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Skateboarding May, 11 2010

Highsnobiety Presents: adidas Skateboarding – Tim O’Connor Interview

After having talked to Benny Fairfax and Nestor Judkins from the adidas Skateboarding team, we bring you our last interview in the series. This time we sat down with Tim O’Connor, who also participated in the “Rolling London” video for adidas Originals.

How was the London trip to film with Benny Fairfax, Nestor Judkins and Klaus Bohms?

It was fun times and one hell of a bugged‐out‐interesting experience. I saw friggin’ arth Vader playing baseball and a girl that was referenced to me as “The Korean Britney Spears” dancing with an ice cream cone. Outrageous scenario to say the least, but definitely memorable.

Klaus skates for the Brazilian adidas team, had you ever heard of him before? He’s a tall dude and skates a bit like a whooping crane or something.

I had heard of Klaus before but only because I saw him skating at the Berlin Clash contest in Germany. It’s amazing how good he is and how amazing his style is but somehow he isn’t a household name. He’s definitely a tall lean fella’ but has an amazingly graceful style on a skateboard. He’s an incredible skateboarder, hopefully the rest of the world gets to enjoy witnessing his prowess on a skateboard. If he lived in the states there would be a lot of big companies ringing his phone off the hook. If he ends up being one of the biggest names in skateboarding I wouldn’t be surprised at all. He is really that good.

Check out the rest of the interview after the jump.

Highsnobiety Presents: adidas Skateboarding – Tim O'Connor Interview

And you got to witness firsthand the gravity­defying Klaus drop­in on a vertical wall.

I’ve seen a lot of absolutely amazing things go down in skateboarding by some of the best skaters on earth. Klaus’ drop in definitely made the list of all time memorable
moves. I wanna say that the wall was at least 6 to 7 feet tall and Klaus fully dropped in it like it was a banked wall or something, with all four wheels down. It wasn’t
even slightly banked… that thing was straight up and down, vertical as shit! It was hard for me to wrap my head around how he was actually doing it. He did it when
nobody was really even paying attention and I just barely turned around in time to see him do it. I ended up egging him on to do it again so it could get documented. He
had no problem with that request and happily obliged like it was nothing. Some things don’t translate as to how hard and gnarly they actually are when you see
them on video. Only the people that go to that spot and stand on that wall will truly understand how tweaked it is for the most part. During the adidas Originals commercial shoot, you got to be involved with the filming.

How’s it feel to be on TV all across the globe?

I don’t know that it necessarily feels like anything because it’s not something that people are going to notice me from while I’m just walking down the street. It’s definitely cool and something that was great to be a part of. I’m pretty sure you just see glimpses of us mixed up with other shots. It would really have to be a long close up on our faces for our likenesses to be burned into the minds of the general public. It’s cool though that adidas offers the opportunity to do something like this and be part of something on such a big scale.

Is it weird to think that more people in the world will have seen you do a single push in an adidas commercial than probably all of the stuff you’ve done in your career as a
skateboarder?

Yes and no, a video part is something that is just all you and nothing but you and isn’t exactly relatable to something like this. But it is weird when you think on the level in sheer numbers of how many people will bare witness to this commercial.

You guys had stunt boards for it too, right? One board for actual skating; the other board for the rough roads of East London.

Yeah, we needed some super soft wheels on a separate setup to even roll on the streets where they were shooting the commercial. Those streets may have well just been straight up gravel. They were way too rough to even roll on with a normal setup and even with the soft wheels it was still hard to do the most basic thing on those streets. When we would skate something that wasn’t so rough we would go to our caddy and get our normal street setups going so we could do some more legitimate skating.

Highsnobiety Presents: adidas Skateboarding – Tim O'Connor Interview

For a couple of nights you guys got to have your own trailer like the rest of a the celebrities. How was that, did you feel important?

It was good because without the trailer we were just sitting around on a curb for 12 hours straight while waiting to be called onto set. In the trailer we could hang out in a more comfortable scene and roll virtual dice on our iPhones. I definitely felt like a celebrity but then again I always feel like a celebrity. I was trying to demand that they stock the trailer with hollowed out candy shells from red M&M’s only, a clear stripper pole with gold fish in it, and freshly cooked pasta that was boiled in Evian water.

So you weren’t really hanging out with David Beckham, Jeremy Scott and Daft Punk at the Star Wars bar?

Unfortunately no, but they would’ve been hanging out with me, rather than me hanging out with them. I was asking the powers that be if I could do some sort of scene with Jar Jar Binks for the commercial. Nobody got back to me on that one though.

Going back to the skate film you guys worked on, how was it going to see a Chelsea FC game?

That was amazing. People were super jealous when they heard that we had tickets to that game out there. adidas hooked it up too so that we were able to go behind the scenes before the game and check out the stadium and go where the general public never ever gets to go. It was great but I know it was definitely more of a wet dream come true for Benny.

So you got to see Benny in his ultimate glory, a Chelsea goon at heart.

Yeah Benny was definitely psyched. He got all geared up in his Chelsea jersey and was smiling ear to ear.

The subway ride from the stadium was pretty eventful with all of the drunken hooligans. How would you describe that moment?

That was funny and scary as shit all at once. Those drunken soccer hooligans and their ladies looked like they eat punches for fun and head butt through walls on a regular basis. Those gmoment but luckily evchants the whole ride.

Highsnobiety Presents: adidas Skateboarding – Tim O'Connor Interview

You get to work on signature shoe colorways with adidas, how do you start the process?

Well usually the adidas Skateboarding shoe designer, Danny Kinley, will email me with some ideas and they’re usually not far off from what I like because he seems to have a really good sense of what I’m into. From there I will offer up some ideas and spots where I’d like to change the colors more to my liking. Sometimes I give him photos of things that we can use to compare and contrast. We just bounce a lot of emails back and forth until we get a shoe that makes this honky happy. Danny is really easy to work and he makes the process really easy. I love the shoes and couldn’t be happier with the final results each and every time.

Why do you like mid­top and hi­top shoes so much?

I think I tend to like the mid‐tops/hi‐tops better for two reasons. The main reason is that I like the extra ankle support but I also have a certain aesthetic nostalgia for what skating looked like in the early 90′s. Basically I like the look of skateboarding in a video like Blind Video Days. I like normal shoes as well, but I do definitely tend to lean more towards mid‐tops.

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