In the tiny microcosm that is professional skateboarding, there are certain individuals who possess that little extra something…something that makes them stand out amongst the countless rippers around the entire globe. Whatever that might be, new Enjoi and Adidas Pro Nestor Judkins has it.
Incredible style and an approach to skating that’s always just plain ol’ rad to watch, Nestor’s way of skating makes any coverage he gets worth studying. Just refer to his “Not Another Transworld Video” part if you’re puzzled by this notion.
We caught up with Nestor during a lull in his busy traveling schedule and got to talking about his new move to New York City, getting demoted to Enjoi flow, why he’s hyped on Adidas and more.
Where are you living these days? I’m in New York, I moved out here about a year ago. I just moved to the East Village. I’ve been here for a year but I’ve been traveling a lot. I haven’t spent too much time here. It’s pretty good, though. I like it a lot. It’s been a lot of fun.
What brought you out to New York? I don’t know. I always wanted to live here at some point. I just did it, I guess. But it was easier because my girl moved out here. She got a job, so I was like, ‘F**k yeah, let’s do it.’ So the situation actually helped push things along and got me to actually do it rather than always just think about it. So it’s cool, man.
So with traveling a bunch, you’re just barely spending time at home? Pretty much, yeah. Last winter here was the first time I dealt with it, and I would go back to SF a lot or wherever I could go, you know. There’s also that reality too. I want to live here and it’s awesome, but it’s pretty hard to do it full time when you’re skating. So while I’m here, I just try to enjoy it while I can.
Is it tough to make things work when you’re traveling around the world to all these exotic places and your girl’s home, stuck in one spot? Yeah for sure, man. It’s definitely hard; you have to try for it. But winter time’s definitely hard because she’s here stuck in the snow. It’s cool. We make it work. Sometime’s she’ll come out on some trips, or we’ll plan some stuff around things like that.
Whenever you meet someone, the go-to question is almost always, “What do you do?” Now that you’re pro is it weird explaining that you’re a professional skateboarder? I guess it makes it easier to explain it to people. But it’s definitely weird to talk about. It makes it more acceptable when they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re a professional.’ Because now most people will know what that is. Before it was like, ‘Well, I skate’…but these days there’s not so much difference between being Am or Pro. You can still make a living off it. Before, when I would say that I was an amateur skateboarder but made a living off it, it would be like, ‘Well, how is that not being a professional?’ Being an amateur was harder to explain. I would just say I’m a skater and leave it at that.
When you’re not traveling and the weather’s good. Are you trying to skate in New York, get photos and film? Yeah, for sure I try to. Traveling and tours make it way easier to get sh*t done, but since I’ve moved out here I want to skate in New York as much as possible. New York is still so new to me and there’s so many spots it’s unreal. So yeah, right now I’ve been kind of hurt so I haven’t been skating for a bit. But until recently I was skating a lot more, even out in New York.
You were am on Santa Cruz for years and then you left for a spot on the Enjoi flow team. How did that happen? Yeah, I rode for Santa Cruz for a while. Since I started there, people running things were friends. And the way the team was when I rode for it, it was kind of tight knit, and at one point Jesse Erickson was the team manager. And when he left things changed and I sort of lost touch with everything. I was going to community college at the time and I wasn’t as hyped on it anymore. We weren’t really doing any trips anymore. I was going to school and skating but wasn’t so sure about what was going on. I was still down to skate and was living in San Jose. I was skating with all the Tilt Mode and Enjoi dudes. And Jesse actually talked to Matt (Eversole, Enjoi Brand Manager) about getting me on Enjoi. And they were in the middle of doing Bag Of Suck, so it wasn’t the right time to put me on. They were like, ‘Yeah, we’ll give you boards and if you want to reprove yourself, we’re down.’ So I jumped ship, went back down to flow again. It hyped me up, because it made me want to skate more and be a part of something I wanted to be involved in. It was kind of like a new kick-start, getting me trying again. So I spent like a year on flow and went back to Am.
Since your Transworld part dropped have you been working on anything in particular? Since the Transworld part came out, it gave me some time to move out here [New York] because I was less busy and wasn’t filming all the time. I moved out here and kept trying to skate. I went on a few trips over the summer and got hurt, so I’ve just been dealing with that since then. It’s been a huge bummer. We’re going to do an Enjoi video next year, so I’ve been working on that.
How do you stay busy when you’re hurt? How do you pass the time? It’s hard, man. I haven’t dealt with this in a long time. It’s good to just stay active. I go out a lot, so it’s nice exploring the new city. Living in a new place and being able to go to museums and stuff. I do photography, so there’s a lot of cool museums to look at. So I’ve mostly been doing that, and learning how to be a homebody when I’m home. So it’s kind of nice, too [laughs].
You still take a lot of photos? Yeah, all the time. I tend to shoot more photos when I’m on trips. I always had ideas when I had a place and had the time, to go through old photos and reprint some old ones in the darkroom. So there’s some place here I can go do that.
Do you follow skateboarding at all? Read the mags, go to sites? It’s kind of back and forth. I do, I’ll check websites and stuff and follow the news. But I go back and forth. I’ve been into skateboarding for so long, I don’t know, it’s hard not to pay attention. I can’t nerd out on it forever, but I do go through periods. Mostly on skate trips I’ll read magazines. When I’m at home, I don’t really.
Do you think it’s important for you to have a certain distance from skateboarding? Yeah, I think so. It’s like anything, you need a good balance. You need other facets to think about. Too much of one thing can be hard. It’s also fun not to pay attention too much and be overwhelmed by it, so when you’re out skating you’re not worrying about anything or over thinking what trick I’m supposed to learn (laughs).
How did you end up getting on Adidas? I don’t know actually how I got on. It was towards the beginning. I think me and Benny (Fairfax) were the first two ams. That was when Bryce Kanights was the team manager. But I was getting shoes from Adidas before the skate program became fully formed. It was all in the works, it just wasn’t all there just yet. I knew this guy Jesse Bracewell who actually became a Team Manager at some point. He was a friend and he was working in the shoe testing department, so he would just send me sample size shoes, and whatever extras he had. And then from there, I got onto the flow thing when they started the skate program, and Bryce ended up hooking me up. I would get sample sized shoes, which were too big for me, like slightly too big, but I would still skate in them.
Adidas seams to have a real tight-knit squad. How is it riding for them? I’m hyped, man. I’m super hyped and in my opinion it keeps getting better and better every year. It’s been really great and I’m lucky to be a part of it. Everyone’s super cool. All the skaters and everyone behind the skating too. It’s different than the normal skate trips because they do these campaign shoots where they just shoot all there ads. All the skaters will come and all the people behind Adidas will come, like the art direction people, and they’re all skaters and real cool. The whole team is there and everyone, and you feel like you’re really involved with what’s going on with the whole company.
What shoe do you skate in? The Adi Ease. It’s like a thinner shoe that’s super good.
So now that the winter’s kicking in, will you be bouncing to someplace warm right away? I’m hoping to get better before the winter so I can skate here a bit more. There’s so much stuff I want to skate out here.
Are you one of those dudes that’s down to skate in the cold no matter what? Do you have a cut off point? I definitely have a cut off point. I’m down to skate in 40 degrees. That’s fine. Even in Northern California I’ve skated in that weather. But that’s as cold as it gets there. I don’t know, I never really tested it out in New York. I don’t want to sound like a wuss, but I guess we’ll see. I’ll figure it out soon enough. Hopefully just skate here and then see what happens.
All photos courtesy of Adidas.
Get Nestor’s newest pro decks and more goods he backs from Enjoi, Adidas, RVCA and Krux.