Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I wish I could remember the first time I met Jake Sykes. It seems like I’ve known him forever. To me, he’s memorable as one of the nicest dudes ever to work behind the counter at Kona Skatepark, and it’s hard for me to picture him not smiling. Not only is Jake adept at being personable and rad in regular life, he also kills it at skateboarding. I’m thankful I got to talk to Jake about his recent move to California, and double thankful Eric Staniford came through with these rad photos.
So I see you aren’t in Jacksonville right now. Where are you and how did you get there?
I had planned on moving out west for a while. I left Jacksonville on May 31st and made it to LA. I’m currently living in North Hollywood, CA.
Tell me about the trip out there. Was it the longest thing ever?
It was pretty chill. The flights were smooth and didn't have much of a layover, so it went well overall.
How has it been adjusting since you've moved?
It was hard to get used to the time change at first. But it’s been pretty easy adjusting. The weather here is amazing. Can’t really complain.
Have you seen tons of familiar spots since you've gotten there? Is it tough finding new spots that haven’t been seen before now that you've moved?
I’ve seen so many famous spots! It’s crazy, going from just watching these spots on videos to actually being able to skate them. It’s not too tough finding new spots, there’s plenty of things to skate all over the place.
What’s your favorite thing about California so far.
My favorite thing is definitely the weather, that Florida humidity is one thing I won’t miss!
Do you have lots of free time to go skate, being that you are in a new city? Do you pretty much Just have skate homies there now, or do you know other people there, too?
I do have a lot of free time to skate for sure. I’ve definitely made some skate buddies since I got here.
The OG homie Eric Staniford and his chick looked out real hard by letting me crash on their couch for the first 2 months. Thanks guys! But the fellow Jacksonvillian Craig Clements just drove out here and we got an apartment in North Hollywood!
Tell me about what your skate days are like now that you are in California.
There hasn’t really been like a routine everyday haha it’s all kind of random occurrences. I used to take the train to NoHo Plaza from Eric’s all the time, but now I live pretty close to it and only a few miles from another epic park called Sheldon. It’s nuts how many pros and amazing skaters you see here, being in the mix is a pretty crazy feeling.
Have you found it to be true that everything is more expensive in California?
It’s most definitely more expensive! Their tax is like 9% and the gas is above $4.00 almost everywhere. Luckily, I’ve had money saved from working back in Jax. I’ve been applying to jobs and going to interviews here and there. I’d be content with working a lot while still skating so I can be able to maintain out here.
Is it weird skating spots and knowing you might randomly run into some famous pro skateboarder at any time? Has that happened much, and if so is it intimidating?
I’ve already had some pretty crazy encounters with pros, it’s kind of unreal. I’ve seen so many big names and they’ve all been pretty cool to me, but here was one encounter I’ll never forget. One Sunday morning, the good homie Nick Blanco and I got to skate with P.J. Ladd at the famous JKWON spot in LA. It was way early in the morning, we had not even 2 hours of sleep and woke up at 7am to go skate the spot. About 20 minutes into the sesh, P.J.rolls up by himself, it was pretty intimidating at first. He comes up to us, we say what’s up and start shredding with him. We skated with him for a good hour or so. Just us, but two other little kids showed up with their filmer dad towards the end of the session. P.J. was a really chill dude and he literally did some of the smoothest tricks I’ve seen go down, all within only a few tries. Most of them were first try. Nick and I were hyped to have experienced that for sure!
I’m thinking that skating wise, things are way better in California. But with people, things are a little different. Who are the people you wish you could see the most from back home?
Yeah this place is a lot different people wise, for sure. For instance, being on the roads is a lot crazier than back home. People speed and run red lights all the time. However, I have met some really laid back people out here that I can get along with, so I can’t complain. But I definitely wish I could see my family and my lady of course, as well as all my friends and everyone I ever skated with, you are all included in this shoutout.
I miss each and everyone of you!
Thank you Norm, and thanks to anyone that takes the time to read this!