We're excited to announce that Spencer Hamilton, legendary Canadian skateboarder, has joined the Wize Collective. To get to know him a bit better, co-founder Max sat down with him and chatted all things going on in his world... Enjoy!
Where are you from and where are you living now?
I grew up in Ottawa and moved out to Vancouver when I was 16, so I definitely consider Vancouver my home. Sometimes I like to play both sides and hang onto my eastern roots and say I can tough out a cold winter, haha.
How did you discover your talent? What got you started?
I lived near the University in Ottawa and was exposed to lots of young kids and young families and within that there were a lot of skateboarders. My older brother was also someone who showed me how fun skateboarding could be.
Who was your biggest inspiration?
It's hard to nail it down to one person because there was so many good influences coming out of Ottawa, for example like Rick McCrank, Tony Ferguson, Joe Buffalo, and Wade Desarmo to name a few. I'd also like to say that my older brother was definitely a big inspiration for me cuz he was better at skating than I was growing up
What makes you keep innovating and pushing your skills to new heights? What’s the intrinsic driver or motivation?
Part of it is the instant gratification of being outside with your friends and just hanging out. The other part of it is the delayed gratification of landing the trick that you had in mind and that you've been trying to nail for a while but haven't been able to yet. I'm just always trying to improve my skills, my flexibility, and mobility because it'll help me progress and enjoy skating that much more.
So far, what has been your favourite highlight of your career? An achievement? A collaboration?
There isn't a specific one thing that I'd say is a favorite highlight, but that feeling of getting your first paycheck, knowing that you don't have to go get a job and instead you can do what you love is obviously a big milestone. All of the other things like getting your first pro deck, pro truck, pro shoes etc are all really cool additions to your career and it's something that I never thought I would achieve when I was a kid growing up in Ottawa.
In regards to your career, where do you want to be in 10 years?
That's a good question actually, I wish I had a better answer. I've been focusing on skating for the last couple decades that I haven't really put much thought into in terms of where that goes after. I have lots of passions and hobbies and I'm not sure if there's a particular one that I want to pursue, or if I even want to keep working in skateboarding when the time comes to make a shift, so we'll see where I go in time.
In terms of healthy habits, what are your thoughts on the current beverage options out there?
Everything out there I find is either really highly caffeinated or really sweetened, and that’s why I like what you’re doing with Wize because it fits in this nice gap. I think the fact that it’s low sugar and low caffeine really reduces the barrier for people to try it. I never liked energy drinks because they just taste really artificial and it's something that I was never drawn to. There will always be a certain amount of people that want those kinds of products, but it's not necessarily something that I'm interested in and I think most people concerned with their health and longevity would agree with that.
The action sports world has always looked at self-care like stretching as being "weird" or "weak". Are there specific healthy habits that young athletes can incorporate in their routine that would make a drastic difference that they're overlooking?
Yoga for me was a big realization. At first it was really intimidating but like all adversity, it typically takes you outside your comfort zone and that means you can grow as a person. There's this stigma about yoga being weird but it really helps you become more flexible and resilient. When you get injured and have down days, you start looking at new ways to recover. Some people unfortunately fall into the spiral of drinking or just assuming that their body will heal, but when you start reaching 30 years old, you notice that you don't bounce back as quickly. You wake up with a bunch of scrapes and bruises and you feel like you got hit by a truck, so now I'm working on lots of preemptive exercise and stretching.
How does Wize fit into your current lifestyle?
I typically drink it midday. I'll have a morning coffee and then after that, for example if I'm going skating, I'll take a couple cans with me and head to the plaza. I like that it's just one gram of sugar because one gram is kind of nice, you don't need 35 g like in other drinks. A little bit of sugar doesn't hurt. The other ones out there are basically syrups and could be considered a concentrate by comparison, or they have stevia and just taste like garbage. Even kombuchas have lots of sugar.
I'm also not against caffeine; I like having a warm cup of coffee in the morning, but then after, I like to have something more subtle like Wize because other things like energy drinks just give you the jitters. Sometimes you see the Red Bull girls come to the Plaza to hand out cans and there’s usually half of the people there are stoked and the other half, myself included, are like: “I don’t want anything to do with this.”
I gotta come down there and bring some cases of Wize to share with everyone.. I don’t have a street skate anymore so I’ll dig one up and rip around for a bit.
Just take it slow man, no need to get injuries at this age haha.
What’s your favourite flavour?
I think it would have to be Mango. I really like Grapefruit and Lemon too, but there’s something about Mango that just tastes really nice and even the look of the fruit on the can is really desirable.
What are the next projects coming down the pipeline?
I've almost finished my new video part. I'm going to Texas in the beginning of March so hopefully I can finish it before then, but if not, I'll have to finish it when I get back after quarantine, so there might be a delay and the film will launch in April. We'll see.
Thanks for the interview, Spencer! Where can our audience find out more about you?
My Instagram: @SpencerHamilton