If you’re involved in Canadian skateboard culture, you’ve most likely heard of Zander Mitchell. Residing in Montreal for more than half a decade, Zander cut his teeth in the primarily francophone community. Whether it’s his capacity to consistently land anything he tries or his ability to skate switch effortlessly, the young man from rural Nova Scotia has proven himself across all spectrums. We recently caught up at his cozy apartment located in the heart of Parc X to discuss crazy neighbors, exploding apartments and some of the more mundane day to day happenings. For those that don’t know him, Here’s an opportunity for a more in-depth look at Zander.
Text and photos by Jacee Juhasz
It’s been a while. Hows life? Got a case of the winter blues yet?
Things are good. Yeah, starting to get pretty sick of winter.
I think we can all agree on that. For those who aren’t familiar, whats your background like? Where’d you grow up and how’d you get into skateboarding?
I grew up on a dairy farm in Scotsburn, Nova Scotia. My brother Stuart got me into skating when I was seven. We basically grew up learning to skate in a barn using some really sketchy shit. We had a ledge, kicker and a log as a flat bar that I learnt front boards on. That was probably the first thing I learned.
Nova Scotia seem’s to have a consistent flow of talent coming from there. Who was your crew back then and some of the people that motivated you in your early years back home?
I Used to skate with Aaron and Regan Hunter a lot because they lived in the same town as me, same with Brad Macdonald and Julien Strasfeld.
The spots out there seem pretty sparse, when did you leave Scotsburn?
I moved to New Glasgow when I was twelve. It was only a twenty-minute drive from Scotsburn. Halifax was close to so I’d go there pretty much every weekend to skate. My mom would drive or I’d take the bus and stay at Curtis Rothney’s.
When was it that you decided to make the move to Montreal and what influenced that decision?
I moved to Montreal in June of 2012. Basically wanted to live somewhere better for skating.
You recently moved back in with your brother. Whats that been like? Are the cats respecting each other’s personal boundaries?
It’s good. We have three cats. Mary-Kate and Ashley which are my brothers and Kitty which is mine. They’re getting along most of the time.
So things have been tame in your unit but what about your neighbor Kia? Simon Richards used to live in your apartment and was her personal assistant of sorts. Whenever we would be out skating she would constantly call until he’d pick up, getting him to do all kinds of various tasks. Have those duties been delegated to you?
She’s our sixty some year old greek neighbor that’s on disability cause she got run over by a car. We’ll run errands for her, help her cook dinner or go to the dep to buy beer. I shovel her stairs for her when it snows as well.
You recently got back from Morocco. A certain someone told me you encountered some unfortunate events. Who tagged along and how’d that turn out?
It was me and like ten others. The trip was cool but Dan dove head first into a rock swimming at night and had to get stitches. Cody Cormier slammed really bad skating some hubba and bunch of people got food poisoning. Kyle pee’d the bed again as well.
Any travel plans for the near future? Working on any particular video parts?
Whats in the fridge?
Just a lot of fruit.
You’ve told me in the past, But are you willing to reveal your secret grocery hack to the public?
I have a system where I take the 50% off stickers off stuff at Provigo and use them on whatever else I want..
Do you ever save the same stickers and bring them back?
Yeah sometimes. The sticker has to look good enough to fool the cashier.
I needed some ideas so I asked a few of your friends to come up with a question they’d like to ask you.
Cole Nowicki: Okay. So. You’re filming a line and it’s taken you forever, but you finally stick it and you now have the opportunity to do a trick off of a curb––a victory lap of sorts. What trick do you do?
Kevin McDonald: What happened to your previous apartment?
My old roommate Balti was cleaning with CLR and left the rag he was cleaning with on top of a bunch of empty spray cans. That, combined with the forty degree heat caused an explosion in the kitchen. I was at my girlfriend Carly’s at the time. When I got home, our neighbors in the building asked me if I knew what happened. I had no idea but Dan Cameron heard what happened and was living on the floor above us at the time and saved my cat. All of our stuff was ruined by fire retardant and smoke damage. Mind you, this all happened on the 16th floor of an apartment complex so could have been much worse.
Carly Somogyi: Would you rather have your search history go public or your entire photo library?
Photo library. Less embarrassing. Pretty much all pictures of my cat haha.
Simon Richards: I wanna know what your best Kia (neighbor) story is?
She once found like a pound of weed in a park in Laval. She thought it was a bomb at first and was scared to open it. She found it in a duffel bag with a scale and tried to bribe me with weed to do errands for her. She ended up just giving us some.
Charles Bale: Whats the last thing that made you rofl?
Nathan for you.
Now, the age-old question? Who are you backing these days?
Studio, HUF, Brixton, Thunder, Spitfire, Empire, Stance,
Carly asked a very interesting question though. What would I find in your search history if I was presented the opportunity?