At GiantMouse, we are always interested in the different relationships people have with their blades. For this installment of our Knifestyles series, we talk to Chris Pontius, beloved stunt performer and television personality, about his lifelong love of knives.
Our next guest needs no introduction (but we’re going to write one anyway). Chris Pontius has done it all, surviving both insane stunts as a tenured member of the Jackass crew, and the feral fun of its globe-trotting spinoff, Wildboyz. His resume reads like a Gen X bucket list: writer for seminal skateboarding magazine Big Brother, frequent presence on MTV, featured roles in big-budget films—and more than one bout for WWE.
A thrill seeker at heart, Chris is no stranger to pushing the envelope, even when it means guaranteed bodily harm. This is a man who has taunted jaguars in Belize and taken punches on the streets of LA, all without losing his infectious, trademark grin. Today, he’s enjoying his wildest ride yet—fatherhood. If that isn’t enough, Chris and his wife, Mae, recently launched The Pontius Show, a podcast where they explore his many antics on-screen and off.
We were lucky enough to track Chris down for a quick chat, delving into his background with knives, appreciation for blade design, and general outlook on this adventure called “life.”
The Knifestyles of Chris Pontius
What originally got you into knives?
I’ve been interested in knives and axes for as long as I can remember. I love learning about different cultures from the past, the tools that they used and the environment that shaped their design. There’s so many cool tools from all over the world, the Vikings from Scandinavia, the Franks and Germanic Barbarians, the Philippines…
When I was a kid, I loved barbarian cultures and wanted to be like them. My great grandfather worked on the Panama Canal. I was always supposed to inherit his machete that he used to defend passengers and families on a ship that was sinking after hitting a reef and the crew mutinied to take all the lifeboats. The machete ended up getting lost, and I never got it. But I’ve made up for it since with my own collection.
How do knives fit into your life?
I pretty much always have a blade nearby wherever I go. I find that they come in handy so often for myself, whether it is being in the wilderness or camping, filming and working with props, and also for protection.
I love blades and just like having them. With a knife or axe, you can make other things. I also love working with wood and carving.
What's your go-to everyday carry gear? Favorite GiantMouse?
I always have a fixed blade or folder on me or in the car. Sometimes I switch them out, depending on what I feel like carrying. I’ve been collecting for a long time, and I love them all. Knives are just cool and beautiful to me. I love design. Knives and axes have so many styles, angles, and curves influenced by people all over the world, from different environments and situations that shaped their design.
Right now, my favorites are the Jutland and the Nazca. I love their design and how they feel in my hand and always carry one of them with me. I like trailing point knives and blades with cool curves. Another favorite is the Tribeca because it just feels perfect.
Why is it important to take risks?
I think it is important to challenge yourself, not just physically but anytime you face a hurdle and make it past, it just feels so good and builds your confidence. The more you do it, the more confident you grow and you don’t let fear stop you from anything, because you know that you can make it through tough situations.
What was your favorite Jackass / Wildboyz moment?
My favorite moments of Jackass are just being with all the guys, filming, and making each other laugh. Making Jackass movies is just the funnest thing in the world and we don’t ever want to stop when we are making them. It’s just amazing that this group of people has such special chemistry together and that we found each other in this big world.
Another highlight was making our crazy nature show, Wildboyz. Ever since I was a young kid, watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, I wanted to host my own nature show. The director of Jackass, Jeff Tremaine, was the same, so we made Wildboyz and traveled to the far corners of the world, experiencing all the awesome wildlife and cultures out there.
What does being a Dad mean to you?
Being a dad is the funnest thing in the world and gives me so much joy every day. I spend as much time as possible with my son and we have a very strong bond.
If I was to give anybody advice on becoming a parent, I would say, just embrace it as much as possible and you will get more out of there than you could’ve ever imagined. It’s so fun having a little buddy and guiding them through life, teaching them things and watching them learn about the world through their own experiences.
It really does change everything in life, and is a little crazy to adjust to at first, but it’s so much fun. I think one of the best things about having a kid is that it kind of makes you younger, too.
What's your life motto?
Live in the present as much as possible.
Don’t get caught worrying about the past and don’t live in the future too much either, because you never know what is going to happen, just have faith that it will be alright. With that said, it’s also important to be prepared for anything.
As far as other advice, surround yourself with like minded people, because it’s easier to make things happen when you are with people that have the same dream.