Our friend Mike Medina, out in Chicago has been following Kwalks this past year and was hoping to catch him for an interview. A few text introductions later and Mike handled getting the rundown on Kyle’s new Surveillance video, meeting the Boss for the first time, and Kyle’s early SOTY predictions.
MM: It’s already October! This has been a big year for you! Shit, the last two years have been huge for you. Last year you turned pro for REAL, starred in the Vans full-length “Propeller”. This year you were given a pro shoe and went on a summer tour with the Vans guys. Congrats, you’ve been a busy man!
KW: Yeah man. It was hot as hell out too! Haha. Nah, I’m just kiddin’. Such a great couple years. The Summer tour was perfect. Besides the weather Haha. We had Lil’ Tyson Peterson and Justin on that trip too. Justin’s from Ohio and Tyson’s from Florida. It was good! Just cruised around. That whole little tour was like, for my shoe ya know? So it was super cool.
MM: Haha. That’s what’s up. These Midwest summers are crazy man.
KW: Seriously. You’ll start sweating just walking to the car.
MM: Haha. You’re not lying. I know the tour was pretty short, but did you happen to have any favorite cities along the way? I was at the Chicago stop and everyone was showing you a lot of love.
KW: Chicago was great. For sure one of my favorite cities. Ohio was sick too cuz Justin’s from around there. I had never been to Pittsburgh, so that was cool too see. The whole tour was a lot of fun. The Vans guys are super cool and meeting everyone who came out was sick.
MM: Yeah, Vans is definitely one of the last legendary shoe brands left. How did it feel when they let you know that you’d be getting a pro shoe?
KW: Shit, I was pretty much speechless for sure. I went in thinkin’ I was getting a colorway, so I was like, “What?” Haha. Definitely some heavy news. It didn’t really kick in until I was drivin’ home. It’s pretty sick cuz like, I’ll see kids wearin’ em ya know? The ones that just came out too. This kid will have the blue ones, this kid’s over here with the white ones. It’s heavy for sure.
MM: That’s sick. Yeah, I’ve definitely seen my fair share of people wearing them out in Chicago too. They seem to be releasing a good amount of colorways for them too. I know a lot of people are interested in those pink ones.
KW: Haha. Yeah, I posted a photo of those a while ago. I just made them for fun, for me, because I thought they’d look cool. They weren’t really gonna be available in stores, but all these people were down and what not, so they ended up puttin’ ‘em into this next season or whatever. Like, everyone seems pretty hyped on it. They’ll be out in February.
MM: Rumor has it that there is a Vans video project currently in the works? Can you talk about that a little, or are the rumors false?
KW: Yeah for sure, we’ve been filming a little video. It’ll drop later on in the year. Maybe the last week of November or first week of December, somewhere around there. It’s gonna be Me, Elijah, Chima, pretty much everyone. We don’t have a crazy deadline. We’re just gettin’ whatever we get. The summer tour gave us a few things for it. Most of the footage came from being home and just going on little trips here and there.
MM: Earlier this year REAL did their “My Favorite Skater” series and you chose Andrew Reynolds. Was The Bossman an easy choice for you?
KW: Haha. That’s funny cuz they nailed that one. I didn’t even really talk to them about it before hand very much. They asked who I would want, then brought it to me like, “Hey would you be down with this?” and I was like, “Oh shit that’s dope!” He was already my favorite skater to begin with, so of course I was super down.
MM: I heard that the day you presented him with the board was also the first day you met him. Is that true?
KW: Yeah! Haha. I kind of fanned out. I’ve seen him out a few times but never said anything, just kinda been like “Oh shit, it’s the fuckin Boss”. When I met him he was cool as fuck. He seemed really stoked on the board and said they should do a Baker board with my name on it. Pretty sure he was kidding though. Haha.
MM: Yeah, personally that was one of my favorite things about the series. The whole idea that a REAL board says a guy’s name for it that may never ride for it. Haha. Actually, I have yours/Reynolds’ board hanging on my wall right now.
KW: Haha.That’s sick. Yeah, it’s kinda like I’m riding a Baker board. I grew up riding Real and Baker boards so that one’s pretty perfect. Kinda like a little collabo.
MM: So speaking of Reynolds, we just got recently got a new full part. What did you think of the footage?
KW: It was so sick. I don’t think anyone can say anything or take anything away from Reynolds. That Kickflip Melon, that’s all I gotta say. That one stood out to me, for sure.
MM: By the time people are going to reading this, your “Surveillance #02” edit will have dropped on Thrasher. Congrats man, it is fucking heavy. I got early access to it and have watched it about 10 time since.
KW: I appreciate that. I’m so hyped it’s coming out. And I got to use a Bankroll song so, that always goes.
MM: Can you talk about the filming process for a little? What were some of the tricks that stood out for you?
KW: Probably that frontside flip into the bank. That was the first real trick I tried since I got hurt last year. I was out for like, five and half months. I went once and didn’t get it, but finally got the chance to go back and came out on top, so that was probably the one that stood out the most. Robbie was there hyping me up.
MM: The ender. That frontside flip down that double set was insane. Was security giving you a lot of shit that day?
KW: Oh yeah, that was hectic. He was being kinda crazy. We went there once and got kicked out. We had to go back and move some golf carts n shit. But yeah, luckily it worked out. Zion got his too, so it’s all good.
MM: I’m stoked you had a few homie cameos in there! You guy’s look like you’re havin a ton of fun out there.
KW: Yeah, we definitely are. When we go on REAL trips it’s sick cuz there’s not like some crazy hectic deadline or anything. We’re just out cruising. Sometimes we’ll do like, little pizza pop up demos where we just skate and hang out with everyone ya know? The kids can come say what up instead of seeing us sitting behind a table or something. The REAL trips are sick. I went on the trip to AZ to skate with Robbie which was tight. There’s a ton of REAL stuff coming out soon.
MM: Yeah the REAL team definitely has a family vibe to it. What’s it like in the van?
KW: Oh man, just constant hijinx. There’s always a jam box goin’. Maybe a few beers Haha. Just good friends getting hyped up to skate. Those dudes are the best.
MM: So I heard you’ve been known to have a few playlists on your phone. What are three songs that you use to get hyped up?
KW: Ahh, there’s so many man. But uh, I’ll go with Lude Fo – “187”, it’s a little ignorant, be prepared, haha, Young Ma- “OOOUUU”, and then Lude Fo – “Coolin With My Shooters”. Those ones all go.
MM: So between you and I, who do you have for SOTY?
KW: I know he just turned AM, but fuck it, Zion. Zion for SOTY.
MM: I don’t blame you for choosing him. Zion is the truth!
KW: He’s so good. It’s crazy.
Interview by Mike Medina : @itsa_pizzaparty
All Photos by Gabe Morford : @morfordmedia