Jake Devries is a skateboarding machine. Nothing can hold this guy back. He’s one of those guys that has it all…wonderful family, a good head on his shoulders and uncanny control on the old shred sled. Jake has been skating for along time and has been a very integral part of his scene on the east coast (2nd Nature Skate Shop NY). Jake is a Low Pro Hero for the sheer fact that he’ll land more tricks than anybody at any any session… guaranteed. That’s just the way he rolls. Keep an eye out for Jake, this man does not stop. You can’t grow moss on a rolling stone-
Hey Jake, how’s it hangin’?
Everything is good… Just doing my thing back here in the Chicago area. Crazy busy!!! I’m sure you can tell because it is now August 3rd, and I am just now getting you these interview answers 19 days after you sent them to me…
How’s the family life treating you?
Family life is the best. It’s good to be back home with my wife and kid. My son is getting bigger and developing more personality everyday.
So you’re a serious maniac when it comes to
skating. Not only are you a machine with the
tricks, but you’re a total skate rat. How do you
balance work, family and skateboarding?
I don’t get to skate as often as I would like to anymore but it’s not that bad. As much as skateboarding is on my mind all the time, work always needs to get done first since it pays the bills. When I’m traveling there is always a ton of work to do but once my work is done, I always make time to skate at some point (as you are well aware of).
I feel that the balance of skating, work and family is very important. I love having my own family and hanging out with them anytime I can. I feel that I won’t have a good skate day without having good family days with Kimberly and J5 (Jakob my son). I feel like my skateboarding has been motivated by my family along with the personal motivation that I have always had with skateboarding.
I def need to give props to my wife who has always supported me with everything I do… Especially with skateboarding. She’ll hold down the fort and take over when I go out of town for work or if I go skating when I am home. I know it’s not easy work so. I can’t thank her enough…
I know you’re part of the 2nd Nature Skateshop
family, how is all of that going?
2ntr.com is doing well. Doug B. has been doing a great job with keeping it successful. He’s actually opening a second shop closer to NYC. I guess you can say it is all going pretty well. We have a small team of rippers that are skating and killing it on the daily. It is great to be part of the 2nd Nature fam and still involved in skateboarding. Those guys are always at the top of my list even if I don’t get to see them that often.
You’ve been steadily skateboarding for a long
time now. What was the east coast scene like in
the early nineties when skateboarding was pretty much deemed dead?
I pretty much stayed in the suburbs of NY so it was always pretty quiet. The kids I grew up skating with in my area quit and moved on to college or whatever else they were into. I’m sure skateboarding is not completely out of their lives but I think I am the only one left that really stuck with it. It wasn’t that bad during the early 90’s since I was riding for a local shop in my neighborhood called “Props” and we always had people in and out of there to skate with. Aside from the locals, I met kids in other towns and skated new spots with them. The rest of the East Coast scene I think was just kind of quiet and did not attract too much attention. There was still a lot of skateboarding going on in the area though. About 45 minutes away from my house, we had Newburgh skatepark which was the best park ever (in my opinion). So many rippers came out of that place. Somehow, I remember always having a good skate or chillin’ day there. I met some of the best people (skateboarding skills and just plain old human being skills) at that park and most of them are still killing it wherever they may be. I guess only the NY skateboarders knew where the real scene was at.
Do you feel it was tough coming up in the scene trying to break into the industry being from the East coast during those times?
I guess at that time if you weren’t in Cali , you had a tough time making it in skateboarding unless you personally knew someone already in the industry. I personally don’t know since I never really tried to make it in skateboarding. It would have been cool to not have to worry about where you are going to get money to buy a board but other than that, I was just grateful to be skating anywhere I could. I would get pro-forms for skate shoes through “Props” and they would help me out with boards if I needed it. I was cool with that and never really looked for much more. Any contest I entered was for fun since my friends were in them. I skated in a few Vans warp tours and only did that so I can get in for free, skate, meet the other skaters (many of my friends were in it at the time), skate vert with some pros, and have some good bands playing in the background at the same time.
There is definitely a handful of rippers that never made it in skateboarding and totally should have but they are all still skating today and doing it for the love of the game.
You think that has changed with the internet,
youtube and skateboardings ever increasing
I’d have to say yes… The internet is a great tool to get your footy out there and hopefully get some Team manager to want to meet you. If you are as smooth and stylish as you may seem to be on YouTube with a big bag of tricks, you could maybe go places or get started somewhere.
Word of mouth and waiting to be seen definitely takes some time and patience no matter how talented you may be.
What’s funny is that you seem to be better than
ever and just as motivated if not more so to
skate and film. I know ’cause I’ve filmed you
into the wee hours of the morning. What do you think it is that drives you?
I guess my main motivation is just skateboarding in general. When I hurt my knee a couple of years back, it took out my front leg for about a year and a half after my surgery. I didn’t like being held down with something that was out of my control. My mind still wanted to go skating everyday but I physically couldn’t. No more 360 flips (or any front foot tricks at that) for a while. I tried to skate anyway with this crazy knee brace but my leg was in bad shape and still didn’t work too well. Now that I am fully recovered, I can’t wait to skate any time I can to make up for lost time.
Aside from that, if I am skating with the right person/ people, it makes skateboarding so much more of a pleasure. As you know, I don’t think about what time it is or how long we’ve been out or even how tired I may be. I am in a good spot either by myself or with the right people and don’t want to bring it to an end.
As for filming, I always wanted to have something to look back on. Currently, I am finishing (trying to finish) a part for the 2nd Nature video. Since it is getting really close, I am trying to get as much as possible. I started out with 3 tricks from before my knee injury… to no new footy… to some crappy hurt knee footy… to my recent fully recovered footy which is much better and I want to get more of that in my part since I don’t know when another vid part may come along.
When can we expect to see a full part of you?
Aside from my part in the 2nd Nature vid, I have been talking to a friend out here in Chicago about doing a “30 and Up” video. Once time is out for sending footage in for the 2nd Nature vid, all of my recent footage will go toward the “30 and Up” vid. Not sure what the name of the vid will be but it should be good. There is a decent amount of us older guys who are still skating a lot and holding down real jobs and some of them with families too. It should be good. I’ll keep you posted.
Who are your top five east coast skaters of all
I can’t remember if I had any faves back in the day so I would have to say that a couple years ago I got to skate with B Brown and Zered pretty often. Zered is a skateboard superhero. Videos barely do him justice. If you skate with him in person you’ll see what I mean.
B Brown is by far the smoothest skateboarder I’ve know and he is still ripping. I got to watch him grow up from when he first started skating. He’s a great guy aside from a suave skateboarder. Now that I mention style, Drake would be another fave. When he lived in White Plains we would skate the Henry’s parking lot and just do trick after trick. That guy was fun to watch since everything was flawless. There may have been more but I can’t think of them now.
What does the future hold for Jake?
Not quite sure. Maybe kid number two in a year or so. I’ll be skating as long as physically possible. I’m sure work isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Less travel so I can chill with my family more. Just keep doing the same thing with skating, my family, friends, and work.
Big ups or shouts?
Big Shout out to my wife Kimberly and my handsome son Jakob V. Big up to The Martinez family… You guys are the best… So glad I got to meet the two new additions to the fam. God bless…
Big ups to 2nd Nature skateshop family, Honor skateboards, Riot Skateboards, 40T clothing, Watermelon Art, The Listen Skateboards crew, New York, Chicago, LA, SF, and Cleveland/Fable crew. Thank you all for the good times skate sessions, help and support.
Can you give us a Low Pro Hero quote?
I’m not too good with this kind of stuff… I guess, “Don’t do anything because someone else thinks it’s cool”. Do your own thing always. Make sure you think it’s also cool before wasting your time pleasing someone else. You’ll be much happier in the long run and it will help you develop your own self in a way that no one else’s ideas or thoughts ever could.
You can find more of Jake on the team page at 2NTR.com