Colt Cannon: Locked and Loaded

Colt Cannon

Locked and Loaded

There are probably millions of Shania Twain fans out there and just as many ‘N Sync fans as well. If you find yourself reading this wondering who the aforementioned musical artists are, well, rest assured your life currently exists intact. However, Colt Cannon is not one of those people. He’ll ask you questions like, “Who’s finer? Britney Spears or Shania Twain?” His family history reads like a Kennedy minus the tragedies¿son of former country music star, his brothers are noted baseball, soccer, and water-polo players. Colt has kept the legacy intact. At seventeen, he displays the sort of raw talent rarely seen. It’s as if he’s got a copy of skateboarding’s Cliff Notes.

Usually when I go to shoot photos and someone says they want to do something at so and so spot, you can pretty much guess whether it’s going to go down or not. When I first met Colt, he was telling me all these things he wanted to shoot. Not knowing him at all I was in a serious state of doubt. I was thinking, “This kid is just throwing claimers to hear himself talk”¿talking is his other passion and perhaps his second career. But the more I shot with him, the more it became clear to me, as well as anyone else around, that this kid was quickly becoming a tremendous force that could not be overlooked. Just when I thought I had seen it all from him, he’s collecting the five bucks I bet against him making it. I really wish he hadn’t gotten hurt while shooting for this interview. There were some good things we didn’t get a chance to shoot, but here’s a warning to all you gambling types¿don’t bet against Colt, you’ll lose miserably every time.¿Pete Thompson

Interview by Shad

Did you just get out of school right now?

Yeah, I get out of school every day at like 12:25 p.m.

Oh really, how do you work that?

Well, I’m a senior, and I only need two and a half credits to graduate. That’s like half a class, so I don’t need to take that many classes.

So you were just down here in San Diego? Who were you hanging out with?

I was staying over at Richard Angelides’. Pretty much just skated Encinitas and San Diego.

How’d you like it down here?

Dude, I wanna move there. It’s awesome.

Really? Do you think there’s more to skate here than S.F.?

It’s like the spots there are better. Just from the little spots that I skated down there, it was so much fun.

What did you skate down here?

Random stuff¿like there was these benches at UCSD. I’ve never seen any footage on those. And we went to that one ledge Spencer Fujimoto had the backside tailslide Alphanumeric ad on. Then we went to this little gap, and then Carlsbad High. There’s just a bunch of little stuff that was fun.

Pete wrote this intro for you¿it says you’re like a Spice Girl/Shania Twain fan. Are you into that stuff or what?

Not really that much, but …

What about Britney Spears?

Oh hell yeah, she’s hot.

What about Christina Aguilera?

No, I’m not so into that girl.

Did you know that Britney and Christina and two dudes from ‘N Sync were all in The New Mickey Mouse Club?

Yeah, I knew that a long time ago.

And the dork from Young Hercules?

Oh?

And some girl from Felicity, it’s like a conspiracy, dude. They were all in The Mickey Mouse Club together.

Jesus, The Mickey Mouse Club is just taking over, man.

So, what’s the story on Britney Spears?

She’s just hot. Dude, she’s just awesome, her lyrics are awesome.

What’s your favorite song?

I don’t know.

What about Shania Twain? She’s kind of cute, huh?

Oh, she’s hot. Oh yeah. She’s hella dope.

Aren’t both those girls silicon-injected, though?

I don’t think Britney is, I don’t know about Shania. I know Britney’s isn’t ’cause I just read an article on her.

Oh really?

Yeah, it was just a bunch of paparazzi.

Just a bunch of hype?

Yeah, her producers made her wear push-up bras and crap like that, so everyone thought the sudden ange did that to ’em.

What about Spice Girls? You into Spice Girls at all?

Sort of, I was … there was just one song that I liked.

What song was that?

“Spice Up Your Life.”

Oh, yeah, that song is dope. Is Colt Cannon your real name?

Yeah.

How did you get that name? Your dad was like a country singer or something?

Yeah, my dad’s a country singer. I guess they had a friend who named their son Colt and they really liked the name. I don’t know how I got the name actually.

You have some famous brothers who play sports or something?

Yeah, my brother is a professional soccer player.

What’s his name?

Joe Cannon. He plays for the San Jose Earthquakes.

Does your family support you trying to be a pro skateboarder, or would they rather you be a pro soccer player or something?

They say they’d rather see me be into something that has a future. I don’t know if they see a future in skateboarding.

They don’t think you could go pro, or they don’t see it as a legitimate sport?

They just don’t see it as something you could make a career out of. You know, live off of and have a family with.

They’re pretty supportive otherwise?

Yeah, they’re cool.

Who are your sponsors?

Think, Venture, Lucky, Circuit wheels, Circa shoes, Silo, Skateworks skate shop, and Oakley.

How did you hook up with some of your sponsors? Like, who was your first sponsor?

Shop-wise I got on this shop team called Eternal.

Did they just see you skating?

I actually sent in some sponsor-me videos. My first one wasn’t good enough.

So they denied you the first time?

Yeah, they denied me bad.

Then you sent in another one that they were stoked on?

Yeah, I kickflipped this eight-stair, that put ’em in place.

After that you got hooked up with Think?

After that I started getting to the point where I saw all these other people getting sponsored, and I was like, “Where the hell am I at?” People were saying Eternal’s not really doing anything, so I quit Eternal and went to Skateworks skate shop. From there I met this guy named Justin Williams. I guess he was am for Think. I just started skating with him, and he started putting in good words, and I made this sponsor-me video. I was wearing a visor in it, so no one liked it.

Was it crooked to the side or upside down?

Yeah, it actually was crooked. I did a Benihani down Hubba with the visor.

That probably did you more hurt than good, huh? So you got denied on that one?

No one liked the sponsor-me video, so whatever.

That’s a good question for you, do you think it’s more important to have good style or be able to do every trick?

Style. Like ¿¿ ¿¿¿¿, that guy can do switch frontside flips down sixteen stairs, but he makes it look so ugly that I don’t want to watch it.

Yeah, that’s what most people say. So you got second in Tampa am and first in the Vans Warped Tour?

For Vans I actually tied with P.J. Ladd, but they compared second runs. They took our previous runs, and my score was better, so they just gave it to me.

So do you like contests like that? I saw you at OntarioVans am contest, and it looked like you were joking around having fun.

I couldn’t do anything at that park. P.J. was doing like 360 heelflip body varials, and his run was so much better; it had better tricks and a lot more variety, you know? I just had a kickflip here, five-0 there.

Do you feel any pressure on you since you’re an am? I read that your team manager called you the “secret weapon.” Did that make you feel weird at all?

It kind of pumped me up. It stoked me out. You hear about how Greg Carroll is the best team manager, you know? And he’s calling me the secret weapon, it’s like “F¿k yeah!” It just sort of pushed me to go out there and work up that reputation.

Is turning pro one of your goals?

I don’t really need to turn pro. I wanna skate like Marc Johnson.

Yeah, Marc is amazing. So who are some of your favorite skateboarders?

Marc Johnson, Ronnie Creager, probably the whole Girl team.

What ams do you think are coming up?

Forrest Kirby, Danny Garcia, Brandon Biebel.

Do you have any advice to any kids who wanna get sponsored through skateboarding?

Don’t make a sponsor-me video.

Is that one of the mistakes you learned?

It’s stupid. The way I actually got sponsored wasn’t through a video at all, I just went to a bunch of demos and they saw me. The whole process of a sponsor-me video is so sketchy. I’ve seen videos where the person rips but when you actually skate with ’em, it must’ve of taken that person three days to film that one line.

So you like skating with people who are good because it kind of pumps you up?

Yeah.

So who do you usually skate with?

Brandon Biebel and Stephan Janoski or just people around the New Spot. I guess some of the San Jose guys like Matt Eversole.

Are you gonna stay where you are once you graduate, or are you gonna travel around?

Circa is talking about some tours. I would be stoked to go on those. Traveling around is fun for me. I guess after that I’m trying to get a place down south in between L.A. and San Diego.

Do you think before you turn pro you should get a lot of coverage or just have one sick video part?

Kids just need to know who you are. For me, I wanna try and make something out of skateboarding. I want to be able to live off what I like doing¿that would just be the easiest job I could ever have. I definitely think you have to build up your name, get a lot of coverage and then come out with a couple of sick parts, then start going to contests. Contests are a good window to open up. Some kids can’t recognize which trick is harder, but when they see a contest, the results tell ’em what was going on.

Is there anybody you wanna thank or give props to?

Just my family.

Any advice?

Don’t argue with the cops. I’ve had some bad incidents with the cops, just being a smartass. It ended up that the cop wasn’t going to take my board at all but I acted up, and he took my board and gave me a big ticket. And recently I got harrassed in my hometown. I started acting up and getting cocky, and they weren’t having it. They took my board and cuffed me up to scare me.

How does it work when you get a ticket? Do your sponsors pay for it, your parents, or you?

I actually pay for it. I’ve never tried taking it to my sponsors. I might do that though, thanks.

kateboarders?

Marc Johnson, Ronnie Creager, probably the whole Girl team.

What ams do you think are coming up?

Forrest Kirby, Danny Garcia, Brandon Biebel.

Do you have any advice to any kids who wanna get sponsored through skateboarding?

Don’t make a sponsor-me video.

Is that one of the mistakes you learned?

It’s stupid. The way I actually got sponsored wasn’t through a video at all, I just went to a bunch of demos and they saw me. The whole process of a sponsor-me video is so sketchy. I’ve seen videos where the person rips but when you actually skate with ’em, it must’ve of taken that person three days to film that one line.

So you like skating with people who are good because it kind of pumps you up?

Yeah.

So who do you usually skate with?

Brandon Biebel and Stephan Janoski or just people around the New Spot. I guess some of the San Jose guys like Matt Eversole.

Are you gonna stay where you are once you graduate, or are you gonna travel around?

Circa is talking about some tours. I would be stoked to go on those. Traveling around is fun for me. I guess after that I’m trying to get a place down south in between L.A. and San Diego.

Do you think before you turn pro you should get a lot of coverage or just have one sick video part?

Kids just need to know who you are. For me, I wanna try and make something out of skateboarding. I want to be able to live off what I like doing¿that would just be the easiest job I could ever have. I definitely think you have to build up your name, get a lot of coverage and then come out with a couple of sick parts, then start going to contests. Contests are a good window to open up. Some kids can’t recognize which trick is harder, but when they see a contest, the results tell ’em what was going on.

Is there anybody you wanna thank or give props to?

Just my family.

Any advice?

Don’t argue with the cops. I’ve had some bad incidents with the cops, just being a smartass. It ended up that the cop wasn’t going to take my board at all but I acted up, and he took my board and gave me a big ticket. And recently I got harrassed in my hometown. I started acting up and getting cocky, and they weren’t having it. They took my board and cuffed me up to scare me.

How does it work when you get a ticket? Do your sponsors pay for it, your parents, or you?

I actually pay for it. I’ve never tried taking it to my sponsors. I might do that though, thanks.