PJ Ladd Interview
All right PJ, How is LA living? How are things on the West Coast?
Life is great on the West Coast, except the driving part. The traffic is not so great.
No one talked about the traffic while they were California dreamin'? It's a nightmare. After sitting in traffic, what would your ideal warm up spot be?
It’s usually the skate plazas around LA. Hollenbeck, Lafayette or the Berrics.
Good choices. Do you prefer to fix up a street spot or just raw dog it and make it happen? Do you like to repair the spot if your filming there?
I like to take the time and repair the spot. Why not make it as good as you can?
Especially if it's not a bust, make it worth your while. Let's talk about contests for a minute. I've watched you kick away tricks that were perfectly caught. You're known as a perfectionist. Does it get maddening living up to your own standards?
No, it can be good if you have the resources. You know, like a skate park, TF or a dedicated place to skate everyday. I think that makes contests a little bit easier. Although, if you're out there street skating, getting kicked out after trying the same trick for a couple of days in a row, it becomes slightly different than skating contests.
What is your take on all of these big contests happening? There are more now than ever.
They can be good, I mean contests and skateboarding don't really bond as the traditional use of the word contests go. Only because everyone wants to see each other do well. I think they are nice because it gets everyone together for a good sesh. All in all I think they’re a good thing.
You don't see intentional fouls at a skate contest and you certainly don't see competitors in other sports clapping when the opposing team scores.
True, what we do has always been unique.
For everyone who wants to know what a PJ set up is, what are you running these days? Do you change out your board and wheel size based on what terrain you are skating?
I keep the trucks and the wheels the same, 5.2 Venture Lows, 50mm Plan B wheels and a 7.8 board. Sometimes I switch up the board situation. I've been trying samples lately and it seems to be different everyday. That's a little maddening but I'm working it out so I can lock down what I'm looking for in a board. It's been years though.
A good shape means everything, man. Speaking of years, you’ve been on Plan B since 2005. Throughout the Plan B lineup, past and present, who's your favorite?
Do I have to pick just one?
I know it's a tough call. There's some pretty heavy hitters to choose from.
I can't pick just one though, not even.
Top two or three?
Ok, then I'd have to say Jeremy Wray, Rodney Mullen, Danny … Duffy ... dude there's so many.
I know! That's why they were on Plan B. Great choices though. This next one has to be just one. Who is your favorite skater of all time? Just one PJ … say it.
I have to go with Koston.
Koston! No arguments here. Let's talk about the Plan B video. How is the filming process coming along?
It's typical street skating. You know, a lot of driving, getting kicked out and thinking of new spots. It's going and the effort is there. Street skating definitely isn't what it used to be.
It's a whole different ball game for sure, good and bad.
Yeah good and bad for sure, I'm not saying it's better or worse, just definitely different. I come from a time where my idea would be to just to have a film-able spot that I could skate all day with friends and have a good time. But those ideals don't seem to exist anymore and you find yourself going from different spot to different spot.
Getting kicked out kills that "fun vibe," where if you're skating that spot with friends, nine times out of ten, the trick is going to happen. It's a battle. The tricks are going to come together with a good vibe.
Yeah, being able to let the process be more organic helps.
This video is one of the most anticipated projects ever, by a landslide. Who's part are you looking forward to the most?
I'd like to see what Danny has going down in Hawaii; I haven't really seen any of it yet. Other than that, just to see everyone's footage will be good. I mean they're your friends but, at the same time it's like they get you stoked and you can vibe off it.
As far as your filming, are we going to see a mix of hometown spots along with West Coast and across-the-pond spots?
I think it will be a lot more West Coast and travelling. I'd like to get more East Coast stuff but just logistically I think it'll be more West Coast.
Very cool, I know everyone is looking forward to seeing it all go down. Thanks for taking some time out for this PJ, any last words?
Thanks for everything and to everyone reading this.
Interview by Eric Lantto
Photos by Ryan Denman