Monday, September 30, 2013

Chase Robertson : A Blue Collar Scooter Rider

Over the last decade I've watched scootering explode from nothing into a full blown industry.  While it's crazy to see where we've gotten in this short amount of time it kind of bums me out when all the kids talk about is "sponsorship."  It's rare to see riders who are truly dedicated to the sport and don't give up once they get past their teenage years.  A lot of kids seem to think if you don't make the sponsorship "cut" or you get hurt, your riding days are over. My buddy Chase is a solid example of a true scooter rider.  Chase lives in Portland, Oregon and works for Phoenix.  He doesn't give a shit about sponsors, he's recovering from a broken leg, but he still lives to ride.  Here's a conversation we had the other night.

Hey man, lazy Saturday?

Yessir, rains keepin me inside.

Oh damn it's already that bad? Is it gonna be raining a lot from now on?

Yeah probably, it'll be wet for a week at a time sometimes so when it's dry you gotta be on the ball to get some riding in.

Haha thats insane, I'd freak out if it just didnt dry up. So is your leg fully functioning again?

Yeah finally, feels so good to have that stupid boot off. I’ve been riding at full steam again the past week or so.

Hell yeah man, was that your first broken bone?

Yep, broke the outside metatarsal. I've been pretty lucky this far i suppose.  After this long it was bound to happen sooner or later.

Yeah man I still havent broken a bone yet, my days are numbered.

No kidding? Better count those blessings man.

I know, knock on wood right? So when did you start riding? and where you originally from?

Well I got my first scooter in like 2001 or something when it was first blowin up but it wasn't till 2007 that I started  going to parks and stuff. I was into mountain biking then but I'd always break parts, so at some point I couldn't ride my bike and grabbed my old b model out of the garage and tried some tailwhips. I started watching some videos online and found SR and got hooked after that.  Im from Bend Oregon and It was only my buddy Nick Toigo and i at the start, everyone else kinda thought it was a joke, they were more into snowboarding and mountain biking.

Hahah it's funny how things turn out, how does it feel to come from riding a B-model in your garage to work in a full blown scooter scene?

Its super rad to have watched it all happen. If you would have asked me then what i thought id be doing, working for a scooter company would have been the last thing. I feel lucky to be where im at for sure.

So when you got into riding did you ever want to pursue sponsorships? or were you more down to put some labor in?

It was in the back of my mind when i was starting out but it seemed like I was miles away from these dudes who lived for it. I figured id be able to carve my own path whether or not I was sponsored, I just wanted to keep riding.

That's rad dude I respect that a lot, so what kind of work you doin at phoenix?

Im workin with steel day in day out. I do most of the work on the bars and our steel forks before our welder puts em together. I help Evan and Cooper ship stuff out sometimes too. Its pretty gnarly sometimes but i like it, i couldn't handle sitting at a desk 8 hours a day ya know.

Yeah man fuck those cubicle sheep jobs, so do you have any plans to start your own world dominating scooter company down the road?

Haha nah no plans, maybe a dream but its just scattered ideas in my head right now. I've always wanted to work for myself though and that seems like the best way to do it. I guess time will tell.

Word up man, well im gonna wrap this up with what's the craziest thing you've witnessed in portland? hobo wars? hipster dramas?

I saw these two fat homeless chicks get in a fight outside this church across the street from my apartment. They started yelling and one of em shoved the other one down and started wailin on her pretty heavy. They got up and shook hands right after though. I couldn't help but laugh at the whole thing.

There you have it, you don't need to be a sponsored rider to live the scoot life.  If you truly care about scooter riding,  try harder to get yourself involved in the industry.  We need a scene that is run by the riders, that's the only way to secure a safe path for the future.

- McKeen

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Parrish Isaacs Interview

The Parrish Isaacs Interview

Alright man how old are and how did your parents come up with the name “Parrish”?

I'm a week shy of 16, and from the artist Maxfield Parrish.  They didn't want to name me Max because my great aunt was with some guy named Max and they didn't like him?  I dunno, I used to not like it but I think its kinda cool now.

Hahah that's pretty tight, max is kinda plain anyway. So where do you live in Vermont? And how did you get into riding out there in them hills?

I live down in the southern part, near the Green Mountain National forest, which is a wonderful piece of protected wilderness.  And its kinda weird.  My dad gave me this floppy disk cam and I was looking around for floppy disks one day, and I came across RVM1 that came with my Razor I got for my sixth birthday, that was right when we moved to Vermont, I had just turned eight. I skated through fifth grade and through seventh grade, after seventh grade I got my first legit scooter and haven't stopped since.

Dang you've been at it for awhile then. So I know you can't be riding scoots all the time in VT, do you ski or snowboard in the winter?

Yeah I snowboard pretty much every day in the winter, get riding in when I can but the local indoor park is kinda hard to get into because its owned by the ski academy, and the guys with the keys aren't always around.  Snowboarding is definitely one of my biggest influences in my riding. I get pretty into snowboarding, but every spring when the snow melts I know I have more fun scootering haha.

Yeaahhh scootin rules everything. From watching your vids, the spots around you seem pretty scarce. What keeps you stoked on riding? You thinking of moving to the city one day?

I mean I can't fucking stand the city, I really love being in nature but I think it might get to me.  I might have to move to the city for a while just because of all the spots.  It is really fun finding really gnarly spots to ride driving around these mountain roads.  You just have to be able to adapt to shit, because usually there are only a handful of tricks you can do on a spot without getting maimed haha.  I have so much fun cruising just through the little roads around my house, the city is a whole nother level, I go crazy when I'm there its soooo fun to just cruise, get lost in the constant shit that happens.  There is always stuff going on between people in the city, up here you don't get the same--social experiences I guess is a way to put it.

I can dig that. You do a lot of your own editing and it's safe to say they’re not like anyone else's scooter edits, slow songs, poetic verses..what inspires you to be different?

I guess its just a mass of conformity in our culture, and a lack of being in touch with yourself.  Its a lot of things, but I think most of all its the beauty of the place I live, the people I have met, the places I have gone, the substances I've come in contact with, literature, art, I had really awesome English and art teachers through middle school and still do, i early on got really into that stuff, the counterculture, the sixties, the beat poets, surrealist painting, all sorts of things can help you pass through different doors of perception that tend to make you who you are, mine just might be a little different than other people's. My parents aren't the most typical people either, always encouraged me to be who I am and to stand up for what I know is right.  And my mom always made sure I knew to treat people well, no matter what background they came from.  To be accepting of people, that’s really important to me.

That's really rad dude, well I think that pretty much tops it off. Got anything else to say?

Just to be yourself, don't let people's perception of you effect who you are and what you do.  Don't do what everyone else is doing because you want to feel included.  Appreciate everything you have and the crazy miracle that is life on this planet, don't try to figure every little detail out because you'll drive yourself crazy.  Don't smoke too much weed because you'll get lazy, and down with Monsanto, the Federal Reserve, and Halliburton, they're ruining this amazing country and taking away your freedom and nature for their personal gains.  Peace out, go fucking shred the gnar and thank your mother earth, and support your local famer's market and skate shop. Thanks to Matt for putting me on here, Sam and Tanner for driving me around, Mom and Dad for being the shit and supporting me, and Sarah for being the best girlfriend ever.  And thanks anyone who's ever made legit scooter parts.

Check out Parrish's latest edit!

- McKeen