Tuesday, April 24, 2012
WRAHW Interview: Colin Foster The Alaskan Assassin
I definitely think that the way in which I met Colin was sort of weird and random. I came down to Baltimore for the first time a lil over a year ago for a Hold Fast trip to Atlanta and the few days before the trip I stayed at Colin's after never even meeting him previously. I quickly realized that he was a real cool dude to hang around while also being a lil wacky in the head like the most of us. After the trip down to Atlanta with the rest of the HF crew, we had become pretty good friends. I came back down to Baltimore again once it had gotten cold, thinking it would be a reprieve from NY frigidness, I was wrong in this case. It was cold as fuck and Colin and I went out in the dark to ride anyways. i had just gotten my camera light and Colin was trying this weird banked nose manual even though he didn't really have them that well at the time. He bumped his rear tire, flipped over and got wrecked in the fucking cold, busting his nose on the way down. This was his first clip for the WRAHW video, and this is when I realized that he was down for the gnar. I continued to visit Baltimore as much as possible, just to hang out with my new buds and shoot the breeze, each visit it seemed like Colin was progressing on a weirdly rappid level. It was odd to watch him develop his own tastes and self politics right before my eyes. His humbling attitude along with his odd mind for setups and goofy, slightly immoral humor, made him a perfect fit for this family.
There aren’t a lot of kids who know the deal. Tell them where you are from, how old you are, and how many years you’ve been riding?
Im 22, living in Baltimore, but grew up in Alaska and Vermont. Been riding fixed for about 3 and a half years, not freestyle the whole time.
You were telling me about some crazy stories from Alaska. What’s one of the most insane memories that you have from growing up there?
There are a lot of everyday things that are just way different. Like there was a McDonalds on the island that was the favorite spot for all the Bald Eagles to nib on your extra fries. It also rained almost 300 days a year on average...
Before riding fixed gears you used to snowboard street. You showed me some videos that gave me a completely different outlook on snowboarding. What are your opinions on how snowboarding is generally portrayed, and how does the snowboarding that you are interested in differ from the x games bullshit?
Competitive snowboarding is the same as every sport, its technical but not remarkably creative or anything. I hate sounding like a street snob but that stuff is almost an entirely different sport. Most competitive snowboarders just don't mess with street at all, and most street snowboarders don't ever compete. It separates the sport and generally people don't ever learn about street shit unless they're invested in it. I think you could say that about any sport. However, street snowboarding isn't something you see around like bikes or skating because honestly its a pain in the ass to set up spots, and spots for snowboarding are generally in places that don't get much foot traffic.
Why did you start riding fixed gears?
I was about to move to Ohio for school where I knew I couldn't snowboard anymore, and one of my friends who had left the year before for school had one. I thought it was cool I guess, so I built a conversion. I had that bike for a long time, eventually I got a cutter on sale. I started reading blogs and became a lurker, but it wasn't til I got a thrasher and transferred to a school in Baltimore that I really got into it.
You have a great interest in creativity and individuality. What do you think helped steer you in that path of thinking? Do you find it harder to find spots or setups to ride due to your having to be pickier about what you really want to get down on?
Having interesting setups, lines, whatever, is half the fun for me. 'Street' just seems natural on fixed gear bikes. I don't remember there ever being much park in early freestyle videos, and Baltimore doesn't have many good parks, so it has always made sense to me. As far as riding creatively or whatever is concerned- thats just what I like to see. I'm not interested in doing the most insane tricks, there's nothing wrong with that side of the sport, but its not what I do. I'd rather roll around all day and film one really amazing spot then a bunch of tricks on standard spots. That attitude makes it a lot harder to find things to film, but it also in my opinion, makes edits timeless. If you just film tricks, people are just going to get better and film more technical better tricks and your shit will be irrelevant in a couple months.
Who in all of this do you feel is pushing the sport in new directions?
Well, I am of course stoked on everybody on Balhogs and Wrahw. Honestly though Sam Hanson is my main riding buddy and he constantly is pulling shit no one would think of in any sport context.
There are kids these days that start riding fixed gears and immediately think about being sponsored. I had a kid once ask me what should he do to get sponsored in the industry. This question made me pretty upset and confused as to whether or not there are many people left that ride to just get loose and high on adrenaline. How do you feel about those who enter in all this just to get their name out there, and be sponsored?
Its dumb, bottom line is you should be interested in riding first. I acknowledge that there many different faces to any sport, some competitive, but if your not doing it for yourself primarily then... I don't know, go ride a park?
Image made by Charles Schoen
What sort of influences are you working with, outside of riding? Who is killing it elsewhere?
I think like most people I look to other sports. Krook2d I thought was really nice. Also. Leo Valls is king. Riding "creatively" doesn't gotta be goofy.
You go to Maryland Institute College of Art. How do you like all of that? What sort of work do you tend to focus on in school?
Art making is really important to me, and MICA has a really good faculty and is fortunately in Baltimore so riding Sam, Dan and the rest of BMFXD is right on hand. I work with plastics, micro controllers, sensors, lights, motors, foam, steel... whatever else seems right for what I'm making, but those are the big ones right now.
Every time that I stay at your house you bust out some gnarly music that I have never heard of. What sort of tunes are you into at the moment?
Damn man, you got me at a bad time. David Bowie and The Clash. I'm in this downer Sci-fi mood right now though so its time to scrounge for some nu tunes. In the band Horrible Creeps you played guitar. I heard the bands new stuff and it only has bass in it no guitar, making for some minimal crusty darkness.
What was it like shredding in the band, and would you ever play in a band again?
Yeah that was the last band I 'played with' and it was really only for a really little time-never played a show- but it was way rad, but I knew I was gonna move to Baltimore so I was content just being the bro(? haha!). I would definitely play again, but not right now, I'm already so stacked and stressed.
What sorts of foods get you way hyped?
I'm really into anything. I could eat Vietnamese anytime though. I eat rice a lot, its probably my favorite food because its filling but also laid back and easy on my weak ass stomach.
You are really stoked on homemade pickles and you even started making your own. What got you into all of this, and when are you going to make another batch of insane ones so that I can get on a taste test setup?
I kinda put it on pause for winter cause the cucumber situations pretty shitty. But when produce is better I wanna start making them again, pickles go with everything.
You already have a few clips for the WRAHW dvd and it just so happens that they are both gnarly falls. Why do you think that this is the case?
I don't want to put mediocre shit in a video, I want to push myself to film the best I can, so sometimes that means I am doing things that I haven't really gotten locked down yet, but I'd rather push it and fall then put out boring safe shit.
Are you filming for any other video projects at the moment whether it be online or not?
I have one sneaky solo video that you and I both know how stoked I am for. Theres a Balhogs wax promo coming out soon that I have quite a few clips for too.
Who currently sponsors you or helps you out in some way?
Balhogs, Wrahw, Spike and Hold Fast all help me out in a huge way and I'm so grateful. Give thanks? My girlfriend Amanda, anyone supporting Balhogs, Wrahw, Bmore Fixed, Mom and Dad, everyone that helps me film. The east coast clique rules.
Colin has been working on his WRAHW edit for a while now. This is a screen grab of a threaded tire bonk in downtown Baltimore. When I think of originality or creativity Colin is definitely one of the first dudes who comes to mind.
Put together this edit mixed with older clips from Colin's previous edits and a few new ones that we decided didn't work out in the current edit that he's working on. Basically I just made this to accompany his interview.
Posted by WRAHW at 12:08 PM