At the age of 17, Christopher ‘Beaver’ Fleming picked up his skateboard and traveled across the country to pursue his dreams of becoming a pro-skateboarder. Since then, his life has been filled with one crazy adventure after the other. When he’s not busy jamming out to Taylor Swift, he’s practicing tricks and touring with the Nitro Circus crew (action sports collective, led by freestyle motocross rider, Travis Pastrana). Although it probably didn’t seem like it at the time, moving from Tennessee to California may have just been the best decision he has ever made.
1. Knoxville, Tennessee is far from the ideal place for a skateboarder. Can you describe how you got started in skateboarding?
Very far out there to try and pursue skating, but I got into skateboarding through my brother playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. He never let me play, but I just loved watching skating in the game and the pro videos they had. Then he got a board for Christmas, but never used it so when he was gone one day I took it in the street and haven’t stopped since.
2. You knew that the skateboarding industry was more prominent in California. Was it strange for you to move to a new city to pursue your dreams?
It was tough leaving everything at 17. All my friends and family are back in Knoxville, but I knew if I wanted to make it happen, I had to get out here. Everyone is out here – the best facilities, and way more exposure and opportunities.
3. What was it like attending Woodward U?
Woodward U was incredible! Basically, it’s just online classes for school at Woodward. You got to go at your own pace and do it all yourself, which is why it was easier for me than regular high school. I couldn’t pay attention. Well, I got bored easily. But [at Woodward], I knew once I got everything done, I could focus on skating. So I would knock all the work out. It took maybe 3 hours a day to do what I needed to do; then I could skate all day and not have to worry about anything! Also the trips at Woodward U were great. We took a trip to the Fantasy Factory and other iconic skateparks and brand headquarters.
4. Skatepark of Tampa Contest, Dew Tour Championships, Gatorade Free Flow Tour, Tampa Am…what was the most memorable event that you’ve competed in and why?
Those contest were awesome. I think the most memorable was Tampa 2012. My first 2 runs I fell so hard – hung up on Mctwist and shoulder checked the flat bottom. So my third run, I just didn’t want to fall. I made it all the way through and on a Varial kick flip, my board stopped flipping and I smacked it under and somehow rolled away. It was by far my best save and just being able to push through the slams and still put it down really made me pumped!
5. How did you start touring with Nitro Circus Live and how has your experience been so far?
Every time a Nitro Tour happens, it is absolutely incredible. The riders are all the best athletes in the world and the most down to earth people to hang with. They always have crazy activities planned for us such as skydiving, shark swimming, etc. The shows are unreal crowds going crazy and we perform tricks that are usually saved for big contests. I got into Nitro Circus during Woodward U. Travis and Lyn-Z came up one random weekend. Trav saw me throwing the Fleming Flip and double backflips in the foam pit and said, “we need you on tour!” I was blown away. As a kid, I looked up to him, watched Nitro and now he invited me to be a part of it. Honestly, it’s more than I could have ever dreamed.
6. Can you explain the Fleming Flip to a non-skateboarder?
The Fleming Flip – so basically I got bored doing regular backflips and wanted to take it further. So as I am doing a backflip, I pull the board away and flip it with my hand, grab it back and put it back down.
7. So…we have to ask, how did you get your nickname?
When I was little, maybe 5 or 6, my dad was saying I acted like the kid on the show “Leave it to Beaver.” The way he explained it was that everyone could be doing something, but the time it goes wrong or too far is when I do it – all in good fun. But I’m stuck with it now and it seems to fit pretty well.
8. What do you think about Erik Roner’s tattoo?
Honestly, tip of the cap to Roner. Erik is such a fun, crazy guy and not many people would go for the tramp stamp and the fact that he did is so awesome.
9. What’s one thing your friends always make fun of you about?
The way I talk. I don’t cuss, so I always end up saying pretty crazy things such as “mother of my uncle”, “you bet your sweet tailpipe”. Haha, so just random stuff and how I jam to T-Swift maybe too much!
10. Scenario: You and your friend purchase a pizza pie that has 9 slices. You’ve both eaten 4 and refuse to share the last slice. It’s on. You ______________.
I’ll be the bigger man and let them have the slice!
What a gentleman! Beaver Fleming is just the kind of person you would want to share your pizza with. You can bet your sweet tailpipe that he’s going to make it far.