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For most observers, Chris Joslin emerged on the scene fully formed in his opening part for Plan B's 2014 full length video True. With that part, Joslin went from a complete unknown straight to the top of the list of big stunt skaters.
But did he really come from out of nowhere?

While Chris is undoubtedly blessed with a Davis-gap-sized amount of natural talent, like most young skaters he had to hone his skills at a local park , started at the ground level with a couple shop sponsors , and filmed tricks with a crew of older skaters who took him under their wing .
And one of the biggest steps in legitimacy and support came from a company that is still by his side,
Bones Wheels.

Chris Joslin CCS
All photos by Ilja Maran 2011-2013.

Chris took a moment out of his routine of family time and simultaneously training and competing for a spot on the US Olympic team to talk with CCS about his earliest video parts. We reminisced about filming the independent Ground Control video with his local crew (many of whom are now professional skaters as well), visiting the Berrics as part of the Younited Nations contest, and his pre-Plan B breakout in Bones' New Ground video.

CCS: How old were you when you first started getting Bones products?

Chris: I was about 13 when I first started getting flowed Bones wheels through Powell.

Young Chris Joslin

CCS: Your earliest complete skate part is in the 2012 indy video Ground Control. When did you start filming in the streets with the Ground Control crew and Ilja Maran?

Chris: Oh man, filming for Ground Control was one of the best times in my upbringing. Those dudes really took me under their wing and took me to every famous spot there was. I remember it was right when iPhones came around and Ilja actually had a journal full of spots with the addresses written in pen. It was so sick!! A true die hard skate rat and amazing filmer!

CCS: What was it like joining a crew that was already established and a little older? You still talk to any of those guys?

Chris: I still talk to (Blind rider) Mike Piwowar pretty often, we just skated that contest at the Berrics together and we’re just as good of friends now as we were then, actually even better cause we can relate more about adulthood where as before I was probably so annoying as a 14-year-old asking him to buy me beer and cigs sometimes. Haha.
He was always cool about it though and would respectfully just be like, “I don’t think I’m the guy that should be buying that stuff for you if anyone should.” I always respected that about him for looking out for me in that sense. Although I just found others to buy it but at least he showed he actually cared about my well being. Haha.
Steven Ban, Alex Miranda, Roy Foner, Jason Park, Joshua Abernathy, Mikey Leon and all the other homies that were in the vid kinda went their own way but we still chop it up on social media or I’ll see some of them randomly at Cerritos when I go once a year now. Which sucks but, man, life got so busy with contests and having a family that it’s hard to just go and shoot the shit with your homies when you know you could be being more productive. I think after this contest season I'ma try and link up with those dudes more often.

Chris Joslin Bones Powell

We we're also able to speak with Ground Control creator Ilja Maran about his time with young Joslin...

Ilja: Chris was always so successful on every filming mission, usually landing HUGE tricks in 5 tries or less. So before long it was pretty obvious he would have last part. It wasn’t even a matter of who would end the video with the biggest trick. It was always just Chris with a heavy ender that he would keep out-doing.
One of my favorite clips with Chris is obviously the ender at House of Drops. We went to shoot the tre-flip late one day and he stuck every try for almost 30 minutes but it got too dark before he could get the rollaway. We went back the following weekend and he was NOT getting close at all. Then, magically, after 5 or 6 tries he rolls away from the first stick. It was unbelievably easy for him. He seemed so non-chalant about the massive tre so I thought, "Why not keep going?"
I think I said “I got you on lunch if you switch frontside flip it”. And again, of course, he flips a few not close at all. Then BOOM perfect catch, perfect stomp. Rolls away after the first stick. That was honestly the most stoked I’ve ever been on filming a clip and probably ever will be. Not only was it the ender of the video it was a HUGE surprise to everyone who was at the premiere. Everyone assumed the tre-flip was the ender of the video because the whole crew knew he tried it but the switch frontside flip was our secret surprise.

 


CCS: Can you talk about winning Younited Nations 3 contest with Ground Control crew and skating the Berrics for a week as the grand prize?

Chris: Ground Control winning Younited Nations and skating the Berrics with the whole squad was so tight! When there’s that many homies on a sesh you're bound to have a great time!


In 2013, Bones Wheels released its full-length video New Ground, featuring a line-up of over 20 heavy hitters. Even with just a minute of footage from deep within a shared montage section 21 minutes into the video, Joslin's talent was obvious to anybody paying attention. Check out the raw footage at the top of this post.

CCS: Did you know what the end product would be while filming for New Ground? Was that your first ‘mainstream’ video footage out there?

Chris: Yes, New Ground was the first, like, mainstream video I ever had footage in. Kinda crazy that it was “Ground Control” and then “New Ground” back to back like that. I wonder what that means. Haha.

CCS: That no-comply tailslide line in New Ground… Not typical footage for you, or was it for the time?

 

Chris: The no-comply tailslide line was pretty normal at the time because I was doing that trick a lot at Cerritos skatepark and, yes, I’m kinda known as 'the guy that skates gaps' but I love every aspect of skating and have always tried to learn new tricks and broaden my repertoire for situations when you come across spots like that. Makes it a little easier to film parts too because you have options rather than having to skate specific rails for a certain trick or a specific size gap cause your only so comfortable with the trick, ya know?


Chris Joslin

Following New Ground, Chris would drop a part for Etnies in 2014 just months before changing the game in Tru. He turned pro for Plan B in 2015 and has since released multiple skate parts, won ESPN's Real Street contest in 2016, was a SOTY finalist and BATB runner-up in 2018, and was voted ESPN's Fan Favorite in 2019. He is a member of the USA Skateboarding Team and is currently ranked 3rd in the nation.
Throughout all of this... his entire career... nearly half of his life... Chris has been supported by Bones.

CCS: Anything else?

Chris: Thank you to everyone at Bones Wheels for letting my rep the best wheel company of all time for all these years!! Love you guys!


Check out all the Bones Wheels gear (including Chris' signature wheel when it isn't sold out) at CCS.com. Big thanks to Chris, Ilja, and Bones.

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