With a new Vans shoe and a video on the way, pro-skater Gilbert Crockett is set to have one hell of a 2017.

With a new Vans shoe and a video on the way, pro-skater Gilbert Crockett is set to have one hell of a 2017.

Gilbert Crockett is a man perhaps best described as “unfussy.” Talking to the Virginia native and Vans model rider is a throwback to a simpler time in skateboarding where the creative process was fuelled by “Yeah, why not?” and being as comfortable as possible before you try to pull off the improbable.

Visiting London’s House of Vans to promote his new shoe, the self-titled “Gilbert Crockett Pro 2,” Gilbert cuts an enigmatic figure, so chilled out by his third coffee of the day that he take our challenge of thumb war easily in stride (Huck won, naturally, with Gilbert cursing about the competition’s “massive thumbs”).

With a new shoe and video out, Gilbert has a busy 2017 ahead of him and a lot of things to talk about.

This your first proper visit to London, how are you finding the city?
South Bank was cool. I’m just enjoying London in general. I mean… everyone is chilled. It’s pretty easy to get around and if I need some help figuring some shit out, people have been pretty helpful and nice. Yeah. I’m enjoying it.

Have you seen much of the UK skate scene?
I keep up a little bit. Not religiously, but I really like the Isle video they made. I think that was beautiful. I follow Free Skate Mag, they post a lot of good shit out here. Not a whole lot but I love how skate spots look here. I love the skate scene, I think that people are doing cool shit. I would like to come here to film. I’m not coming much to London to film much, but it would be really cool to on a street skating tour.


You’re here for your new shoe: I once read an interview that the Vans people once found you trying to make a pair for yourself by hand?
Oh yeah. I got hurt one time and I tried to make… I only made one… I started skating again so I didn’t make the other foot. But I was making moccasins, just trying to figure it all out. I did a shit job but…

How did this brand new model – the Gilbert Crockett Pro 2 – come about?
Well Vans spoke with me about making a new shoe and I’m pretty into shoes in general – I had a few ideas about stuff I think would be cool to make and I just started looking at a lot of stuff. I sketched out something and sent Vans an image, like a side drawing and they started sampling them and did a damn good job.

The new model came out out on 11 Feb 2017. What can riders look forward to?
I think that these are more comfortable than the first one, it kind of feels like a tennis shoe. The lining is really nice. The construction is really similar, but there’s a little bit more support than a standard waffle sole.

The design has changed a little bit — kinda just tweaking. They updated the sole, moved some panels around and y’know… changed some of the look of the front of the shoe, but it still kinda looks like the first one. The panels in the back are really similar… so I mean I’m really stoked on it. It’s like a modern update of the other one to me – it’s a little sportier, which is kind of what I wanted it to look and feel like. I’m juiced on them.

If they were a condiment, what condiment would they be?
Phew! I don’t even know…. Mmmm… let me think…. Maybe like ranch dressing?

How has your project, the skate company with Jake Johnson, Tyler Bledsoe and Gilbert Crockett, been getting along?
It’s called Quasi now. It’s the board brand that I ride for. My friend Chad Bowers runs it out of Ohio and does a great job. He used to work for Alien Workshop, he as the board shop team manager when I rode for them. So we all got fired and started this board brand. He [Chad] started it and we ride for it and here we are.

So if I’m correct, the appeal is limited-run boards?
Yeah… not like very small runs. It’s not like trying to be some limited release brand or anything. They make a pretty big chunk of boards every time so you have a good chance of getting what you want, it’s not like Supreme or something. It’s not like you have to wait in line or anything like that.

Chad has a lot of passion, a lot of… what’s the word I’m looking for? He’s got a lot of ranch dressing.

What else from you can we look forward to this year?
I’m about to put out a new video. It’s a skate shop video that we’ve worked on for about a year or so in Richmond, Virginia. We’ve just premiered that in Richmond the other day — that’ll be online eventually, I think Thrasher will host it. Yeah I dunno… just skating, hopefully filming and putting shit out.

It takes you about a year to put out a video?
I mean, this one did. Others ones, sometimes I can take five years. It’s pretty bizarre.

When everything can be Vined (RIP) and GIF’d, do you think there’s still a place for pieces of work that take that long to put together?
Yeah I think that there is. I think that maybe there’s a different way that works better now. I think that around a year filming, people are pretty juiced. It’s a shorter video when you film for a year but I dunno, I like about that amount of time. I appreciate that.

What’s your creative approach when you go into something like this?
I dunno, I mean whatever I’m feeling at the time really. I just like to do something different from the last video. Whether it’s different tricks, or filmed with a different camera or filmed somewhere else… I just don’t wanna make the same shit over and over again. So I try to build something different every time.

What’s the ranch dressing to look for in this video?
Shit I dunno… I mean, I just enjoyed making this video with some of my best friends and you know, we ride for the skate shop together and it’s a pretty sick scene at home.

You’re based in Richmond, Virginia. What’s the scene like there?
Erm… well there’s a huge skate group in Richmond. Everybody knows each other, we all ride — me and my friends ride for Venue. It’s just like a chill place to keep everyone together and meet up and y’know… there’s a solid crew there. We’re always out skating, fucking off and trying to have fun and keep it light, but try and stack clips at the same time.

I’ve been reading about how if a skater finds a particular outfit that works for them, they have a habit of wearing it til it disintegrates….
Yeah I mean once you start… once something works… once you find something that works for your skating. Whether it’s a shoe, or a board, or a pair of pants, or whatever, it’s you know…

Skaters are like “Ok shit, this is really comfortable. I’m going to keep wearing it because it’s working.” Because if you’re switching it up when you’re trying to skate. I dunno, it’s a pain in the ass to try and get used to something new.

The new Gilbert Crockett Pro 2 is available across Europe in Vans stores and online from 11 February 2017. 

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