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A Conversation with Tiny Hawk

Words by: E.Z.

Photographer: Someone tight


Let’s start with your name. Who are you?

I am Jimmy Downs, Aka Tiny Hawk.

I never knew your last name, that’s probably the dopest name I’ve ever come across, how old are you?

Haha sick, I’m 26.

Are you originally from bakersfield?

Yeah! I’ve lived here my whole life!

Do you like it? Have you ever thought of leaving?

I did leave for a little bit, I lived out in Slo when I was 19. I worked at a surf shop & partied my lil heart out.

That sounds like the typical cali lifestyle. Have you've been skateboarding your whole life?

I really started when I was in 5 or 6th grade, Tony Hawk came to Copelands and had a demo & I purchased my first real board there.

What was the hardest thing about learning how to skate?

Everything! It was a complete uphill battle. I was scared to fall so I never really got comfortable with it for like 2 years.

I tried my hand at skating and could never get pass the fear of falling so I only know how to ride. Is the ollie the stereotypical first trick that every skater has to learn?

You have to learn it if you’re going to skate street! The only way around it is to skate vert ramps.

What do you prefer to skate, street or vert?

Street! But lately I’ve been going to the skatepark because I have a hurt hip & it’s hard to skate on it.

It seems like skating is a big part of your life, where does fingerboarding play into that?

It’s the closest thing to skateboarding without actually skating.

What is fingerboarding?

Fingerboarding is an extreme table sport 😂 jk but basically it’s shrinking a skateboard & then using your fingers as if they are your feet.

I remember using tech decks to pass the time during class in middle school, I never was aware that it was an actual sport. What sparked your interest in learning how to use a fingerboard?

I used them a lot in high school too, around that time techdeck made wooden boards, real wear graphics, & bearing wheels & we were so hyped to get our hands on one. I used it in art class so much my teacher left me a bad year book signature.

Do you remember what it said ?

Something about me being a big let down & that she’s so sad I wasn’t like my sister lol.

So how series is the sport of fingerboarding compared to life size skateboarding?

It’s as serious as you make it, it just depends on what goal you are setting out to do.

Is there such thing as a professional fingerboarding?

The Olympics had a fingerboarding contest last year! My friend Nash won that, he’s as professional as you can get in the fingerboard game. He runs his own company & hosts events. Saturday is our final stop for the “TV Addicts” video. We have a theater rented & everything.

Oh shit so it seems like fingerboarding is legit as hell that’s dope and that’s the fingerboarding video you’re featured in right? How did that come about?

Yeah! Basically right before the new year we started taking trips out to Visalia to meet up with Nash & session his parks. While we were there we started filming & getting clips. After a couple of trips we started talking about releasing a video & it kinda just came together after that! I ended up having a part & a 900 segment in it. It was a big deal to me because I have been fingerboarding for 10 plus years & that was the first time I had actual feedback on my fingerboarding & people actually liked it.

Ever since I found out its something that people do I have been seeing it more and more , what are your plans when it comes to fingerboarding in the future, is it something that you put more time in that skating?

We’ll just because it’s about to 110 degrees & I am having issues with my hip, I will be fingerboarding more than skating haha I want to try my hand at making obstacles & maybe make a park or something, but who knows! Fingerboarding gives me a outlet for my creativity & I’ve been having fun making videos & meeting new people.

Shit well it sounds like the future of fingerboarding is bright lol thanks for doing this interview with me.

The pleasure was mine!

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