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Riley Pavey portrait high res Harbeck 950wide

Young Riley reeled off three full-length sections for The Wildlife Video, Don’t Front and his Slam x Precinct part to take out our upstart award.

Enjoy his New Gen Interview from Issue 219.

Portrait: Henry Harbeck. Homepage photo: Riely Walker.

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Nosegrind around the hook. Photo: Riely Walker.

You’re a little younger than you look. Is that a common misconception? What is your birth date?
I was born on the 30th of November 2001, so I’m 16 years old. Most people think I’m older than I am. Probably because I hang out with older dudes.

Your diet is pretty typical for a kid your age. You’re always eating lollies, chocolate or sugary foods.
Yeah, speaking of which, I’m actually devouring a box of chocolate covered Oreos at the moment. They’re pretty beast.

Would you be happy to survive on confectionary and rubbish or do you need a healthy hit of fruit and veg at times?
Junk food is usually my go-to meal, mostly because it’s cheap, but even if healthy food was cheap, I’d still be snackin’ on lollies and ice cream and shit [laughs].

You go to a private school. What’s it like?
I go to St. Michael’s College. It’s an all right school. We get a new principal like every six months because we drive them insane doing funny shit. I feel bad sometimes because we take it too far. I’ve got one mate Rob that skates. He is super cool.

How exactly do you torture your principals?
We pretty much just talk a whole lotta shit to them and tell them stuff about us that isn’t true.

Your dad is a light technician for concerts and big festivals, right?
Yeah, my dad does sound and lighting production for almost every band and artist you could think of. My brother does the catering too.

And you get free VIP passes to cruise around and eat the backstage spreads for musicians. Spill some stories on some of the rock stars that you’ve met.
I met Nas at a concert last year. He was so gangster smoking a blunt with his huge posse.

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Mail dropping a frontside bluntslide. Photo: Riely Walker.

Would you ever work in that industry with your old man?
No way, fuck that. He gets like two hours of sleep each night while he is away. Not to mention being away for eight months of the year.

Tell us about the media course that you did at TAFE. Would you like to work in media or is that something your school forced you to do?
I went to TAFE to get some extra points so that when I get to Grade 12 I can pass super easy, but I ended up liking it a lot. There are some pretty gnarly people that go to TAFE.

What’s the best thing about the Gold Coast?
There is pretty much nothing good about the Gold Coast except for Precinct Skate Shop and a couple good spots. Apart from that, I’m pretty sure it’s all sand and rocks.

What’s the worst part about the Gold Coast?
The worst thing about the Gold Coast is that the trains are always packed going up to Brisbane. I usually have to sit on the ground, or next to some gym junkie, with no shirt on, talking heaps loud on the phone about how many fights he got into last night.

How did you get on Precinct?
As soon as it opened, around four years ago, I used to go in there and annoy the fuck out of Trent [Bonham] and Julian [Lee]. Later on, I ended up going skating with them. One day, out of the blue, Julian messaged me and told me to come into the shop so he could tell me something. I was so hyped because I thought he was going to ask me to ride for them but he ended up asking me if I wanted to work at the shop. A couple of months later I got the boot from the job and got on the team. I still go and annoy them every day.

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Roof to roller door, no comply tailslide. Photo: Riely Walker.

Why did you get fired?
They just said, “Mate you’re hopeless! Stick to skating.”

What about Nike – who sorted your shoe deal?
Nike came about last year when Geoff [Campbell] and Midds [Chris Middlebrook] came to the Goldy, unfortunately, just to teach kids how to film. They had a skatepark set up and I skated around and then went to the pub afterward with everyone. Me and Geoff ended up talking and he gave me his phone number. Later on, I went to Melbourne and skated with all those guys and had a fun time. I guess it kind of just happened over time. It definitely got me more motivated on doing stuff. Thanks heaps, Geoff and Midds.

You travelled to Sydney a little during the filming for Medley. Who do you stay and skate with while you’re there?
Filming in Sydney with Brendan [Gardoll] and all the Sydney guys is pretty crazy. They are all super good and fun to hang out with. We get up to some pretty funny shit while we are in The Tank [Brendan’s van], Photoshopping people onto other people, that’s pretty much half the reason I go down there. I stay at Brendan’s place, Diaz’s [Jack Diaz- Pethan] place, and sometimes Pap’s [Noah Papadopoulos] place, but that shit is fucking wild – I went to sleep to the sound of street fights and woke up to the sound of burnouts.

Really? Where does Pap live?

How would you describe Brendan Gardoll to someone that has never met him?
Shy, skint, goth boy, looking to make it [laughs]. Nah, Brendan’s the man. He’s always down to drive anywhere and everywhere, which is super good. He loves energy drinks and greasy as fuck burgers from KFC.

Nog [Noah Smith] spoke about hitting 7-Eleven late at night with you to hassle them for their end of day donuts in his New Gen last issue. Is he often your partner in crime when you travel with those dudes?
Yeah, Nog is my man when it comes to eating food because we both like eating fuck loads of it. One Melbourne trip I got super cocky with my $100 spending money and went all out on expensive milkshakes every stop we made along the way. Before we even made it to Melbourne, I had $3.70, so for the next week or so I survived on leftovers and dumpster ridden Krispy Kreme’s. One night me, Rowan [Davis] and Nog went to get the donuts at 12.30, and this crazy dude gave us each $50. He told us that he had made a half a million dollars, but refused to answer how. He seemed pretty sketchy, but we took the money and bailed.

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Crooked grind a Brissy out-bar. Photo: Wade McLaughlin.

Like most kids your age you often have your head buried in your phone. Are you on any dating apps? 
I’m not on any dating sites, fuck that. On the other hand, Rowan is a machine on Tinder. I’m pretty sure he pays for more swipes because he goes through them so quickly [laughs]. It pays off in the end though.

You often ask rhetorical questions. You know the answer, but you’ll ask anyway.
I definitely ask some really stupid questions.

Can you relay one of your stupid questions?
One stupid question I asked John Green when I first met him still haunts me. We were watching his video that he made and he was telling us about the tricks and how they went down. Then I asked him if he was there for any of the tricks. He looked at me super weird like I had something wrong with me and said, “Yeah, man. I filmed the whole thing you fucking idiot” [laughs]. Since then, I’ve tried to keep the stupid questions to myself, but some of them slip out.

You’re a confident kid for your age. Where does your confidence come from?
[Laughs] Thanks. I guess I get my confidence from my mates. They are always super down to do anything. It makes skating so much more fun. I’m pretty comfortable when I meet new people, which is a good thing, but can also be a bad thing. I’ve definitely fucked up meeting new people by being too comfortable.

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Riley is used to dumpster diving for Krispy Kreme donuts. This bin was a stinker, so he chose to backside tailslide it instead. Photo: Tamas Keefer.

Which skateboarder has been the most influential to you and why? 
There are too many people to name that have been influential, but the main person when I was growing up would have been Rome Torti. He lived a couple of houses down from me. I would always see him out the front of his house and trip out on him. Chase [Jaeger] helped me heaps when I was younger giving me his old stuff and even buying me food. Jae Overton recently wrote me a letter that is very close to my heart. The letter pretty much just told me how much better he is than me in every aspect, which was cool. That definitely got me inspired [laughs].

Run us through your ideal weekend, from Friday to Sunday. 
My ideal weekend consists of going to Precinct for an hour after school to hang out, and then to skate a park for a couple of hours with my mates. Get home, and pack a bag for the weekend. On Saturday I get up super early and catch the train to Brisbane, then wait around for a couple of hours for people to wake up and go skate. We’ll skate all day and night, then stay at Henry’s [Harbeck] crib or Aydan’s [Crick] place. On Sunday, I’ll either stay in Brisbane or train back to the Goldy and skate the worst spots with the boys from Precinct. That’s pretty much how it goes.

You’ve been skating Brisbane quite a bit lately. Do you like the scene and spots Brissy has to offer? 
Yeah, I love the scene and people in Brisbane. They are super motivated and fun to hang out with. The spots are so sick, and new ones are always popping up so you’ve gotta be quick.

What’s the grand plan for Riley Pavey?
What are you working towards? I’m filming with Aaron Brown for his video, Jim Perry’s video and also filming for a Precinct video that hopefully might come out soon.

Riley Pavey - Slam x Precinct from Slam Skateboarding Magazine on Vimeo.