skater boys of new zealand

Isolation, brutal weather and a lack of crowds have made New Zealand an unexpected skate utopia. In this intimate scene the chill lifestyle and laid back attitude leaves plenty of time to seek out new spots, work on new tricks and make new mates. We...

by i-D Staff
26 May 2016, 5:45am

Ayrton Boot, Auckland

How old were you when you started skating?
I was 12 when I got my first board, but before that I raced motorbikes. I was one of those trippy kids that liked to jump on and off everything. One day I put a board under my feet.

Who do you look up to?
I loved everyone in Stay Gold growing up; especially Bryan Herman, he's still my top dude. Shane Cross and Louie Lopez on Flip were and are big inspirations too.

Do you feel you'd be a different person without skating?
Yeah! Even in the last two years I feel my life style has changed so dramatically. I just keep making myself happy with skating and enjoying the little things.

Where do you dream of skating?
China, Europe, Japan, Australia and some buzzy islands.


Sean Bone, Auckland

What do your days look like?
I've just moved back home to Orewa, which is almost as north as Auckland gets. My days have been pretty mellow recently: usually the first half involves a gross amount of coffee and cigarettes while trying to get a little mob together to go hit the streets. Then we spend the rest of the daylight skateboarding and of course organising a few hustles to make ends meet.

Do you have a favourite spot to skate?
Browns Bay Zoo, aka BBZ.

Who are your influences?
He'd hate me for saying this, but Kayle Lawson. He was a Browns Bay local a few years older than us who resides in Melbourne now. His trick list involves some of the hardest, most awkward tricks in the game. I find myself trying tricks then realising he was doing that shit five years ago and twice as high. The dude also irons every tee before he wears it, I mean do I need to explain more?

What do you do outside of skating?
It's a bit of a strange one but I'm really into coffee. I just finished a stint working as a coffee roaster, which was rad but didn't leave me enough time for what I wanted to do. I've gone back to being a barista as it gives me more room to skate. 

How has skating shaped you?
If it wasn't for skating I could be a rugby jock who spends the whole week coming down from the weekend. Skateboarding gives you the perspective to be like, fuck all that. Like, why should I have to do what mainstream society considers normal and cool? Also I think it helps kids not be so cocky and obnoxious.


Jack Fagan, Wellington

How did you get into skating?
My brother was super into it, he had Globe Opinion on VHS when I was 10 and I thought the skaters in that were so cool. I got into it in the early to mid 2000s; I caught the tail end of the puffy shoes, Flame Boy and Wet Willy graphics and the Muska.

Who do you look up to now?
Locally, probably the older generation like Fred Shallcrass, Glenn Wignall, Bernie Foo, Tom Snape and anything Geoff Campbell makes. The Melbourne scene is also too good; even though they just lost one of their best spots, RIP Lincoln.

Are Kiwi skaters different?
The Australian and New Zealand scenes are linked pretty closely, but we're kind of isolated so have our own little industry. We get shit weather and rough spots, but I feel like Wellington has similar aspects to places like San Fran, NYC and Barcelona—just compacted into one small city. 

How has skating shaped you?
I wouldn't be who I am today without it. My life revolves around a useless wooden toy, it makes me consistently happy. 


Chase Collins, Whangaparāoa

How did you get into skating?
I first started skating at the end of primary school. I really wanted a new pair of rollerblades that Christmas but Santa got me a skateboard instead. After I finished sulking about Santa's choice of present I picked up the board and started that summer.

What skaters do you follow?
Andrew Reynolds because he's the boss, Stay Gold is clear evidence of it. John Cardiel also; just watch his Sight Unseen part. Locally, all my mates I skate with on the regular. They are a bunch of very talented skateboarders.

What do you think makes NZ skaters different?
The fact our skate community is not as big as other countries. You can basically turn up to any skate park in New Zealand and bump into someone you know.

How has skating shaped you?
I'm so thankful I got into skateboarding, it introduced me to good music I probably would never have been into if it wasn't for watching so many videos as a kid. Also the way I dress; I'm more than certain if I didn't get into skating I would be wearing those Zespy drop crotch pants, a drop tail shirt and a pair of gym shoes without even questioning it. I'd be the jock you hated at school.


Josh Gasson, Wellington

Who do you look up to?
Local skaters, Sam Mills is always killing it. He's got the right idea: 70 percent sinking, 30 percent tricks.

Other that skating, how do you spend your time?
Just thinking about new tricks or drinking at one of the brudda's flats, or both at the same time.

What has skating taught you?
Don't take no shit and always roast.



Photography Imogen Wilson

imogen wilson