James Hardy

Pushing Alabama Since Day One

How many years have you been pushing in Alabama? I've been pushing around Alabama for 12 years now.

Best thing about Alabama is Faith Skate Supply.

The best spots in Alabama are the Ghetto Banks hands down. After that, probably just rolling around downtown Birmingham is the next best thing. That never gets old.

Alabama is best know for people who try to grind massive handrails, rough ground, lots of cracks and bricks.

For someone who's never skated in Alabama. Where is the first place you would tell them to go? Ghetto Banks for sure. And bring a posse if you do, don't go by yourself. And if it's only two of you, make sure you can outrun the other person.

Go to spot for food? Any and all BBQ spots are going to do you right.

Top 5 Reasons you love where you're from:
The People
The Food
Southern Accents
The rivers
The weather

Security/Cops in Alabama are good for making you realize how boring of a day they're having for sweating you about skateboarding.

Describe Alabama in one word? Relaxing.

Who is currently Pushing skateboarding in Alabama and the skate community? Peter at Faith Skate Supply has always been the backbone of skating in Alabama and still is. A good friend of mine, Jacob Hayes, who is flowed by Real is a rad dude who kills it at skating, works at Faith and keeps skateboarding fun. He doesn't care about anything but skating itself, and that's refreshing among the millions of kids who only get into skateboarding to try and get something out of it.

Skateboarding in Alabama will always be fun. Everyone loves skating and everyone can BBQ really good and tell a good story. Ain't nothing like rednecks on skateboards. You can't beat that.

Something Alabama has that nowhere else does: Milo's Sweet Tea and Ghetto Banks. Both are gems.

Favorite spot in Alabama: Just the flat ground around downtown Birmingham. I've always had the funniest times just skating flat ground with all my friends in the streets. Never gets old.

If it wasn't for Alabama I wouldn't be: As clueless to the world as I am. I spend too much time at the river and skatepark and am lost sometimes when I get in the van on trips. Jake's iPod is like some kind of weird torture that is for some reason what everyone listens to today. I want to take a safety pin to my eardrums every time his iPod is on. But maybe if I didn't live in Alabama I would know which rapper has decided to start skating this month. Since that seems to be trending nowadays.

Best thing to come out of the Alabama skate scene? Jamie Thomas has done a lot obviously. I don't even have to elaborate on that. But who can sit here and say they didn't enjoy watching Gilley charge handrails? I'm saying he's a people favorite. Nicest dude ever, and most psycho skater ever. I've never seen anyone as crazy as him in a skateboard. He rules.

Do you remember the first time you left Alabama to skate elsewhere? Where did you go? Yep. Me and my friend went to Nashville to skate this old skatepark. I had never been to a skatepark before and I thought it was gonna be this elaborate park with everything you could think of. Needless to say, it was not. But no rotted kicker ramp or rusty coping was gonna ruin my trip, it ruled.

Who from Alabama do you owe it all to? Peter Karvonen from Faith. He has helped me every step of the way and always given me the best advice. I wouldn't have anything without that guy.

Things you miss most when you're away? If he's not with me, Vader.

Best memory from growing up skating in Alabama: The best memory is just remembering how simple life and skating was back then. I didn't know anything other than that all I wanted to do was skateboard. I was too young to have to worry about anything else. Nowadays I still love skating more than ever and it's still all I want to do, but by default I have responsibilities and stress from time to time. I went through a phase of being jaded by skating cause I was always around it. But I guess it took 3 knee surgeries to realize how much I love skateboarding. After my last surgery I've made it a point to try and get skateboarding as close to how it was when I was kid, and skate as much as i possibly can.