Welcome back to Hang 10 with Birdie, where we catch up with friends Birdwell has made along the way, in and out of the water. Just in time for his birthday (tomorrow), this edition comes from Birdwell Creative Director, street skating innovator, and all-around good time Natas Kaupas. Growing up in South Santa Monica’s rough Dogtown in the wake of the mythologized Z-Boys, Natas won his first skateboard in a local surf competition and became a fixture of the beachfront scene. His loose, surf-inspired style caught the attention of now-legendary skate photographer Craig Stecyk, who snapped an eye-popping shot that found its way to the cover of Thrasher Magazine. As Natas pushed the sport into uncharted territory with newfound friends like Mark Gonzales, he also pursued his creative agenda — designing the first pro model skate shoe, then his own boards, and eventually leading a number of influential skate and surf brands as a designer and creative director. Needless to say, we’re happy he’s here.
1) What's your super power?
- All of my powers are regular powers occasionally pushed to the limit.
2) Where are you as you answer these questions?
- My home town, Santa Monica.
3) If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your days, which one would it be?
- The Clash, Sandanista- it’s kind of a two for one.
4) Favorite book?
- Blank sketchbook
5) What posters did you have on your walls when you were growing up?
- “Heavy Metal” the movie poster, and a drawing of Saturn that had a string pinned to it, I used to run the string across the room, thread a straw over it, and tape a balloon to the straw, inflate the balloon and send it to Saturn.
6) What’s your favorite word, or one you use all the time?
- I use "fudge cracker" as a curse word, i would hate to offend anyone near by just because i was frustrated for a moment.
7) The current background image on your phone?
- My 2 year old, naked in a lagoon.
8) Best compliment you ever received?
- “oh wait, you’re that Natas?”, deep into a meeting not about skateboarding.
9) Longboard or short board?
- Short board is my first choice, but I’m not too picky.
10) Coolest animal you’ve bumped into out in the water?
- Whales are always amazing and seem like something important happened when you see one. One time I got to watch an otter munch an urchin in the line up, while flicking away seagulls with it’s hind flippers, that was rad.