Contenders: Nolan Johnson

01.06.10 –

Text by Dan Barnett°

Photography by Dan Barnett°

More and more often these days, you see skaters trying so hard to make it that they forget the original motive, the answer to why we all do this. Skateboarding is fun—plain and simple.

Nolan Johnson is out to enjoy himself at all times—skating for all the right reasons, or more specifically, the only reason that matters—and really doesn’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. The following is a look inside Nolan’s head, however strange it might be in there, and a quick glance at the fun he’s been up to lately. Good times.

Nolan Johnson, Frontside blunt slide

Frontside bluntslide.

What’s been going on with you lately? What’s new?
I stopped wetting the bed. Finally! I’ve been skating around downtown Seattle by myself a little lately. I like it. I just mess around on odd objects. I want to start climbing buildings soon; there’s got to be some cool stuff up there somewhere. I’ve been watching the Consolidated videos a lot. It makes me want to skate a small vert ramp, but I don’t know where one is. If someone in Seattle wants to make one, hit me up. I’ll help. I’m stoked to be getting shoes from Converse now! I’m also
enjoying my two hundred dollars a month in food stamps. I can get candy now for free; it’s kinda like being sponsored for food.
You guys moved into a new place pretty recently. What’s the story there? Did your landlord really tell you to build a ramp in the living room?
Yeah. Sorcery moved into a new place. It’s closer to downtown Seattle. Our landlord is our age and awesome! He heard from the neighbors that we were thinking about building a ramp. He told us we should and that he had some wood for
us. Somehow we got all our wood for free and when we were building it our landlord came over drunk and was telling us that the ramp had to be bigger. He wanted it to just be vert walls. He said “I want you guys to do big airs on this thing.” The ramp is two feet tall and has barely any flatbottom. When people come over to stay on the weekends, we make weird extensions and stuff with different objects we find outside. Our next-door neighbor is super cute and her boyfriend is Peter Starrs, who happens to be one of the sickest skaters in Seattle.
Sorcery is a group of skateboarders who want to have fun and do funny things to make each other laugh.
Nolan Johnson, Frontside ollie

Frontside ollie.


You guys are so hip with your blog. Who’s down with Sorcery and what’s it all about?
Sorcery is a gang or a cult, it might be a religion, nobody knows. What we do know is that it isn’t hesh or gnarly. It’s a group of skateboarders who want to have fun and do funny things to make each other laugh. We make videos with our sorcery cameras, which are little Nikon Coolpix s550 models. People who contribute to Sorcery can be found in the videos on the blog. Feel free to subscribe and leave comments on our videos saying how bad we suck. The blog gets updated all the time.
You guys have a pretty simple life, skating and going to punk shows. The only TV you seem to watch is skate videos. What videos or skaters are you hyped on right now?
Lately I have been trying to watch any video from the year 1990. The tranny skating is gold at this time, even though it is just vert and mini ramp. The tricks are so awesome and you never see anybody doing them today. There are so many skaters I really like right now. My all-time favorite skater is Jason Jessee, though.
Some skaters I have been liking a lot recently are Scott Smiley, Richard Paez, and Jordan Richter, but there are so many more I am not mentioning that are so sick. I have been watching the G&S video Footage, and A Reason For Living by Santa Cruz—Jeff Kendall is awesome in that. I have just been watching a ton of 1990 videos.
Aside from Cons, you’ve had some more changes to your sponsors lately. What’s the complete list as of right now?
Thanks for asking. I wanted to tell people about a new skateboard company. The name is Welcome! Welcome is a company that wants to do something new and different. It’s a fun company that wants to make lots of shaped boards and
very curious graphics. It is a gentlemen’s club and a cult. Other friends that ride for Welcome are Shane Cox and Sam Cole. My friend Jason started the company and he is a very funny and creative guy who can come up with some super hilarious ideas, so keep your eyes out for them. You can find out more about Welcome on their web site, welcomeskateboards.com. I also get stuff from Bones Wheels and Socalskateshop.com and clothes from Remy at Volcom.
Whenever you go down to San Diego you end up skating with Swift a lot. It seems like you guys are pretty tight. How did you end up knowing him?
About three or four years ago I skated the Encinitas bowl a lot. Swift was there all the time, always saying goofy things and being funny. I never talked to Dave ’til he asked if I could do a trick called a bonedrecht, which is a backside boneless Andrecht handplant. He shot a sequence of one for The Mag’s Origins section. After that, every time I went to the park I would say what’s up, but I still never talked to him much. Then I ended up moving with my parents to Oceanside and I lived a block away from Swift. He took me to skate with him when he was doing a photo shoot or something and I would just skate wherever and maybe take a photo. Everything Swift does makes me chuckle.

Nolan Johnson, Frontside Boneless Drop

Frontside boneless drop.

Nolan Johnson, Backside boneless

Backside boneless.

I can get candy now for free; it’s kinda like being sponsored for food.

It sounds like you had a pretty good thing going as far as skating is concerned. You must really like living in Seattle to move away from that.
Yeah! Now that I live up in Seattle my parents can’t tell me not to jump on my bed! I can stay up real late and watch rated R movies and eat tons of junk food whenever I want. I can say bad words, too!
Why do you refuse to own a cell phone? If you aren’t with your secretary, Josh, it can be impossible to track you down. Is it ever a problem or do you just not care if someone needs to get a hold of you?
I would love to have a cell phone. I just don’t have money. I really hate talking on the phone, though. I can’t pay attention to the person on the phone, there’s always too much stuff going on around me.
Yeah I can’t really imagine having a conversation on the phone with you. Anything you want to end this with?
No.