Check Out Interview With Nick Pappas
Nick Pappas got a 2page photo spread in Skate[Slate] Magazine issue 33 thanks to a Brandon Desjarlais photo and we brought it to life on the web with a raw run thanks to Matthew Mckeon and TBO last week. If you missed the raw run or the print photo, you can peep them both below. With all the hype, it was time to get to know Nick Pappas a bit better and I hit him up with an interview. Check out more on Nick below to find out about everything from his latest trip to Puerto Rico, to what he was doing as a stunt double for XXX.
Nick, we’ve been trying to do this a while now, stoked to have the chance. Please give us your full name, age and what size G-Form you wear?
My names Nicholas Pappas, im 20 years old and I wear a Large elbow, medium knee, medium shorts.
You have been traveling around a bunch. Where you from, where you living, where are you right now?
Yeah man, I’m from Baltimore MD, I still live in that general area. Right now I’m kickin it in Los Angeles for little over a month.
How was Puerto Rico? First time?
Puerto Rico was an amazing experience! I was there for Guajataca DH festival, which I highly recommend. I stayed at Nashley Alameda’s house with Brandon Desjarlais, Matt Mckeon, Mack Wacey, Noah Fischer, and Kevin Reimer. From the beaches to the people, its super lit, the culture is what keeps you. I stayed for two weeks, for sure going back next year!
What was the most memorable place you skated in PR?
I gotta say Ciales. It was just killer session with all locals on a badass run, top speed of 60mph. I would like to make it to Coamo next year, I believe that will trump it.
How does NC compare to PR, ha ha.. but actually? Seems they are both destination locations for skate and fun, why choose one or the other?
Oh boy, is there an NC? Ha Ha. Honestly for skate and fun, PR way surpasses NC on multiple levels; beaches, ladies, bars, Mayaguez, and skate. Although Ciales in PR is similar to NC, they have a very distinct difference in styles of skating. NC is high quality roads, lots of skating, lots of filming, very fast paced. PR has little to no filming, locations are not as close and as dense as NC so the pace is allot slower, although when you do get to a road like Coamo, I’ve heard, you run into tons of cars, including semi’s on roads that shouldn’t. So it gets real hectic real quick, not to mention the roads are not always in great condition in PR.
How do you help protect spots and what not when you go skate and film other places?
Normally it boils down to who you’re with, and how good they are at not just skating, but protecting he spot as well. Spots tend to get blown when the people skating it can’t manage themselves and generate unwanted attention. Then once things go onto social media, you have to just keep details basic on where you’re at, nothing too specific.
You had to travel to the Dominican Republic previously right? To film for XXX? How was that?
Indeed brotha, that was on another level! I could right 6 more of these blogs and still not have enough room to fit everything! All inclusive resort completely covered, while being paid, to actually go skating in a movie. Got to hang With Pam Diaz too. Super legit!
How did you get the opportunity to do stunt work?
I got a message from my buddy Brandon Desjarlais one night saying ” you might be getting an important call here soon” shortly after the Assistant Director shot me a call saying they’d like me to skate in the movie “Return of Xander Cage” Triple X. I know Brandon through Moonshine MFG so he was able put in a good word alongside Moonshine. Love you guys!
Did you meet Vin?
Yes I did, cool dood.
Can you tell which clips are yours and which are someone else’s?
For the most part, just because I skate with Brandon all the time, I can tell whos generally skating… I’m the homie that’s riding goofy.
There was some CGI work on the skate stuff right?
Yeah lol, so basically I got half my head shaved that couldnt really be altered but the rest was covered by a helmet that was cut out and replaced with Vins face. I wore a full upper body latex suit and had my legs shaved with tattoos on my legs and neck. Lots of wordrobe/costume work! All super neat to be apart of.
You got to go to some swanky hollywood party too right? What’s the A list like?
Haha super swanky bro. Yeah so me and brandon we invited to the premiere in LA. Smack middle of Hollywood Blvd in the Graumans Chinese Theater. Talk about being surrounded by the most successful people in the Film/movie world…super awesome to feel accepted on the red carpet with them. Everything from seing the movie to the after party was unforgettable! I have a vlog documenting the entire thing!
So world traveler, hollywood stunt double… lets get back to skating.. you aren’t just a “DH guy” right? You skate a lot of different styles. What do you like about them and which style got you into the game to begin with?
Nope, I love all kinds man. Allot of my influence from where I live is geared towards street, but I like to transfer that into DH… speed isn’t always my number one, instead I prefer a speed from 25- 45. This allows for really all kinds of skating from pure DH, stand up freeride, to being able to mess around with some more technical maneuvers like blunts, 360s ect. This really originated from not always having the 5 mile long 45mph+ runs in my back yard, but just some sperts of hairpins and neighborhood runs… but I love it all. Anything from skate parks to shmangin the mountains.
What was your first skateboard? Longboard?
Started out on a Gravity Twin Kick, Paris trucks, Cloudride ozones!
You’re now riding for G-Form, Moonshine, Arsenal Trucks and Action Board Shop right? Which came first and how did you get connected to those brands?
So its been an awesome ride. I started out with Moonshine and then progressed with Arsenal to G-Form to Action Boardshop. Two of the companies are integrated with each, Moonshine and Arsenal. Others emerge from well put exposure mostly. Some of it come from meeting the managers or close teams riders and leaving a great impression. Connection and personal interaction are important.
Your team managers all seem to be really stoked on you and that’s not all that common, ha ha. What is it that you do that makes you special for them?
Well, what it comes down to is understanding what they need and what’s the best way to get it to them in a constant and effective basis. Being super personable and genuine will gain their trust and grow a friendship, which is key.
Alex Ameen wrote some things about skateboarding being a shit, did you read any of it? As someone who has worked their way up through sponsorship (still is) do you feel flow sponsorships exploit you?
Theres a thin line here… I haven’t read the entire article, but I got the point. It’s really depending on the company and how the relationship is treated. Every person is capable of getting different amounts of quality media and finding support with a company, those that know how its done and can find that balance deserve an opportunity. Flow is designed to help build that connection. I don’t think it really needs to get that deep into the rest.
What kind of advice do you have for other yung thugs tryna make a name for themselves?
If you’re trying to make a name, you have to know the difference between the wants and needs of who you are working with and what they are looking for. A sponsorship is more than just being good and getting shit for free and rider budget. It’s a job and comes with responsibilities. That’s different than just making a name.
How does Nick Pappas keep true to himself in this age of self promotion and social media hype economy?
Easy, keep in mind that you were once a grom and trying to make it in the scene. I get some hype because I pay attention those who support me and ask questions and try and do my best to work together. One of the best things to ever experience is to have a kid come up to you at a session you hold and say “I’m just learning to skate!” It basically comfirms your event and your mission! Keeping it real feels good.
I know G-Form is legit. Moonshine makes some incredible boards. I just got a set of Arsenal for the first time actually. What can you tell me about them to get me stoked? What sets them apart for you?
Yeah man arsenals are super rad. What did you get?
Sick. The main hype is in our casts. They’re almost as good as our precisions, not meaning our precisions are just average, thats just how good our casts are! Gravity cast and they’ve got a great lean to them that you’ll grow to love! I dig the tall bushings. We got some great options to fit your gig.
What’s your best “this is how G-Form saved me” story?
I dont have a real saved me scenario thankfully, but they are dank for those moments where just that extra protection is just baller!
You have a new Moonshine board you’ve been riding? What can you tell me about it? It is out now right? But you helped pro type it?
The OutLaw! It started out under Vin Diesels feet and has been molded over time by Brandon and I. It’s the best single kick board in the game… hands down! We will have more options soon, wink wink!
The Check Out raw run we posted run is from a minute ago for sure, and you were NC with TBO (and then Puerto Rico with Matt too), do you film with Matt McKeon and TBO a lot or has this just been lucky timing?
Not allot, but like you said we planned to crank some stuff out in NC last october. PR had nothing set, but you know, we always hustlin haha. Each time we knew we were going to be chillin together.
How does Matt Make you feel safe and confident to give it your best when filming with him?
Follows runs are crazy, I would suggest against them if possible, but Matt kills it. H’es been doing it for a while now and knows what’s needed in a car for the safest outcome.
I know we have another raw run coming already with you, but what can we anticipate with you this season. You going to be filming with Native Boarders and what not?
Of course. Once I get home from this trip, the Native crew will go right to the Ithaca Event in NY. From there on we will have about three weeks to fit what freelance media we can in. Then off to the PNW.
Native will continue to grow and strive to become more interactive with everyone east coast to west. It’s hard for me to keep consistent media rolling when im traveling so much, but we’ll do it!
What can you tell us about that crew? Who makes up Native Boarders and what’s the mission?
Native originated from central MD. The main doods behind it are Mark Nicolaus and myself. Essentially we work with all the local rippers to create media we all can be stoked on. We also like to share what our close homies do across country or over seas! Our mission is to get everyone stoked on what we share and get involved and expect nothing but great times and positive vibes!
Who else do you enjoy skating with?
The people that i enjoy skating with the most are the ones that you turn around to peep and they just have the biggest smile on their face and have stoke just written all over them, no taking it too serious. Homies ive met over the last couple years that i get really stoked on are; Bailey Winecoff, Sam Flint, Steven Vera, Tyler Hunt, David Bubier, Noah Fischer, Nate Blackburn… plenty more.
Do you work? School? What’s a day in the life of Nick like?
Yup, I work at a ski/snowboard shop during the winter. I’m working with the owner to start a board shop in the summer of 2018! I’ll get you the details and you’ll have to make sure to come stop by! School will always be there. At the moment I’m taking some time off school, which started when I got the job in the movie. Planning on continuing lightly within the next year or so.
Any other plans for the season you want to share?
Of course! Stoked for the rest of this trip till May 2nd out west. Once home I’m attending the Ithaca Event in NY which is now a 2 day event! Then there the PNW tour that consists of Giants Head, Sun Peaks, Maryhill, and few small events and demos. Then there central mass and hopefully another east coast tour with the homie Nate and the Omen boiz! Planning euro for 2018.
Thanks for taking the time to connect with us. Did we miss anything? Last words? Shout outs? Sponsors?
Always stoked on Slate Slate! Shout out to the boiz in NC for keeping it real, I’ll see you fellaz soon. Shooting a massive shout out to my sponsors, they show so much love! Im stoked for this season doods, lets get it!