Wednesday, April 27. 2011
Photos: Dan Zaslavsky (From Beer Bloggles)
Russ, apart from the mags, you haven’t been on the Canadian radar all that much in the past few years. Can you give me a quick run down with what you’ve been up to lately?
I've just been doing the same stuff really. I’ve been in S.F. skating a lot. Traveling a lot. I still come up to Vancouver every couple months, but I guess I lay pretty low and hang out with my friends and family in North Van for the most part. I’ve spent a lot of time in Toronto too this year because my girlfriend is living there right now.
How do you like living in S.F.? I just got my first chance to come down there and kick it in your neck of the woods. Seems like a rad place to be. Was the move there based on riding for Street Corner and wanting to be closer to the people backing you? Or was it just an opportunity that you jumped on and made happen?
I love S.F. It’s an amazing city for a lot of reasons. I just felt at a certain point that I wasn't doing much in Van and I was just stuck in the same routine and wanted a change. S.F. was just an obvious place for me to go because I have friends there and it's been like a second home for me for 10 years or so now. I’m really stoked to be down there though, for the skating and for life outside of skating it's amazing.
I know getting the proper paper work done to be a working Canadian in America can be pretty extensive. At the end of the day it seems to have paid off now that you’ve got a dope spot with Thrasher staff photographer, Dan Zaslavsky. How did that one go down?
Yeah, it's a pain getting the visa stuff dealt with, but it was all worth it. I had a lot of years of sketchy border crossings and it feels pretty awesome to go back and forth worry free now. As far as living with Dan Z, I used to crash on his couch for years before I moved down and by coincidence a room opened up in the house when I was trying to find somewhere to live, so I just slid in.
Besides the obvious weather reasoning, do you find it a lot easier to handle business being in San Francisco? Do you ever feel like you could be doing the same thing still living in Canada or was the move necessary?
I think it's a lot easier for me in S.F. There I have people to skate with everyday, there are always photographers and filmers around, and there's no shortage of things to skate. I feel like I wasn't getting much done with my time in Vancouver before I moved. There’s obviously people that stay in Canada and do fine, it's just harder work I think.
You just got home from Portugal at the end of March. How was that trip? How many times have you been there?
That was my second time there. I love it there. Portugal's got the best people, good weather, good skating and it's cheaper than Spain.
You seem to be the only one on the planet that has been to that part of Europe more than once in the past few years that didn’t make it to the vortex that is Barcelona. Is there any reason that you’re dodging Barcy?
I've been to Barcelona a couple times. It’s awesome. I just want to see new stuff. I’ll go back one day.
Give me a list of some other places that skateboarding has brought you in the past few years.
I've been through Europe a few times now, all over the States and Canada, Russia, Korea, China and Japan.
Is all of the footage from these exotic trips being saved up for anything in particular? Should we be expecting to see some advertisements for an upcoming Think video anytime soon?
Most of it will go to the Think video. I don't know what they're doing to advertise it, but it should be coming out sooner than later.
Speaking of Think, how was the transition between City and Think when City closed its doors? Was it a shocking phone call or something that you and other team riders saw coming?
No, it was totally out of the blue for me. My boss called me one morning for a serious meeting and I figured I was getting fired or something. After that though there really was no transition. It was just done.
Do you feel the family is tighter now that everyone is under one roof, or did you prefer the brother team type feel?
It really feels no different to me. Tighter if anything. We all skated together anyways. I feel like it's only made the team that much stronger putting them together and picking up Lee Yankou and Josh Matthews was icing. I'm stoked on how it's all going.
What’s up for you this year? Do you have any plans that we can look forward to seeing?
No plans as of now. I’m sure things will come up. I had a pretty busy summer last year so I’m kind of hoping it stays mellow and I can spend more time in S.F.
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proper skating looks like magic... ruska the great!