Three-time X Games gold medalist Chris Cole has been skating and traveling nonstop since winning the Street League championship last August. Between X Games Austin, Battle at The Berrics, Street League and ESPN's Game of Skate, his life has been somewhat of a whirlwind. The 2014 Street League Super Crown is taking place this weekend in Newark, N.J. and Cole will be there, but he won't be competing because Chaz Ortiz eliminated him from the finals. Cole spoke to XGames.com by phone while driving to Woodward to skate with Paul Rodriguez, Tom Asta and Shane O'Neill. Cole explained why he isn't in the Street League finals and discussed his departure from Zero and his relationship with Jamie Thomas, as well as what he'll do next.
XGames.com: What has your life been like between your Street League Super Crown win and the start of X Games this year?
Cole: It's been busy. After last year's heavy travel schedule, I thought there would be downtime and time to relax a bit but that never happens. Once you're busy, you stay busy.
We've gotten used to seeing you win competitions lately. How come we didn't see you at the podium at X Games Austin and the Street League pro Open?
There were certain facets to each event that led to me not making the finals or not doing well. That just happens with skateboarding. With the Pro Open, it was the fact that San Diego was on fire and my house was really close to one of the fires and we were evacuated for five days. I flew home from my GoPro trip in Hawaii to be with my family while we stayed in a hotel and prayed for our house to not burn down. The day before the contest, I finally got to go back to my house, even though it had been evacuated, to go get my boards so I could skate the contest. Dealing with that played a huge factor in my skating, and certain times with the courses, they just don't work out.
Glad everything worked out there, but let's talk about what hasn't worked out in skating. How bummed are you that you're not skating this weekend's Street League Super Crown?
It's a major a bummer but it's just how it crumbles. I kind of thought about it and said it is a bummer, but there are worse times and worse things that can happen. You can never be on top forever and you can never be down forever. It will all work out, I guess.
Earlier this year, you released another shoe with DC. What did you enjoy about designing it and what do you enjoy most about how it performs?
Designing it was a blast because I got to pull out tons of archival shoes and search around in the '90s for inspiration. The shoes of the '90s were so cool and I wanted a throwback to that while keeping innovation and technology high. I'd have to say the sole of this shoe is the coolest part for me. The dual-lite construction of using a softer and harder unilite foam to give board feel where it's needed and impact protection around the heel makes it something to brag about.
You signed with DC apparel last year and just recently released the first pieces from your signature line with them. Is this a continuation of your old brand Omit or was there a new focus with these clothes?
DC has so much to offer. They have resources and a design team that can do so much. I love what Omit did. It also took a lot of my time. With DC apparel, I can give my inspiration and then go be a pro skater.
Your line includes canvas pants. Where did you get the idea to put out canvas pants and do you think skateboarders will enjoy them like you do?
Canvas pants are a great meeting point between feel and function. Jeans feel too heavy but offer a bit of protection while skating. Canvas pants are much nicer to skate in but still make you feel like you're protected a bit. The inspiration for these canvas pants came from rip-stop army pants.
Considering you no longer ride for Zero Skateboards, Mob Grip and Fallen Footwear, there is a perceived rift between you and Jamie Thomas. What is your relationship like with Jamie these days?
People are so bummed out that some of them say, "Dude you were so much sicker when you were with those companies." It's funny because I'm the same person. Jamie and I, we've being doing our own thing for so long in a way where one doesn't rely on the other, that there is no rift. It's just what people like to say. It seems like something cool to say. I guess talk is cheaper when the story is good. There is really nothing there. I haven't spoken to Jamie in a while, but I hadn't spoken to him in a while when I left Zero either.
Right now you don't have a board sponsor. What kind of boards are you riding and do you know what your next move is?
I'm riding the same shape board that I've been riding from Bareback, the board manufacturer that makes boards in Mexico. I've just been on my old shape that I've been riding for years.
You don't have a board sponsor currently. Are you starting your own board company?
I am not positive what I want to do yet with my board sponsor situation but I can say whatever I do it'll be exciting. I'm in no position to do anything lackluster.
Walk us through weighing the options of riding for somebody else versus starting your own thing.
Starting my own would take up my time and I'm not a very good boss. Taking up my time and taking me away from skateboarding is doing the whole deal and my whole career a disservice. Riding for another brand, I don't know where that would make sense in most aspects, because at this point I could start my own thing. But I don't really want to start my own thing. That makes it tricky. I don't want to go somewhere and be like, "Oh this didn't work out," and then go somewhere else. If I go somewhere, I want to stay. Imagine it like getting a divorce. Do you want to rush back into a relationship or do you want to slow down and make sure that the next person that you're with is the right decision?
Are there some companies that you've admired from afar?
I've always admired Real and Toy Machine. Girl is a really cool company too. There are so many rad skate companies out there that it's kind of cool to be a free agent right now. If I wasn't so specific in having to have my board shape, it would be really cool to just go into Reign Skate Shop and say, "Hey, I'll try this board." That would be so cool but it's a little more complicated in my situation because I do need the same shape and if I ride someone's board, then the rumor mill will start that I'm on that company. It's a little tricky.