We sat down to talk with Australian pro skater Jack Fardell (@jackfardell) to hear about his journey through skateboarding, the differences between the skate scene in LA and Australia and his plans for 2020. Let's get right to it!
Our Interview With Jack Fardell
SHIT®: We wanted to learn more about you as a skater who has grown as a person within the skateboarding. How did your journey begin?
Jack Fardell: I started skateboarding when I was 6. There was an older kid that lived across the street from me. He was skating in the street one day and I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen... I asked my mum if I could get a real skateboard, she knew a girl that worked at a surf shop that had skateboards on stock, so I did yard work and chores for a couple of weeks until I earned $10 and went to the surf shop. I bought a secondhand deck that another skater had left at the shop for $10... I have two older cousins that skated also, they lived in far North Queensland and they said they’d send me some old trucks, wheels and bearings to set my board up. I waited eagerly for a few weeks for my package to arrive. As soon as I put the skateboard together, I was obsessed... I couldn’t stop thinking about skateboarding, it’s been the same ever since.
SHIT®: So, how did you start skating and why did it become so important to you?
Jack Fardell: The local council built a skatepark in my hometown of Queanbeyan, Australia. It was really small and built by people that had no idea what a skatepark should be... But I absolutely loved it! I still love that skatepark and recently went back and skated it and had so much fun. It became the most important thing in the world to me so quickly, I was just completely obsessed by skateboarding. We didn’t have money to buy new skateboards, or magazines and videos to even look at skateboarding and see how it worked, I would skate my boards until there was no tail left and then turn it around and use the nose as the tail until that was gone.. I just loved it! I remember asking my dad how to jump the skateboard, how to get the skateboard off the ground and he had no idea... he told me to hook my feet under the board and jump. It wasn’t until I saw older guys skating at the skatepark doing ollies and other tricks that I pieced it together. I would just copy everything they were doing or trying to do. I loved that I could do it alone, I loved that not many people in my town were doing it and how difficult it was, and I loved that I could go fast.
SHIT®: You have seen a lot of skateboarding in different places. One thing we really want to know is, when you arrived to L.A for the first time, did you find a different skateboarding style than the one in Australia? And if so, what would you say were the differences?
Jack Fardell: I think when I first came to LA the style of skateboarding was different to anywhere I’d seen before in person. I could see the people around me treating it more like a job than as a way to have fun and enjoy their afternoons. I guess when I was in Australia I would skate every day with my brother and mates, the guys that would film and take photos were our best mates also, so we were just all having fun all the time, pushing each other to do the gnarliest shit we could but having fun, drinking beers, skating whatever we wanted. When I moved to LA it was definitely more serious… you’re trying to meet a photographer and film maker at a specific time to try a trick at a spot, hoping you don’t get kicked and waste everyone’s time… if that doesn’t work try and make it to another spot before traffic is to crazy and the day is over. That’s a lot of what skateboarding in LA is like, you must be able to find the fun in skateboarding also, otherwise it will drive you crazy. You need to skate the local park with your friends, have a beer and enjoy yourself! I’ve learnt that and I think it’s why I still love skateboarding so much.
SHIT®: Which skaters have influenced you the most throughout your career and why?
Jack Fardell: I’ve been influenced by a lot of skateboarders! I’ve always loved watching skaters that just wanted to skate everything. In my early years I was obsessed with Anti Hero videos, Cardiel, Hewitt and Trujillo were my favorites. Matt Mumford and Andrew Currie were my favorite Australian skaters, they could skate everything. They came to America and made it seem possible for Australians to come to the States and make it as professionals. In recent times I love to skate with Gonz because he’s just so excited to skate. The sessions are so fun, you’re feeding off each other and he pushes you to go for crazy stuff you didn’t think you’d be trying that day. He knows how to make skateboarding so damn fun! Grant Taylor is another favorite for sure. I like people that skate fast.
SHIT®: Tas and Ben Pappas are probably one of the first names that come to our minds when we think about Australian Skaters, did they influenced you in any way to become the skater you are today, and what do you think they mean for the Australian Skateboarding Scene?
Jack Fardell: To be honest I was pretty young when they were on the scene. At that age I didn’t know much about videos and magazines and contest results... They were really successful Australian skateboarders, but I didn’t know much about them. When I was old enough to understand it was around the time they started getting into trouble for crazy stuff and I kind of learnt about them through there bad fazes. Their story is a crazy one and I think that the documentary (link to Top 5 Documentaries) really shows cases how gnarly and influential they were.
SHIT®: How would you define your style in skateboarding?
Jack Fardell: I guess I just skate how I like to view skateboarding. I wanna skate fast, I wanna skate pools and concrete, I wanna skate rails, I like finding new spots that I’ve never been to before, I like flying through the air, I like to have fun with my friends... if I had to define it, it would just be a little bit of everything..
SHIT®: Is there a skate part you have made that is your favorite? Why?
Jack Fardell: For me that would be my part in Adidas Skateboardings AWAY DAYS. I didn’t even love my part that much if I’m completely honest, is just how hard it was to get done in such a short amount of time, the experiences that came from being involved and the people that were involved in the whole process are lifelong friends now.. It was what I’ve always dreamed how being a professional skateboarder was. It was my first part in a major film like that, my first time being involved in a video premiere, traveling the world to promote the film... it was just such an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. I came back from an injury and had 4 months to film that part. I knew I would regret for my entire life if I didn’t get it done.
SHIT®: Now there are plenty of skate scenes around the world, how do you feel the Australian skate scene has evolved through the years and why do you think it is different from the others?
Jack Fardell: I think the Australian skate scene is bigger than ever. In this day and age a professional skateboarder can live anywhere, do his job from anywhere with social media. Australian pro skaters are moving back to Australia to enjoy the beautiful lifestyle, the weather and the amazing skateparks and spots. I just think there is so many spots. The people of Australia accept skateboarding, there’s a huge surf/skate culture there... it’s my favorite place in the world.
SHIT®: Is there a place or places you like the most for skating? Which ones and why?
Jack Fardell: Australia is my number 1, I love skating Pizzey bowl with my mates in the afternoon while having a couple beers. There’s nothing better… There are so many rad places I’ve been around the world with amazing skate scenes... I always love skateboarding in Japan, the skaters there are epic to skate with! Northwest United States has some of the craziest parks I’ve ever skated. I loved skating in Brazil: good weather and everyone is super hyped! New York has a pretty rad vibe when your pushing through the streets of Manhattan with your buddies. Skateboarding is rad everywhere!
SHIT®: From all your achievements in skateboarding, is there one that you would say was more important to you and why?
Jack Fardell: One thing I thought would probably never happen was getting on the cover of Thrasher. I hold that one pretty fuckin’ dearly.
SHIT®: You have achieved a lot in your career, what are your goals with skateboarding in 2020?
Jack Fardell: Continue to skate and have fun, finish another video part that I’m stoked on, skate a few contests and travel the world a bit more. I just really wanna skate a lot this year.
SHIT®: We see skateboarding as a way of expressing ourselves and just be free (or trying to be free), what do you feel is the real meaning of skateboarding and what it represents for people?
Jack Fardell: I think it represents how that person feels and wants people to view them, whether it’s a skater’s trick selection, the clothes they wear and music they listen too... I skate for me; I try tricks that I think are epic in my head. People are different, I can appreciate a lot of different styles of skating.
SHIT®: Besides skateboarding is there another passion in your life? Or you are just 100% committed to skate?
Jack Fardell: Yes, I have other passions for sure! I think I’d go crazy if I only thought about skateboarding. I love surfing, I think it helps my skateboarding a lot. I’ll always be 100% skateboarder though.
SHIT®: If someone young wants to become pro skater and has the opportunity to be one, is there an advice you would want to give to them?
Jack Fardell: Skate hard, Skate fast! Always remember to have fun with skateboarding. You can work your arse off skateboarding, but you must remember to find the fun in it also. Don’t worry what other people say or think about you... Do it for you!
SHIT®: Finally, is there something you would like to say to all those skaters around the world that are starting to be part of this culture?
Jack Fardell: It’s the best culture in the world! It will help shape the person you want to become; it will show you the entire world in many different perspectives and will help you meet amazing people. I’m forever grateful to skateboarding. Enjoy it!