Justin Eldridge

 

A couple years back the Chocolate Tour video came out and Eric Koston's nollie heel noseslide on a handrail was the talk of every skate shop. Justin Eldridge had only picked up a skateboard right before that, but judging by his recent performances in Yeah Right! and Hot Chocolate and the photos in the forthcoming pages, he was taking notes …

Were you experienced in relocating your finger after dislocating it?

That was the first time I did it and the only time I've ever done it–so no, not really. I was basically like, “I don't want this thing to stay like this, so I'm just gonna put it back.”

You virtually came out of nowhere became this super am. How does a process like that occur?

I don't know. It didn't really just happen. Nothing really changed–I started going out with different people. I started hooking up with Scuba Steve, the filmer, and everywhere we went it was like Atiba was there, or someone else taking pictures. It happened out of nowhere. The pictures started coming out, and all of a sudden it all happened at once.

So you were the new kid ripping at the spot and all the photogs and filmers just approached you.

You know L.A. spots. There's so many filmers and all that. It was always like, “Can I take a photo of this?” or “Hey, I know you from here, do you want me to shoot this?” Eventually we ended up having a photographer every place we went.

Just by the two small video parts you've had in the Girl films, it's obvious you have a future as a “video” guy, someone who will consistently put out amazing video parts. In the future with you eventually going pro, do you see yourself as someone who will bridge the gaps between the contest/video line, like Koston for instance?

Actually, I hate contests. I don't know why. Sometimes I'll do good, but it's all about my nerves. I get so nervous for some reason and just fall apart. It's being thrown into something and having to skate right then and there instead of skating around, warming up, doing your stuff. It's not natural, so I get real nervous.

Is there anything else that makes you that nervous?

Sometimes I get like that when I fly. I'll be like, “Dang, I don't know if I want to go.” And then once I get on the plane I put on my headphones and fall asleep, 'cause I can't even think about it. The music will get you through anything.

How have you been affected by the fact that you're the new guy on the team and the guy who's obviously killing it. Has having all eyes on you affected who you are as a person or a skateboarder?

I haven't really felt any pressure. You don't feel or see it like that when you're with those guys. They make it real comfortable for me.

Before the Hot Chocolate trip, did you get nervous or feel any pressure knowing you were about to tour with a group of some of the most respected skateboarders?

A little bit, but not really. I knew some of the dudes and I had heard stories about some of the other guys, and they were all super cool.

Were you ever star struck when meeting a certain skateboarder?

Yeah, a lot. Eric (Koston) and Marc (Johnson). And Kenny (Anderson), too. It's that first time meeting them where you're like, “Damn, this is this dude!” It was like when you go somewhere and you know someone's going to be there and when they finally come in, it's the first time you've ever seen 'em in person, and you're like, “Damn.” But then as you start skating with them you realize they're just out there doing their thing. You're just stoked to watch them skating.

When you camento the skateboard world you were right at the point where most kids are off to college. Did skateboarding as a potential career affect any decisions you made about going to school?

Nah, not really. I didn't really want to go to college, to be honest with you. I really didn't have that much fun in high school–not that I didn't have fun, but I wasn't really into schoolwork. I was kind of over school. It worked out really good. If I was going to go to school, I was going to go to culinary school and learn how to cook. I love to eat, so I think that would have worked out okay.

How has becoming a skateboard personality affected you?

It's kind of cool because there've been some crazy instances where I'll be in a Burger King and some kid will come up to me and ask me for my autograph. That's really weird. But going to skateparks and stuff, I like it. People know you, so you feel like you have friends everywhere. Wherever you go there's some comfort. You'll be skating, and they'll be talking to you even though you don't know 'em, but you still sit there talking to 'em, skating with 'em, playing SKATE.

Who gets compared to Koston more, you or Paul?

Probably Paul, 'cause that dude is so good.

What will it take to make you say, “Nah, I'm not going to do this, not going to skate this–I'm gonna quit trying this trick?” What's the breaking point?

Falling. That would be it. I'll try it 'til I can't try it any more. Then I'll just be over it, 'cause I know if I keep trying it, I know I'll hurt myself more.

How often does that actually happen? When kids watch a video they get the impression that everything comes so easily.

It happens a lot. Sometimes you'll be on, and there are the other times where that will happen–just like Marc says in the video (Hot Chocolate). I think it's like that with everybody.

You basically shot all the photos in this interview in two weeks. Do time constraints affect your skateboarding?

No, but it was kind of weird, because for a lot of the photos we just went to the spot, did the trick, and be gone. That was weird, 'cause normally I go to the spot, skate around, do whatever I want to do, hang out. It's weird going somewhere, shooting something, and then just leaving. It was cool, though–whatever.

Seu Trinh wants to know why it took you so long to pick up your phone?

I don't know. I never really have my phone on. I miss calls a lot. I just don't answer my phone.

If they really need something they'll call you back, right?

Yeah, I mean, nah, I don't mean to do it. It's just that I'm never by my phone. I feel bad, 'cause a lot of people clown me for that. So, I'm sorry.

It's hard having to turn down all these photographers every day, right?
(Laughs) Nah, not even like that!

How often do you watch yourself skateboarding? Do you analyze yourself or do you hit the fast-forward when your part comes on in a video?

Yeah, a lot of the times I hit the fast-forward button. It's just weird after a while. You see yourself once or twice, and then you want to go on to something new. I just fast-forward it.

Have you ever showed your video parts to girls? Or lured them in with your skateboarder aura?

I have a girlfriend, and she likes to watch 'em. She's psyched on 'em but … there've been times when I'd go to a party with my friends and they would throw it in, and the girls would be like, “Oh that's you?” and start talking to me. It's kind of tight.

It's pretty well known that you like to travel. How many days a month would you say you're home now that you're a sponsored skateboarder?

It wasn't bad at first. I went to Atlanta and Miami last week, now I'm going to Frisco this week, and then next week or the week after I have to go to Kansas. It's kind of crazy, but I like it.

Who's got a better freestyle, Chico Brenes or Nate Sherwood?

That's a hard one. I've heard a lot of Chico, but not that much of Nate. I can't really say. I'm definitely not the judge on that one. Nate's are pretty weird, but pretty cool. I heard 'em one time on the Crailtap phone, but that's it.

What's the “he looks great in spandex” comment about on the éS Web site?

Nah, nah. I don't … ahh! They made us put spandex on to try these shoes out, and that shit sucked.

You're pretty good buddies with Shiloh Greathouse, do you have any good Shiloh stories?

There was a bunch of us that went up to Frisco one weekend. There were like ten of us staying at this dude's house, and Shiloh came in kind of wasted at three in the morning and seriously went person to person wrestling with everybody. We were just like, “Oh my god, this is funny as hell.” Typical Shiloh, he's cool, though.

What's the oldest video you've seen?

Probably the Plan B videos, they're pretty old aren't they? It's probably those.

Do you feel you have a good grasp of skateboarding's history and how we all got here?

Nah, not really. I'm not one of those people who know what's been done here and who did it there. I don't really watch videos much. I watch 'em a couple times. I have my four or five videos I've had forever: Mouse, Chocolate Tour, Menikmati, some random 411s that are pretty good with Rodrigo's (Teixeira) parts–those ones are dope. But I'm not really on top of that stuff.

Did your trips to Venice Beach increase after being roommates with Chris Roberts for the whole Hot Chocolate trip?

I wanted them to increase after that. I live kind of far away from Venice, so the traffic sucks. I would really like to go down there. I'll tell you what, though, I've started skating manual pads a lot more now. That's just so much fun.

You go to a spot with the intentions of trying a new trick, like the switch blunt on the Hollywood twelve for instance. What's the warm-up process for that?

I warm up on flatground, play SKATE a couple times. But for that trick and a couple ones, I go right into it. I'd rather get it over with than sit there and skate a twelve-stair handrail.

What's going to be the new nollie crooked?

I think people are gonna start doing laser flips to tricks down rails. That's the new shit.

Is there ever a time when you don't want to skate?

Yeah, kind of. When I get hurt I don't want to skate because my body's hurt, but you still really want to go out and skate. That's what sucks. I'l go out skating and I'll hurt myself even more. That's when I don't skate.

Do you have any last comments?
Nah, I'd probably just say something that's already been said, like, “Go skate?”

. How many days a month would you say you're home now that you're a sponsored skateboarder?

It wasn't bad at first. I went to Atlanta and Miami last week, now I'm going to Frisco this week, and then next week or the week after I have to go to Kansas. It's kind of crazy, but I like it.

Who's got a better freestyle, Chico Brenes or Nate Sherwood?

That's a hard one. I've heard a lot of Chico, but not that much of Nate. I can't really say. I'm definitely not the judge on that one. Nate's are pretty weird, but pretty cool. I heard 'em one time on the Crailtap phone, but that's it.

What's the “he looks great in spandex” comment about on the éS Web site?

Nah, nah. I don't … ahh! They made us put spandex on to try these shoes out, and that shit sucked.

You're pretty good buddies with Shiloh Greathouse, do you have any good Shiloh stories?

There was a bunch of us that went up to Frisco one weekend. There were like ten of us staying at this dude's house, and Shiloh came in kind of wasted at three in the morning and seriously went person to person wrestling with everybody. We were just like, “Oh my god, this is funny as hell.” Typical Shiloh, he's cool, though.

What's the oldest video you've seen?

Probably the Plan B videos, they're pretty old aren't they? It's probably those.

Do you feel you have a good grasp of skateboarding's history and how we all got here?

Nah, not really. I'm not one of those people who know what's been done here and who did it there. I don't really watch videos much. I watch 'em a couple times. I have my four or five videos I've had forever: Mouse, Chocolate Tour, Menikmati, some random 411s that are pretty good with Rodrigo's (Teixeira) parts–those ones are dope. But I'm not really on top of that stuff.

Did your trips to Venice Beach increase after being roommates with Chris Roberts for the whole Hot Chocolate trip?

I wanted them to increase after that. I live kind of far away from Venice, so the traffic sucks. I would really like to go down there. I'll tell you what, though, I've started skating manual pads a lot more now. That's just so much fun.

You go to a spot with the intentions of trying a new trick, like the switch blunt on the Hollywood twelve for instance. What's the warm-up process for that?

I warm up on flatground, play SKATE a couple times. But for that trick and a couple ones, I go right into it. I'd rather get it over with than sit there and skate a twelve-stair handrail.

What's going to be the new nollie crooked?

I think people are gonna start doing laser flips to tricks down rails. That's the new shit.

Is there ever a time when you don't want to skate?

Yeah, kind of. When I get hurt I don't want to skate because my body's hurt, but you still really want to go out and skate. That's what sucks. I'l go out skating and I'll hurt myself even more. That's when I don't skate.

Do you have any last comments?
Nah, I'd probably just say something that's already been said, like, “Go skate?”