When most people hear the word Sunday they think of sleeping in, skateboarding, beer gardens, beach days, hangover cures and picnics. But for me when I hear Sunday, I think Sunday Hardware run by the epic human, George Kousoulis aka Zoolz. Then I think of all the awesome things he does for our local skate industry, which is why I wanted to enlighten you all here with this interview. Read on if you would like to know more about what I'm babbling on about...
Who is George Kousoulis? Any information here such as Where are you from? Your skateboarding origins?
A 32 almost 33 year old man originally from Caringbah in Sydney’s South. Skateboarding came a little late for me compared to kids these days as I was heavily into soccer when I was little. I mean I always liked skating and we had my Uncles old boards floating around in the garage that we would sit on and roll down the driveway. But It all properly began in year six at a sleep over at my friend’s place. He was already really into it. He popped on Maple Black Cat and 411vm #36 into the VCR in the early am and the next morning I remember sharing his board, kicking it around, trying to do what we watched in the videos. I was hooked and wouldn’t stop talking about skating. That Xmas my same Uncle Phil who used to skate got me this yellow blank complete board. Its been non stop since.
how long you have been skating/filming for?
I guess that makes it about 21 years skateboarding.
Filming, around 11 or so. Maybe even a bit longer. I always had cameras around growing up.
As the founder of Sunday hardware can you inform us as to how the brand came about?
In 2013 I was working a couple jobs along with filming and skating as much as possible in between. I felt there was a gap in the industry so I started sampling bits and pieces and testing them out myself and with friends which ended up in finding the right bearings and products to go with. The bit I enjoyed most at the start was now I could make little videos with my friends that link back to something we can all be involved in. I made a little promo video and a handful of skate stores in Sydney started stocking the brand so I just kept making more videos, slowly and naturally the hardware range began to pop up in stores around the country.
How did you go about getting such an amazing team for Sunday with pro names like Chima, Gabberz, Dane and more?
It all happened naturally. Everyone involved are close friends of mine and we have been doing the same thing together for a long time. I wasn’t trying to twist anyone’s arm or anything haha It all kinda just happened and never felt weird cause its all friends I normally skate with.
After years of skating/filming with the Passport team can you touch on any memorable moments from trips with them that you would like to share?
Where do I begin. The locations have all been so different over the years but the energy when everyone is there together is always the same. Everyone on the team is so different to each other but it all just “works”. You have Sparkes always saying and doing the funniest shit, especially in Tokyo he was on fire. Callum’s always heckling someone usually Squish or Matlock, I always room with Lobster so we have a little media getaway room if Geoff starts swinging skateboards at people. Trent and I always talk about how the outback trip could be the best one yet. That feels like it was a once in a lifetime experience. I think people can feel what I mean when they watch the video and read Tim and Lobster’s book. Athens was a very memorable one for me too, I’ve been to Greece numerous times and have a lot of friends and family there. I spent time before the trip showing my wife around the Islands and Peloponnese Region where my family is from for the first time, then linked with everyone in Athens when they arrived. I drove the van around, did all the translating when needed, basically just got my true Greek on haha. Was pretty funny and also Squish’s first ever Pass Port trip. Greece was always brought up jokingly as the dream trip always referring to how amazing the Dylan and Arto footage in Greece is and then Trent just one day said ‘we’re going”. Honestly very grateful for being on all these trips and really excited to look back on all the footage together when we are old and grey. It’s weird but that’s the main thing I like about all this stuff. Creating memories.
You are the Vans Australian team manager. Can you enlighten the readers as to how that role came to fruition?
I’ve worked with Vans and Andrew Mapstone over the years on many local and global Vans projects. Mappy was giving me Vans to skate in for the last 7 years. One day on a classic Mappy quiet phone conversation with long pauses and deep breaths, he told me he was moving to the States to work for Vans BMX and his role down here was up for grabs. I took a couple Zoom call interviews while I was on my honeymoon in New York and as soon as I was back in Sydney I drove to Melbourne to have another interview.
How did you find the move from Sydney to Melbourne, taking on a new job?
The move was quite sudden. It all happened very quickly. My house arrived on a truck on Friday and the next Monday I started the new job. Just as I was starting to feel comfortable and working out my way around Melbourne Covid hit. This year has been a rollercoaster for everyone on this planet but my wife and I always have a laugh about how when we packed up and moved down that never in a million years we would have ever thought we would be in a stage 4 lockdown not allowed to travel further than 5km from home watching all our friends and family have fun back up in Sydney.
How do you maintain a balance between your numerous work roles and your home life?
I don’t. Its actually pretty fucked and probably very unhealthy but not a single day or night goes by except maybe Xmas day where I’m not doing something work related. I love it but.
Do you have any big plans with Vans and Sunday in the works for 2021?
You mean a shoe collab? That would be wild, think about the team riders that cross over between the two brands. Now you got me dreaming about what Vans shoe we would do and the video I could make.. Chima, Simo, Adelaide, Digby, Dane, Floyd the solid line up goes on haha Nah but seriously with both there’s always stuff in the works. We have a very special Vans project with Jackson Pilz coming out at the end of the year. It’s something we are all working very hard on, it’s been challenging especially around the State border restrictions but I’m excited for it all to come together. Stay tuned... Jackson’s ability on a skateboard is freaky!
What's next for Zoolz aside from Q7?
I guess for now slowly get out of this Victorian lockdown. Unzip my camera bag for the first time in 2 months and get back out on the road.
Q9. Any last words of wisdom for our readers?
Live for now, not for never.
Photos: Sam Coady & Lobster