The 2012 CCS Am Project is officially a wrap. It's been an amazing 12 months with some super talented young ams who have been fully introduced to the path from am to pro. We checked in with Am Project riders Nolan Reardon, Gary Bolos and Sammy Montano this week to see what they're experience was like. Here's some of what they had to say about it.
What were your thoughts going in to the Am Project video contest last year?
Did you think you had a legitimate shot or was it more of a hail marry with
your video submissions?
Bolos: It was more of a curiosity thing. I didn't expect a call back.
Nolan: At first I wasn't going to send my footage in because I didnt think it was good enough. My dad kind of convinced me to send it, so I did.
Sammy: I had no idea what to expect, but it was an epic journey.
Was the Am Project experience all it was cracked up to be? Did the journey
meet your expectations?
Bolos: I didn't know what to expect. I just know with all the product, the cash, the Chicago trip, the coverage and the contests that it was more than I could ask for.
Nolan: The Am Project experience has been great and definitely better than my expectations.
What was the best part of being a CCS Am Project rider? Any particular
experiences or perks you were hyped on?
Bolos: Traveling to Chicago, meeting everyone, and doing photos with Arto. I got to meet some of the best skaters ever and skate one of the biggest cities. Everyone was friends in five minutes and to top it off we were all shooting photos with Arto at rad spots.
Nolan: The best part of being an Am Project Rider was meeting all the other riders. Everyone was super cool and we all got along really well. Going to Chicago and Woodward was really fun too and we all had good times.
Do you feel more confident in your abilities and connectivity as a
skateboarder out there in the industry as a result of your Am Project
experience? Did you feel it was a legitimate look into the life of a real
Bolos: Yes I feel more confident now that I've done more big contests through you guys such as Tampa and Damnam. I feel like the Chicago trip was definitely a look into real am skateboarding because we had street skating photos and filming to do, we had to wear certain ****, we had demos and contests to throw, trick-tips, and a cover shot to do. The agenda was tight, but it worked out to be one of the funnest trips.
Nolan: I feel like the Am Project has helped out my confidence quite a bit. I think the Am project experience gave us all a good look at what it means and takes to make it in the skateboard industry.
What was it like getting to work with a legend like Arto Saari on the
Chicago trip and then landing on the cover of the CCS catalog?
Bolos: It was intimidating to work with Arto because he is the reason why some us skate the way we do. It was a very memorable experience.
Nolan: It was crazy going on a trip with Arto. At first it was intimidating, but once we got to know him and talk with him it was awesome. I would've never thought I'd be on the cover of CCS magazine. It was great to see all of us on it.
Sammy: Working with Arto was epic! Not only did he shoot great pictures, he's a
super chill guy and overall epic person.
How has the Am Project helped your career thus far? Have you made any
connections or walked away with legitimate sponsors because of it?
Bolos: It's convinced me to move to California and skate some more. I've made a few tight connections with you guys. No legitimate sponsors yet though.
Nolan: The Am project helped me get hooked up with Girl and Lakai and I'm hyped on that. Those have always been some of my favorite companies and I'm glad they help me out.
Sammy: Yeah, it feels good to talk to the main heads at company's and plus feels better to
earn free gear for tricks.
Having experienced what it's like to be a full blown am for a year, what's
your next move? Has it inspired you to keep going?
Bolos: Yeah, I decided to move to San Diego!
Nolan: My next move is to keep skating, filming, and having fun. We'll see what happens.
What advice would you offer contestants for this year's contest in terms of
making their videos and turning them in?
Bolos: Put all the big bangers in the first and last 30 seconds of the video.
Nolan: Some advice I would give to this year’s contestants would be to just send their footage in. They really have nothing to lose. If I wouldn't of sent my footage in I wouldn't be here today.
Sammy: Just have fun, be yourself and skate your heart out.