From his time with Stereo during its heyday, to DC Shoes‘ original Supertour era, to his cover of Thrasher, there’s no arguing that Carl Shipman was a major figure in skateboarding during the ‘90s. He’s one of those golden-era legends that bowed out gracefully. You don’t hear much from him these days outside of the occasional Stereo reissue. Slam City fills in the gaps with its latest extensive interview. Currently, Shipman is busy with his family and construction business, and isn’t active on social media. And, at 45, he feels that he has nothing left to prove on his board at this point in life.
Are you still in touch with Simon Evans at all?
I’m not mate, I pretty much don’t go on social media at all. I had Instagram and all that but my wife does it and pretty much just tells me if anybody comes up on it to talk to me. I just don’t do it because my days are so full. When you’ve got your own company you have to do all the paperwork, go out to jobs, price jobs, do jobs and it’s such a full-time thing that when I come home I just want to chill with my family so I don’t ever put my head in my phone because that’s all I’ve been doing all day, answering the bloody phone. So I just chill out.
That’s a lot more respectable than somebody giving it, “Oh yeah, of course I still skate, I’m still down” or whatever, when they don’t and they’re not.
The thing with me is that I’m not in denial, you know? I’m not trying to hold on to anything, and the way my life has gone, I’ve had to create something new and I get way more inspiration from that. I’ve always got a skateboard—I’ve got a Mike Frazier board here, one of the reissue Stereo ones—and I’ve got a cruiser board as well. I’ve always had a set up so every now and then I’ll go outside and do some 360 flips or ollies, or just cruise around, just to get that nice feeling from skateboarding. That’ll never leave me, it’s just that I don’t always have time to do it.
I’m not going to grasp onto, or lie about, something I’m not involved in. Stereo can never get hold of me, but they never ask anything of me because they know I’m too busy. When they did the reissue team thing, they asked if I could get some footage, and I was like, “Well, not really. I’m a bit busy”, and they said it didn’t matter but they wanted to reissue some boards and have a Classics Team that they wanted me on. And of course I did, because that’s something that’s dear to me and it’s an honour to be remembered. I don’t want to go out to skate and it feel forced, so I’ll just chill out.
Head over to Slam City to take a trip down memory lane.
Image Via Skin Phillips / Transworld