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Portfolio Check – Jared Smith

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Jared Smith interview by Zack Dowdy

Name, Age, Hometown?
I grew up in the town of Sequim, Wa., which is on the Olympic Pennisula straight across the water from Victoria B.C.  Its on the edge of the Olympic National Park.  There was horrible skateboarding options there when i was a kid but now, dreamland and grindline have built some rad stuff to ride.  We basically hung out in the woods a lot.  Skated really rough asphalt and the occasional mini ramp.  We had a nice sized cement pad for basketball at my folks house and my dad was cool enough to let me take that over as my little skate arena.

After highschool i moved to Bellingham, WA and have never moved since.  It rains a lot but the area has a lot to offer and people up here are really genuine.  I’m not too big on the heat and i like paddin up in a hoodie and a flannel, so it works out good.

Cam Barret
Cam Barret, Bs 180 Nosegrind

How long has skateboarding been apart of your life now?
I got my first skateboard when i was 8 so 23 years.  I snagged it from a neighbors garage sale.  It was a Hobie from probably the late 60’s or early 70’s complete with lay wheels and all.  just flat.  No concave ya know.  Anyways at my parents house there was a 5×8 cement pad outside of our slider door and i would just tick tack it back and forth for hours.  I got some other hand me downs but my first store bought board was one of them department store piles.  It’s funny it had this tiger paw ripping through the grip.  I would tell all my friends who had pro boards that it was a version of the Santa Cruz screaming hand graphic so i’d be cool too.  Funny how that garbage use to matter when you were young.  A year or so later when i turned 10 and got the Tommy G. flaming dagger board with indys and from then it was on.  Funny story.  I ended up trading that board to this guy, who is still a good friend of mine, for a billy ruff mini with tracker ultralights (because they were so hot at the time).  What a joke and i still see my board on his wall to this day.  blowin it.

Jared Smitg

What’s up with your collar bone? What happened to that shit?
The collar bone was a pretty lame deal.  Some friends and i had been drinking, shooting bb guns, just partyin.  We skated to the store to get more beer and on the way i decided to grab a hold of some college kids car for a tow.  Well I ended up wobblin out, had my video camera in my hand and took it to the shoulder to save the camera.  Finally went to the hospital a few days later and it was busted really nice.  I was out for 7 months.  Wish i would of smashed the camera, but the footage is pretty funny.

Ryan Williams
Ryan Williams, Bs Allyoop

So around what time after you got those indy’s did you start skating parks & spots?
Well we were always skating the spots around our town.  We would often catch the Jefferson transit, which was a hour bus ride to a town called Port Townsend (they have a dreamland park now) cause they had the first skatepark on the Olympic Pennisula.  It was a really rough parking lot with some pinner janked out quarters and a pyramid.  It was rad.  We would also head 15 miles west to Port Angeles quite a bit.  It was bigger than Sequim and had more options but was still pretty wack.  Other than that it was my house and my friend Brian and Alan burns mini.  Pyschoward sessions were rad!

Jared Smith

Wheres your favorite place to skate?
I like skating everywhere.  I mostly just skate tranny for the most part these days as my body is full of atrophy.  But i like really ghetto things, home made crappy hips built from pallets and bombin hills is still the best.  As far as parks go the obvious answer is Orcas Island.  You can see it from where i live now.  Its not just the park, its the whole experience as anyone whose been there will tell you.  The camping, swimming and fishing are the best.  The skatepark is just a bonus.  Sometimes we’ll fly there from Bellingham.  Its only a 12 minute flight and your walkin to the park.  Its pretty unreal.  Port Angeles has a rad park.  All the Oregon stuff, Ketchum, Id. and all the DIY stuff everyone is doing.  O, and the slappy curbs in front of my house.

Sam Cole
Sam Cole, Bs Allyoop

What made you try taking photos? Did you want to take skate photos or just anything?
‘Ive always had cameras around.  My dad was into shooting stuff as a hobby.  He has a rad collection of slides and as a kid we would have the weekly sit down as a family mandatory friday night slide show.  I started shooting regularly around the age of 19.  A old girlfriend gave me a Canon AE-1.  I started shooting all the time and was simutaneously learning how to print in my friends frankenstein darkroom. If it wasn’t for the printing, I don’t think i ever would have devoted what i have to photography.  I miss having daily access to the darkroom.  As far as shooting skateboarding, it’s pretty much the same as everyones story.  It was a natural progression.  I mean, your already there, you love to shoot and your with your friends doing your two favorite things in the world.  And, as we all know, it’s the best shooting or being shot by a friend.  A lot of the guys up here rip but hate the hype.  There down to shoot, but not with some clown who just really wants to get something for himself.  To this day, I hate it when a random dude shows up at the park, climbs into to some high traffic location during a session and lays on his belly, waiting for "the shot".  And they think it’s weird when all of a sudden no one is skating that feature.  Hmmmmmmmm?

Jared Smith

Do you think the guys at Dreamland like Red Scott have made skateboarding easy to access and break into?
Yeah, definatly. They’re obviously influential and instrumental in creating some of the best things to skate. Kids these days are so good. They can ride everything and having so many parks around obviously gives them something to always ride and progress.

Zak Harbold
Zak Harbold, Fs Flip

How do you think you have some sort of atrophy?
atrophy? man, just beating myself up for so many years. you know how some people are blessed with that natural talent? Well i definently wasn’t.  Iv’e takin a lot of stacks, packs and wilsons. So yeah, the body is starting to move a little slower, it blows but iv’e had a rad time so far.

Jaraed Smith

Shooting photos being in the family definatly helps, You get a perspective for everything before you even break into it. What’s your favorite type of photography, you mentioned the dark room.
I don’t really know.  to me its just like skating.  either you love it or you don’t.  I think people skate to be "rad" and i think people shoot photos to be "rad".  it is what is is.  just shoot film first.  As far as money?  man, the more you fall in love with it, the more you learn, and the more you advance, you will always want more equipment.  Your don’t need a fancy camera and off camera flashes to make a good picture though.  the best stuff comes from the heart, not the wallet.

Who’s killing it in the northern Washington area right now?
hmmm. There are to many and always have been. Come see for yourself. I got a couch. To name a few: Brice, Cam, Peter, Ryan, Splatt, Jihad, My dog Mr. P and two hundred others whom will probably never read this.

Cam Barrett
Cam Barrett, Kickflip

Do you see a lot of kooky photographers these days trying to poach photos?
yeah, but it is what it is.  It’s just the digital age.  It has its bonuses and its blowing-its.  I just think people aren’t in love with photography like they were because its like a remote now, just convenient and easy to get a result without any knowledge.  just don’t shoot us.  we don’t like the attention.

Jared Smith

When it’s raining like hell where do you guys skate?
it can be hard.  we got a really nice indoor bowl and 1 parking garage with a yellow double sided slappy curb.  I feel fortunate.

Have you ever been down to California? If so what was it like?
I have been to California at least once a year or more since i was born. Both of my parents are from the bay area, so we have always lurked down there. I have had a rad time skating there but most of the time i was on family missions. I mean i’ve been to greer, derby, sunnyvale ect. but the funnest is just cruisin. we don’t have the endless push up here. As far as people go, the skaters have all been rad but the people just seem to all be in such a rush. Like i’d say hi to someone on the street cause thats what i do, and they’d look at me like "do i know that guy"? whatever. its why i love it up here.

Charlie Krieg
Charlie Krieg, Back Smith
What’s this project your working on right now in Seattle?
Its just a video crapload. I film to, have a lot of video and super 8 and we want to do something with it. If it ever gets done, i will send you one.

What do you think about Typical Culture zine?
i like it and check it everyday. I think it would be neat to have more northwest garbage in there. people might like it. o wait, they won’t.

Jimmy Jihad
Jimmy Jihad, Fs Ollie

Do you ever plan on coming down south to SD?
yep. i’m long overdue. many moons ago i met a mang named Brooks Fritz on orcas island. after our stay, he came back to my humble abode and kicked it with me for awhile and we’ve been in touch ever since. Through him i met different dudes that he brings through on random summer excursions getting away from the southern life. He use to always say he would move here one day. Actually, everyone who visits says that.

Any shout outs?
Washington State unemployment

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