Tosh Townsend Interview
Simon talks to pro skateboarder Tosh Townend about landing ollies, nerdy science classes and getting sponsored.
Simon: So, why did your parents decide to name you Tosh?
Tosh Townend: Well originally my name was going to be Josh but then my mom was like, "Why don't we go with something with a T." So they decided on Tosh. Then they also realized it was kinda like Peter Tosh, who played with Bob Marley and the Wailers and that's how they got the name.
Simon: When did you start skateboarding?
Tosh Townend: Right when I came out of my mom's womb. My dad always had skateboards around the house so I was pushing on my knees and standing up when I was like six. I learned to ollie when I was eight. It took me like two years. When I was 10, I learned how to kickflip, so it took me like four years. Kids these days, they skate like for a year and they want to be able to 360 flip. Kids are so much further ahead these days. I'm only 19 but I'm already old skool.
Simon: What sort of tips do you have for kids who want to learn to ollie?
Tosh Townend: Just practice a lot, like all the time. Learn to tap the tail of your board and slide your front foot forward. It's all about sliding that front foot forward.
Simon: How did you turn pro?
Tosh Townend: When I was 15, I gave a "sponsor me" tape to Element Skateboards, so they put me on the program and started giving me gear, like four boards a month. I just pursued it from there. I saw I could do something with it so I just kept getting coverage, worked out some contracts with sponsors like Emerica and Element and that was it.
Simon: What's the best part about being a pro skateboarder?
Tosh Townend: Every month is like Christmas and every day is like Saturday. Every month I get two big boxes of shoes and two big boxes of clothes. I don't even have enough time to wear it all before the next package arrives, so I can just give stuff away to friends. I can wake up at like 10:00 every day, then maybe go surfing or skating. It's just great to do something I love, like skateboarding, and get paid for it.
To read about Tosh Townend's new skate shoe and his worst skate injuries, click here.