PHOTOS & INTERVIEW Jake Grove
Looking back at all the different projects photography class has thrown my way I’ve realized that my friend Jasper Ohlson has been the subject for the majority of my work. With a solid understanding of photography and a serious talent for skating everything, Jasper has made for the best subject I could’ve asked for. He’s always pushing the limits of his skateboarding every time we go out and is always open to try different things while shooting. Be it a new spot, trick, or simply approaching either in a new way, Jasper is a creative skateboarder. I’ve witnessed plenty of young skateboarders who have become exceptional at skating one thing, but I have met very few who push themselves to skate and improve in all aspects of skateboarding—Jasper is one of those few. Anyways, we’ve gathered a large variety of photos throughout our time shooting together and we recently decided to put a little something together for your viewing pleasure, showcasing some of our better photos. Please sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
What’s your name, where are you from, and how old are you?
Jasper Ohlson, Born in Portland Oregon, Living in San Diego. Northwest roots! 15 years old.
I don’t really know your life story. . . Care to share?
Born in 2000, I started skating when I was around 2 or 3. My dad got me my first board (mini toy machine if i remember correctly), and anyway, like so many others, I was hooked. Instead of playing video games, or playing in soccer matches on weekends, I was at the skatepark with my dad and brother. I vividly remember pestering my dad into getting me a scooter when I was like 5. He said no. “Never”. haha. At the time I was bummed, but soon came to realize it was for the better, and my dad knew what was up. So anyway, I move to San Diego in ‘08, started surfing and continue skateboarding. I got into the downhill scene with my super dope original pintail 37 and spring loaded trucks I got off of a friend, who’s mom made him sell it. First the local hills, then I discovered a plethora of skaters doing the same thing, and who were down to help me learn to slide. After that, I skated less park and more hills. Nowadays, I try and balance it all out. Art, Surfing, and Skateboarding.
How long have you been skateboarding? How many of those years downhill?
Downhill for about five years now. Skateboarding since I can remember.
Why do you ride a skateboard?
Why not? I have met so many rad, interesting, and creative people credited to it. It honestly scares me to think what my life would be without skateboarding. Its funny how just a few things bolted to some wood changes one’s lives.
Arbor Skateboards, Arbor Collective, Caliber Truck Co., Blood Orange, and Muirskate.
Why do you choose to ride for those specific companies?
Arbor is very environmentally conscious with the materials they use, and how they make anything from skateboards to clothing, with as little impact on the ecosystem as possible. I like Caliber Trucks because of their quality, and feel. I have been riding them for years now, and can’t imagine riding anything else. Blood Orange with great quality urethane, and accessories, and Muirskate because they are local and help the SD skate scene a ton. And because Scott is the man.
What school do you go to?
Westview Highschool. 10th grade now.
What is your favorite skate spot right now? What have you been sessioning the most lately?
I have been on the lookout for some drained pools lately, and been focusing on ditches and DIY stuff a lot recently as well. Hoping to make it out to a few races in September too.
Is it true that you’re taller than Liam Morgan?
He’s got a few inches on me.
How tall are you?
Height is but a number.
Will you ever grow a sweet mustache?
I will try my hardest. Movember may come late for me though.
Do you have a dog? What breed?
Yes. Willie, and he’s 1. Black Lab.
Does he shred the gnar?
He has an unremitting hatred towards skateboards, and will do anything in his power to attack them.
What’s the sketchiest thing you’ve ever landed?
You will have to see it in the end of the new Arbor Shakedown Tour video coming out in a few days.
Someone told me at school the other day that you tricked them into putting Icy Hot on their face. How did that happen?
Ya! Ha ha! My freshman friend thought it was moisturizing cream and went to lather up his face and got a little burning surprise.
Tell us a bit about your passion for photography? What medium and style is your favorite?
I’ve always loved artwork, whether it is painting, drawing, or what not. Once I got my hands on a cool underwater film camera from the 70’s called the Nikonos, I couldn’t stop exploring the realms of the forgotten art of film photography. It’s so cool actually making photographs, and not just taking them. But yeah, I mostly do street photography. Rarely do I incorporate skating and my photography.
The hands-on experience, in my opinion is everything, and frankly it makes me a better photographer by knowing the process, and unforgivingness.
Does your dad skate? We heard he’s an OG from the 80s?
Yeah, he used to shred and still does to this day.
It seems your out at the beach a lot—surfing, spearfishing, and chilling. Have you “become one” with the ocean?
Yeah, there are lots of days here in San Diego where it gets really hot—too hot to skate—so my friends and I resort to the beach. Living so close to the water, I have discovered so many mediums of having fun in the ocean. Whether it’s catching dinner, missing dinner, or chilling, I’ll frequently be found having fun in the ocean.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I would love to do something with drawing/painting, as well as working in the action sports industry.
Education is very important to you. Why is that?
Most can’t get a good job without good grades! Even if I want to skate my whole life, I need to have a backup plan, and if it means dedicating a few days a week to learning, count me in!
Let’s do some favs for a bit. That okay?
Who’s your favorite downhill skateboarder?
To name a few, Brandon Tissen, Byron Essert, Liam Morgan, JM Durran, and so many others.
What are your favorite skate shoes?
New Balance “Quincy’s”.
Who’s your favorite street skater?
Who’s your favorite pool skater?
And who’s your favorite female skater?
What’s your dream session? With who and where?
Malibu with the Arbor team.
Favorite skate video of all time?
Search for Animal Chin.
Favorite Burrito? From where?
Claremont Burrito from Don Carlos Taco Shop.
Favorite photograph of all time?
“Little Boy” by Henri Cartier Bresson.
Whoah! I’ve already learned a ton about you so far! Shall we continue and knock out a few more questions?
I always see you killing it at skate events, what are some of your favorite and the best part about them?
Thanks! I enjoy the competitive aspect of it from time to time, and I love pushing myself, and my friends in competitions!
You won the Open race in the Downhill Disco this year—battling it out with bigger dudes such as Jeff Budro. What’s it like competing with riders who are two and almost three times your age? Any tension with the older guys when you race with them?
Yeah, but to their defense, I got away pretty lucky with a few of my heats, guys bailed in the early stages of the heats. Jeff and I sort of have simmilar styles and preferences when it comes to forms of skating, and we both skated super hard in the finals. Jeff kills it, and will continue to kill it for a while longer. Skating against bigger guys is fun because it’s less competitive, and more just about pushing each other to do better and go faster!
What’s the gnarliest thing you did while working on this interview?
Bit my fingernails until the looked like the Himalayas, then realized I should probably just use the fingernail clippers two feet from me.
Why are you down with Wheelbase Magazine. What is it about it that get’s you hyped?
I respect and enjoy how it covers current and up to date skateboarding news, videos, and photos, as well as staying roots and not with tons of annoying ads and stuff—like one of their many mottos: “1,000,000% Skateboarding”.
What wheelbase do you like to ride?
Any words of encouragement or advice to any fellow skaters out there?
Skate hard, progress, stay in school, and be positive.
Thanks for shooting and taking the time to do this interview. Let’s get your shout-outs and all that on the page, yeah?
Thanks Scott from Muirskate for the endless support and encouragement, Brandon at Caliber Truck Co for not giving up/getting annoyed with me, as well as helping me progress my skateboarding through his company, Jack Boston for taking the time to make killer edits, Dustin Damron for being patient while taking photographs of me skateboarding, Max Myers for showing me the ropes and being an all around cool dude, Blood Orange Accessories for keeping me rollin’, and my family for being stoked on what I do. And Marcus Bandy and Jake Grove for taking the time to take photos of me and put this interview together. Thanks to everyone else who supports or skates with me!
Sick! Looks like were all done here. Want to go for a skate now?