I was sitting in the grandstand at this year’s Vert Attack 8 and I was watching this young guy with long blond hair and a bright pink board flow through the vert ramp with a big smile on his face. His entire style reminded me of some 80’s and 90’s skating, just going big and floating those airs. After some skating of my own and then moving on to meeting a lot of people at the contest over uncountable drinks, I ended up talking to his mother and stepdad (Chris Hudson, himself a vert ripper around my age!) and I found out that Jesse Thomas is only 14 years old!
I knew I had to get an interview with him as it just happens that you see somebody skate and you know they have to talent to go big (I interviewed for example Pedro Barros 6 years ago, he was already ripping and look at him now…no questions!). Enjoy the read, watch the video clip below as well with Jesse’s run at the Vert Attack 8 and let’s look out for more from this young ripper in the future!
How old you and where are you living right now?
I’m 14 and I’m currently living in Lincoln, United Kingdom.
How did you get started with skateboarding and what makes vert skateboarding special for you?
I was having a really hard time at school and saw some guy walking down a road with a skateboard under his arm, I asked my mum for one! She bought me a complete set up from Halfords! (She didn’t have much idea in those days!!). I am now home schooled a skateboarder and truly happy.
The reason that vert skating is so special to me starts from my very first drop in at Corby. I just loved it, it was the best thing I had the pleasure of experiencing. Trev Johnson said there was a UK vert series enter. I loved the idea of competing. Mum and I then made a move across the country to Cornwall. We went to Mount Hawk skatepark Cornwall and that’s where I saw Sam Bosworth – he went sooo big. There and then I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I’m clearing 6′ now but still got a way to go. I’d love to be close to 8′ by the end of this year!
Photo by: Fred Ferand
Where do you and with whom do you usually skate?
I skate a lot of the mini ramp in my garden with Chris (my step dad) I am so lucky I have such a diverse load of friends to skate with. But I just love skating with my mate Alex Hallford (Europeskate editor: just so you all know, Alex Halford is another of the many UK vert shredders!). We have such good times together.
Can’t miss up on this topic: you have the quite special nickname “Princess”. Where does this come from?!
All I can say is that it came from the one and only VERT ATTACK last year. I can’t fully remember the rest all I can say for sure is that it came from Chris and Jake Anderson… and I love it!!
How do feel about the whole amazing Vert Attack contest? Have you ever experienced a contest like this?
It is INCREDIBLE!! I have never experienced anything like Vert Attack and from what I’ve seen I don’t think anyone has!
Jesse Thomas’s heat at this year’s Vert Attack contest in Malmö, Sweden
What gets you psyched to go and skate?
A lot of things, it is really helps because if I think of a trick and I can go and try it on my mini. All in all though, I’m always psyched to skate.
I think that switch fs smith to front rocks have to be up there on mini ramp but on vert I don’t think that much feels better than a 360 variel. And of course going big.
Last trick learned? What’s on your list of tricks to learn in 2014?
I can’t really remember the last trick I learned, I think this year I’d love to learn 540’s mainly and what ever else seems to be a good idea at the time.
Photo by: Mika Löfgren
You had a really bright deck at the Vert Attack contest, pink? What’s your current board set-up?
I’m currently riding an 8.13 enuff deck, I’d love to be riding bigger but alas they don’t make anything bigger. I’m riding 149 indy’s, Bones wheels 60mm for vert and 54mm for everything else, Bones reds bearings, some 1/8 inch risers and some bolts.
At your rip age of 14 you have a style that is almost old school? Do you have any skaters that you really respect for their skating that have had an influence on you?
I think that the early footage Christian Hosoi really inspired me, I think some one that who influences me a lot now is Alex Hallford who I skate with a lot.
Are you sponsored and by whom? I was talking to your mom at the hotel in Malmö and she was telling me about the hard times you had in the past with getting even the money together for skate shoes.
Currently I ride for enuff skateboards and Two Seasons (skate shop). Yeah we’ve had a really tough time in the past (mum couldn’t even afford a real of tape to hold my skate shoes together) you should see the smile on her face every time I’m given a new pair!!
What are the further plans for 2014 with contests / events, where will we be seeing you? At the Hang Up contest in Norway maybe?
I’m pretty sure where going to Hang Up in Horten, Norway and I’d love to go to Ultra Bowl. The UK vert series should be good this year!! Me, Alex Hallford and Will Selby want to go to Denmark and Sweden again this year just for a skate trip.
Photo by: Mika Löfgren
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I really couldn’t tell you, I just want to travel as much as I can and do as best I can in all the comps I get to!
Is there anybody you wanna thank or give a shout-out to?
I’d love to thank Chris because without him I wouldn’t be where I am now!! The awesome Alex Hallford. And Jacob Webb a great skate mate and my home tutor who keeps me out of school giving me max time for the love of my life, skating. Big thanks to enuff skateboards for supplying me with my bright pink boards and simon at two seasons who has done so much for me and it’s truly appreciated!! And finally my mum who has kept me skating through thick and thin, I love you and thanks!!
Thanks to Jesse for this chance to interview you and give you hopefully a bit more push in the media hype, you deserve it! Make sure you all check out his personal blog – http://www.jessethomas.co.uk -mc to see where he’s headed. I personally can’t wait to see what he’s learned when we see each other again in May at the Hang Up vert contest in Norway!