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Experiencing the fish with Fitz

March 15, 2016

Experiencing the fish with Fitz

Fitz Illingworth has been skating for OMEN Longboards for a while now and he has been progressing his skating and conquering new roads and working hard to round out his skating skills. He recently went to a famous road in the Greater Las Angeles area and we stopped him from his hectic life in order to see what the young gun had to say!

(n8) Fitz, how has it been since the last time we talked? What new adventures have you been up to?

(fitz) Yoooo! Whatsup? Stoked to be back! So yeah, it's been a couple months since that last interview. Honestly I've been mostly chillen in So-Cal. It's been raining quite a bit here so that stops us from skating, because you know people from So-Cal are allergic to skating in the rain. But other than that I've been trying to skate as much as I can. I recently got into street skating so I've been doing that a lot more when we can't make trips out to skate some gnarly stuff or my friends are working. I've also started a new YouTube channel called StayStokedFilms to document my life and not be held back to just skating. Obviously one of the perks of living in Southern California is being so close to some of the most iconic and gnarly hills California has to offer so when we can, we will make weekend trips up to some So-Cal Classics.

Toeside picture of Fitz taken by Hunter Johnson.

(n8) I recently saw that you did some domestic traveling and got to skate the famous one-way. How was that? Was the road gnarlier than you expected? Pavement, steepness, corners, cliffs?

(fitz) Yeah! Me and some homies try to head up to the Booboo to skate the fish a lot more now. Going for the first time was a pretty surreal experience. I was going with some friends who had never been there either so I had no idea what to expect. Looking at videos was the only preparation I had. Once we got there we dropped in with no idea of what to expect. I quickly realized that videos do the hill no justice. The pavement is a lot grittier and rougher than it looks in videos. The top section is a chillen 35-40 mph cruise section that's all grip but when you get to the parts you have to grip it really gets hairy. Most of the the corners have sheer 40 ft cliffs. It definitely wasn't what I expected.

(n8) What was your first run like? Did you slide every chance that you got?

(fitz) I can honestly say that my first run down was terrifying. Every corner was a mystery and I had no idea what was after it. I was sliding everywhere I could trying not to fly off a cliff or slide into a concrete barrier. After three runs down my legs were dead and I still wasn't very comfortable on the hill. My wheels were destroyed and I was done. We all called it a day and left to come skate it another day.

The mystical Sugar, slay-blade of choice for Fitz Illingworth.

(n8) What was your setup for a run like that? Did you change anything on your ride?

(fitz) I was riding my classic setup. An OMEN Sugar, 44 degree Caliber ll's, and Free Wheel Co Agents. I didn't really change anything on my setup, I just needed to get more comfortable on the hill.

(n8) How many runs did you get down the hill before you filmed it? Did you get down the road the way you wanted to? What would you change the next time you go back?

(fitz) I think it was after a couple visits to the fish before I even considered filming it. I didn't get comfortable on it enough until after going there around 3 times with about 3-4 runs every time we went. I warmed up with 2 runs before filming that day to get a feel for the hill first. I think I could've gotten a better run down but unfortunately on the fastest straight a car got in front of us causing me to air break a ton and just to my luck the sun came out while going down that part of the hill and the camera got super over exposed! Hopefully next time I get the chance to film a run again I can take it a bit faster and hopefully nothing goes wrong with any cars or the camera. But overall I was pretty stoked with the run!

Socal Style as Fitz skurts his way in front of photographer Benjamin Solano.

(n8) Has skating this hill changed your ideas about downhill? How has it changed the hills that you want to skate?

(fitz) Forsure, the one-way is definitely an eye opener and really humbles your skating. I have major respect for the dudes who haul ass down that hill. I never realized how many people actually skate that hill and how often they do. Every time we go there are at least 5 other dudes skating it. This one time it was a group of at least 30 homies and it was insane! Hopefully in the future I will get to skate other hills around it and in the Booboo. After finally skating the fish I definitely want to get more comfortable on it and eventually skate gnarlier stuff and progress my skating.

(n8) What is next on the agenda for your skating?

(fitz) Right now I am trying to finish off my senior year and graduate! Over the summer I definitely want to progress my skating a lot more and grow my StayStokedFilms channel and just spread some stoke to whoever I can! If you guys want to follow my adventures and keep up to date follow @staystokedfilms and my personal Instagram @fitz_cvlb. My main focus is to progress and meet as many people as I can and definitely travel as much as possible!

(n8) Where are you headed? What events do you plan to attend throughout the summer?

(fitz) As soon as I graduate, I am going to head to Seattle and go on tour with all the OMEN homies in the #mobileruckus One of the events I am looking forward to the most is Giants Head Freeride and any of the Maryhill events because I have never skated Maryhill before. Any new hill I skate and place I visit will make me happy and stoke me out! So I am really looking forward to the Summer and the adventures and experiences it will bring. Thanks to anyone who has supported me and done anything to help me out! Peace out!

Photo by Benjamin Solano.