Danny Carlson: Thrillstreaming Around the World
Danny Carlson busted on to the Vancouver scene a couple years back, moving to the city and immediately diving into the community and getting in the mix at the races. After an injury on a skate trip, Thrillstream.ca was formed as a media project to help document and expose more of the riders and events from the local scene. Taking his success on the road, Danny is on a mission to skate and travel and hit 8races in 7 countries in the summer of 2015 and is aiming to up that volume here in 2016 with a trip to the Philippines kicking off next week.
Hey Danny, thanks for the interview. Tell us how old you are? Where you from?
I’m 24 years old, from Kelowna, BC, now living in Vancouver.
Before you got on a skateboard, you were doing some gnarly stuff on bikes right? I saw an epic photo of you once jumping a car?
Yeah I used to freeride/ downhill mountain bike for like 8 years. As a kid I spent literally hundreds of hours in the forest building jumps and stunts. Mostly by myself because who wants to move dirt right? That pic you saw of me jumping the truck got picture of the day on pinkbike.com and made me a super stoked 15 year old!
So you definitely had the balls for downhill, but how did you end up on a skateboard?
I started street skating at about 9 after finding a board at a garage sale. I learned basic tricks and lost interest in middle school, but then a few neighborhood friends got me on a Sector 9 pintail. We lived on a steep hill and would try to drift all the way around corners like cars.
So bike, skateboard and then on to Vancouver? What brought you to the city?
I had it in my mind I wanted to live there one day for a while, and after a messy breakup with an ex, I decided to just do it. I phoned a friend the same day “Can you still get me a carpentry job in Vancouver?” “Yep, here’s a number!” Then I posted on facebook looking for a place. I had briefly met Kurtis Dawe on a skate trip and he offered a room to rent. Nine days after I decided to move, I was moved in and starting my first shift at my new job.
You’ve become a key part of the Vancouver scene and Coast Longboarding, volunteering and helping create media for everyone. What is Thrillstream.ca? How did that get started?
Thrillstream.ca is my media project focusing on the Vancouver scene, it’s riders, and visitors. I started it when I was healing a collarbone I broke racing in Puerto Rico because I had spare time, and thought someone should be doing it in a city like Vancouver. It was originally supposed to be a community ran thing, but it turned into just me doing it, haha.
Did you do much film and photo before skateboarding?
A little bit with biking but only windows moviemaker projects shot on potato cameras. When I started Thrillstream I barely knew how to use a DSLR.
Thrillstream had a jam packed recap video for 2015. You were all over! Was this your busiest year skating and traveling?
It definitely was, and such a sick year! I’m usually pretty busy with smaller skate trips around the province but I got international a lot more this year.
How many races / countries did you get to?
I think I hit 8 official races and spent time in 7 foreign countries.
Everyone says it’s the time between races, especially in Europe where the fun and real skating happens. Was that true for you? How did you make the most of the time on the road?
Absolutely! I was lucky enough to travel through the Norwegian fjords and the French, Swiss, and Italian alps in a van. We used google maps and weather forecasting to find the best roads that were likely to be dry, even if they weren’t the closest. I’m so glad we did because we didn’t get rained out once! For the long drives I play with my kendama or read books. Mostly boring business related ones, haha.
What were some of your favourite places to skate? Maybe top 5 spots?
- Western Norway
- Alicante, Spain
- French Alps
- Swiss Alps
- Malibu, California
You spent a bunch of time in Spain too right? Salsito House, Gnarlicante and Pablo Quelles? Tell me about your time there!
Yeah I spent a week and a half there, the roads are on another level. They just pave steeper, gnarlier roads and many of them are dead ends and easily blocked off. Pablo gave us the psycho spot tour which was basically a hammering of really intense skating, and showed us cool cliff jumping spots and restaurants. A few nights we went to this event that had live bulls in the street. People would be standing in the street, then a bull would get released and everyone scrambles to slip through the bars of the cages lining the street while the crazy people stay outside and go for some close calls. Wild stuff for sure!
I heard you almost died in Europe? Fell off a cliff? What happened there?! #Safetythird?
Hahaha, that day it was! We were exploring this weird ancient building that was wedged into a cliff face, and the only way in was to swing around the corner of the completely rotted out deck about 15 feet off the ground. I was a few beers deep so I went for it. On the way back out, my hand hold broke off! Everyone was standing just out of arms reach and they all tried to grab me as I fell backwards off the cliff, I bounced off the cliff edge, 180, then somehow landed on my feet on heavily sloped sand. I’ll never forget the looks on my friends faces as I was falling, hahaha.
So you survived 2015 and on to the next one. What’s the plan for 2016? Can you top 2015!?
I’m trying to! I’m off to the Phillipines for the Visalayan Longboard Trilogy in April, then flying straight to Japan to hunt mountain passes. Beyond that I’ll be working on some cool new Thrillstream projects so look for that!
Thanks again for taking some time for this. Anything else to share? Shout outs? Sponsors? Hi Mom?
Thanks for reaching out Les. Shout out to everyone who helped me on my Europe trip, and my sponsors Rayne, Hawgs Wheels, Vicious Grip, and Rock Louie. Stay stoked and don’t forget to call your mom!
Check out Thrillstream.ca.