Date of Birth: April 9, 1984.
Hometown: Orlando, Florida.
Present home: Los Angeles, California.
A.J. Burnett is a skater from Orlando, Florida who won the 2004 Tampa éS Game of SKATE, and was treated to a free trip to the Amateur Championships at the ASR trade show in San Diego. He won that event, too, and went on to make it to the fourth round (top eight) in the Pro event, Eric Koston’s éS Game of SKATE, beating out Jeremy Holmes, Stefan Janoski, and Rodrigo Tx. in the process. (Chris Haslam finally took A.J. out in round 4.)
After the event, A.J. enjoyed the SoCal lifestyle so much, he decided to stay, and he’s never been back to Florida since. So, scope the footy he's compiled above and read an interview from 2005 below.
When did you start skating?
What terrain were you riding at first?
Just neighborhood box sessions.
Who were some early influences on your skating?
Andrew Reynolds, Jeff Lenoce, Ed Selego.
Is this your first time out of Florida?
No, I went to Atlanta to skate once, and I’ve been on other non-skate trips.
Do you like SoCal?
It’s super good. The weather is really good for skating. I can’t see myself living in Florida anymore, where it’s 90 degrees outside with 100% humidity. That’s not skateboarding weather. It’s like living in a sauna.
Will you ever move back home?
I’ll probably visit, but I’m gonna kick it out here for a while.
Are you going to school?
I just enrolled at the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles in Santa Monica. My major is graphic design.
Are you working?
I work at Quizno’s on the weekends for food money.
Do you enjoy skating in contests?
I haven’t done it in a while. I’ve only entered ones in Florida, but it’s fun to hang out with friends from all over. Contests are fun when you know the people.
How has the éS Game of SKATE affected your life?
It got me out of Florida. I came out here and ended up going to school, so it affected me a lot. If I was still in Florida, I’d just be marinating and not doing anything.
Have you skated with Eric Koston or P.J. Ladd since the 2004 éS Game of SKATE finals?
I saw Koston at a bar one time. I was wasted and I’ve been told I cursed him out. I don’t think he remembers, either.
What do you think of skate videos?
I love skate videos. Who doesn’t?
Which are your favorites?
Girl Mouse, Toy Machine Welcome to Hell, the World Market video. That was a skate shop in Tampa. There’s so many. I like the old videos better than newer ones. It seems like they were having more fun on a skateboard back then. Today, if you aren’t trying to kill yourself, you’re nobody.
Who have you been skating with?
When I first came out, I skated in Hollywood with Mike Rosa, Damian Bravo, Ross Norman, Josh Dowd, Eighties Joe.
Who are your favorite skaters ever?
Jeron Wilson, Guy Mariano and everyone else in the Mouse video,.
What have been the highlights of your skateboarding career?
Living in Hollywood, and the éS Game of SKATE was pretty cool.
Is there anything in skateboarding you haven’t done that you’d like to?
I’d love to one day get paid for skating. Who wouldn’t like to get paid for what you love to do?
What do you enjoy besides skating?
I party a lot.
What music, art and books have you been enjoying lately?
Mostly any music that sounds good. No radio. I’m reading a good book called Slouching Toward Nirvana by Charles Bukowski. It’s giving me a different outlook.
What are your future goals?
I’m just cruising right now, but I definitely don’t want to quit skating until my knees give out.
Do you have any advice for kids?
Just be yourself. Don’t copy other people. Find your own way instead.