Jake Hayes... It was not until recently that I managed to put a face, presence and techinique to the name. I had seen flicks of him in the mags and clips on the insta-webs and yes; normally he was calmly tackling some seriously uber-gnar terrain. It wasn’t till the first time I actually saw him step on board when I realized Jake Hayes is the real deal: a spring-loaded dazzler. Aside from his easily having his way with a skateboard he is also a gracious human, who isn’t afraid of smiling or saying thank you. These are rare: I was instantly taken aback. Ill pass you over to Jake’s good friend, and similarly awesome human Marty Girotto to continue the introduction... - mc

“The last thing I see in Jake Hayes is his amazing ability on a skateboard. I more see the little kid I have known for years growing into quite a lanky, funny human being: up to his own shenanigans, every day and still just as much of a muppet as the day I met him. He gets along with everyone and is a laugh and fun times in any situation. We need more people like him.” - marty girotto

interview: morgan campbell 
photos: andrew mapstone 

So after a brief search of googs, Jake means ‘held by the heal’ and Hayes means ‘hedge’. So, technically you are a ‘hedge held by the heal’. Do you have any affinity for either the back of feet or closely-spaced shrubs?

Ha-ha, I don’t find feet attractive at all and I don’t think I’ll ever become a gardener. 

So you were born in Sydney right? 

Yep, born in Campbelltown, raised in Liverpool. 

Which era did you first start skating the city during? What were the spots being sessioned then?

I think I started skating in the city when I was around thirteen or fourteen (2005-6?). I guess the same spots that are being skated today. Always Martin Place, it’s essential, so much so that I have ‘Martin Pl’ tattooed on my foot. Cannon Ball (I guess the older guys call it New Old) and Chifley, even though all the benches have skate stoppers on them. 

a propper backside 180 slog over a koppers log

a proper backside 180 slog over a koppers log

You must have grown up seeing the same spots that Davo, Sid, Mick, Al, Cuzza and Skunkos all destroyed back in zee day. Did you ever stumble across these guys sessioning?

A lot of the spots they skated ‘B in the D’ have changed or they’re gone. Martin is completely different, and the Cannon Manual Pad is gone. I wish I had seen those guys killing it, but I think I was too late. 

So who was laying it down when u rocked up to skate the city? 

The ‘Hammer OOKs’ were the ones who I grew up watching skate. Dane, Dean Palmer, OOK, Jason Mertell, and a bunch of other dudes too. 

The Waterloo Skatepark must have been a big part of your skate education. Do you remember when the park opened? What is the craziest thing you have ever seen there?

Yeah has been for sure. I remember it opening. It was really shiny with the anti-graffiti stuff everywhere, so it was pretty slippery. Now it kind of sucks because the shiny stuff has worn away and the sand from the concrete comes through. But I still find myself there most days. I dunno about the craziest thing, but the best thing is watching Rhys Grogan skate around. He’s so damn good and has the best trick selection mixed with the best style: best dude. 

From what I gather as far as other Australian cities go, you have been to Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Are there any of those places you could see yourself living in coming years? 

Sydney will always be home, but if I had to choose one of those it would be Melbourne for sure. There are always good vibes and a good bunch of people down to skate all the time. I love it. 

a locked, loaded and lengthy lippy in the outskirts of melbourne

a locked, loaded and lengthy lippy in the outskirts of melbourne

When I saw you skate at (Pro/Am) Stop #1 I was simply bewildered by your snaps and your basic disrespect for gravity. Whlst growing up did you study the technique of any of the OG fat-snappers like Huf or Reese? 

Ha-ha, nah not really. I guess I saw them in old 411’s, but because I was a dumb kid I never paid attention to how gnarly their skating actually was. I appreciate it so much more now. More recently, I guess there’s always clips of Brophy doing big-poppa heart-stoppas around the place, so I think he was a good one to watch. The best thing about him is he looks like every trick he does: he pops real big. Not just ollies. I like that. 

What would you say to someone who wants to ollie higher? 

Just take it in stages I think. Start by doing ollies over small things and gradually make your way higher. I always find that when you’re going over something it’s easier to pop higher. I’m sure most people see it that way too. 

Now just briefly back to your name. Being a ‘Jake Hayes’ do you feel a connection with any of the ‘J-Ks‘ (James Kennedys) down here in Melbourne? Has anyone ever mistaken you for either of the J-Ks (either Vert J-K or Street J-K)? 

Never been mistaken, but when that DC demo was on at Riverside, Sparx was on the microphone and I suppose when he was paying me out he would say my name quick, so sounded like he was saying J-Ks. I didn’t even notice it until Cole came up and said something to me. 

That brings us to your recent tour with the DC team. It was a pretty star-studded affair. Did the American guys welcome the Aussie team with open arms? Which Aussie skater do you feel really blew them away? 

All of the Americans were real cool. Everyone kind of hung out together which was sweet. I think Marty killed it, not only on a skateboarding basis, but he has a funny personality. I think they were introduced to real Australian ways.

Jake Hayes is clearly not impressed by Marty Girotto’s flipped rim

Jake Hayes is clearly not impressed by Marty Girotto’s flipped rim

Must be pretty rad having Leigh Bolton as the DC-TM. He seems like a bit of a ruler. I hear you guys working on some kind of a project at the moment? Can you tell us a bit about that? 

Leigh is the best. He’s always down to get into a bit of trouble and he doesn’t take shit too serious. But when shit needs to be done, it gets done. I’m trying to film a little DC part to get released on the web. I want to try and get it done by the end of the year. 

You are planning a trip to The States right? What do you plan on doing over there? 

Yeah hoping to go over at the start of July, for two and a half or three months. Planning on meeting up with some of the DC guys for a bit, before they head to Europe. And then hoping to go to San Jose to skate with the enjoi guys too. 

If you do indeed end up skating with the enjoi guys who would u be most ampt to skate with? 

Cairo is pretty rad to skate with; he has a good mentality and always gets you psyched to try tricks, same with Ben (Raemers). Everyone that I’ve met is super rad. I think Matt Eversole (enjoi TM) hates me. Ha-ha, don’t blame him. 

Which other countries are you keen on checking out? 

Pretty keen on the idea of skating some countries around Europe. Everyone that’s been has always come back with good stories and (apparently) there are spots everywhere. 

yes the back smith was just for warm ups, you should see the... [ click to view sequence ]

yes the back smith was just for warm ups, you should see the… [ click to view sequence ]

Who is your main skate posse in Sydney? 

Most days I pick Dane up if he’s around, head into the city and skate with Jason Mertell at Waterloo. On the weekends, it’s a pretty big posse: Getrad, Little Niky, Alon, Marty sometimes makes the two hour train ride from the Gong for a shred and Rhys Grogan is generally gronking it up somewhere. I also love skating with Malaya Martin. 

What is the kindest thing you have ever seen Marty do? 

Hmm, I can’t think of one single thing that stands out in my mind. But every time we go skating he’ll either pay for petrol or buy my lunch or something like that. He’s the best.

What is the gnarliest thing you have ever seen Dane do? 

Every time I go skating with Dane, he does something gnarly, whether it’s getting tricks or getting raw. I can’t think off the top of my head of the gnarliest thing I’ve seen him do, but one of my favourite things was one of the first times I saw him skate. I was skating this ghetto spot every used to call ‘Bell’ with OOK and a few other friends, and we went across the street to the netball courts to the bubbler. As soon as we got there, Dane ollied over this real big rail, he was shooting a photo with Andrew Peters. He didn’t even film it. I thought that was pretty crazy.

What is your favourite kind of skate spot? 

I find wheelchair ramps fun, you can probably tell because most of my photos have been on those kinds of spots. I also like skating rails too! I want to grind a real long one. 

hefty airtime to downhill rollaway: had to feel good right?

hefty airtime to downhill rollaway: had to feel good right?

Are you a victim of the i-phone? 

Unfortunately yes: addicted to instagram. I always cop shit from Marty for being on my phone all the time, but I’m not that bad. He’s just jealous because he really wants instagram but can’t get it on his black and white Nokia. 

How bout headphones, do you ever skate with headphones? How do you feel about headphones mixed with skateboarding? 

I never skate with headphones in. I was always told it looks stupid, so I just never did it. I don’t have anything against it, if that’s how someone gets psyched to skate, good on them. 

What do you like to do in your downtime? 

Hanging out with friends is always nice, watch movies, watch skate videos… I’m boring. If I’m not skating, I’m thinking about it or watching it.

Ok just before we finish… which Aussie up and comers do you rate? 

Casey Ainsworth, Olly West, everyone in Dadcam. There are way too many. Everyone is so good. 

Jake skates for: enjoiDCThunderSpitfireModus, and Lodown.




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