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Jamie Foy's journey in skateboarding has been an exciting one, coming from relative obscurity to winning Thrasher's Skater of the Year award in seemingly no time at all. Now an established name, with a New Balance pro model, Foy has managed to keep his friends around whilst making his way to the top. Read on for some behind the scenes of his 306 model including the latest Deathwish collab, taking his mum around the world and Florida skateboarding.
What have you been up to during lockdown?
We've still been skating a good amount, my dad's got a boat so we've been out of on the water a lot. Riding some jet skis, classic Florida stuff to do.
Can you talk us through getting on New Balance, how that all came about?
My contract at Diamond was coming to an end, and prior to the end of the contract, my manager was allowed to start talking to other people and see what they're feeling and if they were interested in me. I am pretty sure New Balance reached out saying they'd want to work with me. We built a relationship and it felt like it was a good time for a change.
Diamond was great for me, they gave me my start in the skate industry, my first AM sponsorship. Thank you Diamond Footwear for everything you did for me. With New Balance, it's a big team, a big family. I am super stoked on how everything's going.
I've spoken to other New Balance riders who've said much the same regarding the family aspect to the company.
Yeah, it's amazing, I love hanging out with the team. We went to Spain a few times for my New Balance shoe video. Those were such fun trips, the family hanging out, having fun, skating, having a bunch of good times. So far going on trips with everyone has been a blast.
Do you have a favourite skater on the team?
It's hard to say, but if I had to pick someone off the top of my head I'd say, Franky Villani. He's one of my favourite skaters, he can literally skate anything. He flicks his board perfectly, he can skate ledges, he can do tricks that you don't even think are possible. He's unlimited, he can do whatever he wants.
It seems like he has a sick little crew, him and his girlfriend and a couple of mates.
Yeah, he just loves to go skate with his friends and have fun. That's how organically his clips happen, which is why I think a lot of his videos are so fun to watch. It's not him like 'oh I need this trick', it's just him and his friends going out filming and getting whatever they get.
"With New Balance, it's a big team, a big family."
Can you talk about designing your shoe, the 306?
That all came about because New Balance wanted to give me a pro shoe. When I found out I was blown away, I couldn't believe it. I didn't know where to start with the shoe design. The shoes that I like are quite basic with a vulcanized sole, good simple skate shoes.
One day I walked into the office and there was a stack of sample shoes that hadn't come out yet, it wasn't the 306 at the time it was some other number, but I saw the shoe and I thought wow. It was mainly because of the toe, I like a round toe, I thought it looked amazing so I wanted to try the shoe out.
I hadn't skated too many New Balance shoes at that point, but that one popped out for me. After skating a few pairs, trying them out, they approached me to ask if I wanted to have that shoe as my pro model. I was super down, we added a couple of tweaks and that was that. They had the baseline down, I came in and we changed the toecap underneath the toe to make it a little thinner so it didn't hurt your toes. A few little tweaks to make it my own.
You have a slip-on version coming out now as well?
Yeah, we're working on it right now. The same thing with that, working on a few little tweaks to get it perfect for everyone to skate and have fun with.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Deathwish collab you've been working on?
We recently finished filming a little edit for it, a VX edit, my friend Kaylanne and I. We tried to keep it catered to old Deathwish or Baker Boys-style spots, but we also went to a few new ones. We wanted to show the shoe for how good it is, with the VX footage you can really see the brown, it looks so good. It's all brown with a yellow insole with my Foy Boombox from King of the Road, there's a little Deathwish stamp on the tab. A bunch of little accents that look great.
"keep your close friends around you and don't lose yourself in the craziness of the skate world"
Let's talk a bit more about Florida, who are some skaters from that area that you've looked up to or some that are ready for some shine?
Growing up in Florida there were so many good skaters. One of the main reasons I think that Florida breeds a lot of good skaters is because the weather is kinda like California, there's no real winter. You can skate all the time, the only thing we have is rain. But then we got indoor parks, because of the rain. People skate all year round here, that makes for really good skateboarders because that's all we do.
I looked up to a lot of skaters in my local area, one of them was Dom Johnson, who passed away a few years ago. He was from West Palm, a little north from me, when I was growing up he was doing it - he was on Adio and all that stuff, he was one of my favourites and was always really nice to me. Unlike some other kids, you know, who were a little mean to me. But that's how it is when you're a little kid around the older guys.
John Dilo is coming up right now, there are so many people that it's hard to say off the top of my head. Whenever I'm with my friends out in California people are like, 'wow, every single one of you is from Florida', because we'll be rolling 10 deep. We really came out here full force!
Your filmer, Kaylanne, is from Florida too?
Yeah, he's from twenty minutes south of me.
It must be great for you, growing up together and now you're out there doing it for real and getting paid together.
That's something people talk to me about, they'll ask 'what's changed, how's it been different?' Thankfully, not a lot has changed for me. I am still skating with a lot of the people I grew up skating with, filming with pretty much the same people I grew up with, but then also I'm around all these new people which keeps you excited and pushing for new stuff.
I think it's a good thing to keep your close friends around you and don't lose yourself in the craziness of the skate world. It's the best way you get good footage too because if you're not having fun on your skateboard you're not doing it right.
"Mark Suciu actually hit me up the other day... asking how to do front crooks!"
Reminds you why you started skating in the first place. What's it been like being able to travel the world, particularly with your mum, I know she's a big supporter of yours?
It's been amazing; my mum mainly travels with me when we go to contests. Because one, she loves partying, and two, because I like having her there for support. It's awesome that I can travel the world now as I grew up going to a lot of contests and she would drive me all over the US. Now we can take it out of the US, I've taken her to London, Australia, we've been to all these different places. Even Brazil, she loved Brazil. She's been so excited because these are places she'd wanted to go.
She was in the Marines when she was younger, and travelled a bit because of that, but it's nothing like wanting to go wherever you wanted to go. She's out there having the time of her life, and I love being out there with her and her being able to party and live it up. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't be here, everything I have is all thanks to her. Now she gets to soak it in and live it up a little too.
Have you got any advice for people trying to train their front crooks? What's the secret to the pinch?
It's funny Mark Suciu actually hit me up the other day, asking how to do front crooks! I try to give everyone the same pointers, a big thing that I do that a lot of people don't is having the toes of my front foot hanging off a little bit, almost like a heelflip, but not completely. Then pretty much you just got to get into it, you're gonna fall and eat shit, but once you do that you learn what not to do and that's where you better yourself.
Do you reckon you could front crook further than Tiago can switch back tail?
No way, no way in hell. He is gonna sit on that as long as the ledge goes. I've not really got to skate with him yet. It was just after he got on New Balance that everything hit. Hopefully, when all this blows over, we'll be getting on some trips. I can't wait to be in the streets with him and personally watch that happen. I can't imagine what that's gonna be like!
Have you been able to make any plans for the next few months or just sitting tight?
We're sitting tight for now, they're saying that in Florida there's a second wave coming through. So we're bunkering down again. The only thing I've planned are some road trips around the US. Me, a car full of people and filmer - keep it small and see what we can get. As long as you're travelling and driving around with friends you're gonna get stuff. So we can make the best of it with some little road trips right now. I can't wait to fly out of here!
Fingers crossed it all calms down soon and you get to do that, cheers Jamie!
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