Interview by: Michael Bayr
HEY CHAZ, WHAT’S UP? GOOD TO SEE YOU’VE SECURED SOME ADDITONAL TV PROMOTION FOR YOU CONTEST… HOW DID THIS ALL COME ABOUT?
Hi there Michael! Well, the guys at Rampworx had a really good connection with someone at Extreme Channel, and they where sitting on something waiting for the right opportunity to come along to put together a piece for the channel; I guess the Invitational was the right opportunity.
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE TURNOUT OF THE CHAZ SANDS COMPETITION?
I’m happy with it, yes. I’m sure there could have been more people there last year but the contest seemed to clash with some important school exams in the UK and I think that’s why a lot of people couldn’t attend. Hopefully this year will be different and the event doesn’t clash with anything; fingers crossed…
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR INITIAL IDEA TO DO THIS?
It was actually through Razors. Andy Wegener asked me to host an event because he realized there is a huge scene in the UK but no major contests for the Pros to go to which meant the kids in the UK were never getting the chance to meet their idols in skating.
IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIAL PLANNED FOR THE COMP THIS YEAR? WILL IT HAVE TV COVERAGE?
Special plans? I dunno, we might build some new obstacles for the event, change things up a bit… who knows. The TV show, I think, is one of our highest priorities. We are gonna film it all again for sure as we did last year. I think Simon Mulvaney did a great job with the documentary and he’s really down to do this year’s event. The main thing will be that the ratings for the documentary are high, that way when we give the Extreme Channel the finished product they have no problem airing it.
Image: Chaz Sands, True Topsoul in Cali; shot by Fabio Enes
WHY DID YOU HAVE TO MOVE THE COMPETITION THIS YEAR?
We had to change the event date by a week to fit in better with the WRS schedule. There was nothing I could really do about it, and if it helps with the bigger WRS picture than I’m all for it. Only thing I can say is sorry to the people out there that maybe booked time off work or booked hotels and travel arrangements; sorry to everyone again!
SINCE YOU’RE PART OF THE WRS NOW, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOU?
Well, personally, I think the WRS is a great thing for inline. We need something like this to connect all the contests and give all the athletes something to try a little harder for a world ranking. It also makes everything more professional having all the events linked in this way, Outside sponsors look at the structure and are happy to get involved with the sport.
Check out Be-Mag’s 2009 Chaz Sands Invitational Article
SINCE YOU KNOW COMPETITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES, WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU LOOK FOR IN A COMP? WHAT WOULD AN IDEAL COMP LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
There a few things that really make a good contest. First of all, I think advertising. If it’s advertised well then it’s sure to have a lot of crowd attendance and the crowd is so important for a great atmosphere. Second, riderlist. If the event has some of the best riders in the world attending then the level of skating will be really high and pretty much guarantees a hardcore event.
Third, the location and venue. The location needs to be easily accessible from most places, plus the skatepark has to meet high standards. Last but not least, there has to be an afterparty that’s gonna finish it all off and leave you talking about the whole event!
I think personally if an event has all these things tied up than it’s a winner and you’ll want to be there…
BESIDES ORGANIZING YOUR COMPETITION, WHAT OTHER THINGS DO YOU HAVE PLANNED COMING UP?
Well my plans are really just all the standard things any Pro has to do… skate as much as I can just keep my name out there strong, make some web edits/video sections and contine to travel…