newsHIT Interview: Zered Bassett On Converse

“How does Zered not have a shoe sponsor?” It was one of the great perplexing mysteries of life the past couple years, an inexplicable riddle which plagued mankind with frustration and possibly even famine. But luckily now the mystery has been answered, and all light has been restored in the world. Dr. Z is officially slipping his feet into Converse. We caught up with Zered right after he got back from his first trip with his newfound shoe sponsor. Here’s what the man had to say. Look out for the Converse in Hawaii Sammy Don’t Surf article in our May 2013 issue or right here at twskate.com. Full tour video coming tomorrow.

Words by Kevin Duffel, photography by Jon Coulthard

This was the first trip you’ve been on with Converse so far, had you met everyone on the team before? Or was this some trial by fire type of deal?
I’m pretty sure I had met everybody but Jason [Jessee]. Yeah, I’d met [Sammy] Baca before but it was just, “Hey what’s up?” I never hung out with him or anything.

Hawaii’s not a bad place for the first trip.
Yeah, that was definitely a good first trip to go on for sure.

Everything is down hill from here on out!
Yeah, right?

Why Hawaii? Did you have any say in that since it was your first trip?
I know they wanted to go somewhere warm and beachy. I didn’t really have a say. Originally we were going to go to Puerto Rico or Costa Rica. I just know there isn’t a bunch to skate in Costa Rico and I’ve been to Puerto Rico a bunch so I suggested Puerto Rico, but they decided to go to Hawaii, which I wasn’t complaining about.

Zered, frontside kickflip at Wallows.

Jason and Sammy went surfing and there was a giant surf contest all week. Did you get in the water at all?
Yeah, actually the first day, which was kinda weird. But yeah, I only went in the water once.

It’s crazy you were without a shoe sponsor for so long. What was that, a couple years?
Shit, I don’t even know. It was close to two years.

How did Converse come about?
I just started rockin’ the shoes ’cause I really liked them, and then I started talking to Kenny [Anderson] a little bit and he was pretty hyped. I ended up getting some boxes and stuff, and then pretty much, I was just hyped on the shoes and was reppin’ em. Slowly but surely it started coming up more and more. And then yeah, I got invited on the trip.

So was that kind of your initiation? Did you know that you were on the team before this trip? Was everything kind of sealed or was the trip kinda like, “All right, let’s see how this goes and see if you get on?”
Yeah, it wasn’t really sealed, but it pretty much sounded like they were down. So it was kind of like, you know, no contract to sign yet but it seemed like it was close [laughs].

Is there a Dr. Z pro model in the works?
That be awesome but no, no talk right now [laughs].

The Cons team is a pretty eclectic group. How was it getting along with all those dudes going on a trip? Was it kind of crazy?
Nah, everybody was super chill. I get along with people pretty easy. I’m not really a judgmental person so I can kind of hang with anybody. But nah, it wasn’t awkward or anything. It was super chill. Everybody got along and it was a really fun trip.

So who was the MVP overall of the trip?
MVP overall? I’m trying to think what went down. Nick [Trapasso] got some pretty good shit. I say it was a pretty equal trip—everybody was rippin’, everybody was psyched to skate, but I’d probably say Nick.

Was that your first time skating Wallows?
Yeah that was my first time to Wallows. It was pretty epic. I’ve always wanted to skate that spot for years.

Is it as gnarly as everyone says?
Yeah, it was. It wasn’t only that it was rough, it was sharp too, like kind of like griptape—really rough and sharp.

Zered, frontside five-O.