“We brought nothing but a list of the essentials: friends, beer, starry eyes, skateboard, and no need for showers just public barbeques.” – Jimmy Roche
The notion of letting skateboarding escort you through life, going wherever the skate-able dream takes you, is a very inviting notion, to say the least. At the end of the day it’s all about doing what you love, and if you’re good enough to do it as much as you can, then we say do the shit out of it.
One man who’s tapped into his life’s purpose, for the time being, is Mr Jimmy Roche. He likes long walks on the beach and finds happiness in four wheels, a bit of metal and a piece of wood. We’re kidding about the long walks on the beach, but Jimmy sure is good at defying and redefining the assigned uses of everyday objects. We’re certain you’d agree that this is one guy who knows how to throw down on a skateboard.
Firstly Mr Roche, what essentials are a must for your trunk?
Well if I had a trunk or a license, I would put a fishing rod, skateboard, tent, a friend, and a guitar in it.
Can you remember the moment that made skateboarding into a possible career for you?
I guess just recently after my latest trip to America, but it doesn’t really feel like a career; it’s just something I do with the homies.
Is it looking like it’s going to carry on into the future?
I think I’ll be doing it even if I’m not sponsored or whatever, but if my sponsors wanted to keep backing me that’d be awesome and I’d be grateful.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
It’s hard to say, maybe I’ll have my license! I’ll still be skating for sure. I’ve got plans, but I’m going wherever skateboarding takes me like I always have. It just feels right.
What do you think is the main reason a skater’s career hits a stand still?
If it turns into a job and they don’t see the fun or don’t have a lust for it anymore. You can tell when a skateboarder loves it and that’s the best, but when you see a skater who’s just there for a comp or a photo or whatever you seem to turn your head away.
So you have more a bit of a rock n’ roll image going there. How did you decide this was the image for you?
I don’t think I made a decision to have an image. As corny as it sounds I’m just doing what makes me feel comfortable.
How much would you say your image helped you in getting sponsored?
I hope it was more about my skateboarding, but I guess image is a bit important when it comes to representing them. You have to be presentable haha.
And how much have your sponsors helped you to go out and do what you do?
They have all helped me so much and I’m always grateful to have such great sponsors. I’ve got to see and skate so many parts of the world and meet so many amazing people. Basically, they help me a lot!
What tips do you have for half pint frothers out there who want to get sponsored?
Haha, I’ve never heard that term before. If they want to get sponsored, I guess filming and making tapes, shooting photos of yourself skating well, and just being yourself will get you noticed.
What is the biggest gap you’ve ever hit?
I’m not entirely sure, but I know it hurt haha.
On the flip side, the biggest fall?
I fall every time I skate, but last year was the only year I’ve injured myself out of the whole time I’ve been skating. On separate occasions, I’ve had three concussions, broke some part of my heel, tore ligaments in my ankle and my collarbone, which I’m still recovering from. I was pretty much injured all year, but I guess that’s what happens.
What has been your biggest achievement in skating?
Learning kickflips when I was a kid.
What makes you want to keep on skating?
Skating the bluestone ground in the city, and the good times with the homies.
Who or what has most influenced your skating?
My dad (who taught me to skate), Callum Paul, Jack Kirk, Seb Steele, Rome Torti, Trent Fahey, Ethan Fowler, Shane Cross, and Joe Pease. All of whom are my good friends!
What is the one trick that makes you feel like a kid again?
I’m still a kid, haha, so every trick.
So one day you upped and left the perfect concrete bowls of the Gold Coast and moved on down to the prime street skating destination, Melbourne. Talk us through the divide between the two Cities skate culture wise?
Well, the Goldie is more surf and football orientated and you know what comes with that, but the skateboarding scene there is really awesome for sure. Whereas Melbourne is full of business people who don’t usually care if you’re skating. Of course, you get the occasional dickhead. There are the best spots to skate here, plus there’s a big art scene and with that comes free beer and music. I get to see bands almost every week. In the last few months, I’ve seen Suicidal Tendencies, Motorhead, Soundwave, and there are some really good local bands here if you’re into that. I feel free here in Melbourne.
Can you see the opportunity for Australia to grow as one skate community? Or do you think it’s better off having little unique spots?
I think it’s already a massive community and I don’t really see it being cut off. Everyone knows each other and is connected through skateboarding and that’s awesome! Australian skateboarding is killing it.
Talk us through a typical weekday in the life of Jimmy Roche in five words?
Skate, work, friends, guitar, and sleep.
Talk us through a typical Saturday night in the life of Jimmy Roche?
Wasting away in Margaritaville.
From what I’ve read elsewhere, you’re a bit of a gipsy. You see the simpler pleasures in life. Something I think kids should be more focused on these days. Give us a closing story from the Jimmy Roche, ‘discharge from regimentation’ chronicles?
My latest gipsy story was going camping in Canberra, something made on a drunken decision, no plan. We brought nothing but a list of the essentials: friends, beer, starry eyes, skateboard, and no need for showers just public barbeques. It was probably the best trip I’ve been on lately, swan throttling great times. If you haven’t done it, do it.
Photo credit: Rome Torti (R.I.P 2014 – Thank you for the difference you made)
Browse the Trunk Junk collection; maybe even pick one out for yourself.
© Jonathan Boonzaaier 2016