Last month we met up with Rowan at the new Vans park in Bushwick to talk about his new shoe coming out. After his breakout part in Propeller, the dude has been dropping hammers and travelling around the world with Baker and Vans. Here’s what he had to say:
NYSB: So what brings you up to the new Vans Skate Space 198 here in NY?
Rowan: I think they just wanted a chance to broadcast that this place is open for everyone that wants to skate it.
NYSB: ]. Do you come up to New York a lot? I think the last time I saw you was a year ago or something like that…
Rowan: Well, when we were filming Blessed I was coming here four or five times a year. After that came out I’ve only been back once. So, I do come here a lot but last year I was only working on Baker 4 and didn’t get to come here much during that time.
Yeah I dislocated my shoulder 10 days ago so I’m trying to keep it pretty mellow.
NYSB: Yeah your Baker 4 part was sick, congrats on that.
Rowan: Thanks. I’m stoked to be done with that. Not that I didn’t enjoy filming it, but it’s a good feeling when you can put something out that you’re proud of.
NYSB: Do you like filming for videos or do you find it stressful?
Rowan: No, I like it. It just gets stressful when it gets close to deadline and you don’t have enough stuff but I don’t know, I kind of like the pressure. The only thing that is stressful is that you can get injured and then it’s like “Ok, well my parts done now. I have two months left and I’m going to be in a cast for both of them.”
NYSB: I can relate. Right now I have two herniated discs and haven’t been able to skate for months.
Rowan: Shit! Yeah I dislocated my shoulder 10 days ago so I’m trying to keep it pretty mellow.
NYSB: What do they have you doing for that?
Rowan: Just like physical therapy, small weights at first.
NYSB: Resistance bands?
Rowan: Yeah I have one in my room. I was using it this morning. It’s weird because I feel fine. My legs feel great. I can skate but if I fall I can knock it out again and have to start all over.
NYSB: Yeah I saw you skating earlier you seemed fine I wouldn’t have even known.
Rowan: I know, normally my arms are all over the place but I kinda had to keep that in check.
NYSB: Do you have any favorite spots to skate in New York?
Rowan: Yeah, I like skating at Tompkins especially when it’s nice out, like t-shirt weather.
NYSB: Did you hear about all the shit they had to do to save it?
Rowan: Yeah shout out to Adam Zoo for kinda leading the charge on that one. I know there was a lot of people involved but he did quite a bit.
NYSB: It was sick to see all that effort actually work.
NYSB: Yeah so 2020, Baker 4 part is done. You got a new shoe coming out can you talk a little about that?
Rowan: There’s a few people here wearing a pair kinda trying them out. It’s kinda half-cab influenced but lower. It’s also influenced by the Old School and there is this old shoe call the “Bear Cat” that was only sold at Macy’s and Kohl’s that I used to get all the time because it was only like $40 or something, ya know? It’s kinda similar to that. I tried to make it a really good skateable version of that with some other inspirations from shoes on Van’s that I like to skate already.
NYSB: What do you look for in a skate shoe?
Rowan: Um, shit… that it skates good. It doesn’t look too crazy, I don’t know keep it pretty basic. I think it’s something that anyone can wear without feeling weird for the first day or two. Looking down at their feet like…
NYSB: Oh so like no break-in period?
Rowan: That too but you know when you put on a crazy pair of shoes and look down like oh this isn’t me, ya know? I feel like this shoe is pretty easy to look down at and be like “alright I can get used to this.” I mean I love it but speaking for other people, ya know.
NYSB: Yeah, I think people will like it. They look good.
Rowan: Skate good too. Ever since the first sample a year ago I think I’ve had like 15 pairs and haven’t skated any other shoe since.
Last night I saw him try on a pair of my shoes and doing kickflips in them. I was like “this is ass backwards” I should be wearing his shoe like I have been my whole life [laughs].
NYSB: What was the process designing it like? Did you have a heavy hand in it?
Rowan: Yeah, I was driving down from LA to Costa Mesa which is like an hour at least once, sometimes twice a week to sit with Neal, and Use, and Scott. A few other guys and sitting with them. Those guys are the best and I was working with them because I’m not a shoe designer but would give them a lot of input on what I liked and disliked.
NYSB: Do you have any footage or anything coming up to look out for?
Rowan: Not really, I have the Supreme part and the Baker part come out. I’m hurt and have been really focused on this shoe. I’ll be skating ya know, but I don’t have anything planned as far as a full part or anything yet.
NYSB: Is it sick to have Reynolds on Vans now?
Rowan: Dude it’s crazy. Last night I saw him try on a pair of my shoes and doing kickflips in them. I was like “this is ass backwards” I should be wearing his shoe like I have been my whole life [laughs]. It’s cool because being on Baker I get to travel with Andrew a lot. Getting to go on even more trips with him now is sick.
NYSB: For sure. Well That’s all I got. Anything else you want our readers to know?
Rowan: Come skate the new park. It’s fun as shit. I like sticking to the perimeter of the park. You can keep flowing around on the quarterpipes and wallrides.
NYSB: Thanks for taking time to talk with us.
Note: Rowan has a collection that drops along with his new shoe available on the Vans website. His apparel collection includes an all-new black denim Drill Chore Coat and matching double-knee denim V96 Relaxed/RZ utility pant. With distinctive T-shirt graphics and a label pack designed in conjunction with talented artist Mike Lottie, the Rowan collection is a well-balanced combination of rugged functionality and accessible fashion.