Chad Bartie Interview

Sequence and skate photo’s courtesy of Chris Ortiz

This is the last of a series of interviews from this years Bones European tour.

We first met Chad Bartie in France where beers and shredding go hand in hand. Chad’s one of those guys you want to hang out with as he never forgets a face and loves his skateboarding.

Crossfire recorded these words off the cuff in 15 mins outside Bay 66 on a fine summers day whilst a bird shat on our car.

Straight off the plane, introduce yourself monsieur..

My name is Chad Bartie from Australia originally, but I just flew in from Los Angeles.

How’s Los Angeles been treating you?

Got a little apartment just south of Los Angeles, living there with my wife for about six years now but go home to Australia probably about twice a year.

Do you miss it?

Yeah of course. You’ve gotta miss that land man, it’s beautiful.

What makes up for it?

Well, where I live is a bit of a hippy town, way more mellow than LA, kind of a beach town. It’s easier being in America for skateboarding, though can move back to Australia and do it, it’s becoming easier than it was. But I’ve got a lot of good friends there [LA] now, it’s like my second home.

So who are you skating with at the moment?

I’m skating with Joe Pease from an Australian board company that we ride for called Kewday, he’s staying with me right now. Also Dennis Durrant and Matt Mumford, but anyone who is around really.

And how many Aussies are in your hood, out in California?

There’s a few actually, me, Dennis Durrant, Mumford, Dolan’s always back and forward, Jake Duncombe is always back and forward, Shane Cross was there for a while before he passed away, he was a good close friend. But yeah, it’s a good place, a lot of Aussie kids come out there.

It was terrible news and our thoughts go out to his family and friends. It definitely shocked skateboarding.

It shocked skateboarding worldwide. Everyone who knew Shane knew how rad a kid he was. To me and my wife, he was like our little son. When he first came to America, my wife picked him up from the airport and looked after him for the first week because me and Matt were on tour and every time he came over to America, he’d stay with us. So it was like losing a family member to be honest.

Does that send a big message out to skaters to calm down a little bit?

It’s up to skaters to choose that message, but I hope it does yeah. You can make skateboarding a long career if you want and Shane is proof that it can also be cut short from doing silly things. Mistakes happen though.

So, you’re on the Bones tour and have just joined us here in London, bring us up to date with your happenings.

I’ve been based in California for the last year and a half really just taking a break from traveling and contests but I’m back into it now, getting Kewday pushed.

Have you been on the road all summer, is this one of many stops?

No, this is first trip I’ve done in a year and half. I took that break because I got burnt out. Before the break I was on the road for two months and saw my wife for about four days so I knew I need to chill for a bit. I went back and forth to Australia a couple of times. It’s good to be back in London though. Shit, the last visit was for a Billabong clothing trip so I have not been here for about five or six years! There’s some good spots around the hotel too so I want to spend tomorrow around the hotel hitting them up and it helps to have this sunshine too!

Have you been putting footage down for any particular video?

Yeah, we’re putting together a little Kewday promo, a 10 minute promo which should be out soon and then we’re going to work on a full length for a year and a half’s time.

Is there a website we can go on to check it out?

Yep, www.kewday.com and we have a MySpace page as well which is at, wait a minute, let me get my stickers out here – www.myspace.com/kewday .

So you’re still rocking it for the Globe team as well?

Yeah, I still rock the shoes, they’re looking after me, they send me a lot of shit. I’m not on their roster as such, but I can’t complain!

How was the Slaughter At The Opera then?

Oh man, that was gnarly. Half the people got there and saw it and said “I’m not skating that!” but a few of the young guys got up on it and killed it, Lutzka of course, you saw the results.

Adam Dyet did well too…

Dyet’s a machine!

Do you skate much with him back at home?

No I never do, I wish I could though. But he’s always traveling and we manage to miss each other all the time. But he’s a rad guy, I like Dyet.

What music can you not leave home without on one of these trips?

You know what, this is the first trip where I haven’t brought my iPod. I don’t have any music with me, I just wanted to bring my clothes and my skateboard and that’s it. Nice and simple trip for me this time around.

Well you’ve got some weed and beer killers in Gravette and Dyet so I’m sure there will be some singing going on.

This is the first time I’m the oldest dude on the tour. I’m used to being a young guy but now I’m the old dude, it’s kinda weird!

How different is it now compared to when you were youngest?

Skateboarding in general is in really good shape right now, every style of skating is accepted. Everyone respects everyone else for what they do and know that whatever is being done is a difficult thing so it’s a respect thing which I think is great. There’s just a lot of young rippers out there now, I guess that’s what we were to the pros back then but now it seems like there’s a mass of kids ripping and coming through.

Do you think the internet has changed things?

For publicity yes, especially when you’re starting a company, it helps spread it like wildfire. But in terms of chat rooms, I think they’re bullshit. There’s just too much bullshit talking, but if you don’t get caught up in it, you’re fine.

Do you snoop? Have a quick read of what’s written?

No, don’t even do that, I don’t bother. Things don’t get said about me anyway. I’m sure if there was, my friends would let me know, I’ve got some that are on them all the time.

Don’t worry, we’ll slag you off on our site as soon as we’re done here!

Awesome, thanks!

So, setting up your own company is commendable and is obviously something you’re extremely passionate about but how difficult is it to do and what do we expect to see in skate shops?

I had a pro board in Australia on Kewday before I went to America and turned pro there. My brother wanted to focus on it and really start pushing it so when I left World I said ‘let’s do this’ and wanted to really do it properly. He’s been doing the business and technical side of it, and I’ve been trying to help the team and push the young guys to get them coverage – It’s a good little partnership we’ve got going.

You mentioned World and I remember meeting you with Carl Berard and rocking World Industries in Marseilles, but what was life like directly afterwards? Was there a gap for you and the guys after it just folded?

I’m always trying to think positively, so for every door that closes, there’s another one that opens. There were a few things I could have done but I knew if I concentrated on Kewday, it’d give me way more drive to get it done. Which it has, I’m skating harder, I’m looking after my body and trying to get stronger and focusing on improving my skating again.

Talking of your body, we all get older so do you put the hours in? What helps?

Well I’m not big on getting muscly because I think that restricts you from skating but I’ve really got into Yoga and I’ve just taken up Kung Fu. Not for the fighting side, but just for the stamina and movement and improving my reflexes. I’m 31 now but I’m learning tricks every week which is awesome, I’m impressing myself!

What’s the latest?

Top secret mate! Just check the Kewday video out, you’ll see it! Nah, it just feels good to learn new shit and be creative and motivated.

Wicked, well good luck with everything, it’s a pleasure to have you in London.

Thank you!