Chris, thank you for your support and taking the time to answer a few questions for Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine. Chris you have left your footprint deep in the trail of Florida Skateboarding History, when did it all begin for you, and what drew you to the sport?
I started using a neighbor’s board in 1970, or 1971 and loved it. I haven’t been without a board since then.
Seems like you have always been on a faster learning curve then your contemporaries, whom influenced you the most when you were just a young up and coming skater?
All the Basin skater’s (Peter Andrews, Bruce Mason, Mike Thibault,” Mutt”, Kelly Lynn, Clyde Rodgers, Monty, Lake, Petty, and Walker.
You’ve always ridden your skateboard solid, your style straightforward and focused.
What is at the core of your emotions while attacking the lip with your array of tricks?
What the hell does straightforward and focused mean? Was I supposed to not pay attention? SORRY-Kidding. I always just had fun; learning stuff always kept skating new for me.
I believe the first time I saw you skate was at the Sensation Basin Skate Park in Gainesville Florida. You were floating backside ollies in the pool-bowl, working on your line and I remember thinking to myself, “that guys rad!” What tricks did you perfect at the Sensation Basin?
Everything I could ever do, I could do there, not sure I perfected anything though. The girls were awesome! (One of them became my wife for twenty-one years).
Many skaters don’t realize it, but you invented some skate tricks that are out there today, what are some of the tricks you developed?
Ollie to tail and Ollie to grinder things, lip trick stuff, invert varials to tail, a front side foot plant with the wrong foot, I don’t know. There is a picture in an old Bones Brigade newsletter of a Front side air Foot plant. A lot of guys threw down some cool stuff at the Basin. Stacy Peralta wrote in a Brigade newsletter, that I was doing front and back ollies to tail before he saw anyone else doing them.
When did you first get sponsored and how many have you’ve had over the years?
I was twelve and skated for Bill Murray at Inland Surf, then the Basin, Powell, Walker and Independent continues to flow.
When did you turn PRO and what was your first PRO event?
It was either the Pomona Pipe and Pool event in 1982 when I tied for ninth with Micke Alba, or the first Saint Pete contest, where I placed first.
I saw a picture of you and your son doing skate doubles together and grinding the same coping. I was stoked! What’s it like for you to see your son ripping it up on a skateboard?
He’s getting nasty, does lip-slide entries, front side slide and rolls, big ollies, really long front side tail slides, he kicks my ass.
You used to have a pretty long list of shall we say, “ Chris Baucom Antics” that earned you the title “Rude Boy”. But is that really how you got that name?
Yeah. I was punk, but a lot of the stories are just shit. I saw an interview of Chris Miller where he said he saw me throw a TV in a pool..never happened..some funny (mostly harmless) stuff went down. But you can’t believe everything. Ok, maybe it did go in.
How has becoming a father changed you as an individual?
I assume the same as most. All of a sudden you have others depending on you, can’t be an idiot anymore. I had to grow up fast. I couldn’t be any happier with the way both my kids have turned out. Daughters almost twenty and the boy is eighteen, never any trouble, both in college, both got academic scholarships, good people.
I remember standing on the lip of the half-pipe during a contest at KONA, and hearing the California guys asking each other whom you were. They were as impressed then as people are today who witness your skating. How often are you able to get on your board today?
Once or twice a week, but I’m sure no one’s impressed.
Are you going to continue to skate in the “Masters” events around the state?
I got first in my last one at the SPOT. I’m done.
When I get a chance to skate with my old friends I don’t want to have to think about learning a line or skating when it’s my turn or at a certain time. I just think contests SUCK! How about just a party? Skate all weekend whenever you want?
What’s in the skateboarding future of a famous shredder like Chris Baucom?
Skating with my boy and my friends as long as I can.
Any last remarks to those persons that helped you become whom you are today, or to the young skaters out there reading this?
Thanks for all the good times to all those that sessioned with me throughout the years.