Wes Eldridge Makes Aero Media
Wes Eldridge has been skating and making media for the skate community out of sunny Florida since 2011. Now in school fulltime to hone those skill, Wes is still helping riders and events capture and release top quality photo and video under the name Aero Media. Now autumn, Wes is way deep in the book learning and reminiscing about good times when the road was long and the days were longer. After winning the Central Mass video contest just recently, we got in touch with Wes to find out why he’s so Aero about his media and what he has planned next for video projects.
Hey Wes, stoked to catch up with you. Can you tell our readers a bit more about you. How old are you? where you from? what do you do with your life?
Well, I am Wes and I film people go down hills for Aero Media… ha ha. More? I’m 20 years old, born in South Africa and moved to the states in 2009. I’m currently getting a degree at USF in Florida.
Tell us more about Aero Media? How long have you been doing that? Did you start skating before you started with a camera?
I had my parents very early DLSR (Canon 1000d) that I would always shoot skating and things on since 2008, but got a T3i in late 2011 and that was when my friend Hunter Best and I started Aero Longboarding in January 2012 as kind of group thing we could make videos for, but I was the only one with a camera so it quickly turned to a one man show haha. I had started skating parks in 2005 and kind of fell out of it when I moved in 2009 to play rugby, but I picked up longboarding in 2010 when my friend took me skating down some parking garages, and its been mostly downhill since then haha. I changed over to Aero Media in 2014 because I wanted to be able to post more than just skating.
This video came out, I saved up and bought a camera a month later. – Wes
You still skate right? Do you think skating helps your camera work?
I do still skate haha but not as much as I would like to though, being in Florida and living an hour+ from any decent hill puts a damper on things. To the other question, skating definitely helps with camera work, knowing what the rider sees, what they feel as well as knowing what angles a skater would like to see allows you to create good looking visuals. On the flip side of that; by shooting a variety of things will greatly improve your skate photography.
So you’ve been skating and shooting for a while, have a solid portfolio and following growing and are almost done school, what next? A lot of talented people off the board just start to stray away from the on board life, time to grow up and move on for you too?
I still have plenty time to be young and dumb haha but the next move is to graduate college ASAP and then hopefully move out west by the end of next year, either to Seattle or San Diego, and get more involved with the industry. I doubt I will stray away from skating, its been a big part of my life for so long now, plus the community is too awesome to leave, that being said I am already exploring other creative outlets, short films, documentary pieces, etc. Like I said in the last question shooting a variety of things will only help your skate media, and it keeps things fresh.
Last I saw you was the Maryhill Sheride, how did you end up there?
Well, I was in Harvard, MA shooting Central Mass 6, when a tall man in basketball shorts asked me to get in his van with some other kids… we then ventured across the country skating and having a blast haha
Kevin Reimer? He doesn’t have a van, you mean the other tall man in basketball shorts, Nate Blackburn. You’ve visited Washington a few times this year, right?
Yup, each time Nate Blackburn has graciously let me sleep on his couch and each time it has been a blast.
So how was Central Mass? We featured your photos and videos previously for that as well. Looked hectic?
Cen Mass is always a rad time, I seem to meet a ton of rad new people each time. I also like its 40% skating and 60% hanging with all your homies you haven’t seen in a while.
Seems like you’re getting some balance between east coast and west coast, what are the similarities and differences in skating you see between them?
That’s a tough one. On the east coast there seems to be a lot more residential and neighborhood skating, while on the west its more highway and open road skating. I have seen a lot more of riders going fast and doing runs standup, which is dope to shoot haha , but I feel like they’re becoming more and more similar.
Who is easier to skate and film with, east or west?
Don’t make me do this… going to have to say West coasters for sure.
Interesting… I’ll leave that alone. There seems to be a lot more events popping up on the east coast over the past few years, what are some of your favorite events you’ve made it to?
Just saying, it’s been easier. As for events, to be honest I haven’t been able to get to any other than Cen Mass and my local events this year due to taking too many classes, which is either a pro or a con depending how you look at it, but that will change soon though…
Are there any events you really want to cover?
Oh yes theres a couple: Pikes Peak, Catalina, Burke, Soliders, Santa Gnarbra, Ithaca, Angies and Cathamlet. Hopefully when my visa comes through I can dosome Canadian and international events like Britannia, Whistler, Giants Head and Kozokov.
What about skaters, who have you really liked working with?
Sam Galus, Jackson Wells, Devon Dotson, Jed Johnson, Cole Kurtz. Also cant forget about the local homies like the CCX crew, Jackson Foltz, and Frankie Tubs.
Who do you really want to work with? Don’t be shy, they might be reading this and call you up!
This is a long list, but I’ll try keep it short. Of course theres the heavy hitters: James, Byron, Louis P, Matt K, Jimmy and Chance. I would also really dig to do something with Sho Oulette, Dylan Hepworth, Brandon Tissen, Camillo Cespedes, Norman Plante, Tom Leary, Alex Serrat and Lars Troutwine. Levi Green and I were also talking about doing something to our heavier music tastes haha.
Sadly, something I don’t see often enough is a bunch of quality media of lady shredders, so doing something with ladies like Carmen, Alicia, Emily Pross and Marisa Nuñez would be super cool too.
What was it like traveling on the #OmenhaulsasstoCenMass trip back from Central Mass? Who was in the van when you were with them?
So there was Nate Blackburn, Morgan Owens, John Slugg, Levi Green and myself. It was a total blast, skating and stopping at shops during the day and driving at night. We were fueled by thoughts of maryhill, fast food and red bull. Stoked to see some of my photos in Skate [Slate] Issue 26. Thanks!
The photos were great, all thanks to you! Have you done many road trips like that?
I’ve done many southern road trips with local homies, but that was the first van trip and first cross country trip I’ve ever done and it definitely won’t be the last!
Well, we should probably stop reminiscing about all the summer fun and let you get back to the books. Any thing we missed you want to share? Shout outs? Links to your stuff?
I suppose haha gotta get some use out of those expensive ass books. I think we covered a ton, but definitely shout out to Nate Blackburn #loveyoumeanit, my CCX homies, everyone who has let me film them, the community that has taken the time to look at any of my content I greatly appreciate it and thanks to you Les for this interview, super stoked on it!
Thanks Wes. Keep the dream alive! Hope to see you out west again soon.