Nick Jensen: the skateboarder’s skateboarder. We’ve known Nick since pretty much the beginning of his career as a skateboarder, although ‘career’ itself is just a small part of Nick’s contribution to U.K. skateboarding. Its apparent that Nick holds high, the ideal, that skateboarding is driven by your environment and how you perceive it and therefore exploit it. His tireless drive to discover and create new spots in a city that many would consider ‘rinsed’ stands testament to his eye for skateboarding. Nick Jensen: the skate-rats’ skate-rat…
As a skater, what was it like growing up in London?
Great, realistically it all started as hanging around with my friends and older brother. It was only until about 4 years on that I realised that London was so different from where skateboarding had originated. I now feel really proud to be from, and a product of London. The city tests your commitment, due to its conditions, such as weather, security and its busyness.
Would you say being from London has had a big effect on the way you skate today then? How do you see the London in comparison to other cities you’ve visited?
London although really busy at times and not having the best run ups or ride outs etc, is one of the best cities for me to skate. When you go to other more well known skated cites, you constantly come across; ‘someone has already done that’. I feel like there is so much untapped potential in London, and because I live there I get more time to search for stuff etc, which is also more rewarding.
Have you got a first time in Slam story?
I do remember this local Southbank dude, holding Sharon at knife point, he used to complain that Slam was too warm and as a result his board had warped.
You witnessed Southbank change from what it was originally to how it is now. How do you feel about it now? What’s your opinion on the concrete skateparks that have popped up all around the city in recent years?
I think its good that the city is recognising the importance of skateboarding so bring on the concrete parks! I suppose with Southbank I am not that sad because I had the best years of my life skating there, and I will never forget that, I would rather just not go there anymore.
How would you advise someone new to the city on finding skate spots?
I would suggest getting the train somewhere East to where the parameters of the new Olympic site is being made.
Do you reckon you’ll stick around for the Olympics? What do you think of it all?
I will be in London for the Olympics. I mean it sucks for all of the old community zones, where theatres have been torn down to be replaced with a terrible ‘modern’ high rises to house some tourists for a couple of months and then, nothing. But its good for skating it helped Barcelona out. Lets just hope they let us into the zone soon as it is still cornered off.
Would you say your interest in making art is linked with skateboarding, or do you try to keep it separate?
I don’t try and keep my artwork separate from skateboarding, I am just more interested in conceptual art. I do love certain graphics, but I always got more stoked being at the Tate and seeing a Salvador Dali painting or something.
On an average day, how do you balance skating and making art?
I will Work in my studio most days Monday to Friday, skate in the eve, and one weekday as well as both days on the weekend.
How is filming for the Slam video going? Do you enjoy filming or is it more the reward of seeing the footage back?
I enjoy it but I have been really busy setting up a gallery, so at times I have found it difficult to balance the two, but I am stoked on filming with Henry and I just have to keep going with it to make it better.
Top 3 London heroes?
Toby Shuall, Channon King and Nugget
Nick rides for Blueprint Skateboards, Lakai, Thunder Trucks, Spitfire Wheels, Fourstar Clothing and Slam City Skates
* Portrait Photo by Sam Ashley
** Video by Hold Tight Henry