Photo by Antosh
Throughout the 2000s, it seemed like the majority of Canadian skateboard media making it over the country’s southern border was from Vancouver. British Columbia was the most common lens through which we observed Canada’s often superior breed of skateboarder. Ironically, as Canada became a shining beacon of culture, #views, sorrys and glory challenges for Americans throughout the 2010s, Vancouver took a backseat to the country’s eastern cities.
Antosh’s videos and the extended family behind the elusive Clubgear umbrella have been one of our main portals into the Vancouver skate scene as the east has taken the spotlight. The spots from Baby Steps might be capped, but the spirit remains strong.
Where are you from and how did you get into skateboarding?
I’m from a town called Tsawwassen that’s 45 minutes outside of Vancouver. There’s downtown Vancouver and there’s greater Vancouver, which can be almost two hours out. I started skating with a few of my friends around grade three, doing airs off a piece of plywood on some bricks, skating a flatbar and whatever else in my friends driveway. A couple of years ago, I moved downtown and started filming way more, and not leaving downtown as much.
Would you venture out to the city when you lived in Tsawwassen?
I’d go downtown when I was 12 or 13. I remember the first time we went, this homeless lady came running towards us yelling and asking if she wanted us to see her masturbate. Downtown Vancouver used to be a bit more recognized in bigger skate videos, like all the Girl dudes would come up and skate it a lot before everything got capped. Once those spots started getting harder to find, people started skating differently.
It feels like when I was growing up, the focus on Canadian skateboarding was always in Vancouver. In the past few years, it feels like it moved towards Toronto and Montreal. Did that actually happen or am I making it up?
Vancouver definitely seemed like more of a hub for skating a while back. I’m not sure if it had to do with everything getting capped or people realizing there were more spots in Toronto and Montreal, but honestly, Vancouver doesn’t have spots. You just have to skate whatever. It’s hard to find a ledge in Vancouver. If one pops up, it’s there for a week, and then it gets capped. Things get built here in a way that understands people are going to skate on them, so they make it harder.
There used to be a larger crew here, but it feels like everyone moved to different areas these past few years. A lot of dudes are from Calgary, and move to Vancouver because it’s pretty close, but eventually shift out east. Montreal was always the place to move to but more people are moving to Toronto now, too.