Switch Heelflip Photo: Brendan Klein
“The first time I met Jake, was at a shop meeting at Active Burbank. He was a little bit late as usual, but he had a gold patterned L.A. hat. I knew we'd probably be friends. This guy has a natural talent for skating, and comedy. My stomach usually hurts from laughing when I'm with him, well that's when I'm not sitting in traffic to pick him up or drop him off everyday.” – Daniel Haney
Daniel Haney: Okay, so how do I start this thing?
Jacob Van Orden: I don't know.. I've never done one of these things have you?
No, not really. Well lets start with your name.
Jacob Paul Van Orden.
Where are you from?
I'm from a little place called Tennessee. (Laughs) Naw, but I grew up in Glendale, Ca. Pretty cool.
So how is Glendale these days?
It's alright ya know, I stop by every now and again. I left nearly a year ago. Its harsh, bad police. Nice little town but you know, the people are a little bit grumpy and the cops suck, but other than that its cool.
So, how do you feel being the first person to have an interview in this new format on the site, photos and a video part?
It's a little weird ya know, I don't know what to expect, but I roll with the punches you know. (laughs)
How did you get on Active in the first place?
Well my friend Joe and Fugaz skated for the San Dimas shop, and then I skated for that one a little bit, and then: it took me a while actually, it was alright though, then they opened a Burbank one, and I got on that one, and now I work there. Its nice, nice little family we got goin' over there.
How long have you been skating?
I'd say about a decade. Yeah ten years, quit for a couple, cuz you know I had a nice little job ya know, so I took a little break, but I started back up, its nice, I love skating.
Who do you think is the most underrated in skateboarding right now?
Underrated: I'd probably say Danny Supa. That guy puts it down man. Ripper, East Coast ripper.
For sure, his nollie half cab heel over the guard rail into that South Pas bank, or is it Highland Park?
Yeah, that South Pas hip, nollie 180 heel over the railing there, into the harshest bank possible. Amazing.
That's so good.
Really good actually.
What would your dream session be? A nice session at Glendale High, all day?
Glendale High, my landlord George, Brian Lotti, Chopak, uh.. I don't know, maybe Alf over there.. Sounds about right. I don't know, maybe Penny, Tom Penny, all the G-dale and SAC homies. That would be cool. Maybe if I could actually land a couple of tricks, that would be a dream.
So when was the last time you were at the Cha Cha (Lounge) ?
Oh, about 4 days ago. Nice little night on the town.
I heard you are the #1 patron there.
What does that mean?
It means you're the most valued customer.
(laughs) Oh. Yeah, sometimes they roll the red carpet out for me.
How do you like living in Hollywood, do you plan on staying there?
Yeah Los Feliz area, its alright, it's ok. I like it actually. The building I live in is pretty casual.. the landlord is pretty nice. He lets me pay my rent towards, you know.. the end of the month basically, or whenever I have the money.
Day 23 usually right?
Yeah. Day 18, no money yet, where'd it all go? Um, yeah, I gotta buy those Swiss Bearings, gotta keep my setup proper, I like it though, good neighbors, nice little setup downstairs with a punching bag. Give that thing a whirl sometimes.
I heard you were getting shoes from Emerica for a while, but they told you you were too old, so they stopped. 23, is too old?
Naw, I got like, a homie hook through a homie. It's a Ned Casual sponser, casually hooking me up with shoes, I get a pair a year, it's pretty good though, I make em' last, skate every day.
Whatsup with that how, if your 23, or 24 or whatever, you're too old?
I don't know man, there's a lot of kids ripping these days. In the 90's there was a bunch of guys who were just skating to skate, but now its starting to get into this like, crazy beast form of skating where these kids are like athletes, and all pumped up like Sheckler, that kids a ripper. But those kids man, they are really ripping, that's whats going on you know. 24. Nope. Not gonna cut it.
The videos they (kids) grew up on now are so much different than the ones we watched.
Like we watched videos that had style and some hammers, but was mostly about skatings fun and like, skatings cool. Now, its just like who can throw themselves down the biggest set of stairs.
Lot of lines, you know, everybody was going fast. These days:.
Single trick hammers.
They like plan out like where they're gonna go, you gotta go when the heats low. You know, you have some spots where you can only go and get one trick before you get the boot. And theres other spots, that are good, that you've grown up with, that you know the certain days you can skate. Those are the good times man.
Yeah, skating back then, seemed like it was almost, more pure or something.
Yeah, especially like, when we were kids. Cuz like, when I was a kid growing up, 90's, skating was like, there was no problem with skateboarding, I would go skate the school I went to after school you know, and they didn't care. Nowadays its like, if you're seen skating down the street in front of a school, you might get pulled over or something, get hassled. It sucks. It's unfair how they treat us.
Well, I think that question kinds of leads into what's wrong with skateboarding now in 2007?
Theres some things wrong. You know, just like.. the simple fact that like, yeah lets say not so many people go out and have fun sessions, there's always a camera around. Gas money, it's a little expensive these days for skateboarders. What happened to just taking the good old train down to downtown, and just skating all over the place? That's fun man, that's really fun, but.. you know that, if you are hooked up or whatever, you do have to get some footage, but that's cool. Seems like it works better when you just come across a spot, and film a trick, and that's cool to, it feels a little bit better instead of an agenda, but if there is an agenda or whatever, you go, and you put it down. Other than that, I mean its cool, its really blown up. You've got skateparks opening everywhere, even though the real spots are in the street, and its cool to see pedestrians appreciating it, you know, cuz they see it on tv, and see that some good is coming out of it. They think we're a bunch of trouble makers, that we're out breaking windows and stuff for some reason.
So what's good with skateboarding?
I really like seeing the progression of it over the years, like cuz I mean, when I was growing up, watching videos like Second Hand Smoke, and all those old Plan B videos, they were killing ledges and tricks down hubbas that I still haven't seen done today. Now kids throw themselves down the biggest thing possible, I appreciate the fact that they can even be alive at the end of that. People just need to be a little more relaxed about the whole thing, like just relax and have fun. Try skating to spots, don't just get in the car and drive.
I think that's whats cool about your style, you can see in your style that you're down to skate anything. You have a wide variety of spots in your part.
I really like to skate everything, I wish I could skate vert, just looking at it, its just flowing back and forth.
So I think its time to end this thing. Why don't you list off your sponsors.
Active, keep it real man, they're amazing, they're a good family. It's like going home to mom and pop when you go to work. I got Cathedral Skateboards, good wood, crisp, nice guys. The Elias Fashion Project, good clothing, nice and soft, keeps me warm.
Thanks a lot Jake.
“Once upon a time, there was a boy who never wanted to grow up.” – Irene Magnie
“I have nothing good to say about the guy. He makes my life miserable. But ya know I do live with him: Switch heels like a mother f+++++r ! !”- Ned Casual
“ Jake's the kinda guy who puts 110% into whatever he loves.” – Anthony Samaniego