At the launch event for Eric Koston’s new shoe, the Nike SB Koston Hyperfeel 3, we were lucky enough to get 10 minutes walking and talking from the top to bottom of Nike Town with the man himself. In that limited time, we talked about the influence of Mark Gonzales, what Eric gets stoked on in the world of social media, how he juggles his time and the success of The Berrics. [Photos: James Clothier]
First things first, will this new shoe make me skate like you?
[Laughs] I can’t guarantee that. But they will make you skate like Shane O’Neill. I can’t say that though because everyone will start returning them and sueing me. Hopefully they can make you stoked and confident in skating. There are studies, coming from the soccer side of things that having this booty connected to your ankle, it’s not prevention or support, it’s just being connected to your ankle and starting from there down to your foot so the instant, for example when your foot is starting to roll, hopefully it will send that message to your brain that it’s happening so you can then not commit to rolling your ankle. So if you feel it happening at least that message will reach your brain quicker before you turn it so badly.
In the panel earlier here at Nike Town, you talked about Mark Gonzales. I was wondering, after knowing him for so many years if there was one thing he said or showed you that really inspired you the most. What’s the stand out thing?
Yeah, it’s been years. I met him when I was 16, maybe 17 at the time, which was crazy, back in 1991. So I’ve known him that long off and on, it’s not like we always hung out, but I’ve known him for a while. Really it’s what he’s done that’s the most inspiring. He was the first pro that I really looked up to magazine wise, I had this Thrasher with an interview of him and took out every photo and stuck it to my walls and just idolised the dude. Watching his video parts and early video footage of him that weren’t even parts and then the Blind video, everything he’s done has been so crazy advanced and so forward thinking, not only to hang out with him and hear him come up with ideas, he would ask me like ‘can you do this, what do you think of this,‘can you do this trick?’ And then he comes up with an idea that you’ve never even heard or thought about or seen anyone do. I’m there like ‘maybe…we can try it’. Things like that, he’ll suggest tricks that are pretty off the wall but that’s his brain, always thinking about innovation.
With the way we live now, always on our phones, looking at instant clips, is there anything you always go back to watch to get you stoked, or are you looking at Instagram and everything while you’re skating?
Yeah there can be things I go back to. It’s different. It changes. A lot of it is on my phone though because I’ll just YouTube it. Now it’s even dudes on Instagram, these historians who are posting old footage, you go on their pages and check out the footage from the past and old magazine covers that have been scanned in too. Covers, editorial, sometimes even ads. A lot of that stuff is really cool because it’s still really inspiring to me. It could be from many different eras, even up till now. Dudes like Tom Knox in the Isle video, Vase too though. That was really sick, I went to the premiere in LA as well, I remember watching his part and it got me super hyped.
Your a crazy busy guy, travelling around so much and with all the different projects and brands you work on and with, is there anything you feel like you’ve had to sacrifice a bit? How do you balance your time?
It’s hard. It’s really hard being away from my family as well. I travel with them when they can and when it’s accommodating. You gotta kind of prioritise things and knock those things out. Some things get neglected, somethings get hurt somehow, but you can’t do everything because it will drive you crazy. I do try. I do a lot. It sucks because my mind races a lot, I wake up early, staring into the darkness thinking about what’s going on that day. That happens a lot. It’s a constant juggle but you gotta figure out how to do it. Try to do one thing at a time, it’s hard to do. I feel like the older I get the more is happening in my world. It’s pretty insane now.
Finally, what would attribute the success of The Berrics to?
I would say it’s just Steve and I, our involvement of creating it and the stories we want to tell in skateboarding and our industry, not just the skaters but everything that encompasses it. The fact that we’re both so engaged in different parts of it and experienced a lot, we wanted to try and pass that on and help everybody, anybody. Keep skateboarding alive and moving you know. That is what it is, because it’s out of sort of necessity. We saw the ship coming too, with it going very digital and we knew that we had to figure out how to utilise that and be a part of what was happening in the world around us. Not just in skateboarding, you have to look outside of our world and notice what’s happening, you can’t just think about skateboarding you know. That just comes from getting older too, you start to pay attention to everything.
We’re out of time, let’s wrap it up there. Thanks so much Eric.