Jake Andersson - Photo by Skateface.se

Interview with Jake Anderson

This interview only took – seriously – just over two years to get done. I met Jake at Vert Attack 8 and was impressed by his great vert skating skills and his after party antics as well. Finally we have made it work and he’s answered some of the questions I put together for him. And it’s great timing as his video edit just went online last week.
Big thanks to Skateface.se (portraits by Peter Gehrke / Klas Hjertberg) for the great portait photo!

Hi Jake, after making you wait for years let’s get this Q&A session going. As you are not just yet a worldwide reknowned household celebrity , give us some basic info: name, where you’re from and what do you do to make a living.

My name is Jake Anderson, I was born in New Zealand and I’m currently living in the South West of the UK. I work at Mount Hawke skatepark making cheesy chips and skateboard coaching.

Jake Anderson -  Photo by Fred Ferand
Photo by Fred Ferand

I know you skate everything but your main focus is on vert skateboarding. When did you first start with vert skating and what keeps you going in the vert ramp?

I started skating vert because Mount Hawke got a vert ramp, if I’m remembering correctly it was donated by Simon Tabron. I originally got into skating by watching X Games on TV and it was always skateboard vert which caught my eye, so when a vert ramp opened up, it was my ambition to do what the skaters on the tv were doing!

I’ve been skating for about 11 years and riding vert for around 9 years, I could be wrong though!

Every skater has some personal favorite tricks. What are you your favorites and are there some tricks you are working on right now?

Personally I love the feel of being able to express yourself through skateboarding, for me it’s not about what trick you, but how you do it and how it makes you feel, but if I had to choose, it would be 540s or tweaking basic airs.

My most favourite recent learn would be a frontside 360 flip to stalefish

What’s your set-up right now?

My set up is:
8.8 Moonshine Jake Anderson board
6.5 Theeve TiAx trucks
59mm Muckefuck Vert Attack wheels
And whatever cheap bearings where in the shop!

Jake Anderson - Photo by Sable Jacks
Photo by Sable Jacks

Oh yeah, how can we forget: you’ve got your own pro model deck with Moonshine Skateboards! When did you get it and what did it feel like when you found out that you were getting your very own deck?

I was absolutely over the moon when I got offered the sponsorship deal as a pro board was one of the first things that Adam from Moonshine proposed, but it did leave me with mixed emotions, as I was riding for my previous board company who was my first ever sponsor, so it left me with a difficult decision, but at the end of the day who doesn’t want a board with their name on it? Plus the moonshine team is massive and filled with raw vert and tranny killers, I had to make sure Adam was thinking straight about sponsoring me haha

I got my board at Vert Attack earlier in the year, so around 7 months ago!

Moonshine Skateboards has got a rad vert team: any tours being planned for 2016, maybe see you over in the States at some events?

I haven’t heard of any plans of a tour, but each rider is travelling around the world, tearing up any terrain that’s under their feet and flying the Moonshine flag!

The States is next for me, need to get myself over there, main problem being funding the trip!

You had a really good contest year in 2015 coming in first place for the UK Vert Series. How’s it feel to be at the top of your game with that huge group of really talented vert skaters?

The U.K. Vert scene is going strong at the minute, the U.K. Vert Series having loads of stops and Pete King, from King Ramps recently got a new portable vert and started a festival vert series sponsored by Mountain Dew which was off the hook!

I’ve had so much fun these past few months skating in the UK because I can sit back, look at the talent grow at each event and I’m proud to be a part of that!

The last stop of the vert series saw myself and Matty Carlisle go head to head for the top spot, it came down to whoever won Blockless Combat would take the series title, and I guess I did what I needed to do to secure the title, all of these events leave me stoked, no matter how well I do.

Jake Anderson - Photo by Rob McKinney
Photo by Rob McKinney

The UK vert scene has been growing and growing in the last couple of years. What do you think are the reasons for the amazing amount of talent coming from the UK?

I have no idea, the feeling of progression is usually enough for most, and some people have that one person they want to out do at each event, and that’s what I was doing early on in my career with myself and Sam Bosworth, remember him? Haha

We used to skate together and every session felt like a comp, for a while it was hard to decide who would do better, then he just blew up then dropped out which was a shame to see, but he’s been dabbling recently and still kills it on a vert

Okay, I’m running out of real interview questions so it’s time for some filler questions with amazing trivia answers about yourself:

>> name 3 skaters who shred and impress you the most (no “ohh man, three is really hard bla bla” answer please – just name three!)

Adam Williams
Jesse Thomas
Alex Hallford

>> 3 favorite places to skate

Mount Hawke Skatepark
Horten, Norway
Bryggeriet, Malmö

>> 3 places you need to visit before you get to old to get up and travel

Keeping it skate related
Woodward west
Tony Hawks ramp
I’d love to check out the Aus/NZ skate scene first hand!

>> 3 bands you’re listening to these days

Rise Against
Anti Flag
Five Finger Death Punch

>> 3 favorite drinks

Captain Morgan
Extreme Energy drink

>> 3 favorite food dishes when you’ve had a really tough night out

It’s only ever a greasy kebab for me

Jake Anderson - Photo by Vert.nu
Photo by Vert.nu

Okay, gotta ask this one: what’s the deal with your beard, did you lose it in a bet, got fleas or did you just get bored with it? Just loved that half beard photo you posted…

Although my beard was close to being deemed a World Heritage Site for rare birds to nest, I felt like it had served its purpose. Plus I didn’t want to shave it sooner as I would have had a tan line half way down my face.

Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be back looking like a homeless pirate soon enough

I read somewhere that you are scared of heights…is that true?

Yep, completely petrified of heights! I can’t climb up ladders, can’t climb scaffolding, can’t look over a cliff! As bizarre as it sounds, for some reason holding a skateboard changes everything! Haha

Thanks for having me!

Jake Anderson - Photo by Rob AytonJake Anderson – Photo by Rob Ayton

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