The Internet has been all abuzz about the group of skateboarders who starred in Bill Stroebeck's opus for Supreme, "Cherry," but very little is known about the crew of relative newcomers. Sage Elsesser was, at age 17, the first to be put on Jason Dill and Anthony Van Engelen's new brand FA, and he now serves as the elder statesman. If you saw "Cherry," you'd know exactly who he is without knowing his face -- he is the tall one wearing Chuck Taylors and ollieing over everything in his path with the meanest pop in the entire video. XGames.com caught up with Sage in NYC to discuss boarding school, meeting Jason Dill and the reaction to the Supreme video amongst other things.
XGames.com: Sage, not too much is known about the starring crew of young guys from Supreme's new "Cherry" DVD. Tell me about yourself.
Elsesser: I'm from LA, born in LA and have been going to boarding school on Long Island for four years.
Why? Were you bad?
No, my mom just thought it would be cool to get out of Los Angeles and I like being in New York. I'm just out here doing school. I have a whole more year of school left. I'm in 11th grade.
Where on the Island do you live?
East Hampton, N.Y.
Does anyone skate there?
No! No one skates there, there are no spots, there's nothing there.
How did you link up with the city kids and Bill [Stroebeck] and Supreme?
First [Jason] Dill hit me up a long time ago and started giving me Workshop boards after this company I was skating for called Telegraph (that Brian Lotti was doing) went under. He was telling me how he was going to get a little Supreme shop team going with me, Nakel Smith, Kevin Bradley and this redhead kid, Aiden. Sean Pablo was skating for Brixton so I asked if Sean Pablo could skate for Supreme and then we just started getting clothes from the shop. I feel like they wanted to take it a bit more serious and make it more official and then it became a real clothing sponsor.
How did you originally meet Dill, just from skating in Los Angeles?
Actually I met him when I was seven or eight. I went by the Berrics because I knew Steve Berra and he was giving me a recommendation because we couldn't afford Woodward Camp and like every other kid, I liked skate camp. So I was trying to get a scholarship and I got Steve Berra to write me a recommendation and I met Dill at The Berrics and he gave me a board. I think he met my friend Aiden out in New York and him and Anthony Van Engelen were like, "We want to hook this kid up." Then I skated with them one time at the park and it went from there. I woke up one morning with a text from Dill wondering if I wanted to get Workshop boards -- I kind of lucked out. Now the guy is like my dad. He's on me 24/7. It's for the best I feel like. He snaps on me but if he didn't snap on me I wouldn't be the dude that I am -- not to sound corny.
Speaking of Woodward, I heard that when you used to go there, you'd write and sing your own music.
No, I don't sing my own music but my mom and dad are musicians so I just kind of do it on my own. I mess around on the piano. There isn't anything to do at school so I like to do creative stuff like painting and music. My dad plays everything, mainly percussion. My mom is a singer and plays piano. They had a little band together called Spirit Level. I grew up playing drums. My dad is initiated into a religion called Santeria, which is an Afro-Cuban religion so he's sworn to the drum and I grew up learning all that.
Now that Dill and AVE are doing FA, they're hooking you up with FA boards?
Yeah, it was crazy when Dill and AVE left Alien. Dill hit me up and was kind of freaking out and I was like, "Whatever you want to do, I'm backing it." Then out of nowhere he hit me up and said, "It's only right that we do a board company." Not to be that guy, but I was, like, the first guy on, so in the future I'll be the OG.
When you were making the Supreme video did you realize how much hype it would get and how important that video would be to people?
At first it was just kind of happening. Like all that schoolyard footage was filmed in the summer and Bill would be out there and we'd see him and he'd be like, "Let's go skate." It was cool, we'd spend the whole day in the schoolyard and people would come out of nowhere and do stuff. I didn't realize until the premiere, because Bill wouldn't even show us the footage and I really admire that. We'd ask him to see the footage or to see a specific trick and he'd be like, "Nah, it looks good. Don't worry. You'll see it when it comes out." Everyone that was in the video was just as excited as everyone else because none of us had seen it. I'm psyched that people like it and I'm psyched that people hate it because if you're not getting hated on, you're obviously doing something wrong.
Does it trip you out how even non-skaters bought the video and how much people are into Supreme?
Well, it's the truth, we kind of rule. We're proving everyone wrong. Drake wears Supreme, every rapper, Aesop idiot Rocky wears Supreme and then you got Aiden, Tino Razo, Sean wearing it skating. How we skate, we're not trying to mimic anybody. We're just doing it our way and that's the best part about Supreme.
You finished "Cherry," and now you're working on a Converse project. What's next?
I got to finish up school. I have another year of that. So I'll just keep skating, finish this project for Converse and see where things go from there. Maybe go on some tours to Arkansas, Nevada, Wisconsin, South Carolina and all those places. After I finish school I'm thinking about going to college in New York. People get caught up in thinking that skating will last forever and it doesn't. You go out and try your stuff like Jaws and ollie off a dump truck. What happens if you die Jaws? This doesn't last forever so you might as well have something else to rely on. I'd like to go to school for photography or painting or something.