GOING DEEPER: Presents the second in our series of stories with inspiring people. Introducing Pro Skateboarder, Boo Johnson.
Born as Jakel Johnson in Kern County California, Boo (nicknamed by his parents) now lives in Long beach. He started skateboarding seriously when he was 12 years old, which led to sponsorships from the likes of DGK, Supra and Diamond Supply co. and turning Pro when he was just 23.
Not only has he gained over 603,000 followers on instagram, he also owns his own clothing company: Just Have Fun. Boo travels the world doing what he does best and inspires the next generation of skaters to aim big and go after their dreams, full steam ahead.
We had the chance to ask Boo some burning questions...
Tell us a bit about your story. When did you first start skating and was it something that came naturally to you?
Well I found myself falling in love with skateboarding when I was about 13. Learning how to ride a skateboard was teaching me things my coaches never really could like creativity, style & freedom.
Skateboarding has always been hard it’s definitely not something that came easy or naturally sadly haha but that’s ok because it’s all about learning and JUST HAVING FUN.
What made you want to go pro and was it hard to establish yourself within the industry? Do you have any advice for anyone else who is trying to make it?
Once I realised I was able to make a living from riding my skateboard, that’s what really gave me the extra push to pursue my skate career for the fact I would be able to do what I love and still pay the bills.
Making a name for myself in the industry was a definitely mission to accomplish. The skateboarding industry has so many amazingly talented skaters, so it’s a bit harder for us to catch companies attention.
At the end of the day, if you want to make it as a successful skateboarder make sure you just have fun & do what feels comfortable.
You’ve been in loads of competitions all around the world but where is your favourite place to skate + which was the most fun to take part in?
I would say the coolest place I’ve been able to travel to not just once, but multiple times throughout several years, would have to be Barcelona.
It’s the culture and the architecture that gets me every time.
What’s your top choice of shoes and does it depend on the board?
I don't know, I like skating in different style shoes.
Depends on the board? No not really but it really just depends on the skater’s personal opinion.
You’re one of the most prolific skateboarders on the scene but who’s your inspiration and why?
My inspirations are people like Bob Marley, David Goggins, Alan Watts, Will Smith, Chris Heria... people that inspire others.
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t a pro skateboarder?
I’d be doing something along the lines of the active sports scene or even maybe more in the fashion scene.
We’re sure you’ve been to a few parties over the years...what’s your party trick?
360 kickflip for sure, it’s a trick that is pretty easy yet looks cool and might get an applause.
Finally...do you think you’ll ever be too old to skate?
You could definitely be too old to skate but until that time comes, I’ll be rolling until the wheels fall off.