justSKATE! Arte Lew

Interview by Alan Ng
Words by Kevin Williams
Photography by Jenkin Au

The justalilhype! Crew dropped by The Plaza skatepark and had a chance to chat it up with Arte Lew. Arte is a young aspiring skater who is well respected as one of the up and coming talents in the skate community. Not only is he featured in two recent skateboarding videos “City of New Lights” and “Share the Air”, he is also sponsored with a list of established brands. Arte talks to us about how he got into skating, what music he listens to while skating, and future goals as a young skater hailing out of the suburbs.

Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

I am Arte Lew, 21 years old. Sponsored by éS Footwear, Hubba Wheels, Venture Trucks, Underworld-Shop, Red Dragon Apparel and I am from Port Coquitlam.

How long have you been skating for and what got you into skating?

I have been skating for about 9 years now and my friend Calin got me into skateboarding. I didn’t like him at first but then teacher sat us together in school. He had Tech Decks with him at the time and that’s how it started.

Skating for so long, what was the moment that you found yourself with sponsors? When did people start to discover you?

I made a few videos over the years and I entered a lot of contests when I was younger. I guess my name got out there a bit. It just slowly happened over the years. It took a good 3 years before it happened.

Tell us a bit about the skate videos that you have took part in.

All of the footage I have are clips have recently emerged. I was in two videos that just came out. I was in City of New Lights, and Share the Air.

Tell us about your set up.

I am pretty content with what I got. I am not really picky. These are the sponsors, everything on my board, I didn’t choose. I gave my video out and I said I’d take the first thing I get. I just stuck with those.

Describe some of the injuries that skaters commonly encounter.

I would say the ankles; it’s really easy to roll your ankles. Even in other sports, I think rolling your ankles is one of the worse things that you can do.  My ankles are not great; I am hoping they’ll be all right.

What do you see yourself doing in the future? Lot’s of skaters today have been in the scene for quite awhile.

I am just going to keep skating. When I skate, I skate purely for fun. This is what I like to do, what I like to do with my spare time in general. In my spare time, I just skip classes and skate for fun. I am just going to keep doing that. I will keep skating. I went to school for a bit and I went to Douglas College for two years but I wasn’t really feeling it. I also quit my job last year and started to just skate. I’ll take it as it goes kind of deal.

Skating nowadays focuses a lot of marketing the image of pro skaters. Brands have been crafting and designing various products out of these idols. In the future, do you see yourself being represented as a product?

I wouldn’t mind. I think it’s pretty cool to have a say in designing something. Kids like to wear stuff and you want it to look good, you know?

If you had a say in what you wanted to make, what would it be?

I think if I wanted to design something really badly, it would be the shoe because shoes, you got it no matter where you are. You can wear it everywhere, but you can’t bring a skateboard everywhere.

Music definitely plays a big role in skating as seen in the inclusion of music in skate videos. What are the some of the tracks that you listen on your iPod when you skate? How does music inspire you?

I don’t know. My iPod is really random. I listen to everything pretty much. Some of the tracks include…

Are there any particular tracks in general that really HYPES you up?

Oh… one track! It’s a Taylor Swift song. It’s called Fearless. If I were really scared, I would just put that one song on. I don’t know, I’ve done it. I guess I’m trying to be original.

What’s your opinion of the current skate scene of Vancity?

I mean it’s kind of cool because there are a lot of contests and skate parks and everyone participates in them.  I think that’s pretty cool. Other than that, I don’t really know that much about it. I am still new to it all at the same time.

Lots of skaters have goals, after you fulfill your goal in mastering one trick, you move on to the next one. What’s your current goal?

There are lots of tricks that I want to learn, I don’t really think about it too much. I kind of just skate around working around the basic tricks you know? The ollies and kick flips, because those tricks are the building blocks to the better tricks.

Speaking of tricks, it’s really hard to come up with a new trick. How do people keep it original with tricks?

I think a lot of tricks these days, have been done. But there are a lot of uncommon ones. I think most of the skateboarding tricks have already been done by the people around the world but there are tricks that are uncommon. That’s how people are distinguishing themselves from one another. I just use the tricks that I like.

Many skaters have various people that they look up to, can you point us out to the one that you look up to the most?

I would say Chris Cole; I think he might be the best skater ever.

What is HYPE?

I think it’s like energy between people’s reactions. You know what I mean? When people are skating, there are so many reactions with the people involved.