By Xavier Lannes
The first time you see Asher Bradshaw in a skatepark, with his oversized tee, oversized shorts, oversized board, oversized helmet and oversized pads, you just think he is “cute”. You just want to take him in your arms and go play hide and seek with him. However, after the first drop “cute” evolves into “respect” and ultimately into “TrhAsher”.
|No, the cop is not writing a ticket, he is taking a video of Asher! Can you beleive this???? Belvedere skatepark.|
Most good skaters that I know have to train hard to skate at a very good level. Over and over again! The little guy was just born to skate. Asher just throws himself inside the huge bowls and does not fear anything, not even fear itself! He has a rare go-for-it attitude, obviously a gift from the Father.
|Rock and Roll sequence.|
I first met Asher at Belvedere in September 09 where he was coming with his dad, Tom, from their Los Angeles home, in the good part of South Central. At that time, he was already good but not rad. Not yet! Well, he only had 4 months of skating. Asher actually learned to skate at the old Venice Skatepark. Watching others roll around, he tried out his daddy’s board (Tom) going down a hill there. From there, Tom bought him a board and they would go to Culver City to try out the "big" hills!
Within one week, he dropped his first coping at Petit Park in the Valley off of Victory Blvd. His first pool drop was at Belvedere the second week. At that time, he only went way up and down the deep end -- i.e. he could not do a 180 yet.
Asher is a complete athlete: he was a swimmer first and foremost and skating was only a footnote or distraction then. Now, well he skates more than he swims but enjoys the water still and will compete next summer as well.
|Tail tap over the spine.|
Then, the big day came with the Venice Skatepark opening and clips and pics of little Asher sprouted all over the internet, especially in Facebook and YouTube with his BS 5-0's, 50-50's, BS Disasters, FS Grinds, etc… Asher was everywhere on the net and he instantly became a celebrity and a Venice Local, like Christian Hosoi, Killer, Pat Ngoho, Bennet Harada, Shane Borland…
Even though he purely skates for fun this is already the second skate interview of all his life. The first one was with Jeff Ho for Juice Magazine (to be published soon-I guess). Enjoy his kind words; those are the words of a fun “cute” skater soon to become a “ThrAsher”!
So, without further ado, here is the interview of Asher Bradshaw:
|One wheeler over the coping. Could you do this at 6?|
Asher: November 6th, 2003.
So, that makes you only 6 years old! When did you start skateboarding?
Asher: I started last May.
You have been skateboarding for only 9 months? You have an amazing level for 9 months of skateboarding! Why did you start?
Asher: Because I want to be a skateboarder. I want to be a pro.
Tom: He’s skateboarding because he was riding a bicycle, a little 12 inch on the path from Santa Monica to Venice, and I would follow him on my skateboard. Just in case everything went wrong I would have my hands free. When we get to the Venice Skatepark area, they were still building the park at the time. And it was a mystery back then, we did not know how it would look like, we did not have a sneak preview. But he wanted to roll down on it so I bought him a board. Then we meet with Jesse Martinez, because he was going in and out of the construction site and he invited us to come on a Saturday before the park was open but we could not make it and then the 1st time we saw the park it was on the opening day…
No-one had skated Venice before the opening?
Tom: Some of them did, the people who were involved in the planning they would even spend the night there, they had secret sessions ...
|The Bradshaw's shredding at Belvedere...|
Tom:No, we were going to the old Venice park before the new park opened. It was at Venice that the seed started. I just think it was such irony that the old park was considered by many to have nothing to skate but for us was everything we needed, much more was to come from the simple act of playing at the beach. We also went to Culver City. At that time, he could not pump. So when you can’t pump you are going slower.
Asher: My first drop was at Belvedere, on the big pool.
Tom: Asher was raised on the Santa Monica / Venice culture before he skated. Being a lover of the Venice lifestyle means being accepted by those who we respect, admire and wish to know. We skate Belvedere only because we have no time during the week to make it to Venice, plus the weather is colder at the beach right now. Asher skated the Cove as well but haven't been there lately because the days are shorter and CHARTER SCHOOL!
Who’s your hero?
Asher: Tony Hawk.
Tom: How about Shane (Borland)?
Asher: Yes, Shane (Borland), I like Killer too…
Do you meet Shane a lot?
Asher: Yes, in Venice.
What skatepark do you prefer?
Asher: I prefer Venice, I go everyday.
Tom: No, we don’t go everyday.
Asher: No, we don’t go everyday…
|So tiny... The board is almost bigger than him, |
and it's only a Termit board!!!
Asher: 8 or 9, but mostly those were events.
Tom: He did the King of the Grom, the Venice Massacre, the Castle competition at Skatelab and another Castle competition at Woodward, the street section, Northern California street at 9:00am, then that’s same days at 4:00pm, they did the mini-ramp. He got 1st place on the mini-ramp out of 18 kids, it was 12 and under, so he really did good Then he did the pool and he got 3rd place for that… He was bustin’ airs out of the hips, with 45sec, he didn’t get time to show off his stuff over the spine. Then at 10:00pm at night he did the vert competition in a 13foot megaramp, so he was dropping in that and rock’roll fakies on that one. That was fun.
Asher: I got 5th. We also went to Skatelab, but you don’t see the name on it.
Do you know you are already famous?
Do you know how many people know you?
Asher: 10, 12…
Asher: Maybe 13...
In what grade are you going?
Asher: 1st grade. I am going to a Charter school.
Tom: So much homework.... Asher does lots and lots of homework....much, much more time is spent doing homework than skating right now.
|Over the spine at Belvedere|
Asher: Yes, I like school because I like to learn new stuff; I like both reading and math.
You have good grades?
Do you prefer school or skateboard?
Asher: (long pause) both!
Do you prefer vert or street?
Asher: Vert. I do a little bit of street, stairs. I can do 8 stairs, up to 10 stairs
Tom: After the first Castle competition, he was in the 1st place for the Southern California 8 and under street.
What are you favorite tricks:
Asher: dropping, board slide, feeble fakie, rock’n roll, frontside rock’n roll, blunt to fakie, lots of fakie…
|Venice Massacre: ready to drop... |
Asher: Blunt, handplant…
Do you have any sponsors?
Asher: Venice Original Skateshop, they give him shirts, bearings, Santa Monica Airlines. SMA made a special deck for me a small one, 28x7. They never did that before…
Is it a limited edition?
Tom: No, they just made one. It’s just for him. We also have discounts on pads. We have a lot of free clothing, the cloth are Neff, but they don’t make anything really small enough for him, so its kinda big …
I see your pads are big. Would you like if they made pads you size?
Asher: No, those pads are not big, they are for gromies, they are for kids.
Who do you like to skate with?
Asher: Shane, Cole and Kevin, Killer…
|Christian Hosoi and Asher Bradshaw: born to be wilde!|
I saw a picture of you with Christian Hosoi, do you know who he is?
Asher: Yes, he does big airs…. And Christian Hosoi, he sounds like a Christian, he loves God.
You go to Church:
Asher: Sometimes, not enough.
Tom: Not for the last couple of weeks. That’s my fault, we were out of town. We do read the Bible tough.
You like reading the Bible?
Apart from Christian Hosoi, who else did you meet?
Asher: Andy McDonald, I met him in San Diego, at the ASR. I did not skate with him; he was on the mega ramp. He skated inside…
Tom: He also met Jake Brown, Danny Way… We got to meet those guys who are big mega ramp skaters, so that was pretty cool.
Asher: I like the mega ramp.
Do you know what Danny Way has done?
Asher: Yes, he took a picture of me! He does 360 in the mega ramp, drop in the mega ramp, lots of air.
Do you know he jumped over the wall?
Asher: Oh yeah Danny Way!! He jumped over the wall in China… The 1st time he got caught and on the second day he landed it…
|Asher dropping in the big pool at Venice Massacre in November 2009...|
He had turned 6 only a couple of days before...
Asher: yes, yes yes. I liked it.
Next year you will participate?
Asher: Kindof, if we have time, because if it is late, then we can’t go. If it’s early then we will go.
Tom: There are a lot of AM competitions coming out and I have not done anything but I am thinking about putting him in those contests…
Did your daddy teach you a lot?
Tom: I try to teach him everything that I don’t know…
Asher: No, I learn from people who skate…
(Laugh) So, your daddy is not a skater?
Asher: Yes he is! But when I try hard tricks he teaches me how to do it and then I watch people do it and try to copy them and then my dad helps me and teaches me how to do it.
Is there something special you want to say?
Asher: I like skate because it's fun. Thank you daddy.
Tom: You’re welcome gromy…
Wanna see more pictures of Asher: click here
Photo of Asher and Hosoi: Ray Rae Goldman (used by permission). All other photos: Xavier Lannes.