First Sesh in CJ Collins' Backyard

Skate
First Sesh in CJ Collins' Backyard

Like any 14-year old skater, having a backyard bowl to skate anytime you want, seems like an absolute dream!

The skatepark itself was a 3 year journey, CJ and his dad started digging up their backyard when he was only 10 years old. After catching wind of it's completion we decided to get a small crew together and head over there to check it out. Pedro Barros was in town and hanging out with Omar Hassan hitting all sorts of parks around town, so it was a no brainer to get them on the sesh. Fellow Toy Machine teammate, Collin Provost is always down to shred, so he met us at CJ's too. We also hear that the park had a built in grill too so picking up some grillables was a must. Our Sunday sesh at CJ's was shaping quite nicely!

Who's idea was this?!?

We called CJ up to get more on the process. He was in the middle of doing his homework, so he wasn't too bummed on chatting with us for a few minutes. Watch the video above and read more below for the full scoop.

When did you decide to make a skatepark in your backyard?
We started digging up the backyard like 3 years ago. We didn't really know what we were going to do, but then, not too long ago, we were just like fuck it! We're going to build it.
Did you have a design? or did they design it for you? What did you want in it?
Well yeah, we like didn't even design it. We drew it on a piece of napkin or something like that. Then we ended up having Remy hook us up with his guy (Dug Ketterman of DugOut Design Studios, who also helped design the Volcom HQ skatepark) to do the 3D render or whatever it's called.
How long has it been in the backyard now?
It's been in the backyard for like 3 or 4 months now.
What was your first reaction to seeing it and skating it?
Dude, I was so stoked! I couldn't frickin' believe it, I was so hyped!
Look ma, no hands! No Comply booster
Who else has skated it beside yourself? Any other skaters stop by yet?
All of the builders have skated it. We had a little BBQ when it was done and had a few people over, but not a lot of people have skated it yet really.
So it's not too blown out yet?
No, not yet.
Were Collin, Pedro and Omar kind of the first pro's to skate it?
Pretty much, yeah they were the first ones to really skate it, besides me.
How often do you use that BBQ? It was looking pretty clean when we rolled through...
We only used it like once before you guys did. That was on New Years.
Collin Provost blunt sliding as the built in grill get's fired up!
How stoked were you to drive the van?
Dude! I was so stoked! I was ready to ram anything and everything!
We should have had you do more than one take... (laughs)
Yeah! I would have too much fun.
I feel like it would have gotten dangerous pretty quick. You're coming to Florida on the next Volcom 'Road Rager' trip right?
Yeah, it's like the end of February, beginning of March right?
Yup! We have a good crew. Have you ever been to Florida before?
I've been once like 4 years ago for Tampa Am. I think that was the first time Volcom ever flew me out to a contest.
Oh yeah, damn, 4 years ago, you were like 10 years old. Did you enter last year?
I didn't go last year, but I think I'm going this year, it's going to be rad.
No trophies from Skatepark of Tampa's "Tampa Am" yet!
Showing photos he took from his first trip to China
I just watched that Transworld Skateboarding video of you and the Toy Machine dudes in China, looks like you got some epic footage. That wasn't your first time to China though, right? You've been there for the Vans Park Series before right?
Yeah, but the Toy Machine trip was before I went there for the Vans Park Series, So yeah, the Toy Machine trip was my first time to China.
Oh rad! What was that like?
It was sick, but we were in the middle of nowhere, just going to random spots in China. It was brutal, I was sick for like the first 2 weeks! I don't know what what was wrong, My eyes felt so dry that I felt like I just needed to sleep, I also had a gnarly fever.
Did Collin take care of you?
They would just go skate spots, I would just chill at the hotel. They were like "Oh you'll be fine, just stay in bed." When I was feeling better, I would go out and skate in the morning but by the end of the sesh I would just be dusted!
Luckily the neighbors are pretty chill, even when there's Pedro Barros back smithing on your fence
What else do you have going on?
Um, not much right now, just a lot of homework. might meet up with a couple homies this weekend. Not sure what we're doing yet.
So if you're homeschooled, what grade are you in? how does that work?
Well, I'm in 9th grade, I don't know if that's different than regular school.
Sound about right...
Yeah, I'm in 9th grade but really suck at school. I only have one F. That's in Biology.
What pants you running these days?
Right now, I'm wearing just the Frickin' Modern Chinos, I've been trying out some denim, I think the Solvers, but I usually just run the chinos.
What would your dream sesh be in you park? If you could have any 3 dudes, who would it be?
Um... I would say Grant Taylor, Collin's already been here, that was my dream! (laughs) I'd like to see Dustin here too, I would like to see what he could do, he'd just fly around and bail alot, that would be rad. (laughs).
Cross Collin Provost off CJ's "dream sesh" list. Kickflip
Omar Hassan, playing the hits! Madonna
What's the deal with that drainage grate you have in there too? That thing is sick!
Yeah! That was me and my dad's idea. One of my dads friends does metal work and he did it for us. It's pretty sick, we wanted to do one for the BBQ grill too.
All in the details!
All right, well I'll let you get back to your homework, don't want anymore F's. Thanks for your time bud!
For sure dude! Later!