We had a quick chat with Justin Figueroa on the morning after the London premiere of MADE Chapter Two. You might have heard Figgy takes the last part of the video (if not, sorry for the spoiler) and he definitely worked it for. Handrails get chomped, skate stoppers get powered through and this is one skateboarder who can seriously take a slam. Read on a for few words about filming (and repeatadly injuring himself) for the Emerica video…
How did the LA premiere of MADE compare to last night?
They were both firing off. LA was cool just because I was sitting with all my friends… and right after my part Collin (Provost) ripped my chair out from under me, flat backed me and started breaking all the chairs in sight. So, LA probably won on that side of things…
Did you already know that you were going to have last part of the video and is it nerve racking watching yourself at those screenings?
Not before the LA premiere. Yeah, from here on out I think I’m gonna watch the first ten minutes and then just go across the street to a bar, (laughs).
So it doesn’t get any easier with each viewing?
No, not at all. It gets weirder, for sure. I think everyone always wishes that they were better at skating and their shit was better. I feel like I worked fucking hard though.
You’ve had a hard time with your ankle while working on this project, right?
Yeah and it took a long time to recover, I was out for like a year. I blew it out once and I think I was just coming back from that one. Started skating for like three months then I did it again and I was out for eight months. It’s endless, there’s always some injury. Sometimes it even feels like a random injury no-one else has to deal with.
Your pro shoe came out during all this, so I guess the pressure was on as soon as you could skate again?
That was in the middle of filming for this video. I came back and just started skating my neck off. It’s hard tying to muscle shit out when you’re just out of shape from not being able to skate which is the most frustrating shit ever. It takes a long time to get your muscle and confidence back.
It seems like you’ve been on the warpath. That footage of you smashing into the light box was pretty heavy…
Now that I look back it feels like it. Those lights stick out so fucking far from the ledge and to even skate it you have to ollie over the first one. It was kind of a freak accident – I just stuck, I couldn’t see what was happening and then before I knew it I smashed right into it. At first it hurt real bad but I didn’t think I needed to go to the hospital. I was just like, “Ah, I’m over it dude.” No-one likes going to the hospital, it’s the worse thing ever but after ten minutes (Jon) Miner is telling me to go. We watched the footage and went in. There was a a bunch of broken ribs and I was bleeding inside so I had to stay in there a couple of days and get transferred to another hospital.
Image courtesy of Emerica.
What about the injuries you’ve had while filming for this?
Dislocated elbow, I broke my thumb, the two ankle surgeries… Just random shit that I’m gonna remember after this interview is done, (laughs).
With all that in mind, how relieving is it to have MADE finished?
Surprisingly, now that it’s over I definitely feel the best I have ever felt after a video part. I think that because before the last two months of filming I broke my ribs and couldn’t skate for a month and only had a month skating after that. Honestly, compared to the way I felt after Bake And Destroy , that was when all my ankle shit started, and Stay Gold , I couldn’t skate for like three months after that – but now I feel like I’m good to go. I mean I’m out of shape right now, I haven’t really skated that much since we finished the video.
Have you got anything you’re going to be filming for next?
Now it’s just diving into Baker 4. It hasn’t been announced but Andrew (Reynolds) said let’s give it two years. We got this one. I swear that compared to filming for the Emerica videos the Baker videos are… For the Emerica videos I feel like I set out for a trick and just suffer for it. The Baker videos are more like improv, you just go out and skating and get whatever comes. I’m not just trying to go do something gnarly. I wish it wasn’t like that but I think I put that pressure on myself. I wish I could go out with Emerica and just flow and get shit easily but it’s so fucking hard. Nothing is easy for me, I feel like I have to work super fucking hard.
I think you can see that in the video, especially with the footage of those slams…
I think that’s just honest of the way I skate in general. I feel bad for filmers and photographers who have to go out and skate with me because it takes forever and I’m just throwing temper tantrums and getting all mad, (laughs).
What does the name MADE mean to you regarding Emerica?
I think a lot of the dudes on Emerica have been around for a long time and people still wanna see stuff from them. People just want to see parts from all of the old legends and I feel like everyone in MADE, other than (Jon) Dickson, has grown up on this shit. I grew up buying Emerica’s so I think it totally applies to the way I look at Emerica. I’ve been involved with it my whole life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
‘MADE Chapter Two’ is now available in store and online alongside a limited edition ‘MADE’ colourway of the Emerica Figueroa. Click either image below to be taken to our online store.