretly Sir Mix-a-lot?
No, this is the Matt that listens to “It’s Raining Men” every waking second. Haha. Matt’s the homie. He kills it going fast and has found most of the hills here in NC. Ups to Matt Deitch! I just now got that joke. Good one hahahah.

Sam Weaver photo

Sam Weaver photo

What music are you into?
Everything man! Whatever the world throws at me. I saw Bombino last night and they are on some next-level-positive-energy-jam-shit for sure. I love blues, reggae, folk. The folk music here in NC is really great. You can go downtown and listen to a street performer tell a story about his life and throw him a dollar or something. I heard 13 Strings and a 2 Bill last week. They killed it.

How did you get into skateboarding?
I got into skating through my dad. He had this old ass hobby that he would do handstands on and do those crazy Stacy Peralta like circles on point! He bombed a hill on his hands when we first moved to this neighborhood in Arkansas. The neighbors were like ”those are the people that moved here from California… beware.” It just took off from there. I bought my first skateboard at Wal-Mart with a bunch of nickels and dimes that I earned from chasing loose soccer balls at my mom’s soccer practices. My mom coaches soccer, she kills it at life! Then we built a mini ramp in the garage and I just kept skating every day. I got that bug you know? The skate bug! Now I hit hills and skate whatever there is to skate as much as possible. It’s tough to skate everyday being in college and shit but there is always time to ride a piece of wood around!

Blake Smith photo

Blake Smith photo

It must be nice to bond with your dad over skateboarding.
Very nice. I am super fortunate to have the father I do. I know a lot of people that don’t have that role model in their life but my dad has always been there for me and can’t thank him enough for being the guy he is. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Much love dad! He’s a shredder and makes the cheddar to put food on the table! My mom does too though, she’s a hard worker.
My family is made up of dedicated individuals and my mom is also a HUGE inspiration to me. All the shit she has gone through in her life and she still got to where she is today. Love you Ma!!!

Does their examples reflect in the way you approach skateboarding?
Yeah for sure. I believe you should be dedicated to everything you do because it reflects on you as an individual. I’m passionate about skating and that just makes the dedication into more of an obsession.

Do you ever bomb hills together?
He doesn’t do much skating anymore. He is old now, you can literally hear his knees screaming in agony every time he walks haha. But we still bomb the driveway together whenever I am home. We used to always take the trash out together and rage down the driveway all stoked! We would weave in and out with each other and make crazy noises. We have a long driveway… like a quarter mile long. Perks of living in the woods! And it was normally at night. My dad is the man. Bill Henry for president!

RJ Geiss photo

RJ Geiss photo

How did your skating evolve after the home ramp days?
I fell in love with transition! Who doesn’t love mini ramps? Most of my friends would do flat ground tricks but I always wanted to just huck myself off the side of a ramp and eat shit haha. Then I started to get a little more technical and actually land tricks. That’s when I started to skate every day after school and learn new tricks. I was kind of a shy skater when I started, so I liked to do my thing in the driveway and build ramps with my homie Jeremy. We built sooooo much stuff man. He had all this extra wood and PVC pipe laying around and I had a saw and a driveway. So we would get together like everyday and just skate and build ramps out of the randomest things we could find. Like logs and bricks, old car batteries, those metal poles from the trampoline. Everything dude. I think that’s how my DIY spirit evolved. I love building ramps and stuff. I think that’s what I want to do in the future. Skate and build. That would be a pretty damn good life. And have a beautiful Costa Rican wife… or Swedish. Both have sexy accents.

The California kid converted his neighbours?
Haha. I definitely got a lot more kids skating in the area that had never touched a board in their life. I mean, we lived in Arkansas. There was like a Ruby Tuesday’s and a Smokin’ Joes… literally there was hardly anything there. There was a Wal-Mart though. Wal-Mart sucks. Don’t shop there. My point is, there was no skate culture in Arkansas. I had a board and would bring it to school sometimes and kids would freak out when I did an ollie. It got kids fired up on skating for sure.

RJ Geiss photo

RJ Geiss photo

Was skating just an escape from the monotony?
Dude absolutely. The town I am from is where the headquarters of Wal-Mart is. So it’s a lot of clones walking around in business suits. It’s weird man. Arkansas has a great southern culture but Bentonville is Wal-Mart to the max. When we skated our ramps out in the woods we had nobody to bother us and it was our own little world. A subculture within a subculture. Subception? Haha. My mind goes in many places at once.

Do any of the clones skate?
Yeah haha. Well, sons of clones that is. I never saw any business men getting shreddy on their walmart decks. My dad is a business man. But he is WAY different than any other business man I have met. He is frugal, doesn’t spend money on fancy ass dinners and cars. He makes his money, lives his life, and saves. All for the family. He is truly a selfless man.

Who is Jeremy?
Jeremy Call
! The man, the myth, the legend. I think he is in the airforce now. I just got to talk to him again after not seeing him for like 5 years. That guy is a genius when it comes to scrapping together a skate obstacle out of old beat up objects. Jeremy kills it! He has inspired me for sure. Super-duper-ultra-awesome-mega-homie.

Matt David photo

Matt David photo

What’s the most creative skate feature you’ve created?
That’s a tough one dude. We had this strange obsession with building rollercoaster like skate ramps. Like, connecting multiple banks and rollers together to create this miniature sized Disney ride. We were different from a lot of skaters haha. We had no outside influence really. We lived in the woods in Arkansas! Like where the hell is that right?? So everything we made was straight from the imagination. You could imagine our technique was quite poor. It was very poor haha.

Did your gang of skaters have a name?
I think we called ourselves WAX? I don’t remember what it stood for but yeah… WAX TEAM YO!

We Arkansasians are Xtreme?
Ha! That may have been it. Jeremy came up with the name. It was probably something ridiculous like “Wiggle Apple X-filers”. We were different from the rest of the skate world. Everyone had their cliques and groups. We just skated with whoever and wherever we wanted. I guess that explains why I like to skate everything.

What was next after transitions?
After transitions… it was all about flat bars and ledges! After that, hill bombage.

Kyle Ramsey photo

Kyle Ramsey photo

Is this when you broke your first bone?
I broke my first bone at the skate park when I was in 7th grade. I tried a melon over the spine and hung up… Went straight to my left arm and hyper-extended the elbow. It chipped out a piece of bone right by my growth plate. It was brutal dude…I don’t advise going straight to an extended arm when you fall. I was a dumb-ass kid haha.

How big was the community at this point?
In Arkansas? Very, very small. We had like 6 rippers that we all looked up to. There was one skate shop. The Daily Grind. They were a sick shop that brought some teams to the area. The Daily Grind went out of business and then some other shops popped up. They all eventually went out of business though. The skate scene in Arkansas is still small. But it is growing! Hopefully soon Bentonville will have a better park for the community. Robert opened up Disturbed Skateshop in my hometown recently and he is really pushing for a new park in the area.

Is it important to have local skate shops in the community?
It’s crucial. The shops push everyone in the right direction and provide a sense of community. I remember getting to go to the skate shop when I was a kid and never wanting to leave because I just wanted to sit there and listen to people talk about skating and watch someone grip a board. The little things like that really inspire kids. Shops throw contests and make shop decks. I walk into my local skate shop now and there are kids there that remind me of myself. It makes me so stoked to know that there is a local shop thriving in my hometown now. Communities need skate shops to provide for the skate community. It also keeps the money in circulation at a lower level. This helps the communities economy and cuts out the blood sucking big corporations. SHOP LOCAL!

Cole Tininenko

Cole Tininenko photo

What are the dangers of not shopping local?
By shopping locally, you keep your money in the skate industry guaranteed. If you shop at the corporate level, that money is not always going to be pushed back into the skate industry. Local shops keep the money in the skate industry. They spread stoke with it! Your money will support yourself along with the many other individuals that enjoy skating. In the end, if you really want to build the skate community with the couple dollars you can spend, and trust me those couple bucks help, shop local. That is the way you can make a difference in the skate world. Do you want outsider big business CEO’s cashing in on our passion and leaving little for us? Neither do I.  I highly recommend reading the Marc Johnson interview at jenkemmag.com. Marc can explain it much better than I can and much better than anyone else because he has been there and experienced it first hand. Also, McLovin can give your ear a talkin to about the matter!

What’s your local shop?
Disturbed Skate Shop. Ran by Robert… I forget his last name. But he is the man! I actually skate for a downhill shop in Fayetteville, the city next to Bentonville. Kevin Higgins runs that shop and does a great job of stoking up the community and organizing events. Shout out to F-Town Longboards!

When did you get into riding bigger skateboards?
I rode my homie Dylan’s Landyachtz Spud in high school one time and was like…whaaaaaaat! Bombing hills feels amazing! The adrenaline was addicting. I got a tan tien and starting messing around on that. I wasn’t bombing gnarly hills because my setup was set for cruise control. Finally I got a solid downhill board. My first real downhill speedboard was a Comet Voodoo doll. That was like 2 and a half years ago. Then I started bombing hills with my partner in crime Cole Tininenko. We hit all the hills out by the lake and started getting fast every day! I always wanted to ride for Comet after I got that board. Now I’m on the team and stoked on life!

Comet Skateboards photo

Comet Skateboards photo

What kind of stuff did you get up to on your tan tien?
I was a dancing fool! I loved to do like cross steps and frontside powerslides. I started to learn some flip tricks on it and cruised everywhere I went. There is nothing better than getting on a super turny board and cruising HARD!

Aside from cole, who else was going fast in gnarkansas?
Not too many people. The street scene is small so you can imagine how small the DH scene is. Matt Ewalt was the first true downhill skater I met. Matt rips face and is a Downhill pioneer in Arkansas. I would go out and find hills and tell Matt about them and he’d be like ”oh yeah dude, I hit that 2 years ago” haha. Matt and I started skating together and would go out and hit new hills whenever we could. It’s wild to know that we were hitting virgin hills and shredding their virginity.

Shredding cherries!
Haha. YEAH BUDDY! It felt good man. No woman comes close.

Kavon Zamanian photo

Kavon Zamanian photo

How did life change once you got the voodoo doll?
Dude once I got that voodoo there was no going back! It was really Kyle Chins’ video “Let Go” and Noah and Rizzo at Claremont that got me hyped on DH. Kyle Chin on the Voodoo made me want to get the Voodoo in the first place.

What skate video has had the biggest impact on the skater you are today?
Those videos in the last question for sure. Mainly Patrick Rizzo and Noah Sakamoto at Claremont. They hit that hill with so much style it actually changed my view on skating. Downhill seemed so free and unrestricting. Like they were riding an endless wave that broke perfectly, other than cars flying at them at 50 mph and trees on the side of the road that would smash them to pieces, but who wants to think about that? They were killing it! That video had a huge impact on me as a downhill skater. And all of the Eric Jensen and Kody Noble videos hype me up. They prove their are no boundaries and skating is freedom! My first skate video was the Santa Cruz video Uprising on VHS. Props to my pops for coppin that. I love that video. I watched it every damn day growing up.

Have you found that freedom?
Yezzzir! And skating is moving in that direction as well. It’s amazing to see all the different styles that ride for similar companies. I am fortunate enough to skate for companies that support that freedom. That definitely helps. If they didn’t support that…I would have to move on. But they are all down for the beautiful mashup of everything that skating is.

Kyle Ramsey photo

Kyle Ramsey photo

Does Arkansas lend itself to fast skating?
Yeah man. We have some pretty gnarly hills. Nobody knows about them either. It’s like our little secret. I can’t imagine living in Cali where all the hills are blown up and groms are ruining spots. We have our own private paradise.

How do you deal with unruly groms?
Ha! Burn their boards. Just kidding. I simply tell them that skating hills is a privilege and if you can’t respect the rules of the hill…you can’t skate em. Groms are at a tender age and are learning more about life everyday. It’s funny to see how the more you learn about life, the more it corresponds with skating.

Have you done any skating outside Arkansas?
Yeah, I live in North Carolina right now. You bet your ass I’m skating these hills!

What’s the community like there?
The skate community here is pretty small. I just moved here about 3 months ago so I am still meeting all the riders around the area. AGP kills it. I recently became a Ganj Patroler. The boone guys kill it too. Will Seal will shred all that stands in his way!! Watch out for that dude.

Cole Tininenko photo

Cole Tininenko photo

How’s your year going?
Grade’s wise… not so hot. Skating wise, absolutely awesome! I am learning more and more about what I want to do with my life everyday. 2013 was the illest.

Have you competed?
I’ve competed in some local slide jams and outlaws but no major competitions. Comet got me out to the Ithaca Jam and I got to skate with all the Comet homies and east coast radicals!! It was a good time. Gnarly ramps and killer vibes. I’m not much into the competition scene. I would like to make it to some boardercross events because that shit is the future. I like to go fast and hit ramps and boardercross is just that. I’m jealous of those dudes in Australia gettin down ozzie style for sure. Oh yeah, King of Kona. I’m tryna go to that!

J. Nuss photograph

J. Nuss photograph

What’s been the illest thing about this year?
Just learning to take life one step at a time and not rushing it. Living slow is the way to go! I was stoked to get hooked up with Gullwing this year. Skating for a company like that is the dream. Comet DCDC trip yeah Comet boyzzz! That shit was sick! Best time of my life for sure.
It was a good time. Gnarly ramps and killer vibes. I’m not much into the competition scene. I would like to make it to some boarder cross events because that shit is the future. I like to go fast and hit ramps and boardercross is just that. I’m jealous of those dudes in Australia getting down ozzie style for sure. Oh yeah, King of Kona. I’m trynna go to that!

You should build your own No Coast boarder cross!
That would be insane man! I think I might try that. I’d have to take another semester off school. Or just quit school. No Coast needs an event like that. Good idea dude.

What is No Coast?
“No Coast” is the skate population stuck between a rock and a hard place. Haha, not really. We are all the dudes that skate in the midwest/south and get like zero coverage. There is no problem with that though man. I know all the No Coast homies are stoked on skating and where their life is at right now skate-wise. We all get to skate together every once in a while even though we all live far away from each other. I think Kyle Ramsey coined the No Coast scene? He has a blog that covers No Coast media. Check it out.

Kyle Ramsey photo

Kyle Ramsey photo

Why doesn’t the spotlight shine there?
All the companies are chilling in California making their dollar off the west coast gromlins. We have some companies in the South and Midwest, but not enough to fuel a large skate scene. It is getting there though. Soon enough!

What are the companies based out there?
Uhhhhm, Bombsquad. They are doing shit right and bomb hills regularly. Go bombsquad! BC Longboards was a company in Oklahoma but I heard some crazy news about one of their owners trying to screw everyone over and ultimately the company shut down. It’s a shame man we need all the skate companies we can get in the South. I don’t know all the details about that story though so I won’t point any fingers. Texas Baked is outta Texas. Gnarkansas makes a mean deck and is sparking the Arkansas skate scene. Hell yeah Brandon Herbert! There are some other companies around the area that are in existence but I have a terrible memory and couldn’t name them to save my life haha.

What’s your go-to setup?
This is the hardest question ever man. I love all my setups, but the board I go to immediately for skating a blend of downhill and street is the Comet Shred 38 with Gullwing Pro III’s and Metro Micro Motions. Preferably the blue Micro’s. They have a chalkier slide for sure.

Are they all your sponsors?
Yeah man. Metro Wheel Company, Gullwing, Comet, Fayettechill, and F-Town. Represent!

Marsden Mars

Marsden Mars photo

When did you first get sponsored?
I think it was a little over a year ago?

What’s it like to be a part of those teams?
Super rad! All the guys at Comet are extremely great people. It’s the coolest skate family man. F-Town dudes are awesome and love to skate more than anyone I know. I haven’t met the Gullwing team or the Metro team yet. Gullwing is pretty large, I doubt I’ll ever meet everyone haha. Fayettechill dudes are awesome. They are all down to adventure 24/7 and love gettin dirty!

What do you do when you’re not skating?
I like to play my guitfiddle and read random pieces of literature. Hiking is amazing and I recommend everyone get lost in the woods and wipe your ass with leaves! I used to mountain bike a lot. I need to do more of that. And college of course.

Where would you like to be in two years?
Nicaragua! On a boat, with a skatepark. Or in a teepee on the beach.

Comet Family. Pam Diaz photo

Comet Family. Pam Diaz photo

Pick 3 numbers between 1-14.
7, 13, 3

7 – Why did the chicken cross the road?
Cause he was penned up at Tyson Chicken!

13 – What happens when a zombie bites a shark?
The shark turns into a land walking unicorn that steals gold from leprechauns.

3 – what crime are you most likely to go to prison for?
Stealing candy bars. And then trying to skate from the police, I would do a frontside slash on federal property and knock over a mail box with my skate truck. Those are federal offences right? Yeah take me to prison piggy!
Cole Tininenko2

It’s been really fun having this conversation with you buddy! Come down to Europe some time – bring some local bacon!
Yeah man likewise! Thanks for the oppurtunity Gbemi. I’ll bring you the thickest dirtiest pig I can find.

Any last words?
Big shout out to my sponsors that allow me to do what I love everyday without having to drop bank! Huge thanks to my family and everyone that is supportive of living dreams. Spread the positivity and let’s save the world.

Links
Check out my new video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqQBjmUMyXY

These guys make super awesome skate stuff!
http://www.cometskateboards.com/
http://metrowheelco.com/Wheels.html
http://www.gullwingtruckco.com/
http://shop.fayettechill.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FTownLongboards

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