JOURNAL JAMS: CHAD TIM TIM
BJ: Chad good to see you brother, thanks for inviting us into your home!
Chad: Glad you’re here, good to see yah again.
BJ: So Chad, for those who don't know, you're a very well loved and well respected skateboarder, but I’d say you live quite an eclectic life. You're a nurturing father and a loving husband, the New Balance Numeric Team Manager, and based on those cam rewinds it looks like you've been gettin some good turns in the water. What's life been like lately?
Chad: [Laughter] Thank you brother. Life is full… as you know. Raising 3 daughters, still skating, still surfing when I can, but stepping back into having a newborn has been a new challenge. But it's beautiful nonetheless.
BJ: Sounds like it, and for what it's worth I gotta say your doin it well. So if you're at the new balance office, off skating, or kickin it with the kids, what are your daily jams lookin like these days!?
Chad: A lot of 90’s hip hop. Stuff I grew up on actually. Tribe called Quest, Digable Planets, Day La Soul, those classic songs and beats. And my daughters actually enjoy it. It's interesting to see how hip the 90's are now and it's funny to see my daughters listening to the same stuff I grew up on.
BJ: Classics always come back. But while we're on topic of the 90’s, compared to most skateboarders right now your dress is very not 90’s!?
Chad: Yeah I already lived the 90’s ! Once was fine [ Laughter].
BJ: Has it been strange for you as a skateboarder in the 90’s to watch all these trends circle back?
Chad: Yeah I actually enjoy seeing a lot of it, I know alot of people don't, but I think this go around its a lot more mature. Back in the day it was a pretty rebellious style, the bigger the baggier the better, and nothing needed to go together. But people seem to be putting more thought into it now.
BJ: Did you get roped into that style pretty young?
Chad: If I look back I think I was 12 years old wearing size 40 dockers, so yeah I was in it. The shoes were nowhere in sight and we all just gave in to the craziness of the time. So it's fun to see the new kids bringin it back.
BJ: Any standout trends that you're glad are in the rearview mirror?
Chad Tim Tim: Tight pants were a hard one to manage, they just weren't that functional [Laughter].
BJ: Any current one’s that you're in support of?
Chad Tim Tim: You know so much of skateboarding right now is defined by the pants you wear, but I’m a fan of the hand cut pants. It's very in skateboarding’s nature to just disregard a simple hem and just cut them to the length you need.
BJ: Without a doubt. I do love that there's 2 eras of the 90’s in skating right now. It’s like The Offspring and Tribe Called Quest made a record together.
Do you feel like growing up as a skateboarder pretty much sealed the deal on the type of music you listen to?
Chad: You know I think skateboarding and skate videos specifically lead me to other genres of music I wouldn't have been normally gotten into. My sister brought the pop 80’s and my brothers brought the latest stuff from hip hop, but suddenly every skateboarder I met had a different music taste. And from there my taste in music just kept expanding and expanding. Skate culture changes so rapidly so you never knew what someone was listening to.
BJ: 100%, you never know what you're gonna hear blasting on a session. I feel like it's safe to say skateboarding has always been closely correlated to music, and as a professional that puts out video parts, what has that relationship been like for you?
Chad Tim Tim: When it comes to videoparts, my process always started with skating and the tricks I wanted to do, but music has always influenced and motivated me to go skate. Earlier we we’re talking about Jake Johnston, and the first thing that comes to my mind is that he skated to Animal Collective in Alien Workshop’s Mindfield. And when I hear that song, I'm completely motivated to go skate. So there’s always a fun correlation.
BJ: So while we're on the topic of video parts, you’ve put out quite a few epic ones in the past decade or so, “This is my Element”, “A Time to Shine” , “Trio” to name a few. And I gotta say you've always been on the better dressed side of skateboarding. What do you think your influences were to stay in your own lane as far as dress goes?
Chad: I mean I would like to say I was pretty with it, but I don't think I was ever a leader in it, I’d just always try to stick to colors and patterns that made me feel good.
Actually when Dylan Rieder came out to film for our parts in the Transworld video, ( “A Time to Shine”) I actually found myself being pretty influenced by not only his skating but also the way he dressed. So to have a kid who was 10 years younger than I was influencing me was super rad, and I think Keith Hercharts approach to dress in skating was pretty inspiring as well. It was super simple, just dickies and a t- shirt. I think at the end of the day I'm just looking for something functional and something that makes me feel good.
BJ: You know that's actually a pretty interesting cross section as a skateboarder, I think what you wear really has a big influence on how you're gonna skate that day. What's your take on that?
Chad: Absolutely, if I end up trying to wear something I don't usually wear while I'm skating, and I end up not liking it..it just throws everything into a funk. I just feel like I’m a bad skater haha.
I just like simple things that catch my eye and things that fit good, and I think that's why I like the brand so much. What you guys make is just clean and simple.
And I think the goal for my skateboarding through the years has been something similar, I’ve always wanted the tricks I do to be simple and clean, and just inspire people to go skate.
BJ: Well I’d say you’ve met your goal, Switch Stance BS Smiths are not supposed to look that effortless.
Chad Tim Tim: Thank you, I appreciate that.
BJ: So with us being in apparel design and yourself in skateboarding, we both have a pretty constant influence of changing trends, what's helped you steer through that in your career.
Chad Tim Tim: You know there's so many ways that you can choose to skate these days, and if you're looking for them, I bet there's a new trend every week to jump on. But I think personally I’ve just always tried to stick my roots in skateboarding, which for the most part has been skating ledges. I think that's played a big part in me being able to skate as long as I have, and with getting older there's a subtle confidence you find when you just stick to your strengths. I’d say any smoothness you see within my skating or anyone's for that matter probably comes with them understanding where they feel most confident.
BJ: That was beautiful.. and although I'm already writing this all down, I think I'm gonna write that down twice.
Chad Tim Tim: [ Laughter] . But you know I actually saw Nyjah embody that when he was just a kid on Element tours. He always knew exactly what he could or couldn't do. Whether it was a big rail, technical trick, or whatever, if he knew he had it, it would get knocked out in a few tries. And when he knew he didn't feel confident, he’d just move onto the next spot.
BJ: Well it looks like that worked out well for him [Laughter] . But switching subject matter from concrete to water, here's the question for all the hybrids out there. Do you think skating influences your surfing or vice versa?
Chad Tim Tim: It's definitely both, surfing has definitely helped me relax in my skating, and skating has definitely helped me push myself in surfing. Surfing is so hard and I suck at it but…
BJ: Wait wait, I definitely saw a pretty good FS carve on a cam rewind yesterday!
Chad Tim Tim: [ Laughter ] Ah man, the first time I saw myself surfing I definitely told myself I didn't want to ever see that again.
BJ: Yeah we’ve all been there. So being a skateboarder you're basically projecting yourself in the air for every trick you do. Is an air surfing still a foreign concept?
Chad Tim Tim: You know I feel like doing an air is easier than getting a barrel. I feel like skating makes you so front foot heavy which just throws you down the line, and getting barreled is just so hard.
BJ: So when did the transition happen from skateboarding to surfing ? I feel like in the last decade a lot of dudes from the skate scene have found themselves in the water.
Chad Tim Tim: I started surfing when I was pretty young, and although I loved it, when I was about 10 I don't think I was patient enough for it. Skateboarding was like instant gratification, and I could constantly try that trick over and over and over, so it got to the point where I gravitated towards skateboarding and it was the only thing that I wanted to focus on.
But now 25 years into skating, surfing has become something that allows me to slow down. It's therapeutic and definitely life giving.
BJ: I agree, there's so many variables constantly running through your head skating, and surfing can really temper that.
Chad Tim Tim: And you know maybe a decade or so ago I really only surfed alone, but I slowly started to see other dudes that skate in the water. It was always a little surprise. “Dude you surf too !? Let's try and surf together” [Laughter].
Cause it really felt like there was a time where it wasn't accepted. Skateboarders kinda bagged on surfers and vice versa, but I really loved surfing so I wasn't gonna just not do it. And then all of a sudden there was this little community of skateboarders who loved to surf [laughter] , and now I got friends to surf with.
BJ: And people say dreams don't come true!?
Chad Tim Tim: [Laughter] Yeah it’s a nice change.
BJ: Well Chad thanks for spending the day with us, maybe let's end on this note. What do you think is inspiring you most in this next season of life ?
Chad Tim Tim: My family. Seeing my daughters grow, seeing my baby grow, my wife. It's pretty amazing to do this delicate dance together as we go through life and raise our kids.
But in addition to that, being able to go out and skate with the New Balance team inspires me. Those dudes are a lot younger than me and it brings me a lot of life to just be out with them, and additionally I think any time I spend in the ocean surfing is inspiring. It's truly simple, just the ocean and the sky.
Words by Josh Useldinger - Photos by Brennan Wright