Growing up in the 90s, crews like the Forum 8 and The Wildcats defined the era. It was all about having that solid group of kids you rode, filmed, partied, and lived with—that collection of friends that would push you to ride better, live harder, and were always ready to bag first chair or take epic photos when you were passed out and getting markers to the face. Snowboarding may have lost a touch of that buddy vibe a while back, but over the past few years the idea of the crew has returned to form. One of the best in the game right now is also one of the smallest, with JP Walker, Joe Sexton, and Simon Chamberlain all sharing board (Stepchild) and Boot (Thirty Two) sponsors, and spending the last few years traveling the world together for 2009’s Thirty Two movie, This Video Sucks! and this year’s People Crew film, Cheers. [Spoiler alert: Sexton’s got ender. And it’s heavy …]
The day after the Cheers premiere at Oakley HQ in Foothill Ranch, CA, all three came down to the TWS office to skate and hang for a bit. Luckily, we were able to pull them out of the park for a minute, to see what’s good in the lives of JP, Joe, and Simon.—Adam Hawes
It only seemed right to start this off with a true classic. JP Walker from 2001’s True Life.
AH: How are you feelin’ about the Cheers premiere?
JP: Relieved! But our buddy, Seth Huot, started putting us onto this reality: once your video part comes out, you have no more shots anymore—you’re back at zero. So it’s good and bad, you know? Laughs] It’s way better to be sitting on a full part for a few months in the summer.
In the beginning of Joe’s part, he spends 5 minutes just freaking out. Every part has a good baill do you feel it when you watch yourself on screen? Does it remind you, “f—k, my hip hurts“?
JS: [Laughs] Yeah, kind of. You don’t feel like the actual pain, but you feel what it felt like when it happened. And you remember what happened afterward, what went on that day or night, et cetera.
JP: It’s like looking at a scrapbook—you remember what it felt like in those moments. “How did I get through that …”
The yearbook idea is kind of lucky for you guys. Once you’re out of high school, no one else has that memory resource.
JS: Exactly. We’re all there for these shots, so maybe you’re laughing during the movie or something, but really it’s something that someone said at the spot that day, you know? You just think about all the random stuff that happened that whole night. Like the night that Jeremy [Jones] did that air into the wall, his last shot, I was driving the car. [Laughs] I was puking and had to go home.
Simon Chamberlain is a beast. Nasty re-edit of the past few years of video scrapbooking.
I want to know how he actually did that s—t. He hit pretty hard.
JS: I don’t know how he did it.
SC: He went on the trip just to do that.
JP: He had a broken ankle when he did that.
JS: He came up to the trip and he had like a little boot—ankle support thing. He’s like, “I hurt like a motherf—ker … I’ll see how it feels.” We were like, “You just want to go to a mellow rail?” and he says, “No. I wanna go do that wall thing.” [Laughs] It’s huge!
Getting pretty creative on the urban front over the last few years, you guys have all kind of opened up the canvas quite a bit.
JP: Before, you needed a hill up to a rail. Now, we’ve gotten more resourceful and creative with getting speed, with cars or different machines and all this crazy shit. Its kind of stupid, but it works.
JS: Most guys have done every rail trick, so we’re just trying to excite ourselves somehow. [Laughs] You know—change it up!
JP: For example: for Jeremy to do that air to wall, Joe had his truck there. Four-wheel drive, so he could cruise at high speed on the ice.
JP: And a 300 ft. long rope that turned around this pole, so that the truck could drive in the opposite direction. There was a rope guy.
SC: [Laughs] I was the rope guy.
JP: Then we had to build that jump; it was like ten-feet high. We were out there with blow torches for hours, shaping this monstrosity up. Then there were three dudes filming it, and dudes shooting photos.
JS: No one was chilling, just watching it happen. Everyone has a part.
SC: That scene was pretty much the whole year for everyone. We never just hung out and watched. You’re always working.
JP: That’s why you get so excited, because everyone has their hand in it. When someone gets the shot, everyone’s like, “SICK!” It’s a team effort. So then we can go get pizza and beer and not feel bad about it. [Laughs]
SC: Yes, and then drink together.
JS: Exactly. [Laughs]
JP in 32’s 2009 film, This Video Sucks. Yes, this entire part is switch. Next-level, sonnnnn!
Who gets the coffee? That’s the question. Who’s the gopher?
JP: People are always doing runs, all the time.
SC: Little Caesars!
[Laughs] Really? Little Caesars? They still have those places?
JP: It’s hot and ready. That’s what we get all the time. They’re already hooked up and ready to go.
SC: And there’s probably like twenty cheeseburgers or something. I remember spending like, sixty bucks just for everyone. You just come back, feast and get goin’.
You three were together most the of the year, filming as a crew.
SC: Yeah, every trip!
JP: I got hurt a bit, so I fell back. Simon got hurt a bit, as well. There were times that we weren’t always together, but yeah; pretty much.
JS: Every major trip, for sure.
How important is this kind of team aspect you guys have going on?
JS: If you’re traveling all year with some dudes that you hate, you’re gunna have a shitty year. But if you’re always laughing and having fun, it doesn’t feel like a thing. I’d do this even if it wasn’t making a movie or something. It’s sick.
You guys must be pretty good friends, then.
~ Crickets… ~
[Laughs] Damn! …Really?
JP: [Laughs] Don’t believe the hype!
SC: Oh, yeah; we’re totally beefin’ right now …
JS: [Laughs] For the record.
Simon, about the last trick in your part. The big gap. Was that the same kind of production as Jeremy’s air-to-wall?
SC: Oh, yeah … I gotta thank JP, because there was a huge knob on it that he sawed off while Jeremy and I were building the jump. The in-run took half a day to build. It was a production, for sure.
How big was the gap? Looked huge.
SC: Forty feet.
JP: Its far. You look at it, and its borderline not-doable. But he did it on the second try.
JS: Simon is do or die. You weren’t gunna put that up like ten times, you know? You could slam on that, for sure. Going SO fast.
I heard that Joe’s pops showed up?
JP: Boss Sexton.
JS: [Laughs] Yeah! My dad was definitely there. He’d never been on a trip with us before, so he didn’t really know what to expect. They just see the clips. Being there, he got to see how we’re all working together and he was like, “Holy shit!”
Joe in 32’s This Video Sucks.
When you guys are setting these spots up, is it still a game with the cops?
JS: For sure. Especially in Minnesota. It f—king sucks. Europe is pretty lax, though. We got kicked out of maybe one spot during that whole time.
SC: We went to Canada this year. Cops would drive by and like, [laughs] honk and wave. We’re in the middle of town—in the middle of streets—airing onto the road. They didn’t care.
Simon, when you’re in the United States, are you covered by Canadian health laws and those kind of things?
SC: I have travel insurance, but if I were ever really that hurt, I’d probably just fly home and get free health care!
A website to check out is… marry-a-canuck.com, or something like that. It’s all these people in the states that are trying to marry Canadians so they can get a visa and then they get their medical treatments paid for.
JS: [Laughs] Marry-a-Canuck? Hot model chick.
JP: That’s crazy. That’s trippy.
So what are your plans for the rest of summer?
JP: Gotta start thinking about those next shots! [Laughs]
JS: I’m gunna get a hotel room and stare at a wall for a couple days … [Laughs] I’m just gunna skate, fish, and relax. Moving into a new place. Got some traffic comin through…! [Laughs]
Is it all like, “Oh, shit. I’m back to being a rookie again …” kind of thing?
JS: For JP, it’s probably like, “Oh, just another gnarly video part. Lets get to work on the next one …” [Laughs] But for me, it’s really only my forth part and first time ever having like one of those “coveted” sections.
JS: I was tripping!
JP: Don’t be afraid to say it. [Laughs] You can say “ender.” You can claim that.
JS: I know how much it means to have one of those spots. So at the premiere, I was like, yeah. [Laughs] So I wore suspenders.
[Laughs] We saw that! Nice suit, by the way.
JP: It was Simon’s idea to get dressed up.
JS: …And then he tried to back up last minute.
SC: Hey! I dressed up.
JS: Dude … we need to see it again! I’d like to see it again. Should of got the bootleg and set up a tripod in there! [Laughs]
… And with that, Joe’s inability to sit still takes over and the kid just needs to go skate.
Here’s a bit of the JP x Joe x Simon session. Safe to say, we think Sexton took this round …