Brad Cromer’s shoe was just released by HUF. The past couple of years have seen him turn pro for Krooked, release a handful of parts, make his own video and tour regularly as well. This has all culminated in the release of his shoe which we have just received. We were lucky to carve out some time with Brad for this exclusive interview…
Where does this interview find you?
I’m in Long Beach, California.
First off we are interviewing you about the release of your shoe with HUF which we are about to put on sale. Are you stoked with how it turned out?
I’m very stoked with how it turned out. It’s pretty much exactly what I want to look down at when i’m skating.
Did you work closely with the design team regarding what you wanted?
I did, we did tons of different little tweaks. i would go into the offices and talk with Hayden who works with the shoe designs. I would just tweak this and that, all the way up until it was finally how I thought it should look. We slowly got it from what it was to what it is now. Then I got samples, skated them, liked them and now that’s it and they’re out.
Is it inspired by shoes you’ve worn a lot in the past?
Yeah I guess I would say it’s a mix of what I like from different shoes I have either skated in or just worn. I was going for a kind of Keds mixed with Sperry, mixed with Vans, mixed with the HUF Classic. Nothing crazy though. It’s really all of the simple things I liked the best in other shoes put into one. It goes down to tiny little details, even though they are very simple. It’s the little things here and there that morphed it into what it is.
You’ve ridden for HUF for a long time. How has it been watching the company evolve into what it is now?
I’ve seen it from the beginning. I got on before they even made shoes and I remember the day I got on. Watching it from the day they said ‘We’re thinking about making shoes, what do you think?’ From that day to right now it’s insane how much it has grown! To see the company and the team grow in such a good way is really trippy and I’m proud of it, just as much as everyone else that’s involved in it.
Did the Porno For Pyros shoe ad music choice come from you?
Yeah it did. I have always jammed that song for as long as I can remember and I just feel it has a nice cruising feel to it that fit with the Florida look of the footage so I went with that, hoping people would agree.
What music do you have on loop at the minute?
I use Apple music and I will usually do the Pandora style random radio. I’ll do Chapterhouse radio and it plays everything that is like Chapterhouse.
You have moved to California now, how is that? What do you miss about Florida?
I miss a lot about Florida. I moved here almost two years ago now, figuring it would make the most sense as far as where I should be for what I do. I definitely miss everything about Florida. To me it’s home, it’s my comfort zone, I know how to get everywhere and I have my routine all set out. Here I feel kind of out of my element. It’s not the same weather, i don’t see my family as much, everywhere i go I have to type it into my phone. I feel kind of out of the loop here but actually, being a skateboarder here is good. I’m very connected versus being across the country from all of my sponsors. It’s good and it’s bad but I’m adjusting.
Who is your favourite Floridian skateboarder from now or any time in history?
There’s a lot. I mean Reynolds and Rodney Mullen are from there and that’s a pretty big deal in skateboarding history. There’s tons of other guys, Danny Renaud! There’s a lot of younger guys right now like my friend Zion Wright. there are tons of guys from Florida but none of them live there any more though. Everyone moved to New York, SF or here.
What is your Californian schedule like. Do you have a crew you skate with all the time?
I do, it depends on the day but since I live here in Long Beach, if I feel like sticking around here I’ll skate with Chris Thiessen who made the last few Transworld videos, and we’ll just cruise around Long Beach. Usually we’ll film VX, it’s kind of cruising, fun style skating. If I want to really film a trick or get in the HUF van with the crew I’ll just go to LA, meet up with Tyler (Cichy) the HUF team manager and see what crew we have with us that day. We’ll go from spot to spot to spot and see what we can get. That’s my crew I would say, hopping in the HUF van with whoever is around. I don’t know where everything is still that’s why I miss Florida. I had everything set. here i’m still learning what is where and where’s the warm up spot round here, or where the local coffee spot is. I’m still figuring out living here.
We posted a photo of you today on the nine board contraption Gonz surprised you with. You have had a busy few years from turning pro for Krooked, making the Lo-Fi video, this HUF shoe release, a Transworld part and touring. How is 2016 shaping up, do you have a super busy year again?
What I’m gonna do this year is exactly because of those last couple of years. I did my video then the Transworld video, the HUF tours, Tyler’s local video, I did an X Games real street part and maybe something else. For the last maybe three years it’s the busiest I have ever been. I was constantly filming for this, or going on this trip. Because of that I decided, and hopefully it works, that this year all I’m going to do is go and skate in California and slowly gather what I can footage wise and I want to make a personal part maybe at the end of the year. It will be the way I want it edited, the music I want and the way I want it to look. Hopefully people will enjoy it. That’s my plan for this year, just skate with friends, film what I can and see where I’m at closer to the end of the year. I want to put out something more personal, the way I want to see it. How I want my footage to be seen versus someone else taking over.
All of your sponsors are proactive when it comes to cooking up projects and tours. What has been the most fun to be involved in?
They’re all fun. Probably the funnest one was our HUF US tour. They do one big tour a year and it is very big, to have that many dudes on one trip, for that long, 25 days almost is pretty tough to get through that. There’s lots of demos, you’re flying here and flying there, driving here and driving there. It’s constant and you never stop moving. the US one was probably my favourite one. i love going overseas but this one it was cool driving through the country, stopping in this state and then another. It felt like we were just cruising. Everyone was having a good time, I liked that trip the most.
How was the Euro one when you came to London? Was it a whirlwind or did you get a chance to get a feel for the city?
I did and it was really fun. I think that was HUF’s first big trip so it was all pretty hectic.They are all hectic but I would love to go back and be on a slower pace. You don’t really take in each city because of the amount we are moving. One city to the next becomes a bit of a blur and I don’t really want to see it as a blur. i want to take in each city and the vibe of each place. I would love to go back on a trip with a slower schedule.
How did you find Southbank?
That spot is so cool, you can feel the history when you’re there. I love skating banks and ledges, the simplicity of it makes it that much better. Skate parks now aren’t the same, I really liked the history and the old feel of that spot. I got a good feeling from skating there.
What’s the craziest thing you have seen Gonz do on a skateboard?
I’ve skate with him many many times and almost every time something crazy happens. Whether it’s a trick or just something that we go and do is so random that it’s insane. One story that’s not a trick is a pretty crazy time with him. I met up with him in New York for one reason or another. We went and bought all of this random stuff and set up this crazy small weird skateboard out of non skateboard supplies and built it and everything. We mailed it to the princesses newborn son. It took all day to put this thing together and mail it out. I think they wouldn’t take it and they sent it back. Another time we went to go skating and he had to get a Valentine’s day present for his girlfriend at the time. We’re out skating on foot and he wants to go to the mid town area. We go into this store where everyone has tuxedo’s on and we are just sweating skaters with our boards. We walk in and he buys this crazy expensive bracelet and he puts it in his pocket and he wants to continue skating. I was like, maybe you should go home and hide that in your house. He was about to go and skate around with this super expensive piece of jewellery. In the end he hid it in the house and we went skating. Maybe those two aren’t that interesting but almost every time I ever skate with him, something very different happens and it’s always either super funny or really random and interesting. It keeps the session alive.
One more question from @nicholsonjacob who responded to an Instagram shout out. When was your favourite age to be a skateboarder?
Probably the time of just skating in my driveway in Florida right around the time I was starting to learn kickflips was probably the most care free and the most pure feeling that I have had for skateboarding because I knew nothing about it. I was just sitting there amazed at what I could possibly do on this thing. Nothing to worry about, no anything, all I wanted to do was to see what I could make the board do with my feet and emulate the guys I was watching in these skate videos. I would say probably that time because it’s such a different thing now. It’s not as pure, I love it just as much but it’s not as pure as then. I would say learning tricks in my driveway as a kid was my favourite time in skateboarding.
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