Catching Up With: Chris Silva


Chris Silva has a compulsion to document. If he’s not filming for our upcoming DVD he’ll be filming for another project. If not another project, he’ll be stacking clips for something in the future or just for himself. Every time he comes back from a trip he’ll send over a photo journal of stuff that he shot on his phone while he’s out enjoying himself. With suitable riding weather starting to come to a close in eastern Canada we caught up with Silva to talk about this past year, traveling, DVDs, web edits, cameras, his riding and the desire to document. Click below to read our interview with him.

You’ve had a pretty busy year. You’ve been traveling and filming pretty much since the snow melted in Ontario. Where have you gone in the last year?

Yeah, it’s been a good year for sure with a lot of action and some traveling. At the start of the year I finally made my way down to Austin, Texas for a couple of weeks and stayed with Charlie Crumlish, spent some time in Windsor, Ontario with Chase Davidson, day trip to Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Montreal, Vancouver and also finally got myself over to Vancouver Island. I think that’s about it.

You’re always filming. I often joke about your vault of footage that you’re always stacking your clips in to, but that’s pretty much true. How are you feeling about how your DVD part is coming together?

I’ve been filming and sitting on clips for the past two years, no real goal in sight but earlier this year MacNeil suggested the idea of a team DVD. I was pretty stoked because I already had a years worth of clips in the bag. 95% of my MacNeil part was filmed this year, when hearing about the DVD I went straight to work on filming for it. I’m really happy with everything I’ve filmed. I pretty much had my part all finished around September. There’s always more you want to do but sometimes it’s best to not get greedy and stay level headed. I did a lot of dream tricks I had thought about back in 2006 when I was first pegless but didn’t have the skill or proper setups to do back then, I’m really glad I got to turn those ideas into reality for this project.

pedal ice
Pedal icepick filming for the MacNeil DVD. Photo by Harley Haskett.

Animal just dropped a web edit of you, and you’ve talked about a new ICC (Inner City Circle) DVD. How far along is that project? Can people expect it soon? And for those that don’t know, explain what the ICC is…

The Animal edit turned out sick, I’ve never had an edit to that kind of music but it worked well and people liked it. The ICC DVD is happening, everyone in the crew is stoked, it’s been about 3 years since out last DVD, this will be our 5th DVD in the 10 years that we have been a crew.

ICC is Inner City Circle, long story short we’re just a bunch of riders that met 10 years ago with the idea to make a Toronto indoor skatepark (called the Inner City Circle). We did just that, shut the park down and everyone stayed really tight friends. We all rode street and continued to ride together and call ourselves by the name of the skatepark we created and that turned into the name of our crew. ICC owns the city, haha.

You just got a new camera setup too. Gone are the days of your cell phone footage. What made you want to finally dive in to a DSLR camera?

A friend of mine was selling one for dirt cheap, I hate lugging around a camera cause I did it for so many years filming the ICC DVD’s but I couldn’t resist buying my friends Nikon. It was cheap, I bought a bunch of other stuff for it online for next to nothing as well. It’s just good to have a camera handy incase nobody is around so I don’t have to film on my cell phone. My whole ICC section is all cell phone clips so that’s where all my phone clips are getting used.

Sign tap. Photo by @trentgbarker.

Documenting your riding for specific time periods is key. A year and a half ago, after you stayed at the house we rented in Long Beach, CA you put out an edit that I feel turned a lot of heads. For a lot people I think that may have marked the first time they had seen such a serious web edit from you, and especially for your current wave of pegless riding. Do you see that edit and time period as pivotal to where you’ve taken pegless tricks lately?

For sure. I always try to film projects in time periods as to how I’m riding. I rode pegless and tried to progress pegless grinding during 2006 and a bit of 2007. I haden’t been pegless or tried a pegless grind since then. At the start of 2012 Ben Lewis had an interview in Dig Magazine and mentioned something about me not getting the attention I deserved for doing all that pegless stuff back then. Reading that I got really motivated to get back on it, it seems like the right time. Jake Montgomery machined me a set of jewels a week before the Cali trip and I went to a rail and bombed down it a couple times to reassure myself it was a good idea to get back into it.

All the clips in the Cali edit were all tricks I hadn’t done since 2006. I couldn’t believe the everything was working out and I hadn’t lost it. It was a huge turning point for me and I knew I was back where I should be and where I left off so many years ago, I just had to make up for a lot of lost time.

Recently Youtube removed the audio from that video and Vimeo took the entire thing down due to copyright infringement. Obviously that’s a bummer because so many people had seen the original edit, but Zach Rampen (MacNeil filmer and editor) is working on a re-edit/remix of that footage to put it back out there (expect that to drop soon). The original video was edited by you. Do you find you typically like to control how your riding is viewed and perceived, and how do you think Zach’s interpretation will/would differ?

I was so bummed to see it gone. It had like half a million views, haha, but honestly it was for sure the edit I was most proud of and the song Get Back by the Beatles had a lot of meaning in the lyrics “get back to where you once belonged”.

I always say I like to view riding, filming and editing as a musician; a real musician writes and preforms his own songs. They have control over how their song sounds in the end. It seems a lot of people these days think it’s weird to edit your own clips, but I just think it’s how it should be. Why pour your heart and soul into something then just have another person portray it to the world in their vision and not yours. But meeting and getting to know Zach has been such a good thing. He understands my point of view (even though I’m so insanely particular about things) and works with my ideas and adds his own twist to it. He honestly edits stuff way better than I ever could so it’s great to have someone like him on board for the MacNeil DVD cause I know he cares about the riders input first and foremost then he just spices things up with his incredible editing skills.

The weather is already getting colder, and daylight hours are getting shorter. What are your plans for the winter? I know you came by the office the other day and said you needed a new stem for your snow-bike. Do you plan on spending more time on that?

Yeah, ICC establisher Dave Stewart has a snow bike company called Drifter Snow Bikes, I’ll be riding for them this winter to keep myself active. I’m pretty stoked on it, I made my own last winter and it was really fun. Besides that, I’m at the start of trying to find a job and/or career. I’m not getting younger and I need to start working on life, haha.