Photography by Ian O'Connor Words by David Luther
Nick Dompierre runs a tight rig. Literally, I mean that he runs super small wheels loose as a goose with rock hard trucks, the better to feel the power surge as he thunders through the world. A few years ago, when he was an amateur, his name was in the final running for Thrasher’s Skater Of The Year, but it was supposedly canned because it would be a sorry reflection on pro skateboarding if an Am came out of nowhere and blew the doors off everything all at once. Be that as it may, his subsequent and inevitable leap into the pro leagues has added a fuel injection to his relentless campaign of nerve- shredding skateboarding. Fast, furious and For One Night Only, this is Nick Dompierre.
What occupies the top spots of importance in Nick Dompierre's life? The what?
Uhm…what are the most important things in your life right now? Ah… My cars, probably. I have an '87 Camaro, that I run on quarter-miles, and I also have a '87 BMW, double charged.
Which series? 325iS, it's an E30.
Nice. Did you just say you race quarter-miles? Yeah, I take the Camaro, and race it on a track. Street races, too.
How often do you go race? Whenever I'm home, pretty much. That's all I do when I'm here.
Okay, I can see that as a professional skater of your status, you have a bit of spare cash—but that's still one expensive hobby to have. Yeah, that's true. That's where most of my money goes.
Dream car? That's kinda though, there are so many cars I'd want…uh…I don't know.
Carrera GT? That'd be nice to have.
Right. Have you ever heard that thing up close? I only saw it once, it overtook me while I did about 140mph on the autobahn, and it was gone again in under two seconds. I felt like in a parked car. Yeah, that car's bad-ass. There's a lot of them in Miami. A lot of exotic cars down there. A lot of Lambos, new Porsches and all that…
Do skateboarding, and racing cars have similarities, apart from the fact that there's very little room for failure? No, not at all. It's a totally different thing.
Do you take friends to the racetrack to make them shit their pants? Haha, nah… A couple of my friends have race cars, too, so we go up there together, and… just go race, and shoot the shit. That's good times!
How fast are you on a quarter mile? It's just 1.320 feet, that's what a quarter mile is. And it runs somewhere around 9.5-ish. Yeah, pretty much completes a quarter mile in 9.5 seconds, that's 141 miles per hour.
How about accidents? Kinda hard on a short distance… No… No accidents. Nah.
Obviously, you skated before you got into racing, right? No, I was skating when I was younger, and then I got my first car, which was my Camaro—and then I just wanted to make it fast. I got sponsors, started getting a little bit of money, and then…I spent the money on the car, to make it go faster.
In a car, are you a good passenger? Well, on the street, yeah, but there's no one allowed with you in your car, when you're on the track.
Anybody else allowed a go? Oh no, I'm the only one who drives it.
How did you get into skateboarding? A skatepark opened up by my house, just a little outdoor concrete skatepark. I never had a skateboard, so I always went to my cousin's house after school, borrowed his board, and gave it back the next day. One day—I was skating his board, which was pretty beat up by that time—some guy just gave me a whole complete.
Like, what?! Yeah, that's what I thought.
Was that already at a point where you kind of knew that you were good, like above average? I don't think I looked at it that way. I just skated because it was a lot of fun, so I skated more, and more—and that was pretty much all I did. It was like: “My whole life is about skating."
During the last years, we've read your name a bunch of times—in different big-name interviews, as an answer to „Who's the best“-ish type questions, for example. How does stuff like that feel to read? Do you read skatemags at all? My brother reads a lot of the magazines, and he always comes up and asks if I heard what so-and-so said, or he just tells me, because usually I haven't heard or read it. I don't really read skatemags that much. It feels cool to have the pros talk about me, because growing up…
The way you say “the pros"…do you consider yourself a part of this…bubble that is around the actual act of skateboarding, at all? [Sorry for interrupting, didn't notice.—Ed.) What do you mean?
You just concentrated on the things you love to do most, which got you where you are today—that goes for most pros. But it doesn't mean that you have to care about what's going on in the industry, even though there's really just a few who really don't give a shit. Oh, yeah, I don't really care about who's riding for who, and who got kicked off of what company. That doesn't matter to me. I just skate, and do what I have to do. Go on trips, keep the sponsors happy, and…fuck the bullshit, you know?
One of your sponsors is a burrito shop, which is nice to have I'm sure, but do you have sponsors in the race car biz as well? No, but I wish, man, I wish I could get something like that. That'd be great!
Could that be a possible career for you, after skateboarding? I'll probably just try and become a drag racer. Or I'll open up a shop and just build race cars.
Drag racing…strap yourself in front of a rocket, and go? It's a rush, man, it's a lot of fun.
Where are you originally from, and what's it like there? Same place I'm still at, New Bedford, Massachusetts. It's pretty mellow. It's home, you know? I'm used to it. There are some parts where it's a little city-ish, and then you have the suburbs, like, quiet town area. It's cool, we have the seasons and stuff, we get snow; whatever, it's not nice all year round, so when it's nice, we get to appreciate it.
What's on the menu for the summer months? Skate, and travel. That's it, pretty much, I guess. I'm supposed to go to New York pretty soon, for a Volcom trip, then Denver for an Adio trip…I've got a bunch of stuff way down in my calendar somewhere.
Allright, let's call it a wrap, then. Last words? Uhm… Shit, uhm… Fuck it, just skate, and…get a car and race it, pretty much.
Nick skates for Real skateboards, Spitfire wheels, Thunder trucks, Volcom, Adio, Red Bull, Solstice skateshop, No Problemo Burrito