Chris Russell is part of the next generation of rule-breaking transition skaters. He doesn’t follow any formula, but rather charts his own path and makes his own style. You’ll find him scoring big at bowl and transition contests and making headlines for his progressively radical video parts.
Man Bear Child
Chris Russell was born into skateboard culture, a product of Hermosa Beach, California. But it was actually in Seattle, on a road trip through the north-west with his parents and his younger sister when he was about seven, that he first discovered skateboarding.
“I’d never seen huge skate parks before, and then I saw the parks in Seattle and they were these amazing pieces of concrete,” he says. “That opened my eyes to a bigger world.”
He grew up playing soccer and basketball, but by age 10 he gave up his other sports to pursue his passion for skateboarding. His dad even started to learn to skateboard alongside him (“It was real father and son bonding,” Chris says). But after a couple of broken wrists, Chris’s dad was relegated to the sidelines.
Chris started entering skate contests around age 10 and did his first big transition contest, the Oregon Trifecta, against much older skaters soon after. Plus, he’d film with his friends in nearby skate parks.
By his teenage years, he was travelling around the US and the occasional international trip for skate contests, so by his freshman year of high school, he switched to online school so he could travel and study at his own pace.
A world of opportunities soon began to open up for him. “I’ve been to Europe and South America,” says Chris, who hopes to learn Portuguese thanks to all of his travels to Brazil.
Smile on his face
Chris took the transition contest scene by storm, with top spots at contests like the Copenhagen Bowl, the Van Doren Invitational, Vans Combi Pool Party, Bowl-a-Rama Bondi, and others.
“I love skating so much and I’ve wanted this so bad,” Chris says. “It’s all fallen into place for me.”
In between his busy contest schedule, he’s at work putting out headline-worthy video parts, like 2015’s Halloweekend Massacre and American Psycho and 2013’s The Hype Train. His American Psycho part led Thrasher magazine to call him a “teenage wrecking ball.”
At home in Hermosa Beach, Chris loves to surf, go on adventures, and eat good food. But mainly, you’ll find him on his skateboard, doing what he does best.
“I’ve put my all into it and it’s all worked out,” Chris says. “I’m here, skating and living life with a smile on my face.”