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In order to earn Plymouth State’s Rookie of the Year award, Johnny O’Connor had to not only showcase unmatchable talent on hill, but also win the Kip Sanchez Backyard Invitational, which consisted of snow mini ramp jam-turned-beer spitting, shotgun contest, fire-pit wrestling match. However, that’s in the past. Now Johnny is all business and you would know this if you happened to catch his ender in Keep the Change’s Holy Smokes. When you first meet him he will be the kindest, most wholesome individual, seeing only the good in everything. But once he’s at the spot, things get serious, and his self proclaimed insanity turns into some fucked up maneuvers. Oh, and he doesn’t like jocks.
Johnny, I know you just finished watching the BAKER video, what did you think?
Yes that video is incredible. So many next level tricks and hilarious lifeys that’ll keep you in tune for the entire hour. Figgy is out of his mind. Skaters really inspire me because they make me feel like a pussy for having a soft landing or snow on the stairs while filming, haha.
Who is the closest person to Shane Heyl in your crew?
Ha, wow I don’t know, he’s one-of-a kind. Probably the closest to Shane would be Bistro. Everything Matty B does and says is pure gold.
Yeah, I grew up in Windham, which is about ten minutes away from Hunter Mountain. I started going there because it has a friendly atmosphere and the Ice Coast Kills Shit crew holds it down. I hope that there is a new generation of little rippers that come out of there because that place is so fun and NY needs more exposure.
What is the best thing you’re missing out on back in NY?
Hmmm.. I have some good friends back there and it’s nice to come back to home-cooked meals. Other than that, it gets really boring back home.
Doesn’t your Dad own a bar there?
In Windham, yes.
Tell me you’re next in line to take over the family business.
Haha, no I won’t be. It’s crossed my mind in the past and I’ve had a lot of ideas in mind but I can’t stay in New York.
Yeah, I was planning on going to college out west but when I checked out the schools they didn’t speak to me as much as Plymouth did. I couldn’t have made a better decision. I’ve made such awesome friends here and it’s where Keep The Change started so I was extremely fortunate to be a part of it from the start.
In my experience, partying at Plymouth until the wee hours of the morning, then jumping in the EB van, and somehow making it Loon just in time to hot lap with all the homies is one of the most amazing ways to spend a weekend. Agree or Disagree?
Agree. Unfortunately the EB Van is no more, but those weekends were unforgettable last year. By far the most fun season I’ve ever had. It’s funny to see everyone in the gondola line from the night before still hung over shredding together as a huge crew.
I know you. And I know how gahd-damn modest you are. But your part… Game changer. The kind of part that scares the older guys. Well done, how did you do it?
Thanks. Last year was my first opportunity to film a full part so I just wanted to see if I was capable of doing all the tricks I had in mind at the spots. I really got to see what it takes to make a part come together and it was epic traveling with the crew through the Northeast and up in Canada.
What did eating shit on the gnarliest fence gap to rail ever tried do to you?
That was definitely a reality check, haha. So many people ask me about it and I just tell them, I’m mentally insane or possessed. I really didn’t want anyone to actually see the clip and the fact that it’s in the beginning of my part makes me look like an idiot. My tip for any kids that are just starting to film street is to make sure everything is calculated before you send it.
So same thing again next year part-wise?
I plan on it. I want to keep the ball rolling and hopefully this year I can get some travel budget since last year all of the trips came out of my own pocket. I guess I’ll just have to see what my sponsors think.
If you could go on a week-long trip to one zone in the whole world to film where would it be?
Finland, verzure. From seeing amazing riders and videos that come out of there it makes me want to check the area out. I hear the police are laid back and everyone I’ve met from there is awesome. Maybe this season? Who knows.
You spend a lot of time with video mastermind/alien Skylar Brent. What’s going through his mind?
Oh SkeetRatNugDr, yeah he’s insane. One of my best friends and no one really knows what’s going on through his head. Truth is, he’s a genius and has some next level ideas that are going to blow everyone’s minds even more in the years to come.
We all know you’re at High Cascade in the summer, and boarding your brains out in the winter… what goes down during the fall foliage season?
I’ve been living the college life. Skating on the weekends and hanging with the girl. I’m also VP of the PSU Snowboard club so myself, Jay Minassian and Cole St Martin have a lot of plans this year with snowboard trips, board-b-q’s and premieres. It’s going to be an epic year, so we’ll see if it tops the 11/12 year.
Oh College. Well Johnny, thanks for hanging, anything else you want to say to the kids?
Thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout the years and is stoked on what I’m doing.
Capita, Union, Eastern Boarder, Loon Mtn, 32, Etnies, Smith, Ice Coast Kills Shit
You should probably download Holy Smokes on iTunes to watch Johnny’s ender RIGHT NOW.