Evan Hay Interview From Issue 18.1

Backside 180 nosegrind

Evan, what’s going on?

I’m at Blue Tile. Hang on; I’m going to go to the back. 

Getting heckled by everyone there? 

Yeah, and I’m already nervous enough. Talking on the phone is so weird for me, but I’ll try my best.

It’s funny, because especially now, people never talk on the phone.

Nobody does it. It’s just weird. I saw Drew Williams today. He was like, “You guys should just Facetime or something.”  

I feel like Facetime is chill if you have hung out with and know the person, but facetiming someone you’ve never actually met is pretty funny.

I’m uncomfortable either way, so it doesn’t really matter

Ollie

 

Let’s talk about where you’re from, Port Hope. Being from the west coast of Canada, I don’t even know anything about it.

It’s just a small Ontario town. I think the population is like 17,000, so it’s super small and nobody skates there.

Is there a skatepark, or spots?

There’s a skatepark. It got built maybe two or three years before I left. Growing up, there was an indoor park, and a park in the town next to us. Nobody skated. I had 2 friends who skated, and all my other friends BMX’d and mountain biked, so I even BMX’d for 2 years because nobody skated in my town.

How far is it from Toronto?

Like an hour east I think, an hour and a half actually.

It’s not that far, but it’s removed enough that it’s kind of a whole other world?

Yeah, and I didn’t even come to Toronto when I was young. I didn’t even think of that, to come to Toronto and skate.

When did you end up moving to Toronto? How much was the shock was it to move and see skaters everywhere.

Oh yeah, it’s completely different. I moved here for school three years ago. I almost went to school in Ottawa, which I feel like would have been the worst decision in the world, because Ottawa sucks. Actually, I shouldn’t say that because fuck, then I’ll offend someone. Ottawa doesn’t suck but it just would have been so much different. Moving to Toronto was a good move. I started skating with Bobby DeKeyzer and he pretty much introduced me to everyone in Toronto.

Pop Shuv

 

How did you and Bobby meet? 

I don’t even remember. I think I met him through some mutual friends. He introduced me to everyone in Toronto. I wouldn’t know anybody if I just moved here and I didn’t know him.

It seems like Toronto, especially right now, and maybe in large part because of Bobby, has a ton of eyes on it. You hear of companies and people wanting to do trips there more often. Has that changed the scene there at all?  

I wouldn’t really know because I didn’t live here before, but from what I’ve heard from the dudes that have been skating here their whole lives, they think it’s popping off a lot more.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like for a long time, it seemed like you weren’t seeing people skating downtown in Toronto. Now it’s popping up again.

Fuck, I don’t know. It’s hard to say. We just skate the same spots every day anyways. We don’t even go anywhere different. I feel like it’s good that all these teams are coming to Toronto, because then we’re like “What the fuck?” They wouldn’t skate at that spot. We don’t even go there because we’re from here. It’s good that all these people are coming here. This summer, so many people, all these 917 Nike guys or whatever were just here, and Primitive dudes came. I heard the spots that they went and skated, and I was just jealous because we don’t even go there because we’re lazy. We just pretty much go downtown. That’s all we do. There are so many spots.

I’ve heard that guys roll with a pretty heavy crew when you go skating. Does that ever cause problems at spots?

There’s usually a solid crew of guys. It’s so hard, I feel like when you’re not actually trying to film and you’re just skating downtown for fun, you get so much time at spots. TD especially, you can skate for an hour some days. They just don’t see you somehow. Then if you go and try and film a trick there, you’ll get 5 minutes. It’s super frustrating, especially with a lot of people. I’ve had it to our advantage once when we go down with 20 people and you can just skate around because there’s so many, they can’t really do anything, but for the most part it kind of just sucks. We get kicked out so fast. There are only a few spots that you can skate all the time and not get kicked out, but downtown’s hectic. It’s hard to skate a spot for a long time.

Since you’re hanging out at Blue Tile, is it the main shop in Toronto? 

Yeah, I feel like it’s definitely the shop here. It’s the skateshop. Everyone at Adrift is cool and Jake is the coolest owner, the best skateboarder ever, but I think Blue Tile’s the skateshop.

Switch Backside Nosegrind

 

They have such a big presence. I’ve never even been to Toronto and I feel like if I were going to Toronto, I would visit Blue Tile.

Everyone visits when they come here. Even P-Rod was at Blue Tile, which is super weird. To go from OVO to Blue Tile, it seemed weird to me that they would even bother going in a skateshop, but whatever.

What’s up with Lewis Cruise? How did you get involved?

Last summer, they were just doing a team trip to Montreal, and they just invited me on it randomly, I guess. I guess that is kind of how I got on. Jacob (Jurkiewicz), the owner of Lewis Cruise, lives in London now. He just moved there last year. So it’s like half based in London, half here I guess. He doesn’t sell any of it there though; it’s just based out of Toronto. He just runs it from London.

It definitely seems like it’s pretty rooted in Toronto, it’s cool to see. 

Yeah, I feel like there are only a couple cool Canadian brands, and I definitely think Lewis Cruise is one of them.

Speaking of Canadian brands. What’s up with… is it Dirte’?

(Laughs) That is not real, though. I do not know what to say about that. That’s a fake brand, because it was funny.

Okay. What did you fake make?

I didn’t make anything! I don’t know why, but we say things are like dirte’, or just dirty. It is just funny slang like being stupid. Instead of something was “clean”, it was dirty, but that’s stupid to say, so we just kind of make fun of ourselves. I don’t know. I just made an Instagram. Everyone just started making submissions, like different designs and stuff, but I never actually made anything. It is just an Instagram page. I don’t really know what to say about it, because it is literally nothing.

I think that inside joke pretty much says it all. It is the same type of thing as Bolts? Are you part of Bolts? 

Oh, Easy Bolts.

Easy Bolts, sorry.

We started that in Montreal last summer. Me, Jed (Anderson), Coulton (Huber) Ryan (Deroche) and I forget who else was there … our friend Luke. We just went on a skate trip to Montreal, and we were goofing around in our Airbnb and made an Easy Bolts page with just bolts memes and stuff. Coulton actually ended up losing the password to the Instagram account, so we can’t even post on it anymore, so it is kind of like rest in peace. It was just like another fake company. It is basically the same thing as Dirte’. Maybe not as a fake company–Dirte’ was definitely a company; Easy Bolts is more of a lifestyle.

Gap to Backside Lipslide

 

I hate to use the word, but I have been told that you are a very…extreme. You had a snowboard part, and you can do a 720 on a BMX, and you backflip off giant stuff sometimes?

Yeah, it is super embarrassing. But yeah, it is true. I hate to be that kooky, extreme jock, like Travis Pastrana. I’m like Toronto’s Travis Pastrana. Do not say that. Oh my God.

That’s an amazing quote. You’ve actually had a BMX part, and a snowboard part? 

Yeah, I have had both of those. I don’t want anybody to know about it. It’s out there, so whatever. It’s not like I tried to delete it or anything, so I don’t really care. Snowboarding is sick; growing up in Ontario, what else are you going to do in the winter? I’m from a small town. But BMX’ing is definitely kooky.

Whatever, like you said, there was no skaters in your town, You’re going to do what your friends do.

I still skated the whole time. I never quit skating, but I definitely BMX’d for a solid 2 years.

Outside of Skateboarding what do you get up to? you’re going to school? From what I understand you try to look at going to school more as a way to have free time to skate and chill, as opposed to being super focused on having to finish.

I feel like I use school as a way to live in Toronto for free, using student loans, so not actually for free. I don’t have to work a job, I don’t really go to class, so I just skate like every day. I have never failed a class. I am a History student, so it is like when I do actually have exams, I have to fucking crazy study so much written shit. Most of the time, I just pretty much skip class and skate.

Frontside Boardslide Fakie

 

I feel like it is a crazy misconception where people think that you have no free time if you are in school, and I feel like when you’re in University, you have the most free time you may ever have in your life.

Yeah exactly, I just worked full-time all summer, and now I’m in school, and I have so much more free time. I have class for like … I’m just going to count the hours really quick. I have 12 hours of class every week, that’s it. That’s like two shifts at work, and I work one day a week, so I actually have so much free time.

And the thing with school is if you have homework, and it’s nice out, you just know that you have to do it later. You just go skate. 

Yesterday, it was nice out, so I skated all day. I had an assignment due at midnight, so I just did it; I went home at 9 and did it in an hour. It’s really manageable. If I weren’t in school, I wouldn’t live in Toronto, so I think it’s like the best thing ever.

Are you working on anything right now? Blue Tile Video? 

Hopefully. We went to New York near the end of the summer for a Lewis Cruise trip, so I think we’re going to try and put out a team edit or something maybe before the winter. I don’t even know. We’re pretty slow at putting stuff out. Then, yeah, I’ve been filming a lot for … well actually maybe not a lot, but I’ve been trying to film for the Blue Tile video. We haven’t gone on any trips or anything, but I think the deadline was originally supposed to be like next spring, but I feel like it’s not at all, because it’s just not going to happen. We’ve all been trying.

Is it going to all be filmed in Toronto? 

I feel like we’re trying to do a trip, but I don’t know where yet. Maybe in the winter. And we’ve been filming with Cory (McNeil), too. I don’t know what Cory’s up to, if he’s making another full-length or not, but yeah.

Cool man can’t wait to check it out when it comes out. If you want to say thanks or shout out anyone or anything like that now’s the time.

I just hope I’m not too embarrassed. Pretty much, everything we do, we just like fuck around. Nothing that me and my friends do is serious, but I feel like people get mad because they take everything seriously. But hopefully people know that we’re joking. It’s all a joke. Thanks to Rob and Julie, Rich, Drew, Jacob, Mom and Dad, 224 vert dogs, Comber, Czank, and Sean Mo.  

 

Nollie Cab

Interview by Paul Gonzalez

Photos by Jeff Comber

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