Corbin Harris isn’t afraid to skate the weird shit. The ex-rugby player shreds grubby drainage ditches, sketchy pools, and the occasional abandoned waterpark with a scrappy, hard charging style. Corbin’s day job still consists of skating for Flip, Nike, and Red Bull. In recent years, he’s taken up sportscasting for skate competitions and producing. We caught up with him at the end of a
busy summer and grilled him about his mixed history with New York.
What brought you to New York?
My dream was to skateboard and continue doing television, and that’s eventuated into a lot bigger things. Producing, skateboarding. Going down that same track.
When was that?
I first arrived in two thousand and five. Ten years ago.
Why NYC instead of LA?
New York City to me in 2005 was the greatest city in the world. Coming from Sydney, it had the most opportunities of anywhere. All the leaders in fashion were here, a lot of the cooler skateboarders were here. Mark Gonzales, Todd Jordan. Those guys hung out with different, creative types of people. New York opened my eyes to something much bigger than the industry.
Who were you skating with back then?
I ended up skating with a guy who passed away, Andy Kessler, a skateboarding legend in New York. He was always trying to build the next skatepark, always at the art shows supporting everyone. He was one of the older generation skateboarders when I first came here.
What’s different about skating in New York, versus the rest of the world?
In New York you’re always confronted with so many different things whether it be people, trucks, cars, taxis beeping at you every second, people who don’t really care. The danger element’s there. Like, we’re out at like seven thirty, eight in the morning and it’s still thrilling because you could get hit by a car any moment and end up in hospital.
What about the vibes?
It’s one of those cities where people are so tough, they’ll walk in front of you on the skateboard. Any other city in the world, they’ll freak out when they hear the wheels coming. Here it’s like they don’t hear anything because they’re so used to all the loud noises and everything that goes on in a place this big.
Where do you drink when you’re in town?
Southside. Only on Thursdays.
Say it’s a Thursday at Southside. What are you drinking?
Vodka dry or cafe patron.
And the hangover?
Drink water through the night. Eat Mexican food the next day.
Mexican is a staple hangover food. Got any weird superstitions about skating in competitions?
Never walk under a ladder, never put new shoes on a table, and no hats on beds.
That’s weird, but respect. Real talk for a second: now that you’ve broadened your scope into sportscasting and producing, you feel like you’re on the job when you come to NYC?
There’s definitely work opportunities. My management company is based out of here, so it’s still a work space for me, but you can definitely get lost. I always feel like I’m here on a holiday and just get immersed in everything that’s happening. In ten days you always wanna get the hell out of here.
All right let’s end on a feel good question. Do you remember your first skateboard?
It was a Lance Mountain board. I still love that thing.