@wesleybanford

Aaron Yant is a skater based in California who’s been laying down creative, unique tricks for more than a while.

He’s constantly innovating new moves on a selection of gnarly and low impact street spots and his local skate parks. But recently he’s been pushing his limits to the point where skaters and brands around the world are paying lots of attention and so are we.

After getting stoked on his one of a kind board control and out the box thinking on a board we had to hit him up to find out more about him, his skating, his inspirations and also to ask him the stories behind some of his most recent standout tricks. 

So we asked Aaron to join The No Comply Network and we were stoked he was down to join.

We had a chat about how he discovered skateboarding, sick clips he’s put out, what motivates him to try new tricks, his skate career so far and his plans for the future.

Read Aaron’s interview to find out out his perspective on skating and creativity, how he originally got sponsored, getting on Polar  flow, his favourite tricks by Pontus Alv, Nollie Inward Heelflips to Noseblunts, shredding Borchard Skatepark, his favourite tricks on rocks and curbs blunt variations, his tips on Back 3s and Nose Manuals, his shared video part with his homie Duncan Byrnes for Gunnar Hall’s Petey and his favourite skaters, styles videos, photos, spots, art, music and more.

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Aaron_Yant: Shot by @tshap08

What’s your full name?

Aaron James Yant

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

I was born in Thousand Oaks, which is in Ventura County, and I still live here now.

The only other places I’ve lived were North County San Diego and on the East coast in Rhode Island.

When did you first see skateboarding and think I want to do that?

I must have seen my dad and uncle skating a quarter pipe in our driveway before I could even remember because they are the ones who got me started on skating when I was 3.

When did you first get a skateboard and what was it?

My dad bought me my own skateboard I’m guessing in 2004 after I had borrowed one of his for long enough to show him that I was into it. I picked out all the parts it was a green Darkstar Adam Dyet pro model with Venture trucks and orange Spitfire wheels if I’m not mistaken. That was at Skatelab, I was hyped.

Where did you first learn to skate and who was in your crew?

I mainly skated with my dad when I was younger, he would take me to skateparks all over. I learned how to drop in, carve and slash in bowls from skating with him and my uncle since that was pretty much the extent of what they were doing.

That’s basically all we’d do and it was super fun, but I guess I got a little bored of it at some point because I didn’t really have any tricks to keep it fun and interesting. Plus, I had been really into baseball for a couple years before I moved to Rhode Island going into 6th grade.

It was at this time I had met my friend Connor from middle school and he got me stoked on skating again. We would skate in my basement during the winters and wherever we could during the summer.

I never really had a crew per say, I think I’ve always preferred skating with just a friend or two. After I moved back here, the place I think that I’ve skated the most though is Borchard Skatepark in Newbury Park CA because it was right down the street from my high school so I would just go there after class.

What was your first video part?

My first and kinda only video part was filmed on a vx2000 by some new friends I had made after moving back to CA.

I think it’s pretty normal to cringe when looking back on old videos of ourselves, this one was definitely no exception. Great memories from it all though, my friend Evan had an appearance in it. I really want to work on making a new one.

How did you originally get sponsored?

I happened to run into a guy named Tim Olsen, who runs the company Friendship Skateboards, at a curb spot in LA.

He told me he’d give me a board if I could do this one challenge of a Slappy. I totally was not able to do it but he gave me the board anyway and we kept in touch from that day. He really helped me out, not just in terms of supporting me with boards or whatever, but more importantly believing in me and pushing me to be better.

Who are your current sponsors?

Snot Wheels, Krux Trucks, Jessup Griptape and flow for Polar and Last Resort

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Aaron, 5-0 Drop In: Shot by @yarbubbz

You skate street, transition and everything in between. What inspires you to skate everything?

I’ve heard this to be true for art in general, but to have to deal with limitations causes you to be more creative. I think this is very relevant to skating and is something I try to keep in mind.

Do you have a particular favourite type of spot to skate?

My favourite type of spot is probably one that involves a curb or a bank, might have to say bank to curb for this one.

You nailed that Nollie Inward Heel Noseblunt Pop over that skatepark spine bump. How did you come up with that one?

Thank you, that was a tough one. I tried that 3 separate times for a while, that’s Camarillo park and we call those ramps the nipples. I got the idea from trying just straight Nollie Inward Heelflip over it but accidentally got into Noseblunt and couldn’t get over the idea of it.

What do you think makes skateboarding creative?

I think it’s because there’s endless potential for skating to be challenged and evolved. It’s finding that balance of discipline and freedom but emphasis on freedom because there’s so much of it in skating.

Which skaters influence you to skate the way you do??

I think anyone who skates differently or has a unique style inspires me. I would say that, like a lot of people probably, I was heavily influenced by all the old Welcome YouTube videos back when the team had Chris, Jesse, Erick, Glen, Logan and Mark. That was the shit.

You combine a lot of tricks.What was the last variation you learned?

I haven’t learned a new one in a while, last one was probably front Blunt to front tail by spinning Backside. Would be crazy to get it all the way around to 5-0.

Your parking curb BS Noseblunts are next level. How did that Blunt to BS Noseblunt to Blunt on that ditch parking block go down?

I had actually done one prior to that and I was going for one more rotation back into Noseblunt but couldn’t get it. Maybe for the best though one more spin might’ve looked too excessive. I had considered that a failed session until looking back at one of the ones I came up short on and thinking it looked good enough.

What do you like about roll on grinds and slides?

I like them because you can get the feeling of a grind or slide without doing the extra effort of popping into it. That’s probably why most people like them; it’s almost like cheating. My favourite is ride on back tail because I suck at popping into them and it feels so good to just scoop it right into place.

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Aaron, Backside Tailside: Shot by @priceyhot

You’ve got a sick Nose Manual. What’s the key to do it with style?

Thanks, if there is a key I do not know it but I think the faster they are the cooler they look for sure.

Who’s got your favourite Nose Manual?

Nik Stain was the first to come to mind but I really like Louie Barletta’s Indy Grab Nose Manny.

You’ve done sick tricks on slanted rocks. Which is your favourite?

Thanks again! My favourite might be one I did a Nose Press Frontside 270 off one rock onto another right beside it.

That was the best feeling because I had the rare experience of doing something exactly how I had imagined it beforehand.

Daewon has done some gnarly rock tricks. Do you have a favourite Daewon rock trick, if so what is it?

There’s one where Daewon gaps on to a rock and Backside 360s gapping out of it. That one stuck out to me.

What do you like about skating on curbs?

I love curbs because they’re everywhere and come in all shapes and sizes. My favourite trick on a curb has to be the classic front Slappy, it just feels too good.

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Aaron, Feeble: Shot by @chaaaarlie

You and your homie Duncan Byrnes had a shared section in Petey. What was your favourite part of making that section?

That was a really fun bit to make, my friend Gunnar Hall filmed and edited all that and he happens to be one of my best friends. He lives in LA and I am an hour north from him and before we started filming together I hadn’t been to LA very much, especially to skate.

So my favourite part of it all might be just getting to know the city a lot better and finding a lot of fun spots while having my friend as a guide.

Do you have a memorable story of making the section?

I wish I could think of a good one for this but my memory is not the best. Definitely a lot of good times staying over at Gunnar’s place watching TV or YouTube and passing out on his couch after skating.

What’s your favourite trick by Duncan in the part?

Duncan‘s Nose Manny Nollie Backside Flip for sure! He did that so nicely.

Where are you skating the most right now and who with?

Lately I have been skating a lot at Borchard skatepark, apparently it’s getting torn down and remodeled in a couple years so I gotta skate there as much as possible. I love Borchard. Lately I have been skating with my friend Jamie the most.

Which skaters out there do you think are the most creative?

I think there’s just so many that I’d just say anyone who thinks outside the box, like doing tricks you don’t usually see.

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Aaron, Frontside Boardslide to Front Blunt: Shot by @priceyhot

I’ve heard you are getting Polar boards. If so, what’s your favourite thing about skating for Polar?

I’m kinda just getting hooked up from a dude I know at Keen Dist, but my favourite part about skating the boards has to be all the fun shapes they have. I really like the graphics as well.

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Aaron, Backside Flip: Shot by @priceyhot

Do you have a favourite trick or section by Pontus Alv?

I’d have to say the opening section of that Polar video called “Nocomplies & Wallrides + Shuvits,” where Pontus is skating in those shoes with the happy and sad faces on the toes.

That video was the first I had seen of Polar and those first 30 seconds have really stuck with me. I’ve always wanted to skate that spot too. It looks like the best.

You did a Backside 360 manual, 360 out. How long did it take and what did it feel like to roll away?

I surprised myself with that one, it took less than an hour. Whereas I usually will get angry and give up on manual tricks. It definitely was a great feeling but kind of one of those where you don’t quite realise you landed it till you see the clip.

What’s the key to nailing Backside 360s?

The key is definitely using your arms as much as possible to get the momentum. Also, scooping the tail as hard as you can.

You have a YouTube channel, where you post edits you make. What do you like about editing and which one is your favourite?

I do very minimal editing using the iMovie app on my phone but I still enjoy the process and results because it’s like a way to organise my memories into something fun.

What kinds of music are you listening to right now?

I think I like all genres of music to different extents but lately I’ve been liking The Breeders to give an example.

How have you been passing the time over Lockdown?

Just trying to skate as much as I can while balancing school and work, Gunnar’s video Petey was filmed during that time. Been doing a lot of fingerboarding as well.

Do you make art?

Not as much as I’d like to say although I have been taking a few art classes online the past two semesters. One of which was a sculpture class that got me stoked on it. I do like to make miniature ramps and obstacles for fingerboarding, I love that stuff.

Where’s your favourite skate spot in your city and why?

This one parking lot right down the street from my house it’s just a bunch of red curbs and manual pads. I’ve spent too much time there.

Where’s your favourite place to skate in America and why?

I want to say the YMCA skate camp on Sequoia Lake, used to be known as the Element Skate Camp. It’s so scenic and fun out there, I haven’t been in a couple years though I miss it.

Where’s your favourite skate spot in the world?

Probably somewhere in Paris I’ll say Creteil Ledges if that’s how you spell it. Those downhill granite ledges are just too perfect and the ground is super cool.

What’s your favourite skate photo of all-time and why?

First one that I thought of is Simon Woodstock on a fish tank for some reason, that one’s sick.

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Simon Woodstock, Fish Tank Push: Shot by Michael Ballard

What’s your favourite skate video ever and why?

It’s very hard for me to pick favourites but I want to say Dr. Scarecrow by Diego Meek.

Who’s your favourite skater and why?

Currently probably Max Palmer because of his trick and spot selection mainly.

Who has your favourite style on a board and why?

Probably Shin Sanbongi, he’s just too wavy.

Any upcoming projects you would like to announce?

I’ve been working more lately but still am trying to film with Gunnar more. We also plan to film a little fingerboard edit. It’s gonna be fun.

Any shout outs?

Shout out to whoever is reading this!

Any last words Aaron?

Thanks for the questions, I’ve never done a skate related interview before. Cheers!