Ethan Cairns – Interview

Ethan Cairns is one of the stand-out rippers in the new ‘Facetious’ edit that Vans ZA just released. If you keep up-to-date with Session then Ethan will be no stranger to you, as he’s featured heavily in our magazine, in our videos and on our instagram for years. On the occasion of the video release, we thought it would be a good time to have a quick catch-up with him. 

All Photos by Grant McLachlan

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How old are you and where about in Cape Town do you currently live?

I’m 19 years old and I currently live in Grassy Park with my dad, but I also spend time in Muizenberg where my mom lives.

Are you still studying at all?

I just finished matric and I’m waiting on my results, then I’ll see what the future holds from there.

You’ve been pretty well-known in the scene since you were really young, what got you into skating initially and what inspired you to progress so quickly?

I was about 8 or 9 when I started skating, I saw one of my friends do an ollie and I was just hooked from seeing that. That same homie gave me a skate video, it was a Quiksilver video, and seeing that just hyped me up to learn tricks.

Who do you usually roll with, and how did you and Alex Williams meet?

I usually roll with Alex Williams, Grant McLachlan, Joubert van Staden, Zion Caswell, Charl Manasse and other homies that skate in town and in Muizenberg. I met Alex at the Salesians park when we were kids and we became friends through going on street missions with the 20sk8 crew.

Do you have a weekday routine when it comes to skating, like do you have go-to spots in your area?

I don’t really have a planned routine for skating I usually just hit up the homies and we skate whenever we’re amped to skate. When I was younger it was different, I used to skate at home every day.

You have been shooting photos with Grant McLachlan for years and he also filmed your first full part that came out back in 2018, how did you and Grant meet and how often do you still go out on missions with him?

I met Grant when we were shooting the 20sk8 GG’s article for Session. At the time we were working on the 20sk8 full-length video and I would always ask him to film the tricks we were shooting on missions for the video. Eventually he asked if I wanted to make a part with him, so then we started filming on weekends and that’s how we became homies. We still go out and try and get things on most weekends if we are not busy with other things.

You were on all the Monster ‘Am Van’ missions with us, which one was your favourite and why?

Those Am Van trips were the most fun, whenever I go on those trips I come back to Cape Town really amped on skating and trying to progress. Seeing the way Dlamini kills it is really inspirational. For me, I would say that the Pretoria trip was the most fun because we got to skate really cool spots.

You’re still yet to go on any international trips, but where are you really looking forward to going when travel is possible again?

If I could go on an international skate trip I would really like to skate in Europe because it looks like there are some really cool spots over there.

Nobody has been able to travel much for the past year obviously, but how have you been keeping busy during lockdowns at home?

I could only skate flat at home every day for like 2 months, that was definitely the most comfortable I’ve gotten on my skateboard since I’ve started skating.


Do you have any particular interests outside of skating?

Other than skating I like going on hikes with my homies. Skating really captures you so I’m still working on broadening any other interests haha.

You often go into central Cape Town to skate on weekends, and you go back home at night after skating all day, has the curfew limited your ability to skate in the central city or to connect with Joubert or Grant to get footage or photos?

I usually take a bus home at like 6 or 7 in the evening so the curfew doesn’t really mess with filming or shooting during the day. But we can’t go as late as we used to in summer.

Your footage in Facetious was gathered from going on random skate missions around Cape Town on weekends, is there a particular clip that you got that really stands out to you?

I’m really hyped on the back blunt I did on the out rail in Durbanville, that clip stands out to me the most.


How long have you been in the Vans ZA crew and who else hooks you up at present?

I’ve been rolling with the Vans ZA crew for about two years now and it’s been a sick journey so far. I’m also hooked up by Plankie Skateboards.

Have you got any projects in the works at the moment, what can we expect from you next?

I’ve got a mellow city part coming out with Grant soon, it’s a bunch of clips filmed in the city.

Thanks for your time Ethan, we’ll definitely keep an eye out for that.