Chester Blacksmith: Interview By Paul Robinson. Photography by Jason Finn.
The Éclat ‘Natives’ project was an unusual one as it focused on the rider’s hometowns and where they grew up, how did you find the whole project and were you happy with the creative outcome?
Yeah it went over my expectations actually. At first I thought that everyone on the team would have the same questions and roughly the same answers. But it didn’t turn out like that at all. You get a different feel for each person on the team. Which is great for the viewer.
You’ve done a bit of filming before and you enjoy taking photos, how does this effect how you are in front of the camera, does it mean you’re more professional?
I really try to come across like I’m making sense and it sounds like it does in my head. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. Thanks goodness for the magic of editing to get rid of most of the “UMMM’s” and the “ya knows” and “Like”. I’m also speaking my mind when a question is asked so maybe that just how I sound anyway.
As a rider a lot of people know you as a guy who faces fear and hammers out big stuff, is this really you as a rider or do you prefer parks and simply cruising on concrete waves haha?
I love to cruise a good concrete park. That’s because there’s a lot less effort in airing a quarter pipe than going out and finding a big ledge, warming up and getting a clip doing something wild. Don’t get me wrong though, I do like that type of riding or I wouldn’t do it. It’s fulfilling and makes you feel like a complete bad ass when you slay a big street move. The park is just an easy and relaxing choice for a good sunny day session with the homies.
You recently bought a motorbike and attached your bike to the back; you’ve traveled all over but tell us in more detail where you’ve been and where you plan to go next?
Yeah I just finished an 11000 mile trip around the US and Canada. It was pretty much one of the greatest adventures I’ve ever done. It lasted about two and half months but was over in a flash. I’ve suffered from post trip depression before, but never like this. I camped solo and rode with some of my best bud’s as I got to see most of America on all back roads. Having the BMX attached made the trip so much better. I’m not sure what I’m going to do next with this newfound love. Maybe plan some type of world trip. I’m going to need some serious cash for that, or just go to Europe, try to buy a bike and see what happens there for a few months.
From watching your natives part we get the impression you value the simplicity of just riding a bike, do you think that has helped keep your feet firmly on the ground and made riding a bike totally organic for you?
The act of pedaling a BMX bike around a city always gives me a good feeling. That alone keeps me loving BMX. I don’t think it will ever get old just doing that. If I can roll in on a quarter pipe and do a 3-inch air I’m happy. With those two things I can never loose. So yeah, just keeping it simple for me has always been the way to having a good time.