The Rules of Skateboarding #8: Nick Boserio

Illustration by  Cosme

Illustration by Cosme

Rules of Skateboarding is back! After noticing some larger-than-standard wheel usage in the recent Polar video We Blew It At Some Point, Ian Browning knew what he had to do: talk to Nick Boserio about why he’s been switching up his wheel size.

It seems like your wheels have gotten bigger over the course of your career. Is that true?

That’s pretty accurate.

Growing up in the northeastern US, I’ve seen a lot of people go through a Ricky Oyola / Matt Reason phase, where they ran bigger wheels and wide decks. Are your wheels reflecting something like that? Or did you go through a Fred Gall phase growing up in Perth?

That’s funny actually. Fred Gall is one of the people that I like the most now, and did not understand the most growing up. So I definitely did not have a Fred Gall phase when I was younger. I was like, why is this gross dude with weird hair in this Habitat video? I don’t get it. Where is Mark Appleyard?

Am I going through a Ricky Oyola / Fred Gall phase? I don’t really know, I think I just thought they looked really cool. Probably because of them. So, short answer: Yes, maybe? I don’t know.

I don’t have the focus that makes me really want to go do a phase right. I just pick up shit. Do you know what I mean? People did really good fake PJs and really good fake Brian Wennings and really good fake Appleyards, and I never really did a great job of that. Even now as an adult, even if I said ‘Yeah, maybe it’s kind of a phase’, I don’t think I’m doing it right.

We think the big wheels look cool, too. Nick gap to nosegrinds.

We think the big wheels look cool, too. Nick gap to nosegrinds.

So what made you want to start to size up then?

I think when I got on OJ and I realized I could order whatever I want. One of those things was really big wheels. I just set them up. I can’t even blame the Pacific Northwest, it was before I moved to Portland.

It was an option, and I tried, and I liked it. I think it looks cool. Honestly, the initial attraction was that it looked sick when I looked at my board. It’s not like I was skating more tranny or a Fred Gall phase or any of those things. I looked at my board and it looked cool.

That’s interesting though, because in a lot of popular skateboarding there is this unwritten rule that you kinda don’t go out and film tricks on wheels that are bigger than 55mm. You don’t see cruiser wheels or anything like that, so you’re kind of bucking the trend.

This is where the Rules of Skateboarding theme of this interview comes into play, right? I was wondering if it was going to be a rule about wheels or the rules when riding big wheels. I wasn’t sure where you guys were going with it.

Nick’s teammate Emile Laurent doesn’t seem to care if there are rules regarding skating cruiser wheels.

Nick’s teammate Emile Laurent doesn’t seem to care if there are rules regarding skating cruiser wheels.

It’ll probably be, like, ‘Nick Bosiero on big wheels’. That’d be the headline.

Gotta know my headline. So what was the question?

It seems like there’s an unwritten rule in skateboarding that you don’t go out and film tricks on wheels bigger than 55mm. I guess it wasn’t a question as much as a prompt.

Yeah, maybe. That’s your wheels, not mine. Maybe. The cruiser wheels thing I get. A lot of the setups, you know shaped boards, all that shit’s breaking down. I remember when there was no fucking way that anyone was riding over 52mm. I remember when nobody’s board was bigger than eight inches. I’m not saying that shit is getting bigger in general, I just think maybe companies are scrambling to produce anything that sets them aside. Maybe more things are kosher? I don’t really know. Maybe there is an unwritten rule. Most of my answers are maybe, babbling, and then I don’t know.

Nick on his monster truck.

Nick on his monster truck.

So are you on loose trucks too? Do you get crazy wheelbite? What size wheels do you ride?

They are 60mm Slimeballs, and then most of the footage you’re referring to is on 60mm Combos.

Do you get a lot of wheelbite on 60mm wheels?

My trucks are not super loose, but they’re definitely not tight. Yeah, I get some wheelbite. But, I have the small riser pads. They’re like 3mm and hard. They’re the standard ones people are riding. And I wax my wheel wells. Have you heard of that before?

Yeah, yeah.

You should do that. Like, a lot. That’s pretty helpful for anyone riding big wheels or really loose trucks. You wax the wheel wells. Yes, I wheelbite, and yes I try to make an effort to stop it, and waxing my wheel wells is the main thing.

That’s good for the kids. So Portland isn’t the East Coast, but the stuff that you’re skating in the We Blew It At Some Point part look pretty crusty. Do you like what big wheels do in terms of opening up options of spots you can skate?

Yeah, it probably helps, but I don’t think it unlocked anything. It definitely helps with rough shit. But I don’t know if it unlocked anything. Cruiser wheels can unlock spots big time. But I don’t know if the gimicky, fat, regular wheels that I’m riding have really made that big of a difference to me. I’m not sure.

But it helps, fuck yeah, I’m not going to lie. But then you see Dane skate some of the same spots as me with those little pinwheel things. You know?

Dane Brady on the other end of the wheel size spectrum.

Dane Brady on the other end of the wheel size spectrum.

Yeah, it’s the total opposite end of the spectrum.

One of the first times I pushed around with Dane, he was riding those tiny things and he was pushing faster than me. I don’t know what that says about wheels. Maybe it says more about him. It helps, but it’s not unlocked anything for me.

It seems to me they work with your trick selection, and that a lot of your tricks are more about taking a stab at whether something is even possible to roll away from, as opposed to trying something technical on a straight ledge.

Yes. I specifically deal in that side of skateboarding. Just a really complicated A to B.

So gear trends are cyclical, and some of the setups in the new Polar video look like they came out of an old New Deal video. Which is tight. I think the return of the 7.75 is on the horizon, so I’ll wrap it up by asking if you think you’re down to size down when the time comes?

Well, that would suggest that my gimmicky board now is following a trend in the first place. And that I’m happy to follow the next trend that comes up. So I’m going to say no, because it seems like a setup question that implies that I’m following a trend or one or another. You can ask me, did I set up gimmick wheels before or after I rode for Polar?

Well, I think there are gimmicky trends in skateboarding, but there are also just waves that rise and fall.

Yeah, I wore brown pants and a flannel shirt for like a year straight, just like everyone else did. You know what I mean? I’m not in denial of that. Will I size down? Honestly, at this point, no. I couldn’t ride a 7.75, I just don’t think I could do it. My board is like nine inch right now. 7.75 just seems crazy. At some point in the next 10 years, am I going to be riding an 8 inch board with 52mm wheels? Probably. I don’t think I have the attention span to stick with something for that long. I don’t know. Is there anything we haven’t milked yet? What’s left? That’s what we should be really figuring out.

Tricks on longboards dude. If you really want to talk about gimmicky shit, skating a longboard like it’s a real skateboard would be the final frontier. On some Simon Woodstock shit.

I don’t know, is Gonz the gateway drug to everyone skating longboards?

Holy shit, you might be on to something there.

Yeah, I don’t know. Short answer: no. Not 7.75. Catch me on an 8 inch, and call me a liar maybe, but 7.75 is fucking small, man.

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