I think it’s almost impossible to be on Instagram and not knowing who is Frostie, but for those who don’t know, please introduce yourself, tell us a little about you, where you come from, what’s your daily routine…
A bit about me… I live in London, England, I’m in my thirties and I started skateboarding when I was 8… Not that I ever improved much!
My daily routine is pretty humdrum… Start very early, have a damned fine cup of coffee and then commence work. I usually work at home for a little time each day and travel into office later for meetings. Then lunch and finally home, where evenings tend to comprise seeing friends, watching movies, spending time online/playing video games or fingerboarding of course!
Where does the “Frostie” nickname come from?
It’s not very creative sadly. My surname is Frost, and hence have always been nicknamed Frostie since I was young.
Your Instagram biography says you’ve been “Instagramming fingerboard art” since 2014. Did you discovered fingerboard at that time or was before 2014?
Before 2014… The biography date just refers to when I started posting fingerboard art. We (my other half and I) had a few professional setups before then, and in fact, she started her account before me solely for the purpose of following a few deck manufacturers. When I saw the breadth of fingerboarding on Instagram, I was totally blown away and asked her to set an account up for me.
What people may find interesting is that I never really imagined I’d have more than a few followers/following connections, so it still surprises me that pictures get so many likes. We do put thought and effort into our setups/photography, but the level of response is still a little overwhelming. Hugely appreciated, but a little overwhelming nonetheless.
How did you discovered fingerboarding?
When I saw an old Powell Peralta video as a kid… Lance Mountain (I think) had a homemade fingerboard which he tried a few tricks on. We all tried to make our own as soon as we’d watched it, with admittedly mixed results!
Not too long afterwards (from recollection, the Bones video had already been out for a couple of years when I saw it for the first time) TechDeck appeared and suddenly, fingerboarding was a lot more fun.
That was 25+ years ago now, but what’s crazy is that in that time, fingerboard technology, style, tricks and overall ethos has evolved so much. Blackriver have done such a lot to improve, develop, refine and lead innovation since my first decks.
What was your first setup?
Homemade in craft class at school… Think it may be at my mom’s house… Somewhere!
And the current one?
I rotate between 3. FF G15, Woob RLX and BeastPants (domesticated).
In the 7 years I’ve been into fingerboarding, I’ve seen fingerboard paints, fingerboard songs, and even fingerboard poems, but I had never seen before the “fingerboard art” term. What is “fingerboard art” to you?
Something that’s been made by hand and set up to highlight the beauty of the deck. That can be any setup, from thrashed to pristine, from established brands to new companies. It’s a broad thing, but I suppose for me the key parts are that it needs to look great and perform well.
Just a visit to almost any photo of your Instagram profile is more than enough to see the same question repeated over and over again, where do you get that much money to mount your setups? (well, I guess you have a work, so, what kind of work?).
I work in digital marketing and user experience as a strategist. It’s a pretty senior role, which means that away from work, I get to pursue my hobbies and travel, which I also enjoy.
You’re going to excuse me for this question, but is also one of those questions that people frequently ask. More or less, how much do you spend on fingerboarding?
Depends…. For celebrations (birthdays, Christmas and the like) we can spend a little more. But typically, around £100-£200 per month.
I think people fingerboard for different reasons, and I respect everyone else’s personal connection with it. For me, I fingerboard simply because I enjoy it… It’s a great way to relieve stress, focus on something that requires concentration and express one’s creativity…
I think we can say you introduced the “collector” profile to the fingerboard world, I mean, there have always been collectors, there are a lot of people with crazy collections of Tech Deck specials, rare decks, limited editions… but you collect entire setups, which is kinda crazy compared to the classic collectors. It’s been hard letting people know there is more room into the fingerboard world to more, different profiles apart from the typical figure of the “rider”? People usually get mad because they never see videos from you, only new setups that maybe are never going to get trashed.
I think people fingerboard for different reasons, and I respect everyone else’s personal connection with it. For me, I fingerboard simply because I enjoy it… It’s a great way to relieve stress, focus on something that requires concentration and express one’s creativity… At least, they’re my reasons for fingerboarding.
For others, I get that making videos of tricks is their narrative, and I love watching great edits, I find them inspirational… But I’m not sure that I would contribute anything meaningful to that side of things. I’m comfortable enjoying FBing every day and posting some pix of my setups, but I do understand why some ppl don’t get it.
The trashed setups thing is an interesting one… I personally love thrashed use on a deck, and some of my older retired setups look very loved. On my Instagram feed, I tend to post only new setups to showcase new artwork etc, which I think leads to a lot of misunderstanding about how much use our FB collection gets.
The other point to highlight is that, for me, some decks/setups look better when well used, others look better with light use and some look better pristine. All very much depends what it is, and so, in our collection there are some setups that are never going to be used… But the majority are.
Anyway, do you foresee to record a video someday?
Yes… But only when from a production value perspective it’s something I think is good enough to release. But yes, the answer is yes… Soon, I hope!
Tell us a little about your collection, i’m curious about how you store it. How do you do it?
Wooden art boxes lined with felt and then stickered.
How goes the thing when your partner also suffers from the same disease as you? I think it’s way better than having a partner who doesn’t like you to spend money/time on that hobbie, right?
I’m very lucky in that respect!
Your setups have been elected several times in our SDLS (“setup of the week” in spanish) section, but once you told me that you guys also do a SDLS in your house. I was amazed when I readed it, so tell us more about that!
My partner and I often get new decks/hardware at the same time, then assemble setups before judging between us who’s the “winner” in any given week. She tends to win a lot more than I’d like to admit!
Tell us a little about the scene in your country.
It’s difficult to judge. On the one hand we’re well serviced in the UK with annual events, online stores and forums, but on the other it feels like it’s a lot smaller than it could be. Since the demise of Fingersized, it’s been great that TNP have really picked up the baton, from organising meet ups to stocking the latest hardware and promoting smaller brands.
We know is “just” a 10 cm wood deck with trucks and wheels, but what does fingerboarding really means to you?
Unlimited creativity. Personal expression. To paraphrase one of my favorite skaters, “it’s the only time I feel truly free”. Ultimately, it’s whatever you want it to mean I guess…
Tell us three things you love and three things you hate of fingerboarding.
Three things I love:
The innovation in the scene right now
The sense of community that fingerboarding fosters
Seeing new tricks or new clean executions… can’t help but be inspired
I’m not sure I hate anything, but if pushed, I dislike
The number of sponsorship requests on some social media channels
The occasionally clique nature of some areas of the FB community online
The fact that my other half keeps winning SDLS (just kidding!)
Do you have any inspiration inside the world of fingerboarding? Any rider, brand, ideology or whatever?
Rider: difficult.. love watching footage of Petr P, Mike S and Alex C but if I could only watch clips from one guy, it would be Wolfgang (Stebbins).
Brands: Woob, BeastPants, CatfishBBQ, Bawse USA, Weca, Stacked, LevelUp, Piratenholz, Flint. In no particular order, all companies whose products I own and use on a regular basis.
Ideology: probably a mix of the punk attitute of Problematio (an amazing FB zine…. Hoping we see the next edition soon) mixed with the fun, breadth and inclusiveness of events like BotB.
Any inspiration non-related with fingerboarding?
Everything from music to art to design to commerce. I find inspiration in a lot of things, so guess that makes me pretty lucky.
In terms of art, I enjoy work by a broad range of artists, ranging from early 14th century Renaissance to post-impressionist figurative painters such as Lucien Freud or Francis Bacon. I’m also very passionate about typography, and love anything by classic font designers (Gill, Tschichold etc) through to more recent work by guys like Neville Brody.
I also love music, particularly 80s rock such as The Pixies, Husker Du, Jesus and Mary Chain and the like, but I’m also a fan of more contemporary performers such as Metric.
And lastly, outside of those spaces, I do happen to be a huge fan of Steve Jobs. I grew up using Macs and in fact, I’ve never actually used a PC outside of emulator environments.
Outdoor or indoor fingerboarding?
Indoor mostly. We have pretty substantial park options, so tend to session on marble with obstacles. I do also carry at least one fingerboard with me wherever I go, so if I ever come across cool outdoor spots, I’m ready.
What events have you attended to?
A few organised by The Norwood Project. We were hoping to go to Fast Fingers this year, but was busy with work. We are planning to be in the States for Thanksgiving, so hoping to meet up with some of the BeastPants team then.
I do carry at least one fingerboard with me wherever I go, so if I ever come across cool outdoor spots, I’m ready.
What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you in the world of fingerboarding?
At a client presentation… Seeing a room full of senior dudes trying to land ollies was just great (with a fair amount of encouragement from me)! I didn’t have the cojones to film, but to this day I wished I had.
Do you practice skateboarding or any other sport?
I’m at a point now where I’d describe myself as an ex skater. I still have setups, but these days, my body isn’t capable of doing some of the tricks I could 20 years ago sadly. I’m also a big fan of cycling.
From my era… Rodney Mullen, who’s also one of my biggest heroes.
Currently, love anything that Luan Oliveira does, just love the dude’s style… But I’m a big fan of lots of skaters, so probably too many names to mention.
I have seen that you also collect Art Toys, which is kinda cool! Do you have another hobbie besides fingerboarding or any other thing you do in your spare time?
Yeah, I love art toys, and we have a large collection of some special pieces. In terms of other hobbies, my other half and I love professional cycling, and have been to races such as the Giro D’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta Espana many many times… Always love spending time in Asturias particularly, one of my favorite places to go in Europe.
What kind of music do you usually listen to?
I like a wide range of stuff, and tend to have music on when I work, so get to enjoy an extensive collection. Preference can vary from Delibes to the Dead Kennedys depending on my mood, time and what I’m doing.
Right now, I’m listening to Cold Cave, the latest Jack White album and Mad Capsule Markets.
What do you think about this website, Fingercan.com? Feel free to insult us 😀
I’m a big fan. Websites boil down to the quality of content, and I like the video focus of Fingercan editorial. If there’s one thing I could ask for, it would be a responsive version of the site… I tend to do much of my leisure time browsing on an iPhone, but that’s just a personal thing I figure.
If you had to give any advice to the Fingercan readers, what it would be?
Enjoy fingerboarding! It’s a great hobby that invites innovation, creativity and an endless sense of fun. As soon as you start focussing about sponsorship or video views or Instagram followers or whatever, you probably need to pick up a deck and start thrashing.
Would you like to greet someone?
Better give a shout out to my missus Roz (@skatingcharlie on Instagram) as well as all of the guys in the FB community that make it so great! Pete at TNP, Zac (Woob), Chris Dunlop (BeastPants), Jordan (Bawse), Axel (Weca) and everyone else whose investment of time and passion helps fuel our love for fingerboarding!
A final muchos gracias has to go to Jospe and Seon for all your hard work guys, Fingercan is such an important part of the scene and your passion and creativity are what make it so great. Again, gracias hombres!
Thank you so much Paul!
And, to all who are reading this – thank you for your time and make sure you follow Frostie on Instagram!
If you enjoyed this interview, please consider sharing it with your friends! 🙂