Muska in front of his piece at Frontside Gardens.
Chad Muska is a legend. His energy, style and impact on skateboarding in the late nineties stands alone. He was recently in a list compiled by Transworld of the 30 most influential skateboarders of all time. His story is of someone following their dream against the odds, fulfilling it (excuse the reference) and continuing to live it. He is an inspiration and he brought the same energy and positivity to London this time as the first. We were stoked to catch up with him on the recent Supra UK residency tour to ask him these questions…
This interview finds you in the U.K. How do you like it here?
Its always nice to come to the UK and especially London. I enjoy the energy on the streets.
Where would be your favourite European City and why?
I don’t really have a favorite city because I find something special about every place that I go to that is incomparable to the next. But I really like Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Berlin to name a few that stand out to me.
Do you remember the moment that inspired you to start skateboarding?
There were several key moments in my life that brought me to skateboarding but I think it was really love at first ride. Some kids had boards in the neighborhood and I tried their boards out and never stopped since.
It seems like Supra tours are rolling pretty regularly nowadays. How do you like it on the road? What are the best and worst aspects of it?
Life on the road is both amazing and hard. I have been on the road for as long as I can remember, even before skateboarding. So now in my older age I enjoy my time at home alone and away from all. When I am on tour I am constantly putting myself aside and am living to please others, that can be very draining on my soul so after tours are over I separate myself and regroup. But I wouldn’t change anything for the world! I am very happy and appreciative for all the traveling I have done and will do.
First out the van. Noseblunt slide in the wet. Frontside Gardens demo.
You are a productive man with a lot of interests. What is currently motivating you the most outside of skateboarding?
I am very motivated by the act of physical expression. I am constantly thinking and I feel that it is so important to manifest these thoughts into the physical reality. I can achieve this by endless amounts of activities through art, designing objects and creating a business to just name a few. I am not scared to try anything, even if I am not the best at it.
Has your artistic output changed since your ‘Transitions’ show, is the way you express yourself always evolving?
My art is a living beast of its own growing beyond my control. I am just the vessel that works as a part of the puzzle filled with objects that are waiting to be formed into masterpieces. All the things that I have made have existed forever in the universe as matter that was waiting for me to come along and assemble them. It gives me a sense of purpose and the word “Transitions” was not only the name of my show, it is a description of my work. One thing constantly transitioning to the next for infinity.
Are you still making music?
Not as much as I have in the past but things go in cycles and one art form inspires the next so in due time I will produce again.
Where is the best place you’ve skated on this trip so far?
My favorite thing to do is to skate around the streets of any city and not be confined to one place. So I would say the streets of London’s Financial district on a Sunday.
What was it like leading the crowds this Go Skateboarding Day?
I made it in late on this tour and missed that day so Tom Penny took lead to the parade!
Southbank is a must when you come to London! It is just as important as Big Ben, The London Bridge or any other iconic landmark in the city. I love that place and it is the last of a dying breed of natural streets spots that skaters can turn to.
Who has been on a mission clocking up footage this tour?
All these guys are crazy! From the OG’s to young guys on the team now they all hold it down in their own individual ways and still connect as a family. I love this whole team! I was really stoked on Oscar Candon! It was the first time I got to skate with him and he rips hard! And Dee Ostrander has been killing it hard everywhere too!
You were definitely an inspiration for a generation of skateboarders. Who do you feel is carrying that torch and how do you see skateboarding evolving further still?
I feel that skateboarding has changed a lot since I was coming up and it really isn’t comparable in the same way. I see two sides of it, there are the hardcore street skaters and the mainstream contest skaters. Both are progressing in taking skateboarding to a whole new level but while the focus on progression has been so strong I think they might have lost some style along the way and it became a bit boring in my eyes. The skaters are doing the most insane tricks and it is doing nothing for me. But then you see some random clips come out of some kids on the streets just ruling and that brings hope. I think the whole industry is aware of the changes in the last 10 years and it is making an effort to get back to where we came from. There are so many great skaters out there today that I can’t name one and I see the progression of skateboarding isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.
Do you remember the first time you visited Slam City Skates? Was it the Shorty’s era?
Yeah! That was the first time I came to Europe and it was with Steve Olson and Danny Minnick. We had no team manager or tour guide. We would just show up at train stations and wait for older pro’s to see where they were going and what train to get on. We went to Munster and then to London for a contest. I had the time of my life and we skated South Bank and partied hard at a club called Bar Rumba I think? Then after the club closed I lead the whole club back to my hotel like the pied piper with my ghetto blaster. Somebody pulled the fire alarm and the whole hotel evacuated and then we got kicked out. I went to Slam City that morning and you guys helped me figure out how to get to the airport and I made it home safe! Thank you!
Do you have new Supra projects on the boil? What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
Starting to work on the concepts for the Skytop V and just continue to skate with the guys. Also been talking about doing a project in Mexico City involving a sculpture and skateboarding. Just to keep creating and skating.
What advice would you pass down to the youth reading this?
Have fun and enjoy life! Spend less time judging and more time creating. If you do not like something then try to understand it. Be aware of the rest of the universe and nature. Connect with people and not devices. Eat healthy and stay active. Always remember that the only limitations in life are the ones we create ourselves. The world is in your hands, take good care of it.
Interview by Jacob Sawyer. All photos – Maksim Kalanep