13 Oct '09


Posted by admin in Contrast, Local, Skateboarding, Tim Jackson
Text: Zen Yoshifuku

Photo: Mako Ozaki

The good folks over at Contrast Magazine sat down with Fitted team rider Tim Jackson for a quick but informative interview. Check it out below:
"I’m so excited! This is what I live for right here.” Those were the words from Tim Jackson right before he jumped on his skateboard for a photo shoot amidst the Downtown traffic. He had the biggest smile on his face and was determined to throw shit down. Jackson is one of the best skateboarders in Hawai‘i. He’s been through a lot in his young adult life and is now skating full throttle more than ever. Tim’s had opportunities to take his skateboarding to the next level in the States, but hanging with the wrong crowd and making a few bad decisions when he was younger held him back from exploring them. Now at 27 years old, Jackson wants to be a positive influence on the new kids coming up and help them raise the level of skateboarding in Hawai‘i.
Contrast: Can you give me a quick bio about yourself?
Tim Jackson: I was born in Hawai‘i, 1982. I’m 27 years old. I’ve been skating for 11 of those years. I grew up in Aiea and graduated from Aiea High School. I was part of a small group of skaters there. We had a little website called candybandits.com. It was me, “Silent” John Oliveira, and my friend Ben would do most of the filming. We would influence each other to get better.
How did you guys start skateboarding?
I learned to ollie a year before I started skating with Ben. I would see John bodyboarding out at Ala Moana—ripping dropknee—so when I saw him at school I was like, “Yo, you’re that ripping dropknee guy.” He was the same as now, silent but maybe with a little higher pitched voice. [Laughs] He had a board so I told him, “Let’s go skate.”
Where did you skate back then? A‘ala Park?
Nah. We would skate lots of Aiea spots like the high school. Ben would build all kinds of ramps at his house and we would always test them out. Then eventually we started going Downtown and slowly, we would cruise by the park [A‘ala] to check it out and watch guys like Chad Hiyakumoto, Darin Lee, Aree Lamont and Rob Carlyon. All those guys were killing it at the park.
How do you like skating in Hawai‘i?
I like it out here. Obviously there are not as many opportunities out here as a skateboarder, compared to being in LA or something, you know? I kind of didn’t have a choice. I got arrested when I was 20 and was on probation for seven years. That put a hold on me traveling anywhere to go skate. I had some opportunities. I met guys like Jack Curtin and went to an AM contest up there and ran into some people that wanted to hook me up. But probation wise, it was hard for me to do anything. I’m free now, but kind of feel broke off. So now I want to push the skating here in Hawai‘i and encourage the kids to skate better out here.
Are there any benefits to skating in Hawai‘i?
It’s always sunny. The weather is always skate-able. Nothing is really that far away. People say there are no spots out here, but they just don’t know. They just have to go search and open their eyes. There are mad spots out here. Don’t be picky.
I guess just the industry thing. I want to push it so guys can make it out here, you know? Have big contests out here and make it so we don’t have to fly out there [to the mainland] all the time. We just have to get together and make it happen. We can do it.
Photo: Mark Kushimi

So the arrest thing, what happened?
It was stupid, young-kid shit. I broke up with my girlfriend. I got evicted from my place and didn’t have any money. So a friend came to me telling me he was robbing pizza guys and I could help them out. Just be on watch. Little did I know that the FBI was watching him. I just thought we’ll get some food and some money for a bag of weed or something. Next thing I know, it was like a movie. They had photos of my place…all kinds of shit! The FBI don’t fuck around. I just thought I was badass. You know, stupid “gang” shit. It was a heavy, seven years. It was a long time, but now I’m done and learned so much from everything. The worst thing was putting my life on pause and the opportunities I missed.
Do you think it’s too late to do the skate thing?
How I see it, there are lots of people skating at the highest level that are older than me, but starting at my age is difficult. But for me, I just do it because I love to skate and that’s all there is to it. I love to take photos and do all that stuff. I get so excited when I skate. I just love to go skate with all the boys.
Has skating changed as you got older?
Well before there was a lot of the, “Don’t skate my spot kind of thing,” really territorial. I used to hate that. I was never good at talking to people when I was younger so it was hard. Now that I feel like I’m one of the older guys at the park, I think I can change that. I want everyone to be comfortable at the park. I’m never like, “Don’t skate what I’m skating,” you know? I’ll be the first to say sorry to like a six-year-old kid if I got in their way. I want everyone to reach their max potential and get as good as they can get.
So who are your favorite skaters?
In Hawai‘i, definitely Danny Hamaguchi. Sean Payne is my favorite skater of all time. Yeah but I like to watch Danny and Matt [Chaffin]. Out of the pros, I like the consistent guys that have been doing it for a long time. I like watching guys like Mariano still killing it.
What drives you to skate?
It’s automatic. It’s pretty much all I think about all day even when I’m doing other things. It’s pretty crazy and sounds childish, but when you are into something that much… I just think it’s what I’m destined to do.
I’m sponsored by APB, Fitted and I get flowed from Lakai. Having sponsors helps out so much. I always use all my sponsor’s stuff. Some people don’t, but me, I appreciate everything I’m given and use everything that’s given to me. Usually my whole setup will be APB and my clothes will be Fitted. I know the owners really good. Chad, Rene and Ola guys are super cool.
Do you have any message for the next generation?
I want the kids to be looking to take us out, you know? I want them to make videos of themselves and have the attitude that they are better than me, you know? That’s how I was when I was young. I would want to be better than all the best guys. That’s progression. You see someone better than you and that’s how you push yourself. I want the kids to get good and put Hawai‘i more on the skate map.