Name: Renton Millar
Age: Young enough to be stupid, old enough to be really sore!
Sponsors: Globe, Dwindle, Indy, Bones, Modus, TSG, Oakley, Musashi
Home Town: Melbourne

PEARL: Renton fill us in on some of the results you have scored in skateboarding comps during your reign as Australia’s and one of the worlds best vert skaters?
MILLAR: A couple of my highlights was winning the CPH pro in Copenhagen and The Oi Jam in Rio De Janeiro. Two great places. I had some memorable comps in Salt Lake City, Cleveland and Baltimore in the USA too.
PEARL: Do you still compete and does Australia have a solid series of events for Vert skateboarders to compete in?
MILLAR: I don’t really compete in the big vert events anymore. I would class myself as a former pro these days. I was travelling for 16 years all over the place and it was great, but I have a family now and with the big contests its a commitment. I am going to be competing at the pro bowl contests over summer (Bondi Bowlarama and the Australian Open). I like to do the occasional demo though. I still skate a lot. Almost daily at Prahran or StKilda.
PEARL: Are the skateboard associations in Australia eg Skateboard Australia and Skateboard Victoria doing enough to promote Vert skateboarding and events for Vert skaters and if not, what should they be doing to push the future progression of the sport?
MILLAR: The Skate Australia situation is dire. I hate to sound negative in an interview but to be realistic, its a group of Roller Skaters that got together and laid claim to the government funding to skateboarding. They won’t allow skateboarders to vote or influence the organisation but they leech almost a million dollars in government grants a year. Even though they have had almost $10 million in grants the past ten years they are on the brink of insolvency. They don’t know anything about skateboarding and they obviously don’t know anything about business. Last year they got halfway through their Australian Championship series for skateboarding and cancelled it. Leaving hundreds of kids and parents with useless travel plans. The artistic Rollerskaters they govern on the other hand get a fully completed Australian Championships and representatives and officials get sent to Spain to represent Australia in a World Championships there. Who has heard of artistic roller skating? Its like Ballet on roller skates. All respect to the dedicated participants but Why should artistic roller skaters control skateboarding and keep skateboarders from being able to vote in an organisation that gets close to a million dollars a year for skateboarding. It’s a rort, and taxpayers are funding it. Skate Australia rely on people not paying attention so they have flown under the radar and kept a lot of things out of the view of the skaters for 10 years. It sounds strange and hard to believe but that’s the state of Government funded Skateboarding in Australia in 2014. Hijacked by roller skaters. Skateboarders are screaming for change.
PEARL: How easy is it to get access to a vert ramp these days to train on as it seems like councils are pumping out skate parks but not vert ramps and where are some of these ramps located at?
MILLAR: There’s enough vert ramps for sure. I skate Prahran quite a lot. There are great vert ramps in Geelong at The Park, and The Shed in Cranbourne. Vert is a specialty niche type of skateboarding. It’s not for everyone, its underground but its definitely alive and well in Melbourne. I skate with Tas Pappas a lot.
PEARL: Can people who choose to skate vert and compete as a vert skater make a living out of being a pro vert skater as it seems like most of the company’s involved in skateboarding promote and spend there money on street skaters?
MILLAR: You can definitely make money skating vert. It just doesn’t come from core skateboard sponsors so much. The last few months I did demos in Nanjing in China and in Alabama in the USA. Largely for crowds of non-skaters. If you are a vert skater events are where you make money. It’s a very different approach to street skating. It has good points and its bad points. Being a vert skater you have to do a lot of contests. Contests sometimes spin street skaters out a bit, but I think they are fun. Once you get over the fact you won’t do well at every single one and you realise that a contest is just travelling to go skateboarding before a party they become a lot of fun. I like to skate a bit of everything. To me vert is the most challenging. Its a commitment. I think all parts of skating are equally as difficult but with vert there is no half stepping, even if you are really good you have to do it all the time to stay on point. Overall though I really like all forms of skating.
PEARL: For any one keen on getting in to vert skating fill us in on the board set up they should look at having to make it easier to skate one of those big beasts (eg board/truck & wheel size)?
MILLAR: Anyone keen for vert should try find other mates that like skating vert. That’s a big thing that’s gonna help you progress. A big board with wide trucks and 15-inch wheelbase will make it easier too, as will big wheels and good bearings. I also like to have a board that is stiff and brand new grip tape. That helps heaps too.
PEARL: What are your favourite tricks to do on vert and what are some of the tricks you are currently working on that you have not stomped yet?
MILLAR: I really enjoy trying to style out airs at the moment, and going big. I haven’t really been working on so many tricks. Working on mad tricks is a big commitment; the level of skating is so high that to really push it you are going to be sessioning the same trick for a few sessions. I tried some kick flip 540s last night. Id like to be confident enough to go for that one soon, but it would have to be the right day.
PEARL: Over the last couple of decades Australia has been home to several of the worlds best vert skaters including the Pappas Brothers, Jason Ellis, Adam Luxford and your self, how is the future looking as far as the next generation of ripping Aussie vert skaters and where do they stand on an international level?
MILLAR: I have a little guy at my house at the moment Keegan Palmer. He is 12. He is phenomenal. Both at bowls and vert. There are others too like Luke Russell from Wollongong.
PEARL: Recently you have been doing a lot of MC’N at events in Oz and around the globe, is that now becoming a job and if some one’s keen on having a world champion/coolest cat in the industry like your self MC there event how can they track you down?
MILLAR: I’ve been doing a bit of MCing. Its a lot of fun. I have a little event company called Shredability. I do a lot of kids skate comps but last year I did a few bigger pro comps as well as a snowboard comp at Thredbo for Oakley. Crew can hit me up through Shredabilitys Facebook page, or any of my social media.
PEARL: Renton before we rap this interview up, tell us what is that keeps you skating vert and skateboarding in general?
MILLAR: Skateboarding is my life. Actually it’s the third best thing behind my family and my friends. It’s something I have to do. I don’t know why I do it. I think
PEARL: Any advice for kids who want to get in to vert skating?
MILLAR: Stick to it. Skate everything, and if you love skateboarding it will love you back.
PEARL: Any one you would like to thank?
MILLAR: My wife, my kids max and Bonnie and all my friends family and sponsors…thanks!

Interview: Mitch Sta
Photo by Anton Trivic