BY • CHRIS • NIERATKO
I love and miss all the colorful characters skateboarding once had. I don’t particularly enjoy the age of the robots that refuse to let their hood down and show us who they really are but would rather, “Let their skateboarding speak for them.” I don’t want to talk to someone’s skateboard! I want to see who a person is in full Technicolor glory through their actions and antics. I want a world full of Dustin Dollins, Geoff Rowleys and Tony Trujillos. And I wouldn’t mind at all if we had a shit ton more Jake Duncombes. He’s amassed a career of footage while being unapologetically sauced. At age 24 he has seen and done more than most do in a lifetime and if he just stretches a little he’d have a full life on a skateboard ahead of him. Jake does/says what he wants, when he wants and that is the god given right that is not exercised enough among young men. I’m proud to have Jakey amongst our ranks.
Tell me about the first time you met Ali Boulala at Cherry Bar.
That was my 18th birthday. I met him a couple times prior, just briefly, when he was over here with the Flip guys and they had an apartment. The first time we really hung out was that 18th birthday. I got a tap on the shoulder and then a tongue down my throat. I was like, “What the fuck?” I pushed away and I see it was Ali laughing, saying, “Happy birthday, man!” Then just walked off. I was like, “What the fuck? Alright.” That’s how I initially started hanging out with him.
You started going there when you were 16 but I heard a great story about you when you were 12. Flying to Perth on an SMP trip… Ha! Well, yeah, we were flying there on an SMP trip and this when Virgin Airlines was brand new or new to Australia and they had a stewardess on there doing face painting and I was super young and was like, “Should I get my face painted?” Just as a joke. So I did it and got my face painted as a tiger. There’s actually a photo me trying to get a trick with the tiger face paint.
Then that night I couldn’t get into the bar and I started hanging out with this little girl that I met around the pool. Corbin [Harris] said they came back and we’re sitting there together in my room, holding hands, me with the face paint on, watching cartoons.
She was a little girl?
Well, my age. Little girl then. 12 or so. I thought she was 34 years older than you. No, maybe that’s three to four, just a couple years older than me.
Have you ever been with a lady over 50?
No. That would be an experience.
How about over 40?
I only ask because I’m curious about the need to hang around the elderly on these cruise ships?
Oh, I went on a cruise with my girlfriend. I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise but I was too scared to go on one that goes all the way out into the ocean, where you can’t see land. I don’t like not being able to leave. I know there’s heaps of stuff to do on there but the fact that I can’t just bail and get away from it is scary ended up just partying and staying extra nights in the hotels… I don’t regret one bit of it. Me, Crossy and Joe Pease ended up staying in Sydney an extra two weeks and I paid for it. It was incredible. There was a lot of crazy shit that happened that I don’t know if I want to put in the magazine. One time we were super hammered and we couldn’t skate and we paid Azar $50 to drive us around listening to dance music, really loud, really wasted for three or four hours. It was pretty hilarious driving back and forth over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Have you ever had a driver’s license?
I JUST GOT IT TODAY!!! I got my learners today. I got it this past Monday, passed the test and I just got the card in the mail before you called. I’ve just always been a young kid, skating and everyone else is older than me and they’re already driving so I’d just catch a bus to wherever they’re at and then get in their car. I guess I got lazy and never went. I own two cars but no license. I bought this BMW one time when I was really wasted. The guy wanted to sell it for six grand; it had 20” rims on it. I ended up selling it the other month for a thousand. I bought a 1992 Cadillac in America for $3300 and I’ve never had a license.
Do you have a shit record?
Not in America. I have a drunk driving over here but they just suspended me from getting a license for six months and gave me a $1400 fine. I was always going on the theory that if I don’t have a license, what are they going to take from me? Then I found out they can take my money.
I’ve got two DUIs under my belt, what was the story around yours?
At a barbecue, drinking and I was really set on getting this one type of Gin. I went to a bottle shop. I’m in a white BMW with 20” rims. Two dudes walking out of a bottle-o and the cops drive by and see us with two bottles of Beefeater Gin and we got in the car. The smart thing would have been to walk past the car but I tried to act natural. I got on the road and they pulled me over in front of this full gnarly pub called The Sands. It’s where I had my 18th and 21st. There was a Jim Beam bikinimodelling contest going on and all these old cunts there and there’s me getting arrested. They’re all looking at me and laughing. They put me in the paddy wagon and they took me back to the station and during that time my blood went up in alcohol content. They just gave me my keys and said, “Don’t drive again tonight.” It’s a lot more relaxed than in America.
Wow. I was locked up for a weekend sobering up.
Tell me about the adventure you took with your old man to Vegas. Jason Ellis does those celebrity UFC fight things and Jake Brown invited me out. We were staying at The Palms. We went to the fight and got super wasted and then we were back drinking at the room. It was when that earthquake happened not too long ago, like two years.
The one in Japan that no one cares about anymore?
No, the one in San Diego. I remember because me and Jake were like, “Did you feel that?” We felt the earthquake in Vegas.
Or you were super wasted.
Maybe. So we’re drinking in the room and we hear this real loud bang from the toilet. I walk over and my dad came out and I was like, “What happened?” “I took a piss,” he yells and kind of got angry at me. I went in there and the toilet basin was broken and gushing water. I had to run and turn the water off. He woke up in the morning like, “Fuck! My ribs are really sore.” I was like, “Dad? Don’t you remember breaking the toilet with your ribs?”
Was that his first time in The States?
Yeah, first time in The States, first time in Vegas. He liked it, he had fun. It’s a great time going to Vegas if you’re with Jake Brown. Everyone’s first reaction to Vegas is always the same, “This is exactly how everyone says it is!” It’s insane and he had so much fun. Vegas is the only time I get hangovers. I worked it out that when they pump all that oxygen into the casinos and then you go back into normal air it just kicks you in the face. It takes five days to get back to earth after Vegas. You just don’t stop drinking.
We’re both big Hunter S Thompson fans. Was Vegas everything he told you it would be?
And more! I wanted to go there the first time for my 21st. it was going to me, Shane, Joe Pease and Mumford. We were going to rent a red convertible and drive there for my 21st but we never really got around to it as Shane passed away.
These guys told me it took five years to get an interview with you, how come?
It’s not like the photos are five years old, it’s just with other shit going on and me never being around and being away a lot that was more the case. It’s not that I didn’t want to, I wanted to do it from the start, they’re my good friends but the timing was difficult.
Haven’t you been banged up for a while too?
Yeah, on and off for the past four years. I didn’t hurt myself for the first 11 years of skating, not one broken bone and then I broke my scaphoid up in Malibu.
I wish. That would be better. I was skating the Etnies owner’s old house and I was drunk on Grey Goose and tried a stupid trick, a front board to fakie, and fell and went to the hospital all drunk. After that I did my ankle then my shoulder, then my knee.
Were you drunk for any of those?
Yeah, the majority. My knee I was just coming off an injury and I was on a Transworld trip and I’m pretty sure I was sober for that. After that I went to Korea and blew my heel out another week into a trip. Now I’m going to physio every week.
You’re falling apart for a 23 year old.
Yeah, it’s pretty good.
Do you do any of the shit that other shitbags do to make sure they stay alive? Like stretching and taking vitamins?Uh…yeah. I take my vitamins. Vitamin B…VB! I don’t know. I should be way more strict on myself to do all that shit. Now I’m kind of trying not to drink as much but I still drink a shit ton. I go in stints. When I’m on tour I’ll take my vitamins because you eat shitty on the road. At home I try to eat good and healthy.
I’m no athlete like you but I got a dozen years on you and my 20s were also a blur and now everything hurts. I wish I could’ve taken some vitamins and did some stretching so I could walk a little bit better now. You actually have talent so I advise you take some yoga classes and take care of yourself.
I was going to after my knee but I don’t know, it kind of freaks me out. Everyone is trying to get me to do it and I say I’m down and then I puss out.
Didn’t you almost die on that King of the Road trip?
Yeah. Two days in we’d driven from Cali up to Portland, our first stop. Then we drove to our next stop, third day in and I got really hot and cold and I couldn’t eat. Spewing. Weiss is a full germ freak and starting to freak out so he took me to a walkin doctor’s office and the guy took my temperature and I was cooking, like 103, and they said I had pneumonia. They said if the fever went up another point to go straight to the emergency room or I will die. Weiss went and got surgical masks and hand sanitisers for everyone. Everyone would be eating and I’d try and eat and spew it back up. I had a whole row in the van. I was boiling sweat, it was fucked, the worst feeling ever. It took me two days to really get over it.
What’s the move from here?
I’m actually planning on moving to America soon. Full time. I’m just waiting on my Visa right now. I’ll still be coming back here once or twice a year to visit and Chrissy. I’m going to do a longer stint in The States and see how it goes. My girlfriend is going to move over too. It’s going to be interesting. I have a license, I’m moving, my girlfriend is coming, it’s kind of like I’m a grown up. I know my sponsors are psyched to have me over there and America isn’t that bad of a place. I just plan on skating a ton and getting shit done.
What are you going to miss most about Australia?
Meat pies. Obviously the homies too, but I’ll be back. Australia isn’t going anywhere. And I can get meat pies in California. There’s a 7-11 in Huntington Beach that sells frozen meat pies. I’m going to live in Encinitas and skate with Mumford and Joe Pease and all the Aussies. We just finished that Transworld part for the Cinematographer video with Middsy. Now Bones and Blind want to film videos to put out next year.
If your plane disappears on the way over to America like on that show Lost, how do you want to be remembered?
Shit. That’s a hard one. My shitty tattoos? No, that I was a fun guy. A fungi.