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Thursday, December 29, 2011
Amateur Hour: Josh Borden


Santa Cruz skateboards is one of the longest standing, heritage brands in skating. In the '80s they were defined as the all-terrain tranny team. Since then they've struggled to find their identity but with pros like Emmanuel Guzman and Justin Strubing it seems like they're returning to their ATV roots. Recently they added Orange County pool and park ripper, Josh Borden to reinforce the direction they're headed. We caught up with Josh to discuss his bump up to am status.

Josh Borden takes a sizeable boneless for a whirl in this backyard beauty.

How is that you're from Orange County and you got on Santa Cruz?
My buddy, Josh Stafford, who I grew up skating vert with, was riding for them and is still getting boards from them and he introduced me to the guys. I went up to Santa Cruz a lot. I like going up there to skate and get out of this Orange County bubble. I was just up there skating a lot with those guys and it worked out.

How long were you getting flowed boards before you got bumped up onto the full team, recently?
About three years. It's been cool. They got a good team over there, a lot of cool heads and I'm stoked.

Whose skating is your favorite on the team?
Probably E-Man, Emmanuel Guzman. I went on a couple trips with those dudes and Jason Jessee has been skating, too. It's pretty cool to hang out and kick it with him. He came over and skated my ramp recently; that was pretty cool. I remember we went up to Oregon and Peter Gunn took us to this campsite and Jason pulled out his sawed off shotgun and we started shooting. Peter Gunn was full on holding it into his chest because it was giving a kick back but Jason just held it with his two arms and shot that thing and didn't even flinch. Jason is gnarly.

Josh Borden is skilled in all the classic moves. This andrecht over the stairs of a backyard pit is ridiculous.

You said you have a ramp? What do you got?
I got a little 9.5 with a foot and half of vert. A little vert ramp. It's 32 feet wide. I got it last year. We started moving my buddy, Aaron's, ramp over to my house. I talked to some dudes at Vans and they helped me out with a little incentive to get the ramp going. We put it up in seven days, just banged it out. We're fortunate to have the house we have because we have this extra plot of land that was a railroad easement and behind that is a school. They don't really have any use for it so they rent it out to us and that's where we put the ramp.

What's life in Orange County like?
Just the same old stuff. I have my family here; I grew up here my whole life. It's pretty mellow. It's not all bourgeois-out like Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. No "Real Housewives." We're middleclass, blue collar.

Has the recession made more empty pools available by you?
Oh, yeah. For sure. There are endless pools right now. I've been skating a new pool every time I've been going out. You don't want to skate the same pool over and over again so you go out and try and find a new pool. We've been pretty lucky.

NHS has Santa Cruz. But they also have a brand called NorCal. There's no NorCal vs. SoCal beef with you?
No, every time I've gone up there those guys have treated me like family. I haven't had any problems that I know of.

Tell me about the first time you went to The Vans skatepark.
Ha! I was in my PJs! The Block had just opened and my parents went on a date there. They came home and my dad was like, "They got a skatepark, you should check it out." I was in my PJs, I was like 10 years old. It was like 9 o'clock at night, and I remember going into the park in my PJs and watching from the top and it was pretty sick. The next day I went over there and skated and it was on.

Josh Borden takes a backside lipslide and stretches it along some pool block.

Skating the park, is that how you got hooked up with Vans?
I guess you could say that. They have that Combi Bowl cntest and the first year I skated it I guess I did pretty good and a couple of the people, like Doug Palladini and Peter Derricks, approached me and about riding for Vans. I was stoked.

It's about to be New Years, Josh, any resolutions?
Just stay healthy and keep on skating, get some more photos in the mags and film a lot.

Got any trips lined up for 2012?
I'm going out to Australia in February. Other than that, I'm going up to Santa Cruz and San Francisco; trying to stay busy. Trying to go skate some pools on the daily.