Hermosa Beach’s Chris Russell jumped on his skateboard for the Red Bull WallRide skateboard competition in Venice Beach last Saturday to put on a show. He was part of the pro-am competition that was held and had top billing as one of Red Bull’s athletes.
Russell, who was one of the elite participants invited, is one of the rising stars of transition skateboarding and grew up honing his skills in the local neighborhoods.
When is was all over, Russell spent time to talk about the event and growing up in Hermosa Beach.
“It was really rad,” said Russell of the WallRide. “It was cool because it was like an ode to the 80’s and the contests they use to have. The turnout was amazing, skaters from all over southern California were there. It brought us all together and it was really cool.”
Asked what made the event unique, Russell said, “The fact that it is right in Venice Beach which is so iconic for skateboarding. They haven’t had an event like that since the 80’s, so it was really cool to bring it back.”
The fact that Venice has ties to the sport made it special.
“It embodied what skateboarding is. Bringing people together of all ages together is what skateboarding stands for.”
His favorite part of the day was “watching Pedro Barros skate and all of my friends get stoked off of each other was awesome. The level of skating was really high and everyone was just having fun.”
He made it to the top-12 in the competition and talked about competing.
“Trying to have fun and not overthink it. I was getting really high on the wall which was really fun. Everyone that was in the finals was killing it.”
As for skateboarding itself, Russell was asked when he first started.
“I started skateboarding when I was five years old, my family always had a skateboard lying around the house. But what really did it for me was when we did a family trip up to Washington when I was eight years old and I saw what the skateparks looked like up there. From that day on I was hooked on it.”
Russell attended Hermosa View and Hermosa Valley Schools and then was homeschooled after that.
His favorite skateboard spot locally is in Hermosa Beach.
“I grew up skateboarding at the Hermosa Beach Skate Park on Pier Ave so that has to be my favorite.”
At some point he decided he wanted to do it for a living.
“The day I picked up skateboarding when I was eight years old I knew that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
He trains all the time on his profession.
“Seven days a week I am on my board,” Russell said.
Now that he is a professional, he talked about his life now.
“Life is about as perfect as it can get. I get to see the world and experience different cultures through skateboarding. The community aspect of being a pro skater and getting to see so much from such a young age is the most amazing part about it.”
As for Hermosa Beach, he visits often.
“I go back a lot to see family and friends. I love skating all over Hermosa Beach.”
For more information on the competition, visit: redbull.com/us-en/events/wallride.