James Fitzgerald

Houston – LA – BALI

‘I got onto Mystery after that part dropped. I was very hyped and honoured.’

June 2022

What is your connection with Indonesia?
So my dad’s side of the family is in oil, and my grandfather moved over there before I was born. Then when I was about 2 my pops relocated to Jakarta with my grampa, and we lived there for a few years. My gramps actually married an Indo chick and I have 2 uncles that are younger than me that are Indo. Then when my parents split up my dad moved straight to Bali when I was about 7, and then when I was 15 my mom kicked me out the house and sent me with my pops as a punishment, which ended up being the best vaca, and I lived with my dad for about 5 months. Since then, I go back almost every year. I will be there permanently one day. Bali is my home.

You appeared on the cover of this very own skatemag for the Indonesia special issue. Switch ollie down this huge double set at this abandoned theme park. The photographer BTX told me that his ultimate wishlist is to shoot someone that flips the double set. Do you think you can do it? (Laughing) I don’t like to call out tricks, but next time I come to Bali, we can pull up to it.

When and where did you start skating?
I started skating in Houston Texas when I was about 10 years old, and it all started in Dillon Harveys backyard. It was the homie down the street and his dad would build ramps in their backyard he would see at skateparks. His backyard was like the local skatepark back in the day, everyone has pulled up a time or two. Then when I was 13 the local shop Alley Cat opened, and Larry and those guys taught me so much about skating and honestly one of the reasons I still push this hard.

My proudest moment is probably just moving to LA. My whole life changed after that, and I had endless moments that I loved. If I was to pick just one though, maybe my thrasher sighting in a mag.

kick flip - HTown, Texas - @brickstaa Broderick Gardner
Kick flip • Htown, Texas © Broderick Garnder

Who were some of the local influences when first started?
It was Larry and the older kids that rode for the shop, and also my homies. Like I love nollie bigspins because my homie Laderick. I still get all geeked out on seshes to this day when it’s the older Alley Cat heads, like they A list pros. Tom, Hal, Chief, Rooney, Kerns, JJ, the Bennets, lil Nic and the list goes on. Till this day my favorites are always the ones I am homies with and skate with.

Which pro rider inspired did you look up to back then?
When I was a kid, I always liked P-Rod and Muska alot. My first video was Sight Unseen and I loved Cardiel and Tosh a bunch. My favorite part growing up was Ryan Gallant’s first love though. Now it’s just my friends that are my favs. TJ, Sierra, Twuan, Terell, Taylor, really my close homies motivate me the most.

What is the proudest moment in your skateboard career so far?
My proudest moment is probably just moving to LA. My whole life changed after that, and I had endless moments that I loved. If I was to pick just one though, maybe my thrasher sighting in a mag. Maybe yalls cover actually, I’m very honoured for y’all to do this.

Thrasher published your skate clip ‘Shake Junt’ in 2019. What has changed for you since its release?
I got onto Mystery after that part dropped. I was very hyped and honoured.

With all the footage I have seen from you, I am puzzled why have not turned pro yet?
Yeah, same. Go ask the industry for me will ya.

nollie back heel - Bali
Nollie back heel • Bali  © btx

‘Yeah, same. Go ask the industry for me will ya.’

You have a few IG accounts. One on of them you copped some heavy comments for one particular posts you shared about Covid, Hollywood, Obama, staged events etc. What motivated you to do it?
(Laughing) Yall funny for this. So, this could be pages long for my answer, but I’ll make it short and sweet. What motivated me was to tell the truth to folks. The way I did it though wasn’t the right way. It was too much info and really wild to post in one post. Are those things true and do I believe them, yes that’s why I posted it. I’d love to dig deeper into this subject to open eyes, but this isn’t the place for me to ramble. (Laughing).

What are some of the things you want to do in the near future?
I want to do a lot. I have been working quite a bit other than skating and trying to save money to buy land in Bali to start some businesses. I have endless ideas for business and work stuff, just buckling down now to earn the capital to expand.

You are also into photography. What is the story behind the Beagle shot in his car? You sold them as T-shirts too.
Yeah, I got into film photography a couple years ago and have been loving it. The Beagle shirt is a cool story. The photo I shot was the last day he ever owned that caddy, and he sold it to go to Bali. Then while in Bali with each other we shot another photo of him smokin a cigar that became a shirt also. So, the first shirt I made with caddy was to get the funds to go to Bali and the second smokin one was while we were in Bali. Pretty much the caddy was sold so we could pimp in Bali. I will actually be droppin a line of shirts here in the near future with other folks as well.

Last question: If you could interview one person, who will it be, why and what would you ask?
I’d interview an Indian from the 1700’s in North America. I’d ask him or her the real truth about history and how humans should really conduct themselves. Why? Because everything we were taught about history is a lie.

switch heel - LA - Mason Miller
Switch heel • LA  © Mason Miller