Fifteen Minutes with: Scott Bourne

How old are you?

Sixty-three.

Where do you live right now?

San Francisco, California.

What’s your ancestry?

My father was a quarter Cherokee.

Do you ever see the Cherokee in you come out?

Yeah, I have a bad temper.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up on a small farm in the backwoods of North Carolina.

What was that like?

It was awesome. I was at a skatepark a couple days ago where I saw all these super young kids, and all they could think about was being sponsored, and one day trying to be pro, and stuff like that. I was thinking how rad it is that I grew up in the middle of nowhere–I didn’t have to deal with California. Skateboarding was fun for me.

So, because of your proximity to the rest of the world, you didn’t worry about sponsorship?

No way! We didn’t even think about it. We would hear about people making sponsor-me videos and sending them off. Me and my buddies thought that was really weird.

What would you guys skate on, farms?

We had a ramp that we made out of an old piece of tin we found in this barn by my house. We laid boards down leading up to it, so you could do one trick and come back. But when I got a little older, we started street skating. We skated railroad ties and cinderblocks–crazy stuff like that.

How far were you from a city?

I was real close to two small towns. They had all kinds of small stuff, like empty parking lots with good, slick curbs and stuff like that.

Do you think you ended up liking to skate different stuff because you didn’t have much to skate?

I like to skate f–ked up things that no one else likes to skate, and that basically comes from growing up in a small town. Like me and my buddy Tom have had hour-long sessions on a cinderblock before, just doing Indy nosepicks or ollies to tail. Seriously, we skated anything.

What time do you usually wake up in the morning?

It’s been weird. The last couple of weeks–excluding today, you straight busted me–I seriously wake up around eight o’clock and I’m out of the house by 10:00 a.m. Regardless, I just get up, get out of the house, and go skating. I think it’s because I’ve been hustling a lot lately to do a lot of photos.

Do you like skating in the morning?

I don’t know. I skate better, of course, after I’m warmed up. But in the morning I do my best skating, because I’m up, and I’m outside, and I’m pushing. I like feeling the cool wind on my face, cruising downtown, not even doing tricks, just ollieing out of curb cuts, doing little manuals from block to block, going downhill, just feeling really good–not much pushing involved.

How long have you been skateboarding?

I’ve been skating since I was five years old.

Shut up.

No, I’m not even kidding. My brother is the best, but he’s pretty much like some crazy redneck kid. I talked to him a couple weeks ago and we started talking about skateboarding. He was kind of freaked out because I’m pro now. We started talking about how long we’ve been skating. Seriously, I had this crazy yellow Freestyle board. It was called a Freestyle, but it was really like a little Fyberflex–it had a swallow tail on it. I rode that when I was five years old and just kept skating, no matter what.

How long have been pro for Consolidated?

Not quite a year.

How would you describe your job as a pro skater? Do you see it as a job?

Whether you like it or not, it’s a job. I think a lot of pros fail to realize there is something they’re supposed to be doing. To me, my job is to try to get kids as stoked as I am on skateboarding. I go crazy sometimes and get mad or whatever, but skateboarding has become my life. The whole point of getting on a skateboard might’ve been, “Hey, let’s go skate here or there,” but along the way I met so many people and was exposed to so many different things–it’s seriously become my life. As a professionnal skateboarder, I want to relay to all the other kids how much fun skateboarding is, and how important it is to stay young–Peter Pan Syndrome.

Do your views of skateboarding and the skateboard industry jive with Consolidated’s?

I don’t know, man.

They take some pretty strong stands.

Yeah. A lot of the things they’re doing, I’m super for, but I can’t put as much energy into it as they do. I just don’t want to think of the industry any more than I have to. I don’t want to get caught up in anybody’s protest. You know what I mean?

Yeah.

But I think what they’re doing for the industry, like making shops aware of how gnarly things are, is really good.

What’s your goal in skateboarding?

No matter what, to stay stoked on skateboarding and skateboard forever. No matter how gnarly the industry gets, no matter how gnarly anything gets around me, I don’t ever want to get bummed on skating.

Who’s had the most influence on your skateboarding?

Man, it’s probably these three cats I grew up with–Tom, Sean, and Brent. I skated with them every day, and we just kept each other stoked on skateboarding. When you lose your temper and go wild, it’s okay for one of your buddies to start laughing at you, and that’s how we were. They all still skate, too. They live in podunk towns in North Carolina, and they still love skating. That’s what influences me–guys who hold jobs, or go to school, or have kids, or whatever, and they’re still stoked on skateboarding.

Does your temper affect your skateboarding?

Hell yeah. I say all the time: “Love and hate forever.” Some people think you can just love things and not hate them, or you can hate things and not love them. But those two things coexist. Sometimes I love skateboarding, and sometimes I just hate it. I don’t lose my temper because of skateboarding–it’s usually because of other things–but it comes out when I’m skating.

Is there some story behind that black sleeve you have referring to Scott’s right arm, which, except for a heart on his forearm, is covered in a solid black tattoo? That thing is gnarly.

I don’t know.

Did it cover something else up, or was it planned that way?

No, there’s no cover-up. It’s just a tattoo I got at a point in my life where I was really disenchanted with the world around me. What it means to me is “pure of heart.” Like, the world around me is black, but my heart still remains clean. People always ask me about it. I’ll got to a skatepark, or we’ll do a demo, and kids always come up and get excited about it. I always tell them–just like I’m going tell you now–I think tattoos are worthless. The only things that are real and true are validated in your heart. You never have to prove yourself to anyone, ever. You never have to express yourself to anyone, ever.