62. Patrick Hirlehey

June 30, 2022
June 30, 2022 Will Mackie

Welcome to another week with another round of Comacan Questions, time has really been flying and it’s hard to believe we find ourselves at the end of June already. But here we are, anyway, this week we are joined by yet another special guests, this time from one of our friends from Comacan’s hometown of Waterdown. Our guest today has been along for the ride ever since Comacan was just a few boards in the back of a pickup truck. He’s been a huge supporter/motivator of any and all people that come to Waterdown skatepark, often the one behind the camera getting the shots. Over the past few years, he’s been involved in some projects close to the Waterdown skate scene, such as Waterdown’s Ribfest Skatejam, which is returning after two years TOMORROW! Please enjoy this week’s interview with Patrick Hirlehey.

Patrick –  Waterdown Skatepark 2007

What inspired you to get into skateboarding?
I think I got my first board when I was about 15 or so, there was a group of friends who were skaters in our neighbourhood in Scarborough. I’m still in touch with a lot of them, some have moved around the world, a few still skate.

When did you first get into skateboarding?
It was late 80’s – so the big things were Powell Peralta and the Bones Brigade, Vision Street Wear, the crazy tails on Alva decks.

Do you remember your first setup?
I think it was a Laser – one of those Canadian made all in one decks – my first “real” board was a Chris Miller Mini with Gullwing trucks and Kryptonics wheels – I got it at Hogtown on Kingston Road – we knew nothing of urethane hardness/softness then – I still have the deck, but the trucks and wheels are long gone – next was a Powell Caballero Dragon that I still have too.

What has been your favorite era of skateboarding?
Of course it was that mid to late 80’s era – there were no skate parks – just one very old bowl in the Beaches in Toronto – Duke of Connaught. So, the street stuff in the Bones Brigade stuff appealed to us. There were launch ramps at friend’s driveways, and a few choice truck loading docks in the factory areas surrounding our neighbourhood

Your Top three skate videos?
– The Search for Animal Chin

– Richie Jackson’s Death Skateboards part https://youtu.be/8gXpZmQ7j70

– Spike Jonze – Invisible Boards – Girl Yeah Right https://youtu.be/dM1BapTFnXM

Are you involved with any skateboard initiatives or projects?
We have been helping keep the Waterdown Ribfest Skate Jam going – it is back again after a hiatus of a few summers – so we are excited to get the wheels going for that. It is a competition with prizes, but it is also a skatejam, so it’s great to see people participate from a variety of levels – you don’t need to be a pro to have fun. We have also helped with Skateboarding is Positive – a good initiative that a local Waterdown skater, Nathan Kolar had spearheaded to help teach kids some of the fundamentals of skateboarding.

What does skateboarding mean to you?
It’s a great physical activity outdoors, it’s a great way to keep your mind sharp. It’s a real good social connection – the friends I’ve met have a variety of age ranges, cultural backgrounds, and social environments – it’s something you might not get with people you might work with or go to school with. So, skateboarding kind of ticks all the boxes. I’m not so concerned with landing new tricks, but more with having fun and keeping going – but I do want to keep learning and trying new things when I can!

Often you photograph skateboarding, what does photographing skateboarding mean to you?
I like photographs more than video – I used to do a lot more with my SLR and I find myself using my phone primarily now. There’s an interplay with motion, shadows and composition that makes photography very appealing (even though I work with video on my day job) – maybe it’s like the chef who doesn’t want to cook meals at home.

Anyone you’d like to thank?
Well, our whole crew who come from far and wide to Waterdown to skate – it seems like we have people from around here, some from Oakville, Toronto, and the Niagara area. I have a friend I met from north of Quebec City who travels through each year to skate here.