We caught up with our ocean crossing buddy Dani about his adventures in New Zealand on the N.Tense.D.Centz.Tour, getting on the Predator team, his return to Europe/Hawaii and breaking his clavicle. Enjoy
Daniel Raymond Hawes. How are you?
I’m alright thanks. Got a broken collar bone at the moment, so I’m as well as I can be as a cripple.
Why did you decide to break it?
Things were going to plan and I didn’t like how smooth sailing it was. Thought I would make life a bit more interesting.
You’ve been broken before, right?
Yea, I have had a few injuries. This is the worst though, it will keep me off of the board longer than any other injury I have had before.
Skating took your clavicle?
It did, fuckin smashed it!
Last time we spoke you were hopping around NorAm, what are you doing back home?
Not a lot, trying to stash cash. Skating when I can. Oh, I went on the N-tense D-centz tour in New Zealand as well. That was awesome, we should talk about that.
Are you growing dreads?
Not yet, might bring em back one day.
What is the N-tense D-centz tour?
Yeeea! It’s a two week tour around the north Island of NZ. 11 people crammed into a van with two weeks worth of skate gear. Epic!
How did you get involved with that?
Rayne hooked it up fat. They sponsor the tour and needed a rider on board. I was close so off I went!
Did you go straight from Canada to NZ?
Nah, I had been home for a few months at least. The tour only ended a few of weeks ago. Keep your eyes peeled for media and what not.
Who else was on tour with you?
We had Levi Hawken AKA ‘’Nek Minute’’, old mate Gabe Antonio from Sydney, Gemma Holland from Brisbane. Matt K brought his girl Emma Daigie along too. She killed it! Matty B who’s an Aussie Kiwi, Clive Robbins who’s the supreme boss at Wahkkowa skateboards. Larry ‘’the larrikin’’ Thompson, Speedy who organises the whole thing and my old mate Callum Banks who I rode and travelled with a bit in Europe back in 2011. He even came to Finland for a race! We also had a fella from Switzerland called Mark Smithy but we kicked him out after 5 days… No, I kid. He was awesome but had other things planned so went his own way after the first 5 days.
Who is Gemma Holland?
She’s a ripping sheila from Brisbane in Aus. I had never met her before the tour but heard her name floating about. I’m sure you will hear more about her in the future, you will probably even have a chat with her sometime in the near future I would think. It was a pleasure hanging with her and we had some super fun runs together on the tour. Hope we can do it again some day.
Had you skated in NZ before?
No, I had never even been. It’s an awesome place, it’s like Hawaii but cold all the time!
Is the community similar to Oz?
Cool people who like to ride skateboards. Yea, I’d say it was similar.
Who was shooting stuff?
Matt and Gabe were shooting for Skatehouse media. They got some sweet footage with some kind of crazy camera I know nothing about. Everyone had Go-Pros. There are some runs floating around the webnet from the last 2 days of the tour which was a sanctioned free ride on Mt. Ruapehu or Mordor as you may know it. Most people know it as something else but we can’t call it that anymore as it potentially gives the event a bad name/image so we have been requested to keep it as Mt. Ruapehu.
How did the event turn out?
Baller! We headed up a day early because we were getting rained out in Wellington so we had 1 day of riding it open road and then 2 days of closed. It’s such a cool road, especially when it’s closed off. The event went off without any issues. They are now discussing contracts for future events (about 10 years worth from what I hear). Possibly races, more free rides. Both? Kudos to all who were involved in it’s organisation, you did a top notch job!
The Newtons alternative?
O hell yea! I wanna go back so bad. I hope the ASRA guys have something to do with the Mt. Ruapehu freeride. They are super switched on when it comes to that kinda thing, not to say the Kiwis can’t pull it off. It’s just nice to have extra help sometimes.
Is this the Southern Hemisphere’s answer to Greener Pastures?
Could well be. I was actually surprised that the last Greener Pastures wasn’t in New Zealand. It got a lot of votes online and is a pretty quiet spot as far as skateboarding’s publicity focus goes. All legal beagle as well! The one problem with it (the North Island at least) is that the roads are all quite far away from anywhere central. I guess GP likes to just book a place to stay and be able to get to roads after a half an hour drive, not 6 hours. Adelaide would be perfect… Patrick.
What does Adelaide have to offer?
Adelaide is full of little gems. We have a lot of techy stuff, some sweepy runs and if you wanna go proper fast then we can help with that too. The one issue with Adelaide at the moment is that there are no skatehouses. People come but there is no where for them to stay. It sucks. All the groms have ‘’grown up’’ but still live at home with mumsie. C’mon groms, it’s your turn to host now!
What was it like being back in Radelaide after so long?
Groms got bigger. Groms got better! The scene here is smaller now but tighter because of it. We don’t have all the kids who are just trying to follow a trend. The groms we have now are dedicated, they love it. I am seeing them start to invest money into it now, travel, race, buy camera gear. It stokes me out!
Are the groms really all that good now?
Yea man truly, groms all over the world are killing it. They make me look like shit. That or maybe I’m just getting worse? Scared!
Can you beat them at anything?
I can legally drink beer, I have touched vaginas and I will still give em a slap if they do something dumb. They know, Radelaide groms are a respectful mob. Smart, polite, sensible and all in all they are genuinely good people. I am honored to know them and proud of the people they are becoming. A big shout out too Danny Kim, Charlie Harris, Brodi Owens and Christopher Hardy. I have spent most of my sessions this time round with them but all you other groms know who you are and you are equally as rad. Check out R.A.H.D for all the latest Radelaide footage. Support them with likes and subscriptions because they are our cities future and deserve good things!
Is the Dani who came back different from he who was there in 2012?
Yea, I think so. I feel that I grew a lot during my time in Hawaii and Canada. I went through some big changes in the last year or so mentally, and I’m feeling good now. Better than I have in a long time. I think I have seen the way I want to live my life and what I want to fill my days with. Hawaii was a real eye opener.
What has changed in the last year?
Just my outlook, what I’m looking for in life and where, what and who I want to be.
How do you want to live?
In the sun, close to skateparks, warm beaches with waves. I want to be close to genuine people with genuine lives and goals. I just want to be happy and I want people around me to do well and be happy. If I can help them with that then I am better for it.
“(I want to live) in the sun, close to skateparks and warm beaches with waves. I want to be close to genuine people with genuine lives and goals. I just want to be happy and I want people around me to do well and be happy. If I can help them with that then I am better for it.”
Are you finding opportunities to core your trucks?
Still on the same indies I was on when we last spoke. They have some wear on them for sure but not close to core yet. There is not much in the way of pool coping in Adelaide, it’s all steel coping and REALLY small in Adelaide too. They build parks weird.
How are you staying stoked while you’re sidelined?
I’m not. I’m miserable, sore, stiff and smelly. It sucks, I hate it. Getting in and out of bed is so hard and hurts a lot, I can’t do anything.
Can we cheer you up?
Probably not, I’ll be right when I’m a proper person again. These things happen, I got to finish Assasins Creed: Black Flag so I guess it’s not all bad.
Would you like strangers to snapchat you, or send you bacon?
Neither. I don’t like the thought of strangers doing either of those things…
What will you be up to before you travel?
Just healing. Hopefully I get to skate a bit before I go! Trying to teach myself fo surf too. It’s really hard and I don’t get out enough.
Why are you leaving Oz?
It’s getting cold and rainy again and I don’t like that. I have people overseas who I want to catch up with again. I seem to spend my years travelling to visit far away friends, but the more I travel the more friends I make and the more I have to travel in the future. It’s a vicious cycle, pretty cool stuff.
“I seem to spend my years travelling to visit far away friends, but the more I travel, the more friends I make and the more I have to travel in the future. It’s a vicious cycle, pretty cool stuff.”
Still riding Rayne etc?
Yup yup, Rayne as always. Orangatang are still being homies and helping me out. I just jumped on board with Predator Helmets too which is really exciting for me. I’m hoping to help Jonno from Decent Hardware this year too. Email me Jonno, lets get some shit rolling!
What are your plans for 2014?
Hawaii and Cali are for sure. I really wanna go back to Finland too. I thought I had it all sorted but there has been a hick up and I don’t know now. I miss my mates over there! Especially Janne Lehtinen and Jonno Shakesby. I think we had a good thing going and I miss the good times!
Did you get to do the 24 hour freeride?
Nah, I wish! That was part of my plan for the year! Midnight sun, go to Finland and get some! Check the freeride schedule for 2014.
As always, Dani boy, a pleasure. Maybe see you in Europe somewhere?
I hope so, hopefully this year! The pleasure is all mine!
Any last words?
Thanks to all my friends and to my mum for making the last year and so far in 2014 awesome. Look forward to seeing some of you again soon! A big thanks to Rayne Longboards and especially papa Les Robertson, Predator Helmets and Orangatang Wheels for your support. I genuinely appreciate all that you have done for me in the past.