Like Gavin Bottger, you might've heard of Lazer Crawford (and his once-half-head of bright pink hair) via the Camp Woodward YouTube series. Lazer is another one of these young kids who seems to have it all figured out. He's polite, friendly, sociable and has a deep bag of tricks. And he has a motivation that most 12-year-old skaters don’t. He was out in California for a few days to film and skate, so we caught up with him at the Linda Vista skatepark one morning to witness his skating first hand. But it was just another day for Lazer. —Brian Blakely
How old are you, where are you from and when did you start skateboarding?
I'm 12 years old and I'm from Phoenix, Arizona. I started skating when I was five years old.
What's your local park out in Phoenix?
My local park is 91 West and it's my favorite park too. And Rio Vista if it's an outdoor park.
"91 West" is the skatepark that your dad opened up, right? I'm sure that's a huge advantage when you're dealing with those brutal AZ summers. What's the story behind it and how often are you there?
The park is super rad and has a little bit of everything; some tranny, a hip, A-frame, bump-to-rail, a stair set… and all of the rails are adjustable. Yeah, it's so nice to be indoors during the summer heat wave. I'm at 91 Monday thru Friday.
How has it been filming for the new Camp Woodward season and how often are you skating a Woodward facility?
Filming for Woodward was so much fun. I can't wait to go back! This summer, I'll be at Woodward Riviera Maya (Cancun) for one week, Woodward West for one week and Woodward East for four weeks.
Did you start to notice your social following growing after each episode went live?
Yeah, for sure. And I'll still get more followers every week a new episode comes out.
What's a normal day like when you're filming for the show? Are you used to having cameras in your face all day now?
Yeah, cameras were on us all day every day. But it was so chill, we got to do pretty much whatever we wanted! And the filmers were just filming everything we said and did. It wasn't nerve racking but sometimes you feel a little more pressure to land your trick when the camera is on you.
How important is social media to you? Do you feel the need to post every day so people can keep up with what you’re doing?
Social media is pretty cool to keep in touch with everyone. I don't feel like I have to post everyday but if I have clips then I will definitely post them. Sometime I film clips and completely forget to post. But, I do like to post when I get a box or something, to say thanks to my sponsors for hooking me up.
What is it about skateboarding that drew you so closely to it? Being so young and so talented must make it that much more fun, but what is it that keeps you stuck on skateboarding rather than anything else?
From the very first day I was hooked. Just the feeling I get when I am on my board, its unexplainable. Skating with my friends, no matter where we are—we can just skate and have fun. My goals also keep me stuck on my skateboard (to be the best skater in the world).
What's your favorite skate video? And who are some pros that you look up to?
My favorite skate video is Nyjah's 'Til Death part. I look up to him, P-rod and Dashawn Jordan.
For the kids out there reading this interview and seeing your progression daily, what are some words of advice that you could provide any aspiring skateboarders?
Just keep trying your hardest every day, never quit and always have fun.
What about school—not every 12-year-old kid has such a loose schedule and a family devoted to their kid’s dream, which is pretty amazing. Explain to me the balance between skating, school and life in general.
Yeah my parents are pretty chill with me skating all of the time. Monday thru Friday I do online school in the morning for about two or three hours, then I go to 91 West from noon to 6pm. Then from there, we'll go to outdoor parks until the lights go out. On the weekends we go out street skating. I pretty much get to go skating with my friends a lot.
Who is your normal crew that you skate with out in AZ?
I skate with my best friends a lot: Lucas Alves, Jamarus Wallace, Camron Swanson, Malachi Grey, Steele Donahue and Tyler Brandt
What major contests do you skate throughout the year and what is your take on skating contests? Do you like them? Do you feel pressure?
I skate Damn Am's, Tampa Am, PHXAM, Boardr Am's, Dew Tour, XGames, AGP, VPS. It’s just really fun to go skate these contests with all of my friends from around the world. Every contest I skate, I meet new people and make new friends from another state or country. It’s like the coolest thing ever seeing and hanging with everybody. And yeah, I feel some pressure but that's what makes it fun and challenging and it’s also why I keep doing them.
In your opinion, why do you think it's important to skate contests?
It’s important to skate contests because it helps put your name out there. But it is still so important to stack street clips all the time.
Yeah, you have to keep the balance. Do you have any routines that you do before a contest? Any rituals or anything?
I guess I just always try to make a run and get it down before the contest starts, but sometimes its really crazy with 100-plus people trying to skate at the same time.
Yeah, I’m horrible in those situations. How do you zone out the crowd, cameras and noise in a big contest?
In my head, I focus on each trick at a time and get in the zone.
So it seems like you’re just skating non-stop, all the time, but what's a normal day like for you? What are you doing when you aren't skating?
A normal day for me is just wake up, eat breakfast, call my friends to see what time they are picking me up, a little school and go skate all day. When I come home I usually just chill on my phone. And I like to go fishing any chance I can when I am not skating.
So I know you have some contests coming up and some stops at Woodward, but what else do you have planned for summer?
Yes I'm going to three different Woodwards this summer, Cancun, West and East. Gonna be lit! Skating a couple Damn Am's, Tampa Am, X Games, Boardr Am's, VPS and AGP in Canada.
Damn! Busy, busy. Well, where do you see yourself in 10 years? You'll barely be scratching the surface of a 22-year-old!
I see my self in Street League, filming in the streets and putting out video parts.
Boom. Anyone you want to shout out or thank?
Thank you God, shout out to my mom dad and family for sacrificing everything. My friends for pushing me to skate harder and go bigger. Mike Liebman for donating the money and Josh Hawkins for helping build 91 West. Thank you to Jamarus and Lucas for driving me everywhere. Thank you Jared Lucas, Ryan Clements, Johnny Layton, Vern Laird, Rhino, Vans, Primitive, Bones, Independent, Stance, Grizzly, Skull Candy, The Boardr, Dave Ridgeway, Joey Granath, Greg Dwyer, Kerry Wilkinson, Christian Hosoi, Neal Hendrix, Woodward, Freedom and so many more I cant even name them all but thank you for helping me skate to my dreams!
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