Words by Kevin Duffel, photo courtesy 1031 Skateboards.
Sure, Jason Adams might have a Black Label tattoo, but plenty of dudes have tattoos of companies they used to ride for. While the Label flame might be permanently etched on his skin, that doesn’t mean he’s permanently bound to it in the same way. After a ridiculously long run with Black Label, Jason Adams has reunited with his former teammate Kristian Svitak. Yup–you heard it, “The Kid” now rides for 1031.
So you’re officially on 1031 now, right?
This is probably gonna shock a lot of people, just like when you originally left the Label for enjoi. Why’d you do it this time?
I know. Well I just wanted to get away from Black Label, and I really didn’t know what I was gonna do when I quit, but Kristian [Svitak] just called me and I talked to him, and it sounded radical.
Oh whoa, so you quit Label without anything lined up?
Was that just for reasons you don’t really feel like talking about, or how’d that come about?
I just needed to leave, you know what I mean? This last year–I could go into details about my personal list and all that crap–but I got to a point where I wanted to start fresh, so I said, “F–k it, I’m going to leave. I don’t even know what I’m going to do and I’m not really worried about it.” And then after I split, Kristian called me and we talked. I just really like what they have going on.
Yeah it seems rad. Totally skater owned.
It’s completely off on its own little island, compared to the skateboard industry. They’re like, “We just do what we wanna do and that’s it.” And I always got a kick out of that. That’s kinda how I looked at Label for a lot of years.
What’s the connection between you and Svitak or Chad Knight? Were you and Svitak really good friends back when you both rode for Label together?
Yeah, me and Kristian always got along good, like on the road and everything. Kristian’s just a mellow dude. Not only were we on Label, we were on Innes–we did a lot of trips together. He’s easy to get along with.
Oh awesome, so it’s just like back to the good old days then?
Yeah, talking to him is just so easy. Plus, it basically puts me in the position where I get to do whatever I wanna do or don’t wanna do, if that makes any sense. I’m 37-years-old, the last thing I need is, “You’ve gotta do this.” No, I’ve got other shit going on. Or, if I want to do all my own board graphics, he said, “Yeah, cool, do whatever you want.”
Sweet. So you’ve got complete creative control with art direction?
Yeah, and plus we’re gonna do my own little Lost Highway designs under 1031.
Oh, it’s kinda like Six Gun rebooted then?
Yeah, but this time it’s just me doing things for myself, which is what that other thing should’ve been from the beginning.
Have you met all the other people on the team–all the ams and all that?
No, I know Chad Knight from years ago. I don’t think I’ve ever met Ben [Raybourn]. As far as I know, I don’t know any of them.
Why not hop back to enjoi? Did you consider that one at all?
You know what, it’s just that I’ve been there. I was open for any options and I love those dudes, but I kinda left [Label] not knowing what I was gonna do and Kristian called me, and it just felt right.
When’s your board hitting shelves? Have you started working on any of the graphics or anything like that yet?
Yeah, it’s not ready to go to print, but I pretty much mocked everything up two days ago. I’m gonna send them some shapes today.
Are you gonna have the old shovel-nose thing?
Yeah for sure.
Jason’s part from Black Label’s God Save The Label
So, are you going to be spending any more time down here in S.D.? Maybe make the move?
I dunno. I actually wanna move to L.A. I wanna be down there to be in the middle of some stuff. I’m gonna be part of this new project called Dead Boy Shoes and it’s gonna be right out of L.A.
Back in a ’93 TWS interview you said you never wanted a daughter and that kinda did away with the question of whether you’d let your daughter date a skateboarder. Now that you have daughters, what’s the verdict? Especially with the way skateboarding has changed over the years.
[Laughs] How did I know, right when you brought up 1993, that you were gonna bring up that question? Well now I have two daughters [laughs]. You know what, I have no problem with it. It’s hard to imagine your daughter dating anybody. There’s a lot of shitty skateboarders out there, but there’s way more good people, so I have no problem with that.
Well at least now they might be able to afford to take her on a date, whereas in ’93 they weren’t getting anything like that.
Yup, that’s absolutely true. You know, I’m open to anything.
How much longer do you think you’ll be skating? Was this like a retirement move of sorts? Did you think of this as going more into ownership and art direction?
I think I’ve been going that direction for a while. There’s no way around it. I’m definitely going to pick up more responsibility on the other end these days, but I never wanna be the cubicle guy. In 2012, it’s going to be twenty years since I’ve been a pro skater and I kinda just wanted to do some sort of something, whether it’s a board or an art show. But right now, that’s what I have in my sights, and then after that I’ll figure it out.
Lastly, what’s man’s greatest invention to date?
Beer [laughs]. It depends what time of day; right now it’s coffee. But in about five or six hours, it’ll be beer [laughs].