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Young Americans

We were pleasantly surprised when we came across a recent online article by Mr. Porter titled Young Americans, and saw that out of the 6 creative talents featured, 2 of them were Flock Members. Tune in for some cool little history on Flock Members Cam Richards and Ben Nordberg, and see why LA is the only place these boys want to be.

Mr. Cam Richards has surfed competitively since the age of 10 and as such has been travelling the world, often unaccompanied, since he was 13. He grew up in Garden City, South Carolina, where his father, a local surfing guru, has a surf shop and shapes boards. Together they restore vintage motorcycles. In 2013, Mr Richards made his name when he came within 200 votes of defying the odds and beating Mr Dane Reynolds, one of the world’s top surfers, in an online vote for the best surf clip. Now 20, Mr Richards lives on his own in Costa Mesa, a beach town south of LA – although he estimates he only spends three months of the year there.

What’s the secret to making a career out of surfing?

Nowadays, it’s all about online. If you post a cool video, there’s going to be millions of people who see it. That’s how you build your profile and your following for sponsors and magazines. After going up against Dane, we’ve since become friends. And people such as Kelly Slater now know who I am, which is pretty awesome. 

Is it true you were the youngest surfer ever to win a pro contest? 

Yeah, I was 10 and it was an all-ages contest. I actually got punched in the water by a guy who was probably about 22 at the time when I beat him. When we got back to the beach everyone said, “I can't believe you were beaten by a kindergartner!” That was a cool moment in my career, it made my dad super happy and was the start of me getting sponsors.

Does your dad shape your boards?

He used to when I was a kid, but not anymore as I need boards that are consistent. My dad’s old school and refuses to use a computer, so each of his boards are slightly different and he can’t make that many of them.

Is the life of a pro surfer as good as it sounds?

The only downside is that I never get to call a place home. I’m constantly living out of my board bag. But I get to see the world and make great friends. I rarely stay in hotels, as it’ll be like, “Oh, I’m going to Peru, I know that kid from that contest.” And the next thing you know, you’re staying at his house. It’s a really cool industry that makes a big world small.

When you’re in LA, where do you hang out?

My favourite place is called On The Rox, which is above The Roxy in West Hollywood. It’s a pretty rad spot where all my friends go for a good time.

What’s the secret to enjoying LA?

Owning a motorcycle. My dad got me into vintage motorcycles and I have two 1968 Triumph Bonnevilles back home. Motorcycles beat the traffic.

 

Mr Ben Nordberg, 26, grew up in Bath, South West England, where he honed his skating skills before being headhunted by the elite Flip Skateboards team for a move to LA. He is known for his effortless, asleep-at-the-wheel skating style that makes everything look easy. In 2014, Mr Nordberg was scouted by Next Models via Instagram and last year shot a major campaign for DKNY alongside Ms Cara Delevingne. He now balances the two careers. Mr Nordberg lives in West Hollywood and goes surfing in Malibu most mornings and skating most afternoons.

Is Bath a good place for skateboarding?

No, it’s terrible. There’s one skate park and most of the time it was wet. We had to resort to all sorts of stuff to try and skate. We used to skate in shop corridors and any kind of dry floor we could find. 

How did skating become more than just a hobby?

I never set out with the intentions of being a skater when I was 11, I was just messing about. I think when I was 16 or 17, I started to get a few sponsors, and still didn’t really think that it could be a job. Skateboarding has given me the chance to travel the world, meet some great people along the way and I wouldn’t trade that for anything

What music are you skating to right now?

When I skate, I listen to Metallica, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest or Led Zeppelin. All that kind of stuff. Heavy metal gets me going. It might not look like it because everyone thinks I look stoned, but in my head I’m psyched!

Where do you like to hang out in LA?

There’s a bar called No Name on Fairfax, which is good. And if I was going to go to a club, maybe Blind Dragon, which is my buddy’s place – although I’m not drinking or smoking at the moment as I’m starting to feel it a little these days. I’m trying to keep as healthy as I can. 

What do you love about living in LA?

The weather is unreal. You can go months without seeing rain. It’s nice to know that you’re going to wake up to blue skies every single day. There are great restaurants and the beach is 30 minutes away, not to forget the hot girls…


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