This week’s featured team rider is Joshua Douglas.
Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, 20 year old Josh Douglas recounts some of his favorite moments with Island Water Sports and shares some details of his recent projects. Josh moved to South Florida when he was 9 years old. Moving to a new state wasn’t easy for him at first. Standing taller than most, Josh’s lanky build and prescription glasses was an unconventional look at the time, but through skateboarding he found a community that welcomes all with a warm embrace as well as curiosity. It was with that solace unique to South Florida’s skate scene that helped Josh establish lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories to share with new friends he makes along the way.
Thunder Trucks introduces Josh Douglas to the team with a hefty edit that will surely open your eyes. Josh adds an everlasting impression to the skate world by bringing what he’s got to the table with a combination of creative lines and effortless execution. Fellow team riders Pedro Delfino (21) and Noah Nagaro (9) catch up with Josh as another major edit hit us this morning like a triple shot of espresso would.
PD: How old are you and when did you start skating?
JD: I’m 20 years old and I started skating when I was 10.
PD: What companies do you represent?
JD: Girl Skateboards, Spitfire Wheels, Thunder Trucks, Island Water Sports, Lakai footwear, and Ramp 48
PD: When did you get on Island Water Sports?
JD: I got on IWS when I was about 15 or 16, and I honestly have no idea what I would be doing right now if it wasn’t for them. I’ve gone through an absurd amount of those shop decks over the years [laughs]
PD: First skate trip?
JD: I’m not too sure what my first trip was. IWS does a skate team trip every year so it may have been one of those. My first skate trip out of the state was to Colorado though, which was tight. I like the scene out there a lot. But yeah, that’s definitely the first trip I went on to just film tricks.
PD: How has skateboarding been a positive influence on you? Do you have any specific examples of how skating help you get through tough situations growing up?
JD: I think that for anyone skateboarding is, in a sense, an escape from responsibilities, parents, etc. I would definitely say that having an outlet like skateboarding has been a positive influence. Growing up, living situations were sometimes rough, everyone seemed to be at each other’s throats when there wasn’t a lot of space or privacy. So skating was always an easy way to get out of the house as a kid and just clear my head.
PD: Where are you living now?
JD: Well now since I’m living out in Long Beach, I’ve just been skating cherry park a ton. I really like flat ground, ledges, and manual pads so that’s like the ideal spot if I’m super sore or just taking it easy for the day. It’s super close to the house too, only a 6-7 minutes skate, so that makes it a no-brainer lol. If I’m trying to skate some tranny, or stairs/rails then the Berrics is super fun too. Just depends on what I’m feeling.
PD: Any upcoming parts?
JD: I actually have a part coming out in the next couple weeks. I don’t know when people are gonna read this, but it should be dropping mid August. Basically, I was filming for a Mag Minute (which should also be dropping soon) and just had a bunch of leftover footy. I had been talking to Nate from DLX because he wanted me to do a “know future” video for Thunder, but when we gathered up all the footy I had, we decided that it would be smarter to just put together a full part that will get more views than just a quick 30 second vid. So I just spent the last month wrapping it up out here in Florida while I was waiting to get a small ankle surgery.
NN: What’s your main goal?
JD: Have fun! It’s most important to make sure I’m enjoying [skating]…instead of worrying about different stuff.
PD: What advice do you have for the up-and-coming skateboarders looking for their next step into a career in skateboarding?
JD: Hmm, advice for the youngsters? I’d say…keep it fun and support skater owned brands. No but in all seriousness just be yourself and enjoy the ride. The most fun I’ve had skating is when I was a kid, with my friends. Nowadays there’s a lot more pressure and I feel like I have to prove myself. You should cherish the carefree times while you’re young. No point in forcing anything, just skate and see where it takes you.
PD: You just had your Moving Forward part on Thrasher? How did that feel? And was there any pressure filming for both, Twoché and Moving Forward (local indie skate films)?
JD: Yeah I was pretty stoked my Moving Forward part got posted. That was cool to see but a lot of the stuff in that part is pretty old too so I wasn’t expecting much from it [laughs]. Nowadays you only get about 15 seconds of fame before it’s on to the next robo-brazilian sent from hell ha-ha.
It’s definitely stressful filming for 2 projects at once. This is the first time I’ve had to juggle 2 serious projects at the same time. I would say the most important thing to me was making sure they didn’t look too similar. Got to bring the viewers some variety ha-ha.
NN: Is it true that you had a broken ankle during that kick flip back lip?
JD: Ummmm, sorta it wasn’t fully broken I had a torn ligament, with a bunch of scar tissue.
DM: How’s the ankle injury doing?
JD: I’m doing pretty good. I have 3 more weeks still. I’m getting physical therapy but still have a bit left. Done with the hardest part!
NN: When did you started riding switch, cause you’re good at it!
JD: I don’t know. I started switch when I was 4-5 years into skating and paying more attention to it and being aware of how important it is ….why not try a trick every stance? I think it’s cool to be symmetrical.
NN: What are some tips so I can learn to ride switch?
JD: Have an open mind. Be open to trying something awkward…it might not feel the right way but it might be if you try it anyway.
NN: Are you human? …Because you do the craziest tricks!!!
JD: [Laughs] Yes, I am human, I am not anything other human.
Josh made the move to the popular skate Mecca- Long Beach, California a few months ago with fellow team riders, Jamie Foy and Nikolai Piombo, and it’s clearly paying off. We wish Josh good luck and we’re rooting for him all the way from sometimes-sunny Florida!