Ambush with Johnny Purcell

Johnny purcell portrait 02 ryan lebel
Photo: Ryan Lebel

What are you learning and how far along are you in your studies?

I'm studying Commerce and Computer Science. I have about three years to go in my degree.

Nice, I love to see my boys getting smart. You being a hot up-and-coming AM, I can only imagine how torn you might be between your potential skateboarding career and your aspirations as a business professional. How do you manage your skate time vs. your studies?

Thanks man. There's a misconception that you can't go to university and skate at the same time, which I was nervous about at first. But I quickly realized that's not true. As long as you allocate your time efficiently, you can pretty much do whatever the fuck you want, and you get to learn some cool shit at the same time. As far as a "career" in the physical act of skateboarding is concerned, I've realized and come to terms with the fact that it won’t happen. I don't mean to sound bitter or negative when I say that, I still love skateboarding and want to continue to be a part of the industry as long as possible, but I'm realistic with what that will result in.

What would you do if you were asked to be part of the Canadian Olympic team for 2020?

(Laughs) Sign me up! What better way to pledge utter allegiance to your country than landing bolts? As long as the Russians are doing the drug testing, skateboarding will do just fine in the Olympics.

Who else would you put on the team? Five men, five women, and one coach.

Coach: Robert Sluggo Boyce. Men's team: Micky Papa, PLG, Robert Sluggo Boyce, Kyle Macdonald, and Chris Melvin. Women's team: no idea.

I'm not worried about our women's team. We have a lot of strong female skateboarders in Canada, once we lock 'em down and put them under Sluggo's wing, we'll be on the road to gold. Not sure about Kyle Macdonald though. If you had to live your life over again, what one thing would you change?

Save yourself the fear: wear a rubber.

Johnny purcell fs 180 nathan ethier myette
FS 180 - Photo: Nathan Ethier-Myette

I bet you’ll be singing a different tune when you’re on your deathbed. What advice do you have for younger skaters trying to come up on instagram?

Selfies, selfies, selfies. It's not about the place you're at or the activity you're doing, it's all about the photo/video of yourself to show you were there. At the Adidas video premiere? Go snag a quick selfie with Dennis and be sure to @ him so everyone knows that "he's the good homie." It's 2016 and the only way to the top is viral glory.

Johnny, King Shit has a monthly readership of 100,000, is that really the best you can come up with?

100,000? No chance. Why do you think we're talking about a social media application in a print interview? My only other advice would be to almost get hit by a car. People love clips of people almost getting hit by cars.

You like violence eh? Is that why you assaulted Pat Duffy?

Due to ongoing legal matters, I cannot comment on this topic.

Okay. Aside from your penchant for assaulting skateboarding legends, what would you say is your greatest weakness?

Basic human nature, post 2am.

Are you referring to your alcoholism?

Drunken sexual conquests as a result of alcoholism.

Thanks Johnny. What are your long-range objectives? Where do you see yourself in five years–within skateboarding and/or professionally?

Ideally, be finished school, financially independent, reaping the rewards of the first Canadian Olympic gold medal in skateboarding alongside my fellow countrymen, and on my way to corporate domination.

Are you drunk?


Johnny purcell bs smith grind nathan ethier myette
BS Smith Grind - Photo: Nathan Ethier-Myette
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