Interview with 23-year old, West Auckland, New Zealand skimboarder Jason Rust. Photos taken at Langs Beach and Great Barrier Island.
Photos by Steffi Davis
Words by Kelli Bean
Q: Are you a flatland skimboarder, wave rider or both?
A: I ride both but prefer wave riding.
Q: What board(s) do you ride?
A: I have a few but my favorites are my OXS Slipeezy custom flatland board and my OXS carbon custom Splabber.
Q: How long have you been skimming?
A: I, like a lot of people, started on those cheap nasty boards years ago but I only really started getting into it properly about a year ago (2013) so I would have been about 22. It’s still a very young sport in New Zealand so there hasn’t been much exposure to hear about it.
Q: What is it about skimboarding that you love?
A: I love the atmosphere that skimboarding brings to me. It’s not one of these closed off, select group sports that shun everything else. Everyone in the skim community that I have met have been fun loving and accepting no matter the skill level which is something pretty special for a sport. Also, I love the outdoors, beach lifestyle that it brings.
Q: I hear you! What is your favorite trick?
A: The thing I find with skimming is you have such a variety of things you can do, you are always finding new and cool stuff. But on my wave board, I would say a wrap shove is pretty sick and handstands on my flatland board are always fun.
Q: What are some of your skim goals as you continue to progress?
A: Number 1 priority is to have fun and enjoy myself. But I would love to travel and see some of the overseas competitions and skim spots.
Q: I share the same skim goal of skimming more international spots. Where would you love to travel to skim?
A: Would have to be California/Mexico both in one trip, that would be solid. Also, I would like to head to South America and see it all down there. But these are just dreams at the moment.
Q: Describe the skim community in New Zealand?
A: It’s young yet enthusiastic. There isn’t much of a skim community in NZ but we are all very excited so see skimming in NZ grow and develop into something more.
Q: Where is your all-time favorite skim spot?
A: Haha.. This is a very hard question. I love a lot of different spots for a bunch of different reasons, but for all-time it would have to be Great Barrier Island because of the variety it has. On one side you have pretty good wave riding with wicked banks. Then a 5 minute drive to the west side of the island, you have pools for flatland where we also have a few rails stored. Not to mention the awesome marine life/spearfishing that is over there. We are still finding and searching for new spots all the time because of no one knowing about them here.
Q: Is skimming a year round sport in New Zealand?
A: For me and the OXS/NZSASS crew yes, definitely we do skim trips year round but most people in NZ are not as keen as us in winter.
Q: Who is pushing the sport in New Zealand?
A: I would have to say number one would be Sam Price, owner of OXS Skimboards and runs the New Zealand Skimboarding Association.
Q: Are there skim contests in NZ?
A: No, as I said it is still a young sport in NZ. There is not enough volume of skimmers. However, we do have skim days were we push for as many people as possible to attend and just have fun.
Q: Where would you like to see the sport go in the next five years in New Zealand?
A: Hopefully to competition level. But I would just be happy with more people skimming and having fun.
Q: In your opinion, do you think New Zealand would be a great stop for the United Skim Tour?
A: I would love for it to come here! But sadly probably not yet. There isn’t the volume of people into skimboarding here for something like that. Though it could bring more people into the sport if it was to come.
Q: I would think most pros would love to visit New Zealand. Besides skimboarding, what makes you happy?
A: I love the outdoors and exercise. Nothing makes me happier than getting out there and doing something with friends.
Q: Any last words or shout outs as we end the interview?
A: I’d like to give the biggest shout out to OXS Skimboards and Sam Price, which without there would be no skim community in NZ. Also, shout out to Kelli Bean for sorting this out legend ☺ Keep skimming!
Check out Jason on Instagram – @rustyskim
Also on Facebook and IG
New Zealand Skimboarding Association
Facebook Page, FB Open Group and IG