Cameron Joel McEachin Interview

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Skateboarding has it’s fair share of unique people, and Cameron is one of them. He has an amazing ramp in the back of his house, he has built dozens of DIY spots around town, and he’s constantly looking for a new trick to try on spots that most of us would never think were a possibility. For instance; Cam is the first person to believe that a slappy down the curved 78 foot curb in the Oak St parking garage was do-able. Apparently, he had been eyeing it for years. Skating that spot never even crossed my mind until I filmed Cam pull it off for the first time at 2:30 in the morning on a Wednesday. That’s when I knew that Cam is not just some run of the mill type skater that you run into at the park. Cam is a visionary. Here’s the interview.

How old were you when you first started skateboarding and what was your first skateboard?

I would say 3rd grade and my first skateboard was the Lance Mountain with the guys running on it. Matter of fact it’s right there! (points to blue Lance Mountain deck on the wall)

There ya go right there! Is that actually the first board hanging on the wall? 

Yeah

Nice! Who did you first look up to when you started skateboarding?

Pro or just in general? Cause a big part of why I started skating is my cousin Jamie McEachin who lives in Panama city. He was actually really good. It was kinda like having a cooler older brother. See like, I knew what kind of board to buy, what shoes were cool, and I watched him skate man, he killed it. I mean he could ollie over a barrel on flat ground. So, yeah definitely my cousin.

(ABOVE: Cameron skating one of his newest DIY spots)

You’ve been known to be a prominent DIY skate builder in the city of Jacksonville  can you “guesstimate” the number of spots you have built in town?

Maybe 7? It’s more umm.. not necessarily spots its more like any little thing from tearing a fence down, or filling cracks. You know, If I skate a spot thats known and a crack bothers me I’m going to go and fix it, whether I plan to go back or not.

Are you the reason that the Best Choice on Stockton street has a pole jam?

I didn’t bend the pole but I made it to where you can skate to the pole. The ground in front… pieces of cement were gone, I just cemented it so you can ride up to it.

How many obstacles did you build at kooktown?

(counts on his hands)… I’d say about three maybe. Van helped me with one, and Tim Deaton helped with the “bust or bail” rail. I also came with some airplane landing strip patch kit and patched all these crazy cracks. This was right before the end (of kooktown) so there was this black stuff at the end of every obstacle and everything had a ride up that was smooth after that day.


Thats pretty cool, we appreciated that. Shifting gears, so you were the first to slappy that 78 foot parking garage curb in Riverside. How long had you been thinking about trying that one? 

(laughs) Umm, honestly like when I saw that it was painted I wasn’t really skating much at that minute but I was like “hmm.” Then I would just think about it all the time and then I just figured I’d get over it and do it. I don’t know man (laughs) You’re probably going to have to scratch this question

I’m actually curious, so how long ago did they paint it?

It’s been painted maybe (pause) shit, maybe 3 years and I don’t know what it was but it had this screwed up pipe coming up and down it in the middle, and something electrical sticking out but they never completed what it was. Also at the bottom it had all these weird metal screws sticking out. I removed that one night, then came with a hammer and smashed down the bolts that were holding the pipe down (laughs) so yeah

Dang, so you removed all that yourself? 

Yeah, yeah, definitely and just threw it into the bushes.

(ABOVE: This photo was my idea. I really wanted to take a measurement of the curb to see how long it actually was. I guessed it was 45 feet, Cam said 30 (I think). I was shocked when I found out it was 78 feet long)

What types of injuries have you sustained over the years?

Oh crap… ahhh fractured (pauses)… okay, first off from the second grade till way out of high school I didn’t break any bone except from maybe punching this kid in the head (laughs) so I guess I broke my hand doing that. Then in the past 5 years maybe I fractured my left foot, got out of that cast and immediately broke my right wrist and didn’t go to the doctor for it and I kept falling on it and destroying it, then I broke my left wrist and went to the doctor and said “oh, by the way might as well check the other arm while I’m here” and I ended up leaving with two casts (laughs) at the same time yeah. I skated in that. I had to go back two times to get the casts fixed cause they were broke in half (ya know)

From falling?

From falling out skating. So eventually I get the cast off the last hand but the right one they said didn’t heal and it’s not gonna heal. I actually have to have surgery to have a piece of bone that dying taken out of my hand, but I’m just holding that off until it hurts too badly. Also, my right ankle I completely broke and separated from my leg, and I’ve had three surgerys on that and it’s crooked so I’m not even supposed to be skating at all, period. So that’s why I’ve just been trying to get into it and build stuff and help out, and give back to what I loved growing up. Even if a couldn’t really do it, but then when you’re around it you can’t really help yourself but to skate.


You have monster of a backyard ramp, how long has it taken you to get it this far?

(laughs) oh my god, (pauses) okay, the four foot section basically is a quarter pipe I built seven years ago in some carport and they didn’t want it anymore. That been out of the rain it was still good, had pressure traded wood so I though “you know, I think I can fit that into my garage and I’ll just have a little half pipe in my garage.” We couldn’t ever get it to fit so someone said “why don’t you just put it outside and build the other half. He helped pay for that and next thing I know I’m adding more to it. I found a ramp on craigslist for free, I went and got that for the other side of the elbow. Then a construction worker friend of mine says “we have a trailer full of wood” he drops that off and it’s enough to start the ten foot wide section next to the 8 foot wide section (*not pictured) so maybe it’s taken me two years?

That sound like a lot of hard work

Yeah, by yourself too. I moved that craigslist ramp with a dolly with flat tires by myself. I would move it ten feet, then take a break, then move it another ten feet (laughs)

Wow!

Yeah, well when you want it done and no one is around you know you’ll do whatever… and then it sort became like this freaking obsession. It turned into this Frankenstein ramp.

(ABOVE:) I want to go into detail about how gnarly this is. The run up was really rough and he had to duck down just to start rail sliding. He said the hardest thing was not hitting his head. He even had to rig that pipe above his head a few inches for clearance. I’m not even going to mention how sketchy the landing area is. 

Right on! Were getting near the last question so here goes. You used to share the house with Clyde Singleton is there any good/funny stories you want to share with the mag?
aww man, I don’t want to like… (laughs) well (pause) damn, well there is but I don’t want to put him on blast like that (laughs)

That’s a good enough answer right there (laughs) 

I’ll say this… This is kinda funny to me. The dude slept on the couch every night having a bedroom to his self. Not one night did he sleep in his bed. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because he’s been on the road for so long. I don’t know. He was cool as whatever, but that was just one thing that was a bit, odd. (laughs)

One last thing: Is there any shout outs you want to give or anything you want to promote like your “rail club” or anything? 

Rail Club is a joke that’s just been taken far. (laughs) Basically, I think we did parking garage slappy thing five people at once and we came off and I was just like “Rail Club!” It got chanted and it was just a funny thing and it ended up being like… we made this club and you have to have two people sponsor you to apply and it’s the most exclusive club in town.

(laughs) So you must have two members sponsor you to apply 

Just to be in it

That’s hilarious

Yeah, it’s just a joke but it’s like… almost serious now (laughs) that’s how far we’ve taken it.

Shout outs?

I want to give it up for David Lee. Him and a few others did the barn bowl and several things at Nahunta Hotel. He did some of the newer stuff at kook town. He didn’t even have time to skate it. He’d come up there with all the little amount of time he had and build and just barely got to skate it. I also gotta mention Van, Scotty, Naomi and Time Deaton for helping with the ramp and supplies. My “Rail Club” homies, keep cutting heads off. I do enjoy Bro Cam Bro Cam, able Mag, The Block and everyone else in the skateboard scene.

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