It would be difficult to have a conversation about East Coast skateboarding that doesn’t somehow include Zered Bassett. Over the last ten years, Zered has become synonymous with the second wave of East Coast pros who dominated the City during the 2000s and continue to do so today. After a rocky shake up with Zoo York and DVS last year, Zered is back in full force and on an entirely new sponsorship program with Cons and Expedition—effectively landing on his feet at the brink and relaunching his career in a new and unexpected direction. We caught up with Zered this week to find out more. Here’s some of what he had to say.
PHOTOS: JON COULTHARD
New York’s legendary bar, Max Fish, officially closed its doors on Ludlow Street last night. Being from the East Coast do you have any thoughts on what that means for New York and the skate scene there?
Max Fish is just a super historic skate bar. It was definitely the first bar I was brought to when I came to the city for the first time. Everybody that came through was always cool and it was always a cool crowd of people there—pro skaters or people who were just in to skateboarding. It’s an end of an era for sure. It’s going to be different having it over in Williamsburg. I’m sure it’ll be cool, but it definitely won’t be the same.
You recently wrapped up a project with UXA and Eli Reed called The Chase. What was that all about?
Eli did a guest board for UXA and instead of doing a normal skate edit, he and Peter Huynh had the idea to do a super short film. They wanted it to be a little bit more of a creative project. I think it came out really rad. It’s something kind of different and super cool.
What’s your relationship with Eli? Is it cool having another East Coast homie on the Cons team with you?
I’ve been friends with Eli since I was thirteen or fourteen. I used to skate with him around Boston and he used to come up to Cape Cod when he was super young. We’ve known each other way before New York and I’ve always been good friends with him. He’s a skate homie and it’s super rad being on Cons with him now and being able to skate with him even more.
The last year or so had to have been pretty hectic for you leaving Zoo and DVS and getting on a totally new board and shoe sponsor program with Expedition and Cons. What was that ride like for you?
When it all first happened it was a pretty good wake up call. As a pro skater you’ve got to be out there skating and getting stuff done because there’s always going to be that next kid who’s a lot more hungry to be out there and ripping. Once I lost both sponsors I knew I needed to get my **** together. I stopped drinking, started eating healthy and started taking better care of my body. I’ve just been skating a lot and staying in good shape. I’m feeling much better all around.
How’s Cons working out for you overall?
I’m super excited because I have a lot of respect for everyone on the team and obviously the shoes are some of the best shoes I’ve skated in. Besides that, it’s rad that they’re out in Boston and that it’s an East Coast company. A lot of people don’t know that. I think a lot of people think it’s a California company. With me being from the East Coast, it just makes a lot of sense. It’s a cool feel and a good fit and I’m psyched to be a part of the program.
What Cons are you skating in now?
Right now I’m skating in the Star Players. I just got some of the new Kenny II’s (KA-II) that I’ve been trying out. They’re a super thin, but they’re a cup sole so they have a little more support and padding. They’re still really thin though and you can feel your board really well. It’s just a super clean and classic-looking shoe.
LTD Americana Star Player by Converse
You recently filmed a Cons segment with Nick Trapasso and Eli Reed where you guys were skating Boston and then headed out on the water to go lobstering. What was that all about?
We just wanted to do something fun with the guys and hang out around the Boston area and also enjoy the East Coast fishing environment. I took them out on my Dad’s boat and fished some lobster pots. It was actually freezing out which kind of sucked, but it was really fun to hit up all the local spots in Boston and go fishing.
Is your dad a fisherman by trade? Did you grow up fishing and lobstering?
My dad grew up on the Cape so he’s always been fishing to make money and for fun. Now he has his own business that he’s had for years. He does copper fabrications like making gutters, wind chimes and a lot of other custom copper work jobs. Now fishing is more of a hobby for him. When I was younger I would fish a lot, but I didn’t really know what I was doing. Now that I’m older I’ve been super psyched on it lately and have been getting back into it. It’s cool going out with my dad and my brother. It’s a really good time.
What’s on tap for you for the remainder of the summer? Any trips or projects you’re working on?
I’ve just started filming my part for the next TransWorld Video—so I’ve got that going. I’ve been trying to film a lot of it in New York with my buddy Steve Marino. It’s been going really good so far. I’ve also got a few Converse trips coming up and a few Expedition trips too. Also the Dew Tour is coming up in October and I’ll be skating in that.