Catching up with Preston Pollard (Skateboarding)
When Preston Pollard was growing up in Anchorage, most of his friends played basketball and football.
But he was always on his skateboard.
Skating has always been his passion, his first love. And nothing has changed.
Today the 21-year-old Alaskan is on his board every day in sunny Los Angeles, where he is chasing his dream of becoming a professional street skater.
But a funny thing happened on the way – he scored a TV gig.
He will host the upcoming TV show Push that will document Pollard’s rise to the top and feature a day-in-the-life with some of the top names in extreme sports. The show is directed by John Darko and backed by the Edifix Media Group.
“I’m learning so much about the business side. I thought I was just going to skateboard,” Pollard said with a laugh during a recent telephone interview.
Not that he’s complaining.
He’s too busy living the life.
No matter how Hollywood Pollard goes, though, he will never forget where he came from. He moved to L.A. only a year ago and said he plans to come back to Alaska in the summer so he can share his success story with kids with hopes of inspiring the next generation.
Question: What motivates you to talk with kids?
Answer: It’s really important for me because I had a dream when I was little to be a professional skateboarder, but nobody was like, ‘Yeah, man, go ahead and do it.’ There were a lot of people saying, ‘Oh, I don’t know about that.’ So I explain to them that even if their dream is outside of the “regular life” you can still reach that goal.
Q: How important is it to promote dreams?
A: It’s a big part because, I mean, being from Alaska and then to come to L.A., it was huge for me – so many people, so much talent. I felt like if I could make it from a little city in Alaska anybody can make it.
Q: So obviously Alaska is still in your heart?
A: Yeah, yeah, that’s my home. That’s where I’m from. That’s where I started skateboarding. I just want to keep on motivating people from where I came from.
Q: Where did you skate in Anchorage?
A: I started skateboarding in the Muldoon/DeBarr area. My friends and I would go to different schools and Fred Meyers, wherever. We’d kind of set up, bring our backpacks with food in it and just kick it. That’s how it all started. I think the first skate park that I was aware of was downtown at Central (Middle School). We just kind of went everywhere.
Q: What got you hooked?
A: Skateboarding was just so cool because there were so many different races. There were blacks, white, Asian. There wasn’t a color issue. We would just show up. Whenever I would see another skateboarder it was like, ‘What up, man?’ We were family. We’d show up wherever, Spenard, Mountain View, Hillside, and we were meeting a lot of different people from different areas. It was exciting, you know.
Q: Do you feel like skaters get a bad rap?
A: Yeah, I think the stereotype is, you know, the pot smoking and the graffiti, but not all skateboaders are like that. Sometimes they come from a background where they don’t fit it. Like me. I wasn’t always the dude that was fitting in. I wasn’t playing football and basketball. I wanted to do something different.
Q: How did you land this TV gig?
A: I came down here to go professional, but the opportunity was totally random. I’m always that guy to go out networking and meet different people. I did some commercials here and there. Met some people … it was cool because these guys believed in me. They never saw me skateboard. After talking with them we had a meeting and kept talking. It’s great. I get to skate every day and make a living out of it.
Q: So in a way you are a professional, right?
A: It’s crazy because I never went to college or anything like that. And now, by God’s grace, I’m actually doing things that people went to college for to be in my position. I still want to go to school, don’t get me wrong, but I’m here now learning.