Plan B introduces Chris Joslin
You need to be a uniquely talented skateboarder if Ryan Sheckler and Torey Pudwill cannot stop talking about you, and that's the case with Plan B Skateboards' newest am, Chris Joslin. For the past year, every time I'd talk to Ryan or Torey, they couldn't say enough about this underground sensation who grew up right outside of Long Beach, California. I hadn't seen much of Joslin until recently, and instantly, you could see why he's earned himself a place on a team of such legends. With this weekend being the theatrical debut of the long-awaited Plan B "True" video and the video's filmer/editor, Erik Bragg, calling Joslin "the greatest skateboarder ever," it sounds as if minds are about to be blown, especially when people find out Chris filmed his entire groundbreaking part with a torn ACL. We caught up with Joslin just hours before the premiere to talk about the video, his ACL and how he got on the team.
XGames.com: The filmer and editor of the new Plan B video, Erik Bragg, told me he thinks you're the greatest skater that ever lived, and both Sheckler and Pudwill have been telling me how amazing you are for some time. What's that like to have such heavy hitters giving you such praise?
Joslin: I don't even know what to think or even to believe they're praising me, I just think that they're kind of shocked that I'm coming out of nowhere, with no background or anything and all of a sudden I'm just here. I can see that as being surprising for them. I don't see my tricks being any more amazing than any of theirs. I still watch their footage to get hyped to go skate.
You did kind of come out of nowhere. They just started giving you boards at the beginning of the year. How did you get on the team?
This is kind of a funny story, actually. I started out on Powell-Peralta and I wanted free grip and I wanted to get on Shake Junt. At the time, Kevin Romar was my buddy on Shake Junt, and he was like, "What do you think about Blind?" I said I was down because everyone always knows that Powell-Peralta is a stepping stone in a way, so it was meant for me to leave, in a sense. I was kind of suspect about it, so I asked Deville [Powell-Peralta team manager] what he thought and he thought Blind would be a sidestep for me -- if anything, a step down -- so I asked him what he thought would be a good fit. He asked me, "What do you think about Plan B?" I was like, "What do you mean? They're the best. I'd be down as hell if they were down." And Deville was like, "Cool, give me 15." He hit me back in 15 minutes and said, "Have fun on Plan B." 15 minutes later, Ryan Denman from Plan B hit me up and said he wanted to start sending me some boards. I was tripping out that it was really happening. For a minute, I had my doubts. I was thinking it was a joke. I didn't believe it for a second, but then I was like, "Why would Deville talk me out of going to Blind to have me go to something that wasn't really there?" He wouldn't do something that shady, and he didn't. Sure enough, it was for real. He got me on Plan B.
What was your first experience with the dudes?
Insane and so nerve-racking at first. I was tripping, not believing I was chilling with all these people. I was like, "How? How did you end up here?" It kind of just happened, and after one day of chilling with them, it was pretty tight.
I read in the new Thrasher that you filmed this whole part with a torn ACL.
Yes, sir. It's not a full tear -- it's a partial tear in my ACL that occurred when I tried to switch hardflip this 13-stair two years ago. I tore my ACL when I was 16, and it required surgery but there was no way they could go do that because the growth plates were in the way. Therefore, I had to wait until I was 18, a year and a half. I was like, "There's no way I'm not going to skate for a year and a half. That's enough to lose all my muscle memory. Are you kidding me?" So I was able to work something out where I was able to skate with this brace that Dr. Dave orders for me down in San Clemente, and I can go pick it up whenever I go to physical therapy. I'm on like my eighth brace right now. It wasn't like I'd skate and my knee would get strong with the torn ACL. No, this brace is a really strong brace, with two metal rods going down the side of it. I've had to order multiples of it, and that helped me keep skating. So I have to thank Dr. Dave for that right there.
That's not restrictive at all?
No, it doesn't restrict movement forward and backward. It only restricts lateral movements.
There are some serious legends on the Plan B team. Did you feel any pressure while filming this part?
I was kind of the last one on the team to start filming their part, so I had more of a rush involved. I went out by myself a lot, which kind of helped when I met up with the team because I already had some footage under my belt. When I went out with the team, I could just interact more with the guys rather than being that dude that's always skating and never chilling with the homies.
Bragg told me you can do any trick anyone can do on flat ground off of 10-stairs within a few tries.
I probably would rather do a trick down a 10-stair than on flat ground, to be honest with you. You have more time and it goes mellower. You don't have to rush it, you don't have to get that quick flip, catch it all quick, land it all quick. You have more time. You're just floating with ease and have more time to let the flip flow, let the catch happen and then let the roll away happen in a nice, calm way.
He also said that in the future you could be Nyjah [Huston]'s main rival.
Dude, he's not the only person saying it. I read my comments on Facebook, and that's everybody's thoughts right now. But I'm not in competition with nobody. I skate for myself and that's it. I skate because that's what I grew up doing, not because I'm going to go enter some contest to beat the guy that everybody thinks is the best right now. That's not what I'm here for, but it's cool that kids can think that because that means they're having good thoughts in their head about me. But like I said, it's not my intentions to go take out the world's greatest skateboarder because that's not who I am, nor will it be who I will be.
Everybody is talking about your part. It's finally over. How do you feel about it?
Everybody? There are seven billion people in the world. I don't think everybody is talking about it.
Everybody in your camp that I've talked to is talking about it.
Oh, damn. That puts a little bit of nervousness on the line. I don't want to disappoint anybody now. But I'm just excited to watch it with the homies.
But this is your first major part and it's your intro to the Plan B team. You're not tripping going into this premiere?
Dang! You made that sound gnarlier than how I was looking at it. I don't know. I'm just looking at it like I'm going to go to this premiere with all the homies and see the video that we've all been working on and get the weight lifted off all our shoulders. I bet it's more exciting for other people that are going to just come and watch it, because for us that have filmed the footage, there's always something in your head you could've done better or you should go back and do better. As a skater, I always feel like there's something you can improve on. I haven't even seen the part, so not until I sit down and fully watch part -- that's when it'll really be intense.
What do you have lined up next for yourself?
Pretty much just keep skating. Not anything in particular other than keep skating and filming, and whatever happens happens.