Zach Chamberlin 4 W's!

Interview: Benjamin Deberdt

Portrait: Ben Gore

"If the trucks are tight, it makes it hard to dip into a bump or dodge a turd."

A couple days ago, Magenta dropped another gem, based around trying to showcase a modern version of skating every nooks and crannies the S.F. Hills offer with none other than Ben Gore and Léo Valls. You surely were amazed by their skills, but most likely also wondered who was keeping up with them to film it all… Well, Zach is that guy, and you might remember his name from the Rasa Libre videos. Léo praises him as “ze best hills filmer”, which Zach will deny, but all we can really say is that he got his own take on being the lazy guy on the crew sticking to holding the camera. Seriously, someone film a part of him filming people bombing hills!

Where are you from?
I'm from a fisherman in Oregon and a runaway good fairy from North Dakota. They raised a slingshot wielding backpacker, my pops, his huckleberry juice splattered camera by the hip. My mother's a garden whisperer and all encompassing open ear extraordinaire. Her pops was an athlete and teacher, my Grammy's a party extravaganzist and dream maker for college bound girls. I'm Portland born into a house with a sister named Marenda, a combo of the names of my dad and mom. My friend Max and I started riding the bus around Portland in middle school searching everywhere for spots. It was before cell phones so there were lots of meeting spots. Half-circle, spot 1, Love Joy Park. It's super rainy there so, at 18, I came to San Francisco and have stayed ever since. It's a small world with people from all ends of the earth here, all in a 7×7 miles square. But, in return, SF makes the rest of the world seem so big.

photo: Ben Gore

Why film skateboarding?
Filming skateboarding for me is the best puzzle. Instead of a picture on the box, the puzzle is put together with imagination, patience, trial, error, and following what's fun. VX, hills, speed, Ben, Léo, the crew, woops and shit, SF: it's a whirlwind of possibilities for the imagination. The energy on the hills is unlike anything. Lumps, cracks, deadly grates, changing textures on the ground, sidewalks, trees, cars… All these things on hills present new techniques to get funky with the camera. At the top of a hill, ready to film, can be fucking scary. But the trade off is that once filming feels natural. The hills open up so many spots. It allows friends and whoever filming with to open up more ideas. Mainly I film skateboarding because I'm a huge geek and want to watch it from a foot away in living color.

Wall ride nollie out. photo: Richard Hart

When did you start work on this project with Ben and Léo?
I've been friends with Ben for about six years. Leo, I met about four years ago in SF, for the first time. After a trip to Panama with Jesse Narvaez, over the summer, I came back to SF amid the city spiking with energy. Leo boogied in a couple days after me, and deem, he's got energy. Pop pop scccrrrrt pop scrrrrrt! So him Ben and I went filming everyday for two months at least. A project dream come true. The woops in driveways, dips on the sidewalks, and funky fuck-ups everywhere is what makes skateboarding in SF extra fun for me. The clip is sharing and exemplifying the feeling of what these woops and dips are like to ride.

photo: Richard Hart

What would be your best tip to survive the hills of SF, to a first visitor?
Stay riding loose, bombing is amazing but there are precious gems out there on the side. If the trucks are tight, it makes it hard to dip into a bump or dodge a turd. I like to cruise from the sidewalk across the street and back and forth to find some bumps.

Zach would like to thank his friends and family, Magenta, Ben, Léo and everyone out on the sessions.

Live Skateboard MediaLive Skateboard Media

Wait to pass announcement...