Jay Poirier • FS noseblunt • Providence, RI • 2023
©  John Hesselbarth

‘Trying to skate Tampa. Swing and a miss!’

Jay Poirier

March 2024

How would you describe the Rhode Island skateboard scene and its community?
A big family. Constantly growing, changing, and improving. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience a few different eras from Lunasea, to Fountain of youth, and now Civil holding it down for everyone. The scene and community are bigger now than ever before. Almost every time I skate downtown these days, I see a skateboarder and think “damn, who is that?” It’s refreshing and gives me nothing but hope for the future.

When did you pick up skateboarding and what initiated it?
Pretty much as soon as I could walk, you’d think I’d be better! My brother Jeff has been skating since before I was born. I just started jumping on his boards that were laying around the house. It was all downhill from there.

Any local heroes you looked up to at the time?
At that time, I was young, so it was pretty much my brother and whoever he was skating with. Jay Moelk was a big influence on me back then. He moved on to start Subliminal skatepark, which was an indoor staple for a lot of people in RI even though it was in Shrewsbury, MA. As I got older, I started going to the local park in Cumberland, RI, that’s where I really started seeing and meeting locals that I began looking up to. So many good dudes rolled through that place, but Justin Souliere, Russ Elmes, Braeland Edwards, and Chris Topalian always stuck out to me. From there I started going downtown and there were so many people I looked up to and still do. The scene was thriving then, it was different, so it was cool to come up during that time.

Jay Poirier • BS 5050 • Attleboro MA • 2023   © Lucky St. Angelo

Do you think this has changed now?
It has, but not completely. People have come and gone over the years. I admire the dudes that have been in the game longer than I’ve been around. I look up to Hoisington, Randy Gray, Mike Lussier, Donny. I still look up to my brother. He’s almost always on the session to this day.

Proudest moment in your skateboard career?
I wouldn’t call it a career, but skateboarding has opened a lot of doors for me. For a long time, I had the privilege to hold down Fountain of Youth which was Donny’s shop. That was a staple in the providence community from 2007 – 2012. After that, I was given the opportunity to open Civil Providence with Guido and Rob in 2012. During both of those periods, I was getting hooked up by Rob Pontes and got to go on some skate trips with him. He not only helped me out but did more for the RI skate scene that I can even explain. A good friend of mine and OG RI ripper Justin Kelley ran Hayride Skateboards and approached me to do a graphic in 2020. It was cool to see my name on a board. To this day, I’m just proud to be considered part of this community.

Most embarrassing?
Trying to skate Tampa. Swing and a miss!

Isn’t it a success already if you are able to skate Tampa in first place?
Definitely and I’m thankful for that experience. Didn’t come in last.

‘It took a long time, but the city of Providence has finally realized how positive skateboarding is.’

Jay Poirier • BS wallride • Swansea, MA • 2020   © John Hesselbarth

What are the skaters in Rhode Island most proud of?
I can’t speak on behalf of all skaters in RI, but the progress of skateboarding in the city over the years is really something to be proud of. At one point, it was illegal to push down the street. Now there are spots like Trinity which wouldn’t be possible without the help of the RI skate community. It took a long time, but the city of Providence has finally realized how positive skateboarding is. I am proud of how inclusive the scene is as well. No matter your age, race, or gender, if you’re skating, then you’re part of the family. We’re all the same and the skaters in RI get that.

Who are some of the talented skaters in RI that are making a name for themselves?
There are so many up-and-coming rippers around right now it’s hard to even keep track. I would be on the look out for Sean Egan, Elijah Core, Liam Keen, Joe Jaquez, Sergio Alvarez, and Oscar Goldenburg.

Last question. If you could interview any person in the world, who would it be and why?
Julien Stranger. Favorite skateboarder.

Myself and my friend Yan K and Pat Turley working on our local park in October 2021   © Lucky St. Angelo