Chris Haslam is an enigma of skateboarding, with a bag of tricks most people would never even consider logistical. If skateboarding was around centuries ago he would've likely been burned at the stake for his blasphemous technical sorcery. Late one night I was watching his part from Almost's "5-Incher" and felt compelled to reach out to him for an interview. Who knew Facebook messenger would actually be most effective?
This is The Chris Haslam Interview
Chris Haslam | Backside Boneless | Photo: Gordon Nicholas
Where are you right now?
Right now I am in a hotel in Washington driving back down to California soon.
Do you still travel all the time? Any destinations still on your list you haven’t made it to yet?
Had to stay in the country for the past year to work on getting my green card so not much overseas traveling, but this year it's go time again! Mostly been skating in SF and San Jose and there's always new destinations to go to.
Got any recent life threatening or near death experiences while traveling to speak of?
I'm trying to keep the dying to a minimum, so after my kidney issue I've been trying to stay relatively alive haha.
What happened to your kidneys???
I had acute tubular necrosis... Which basically means that, because of dehydration, my kidneys had no water to filter so it started taking the hemoglobin that the muscles released through exercise and filtered those which are toxic to the kidney so they both basically shut down. After 5 days of dialysis and pieces of kidney being removed they figured out what it was. Athletes get it a lot and people who have been raging to hard with the partying might get it haha.
When is Cheese And Crackers 2 coming out? Do you get that question a lot?
Not really sure if there will be another Cheese and Crackers and I get it a lot yeah. But it's hard now cause of expectations and people can do every trick we can think of so the shock value of the moves might not be there anymore.
What’s up with that warehouse from your United By Fate part?
The warehouse was actually the same warehouse that the Cheese and Crackers ramp was in. That place is long gone now. I wish we still had it
Has your approach to skating changed at all in the past 10 years?
Absolutely, its changed loads.Being influenced by Rodney and Daewon has helped me change the way I skate. People in places I've traveled have influenced the way I skate, the more I am in the industry and meeting new people the more my skating will change... It's an awesome thing.
Click to watch Chris Haslam and Daewon Song in Almost Skateboard's, "Cheese & Crackers"
If you don’t drink or do drugs how do you unwind after a long day?
I have my dog to help me unwind. Taking her on walks and just having something else to look after besides myself kind of helps me escape from everything.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I can't whistle maybe? Haha.
How does it feel to make our list of “12 Pro Skaters You Maybe Thought Were Homeless”?
Hahaha stoked! I would have expected to be rated higher, so at least I'm not the most homeless looking.
Heard any good rumors of the skate world lately?
Loose lips sink ships.
How do you go about coming up with new tricks / variations? Where does that inspiration come from?
Just watching how the board spins and where your feet are, what can your board and feet do in the time and position they are in when you are looking at them, watching other people skate and do stuff... old videos... All are good sources of inspiration.
What’s one trick that still eludes you? Something you’d be really hyped to land.
I'd be really hyped to learn eggplants, I can't get myself to go up and over. And frontside inverts... Wish I had those.
Have you tried summoning the power of your beard for help?
Believe me there is no power in it, apart from helping me get on your list of homeless looking skaters and me looking like everyone's grandparents haha.
Click to watch Chris Haslam in Globe's, "United By Fate"
Are you still playing guitar? Do you ever jam with any other pros?
I play guitar once in a while, never really jam with anyone, used to jam with a buddy and he would write all the guitar parts and I would just struggle to keep up.
Didn't Jose Rojo say he was in a band with you?
Jose said we were but that was pretty much a band that he made up in his mind one day because we played instruments at his house on one occasion... So it's not really a band, but just homies that played that one session hahaha.
What’s one metal band everyone should listen to?
Amon Amarth is sweet. An acquired taste if you're not into metal though haha.
Do you have any other hobbies / interest outside of skating?
I've been in the process of figuring some out for like 5 years now... And they are all just phases apparently haha
What hobbies of yours turned out to be phases?
Other hobbies I do are like painting stuff, I play the guitar pretty shitty, walk my dog... stuff like that.
Any good Mullen stories?
I had a one trick game of skate with Rodney in the old DECA warehouse. I think he won cause he did his first. His was frontside crook a picnic table finger flip out and mine was backside board slide a flat bar frontside flip out to switch manual. I filmed one for the DECA video that night and then the filmer lost the footage so it was never in the "2nd To None" video.
Click to watch Chris Haslam in DECA's , "2nd To None"
What’s wrong / right with the industry now?
What I think is wrong with the industry is probably just because it's different than what it was like 10 years ago. A lot of people are finding what I think is wrong with the industry and making it work for them.
Any last words?
Be yourself, skate how you want to, who cares what people say, who cares what I say, just be you.
What’re you going to do now that you've finished all these damn questions?
Sleep and then drive another 12 hours to get to my destination haha.