Whatcha See is Whatcha Get: James West Interview
James West is an all round thrasher. While he skates everything, he tends to find the park more fun than the pack and would rather be caught turning into leather in a sunny New Mexico ditch than zipping into them at a sanctioned international race. James still loves downhill runs, that’s not the point. Whether it’s his age or experience, he’s pretty over the hand holding, grom coddling, we’re all friends stuff and brings a much needed side of skateboarding crust to a sometimes too squeaky longboarding community.
It’s also not that James isn’t a nice guy, he’s actually one of the nicest. He’s also super humble. It’s that James makes sacrifices for skateboarding. He’s dedicated. When he’s not working some job just to keep skating, he is often nursing a skate injury trying to get back to skating. James will never settle for a video part filmed in a day or some posed photo in an exotic or exclusive location just to sell a board. Being a sponsored skater as long as James is no easy task and not being the guy winning races each week makes it even harder. Despite the bs, it’s the skater-life for James all the way and so he continues stacking clips and photos. In the end, you can’t make James something he’s not, and what he is is incredible and remarkable anyway, so whatcha see is whatcha get.
James how you doing? Seems like every time we talk you have a gnarly nagging injury. Did you take any slams for this edit are are mostly healthy?
I’m doing well, just working and skating! I didn’t take any hard slams. I’m trying to take the slams before filming these days. Just have my tricks on lock and looking stylish for the day of filming. I did just got over a fucked hipper doe. Couldn’t skate for week. I’m still always trying weird shit and paying for it.
You’ve been riding Divine and Paris for a minute now, what brought on the move to go full Resource? Any chance of a signature deck coming up?
Ya! They’ve always been good to me!
I had the opportunity to go with Resource out to Europe last August, and while there I met and traveled with Justin Reynolds of Riviera. He’s the man, he’s got a big heart, dope style, rips on a skateboard, and has my back. Everyone at Resource has my back. They do everything they can for me, because they know I’ll do the same. It just makes sense, we’re family. I was family before I even rode for Riviera. I couldn’t be happier. A rad board is in the works, I’ll send you a picture, you’ll be stoked.
Jesse Heidenfeld has been shooting you for a long time. What’s up with Jesse these days and whats next for you two?
Jesse is rad, he’s working in the film industry here in Albuquerque. There is a good amount of work out here, movies and tv shows. We’ll hopefully be making some more films between all of his rad projects and work. Check out his stuff @art_is_war.
I was just at Downhill Disco, wish we could have barged it together. I am going to try and make it to S.L.A.P. coming up quick here on May 9th. As a S.L.A.P. local and veteran, what can you tell us for some tips and some warnings to make sure people get rad, but keep it on the level?
Ya dude! The Disco gets hectic! S.L.A.P. pops off too. It’s one of the best events to experience. You’re going to have the time of your life but most likely you’ll get ditch slapped too. Always be looking out for shit that’s going to end your ride quick. Dog poop, human poop, dead pigeons, grocery carts, school desks, Christmas trees, hobos, hobo beds. They’re also littered with big ol holes on the walls and rebar ladders from the flat bottom to the top. Those will end your week. It’s a long event, don’t go all out on the first day.
It’s hot as hell in the summer. Drink shit tons of water and discuss safety often under a nice shaded bridge.
What’s the plan for the season after S.L.A.P.? Would be dope to see you at places like the San Pedro Shred or Central Mass where you can show off. Are you going to make it to some events?
I’m going to make it out to some races near by, Pikes and Utah. Go out to Europe for a bit with the Resource dudes again. Hopefully hit up Giants Head and Cathlamet too. I know my homies miss me up north. Any time I’m home I’ll be working on the next video, but I’ll be out and about this year. One for our new divine wheel is in the works
If you got 99 problems, but a sponsor ain’t one, what’s the biggest issue keeping you from skating more?
WORK, it’s a little breakfast spot called, La Waffleria. I get out around 3-4 so now I can skate a bit after work, but that shit is lame when the weather is perfect and your homies keep hitting you up to shred.
Always stoked to talk to you James. Any famous last words, call outs or creep outs?
Go faster, try harder.
Creep outs? It creeps me out when dudes are not having fun on a skateboard. Be a skater first, racer second.
Gotta holla at everyone who helped me in skating and life. I’ve had rough times and some real people had my back. I can’t be thankful enough for skating and the people it’s brought into my life. My friends you know who you are, there are too many to name.
Love ya all
Much love. Lets hope I get to see you in Albuquerque!