Chris Cole On Leaving Zero

Chris Cole on Leaving Zero

Chris Cole on Leaving Zerophoto: diego reyes v.

In 2014, the skateboard industry got a hard kick in the nuts. Multiple brands died, distributions changed, and skaters took risks and matters into their own hands. But there was no bigger news then when Chris Cole announced he was leaving his longtime board sponsor, Zero back in July. As a shareholder and skater of the brand for over 13 years, it didn’t really even seem possible.

Since his departure he hasn’t announced any longterm plans to ride for any other board company – but with the “Chris Cole” brand having bigger reach than many skateboard companies put together, you have to wonder, is a board sponsor more of a liability than a benefit for him these days? We caught up with him and discussed his relationship with Jamie Thomas, board brands in 2014 and the future of his career.

You recently left Zero Skateboards after 13 years. You were also a business partner and shareholder in the company. How did you leave and what happened to your shares?

I was a silent shareholder, so any of the shares that I had were contingent upon the actual sale of Zero. And that never happened and it’s not gonna happen. When I left Zero, Black Box also went over to Dwindle distribution and people thought that I got a big payout when I left, but that’s not true. There was absolutely no payoff and I’m not a shareholder any longer.

As far as breaking it off with Zero, it sucked man. I was with them, for over a decade and brands go through changes and so do people. Zero just changed from the brand I started skating for – and that doesn’t mean it was lame – it just wasn’t the same company I started with. I didn’t feel like it made any sense to stay there and just collect a check. It was an amicable split. Jamie Thomas [Zero’s founder] and I have been friends for so long – he was in my wedding, so a sponsorship wouldn’t change that. A friendship wouldn’t crumble because of that. He knew it was time.

Read the full interview on Jenkem HERE.

Chris Cole on Skateboarding in The Olympics

Chris Cole Talks About Skateboarding in the Olympics

Chris Cole talks to the Wall Street Journal about why he thinks snowboarding got into the Olympics before skateboarding did, and how he has seen skating grow in popularity over the last 24 years. Skateboarding is quite likely to join the Olympic Games in 2020. What do you think?


Zero’s Cold War is probably one of the most anticipated videos of the year, if not the decade. It is going to be incredible. Here’s the team.


Zero’s Dying to Live is still an incredible skate video. Can you believe it came out in 2002?! Chris Cole’s part in it makes today’s Throwback Thursdays. Jamie Thomas introduces it. HAMMERS.


For those who don’t know, Paul Rodriguez won Street League. Watch the video to see an interview with him, and footage of how he managed to grab the win against Chris Cole. Incredible skateboarding.


You may not remember Ishod Wair’s amateur days very well, because he pretty much jumped into the pro ranks overnight. As an amateur he took the Maloof Money Cup, and went pro right after. If you’re more impressed by street skills than contest savvy, watch his part in Real Skateboards’ “Since Day One” – and be blown away. His skating earns him countless fans and that fanbase continues to grow as he progresses through each stop in the SLS Nike SB World Tour.

After shredding Stoner Skate Plaza in West LA at a Real Skateboards demo, Wair and I sat down to discuss the difference when Nyjah isn’t there, which stops have been his favorite this season, and how the pros give their input on SLS course design.

Which stops so far this season have been your favorites?

Barcelona and Kansas City. Barcelona because it’s awesome and we were skating sick street spots. Kansas City because of Malto and all his homies, they’re sick. In Kansas City the contest was close to the hotel so you didn’t have to go far for anything, so it was good vibes.

Did you feel any difference in Munich because Nyjah wasn’t there? Was there a sense of relief amongst the other skaters because he wasn’t there?

Everybody was killing it just as hard in Munich and people go for it as hard as they can every time, so I don’t know. It’s not to say that people were going harder because he wasn’t there, because they still skated well when he was there.

You made your first finals appearance in Munich. Do you have an approach for each stop?

I just go and try to skate, and I pretty much hope things fall into place. This time I was more prepared going into the finals. We’d been skating the park for a couple of days and that extra day of skating helps out for sure.

This is your second year in Street League, do you find it difficult to keep up with such a hectic schedule?

I’m having a great time. The scheduling doesn’t bother me necessarily, it’s just that I have less time to go out and street skate. That’s what I do more than skate contests, so it makes it hard when you travel because the days you travel begin really early, so you’re losing time there. I’m also filming a video part right now for the Nike SB Chronicles 2. But it keeps getting pushed back because a lot of us have other obligations and some of us are in Street League, so we need more time.

The next stop is this upcoming weekend in Portland. Have you been there before?

I’ve been there a few times but it’s usually been pretty rainy. I never went there during a good season like spring or summer. I always seem to go there at the end of the year when it’s kind of crummy.

If you were playing SLS Fantasy who would you choose as your top three to win Portland?

Luan Oliveira, Paul Rodriguez and Sean Malto.

Luan’s been impressing you this season?

Yes. Luan impresses me every day. If you skate with him, he’ll impress you no matter what. He’s amazing. He’s OD with it.

What do you like specifically about Street League this year?

I like that you can give your own input on the course to Joe C and he’ll implement the changes. He has plans for the stops and he’ll show them to us and see what we say about them. If you have some good input he’ll do his best to meet those requirements for the next stop.

Have you made any suggestions?

Yes. He’ll bring out the blueprint and show it to you face to face so you can say stuff like, “This looks a little high,” or “This looks a little low.” He cares about the little things.

With three stops left who do you think is taking it all?

Nyjah has the most wins so I would assume he would because he’s the only one with multiple wins. There are three left and since Chris Cole won one I’d say he has a good chance. If Nyjah wasn’t there for the rest of the year I’d say Paul Rodriguez, Luan Oliveria and Sean Malto. All those dudes are contenders. They’re in the top rankings so they’ve got it down.

Interview by Reggie Altema, courtesy of