In July we had the pleasure of meeting some of the most renowned riders in the world during the London stop of Converse’s ‘One Star’ world tour. Not only did we see some mind-blowing skateboarding but also had the opportunity to have a chat with one of the most talked about young faces in skateboarding today, Sage Elsesser. When you’re one of the kids at the forefront Supreme’s ‘cherry’, there’s no doubt that you’re going to amass quite a fan base around the world. On the flipside of things, ‘cherry’ has had its fair share of scrutiny since its release and it was clear from the get-go that Sage had a pretty hard exterior. Nonetheless, after getting down to talking we had a great conversation with him and his friend Elliot that we’re happy to finally share. This is the Sage Elsesser interview.
There’s a lot of footage of you skating in NYC. How does skating in London compare?
Yeah I think it’s sick. I like the Palace shit, it’s real cool.
You and Sean [Pablo] seem pretty tight. Is he your go-to guy on trips like this?[Laughs] No homo but yeah we sleep in the same bed.
As one of the most familiar faces in ‘cherry’ you’ve no doubt noticed all the kids playing dress-up. What do you think about all that?
It’s like a cool form of flattery. It’s sick but it’s cool to do your own shit… But then again imitating people – it’s what you’re supposed to do with the people you look up to. I dressed up like Dill you know what I mean? It’s kind of crazy though when they don’t know how to kickflip. I went to Southbank and saw like ten kids just all posted; FA, Supreme all that shit.. They were all just doing bonelesses on the bank but couldn’t really skate. I dunno, you’ve gotta learn the basics first. Don’t start no complying all over the place.
How about all the people biting it that don’t skate at all? You think the video has had anything to do with skateboarding being as popular as it is right now?
Yeah I think as far as Supreme’s concerned people just fuck with us because we make it look sick I guess; at least opposed to hypebeast kids wearing leather pants and shit. It shows a different side of it.
What’s it like riding for a big company like Converse?
It’s sick but at the same time it’s pretty hectic.
Yeah, it’s pretty crazy they’re flying you around the world for the sake of a shoe.
I guess you’ve got to understand the business side of it. They’re just doing what they’ve got to do.
What would your go-to shoe usually be?
I’d probably be wearing Chuck Taylors or something like that.
Do all the kids biting the ‘cherry’ thing ever make you think twice before putting on a pair?
Yes. I’ve definitely thought, “damn I’ve gotta think of a new shoe to skate”, but then again it doesn’t matter… I wear chucks because my friend Logan wore Chuck Taylors back in the day. This dude Logan started everything that you see now: Rails, colours, Dickies pants – he did all that first. Nobody was fuckin’ with that, then the whole grip tape art thing came about… it was all one dude.
If you look at old footage you’ll see Steve Cab back in the day, everybody wore them. It’s a classic shoe.
Do you ever feel those eyes on you? Like “here’s another dude in Chucks and Dickies skating around”.
Yeah it’s crazy. The thing I hate most is people thinking I’m white or something. They try to say I’m whitewashed or some shit like that when really it’s not the case. I’ve seen someone say like, “white kids always have a different section to the black kids in Supreme videos”. Just let a nigga put on some fuckin’ clothes; it doesn’t really matter at all. Really wanna know why my pants are so high? My Grandpa told me gentlemen’s pants are never supposed to touch their shoes. That’s some black people shit. I’ve been running these; I’m not about to let other people fuck it up for me. It’s what I like to skate.
Who’s been skating hardest on the trip?
Probably Louis Lopez, He’s the best skateboarder ever. Tom Remillard’s always ripping too
Who’s been drinking hardest on the trip?
Think Benny got pretty smashed last night
Yeah he reeks of alcohol right now [Laughs].
Your boys Nakel and Kevin have just gone pro for FA. See yourself joining them any time soon?
Fuck, hopefully. I don’t know [laughs], shit!
Elliot: It’s long overdue! You just impossible grinded a table!
You got any passions of your own outside of skating?
Yeah I paint
You’ve recently finished school right? Have you made the decision to go to college or are you putting your faith in skating?
I’m going to college. I got a scholarship to Pratt in New York.
Well congratulations on that. You got any projects in the pipeline at the moment you can tell us about?
If my friend Logan leaves Malibu and skates then hopefully his video…That would be the sickest thing ever.
Finally, are there any other independent companies you’re backing at the moment?
Honestly fuck everything else if it’s not FA. That’s for real…
Head to www.conversecons.com for more on the One Star World Tour
Words: James P.Lees
Imagery: Lily Brown