Following Jake

Jake is from Eugene, Oregon.
He lives in Portland, Oregon.
He is the inventor of D3PO.
He’s down to rip in the streets whenever possible.
Jake worked on the Following video project with the shakier of 2 existing Predatory Bird camera operators (me).
Jake and this camera operator spent quite some time searching the streets for just the right bin. Many were rejected before we eventually found the one by the tramlines.

Jake would like to thank Krooked for flowing him the boards skated throughout.

What’s so good about The Smiths compared to Morrissey?

Johnny Marr.

What are you studying right now?

I’m just beginning to study Graphic Design, but have been finishing up basic requirements previously and taking a couple classes that I’m interested in, like a jazz history course this term. Mostly just enjoying skateboarding at the moment though.

Why were there so many shapes all sitting on top of each other in the ‘Morrissey/Bird-in-Hand-in-Glove’ illustrator file you sent me?

Were there? Well, that would be a result of attempting to teach myself Illustrator while making that graphic.

Write the opening verse of a rap that sums up working on a video project for The Predatory Bird.

Ahh…drawing a blank here. It went something like this though:


-“Be at Starbucks in twenty.”

-“Should we skate Lincoln?”

-“Nah, remembered to charge my batteries, let’s go find a forest to skate through.”

-“Cool, that was fun. See you at Burnside at 8am tomorrow.”

What do you think about the idea that city dwelling gulls are seen as vermin and a nuisance by the general public when in fact they are bold, glorious feathered beasts?

I think that’s generally the case for most creatures that self-concerned humans don’t have a use for. Seagulls are pretty majestic though. One time while skating a spot in Seattle, a particularly large gull landed next to us, and a friend of mine, fully serious, exclaimed “Dude! Look at that huge bald-seagull!! I mean eagle. Wait…seagull!”

Do you see any parallel with street skating there? Can you provide an example?

Oh certainly. How about in First Broadcast, when that old man says to Nick Jensen “I hope you break your fucking neck!” The old man of course representing the general public as a whole, considering Jensen to be a vermin/nuisance (bothering him with his ridiculous backside tailslide attempts), rather than the bold, glorious, skateboard beast that he is. Every skateboarder (and seagull, apparently) can relate to this.

Can you explain the difference between the broad term “predatory bird” and the narrower term “bird of prey” as an ornithologist might define it?

Hmm…I’ll try to remember without the aid of Google. I know you’ve explained it to me on a few occasions. Isn’t there some technical distinction that has to do with talons or beak size or something? I would guess that a bird of prey, like some epic falcon, rules the skies and dive bombs mammals all day everyday. Whereas a predatory bird would be more on the opportunist/scavenger side, and would swoop up a poor little rabbit or a fish if it got the chance, but otherwise would just steal someone’s ice cream cone or something. Knowing you, I’m sure you would argue that in our urban environment the latter is far more menacing.
There are precious few things in life that we can be sure of.

[Note: Strictly it’s only the raptors that are termed “Birds of Prey”. Raptors use their talons when hunting and tend to not fuck with humans too much. The large gulls will prey on smaller birds and swallow them whole on account of their snakelike unhinging jaws. They also have no problem fucking with humans which is why rubes hate them but also why they deserve respect. True thugs.]

Do you think you’ll ever skate in the X-Games or any contest like it?

I’m not entirely opposed. To do well in events like that, I think you have to be really consistent and really comfortable having people watch you skate, and I’m neither of those. Obviously the competitive, timed run, out-do-the-guy-before-you-attitude, is about as far away from the spirit of street skateboarding as it gets, but I don’t necessarily think that means that contests like that are all bad. If a bunch of your friends were skating in it, or someone who helps you out with product would be psyched if you entered, then why not?

What’s your favorite episode of Epicly Latrd and why?

Pappalardo, as he has always been an all-time favorite of mine. Ricky’s is amazing too, for sheer epicness and quotability. I saw a little mini-feature of Pontus on a Vice series called Skate Europe, and that was cool. A full-blown Pontus Alv episode would be the best ever, hands down. I want a Matt Beach episode too!

Who do you rep?

Nike skateboarding and Cal’s Pharmacy.

What is Cal’s Pharmacy and when is it reopening?

Cal’s Pharmacy is a skate shop that has been around in Portland for about twenty-five years. The shop lost the building they were in a couple years ago, and is just now returning after finding a new location. This time my friends Kurt Hayashi, Jon Humphries, Hayes Peterson, and Kyle Reynolds will all be involved together, which is awesome because those guys are all really good people and are super creative. The Pharmacy was pretty much the center of the Portland skate scene, so it’s going to be really good to have it back. Some amazing new guys on the team as well, so it’s all pretty exciting.

Have you ever considered a career in the military?

No way.

What disappoints you in the world of skateboarding right now?

The fact that the coolest things in skateboarding aren’t the things that actually sell. Being a kid and learning about skating, you kind of just assume that all of your favorite skateboard companies are easily making enough to survive, just based on the fact that what they do is so awesome to you. Growing up a bit and becoming friends with a lot of people who work in skating, or are professionals, it’s been a bit of a rude awakening to realize that only a small percentage really make the money that they deserve, and that the kids who are actually buying the products don’t usually have very sophisticated taste.

What disappoints you in the world at large right now?

Corporate greed. Or when you wash all your sheets and then are about to get in bed and realize that you forgot to put them in the dryer and they are soaking wet. Probably a tie between those two.

What are your thoughts on patriotism?