Connor is the monkypig who won the first ever Junior class IDF world cup series, he tells us about the scene down under, adventures in America and Europe – and he says things you never thought you’d hear from a grom.
Hi Connor, how are you?
I’m good thanks!
Where are you from?
Originally Brisbane, Australia but now living a whole hour away on the Gold Coast!
What was it like growing up there?
Really good! The hills there are average but the hills on the Gold Coast are definitely better.
When did you start skating?
Started cruising in November 2010 but started ripping stinkbugs in February 2011.
Were there many people skating fast then?
There were definitely people smanging hills back then. Heaps of Og’s like Steve Daddow, Adam Yates, Corey Leeson, Jeremy Rodgers and Kurt Nischel to name a few. Although they lived on the Gold Coast.
What got you into skating fast?
I used to travel down the coast almost every weekend to skate with Team Monkypig. Jamie Gwillim and Paul Gwillim definitely put in the hard yards to get me where I am today. Stephen Daddow was also a huge influence on my skating.
In what ways did he influence you?
Steve is like the original downhill skater from way back in Australia. He basically started the scene. He would come out skating with us most weekends which made me stoked as hell, skating with the legend he is. He also got into making boards which are super rad!
What setup did you ride?
I rode a Daddow 120-Y – Sweet board!
What was it like?
Super rad! 35.5’’ long, 10’’ wide at the front and tapers down to 8.75’’ in the back. W throughout the whole board. And has some rad artwork done by Kurt Nischel! It is a beast for mobbing hills! Steve still rides one today.
How good are the Gold Coast spots?
Back then they were the shit! Best hills ever. They are still really good but you can’t compare them to some of the hills I skated this season in America and Europe.
Was this your first time skating outside your city?
City yeah, I had only spent my time skating in my local neighbourhood in Brisbane so it was sick to travel a little and skate some rad hills with rad dudes and dudettes!
What’s the community in Brisbane like?
Since I started, the Brisbane community has exploded! There are easily over 2 thousand groms that share the stoke of getting sideways and mobbing hills!
Why so many?
I have no idea! It exploded in Brisbane! Its crazy! There is a facebook group for brisbane longboarding with 2700 members although there are a few inter-staters and overseas folks in there. The scene in Brisbane is massive.
Who is the king of the groms?
On the internet its definitely Max Heaton. But truth be told Michael English is the grom’s favourite skater.
What’s your role in the community?
I don’t have much of a role, I just skate haha.
Is Brisbane the longboarding capital of the land of Oz?
I’m not too sure, the Sydney scene is also pretty big.
Who puts on local events?
Team Monkypig have put on countless events over the years which helped the Queensland scene bloom like it has. But more recently Michael English has been holding some really dope race series.
Which is your favourite?
There’re not really many ‘annual’ events but for sure Monkypig Derby. It was the first race I ever went to and I’ve managed to win the last 2. Really fun days spent on a rad little footpath.
You’ve mentioned monkypig a few times, is that some sort of hybrid abomination?
Yeah Monkypig is a monkey mixed with a pig, looks like Jame Gwillim Haha! It’s just a bunch of rad dudes that help each other, and the scene out.
What made you want to race?
It was just an upcoming event I was stoked to go to. Mainly to make friends and have fun, but what has happened since that first race has been the best experience I’ve ever had.
How did you do in that first Derby?
At Monkypig Derby in 2011 I placed around 5 spots from last. I couldn’t get down the little footpath without giving it a good mongo footbrake!
Did no-one tell you not to brake mongo?
I push mongo so it was just natural. About 4 months before Newtons Nation 2012 I decided I was going to go. So I had to learn to footbrake regular which was a bit of a mission. But I managed to footbrake regular. I still push Mongo though!
What did you learn from the experience?
Not to close your eyes in tight race situations – Sorry Lance hahaha.
Did you kill someone?
From memory I made him wrap himself around one of the metal light poles.
What other races did you do in 2011?
Oh damn! I have no idea haha! There were a few local outlaws and stuff like that. The highlight of the season getting picked up by a local shop called Concrete Lines!
Were you still riding your Daddow?
I was riding a Daddow for all of 2011 and most of 2012!
What did you switch to?
At the end of 2012 I picked up a Killswitch, but soon after that hopped onto a Sector 9 Roxanne.
How was the 2012 season?
It was really sick! I competed in my first world cup event (Newtons Nation). I did really bad but it was so sick skating such a rad hill and meeting all the pros I have looked up to for so long. I placed pretty well in quite a few local events too.
The Oz groms did really well that year!
Yeah Jayden Mitchell killed it!
Did you pick up any other sponsors that year?
Nope didnt pick up any! Still reppin’ Concrete Lines.
Why did you decide to hit the road this season?
I did kinda well at Newtons Nation this year, I won the juniors. This is my last year as a junior and that I would be able to travel for skateboarding. Next year is my final year of school and I can’t miss too much school. After a good start to the season I thought it through and Angies, Maryhill and Whistler fell in my mid-year school holidays. Kozakov and Peyragudes took up about 3 weeks of term 3. So with the help of my awesome parents and team Monkypig I travelled over for all of those world cup events.
When will we see a local win Newtons?
Never! This year was the last year. Newtons will never be on again. I heard the local council raised the price of hiring the hill for the event and the event can no longer be afforded.
But you’ll win Keira next year?
Keira next year was meant to replace Newtons, But Keira also doesn’t look very promising!
Will there be other races to fill up the Newton’s void?
Not that I know of.
What is the future of World Cup races down under?
I have no idea! I hope Newtons gets held again because that is the raddest hill.
What was your favourite heat from newtons?
There were so many rad heats! Tony Graves and I had heaps of rad heats! I think maybe the heat I had with Jacko where he passed me just before the line. Or a heat I had with Max Ballesteros, Tony Graves and Kyle Wester.
How was Angie?
Angies was super gnarly! So fast and hot! It was so slippery.
Was the vibe of the North American events different?
Not really, Very similar to Newtons. Same dudes basically. The competition was much harder though!
What are your favourite memories from America?
There were so many good memories! I don’t think I can pick just one. The whole trip was one hell of a experience!
How was Whistler?
Whistler was really rad! A really well put together event. Racing was rad and I managed to get a close 2nd in juniors. Although I got taken out in the first round of opens.
Who did you travel with on your NorAm adventure?
I travelled with my dad and met up with Merrick Wildash (from the goldy) who was already over there.
Do you feel you grew after the trip?
I definitely grew as a skater, and a racer.
How were the euro races?
European races were so good! Kozakov was sooooo dope!
The race or the party?
Fuck the race, win the party! Hahaha. Both were super rad! I think the party makes the race. Or is it the other way around?
How did team Oz do in the party?
I’m not to sure! I heard we did pretty well?
Did you do alright in the race?
In the opens I blew it and crashed in a 3 man heat in the last left while I was quite a way ahead.
Was it harder to do well in opens?
Opens is definitely harder than groms – Goes without saying. But it is really good to have the race experience with the opens.
Was junior class easier this year without the 17.5 year olds?
Yeah for sure! I wish the IDF didn’t change the age group! Racing all of the guys that should have been juniors this year but got kicked out because of IDF would have been rad!
How did the new rules affect this class?
Basically if you turn 18 in the year a race is held you are not a junior anymore. A lot of people were made to race opens instead of juniors as well.
Does it encourage younger riders to race or halt the growth of older 17 year olds?
I suppose it wouldn’t encourage the younger juniors to race if they had to race people much older than what the age limit is at the moment. But skateboarding is all about fun and its pretty damn hard to not have fun at a skateboarding event!
What setup were you racing this season?
I was smanging it on the Sector 9 Roxanne with Rad Wheels, Aera Trucks, Riptide Bushings and Zealous Bearings.
Are any of those your sponsors?
Riptide bushings hook me up with some dope gear!
You’ve got a lot of World Cup podiums under your belt, isn’t that enough to get more support?
More support would be nice but I just skate to have fun and get stoked. I have enough gear to keep me going for a while still haha!
Didn’t think I’d ever hear such words from a grom. Good on you!
Sponsors are cool but that’s not what it’s all about.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
I watch videos of skating, go to school, or lurk on the interwebs way too hard!
Do you make videos?
Yup! Here is my channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMulletTV
What do you enjoy about capturing skateboarding?
It’s fun getting to the bottom of a hill after having a tight run with a bunch of rad fellas, But it’s even more rad knowing that you captured that to watch later and upload!
What do you study?
I’m still in high school so the usual Math and English, then on top of that I do Construction, Engineering, Film and Graphics.
Are you another skateboarding engineer in the making?
No I highly doubt that haha.
Have you got big plans for after school?
I wish I could say I did!
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Catching up on the 5 weeks of school I missed, finishing grade 11. Thats about it!
Pick 3 numbers between 1-13
3, 12, 6
3 – what crime are you most likely to go to prison for?
Skateboarding is not a crime, But probably skateboarding.
6 – if you could have any super power what would it be?
If I could teleport that would be dope as hell!
12 – Justen Ortiz asks: if you could combine 2 animals to create the most deadly animal on earth, what would those two animals be?
Easy! Monkey + Pig = Monkypig!
What does monkey bacon taste like?
banana bacon pancakes
It’s been really really fun having this chat with you buddy. Stoked on serendipity! Maybe see you next time you’re in Europe?
For sure! Hopefully I can make it back next year! Stoked to be interviewed haha! This is the first real long interview I’ve done.
Any thank yous?
HUGE Thank you to Mum, Dad and Team Monkypig
Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMulletTV
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/littlefergo
Instagram – @c_ferg666
Concrete Lines – http://www.concretelines.com.au/
Riptide Bushings – http://www.riptidebushings.com/
Rad Train!!! – http://rad-train.com/