Casper Brooker talks about his latest move to Baker skateboards in this quick interview. We were pleased to catch up with him at this pivotal moment to get the lowdown on how it all went down, how it’s going, and what we can expect in the future.
WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY JACOB SAWYER. Casper Brooker and Andrew Reynolds in NYC. PH: Rye Beres
Casper Brooker is a very old friend of ours here at Slam. We remember him quadrupling his sugar intake on Saturday mornings in the shop when he had just started skating for Heroin. He did his time in the trenches working behind the counter, he skated for us for many years, and even found out he had turned pro for Isle at our Covent Garden shop. We are happy that we were able to support him and be a part of his story. It was a few years ago now that he switched shop sponsors and Supreme have been looking after his recent endeavours.
Since then, friends and fans foremost, we have been proudly watching his career unfold and cheering the big wins. What win could be bigger than getting a phone call from the Boss and winding up with a pro board on your childhood dream team? We had to talk to Casper to get his take on things and acknowledge the gravity of this moment for him.
Casper in traffic. Subliminal splicing from the Figgy, Lyric and Riley video which began the rumour mill
First of all congratulations. We were so stoked for you when we heard the news. Childhood dreams can come true.
Yeah, pretty much. It’s been crazy, I’ve known for about two months. It’s something I never ever expected could happen and it kind of came out of the blue.
How did you find out?
When Jake Harris decided he was no longer going to do a skateboard company he was speaking to [Andrew] Reynolds about something completely different. Jake had asked me what I thought I was going to do and I told him I was going to just see what happens. I mentioned to him I was going to try and get on Baker which was a joke because I never thought would actually be a possibility. Somehow the stars aligned because Jake actually had a phone call lined up with Reynolds a few days later, which was about something completely different. I think my recent Southbank [Cathedral] part came up in conversation and Jake told him that I was a free agent.
Next thing I know I get a text from Nik Stain. It was a screenshot of Andrew asking him for my number. He asked me if it was alright to send it to him which it was of course obviously. That was on a Monday, I had just finished skating the mini ramp in Peckham and was cycling home. Then my phone went as I was on the way to meet my friend for coffee. I checked it and the message was from ‘Maybe: Andrew’ saying something along the lines of “Hey we should talk”. I didn’t reply for an hour and a half because I was freaking out. The person I was with knows nothing about skating so I couldn’t really share the impact of what had just happened. Also I was trying to maintain a certain level of cool and not act like an over-excited kid.
“He said that they would love me to ride for Baker, that I would have a board out, and that I would have a home with those guys.”
I finished the coffee and then texted him back saying I could speak whenever worked for him and he replied “Now?” I got so nervous and went bright pink and couldn’t do it there and then so I asked him to give me twenty minutes to cycle home. Then I decided I couldn’t just do it in my house so I cycled to Southbank and sat on the stairs by the water with two cans of Heineken. I downed one beer and felt ready then called him on the phone. We spoke for about twenty minutes, it was surreal. He said that they would love me to ride for Baker, that I would have a board out, and that I would have a home with those guys. So I said I would sit on it for a bit and get back to him.
“he sent me a mock-up of a board with my name on it and I was blown away.”
You know what, this all happened on a Monday. I’m not sure why that’s so significant. On the Friday night I touched base and said I would be in touch about it after the weekend. My friend Rauri [Jones] and I were hanging and I had told him about it in the week, I hadn’t really told anyone at this point. After talking to Rauri about it again we both got really excited. I had discussed it with Jake [Harris] and another couple of friends during the week so I felt confident to make the choice. I decided then and there to text him and say I’m super down to skate for Baker. I sent him a screenshot of the classic Lou Reed song [Street Hassle] saying “I’m super down, thank you”. Then he didn’t reply for about twenty minutes and I was tripping out thinking it was one big joke. Then he sent me a mock-up of a board with my name on it and I was blown away.
Name in lights right there.
I mean I guess so yeah! I watched Baker 3 from the age of 12 or 13 and still watch it to this day.
We talked about that video in your ‘Offerings’ interview a couple of years ago.
Exactly, it’s mental. It’s just something I never thought would happen.
Were there talks years ago of a possible spot on Baker?
No there were definitely rumours though but they weren’t true. I went on that Emerica trip with Andrew, which was about ten years ago, it’s crazy that it’s that long ago. After that trip I was growing up a bit and my influences and style had been changing so people had maybe already assumed that I was going to go in a different direction to Heroin. At that time Baker and Emerica were so pieced together that I think people just jumped to that conclusion.
But no it had never been spoken about. I hadn’t seen or spoken to Andrew since that tour until that conversation on the phone I was just speaking about. Maybe a comment or a like on Instagram here and there but that’s the first proper contact. Then I went to New York about a month ago to meet him and hang out with some of the guys, that’s the first time I had seen him since that trip when I was 18 or 19.
That’s the trip where the photos of you two together are from. Who shot those photos?
Rye Beres took those photos and even that photo is pretty special to me now I guess.
How long was that trip?
I was there with those guys for a week and then I stayed on for a Supreme trip which followed it. Just two weeks in New York split between the two. It was insanely hot there.
The perfect ledge to ollie out of back smith. Full Baker board exposure for Will Miles’ fisheye
How were the DM’s when the Baker board in traffic was glimpsed in the Figgy, Lyric and Riley video?
I guess most people close to me knew and people talk so I’m pretty sure most of the UK knew by that point. I did have a few people hitting me up asking if it was me in there though. But I really liked how he did that, putting that in there as a little teaser.
It was so sick seeing that back smith welcome clip with the Baker music. Sometimes it takes a while to associate someone with a different company but with this it made perfect sense straight away.
I’m really pleased that’s how people feel about it. It’s been one of my favourite companies for so many years. One thing is that I don’t really skate the same as most of the dudes on there, which I think is a good thing. It feels like a very natural fit for me and I couldn’t be happier. Andrew [Reynolds] sent me that clip a few hours before he posted it. I watched it and got a tingle down my spine.
What was the reason you decided to do the back smith you filmed with Will Miles for the Constant video again? Was it for the board graphic air time?
Basically, I was thinking about what to do and was thinking about how recognisable those red Baker boards are. Then I thought about that back smith I had filmed with Will for Constant and how cool it would be to do a back smith with a big ollie out and have the fisheye go into the board. As anyone from the UK knows we aren’t exactly blessed with good ledges. Those ledges outside Sainsbury’s are really good and I know I can get high out of them so I decided to redo it there with Will.
Are you straight to filming again now?
I am but I’ve been a bit unlucky filming stuff right now. I’ve had a bit of a drought. I’ve been trying things and other things have come into play like it being too busy, raining out of nowhere, getting kicked out. You know the classics, on top of me just me not landing stuff. I filmed something the other day so I’m hoping I am out of the rut. I am trying to start filming a new part for those guys though. I have something coming out soon with Jake [Harris], which I need to do some more things for and once that’s done I will start on a Baker part.
“It feels like a very natural fit for me and I couldn’t be happier.”
Who have you been skating with in Paris?
I’ve been skating with James Cruickshank a lot, Greg [Cuadrado], Sylvain [Tognelli] and Remy [Taveira]. You know what though, I have just been going to that Bastille manny pad spot. It’s easy to warm up there. There’s a ledge there now too so it’s pretty sick. Skating there all the time has made me feel really good on my board. Skating flat, curbs and doing mannys I find are the building blocks to doing tricks. I feel like I need to be as on point as I can be right now so it’s been really nice skating every day and feeling really strong.
I was hyped to see your manual missions in Bastille. From watching what you post I feel like you go on quests, Cathedral was a good example of that. Like you will go to war with backside noseslides for a while or fixate on a certain trick. I’m not sure if you think that’s true? Do you have a new trick of the month you’re taking to pieces?
I don’t but I’ve been thinking about one a lot. I’ve been practising switch tre flips a lot because I want to learn that trick into manny which is hard. I’ve been doing switch tre flips on flat for about three days. It’s funny that you noticed that though. I do get slightly OCD about a trick, see what I can do with it and then leave it alone. I’ve fixated on fakie mannys for a couple of years so I should probably change that soon, I feel like I’ve rinsed it.
Have you filmed with Beagle yet?
No I haven’t. I’m going to LA at the end of the month to meet and hang out with everyone so I will be going out with Beagle there. I guess I will start filming my part properly there.
So a bigger stint of US trips will be part of your year?
Yeah definitely with the Baker thing on top of everything else. I usually go to LA for about a month in the winter anyway. Maybe I’ll do January and February next year because of Baker. It’s just so hard to get anything done here during those months.
You must be excited to skate Baker HQ as well.
I am well excited, it looks so fun! I love it when parks just have all the basics and are done really well, the ledge looks so banging.
NYC visit with the Boss Captured by Rye beres and Casper’s first two Baker pro models
Were you asked if you would prefer your board to say Casper or Brooker?
I was, on that original phone call we discussed it. Brooker is too long and no-one ever calls me that anyway. I have a strange enough first name so it carries. I’m just so happy with how it turned out and I can’t wait to get some.
What was the inspiration behind the Satanic Switch graphic?
That’s all Mike Gigliotti, it’s his work. They sent me that and asked if I was down for it and of course I was. I love all of his work, not sure of the inspiration behind it but it’s one of his. I saw Spanky in Paris and he showed me all of next seasons boards which are sick. With everything, he was totally open to me making changes if I didn’t like anything. Also if I was interested in doing something specific they would be down to do it. I’ve got a bunch of ideas so maybe when I’m done being starstruck I can start suggesting things.
What size board will you run the 8.5”?
Yeah I skate the 8.5”, they call it the B2 shape. It’s similar to a FA or Hockey board, longer, super wide, a squared nose and a steep concave. Slugger sent me a few to try out to start with and it’s pretty much the perfect board for me. I had been trying out a lot of boards for shapes before this had come up and that B2 shape was exactly what I wanted in a board. I know a lot of the team get boards made for them to their specifications but this stock shape was perfect straight away. That just made it all make even more sense. Then I got sent a big box from Baker Boys, with loads of different Baker stuff, different B2 graphics. Then I pulled out one of those logo T-Shirts and put it on and was like “Yep I really made the right decision“.
Well it’s been 10 years since your part in City Of Rats came out and you have been putting in some serious work this past decade. We’re so hyped for you and can’t wait to see the next chapter.
Any last words?
Thanks for reading about Casper’s latest moves. Thanks also to Casper for taking time out to talk to us about them.
For more Casper related material check out what skate video, book, film and album he picked for you in his Offerings Interview. If you enjoy that then explore similar reccomendations from his new team mate Kevin ‘Spanky’ Long.