An Interview with Jack Olson
Minnesotans are lucky to have a skate scene that produces an abundance of rad skaters. That being said, every few years one skater in particular makes the leap from local star to full-on, sponsored by a real company, lives in California, big deal kind of skater. Jack Olson is that skater of this era. Fresh off a stand out part in 3rd Lair's latest video, we sat down with Jack and asked him some questions about where he's been, where he's going, and the type of socks he prefers to skate in.
Ok Jack, let's start with the basics: Give us your name, age, where you're from and who you ride for?
My name is Jack Olson, I'm 21, I'm from St. Louis Park, MN and I ride for Real Skateboards, Thunder, Spitfire, 3rd Lair, C1RCA, Bronson Speed Co., Eswic, and Glassy.
Where are you living these days?
I live in Los Angeles in an apartment with Robbie Brockel, Tim Fulton and Corey Millett.
What role has 3rd Lair played in your life?
3rd Lair has played a huge role in my life. I've been skating there since I was about 9 and they started helping me out when I was 11. It's ten minutes from my parents house, so I went there almost everyday during the winter growing up. It’s really important to have such a nice park in Minnesota when you can’t skate outside for about 6 months out of the year.
We’ll just throw this one out there - who did the feeble to backside noseblunt first, you or Ernie Torres?
We talk about this all the time, haha. They came out around the same time, but he’s claiming he did it first.
How did your relationship with DLXSF come about?
I was filming with Tim Fulton (DLX filmer) a lot during Flow Trash and he was really good friends with Davis Torgerson. I had been getting boards from World Industries, but those guys had mentioned sending my footage to DLXSF. About a year went by and I didn’t hear anything, so I thought nothing was going to happen. Then one day Darin Howard, the Real team manager called me and said he wanted to start hooking me up. I was so psyched.
Did you have a trial period with REAL?
I went on one trip to Minnesota right after I first moved to California, haha. At first everyone on the team was giving me shit non-stop. Actually, they're still non stop giving me shit, but the trips are so fun. Just skating, hanging out and talking shit.
Who gives you the most shit on tour?
I pretty much get shit from everyone, but mostly Jake Donnelly. He's just always giving everyone shit, though.
Who on REAL do you get along with the best?
I get along with everybody, I'd probably have to say Robbie Brockel. We live together and are always on the same trips because we both ride for C1RCA and REAL
Who is your favorite skater on REAL, past or present?
That's a tough one, but I think I'd have to say James Hardy. He's a beast. Watching that way he does a trick is gnarly. He has a sick ass style and just powers through everything.
We have to make sure you know your history - have you seen Keith Hufnagel's Real to Reel part?
Yup that part is sick!
I remember seeing the photo Atiba shot of your switch feeble down Hollywood High. That was a defining moment for us when we knew you were more than just another really good kid in Minnesota. Can you tell us about that day? Did you know Atiba before that?
That day was pretty crazy. I actually did it the first time one day not too long after I had moved to California, it was actually the same day that David Jaimes did a fakie backside 50-50 on the 12 set, which got me hyped enough to try one and land it that day. I got it on video but didn't get a photo shot, so when I sent the footage to Darin at Real, the first thing he asked was "Did you get a photo?". He kept bugging me about getting a photo and about 7 months later I was moving back to Minnesota for a bit and he hit me up about it again. We were planning on going out to get it shot on my last day in California and still couldn't find a photographer. Darin called me the day of and was just like "Yo Atiba is down to meet you there in a little later." I just thought "Fuck it, I'm moving home tomorrow anyway, so if I get hurt it doesn't matter." We went and I ended up doing it again. The second time took me way longer to try it but it ended up working out.
Was the switch feeble something you had in mind for that spot?
Yeah, it was always something I thought about, that if I ended up there I'd be down to try it. The day we went I was just feeling it. I did one on the 12 set and warmed up by grinding and doing a regular stance feeble on the 16 to get the feel for it.
What do you do if you are feeling a gnarly trick without a filmer present? Do you go for it?
I don't really do it like that. If there's a chance I could get broke off, I'm going to want someone filming.
You're quite the contest skater. Do you have a strategy for skating contests?
I do tricks I'm confident with and try not to take it too seriously. If you take it too seriously, it's not going to help you and your not going to have any fun. The more fun I'm having, the less nervous I get.
We hear you have some good nicknames, got a favorite?:
Simple Jack is good one. Chima Ferguson gave me that on my first Real trip, the one we did in Minnesota, because I didn't know my way around very well even though I'm from there.
Give us your top 5 red headed skaters?
I'm claiming Walker Ryan as a redhead. Then I'll go for Tristian Funkhouser, Wieger, CJ Tambornino, and Chet Childress.
Let's hear your top 5 MInnesota skaters? Feel free to tell us why you’re psyched on them, they can be young dudes or old dudes, your call.
Jamiel Nowparvar - his part in Weekend Warriors was next level.
David Jaimes - He has amazing style and a sick ass trick selection.
David Nelson - He's one of my good friends and he's down to just go for tricks. He is definitely not afraid to eat shit.
Corey Millett - He's pretty much better than everyone I know and has the best style.
And last, Tanner Van Vark - he can literally do anything he wants on a skateboard and does the most awkward, insane tricks.
What are your top 5 Minnesota videos and why?
Weekend Warriors, that one also came out when I was pretty young and it was full of all the older dudes I saw at the park killing it.
Debris was put together super sick and the skating was different too. Just a great video all together.
Fobia's All In is just a classic. Nate Compher's part in that video is too good. I still watch it all the time to this day, same with Jamiel's.
What video project have you worked on are you most proud of and why?
I would have to say Through and Through or Home Grown. Through and Through was the first big project I was a part of, so I was super hyped on that. And Home Grown because I filmed 2 years straight for it and it was pretty much the first full part that I'd ever had. And I worked hard for that part.
We're supposed to ask you about Sky Zone socks. What's the deal there?
Holy shit. One day we went to this place called Sky Zone, it's just trampolines everywhere that you jump around on. They make you wear these thin ass socks with grips on the bottom. The next day we went skating and I wore the socks from Sky Zone and I ended up getting 4 tricks, one of them was the last trick in my 3rd Lair part. So Mitch has been telling me that I need to wear those socks every day.
You win contests, do NBDs, and put out 3 video parts a year. What's next? Any talk of going pro? Any new videos in the works?
No talks of going pro or any up coming projects. I've been dealing with a fucked up ankle for about the last 4 months. I'm finally feeling good and I'm going to try to skate as much as I can here in LA.
Thank you very much for doing this, dude. Village Psychic is proud you are a Minnesotan. Thank you's?
Thank you! Thanks to anyone who's ever helped me and and all my sponsors.