Jamie Gwillim: Team MonkyPig

Aussie favourite, Jamie, tells us his history with longboarding. Learning from LEGENDS like Daddow & Leeson, getting stoked on Cferg & Gemma and the Monkypig derby.

Me and Cferg. Photo Sol Ewart

Me and Cferg. Photo Sol Ewart

Hello Mr Monkypig! How are you doing?
As always, I’m fantastic bro.

Having a fun week?
Yeah not too bad, work’s been quiet this week. Haven’t had much chance to skate though been a bit wet.

What do you do?
Stonedmason. Have a company with my younger brother.

When last did you have a good skate?
On the weekend, got out for some slalom with the crew, but was at Beat the bastard, charity ride up townsville a couple of weeks back. Three days of freeride with mates epic shit.

Where are you from?
Gold coast. Australia. God’s country bro.

Hmm. If she made a country, what would it be like?
Mate come out to Oz and I will show you exactly. She has good taste to say the least.

BTB2015. Photo Gemma Holland

BTB2015. Photo Gemma Holland

BTB is Mike’s event right? How did that go?
BTB is the best event in Australia, bar none. It’s three days of free-riding one of the best hills in Oz. You get to just chill, do as many runs as you can handle with all your mates; be they luge, gravity bike, inline or stand-up (or fall down in my case). It’s the best free-ride (only one rule – no racing). Actually hosted by Ado from Cre8ive sk8 in townsville. Ado and his crew work tirelessly year round to put this on and all funds raised go to cancer research.

Better than Kiera/Newtons?
Ohhhhh that’s a tough one. Love em all. Anytime getting together with crew is a good time. Newtons and Kiera are great for catching up with OS crew and racing, partying – all the good stuff, but so is BTB. I just love being on tour with the crew skating hills, knocking back a few and the laughs; its the laughs, that’s what it’s all about for me. Different is the word I’d use.

“I love being on tour with the crew skating hills, knocking back a few and the laughs; its the laughs, that’s what it’s all about for me.”

What is OS?
Over seas. Out here on my island.

Kiera. Photo Mark newsham.

Kiera. Photo Mark Newsham

How did you get into skateboarding?
As a kid, like everyone else I guess but drifted away through my teen years, discovered girls and stuff. Then some years back I brought myself this really crap no name drop down deck off eBay to get to work. Got drunk one night thought it probably would be a good idea to ride down a hill. It wasn’t! Fell off doing 50, straight on my side, broke some ribs and sprained my wrist. But then checked it out on YouTube and saw a vid of Bathurst and Corey Leeson getting knocked out and thought ”yep. gotta do that”. Then we actually got to meet Leeso and the boys and a sick bunch they was no turning back after that.

Ouch! Why did you come back after that crash?
Why not? Didn’t hurt that much and I couldn’t stop, I was addicted! Doesn’t take much for me. And besides life’s too short.

Who is Corey Leeson?
Leeso is an OG downhill skater part of the original Early Skateboards crew and owner of Glydes Skateboards. He’s traveled the tour a couple of times I think, way back when it was ISGA.

Dipper Newtons. Photo Cat Sweeny

Dipper Newtons. Photo Cat Sweeny

How did having pillars like him in the community impact you?
Mate, we were so lucky to hook up with this crew it was probably the best introduction into downhill that we could ask for. You meet these guys and they are so humble and they’re a family, it rubs off. They are a big part of why I love this sport so much. They give freely of their time or experience and get no greater pleasure than spreading the stoke.

Who did you start skating with?
Started out skating with my brother Pokey and our mate/employee Hammo and our nephew Kristopher. After a couple of weeks of hitting the biggest hills our skills could handle we got on the interwebs and discovered the wonderful world of downhill that is ASRA and I chatted with Jeremy from Early and arranged to me him Leeso and Yates on a hill.

What lessons have been hardest to learn?
When to keep my mouth shut.

How important is progression to you?
Should always try push yourself to do better so I guess it’s pretty important.

hammo, cferg, dadbro and I. Photo unknown.

hammo, cferg, dadbro and I. Photo unknown.

You’ve mentioned Early Skateboards a few times, what’s that?
Early is an Aussie board company. Unfortunately they are no longer in business. It was run by Jeremy Rodgers. They are a great crew made up of the core OG skaters on the coast. When I first started skating, they held all the races in the area OUTLAWs they were so much fun. It was through these guys that we met our downhill family. We owe these guys a lot.

What was the first big hill you hit?
First big one would have been Wallaby drive an old x-games track. I was dropping bricks at the top no doubt and all the way down but when I pulled up I felt like I owned the world couldn’t stop laughing and was straight back to the top.

How did you feel at the bottom?
Never felt better, I can tell you that blood was pumping! Wasn’t even touching the ground, its the best high there is.

Better than bacon?
Don’t dig on swine me.

fun times. Photo Bailey Smith

fun times. Photo Bailey Smith

What’s the most addictive thing about skating?
So many things, riding is number 1. Going fast that’s pretty addictive going round a corner really fast also.

How did discovering ASRA change the game for you?
Before I found ASRA, I had no idea of the numbers of skaters in Oz, so it really opened it up. It’s where I met people like Jacko and Jez. It was a total game changer. Races! There were races & events everywhere and gear tips. Was so helpful in so many ways.

Do the people make a difference to the fun you have?
Definitely. Maybe it’s just that we are like minded. We enjoy the same things and all, but I can tell you this: I have made some of the closet friends in the last 6 years in downhill I think it’s because skaters are genuine. No bullshit, what you see is what you get.

I remember now! Why did you decide to start competing?
Don’t think it was ever a question. Newtons was on wasn’t going to pass up the chance to ride the iconic Mt Panorama.

Newtons 2010. Photo Lisa Oxley

Newtons 2010. Photo Lisa Oxley

Did skating bring you and your bro closer together?
Mate, don’t wanna talk about it. Seriously, we live and work together bro. We couldn’t be any closer.

What was your first full season of skating?
Here in Oz, I think 2011… haven’t had the pleasure of racing OS as of yet. Next couple of years hope to tour.

When did you first race Newtons?
2010 was the first.

What do you enjoy about riding it?
The speed through the corners that is addictive, being on the edge.

What other races did you get up to in 2010/11?
Keira, all the local ones: Mike’s series. We put on a couple of our own through Team Monkypig. Monkypig Derby and Midnight Madness.

BTB2015. Photo Rusty Ink.

BTB2015. Photo Rusty Ink.

What’s your local community like?
The best. We need to continue to grow though. The crew we have are great, always keen to help out the groms in any way and the groms are okay; they can be smart arses sometimes but it’s all tongue in cheek. It ain’t a community, it’s a family.

What’s your role in the community?
Madman. Kook. Driver. Trouble.

What is a Monkypig?
Team Monkypig is the crew. We put on events help out our riders were we can spread the stoke basically. We have a great crew Stephen Daddow and Merrick Wildash. Connor Ferguson and Gemma Holland (watch for this shredder coming to a hill near you) just to name a few that you’d know. Also have great shredders like Arbi, Mike Matt Pascoe and Myles Brochardt and the man himself HAMMO.

Gem and Conner Yarratitles.

Gem and Conner Yarratitles.

How did the crew get started?
Monkypig came about because we needed some shirts for Newton’s. Hired a motor home printed the shirts the team was born and hills were bombed.

What does the name mean?
Well its after my nephew he looks like a monkypig.

Haha! What’s your event schedule like?
This year only two races, been a bit busy with work. Although I have managed to travel to a few inter-state events. Hope to get more events going this coming year and get more CLIENTS on board. Want to have a race at least every two months.

Why is it important to put on races?
To grow the sport. We need to keep growing and getting stronger. The bigger we are, the more accepted it will be and the easier to put on more races on bigger hills. The more races, the more riders and you just don’t know who will be the next champ, there ain’t no bigger kick than seeing a mate kick arse.

mobbin. Apex Photos

mobbin. Apex Photos

Is all growth good?
Good question. I think so…

Where would you like to see the Gold Coast & Oz community in the future?
At the forefront we have a lot of experience and talent up here on the Goldy and in Oz. Would love to see the local board makers out in the market and they make some great product. And we know how to throw a great event and party so yeah.

Who supports your events?
Our Shop Sponsor is, has and will always be Cre8ive Sk8. Ado has always supported us and our riders has been since day dot long before anyone in oz had heard of downhill. And he has everything you can’t get elsewhere the things I’ve seen in his shop. sweeet jebus. Daddow Skateboards, Early Skateboards always help out be it with gear or help.

What do you guys do in turn to support Crea8ive sk8?
Whatever we can always get any gear we need through Ado and always talk him up and tell groms to shop there. Try to get to events they support but it’s hard because he supports them all, all over this wide brown land.

Groms will always blow it, all you can do is try to minimize the damage.

Drafting cferg and I. Gopro grab

Drafting cferg and I. Gopro grab

How do you make sure the groms don’t blow it?
Groms will always blow it, all you can do is try minimize the damage. Nah’ we got good groms they tend not to blow it. Mind you we got Pokey and he’s kinda scary.

Are there any Australian skate companies?
At the moment sadly no, well Early, Glyde and Daddow are still there and will be back with a vengeance I’m sure. But it’s hard to compete. Costs of manufacturing in Oz are through the roof. I still ride Daddow and won’t ride nothing else but I have the advantage of knowing the man. I’m sure if you sent Steve an email he’d hook you up and his boards are works of art. All handmade with love and skill they is sexy. We’ve got a puck company UTILITY but that’s about it.

What Daddow boards do you ride?
I ride the Pigasus of course! It’s lines and shape give me wood.

meeting crew. Newtons. Photo Lisa Oxley

meeting crew. Newtons. Photo Lisa Oxley

How does knowing the shaper affect the shape?
Heaps. It’s mine and Mike’s design, but it’s the love and finish Dadbro puts on em that makes em. I used to ride the 120y another great board tried the vulpine didn’t like it too much a little big for me but that was made for Bassi he’s a giant.

What’s been your favourite year of skateboarding?
All off em’ past and the ones still to come.

When will Gemma be back on the hill?
Soon, I hope shes doing well, taking the time to rehab right. If it was up to her she’d be back on board already but I think rehab is the most important part can’t rush it. Seen too many people rush back only to re-injure themselves and have to spend more time off board, best to get yourself right. But when she’s back, look out! She’s ready to take on the world and she has the skills to dominate.

How stoked are you on Connor?
Words cannot discribe how much stoke I get from Cferg. He’s such a great kid and we’ve been lucky enough to watch him grow over the last few years not only as a skater but as a bloke as well. I laugh when I think back about him, he is such a clown and he’s a great rider as well. He’s a racer through and through line hunting machine. I love following him on the inter-webs and have danced around my bedroom on many occasions, stoke. Cferg’s da man.

Photo Tim Wright.

Photo Tim Wright.

Why has Australia produced so many stellar groms recently?
I’d like to say its because of the great support they get from the older guys and I’m sure it does contribute.

Have you had a good year so far?
Oh hell yeah been on three or four road trips and hope to get a few more in before years out.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Got to get Cferg to BTB hill Mt stuart up in townsville back down to dorrigo and the blue mountains for sure. I’m sure a few races will pop up. Hmm and work.

VLT next summer?
Hope too.

Share some of your favourite memories from 6 years of skating!
Bathurst meeting international riders. Louie, James and Tony all of em great blokes.

Meeting Striker, what a legend! First run down Bathurst. Meeting Daddow. Noosa weekends. Riding in the rain. Merrick winning world title Cferg winning two so many all good.

On the road to Newtons Crew. Photo unknown.

On the road to Newtons Crew. Photo unknown.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
Think about how I can get outta work to go skate.

Pick 3 numbers between 1-30.

4 – Do you have any recurring dreams?

2 – What weapons would you choose in a zombie apocalypse?
Machete, like that personal touch.

20 – What is your dream skate destination?
Planet earth.

Newtons. Photo Cat Sweeny

Newtons. Photo Cat Sweeny

Jaimie bro. Thanks for your time tonight, it’s been fun hearing your story!
My pleasure bro thanks for having me.

Any last words?
Shout out to all my crew. Cre8ive skate Ado cheers man. Daddow Skateboards thanks for the great gear and friendship. Basement Skate/ Hopkin skate in Sydney always supporting the scene. Concrete lines skateshop. My family for their support always. That’ll do me. Have a great one, skate some hills, core some wheels and always stay upright. Catch ya on da hill.