Pro skateboarder and Gold Coast local.
Pro skateboarder and Gold Coast local.
He’s the Gold Coast local who rose through the ranks to become a pro skateboarder, sponsored by Santa Cruz and living any young kids dream.
This weekend he’ll teach skateboarding workshops on the Coast as part of HOTA’s Concrete Culture event.
We sat down for a chat with Jesse about his upomcing local workshops and how those of us who have no idea, can learn to skateboard like a pro too (close enough anyway).
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was born at the Southport Hospital and besides living in Melbourne for a year and a lot of traveling, I have been a proud Gold Coast local for the majority of my life.
What do you love most about living here?
In my opinion, the best things about living on the Gold Coast are the amazing people and community we have, no where else in the world do you find people like Gold Coasters and I think it’s because of our awesome laidback lifestyle with the best beaches in the world and world-class skateparks. We live in paradise and you can feel the joy.
Talk us through how you became a pro skateboarder…
I’ve been skating from roughly age seven and I have never stopped. I worked hard to be the best skater I could be and worked my way up to being recognised by some major Australian sponsors and after years of representing them, I was rewarded with an introduction to the pro ranks with my own pro model board for Santa Cruz skateboards. It was a very surreal moment because as a kid I had dreams of becoming a pro.
You’re running workshops at HOTA for Concrete Culture this week, what’s involved in those?
The workshops at the HOTA Concrete Culture event are going to be epic, we will be working with all levels of young skaters helping them with their confidence, balance, core strength and a better understanding of the dos and don’ts of skateboarding. Our aim is to help every skater at the event be able to venture to any of the Gold Coast’s amazing skateparks with confidence, to give it a go and gain the rewards that skateboarding has to offer, we hope all our skaters leave our clinic with some new tricks and a huge smile.
Any advice for those of us who’d love to try skateboarding but have no idea where to start?
For someone who has never tried skateboarding and is interested in giving it a go, I would recommend joining a beginner group session or private session with RockNSlide skateboarding. We can help you with all you need to know in the safest way possible, eliminating risk and can even provide all the gear if you’re unsure and just want to try skateboarding before purchasing your own equipment. With over 20 years of skateboarding experience we can get you skating in no time.
Besides skateboarding, what do you love to do?
When I’m not skateboarding, I’m in the ocean riding my surfboard. Surfing and skating go hand in hand and it’s the perfect outlet to keep active and enjoy the Gold Coast when I’m not rolling on the concrete.
What’s the plan for the rest of 2019 for you?
We have big plans for the end of 2019, we are running multiple skate events including our skatepark tours, skate camp and an epic event we call the Rocknsizzle. I am also busy finishing my new skate video part for Santa Cruz skateboards that is due to be completed by Christmas. It’ll be showcasing my best tricks on my board at an international level so it’s busy and exciting times for us thanks to skateboarding.
What do you say to people who might like to follow in your career footsteps?
The most important advice I can say to anyone is always be yourself, be kind, honest and don’t be afraid to work hard then you can achieve any of your goals, no matter what they are.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Restaurant for dinner: Beach Burrito Coolangatta – best Mexican on the Coast hands down.
Cafe for breakfast: JJs in Tugun – best and most honest big breakfast.
Coffee spot: Henchman Miami, I got some coffee there the other day and it was delicious.
How does your weekend usually look? Wake up, surf, lunch, skate and repeat.
Sarah Huston is a Gold Coaster passionate about skateboarding and design.
So much so that she has put together a photography exhibition, fittingly titled Yeah Girl, showcasing female skateboarders from around the world.
We took five to chat with Sarah about Yeah Girl’s collaboration with Bowlzilla and how skateboarding fuels her creativity.
How did the Yeah Girl exhibition come about?
I started noticing more and more girls around the world were shooting skate photos and it just seemed like this really niche little group that was flying under the radar. Originally, I was going to do it as an exhibition of female photographers shooting anyone skating—guys or girls—but I’m also a bit of an advocate for increasing the exposure of female skaters, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put all the ladies in the spotlight; the ones behind the camera and in front of it.
How is Yeah Girl linked to Bowlzilla?
Yeah Girl and BOWLZILLA were both part of the Bleach Festival lineup last year so we began working together to create one big weekend of skateboarding. Since then BOWLZILLA have been big supporters of Yeah Girl and vice versa. BOWLZILLA’s ethos is based around bringing people together, having fun and celebrating skate culture; something Yeah Girl can definitely relate to and get behind.
This year we’ve joined forces again to put on a double movie premiere on Friday March 17th at Warehouse No. 5. We’ll be premiering Quit Your Day Job, the first female skate film to come out of the USA in over a decade, as well as Steady Lurking, a new local film from the guys at Fiik Skateboards.
Why are you passionate about showcasing female skateboarders?
There’s so much talent in women’s skateboarding these days, from both the skaters and photographers. There’s also a really unique culture in women’s skating. It still has a really DIY vibe about it and it is what it is because of the passionate women that are a part of it, constantly pushing to make things happen. It deserves to be highlighted and celebrated.
If you had asked me a year ago I would have said my passion was driven by the lack of coverage for women in the core skate media. But to say that now – on the day when Lizzie Armanto’s new Thrasher cover was just revealed – wouldn’t really be fair. As a community we need to keep that momentum going though and continue to back women’s skating with the same passion and determination that has gotten it to where it is now.
You’re a skateboard coach, why do you think people should try it?
I can’t think of anything else that can teach you so much patience, determination and persistence and still be so fun! It’s kind of funny, I often find myself in deep philosophical conversations with friends about the life lessons that can be learnt from skateboarding.
The most rewarding part of coaching is seeing people support each other regardless of their skill level, gender or age. Skateboarding just has this way of bringing people together and breaking down barriers.
What do you love about it personally?
So many things. But I think it’s the challenge that keeps me coming back for more. I get as much satisfaction out of trying to learn a trick as I do landing a trick. Which is lucky because it tends to take me a while so I might have given up long ago otherwise…
I also love the friendships that come from skateboarding. It’s a pretty special community, especially amongst the girls. It’s still tight-knit enough that a mutual love of skateboarding is enough to reach out and build a friendship on.
Tell us about your background, how did you get to be where you are today?
I feel like where I’m at right now is because of a beautiful collision of my two biggest passions – skateboarding and design. My love of skateboarding began as a kid. My brothers used to skate so decided to try it out and it’s been a part of my life ever since. I studied design at Queensland College of Art and since then I’ve been working (–and living–there’s no dividing the two) as a designer. Skateboarding and creativity go hand in hand so those two parts of my life naturally came together. I guess Yeah Girl is their love child.
How does skateboarding inspire your creativity?
As a skateboarder you tend to think outside the box and see the world a little differently – a ledge isn’t just a ledge and a set of stairs isn’t just for walking up and down. The premise of creativity is the same. You need to see different perspectives and draw connections between seemingly unrelated things. So to more directly answer your question, it’s not so much that skateboarding inspires my creativity, but it is an extension of it. They go hand-in-hand.
What’s in the pipeline for you?
Right now I’m working on the next Yeah Girl exhibition. I’m excited to be teaming up with Girls Are Awesome to take the exhibition to Copenhagen this year. It opens on July 15th at Vess Gallery and will run through CPH Open, one of skateboarding’s biggest global contests and celebrations.
Your favourite piece of life advice?
If it doesn’t scare you, it’s not worth doing.
You’re not a Gold Coast local if you haven’t…
Quoted “beautiful one day, perfect the next” to interstate visitors and then struggled to entertain them while it rains for a week.
Being a Gold Coast local we have to ask for your favourites…
Beach: Mermaid Beach – it’s close to home and not too busy
Restaurant: Zipang Japanese Dining in Currumbin
Bar: I’m more of a small bar person – Apres Surf
Coffee Shop: All Time Coffee
Get in loser, we’re going shopping (and eating, and brewery-hopping, and sight seeing, and exploring street art, and… you get the idea)
Now you might be wondering why we’re throwing around random movie quotes to kick off this list (in our defence there is a Mean Girls line for *every* occasion) – but if suburbs were Mean Girls characters, Miami would for sure be the one to utter this iconic line. Miami has it all, and it knows it. Take one glance at just some of the epic spots we’ve lined up and you’ll soon see why all the other suburbs wish they could be this cool.
One thing locals know, is the only thing loose in this (top) paddock is only the most scrumptious, buttery baked goods in 4220. Ever since Paddock opened it’s charmingly renovated doors in 2014, locals have been flocking there daily for their much-kneaded Paddock fix.
Reigning supreme as our baked-goods, brunch and lunch hookup ever since, the ex-Queenslander-turned-treehouse-of-our-childhood-dreams has expanded to welcome us and our relentless sweet tooth’s with open arms. With the lush gardens, cottage, loft, rooftop and barn to retreat to, the only thing more extensive than the dining space options is the menu to indulge from.
Where: 20 Hibiscus Haven, Miami
It used to be that Granddads were good for stealing our noses and sneaking us butter candy, but in Miami, Granddad Jacks is good for plying us the finest locally distilled spirits, gin making classes, distillery tours and of course and just an all-round cool haunt to sit back with a top notch bevvy and let our mullets run free. These masterful wizards didn’t amass a whopping 70+ awards by getting distracted by anything other than distilling, so it’s BYO food too (and surely that means more to spend on the good stuff!)
Where: 45 Lemana Lane, Miami
Miami Fish Market
It would be shell-fish of us not to include the absolute pearl that is Miami Fish Market, and we have two words for you: Sashimi box. Soy-n us up, pls! Fin-ally, we have a hook up for the finest and freshest seafood that’s a sure thing (unlike heading home empty handed from your holy grail fishing spot). Also unlike a day on the water, the pros will handle all the dirty work so you can do as much or as little as you like – oysters shucked to order, anyone?!
Where: 1/54 Paradise Ave, Miami
Wine not take those fresh sucked oysters to-go and mosey right on over for a bougie picnic at the picturesque Pizzey park. As one of the biggest parks on the GC, Pizzey is a local icon and hub for sports, clubs, recreation and all round fun times for all ages. There’s an aquatic centre, playgrounds galore, a wheely epic skate park and let’s not forget the off-leash dog area for our four legged BFFs (paw out of five dogs agree Pizzey is the best park for zoomies on the GC)
Where: 80 Pacific Ave, Miami
The Coast’s OG street food night markets that put Miami on the map as a must-visit destination for foodies and live music lovers alike. The first venue of it’s kind to Miami and perhaps even the Coast, Marketta quickly grew to establish itself as a mainstay among the GC scene, bringing good vibes, live music and great food galore via the eclectic creative and cultural hotspot for over ten years now. Our beloved market brings us all our favourite tastes of the world as well as that same buzzing atmosphere that’s favoured by families especially, for rounding up their rowdy broods for an easy night out that everyone can enjoy.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Pde, Miami
UGG Since 1974
With the hotter weather officially taking some mercy on us now we’ve packed away the budgie smugglers and it’s the perfect time to slip into something a little more cosy. Enter, Ugg Since 1974 – churning out wearable warm hugs for your feet since, well, 1974. Don’t be feeling sheepish if you didn’t know they’ve expanded their range to include a huge selection of colours, styles and options to customise – including monogramming (cute!) through to paw-dorable pet accessories (even cuter!) With factory tours running right out of Miami, the only thing better than supporting local, is treating your tootsies to a cloud-nine experience in the process.
Where: 23 Christine Ave, Miami
Ever find yourself struck by the sudden and insatiable urge to don your flanno’s and yeet sharp objects at the wall? Okay so perhaps not, but when your usual rotation of outings is just not cutting it anymore – it might be time to hit up Lumber Punks because you really can’t axe for a better way to get the crew together for some laughs or some fun date night axe-ction. If you haven’t yet tried your hand at the phenomenon that is axe throwing, chop chop – because this is one adventure that brings the axe-mosphere in blades (er, spades, rather). If it’s good enough for Jason Momoa, it’s obvs good enough for us.
Where: 19 Ozone Pde, Miami
Okay, now it just feels like Miami is showing off and 469 (no kidding) google reviews can’t be wrong. At first glance those deceptively colourful trademark stairs might look all sunshine and rainbows, but one thing’s for sure – conquer that climb and you will be rewarded with one of the best vantages on the coast. With stunning views of the coastline from Surfers right down to Burleigh, there’s only one thing left to say: How’s. the. serenity. (and maybe a hearty dose of *heavy breathing* depending on how many times you decide to take on those stairs #cardi-no thanks)
Where: At the south end of Miami (you can’t miss it)
Trader Trove, more like treasure trove. Welcome to Miami’s own worldly homewares haven for those who prefer their interiors on the luxe side – and their swoon-worthy assortment of bohemian inspired home decor, that’s more expertly curated than an influencers insta feed.
We love: a family run local biz with a dreamy selection of ethically minded homewares. We don’t love: that all self control seems to exit our body when we visit.
Where: 22 Christine Ave, Miami
You no longer need a certified 90’s banger to be proclaiming ‘fergalicious (so delicious)’ because ever since Fergs moved to town we’ve had an excuse to be saying it daily. For the unacquainted – f.e.r.g.s aka Fresh Eats Really Good Sh*t – has been dishing up breakfast and brunch much to the delight of southern GC, with all the staple brunch suspects you’d expect, but also the likes of Lemon Meringue Crumpets and really, need we say more?
Where: 2/43 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
It’s no secret us Gold Coasters are quite partial to doing what we can to our put our best #lewks forward, and over the last few years the streets of Miami have also been undergoing somewhat of a glow up themselves (and #spoileralert – there’s no filler to be found here folks). If it’s been a while between visits, it might surprise you to learn the suburb is at the heart of a thriving GC art and cultural boom, with a bunch of incredible artists transforming the local laneways into a destination in and of themselves. There’s even the Art Roll website dedicated to mapping out the best routes for your own self-led street art tour.
And the event that started the movement, Surface Festival returns for it’s third year this July, set to transform the local footpaths, fence lines, laneways and walls with some art-mazing fresh new works to admire and we’re here. for. it.
Where: Check the Art Roll website for locations
Precinct Brewing Co
If you’ve worked up a thirst just reading this list – last but by no means least is everyone’s (yep, we called it) favourite brewery, Precinct Brewing Co. Once you’ve stepped through the doors you’ll be welcomed into a sleek, all-white space with greenery dripping from up high, and an absolute slew of tanks brewing up some tasty treats. You can see why people say, it’s the place to beer! Don’t forget to grab one of the tasty pizzas coming from the onsite kitchen too…
Where: 17 Christine Ave, Miami