Long Beach homie Julian Davidson
Like a latter-day Arto Saari, Julian Davidson has honed a lanky-yet-elegant, skateboarding style. Hence, it's no surprise that Element skateboards has chosen to feature Davidson -- along with his equally-gifted cousin Nick Garcia -- in its am video "Future Nature." We recently spoke with Davidson and Garcia while the dynamic duo was eating breakfast in the Long Beach, Calif. apartment they share. Though Davidson and Garcia possess seemingly inhuman athletic abilities, the pair could not be mellower or more endearing in their obvious affection for one another. They are truly what the kids call "homies." Yes indeed, the super chill, and the super gnarly genes, were equitably distributed between the cousins.
ESPN.com: Your footage looks really clean. Do you spend a lot of time trying to get it exactly right? Andrew Reynolds is known to reshoot tricks over and over again. Are you a perfectionist?
Davidson: Kind of, man. Sometimes. I'll leave a spot and think I should have tried a couple more.
It looks so effortless.
Ah, no way dude. I wish it was that, man.
So it's an illusion.
I definitely put in some work.
Were you stressed out about filming for the Element am video "Future Nature"?
I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. Just knowing that it was going to be a legit video, you know? I was just kind of stressing myself pretty hard on the whole thing. I tried my best. But I am stoked on what I came away with. Everyone worked really hard. Evan [Smith], Nick [Garcia]. I am just hyped either way. Everyone kills themselves for these videos. It's just awesome to finally be done and move on to the next chapter, you know? This is my first video where it's made and sold on iTunes and with a DVD. I filmed a little shop video when I was a little baby. But that was just homie stuff.
It seems like the quality of skating at Element is so uniformly high. Does that put pressure on you?
No. I love it. It's just inspirational. I need that in my life. I want people ripping around me constantly. It does nothing but get you stoked. It's not like I am going skating with Nyjah [Huston] all the time or something and watching him smith grind a 23 [stair]. It would get me psyched if I did, you know what I mean? I just skate with my usual homies like Cole[Mathews] and Nick. All their talent is awesome. I just love it.
You live in Long Beach, California. Have you seen the rapper Snoop Dogg?
Nah man. Snoop-a-Loop? I wish I'd seen Snoop-a-Loop. That'd be sick.
Is it rough out where you live?
It's pretty nice, man. The old house I was living in was kind of in the worse part of town but it was still nice. It was just deeper in Long Beach. But our neighborhood around here is super good -- it's right down the street from the beach.
Some of your footage looks like it's in pretty random little spots, like the rail and stair gap at the apartment complex in your Converse shoes video part.
Yeah, yeah. Those type of the spots are awesome. That's in Long Beach. You'll get those little gems every once in awhile. That's just secret spots. My homie showed that to me.
Are filmers and photographers down to follow you into the cuts?
Not even. I have to convince people to go. I don't drive. I just throw it out there and one day we'll go. I just ride off everyone else's coattails.
Not to touch on anything too controversial, but you've been really open about your Dad's legal struggles. He's in prison for some form of financial fraud. Does he read these interviews?
I don't think he's read any of them. I don't think he'd be stoked if he did.
Can I get a quick quote from Nick?
Sure. Man, you hit me out of nowhere! It's early in the morning and you're all, "Hey, it's ESPN!" [Laughs.]
Sorry. I didn't mean to do that to you.
No worries. Don't even trip. It's all good. Hey Nick! ESPN wants to get a quote out of you. Garcia: A quote out of me?
Garcia: Hey there. How are you buddy?
ESPN.com: Good. I admire both you and your cousin's skating. I feel like you guys are the new breed.
Ah, thanks buddy. I appreciate that.
I grew up skating, but it's cool to see how it's evolved. Mark Gonzales said it's more like a martial art now.
I don't know. [Laughs.] That's sick though.
What's it like living with Julian?
It's the best. He makes us breakfast all the time. He keeps the house clean a lot more than I do. I couldn't ask for anything better. He's my best friend, you know?
Does he pay rent to you? Are you kind of the landlord?
We just split it down the middle.
Have you had any roommate conflicts?
No. Not at all. We wanted to move in with one other person. There's been a few dudes we're considering. But definitely no beef or anything crazy.
Do either of you drive?
Nah. We're both bumming it. But we're getting on that though, man. Julian has been taking his practice tests.
I took awhile to get my driver's license. I think there's something about skaters that it takes them awhile.
It's easier to be lazy.
Did you know Jason Dill still doesn't have his driver's license?
Yeah. I heard J. Dill still doesn't have his license -- it makes me not feel too bad.
What do you like about Julian's skating?
Oh man. I've watched him since the time he started skating. It's been amazing watching him grow over the last couple years. He's turned into a gnarly, gnarly skater. I've been there the whole time. He's just pretty much my favorite skater. He's my favorite person to skate with. He's my best friend.
Nice. What are you having for breakfast?
Julian made us scrambled egg with peppers sandwich on an English muffin.
Julian does most of cooking?
Ah, yeah. [Laughs] I try to help out sometimes. But it's pretty much Julian's forte.
What do you love about cooking?
Davidson: What do I love about cooking? It's like skateboarding. You just shuts off your brain. You walk around the kitchen and try different stuff. It's just something to keep your mind off whatever you're thinking about. It's awesome. You're just trying different stuff. It would be rad to open a restaurant one day with all my random ideas.