I first met Jack Curtin about four years ago at Pier 7 in San Francisco. He was nobody in the terms of this crazy skateboard-personality driven world. He was your average skateboarding-loving kid, strictly dorking some flatground flip tricks with whoever happened to be around, doing nothing hard, maybe a few frontside flips on flat, not even exceptionally clean. But it’s usually when you see someone dorking around that you know they have it.

Four years later, I’ve interviewed Jack about five times and witnessed his skateboarding live, in photos, and in video parts numerous times. He’s always got something new for the spot, even if he’s carefree about carving some stupid niche in the “hammer” world. With all those interviews, it should be well known that he was just a kid who discovered skating while living in Indonesia and that skateboarding has been the second thing on his agenda, as he originally moved to San Francisco for specific schooling. But now that he’s made himself such a staple name in skateboarding the last few years, there are that many more questions to ask the kid.

When you were a kid coming up, did you need to harp on the photographers and filmers or did they just come to you?

I don’t know, it was kind of mutual, I guess. I was definitely a new cat. No one had heard of me. I met Victor, and he was the first filmer I filmed with. The first photographer I met was probably Tony Vitello at Thrasher. And then Ken Gotti (Goto), soon after that.

If you could have any skateboarder guest spot in your video part, who would it be?

Guy Mariano. He’s the magician, dude–the style. Or Stevie. I like Stevie. He makes anything look good.

Those pop shove-reverts, huh?

He’s got a new one coming out–with a little new innovation.

You taking notes?

Yeah, I’ve seen it go down. I’m trying it in the alleyways by myself–totally locked down.

Do you make a certain effort to do specific tricks, or do you just do stuff that’s based off the things that come natural to you?

Sometimes I try to do specific tricks. I try to broaden the bag of tricks. I definitely like doing tricks that I feel good doing, like simple nollie kickflips, switch heelflips, nollies, and 180s down stairs. I love doing kickflips. A big, flat, poppy kickflip is the best feeling.

That’s a trick that everyone seems to lose at one point or another. Have you always maintained control over your kickflip?

No, I lost it like two years ago. I just never did it. I was too busy doing nollie or switch stuff. You get so bummed on skating when you can’t do a kickflip like you used to be able to. Every day I pop a kickflip. I learned that from (Ryan) Gallant. If he doesn’t land his first kickflip of the day, he doesn’t skate.

Do you think skateboarding has too many guys who aren’t expanding their tricks or doing anything new?

Yeah, I guess you could say that. There’re a lot of dudes who just do the same style of tricks, dress the same, look the same, watch the same videos.

Do you feel you have to skate certain things or do certain tricks to make it in skateboarding?

Sometimes, yeah, I feel like that. I can’t be taking photos of my flatground tricks, you know? It’s motivation for myself. If I’m gonna take a photo, I’m gonna take an ill-ass photo. I’m going to think of something good. I’m gonna plan it out and make sure it’s legit.

So you’re saying a 360 flip on flat couldn’t be the last of your interview?

I mean, it could. Definitely. But if you’re a guy trying to get a photo in a mag and your name’s not Jason Lee …

We’ve all come a long way. You did a kickflip 50-50 on a strait-out ledge a few years ago in a video part. Nowadays, when is just a 50-50 acceptable?

(Laughs) Yeah man, I don’t know. I’m kind of sketched out about that kickflip 50-50.

Yeah, you should have gone to five-0, huh?

Yeah, five-0. I should’ve gone to nosegrind, right? Nah, I think 50-50s are definitely classic. Like Jamie Thomas, he could 50-50 anything and it would look cool. I don’t think I’ve ever had a 50-50 photo. It’s got to be burly to get in there.

Which people come to mind when you say you’re into “just raw street-style skateboarding and having fun”? Who are you thinking about?

I’m thinking about dudes I grew up watching in Trilogy, Girl, Chocolate–just street-oriented skaters, an urban style, not trying to do anything like anyone else, just their raw style, not influenced by anyone. People like Stevie (Williams) and Marcus (McBride). They have so much style. The way they walk has a certain style. The way they walk reflects the way they skate.

Who was the first skater you saw running the headband?

(Laughs) I don’t know, man, but that dude on Flip rocks it pretty hard. Alex Chapman? What’s that dude’s name?

Ah, Chalmers. He had the serious coif going, though.

Yeah, Alex Chalmers. Every photo in TransWorld, he’s rocking that. It’s kind of hard when you’ve got long hair. I think I rocked the headband photo in Strength.

You still rock it?

I have ’em, but my hair’s pretty long, so it’s kind of weird. It’s looking kind of shagadelic. I don’t like going to cut it. You’re bummed after you do it, and you’re like, “Why’d I do that?”

Does it seem weird that you’ve had multiple amounts of coverage in nearly every title of skateboard media, yet you still have to hold “flow” status on some of your sponsors?

I guess it’s kind of weird. But if I’m getting products, I’m happy. I’m not gonna ask for too much. Actually the shoe deal, I just got on the DC thing, signed the contract and everything–new am.

It’s about time. That was a long time coming.

Thanks, man. We started talking about it in the summer. Stevie talked to (Rob) Dyrdek and then Dyrdek talked to Ken (Block). Dyrdek hooked it up, man. Once Dyrdek gets involved–it’s official.

You think you were out there making it look too easy the whole time with all these big tech tricks?

I’m making it look too easy? That’s the whole point of filming. That’s the style, dude. (Laughs) That’s the style, I guess.

Does it come that easy?

No. Sometimes I wonder why I’m sponsored.

What kind of trick would it take for you to include “helmet” or “park” footy in your part?

Helmet? It would be fifteen stairs or more. I’m not gonna jump down any. I’ve never done anything more than like twelve. But there’s this park out here in SF that’s a replica of Pier 7, all metal edges, so I’ve got some footy coming out on that. But it’s some grind to manual pop out triple trick combo. That’s the limit I guess, the triple trick combo.

How many tricks in one single trick is too many?

Daewon pushed the limit. I don’t think there is a limit. You got to respect it. It takes hella long to land it.

Does the fact that most of your coverage in magazines happens to be hammer-type stuff bother you considering you’re an all-around skateboarder and that’s not always what you do?

That’s like the question you asked me earlier. If I’m going to take a photo, I’m gonna make sure it’s a hammer. I may not do that (all the time), maybe only once every couple weeks or so. The stuff that comes out in photos is my best shit.

Do you think you’ve had too much coverage in this and “am issues” of the past?

I have had a lot of am issue coverage, but any coverage is good coverage.

Who owns the Pier?

I don’t know. It’s up for grabs right now. I went there today, and I was the only one skating. They changed it up, took out all the blocks. It’s kind of nice, there’s a lot more open space. But the cops have been coming in. Last month they took my friend’s board.

Outside of skateboarding, what kind of advice would you offer the kids reading this?

There’s so much going on. Skateboarding ain’t everything in your life. You have to be a good, all-around person.

What do you do to be a good, all-around person?

I’m trying to go back to school. Go out a lot. Hang out with a lot of people that don’t skateboard. Stuff like that. It’s crazy–since I haven’t been going to school, I get up in the morning like, “Okay, what am I going to do today, go skate? I don’t really feel like skating today.” You need to have another outlet. I mean, it’s great, I’m psyched on my life, it’s just weird when skateboarding is the main focus in your life.

A long time ago we had a conversation about you going by Jack or Jackson–where do you stand on that now?

I don’t know, man. I have some ads where it’s “Jack” and some with “Jackson.” I mostly introduce myself as “Jack.” But for the ladies it’s “Jackson.” Jackson’s my full name, but you can call me Jack for short.

t (all the time), maybe only once every couple weeks or so. The stuff that comes out in photos is my best shit.

Do you think you’ve had too much coverage in this and “am issues” of the past?

I have had a lot of am issue coverage, but any coverage is good coverage.

Who owns the Pier?

I don’t know. It’s up for grabs right now. I went there today, and I was the only one skating. They changed it up, took out all the blocks. It’s kind of nice, there’s a lot more open space. But the cops have been coming in. Last month they took my friend’s board.

Outside of skateboarding, what kind of advice would you offer the kids reading this?

There’s so much going on. Skateboarding ain’t everything in your life. You have to be a good, all-around person.

What do you do to be a good, all-around person?

I’m trying to go back to school. Go out a lot. Hang out with a lot of people that don’t skateboard. Stuff like that. It’s crazy–since I haven’t been going to school, I get up in the morning like, “Okay, what am I going to do today, go skate? I don’t really feel like skating today.” You need to have another outlet. I mean, it’s great, I’m psyched on my life, it’s just weird when skateboarding is the main focus in your life.

A long time ago we had a conversation about you going by Jack or Jackson–where do you stand on that now?

I don’t know, man. I have some ads where it’s “Jack” and some with “Jackson.” I mostly introduce myself as “Jack.” But for the ladies it’s “Jackson.” Jackson’s my full name, but you can call me Jack for short.