By: Paul Zitzer – Is raddest a word? I know people say funnest a lot and that’s not a word, so it got me thinking. My spellcheck underlines it every time I type it but, it also underlines spellcheck. So who knows, most rad maybe? Whatever. The reason I ask is because I was trying to pinpoint the raddest thing about Chris Cole for this intro. There’s a lot to choose from. Some people might say the raddest thing about him is his preternatural ability to make his skateboard do whatever he wants it do. Or, the raddest thing is that this ability has turned him into a celebrity pro. What about him leading the Dew Tour’s points race? Totally rad. And I think it’s also pretty rad that he got the Chief’s blessing a long, long time ago and is still representing the full Zero and Fallen programs to this day. But is that the raddest? Nah. I’m claiming the raddest thing about Chris Cole is that while all of the above stuff is true, and rad, he’s still the coolest dude you’d ever want to meet. Really, what could be radder?
We caught up with Chris earlier this summer, right after he won Maloof, and before he had ever set foot at a Dew Tour [LINK TO BRINK PIECES]. Now that he’s going into the last stop with a lead in the points race, we thought we’d check back in.
I read an interview you did where you said that when you go to a contest you’re competing against yourself, basically, like you’re not trying to one up everybody or anything like that. But that being said, did you set any goals at all for yourself coming into the Dew Tour?
Honestly, no. I guess the only goal I set was that I better do good, because to go away for that many different trips and not do good would just suck.
Because you’d rather be at home with the wife and kids?
Yeah, or just at home skating with my friends. When you go away it better be really worth something. And if I don’t do my best, or at least try my best, then…I mean if I try my best and I don’t do well then…that’s all you can do, is try. But to not even try? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all.
You gotta be able to do all the tricks to do well at a contest, but I think there’s way more to it when going to something like the Dew Tour or X-Games. You also have to be able to focus and block out the distractions. Does that sort of thing ever give you any trouble?
I guess the hardest part is dealing with security and stuff usually. It just depends on the contest; certain contests are easier than others. Another hard thing is to go there and find my niche, find what’s going to keep me happy throughout the day, how I’m going to have fun. Because if I don’t have fun I can’t skate good at all.
Do you feel like you’ve managed to have fun on the Dew Tour so far?
Yeah. I’ve had fun at every one.
It looks like it. We always say that it doesn’t look like you’re necessarily even doing your hardest tricks, you’re more focused on trying to mix it up and keep it interesting. That’s not to say you’re doing easy tricks either, but do you think it’s true for the most part?
Yeah. In order for me to skate well I have to have fun. I haven’t practiced this stuff, I haven’t practiced any sort of a run. I look at the course when they email it to me, but that’s the last time I’ll see it. So when I show up it’s like, “I wonder what it’s going to look like?” So I haven’t given much thought into what I’m going to do beforehand.
How about when they do the introductions and the camera is in your face and you’re up on the jumbotron. Does that ever get to you?
Yeah, that’s really, really not me. So that’s a little bit weird. That’s probably the weirdest thing.
Between Sheckler, Ortiz, and Paul Rodriguez, who’s the best contest skater?
Man, I’ve gotta say P-Rod. The fact that all of his tricks are so dialed. It’s not just like some contest junk where he shows up and can just do his tricks at the contest. He’s got it everywhere. I go to spots and hear, “P-Rod switch flip back lipped this in three goes.” You know what I mean? Like I wouldn’t be able to do that trick in three goes on anything. He really does have it like that.
But I think if the course is like Dew Tour, that has a bunch of variations that are some street and some park, then Ryan is going to be the better out of all three of them. Like, Ryan went to one of them this year before he got hurt, and he won it. It was pretty evident what was going to happen throughout the rest of them. But if you have something like Maloof, like a bunch of street obstacles, there’s a pretty good chance that Paul is going to win.
Are you surprised at all that you’re leading in points?
Yeah, I am actually. I wanted to do my best. But it’s funny to be in the lead without winning any of them.
Have you looked at the points breakdown for Orlando to see what you have to do or what anyone else has to do for you to win?
I know roughly. I know that I would have to get like a 70 and Decenzo would have to get like 100. It’s almost like if I do well again I think I win? Is that right?
Yeah. If you get top three you win, even if Decenzo wins. But if you get fourth and Decenzo wins then he wins. But if you get fourth and Decenzo doesn’t win you’ll win and so on…does that make you nervous thinking about that?
A little bit. You just have to roll with it. If I stress out about it I’m not going to do good. I might as well go there with the same attitude I’ve gone with so far. You know? Hope for the best.
Do you watch any of these on TV?
I only saw the first one.
Is it different on TV than what it was like in real life?
Yeah. And from what I gather about the second one they edited it crazy. I hear from people that Paul and myself didn’t land anything in the second round. That’s what I heard. And my wife was like, “What happened? Did you land anything?” And I was like, “Yeah, I landed a bunch of stuff.” And she was like, “Did Paul land anything?” And I was like “Yeah, Paul killed it.”
How is skating in the Dew Tour different than skating in any other contest?
It’s bigger. There’s tons of people, movie style cameras, and it’s um, it’s crazy. It’s definitely very very very different.
Which stop did you feel the best about?
Probably the last one. It felt really good. I just had a good time and I was hanging out with some friends at night and stuff. It was a real good time.
If you win the Dew Cup, you’re going to be looking at having made well over $200,000 this year just from contests.
Yeah. That’s kind of weird.
Are you going to splurge on anything?
No. I don’t do that. It’s kind of funny, I guess a lot of people do. I have a family and I’m not…like Chaz and the other guys can splurge on stuff. They’re still really young, and all the money they make is extra, like straight up extra, because he still lives with his family and doesn’t even have a driver’s license yet, which is so rad. But I have kids, and a wife, and a home and I gotta think about the future. Like not just make money but how to make money last. It’s just not a winning choice to go nuts and buy junk. I feel like my everyday lifestyle is very un-lavish, but lavish enough. I don’t have to make huge purchases to understand how lucky I am, like just the fact that I can go into Target and buy stuff without checking my accounts and making sure what I buy is budgeted in.
Do you ever feel like you’re training for an upcoming contest?
I don’t even want to sound like the dude that’s too cool for that, because that’s not the case at all, but, I’ll practice something, but never to the point where I’m like, “This sucks.” I can’t push it there, and I could, but that’s not what skateboarding started as for me, I never had that goal, that intention, so it seems really really hard for me to take it there without feeling like, feeling kind of unhappy about it. If you’re going to be skating a contest with a big set of stairs, yeah, it helps to have jumped a big set of stairs in the recent past, but I can’t practice to the point where I’m bummed. That just doesn’t work for me.
You’ve won X-Games, you won Maloof, you were Thrasher Skater of the Year, and now you might win the Dew Tour. Is there anything that you want to accomplish in skateboarding that you haven’t?
As far as milestone stuff, I don’t know. I just want to keep skating. I love to skateboard, I totally love to skateboard, so I just want to keep skateboarding for as long as I can, as long as kids are into my stuff. I’d love to be a pro skateboarder until the day that I die, but I obviously won’t be able to bring the goods for that long. Yeah it’s frustrating to be beaten by a fifteen year old, but at 27 I’m really excited to still be skating with these dudes, and still be out doing exactly what I want to do.
Are you going to be skating on the Dew Tour in 2010?
Yeah. It’s been a really good experience. As much as the core of skateboarding, or whoever, wants to be like, “The Dew Tour is corporate,” or whatever, the Dew Tour is actually really really cool. Everyone that’s working on it has been really cool. It’s just been a really good experience. And I want that experience to take over more than some of the lamer contests I’ve been to. If they treat you right then stick with.