Interview: Scoot Smith
Photos by Jon Huey
With Danger Bay [Scoot's hometown event] being only a few days away, I thought it was timely to hook up with my man Scoot Smith for a little Q & A. I’ll always remember Scott as the guy with green hair that was, and still is, fast as hell. With the plethora of skilled riders that come out of BC, some come and go like a whisper in the wind. Some hop on the band wagon, race for few years and then you never see them again. I’ve never really known why riders usually drop off but it’s racers, true speed freaks like Scoot, that helped really put downhill on the map. Soon to be iconic, if not already, this Pender Harbour local started racing years back …and as far as I can remember, he’s always in the top 10, if not standing on the podium along side the greats.
Dan Pape: Scott or Scoot, which do you prefer?
Scoot Smith: It really depends who it’s coming from. When I’m working my day job as a drywaller I don’t introduce my self as Scoot. If I’m at a downhill event I don’t introduce myself as Scott. I’m fine with Scoot or Scott…. I’ll respond to both.
I’m curious who gave you the name Scoot? I thought maybe Striker [Bricin Lyons]
Sandman from Team Green gave me the nick name Scoot. He actually started calling me Scoot before I was seriously into downhill.
What did you get up to this winter?
I’ve been making some changes to my signature model board Tiffany. I got a chance to make it out to Cali and stop by the Sector 9 shop to pick up the first prototype. I’m pretty stoked with what we’ve come up with. The weather in Van has been decent, we’ve had quite a few rad weekends of sunshine. Gotta feel lucky for that this time of year.
True, it has been nice recently. Nicer, and dryer than usual. Are you a hibernator or a type of skater that just deals with rain riding the best he can?
I just deal with it and get out as often as possible. I really enjoy riding in the rain with a small group. But making a trip to Cali and freeride events made the winter go by fast.
A little off topic but did you make it out to the Puerto Rico DH event this year?
Yeah, this year was my fourth time. I love the skate environment down there.
What was that like?
It was out of control as usual. Spectators getting run over, racers running into vehicles, and random rain storms. Nothing out of the ordinary… The international turnout was much bigger than it’s ever been, it’s cool how much Guajataka has blown up in the past few years. I went to all three races and loved every minute of it, can’t wait for next year.
Yah I heard, did you race on when all the controversy went down?
Unfortunately I didn’t get to race on Monday I was eliminated on the Sunday. I would have raced if I was in.
Hold up a sec, I forgot to ask, who’s supporting your racing?
The Sector 9 family, Abec 11 Wheels, Aera Trucks, Coast Longboarding, and Zak Maytum from Venom Bushings. Zak recently gave me an aero lid so he helps me go fast and turn corners.
Just want to let people know that you were one of the first people in BC to receive a “salaried” sponsorship. It was a big deal back then it and I remember a lot of riders looked up to you as a rider that was getting paid to ride and basically travel all over to enter the downhill skateboarding races. What do you think about how that has become much more common place for riders with a high skill level like yourself?
I think it’s important for companies to hook up their high profile riders with a travel budget or some cash and incentives. Lots of people from communities all over the world look up to these certain riders, and usually want what they’re riding. It comes full circle, before you know it the guy that looked up to you for so long is your biggest competition at the start line.
I’m stoked longboard companies and community have grown this much.
Do you still live in the Sunshine Coast?
I moved off the Sunshine Coast in 2010 and got a place in East Vancouver.
Are you always going to live there?
I have no intention of leaving this city.
What is your favorite race to attend?
There’s so many rad events. My favorite is getting to new ones.
Which race has the best party?
Attack of Danger Bay has an awesome party. But from what I’ve heard Buffalo Bill’s party rivals it.
Yup, you’re hair is still green. A few months ago someone told me you didn’t have green hair. Then I saw you and you did have green hair. Was there a period when you gave it up.
No, I’ve had green hair for seven years. That person must of seen me in transition.
What is Team Green and why was it formed?
It’s a bunch of high school skate friends getting together trying to make a name for themselves.
Recently I saw Bricin getting a another green suit, does that mean Team Green is on its way back?
Team Green was never gone. The only reason Striker is getting a new suit is cause he’s gained too much weight to fit in his old one.
The culture of longboarding in the British Columbia area have always been somewhat lax about drinking and partying and even smoking, what are your thoughts on people that get smashed either the night before the race or just before the race?
It’s up to you if you want to get trippy or drunk before the race. Those people are obviously not taking the race too serious.
When some guy is standing beside you at the start line and he’s hungover or looking blazed, what goes through your head?
Haha, this is going to be easy…
[haha haha] Nice answer……..Every year this type of skateboarding keeps growing and growing in size. Do you have any words of wisdom or ideas that you think the longboarding community should consider to keep, or at least help, the younger riders ride safe?
I just have some advice for the riders. Stop at stop signs, wear a helmet, stay in your lane, and don’t hit cars.
How is your local community dealing with Danger Bay being one of the largest and most successful races in the world?
Pender Harbour is a big supporter of Attack of Danger Bay. The town loves the event as a whole and it keeps the kids in the community a good reason to skate.
Do you think this year is going to be as big as all the years before that ?
It’s hard to say. Last year we didn’t see as many riders as 2011. There’s so many races these days people have a lot to choose from. Almost everyone has been to Attack of Danger Bay so they might be saving their money for an event they haven’t been to.
True true, over the years so many races have been added to racers & freeriders bucket lists. Do you like or dislike having that much excitement in your neighborhood all at once?
All skateboarders love it when there’s out of town skaters visiting. That’s the best time of year.
Did you want to give any props anybody coming up or that have helped you immensely in the past?
Really stoked to be apart of the Sector 9 family, they’re a rad group of real people. I’d like to thank Chris Chaput for supporting me all these years. Kevin Reimer for hooking me up with trucks, food, paper, and always being down to skate. I would also like to thank the IGSA for putting on events all over the world for the last 10+ years. Most my epic road trips and skate memories were made possible because of those guys.
Photo by Dawn Kelly Moisanen
Last chance to say whatever the hell you want…
I’m looking forward to the future of downhill and the start to this year’s race season. Thanks Dan, and Skate[Slate]!
The pleasure was all ours. Good luck at the race this weekend! And throughout the summer [high five!]