Juan Smit Interview

Juan Smit

Juan Smit is the all-round nicest guy ever, he skates for enjoi and Revolution, he’s a fireman, and runs Snap Originals, where he “upcycles” broken and used skateboard decks into some pretty awesome things. We find his DIY approach to life inspiring, so we caught up with him for a quick interview…

How Afrikaans are you, from a scale of 1 – 10?
10 being the highest? I’m probably a 12, haha.

Where did you get the idea to start Snap Originals?
Kieron Mans, a close friend, was a big influence. I saw him making a platter and a spoon once for his college project at the time and asked him if I could start playing around with some new ideas. Kieron moved back to Namibia and I started getting good at it and started to get clients and that’s that. Now here we are three years later.

Snap Originals

What creation are you most stoked on so far?
All of them. I can see I’ve got better and better in my craft work over the years. I think progress and improvement is a big factor in this industry, where client’s ideas and input to improve the product helps a lot. I’ll say the yoyo though just because it brings so much joy and it’s so simple.

What inspires your creations?
Google, haha. No, I’ll say it’s clients, and sometimes mistakes, believe it or not. I’ll be busy with one product and see a new creation in it, don’t ask me why. Clients are also a big help; they’ll ask me sometimes if it is possible to make something, then I’ll play around with it and tell them yes or no.

What does skateboarding mean to you?
Well, let’s say everything till now. Freedom, friendship, good times, being creative, traveling, pushing your limits. If I didn’t put my feet on this plank with four wheels 15 years ago we wouldn’t be having this interview now. I’m glad I followed this route in life. Not one regret.

Do you get a lot of romantic interest being a firefighter?
Yes and no, chicks don’t actually fall to my feet if I tell them my job description, if that’s what you asking. Firefighters also have this reputation of being dogs with ladies, haha, but Ive got some digits, some lucky nights…

Snap Originals

What else do you get up to when you aren’t skating?
I exercise a lot, jog almost every day with my dogs; beach, trails or just in the neighbourhood, surf with my homies. I fucking LOVE Motorsport so I go watch that a lot; track events, drag racing, stock cars, dirt racing… I’m also a bit of a green thumb in the garden, planting and finding cacti plants. Then the usual: movies, braaiing, camping… yeah.

Where do you hope to take Snap Originals? Is it just a hobby or something you’d like to turn into a bigger thing?
It’s a passion/hobby/small business I guess. I just like making stuff for people and why not if i can make cash from it – ‘extra income’ – and I’ll probably do this until I’m 80. It keeps you young and your mind healthy.

What do you think is a good way to motivate people to start thinking more ‘DIY’ and stop being complacent and lazy?
It’s a good way to save money! Taking something old and making it look new. Have pride in your creation or work. The first step comes from you. If you want to there’s always that question “what if?” Stay positive and keep true to your roots.

https://www.facebook.com/SnapOriginals

Snap Originals

Snap Originals

Buck Tour 2014 Trophy by Snap Originals

TATTOO TUESDAYS

For today’s Tattoo Tuesdays, we’re featuring some of the Revolution team rider ink. We asked them to tell us the story behind one, a few, or all of their tattoos. Enjoy…

– Anthony de Mendonca –

Anthony de Mendonca Owl TattooKay / Anima Mundi Tattoo Studio
I just saw a pile of random pictures, and for some reason I was down for this one. I love bonsai trees and the owl, for me, is a depiction of knowledge and a sign of darkness; you know that whole story about an owl on your roof meaning that someone is going to die in the family. Basically I never plan what I’m getting. Everything I have is something from that current moment. Our body’s a temple, so why not have a few paintings? Kay is good. He has a steady hand, is super light and works really quick. Everyone at Anima Mundi has got talent and the store has the most amazing, tranquil vibe about it.

– Justus Kotze –

Justus Kotze Harmonica TattooHand poked by Irish James / Sins of Style
I have been extremely privileged to have had all these tattoos. All of them happened in the spur of the moment, but I put thought into it before. All of my tattoos are hand-poked, but Im not going to get into the details (Google it). My first tattoo was the harmonica on my right side of my ribs done by Seamus Casserly. We were in Kleinmont at Seamus’ family holiday house, and I politely asked him if he would be interested in poking me, hehe. It was that simple; on the couch in a super uncomfortable position, with my shirt off in the cold hours off the evening with a hangover. It was painful to say the least, so he only managed to do the outline. But after begging him for months, he managed to give it the final detail and shading.

Justus Kotze Johnny Cash TattooHand poked by Tyler B Murphy / Sins of Style
The second was the Johnny Cash portrait on my left inside of my forearm done by Tyler B Murphy. This Tattoo was very spur of the moment! I was going about my own business when Melissa said “Do you want to get a gangster tattoo done by Tyler for the Departure Zine article on Hand poked tattoos?” I was a little skeptical and scared because it was my second tattoo on my forearm and it was going to be big. But whatever, I couldn’t give that opportunity up, so I sat through 11 hours from 6pm to 5am and I still have no regrets. It is a work of pure skill and art and Johnny gets to follow me wherever I go.

Justus Kotze Howl TattooHand poked by Louis Taubert
The last, but not final tattoo, is the word HOWL on my right thigh just above my knee by my German homie Louis Taubert. This is a homies tattoo, the word howl was thought up by Dylan which heard a interesting meaning behind it by someone, which relates to us as old friends. If a wolf gets lost from the pack, the Howl is what helps them find each other and unites them. Dylan Rooibokkie got it first, then me the next day, then Wynand Herholdt the next. All just on a couch at Louis and Heidi’s house and in the Pit behind Clarke’s. Its that simple but intricate and galling at the same time.

– Jean-Marc Johannes –

Jean Marc Johannes and Brian SchaeferJean Marc Johannes and Brian Schaefer

Jean Marc Johannes Tampa Tattoo

Well, firstly I don’t have any other tats and I was not planning to get either. I always said that if one day I make it to Tampa Am, then it’ll be something to remember or just remind you of that journey. So it was just after my run in Tampa, Brian Schaefer, the owner of skate park of Tampa, was there there too and he was stoked because it was my first time to Tampa, first time to the States and my first tattoo.

– Ryan Naidoo –

Ryan Naidoo Tattoo by Irish JamesIrish James / Sins of Style
Toilet paper. I just think it’s unique and different. Plus, I love taking shits; it’s always relaxing and peaceful, alone time for myself you know, haha!

Ryan Naidoo Africa Tattoo
Africa I got from my friend’s uncle who stays in Kensington. I call him Uncle Donnie. I got this tattoo because I’m a proud African. I’m not done with it, and still plan on adding something extra. I was born and bred in Cape Town, South Africa, so I’ll always be African.

– Marcel Maassen –

Marcel Maassen Tiger Style TattooRico / Wildfire Tattoos
Wu-Tang Tiger Style. I’ve been listening to Wu since I was in grade 4, so I’m still down with the Wu Gang and Gangsterism!

Marcel Maassen Hulk TattooRico / Wildfire Tattoos
The Hulk. I have two sides in life: I either want to fuck shit up and break everything when I get angry, or I have a smooth side where I help people out I guess. But everybody wants to be like Hulk sometimes and just run, jump and fuck shit up. Also, he’s my favourite Marvel character of course.

Marcel Maassen Cape Town for Life TattooRico / Wildfire Tattoos
CPT. I have fallen in love with this place. I told myself that if I can make it for a year I’d get a Cape Town tattoo. As much as I love it, I also hate it here, because it’s so easy to get drunk every night and you kind of have to say no sometimes and balance it out. Cape Town is just a damn rad vibe; all the homies, all the betties, the beach… It’s all good.

– Juan Smit –

Juan Smit Tattoo by Irish JamesHand poked by Irish James / Sins of Style
My Dad was a mechanic in the airforce for 25 years, and we share birthdays on 8 April.

Juan Smit Tattoo by Irish JamesHand poked by Irish James / Sins of Style
This is a World War II Shackolton Bomber. My brother and I used to play under one of them in a field on Ysterplaat Airforce Base.

Juan Smit Tattoo by Irish JamesHand poked by Irish James / Sins of Style
OJ design wheel with wings. A good friend of mine, Louis Taubert, has one, so I also got one. I guess you could say that skateboarding gave me a lot of freedom in my childhood.

Juan Smit Tattoo by Irish JamesHand poked by Irish James / Sins of Style
Streets Life! For the homies – Piet, Leon, Dewald, Jaakness and Craig.

– We miss you JP! –

JP du Preez KFD TattooTrevor Rogers / Dragonfire Tattoo

BUCK TOUR 2013 VIDEO

Fresh new video from Buck Tour 2013, Skatelab, George. Enjoy.

Skaters in order of appearance:

Khule Ngubane
Justus Kotze
Byron Rhoda
Uri Rubin
Juan Smit
Jason Osborn
Christopher Walters
Ryan Naidoo
Shuaib Philander
Alan Marola
Stefan Jacobs
Reinart de Villiers
Storm Reyneke
Andrew Nero
Anton Roux

Filmed and edited by: Andrew van der Walt

SPILLING THE BEANS WITH JUAN SMIT

Juan-Smit-PORTRAIT

1. Some know you as Mr DIY in the South African skate scene. You build spots, find spots and you make crafty stuff from old boards. Have you always been driven to do these things or do you just do it to be that cool guy that does DIY things?

I am a cool guy! come on! What do you mean, haha. Yeah I always been making stuff since I started skating and you can ask Craig Leak as that is where I met him first. I always had rails boxes by my house that I made and on some weekends random kids would come over and ask me if they could skate my park!!! haha so funny. I never guessed that I would start making stuff out of skateboards and so far its going great. I think finding spots and making spots skatable is part of being a skateboarder and its in our nature.

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2. What is your latest skateboard cut out you have done? Is there a fresh idea you have come up with or a challenging task in the process of production?

My latest cut out of a skateboard would be The Yoyo’s. It’s doing good and I think people can connect with it because all of us had one sometime in our lives. I get some funny requests but I always try my best in making the client happy. New ideas always come when I am busy with another board and when I make a mistake. Friends and clients often post links to me on my facebook page or email. That helps a lot so thanks everybody!!

3. One of your fans wrote in and begged us to ask you if it’s possible to make a detailed 3D sculpture of your face out of old boards for him? Would that be possible?

I guess so. Any thing is possible but is he willing to pay me in dollars?? Some of the work is really time consuming and sometimes its not about if I can’t make it or not. Sometimes I run out of boards or I don’t have the right boards at the time. Its a work in progress I guess and I also prefer making more industrial design stuff and ”not arty stuff”. What’s the point in making stuff you can’t use??

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4. Has your voice ever gone hoarse from screaming when you are struggling to land a trick?

Horseplaying is my game on a skateboard…bra! Its nice to get the bats out of the attic once in a blue moon. It help me sometimes to scream or laugh if I don’t get the tricks. You must watch’ ‘say no to anger” in our first streets road trip. Thats some PG 18 shit right there. haha

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5. What can the viewer’s expect for your AV Close-up? Are there any tricks that you are particularly proud of? (Except for your last few tricks! Keep that a surprise)

I like grinds and tranny/ditches bitches, no flip in flip out shit leave that to the ledge monkeys. The Mary-Poppins took a lot out of me and the foot plant in durbs. I am a easy skater lately, I am getting older and the bones ain’t that young anymore.I tryed my best in this close-up but it has also been hard having two jobs and filming on my off days. Hope you guys like it.

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