Kyle Walker's "Propeller" Interview
By Michael Burnett
Tell the story of getting run over by that car. What the fuck happened?
Shit, long story short, me and Nakel were skating over this guardrail gap into street somewhere in LA and he landed the trick and then Ethan Loy gave me the thumbs up that the street was clear so I just started booking it across the whole parking lot. I look up maybe twenty feet before the gap and then I see Damo and Nakel holding their hands up trying to stop a car. I don’t know, we do this shit every day and normally fuckin’ people stop, you know? Some lady was in a Range Rover and just happened to swerve Nakel and Damo. And then I caught the back right tire. So I was doing the 180 and then fuckin’ powerslid maybe two feet and then hit the back tire and the tire ran over my back foot. Fractured my tibula, but I’m definitely not complaining because if it had been fuckin’ two seconds earlier, I have no idea what would have happened. So I ain’t trippin’. No surgery either.
What went through your mind when you saw that Range Rover?
Fuck, I didn’t even know what the fuck happened. I seriously just landed, powerslid, then just, “Boom!” It was loud as fuck. I think my knee hitting the side of the car. I had no idea. I thought my leg was snapped in half or something. I just started hopping off across the street just screaming, you know, like, “Fuck! Fuck!” I kind of blacked out for 30 minutes. I just remember maybe five or ten minutes of it but, dude, it was fuckin’ hectic. It was like a flash thing. It was fuckin’ real sketchy. The lady didn’t even feel bad either. I feel like she was on her phone. That’s the only thing I can really think of. I don’t know why she wouldn’t stop but it is what it is.
So did she get out and did you have to talk to her?
Yeah, she got out. An ambulance came. Police came. Everything. It was a whole big ordeal. Honestly, I don’t even remember talking to the ambulance or the police officers or her. I just remember fuckin’ laying on the ground and she just kept being, like, “Oh, you’re fucking stupid! Why were you in the street?” This and that. I was just over it.
Upsetting the curve every time he gets on the board, K Walks conquers another one. Photo: Vaughan
Is that the end of it with that lady?
Yeah, her insurance hit up my insurance, trying to get money out of me or something, like, maybe I dented her car, which makes no sense. But I don’t know; it’s all settled. I don’t owe her shit. She don’t owe me shit. We’re not going to court or nothing like that.
That’s good. Leave it behind.
Exactly, yeah. But she didn’t care whatsoever.
Dang it. But luckily you powered through and made it to the Nickatina show that night, right?
Hey, straight up. Made it that night! I wasn’t trying to let that hold me back. Maybe it’s good that happened before my 21st birthday so we didn’t get too buck, but I don’t know. I’m just happy to fuckin’ be here.
So did that happen on your 21st birthday?
The day before.
Holy shit! Happy birthday, right?
Yeah, exactly. Definitely one to remember.
Another Sabbath, another fence-gap session. Surfy front three, Cody nailing. Sequence: Burnett
So when you went to Nickatina were you flying high straight out of the hospital?
Dude, I was fuckin’ crowd surfing that shit. I was all over the place. Yeah, it was fun. I just had to put a little splint on and we just posted up in a little cutty zone.
So that was pretty much the end of the line. Did you have any regrets as far as getting hurt on video deadline?
I mean, obviously, like, last-minute shit and certain tricks I didn’t get to do but we had been working on it so solid—like trip after trip and going out in LA all the time, too, you know? It was kinda good to get a break, but I definitely wanted some last-minute shit that I couldn’t get. There’s always next time. I’m back on the board now, so it feels good.
So you’re gonna bounce back, no big deal?
Yeah, I should be good. I’m just gonna keep fuckin’ staying healthy and doing therapy and whatnot. I’ll probably keep doing therapy a little bit after I’m good, too, just to keep it going. I should come back to 100 percent.
What’s your take on putting accidents like this in the video? Do you want it in there or do you want it nowhere near there?
Honestly, I have no idea what they wanted to do with it. I asked Greg and they were just, like, “Eh, that’s not really like a cool clip.” When you watch it you’re, like, “Holy shit, what the fuck just happened?” If Mama Dukes was watching it with her son they’re just gonna take the board away from the kid probably, you know? It makes your stomach grumble. It’s definitely not a good clip.
Backside 180, deep in the Sooner state. Photo: Vaughan
Speaking of stomach rumbling, are you the kind of dude where you get to a scary spot and you immediately have to take a dump?
If too many joints and coffees are going around, but not usually.
Yeah, Geoff and Appleyard and Jamie Thomas, they get to the handrail and would immediately have to go take a shit in the woods.
You gotta do what you gotta do.
Yeah. It’s natural. Do you have any kind of rituals or anything that you like to do before you try to jump on the hand grenade?
Sometimes if I’m like really scared I’ll have to roll up to it at least once and then go back and do whatever, if it’s a flip trick or whatever, like, do that flatground trick and if I don’t do it at least decent then I’ll have to do the whole thing over again. Not every time, just on shit I’m super scared of, you know? But yeah, nothing too crazy. Maybe, like, when I’m throwing down to a spot I like to hear my tail drag.
You ever try that crail throwdown like Reynolds when you were a kid?
Uh yeah, for sure.
Locked and lapped, Smith 180 in Long Beach. Sequence: Vaughan
Does that thing help with any particular moves?
Nah. Maybe the benihanas.
So what did you learn about the Jewish faith going to that fence gap so many times?
The Jewish faith? I learned that they were not with it. They were not with the shit, so I’m not psyched. Yeah, we went there like fuckin’ five or six times. Got the 360 sketchy but, yeah, fuck that spot.
But you at least learned which day was the Jewish day of rest, right?
Fuck, what was that, Saturday or something?
Yeah, Saturday, the Sabbath. So you learned a little bit. Did you get to hit a lot of Oklahoma spots in this video?
Yeah, I did, actually. I think like half of the footage I have an OKC shirt so I’m not bummed on that.
Clipper conquered… at least for a night. Photo: Burnett
‘Cause Clint always has those amazing spots. Was that kind of your secret weapon knowing that you had all of these amazing spots back in Oklahoma?
Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of spots that are low key. No one skates them. That’s the type of shit to where you would be in California and say, “Oh, what’s been done? This and that.” But in Oklahoma it’s, like, someone maybe boardslid it or maybe ollied it,
What was your favorite trip you got to go on making this video?
There’s too many. I came in, like, three-and-a-half years ago, like, started filming fully with it, you know? And there are so many, but one of them for sure was just me, Cody Green and Rowan and we went to Sydney for two weeks, just us. Two weeks in an apartment, like, downtown Sydney, right on the corner. Not even a hotel, an apartment. They fuckin’ hooked us up. We were fucking just doing our own thing. Let’s see. We did a trip to Florida. We started up North in Tallahassee and then went down to Miami. That shit was so fun. I don’t know. I can’t single out one. Actually Paris and Australia. Yeah. And Croatia. Fuckin’ every trip. Not fuckin’ bummed on any trip.
Was that trick on Clipper on your mind for awhile?
Low key, it kinda was. I’m not gonna lie. I’m not really, like, the type of person to think about a trick for ages and then go and try it. I’ll just try something as it comes or whatever, you know? I try to not over-think it, but I’ve always wanted a trick on Clipper. I thought about it, like, three weeks before and then we ended up taking that trip up North and it worked out. I honestly still can’t believe that shit worked out! We went through this whole hassle going and getting wood, sat in traffic for 45 minutes and then we show up and there’s already a perfect piece of wood there, like, “Yep. Okay. Didn’t need all that extra stress but we’re here.” Yeah, I’m psyched on that.
Thunder struck! Rebel slide, long on the kink. Photo: Vaughan
Were there any other tricks in this video that you were just so stoked it came together like you couldn’t believe it?
Probably the main one is that feeble in Holland. That was on my first trip with Vans. We went on that Thrash n’ Burn trip for like 15 or 16 days and right after that they invited me to go—you were on that
Yeah, yeah. But, yeah, that feeble in Holland, fucking that was stressful. That was, like, I’m pretty sure I counted up the tries. It was like 250 or 300 tries, something like that. Dill was in the tree talking to me for like an hour and a half, like, spitting some real shit and speaking knowledge. I probably would not have done it without Dill. My leg was fucking cramping on the one I landed, straight up.
It landed on cobblestone right?
Yeah. I think there was a few I made it to the bottom and just fucking fell forward.
That was lovely.
You don’t have to do any more feebles the rest of your life, you got your quota.
Yeah, I KO’d on feebles.
Feeble for days on the Tim Zom rail. Photo: Burnett
So you came in as the new guy and now these guys are like some of your best friends, right?
Yeah. It pretty much just turned into kind of like a big family. I still look up to these fools. Everyone—Dan Lu, Chima, I still look up to them. But yeah, it’s sick to be fuckin’ good homies with them and whatnot. It’s, like, we’ll go on a trip and then film and kick it.
Who’s your favorite guy to attack a spot with?
Alright, I’m gonna go ahead and say Dustin or Chima, ‘cause they don’t fuckin’ warm up. It’s like, “Alright. We’re here. I’m gonna ollie or grind this shit then I’m gonna sail. I’m gonna fucking run this shit.” And then Nakel Smith, that’s my brother. Fuckin’ any spot, somehow it works out every time.
Yeah, he’s gonna have a guest trick in my part, too.
Oh nice. You got your family coming out for this?
Yeah, they’re out here right now.
Nosegrind gapper – haulin' balls in the Benelux. Photo: Burnett
Have they seen you skate like this?
Um, no. Not any time recently, that’s for sure. My dad, he grew up on a farm. He knows what I do, but I feel like this is definitely gonna open his eyes a little more, you know?
Rad. So if push came to shove, what was the hardest trick in this video, was it the feeble?
Let me think. Probably the feeble. Or the fakie frontside flip for sure. Yeah, probably
After this video comes out if your sponsors asked you to turn pro would you feel like you’re ready?
I mean, I feel like that’s a weird question to ask someone. The way I always pictured it for some reason—I don’t know if you remember the Hermanator, Bryan Herman’s first board, where they surprised him at the spot. That’s the shit I always think of. Like, random shit like that, just a surprise.
So it ain’t up to you, right?
Yeah, I mean, I’m down. I’m psyched. I’m not opposed, but yeah, I definitely don’t want to make that call. I’m not trying to rush or nothing.
Good answer. You’re not ready to turn yourself pro.
Going out skating all these years, who blew your mind the most?
Probably Gilbert. Everyone has their own shit in their own way but probably Gilbert. He can just do anything on anything. Not saying he doesn’t battle shit, but it’s too easy for him, you know? Like, “What the fuck? Chill boy!” Pretty much everyone, but Gilbert’s a wizard for sure.
Has he inspired you to get tattoos?
Uh, no big chest pieces yet. Maybe soon. Maybe I’ll get a Gilbert tat one day, who knows?
Working the angles, gap to the street. Photo: Burnett
Who would you say are your top-three favorite skaters of all time?
Let’s see. Fuck, Andrew Reynolds, Nakel Smith and Cody Green.
Yeah, he’s tight.
Yeah, C Green’s real tight.
What did Cody bring to this whole project?
Fucking everything. I wouldn’t have finished my part or had any of that shit for my part if it wasn’t for Cody. I felt like he helped me with so much shit just like getting you motivated, picking me up in the van, driving, all that, you know? He holds it down.
What’s your best bet with Cody Green?
Let’s see. It wasn’t a bet for me, but we were in Sydney on that fuckin’ trip—me, Rowan and Cody and Cody threw out drinks all night for Rowan if he fuckin frontside 360 hippy hopped this water fountain at Dog Shit park in Sydney. And I mean, it’s like fuckin’ waist high, maybe a little taller and we’re just, like, “Alright. We’ll go see.” Fuckin’ Ro-Zo does it first try so Cody had to buy him drinks all night. Drinks all night for Ro-Zo!
He must have been bummed.
Yeah. He definitely had to cough up a lot of money.
What’s the best bet he’s won off of you?
Probably just for money or something. Or probably like some Duvel. Oh, as a matter of fact he still owes Rowan a bottle of Jäger for the shove-it nosegrind out in Sydney. Just throwing that out there.
Maybe to help pay him back you can pay one of his parking tickets.
Oh yeah, he got a couple of those I believe.
Well, congratulations; I can’t wait to see the video.
Dude, I’m still so fuckin’ psyched. I can’t even believe I’m a part of this shit.
7/17/2018The 1st annual Kyle Walker Day is this Saturday, July 21st at Matt Hoffman Skatepark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Details here.
7/12/2018Skating this season for Real: Kyle Walker, kink rail slayer extraordinaire.
6/26/2018The REAL van reached the end of the line on the Actions REALized Tour at the 5th Annual Roll For Rob, to support East Coast skate community pillar Rob Pontes through his fight with ALS. This year the crews at Theory and Civil skateshops hosted the event at Skaters Edge Indoor Park. The support for Rob Pontes and his family was amazing to see and everyone had a good time. We love you, Rob!
6/25/2018The REAL crew kept the Actions REALized Tour rolling into Detroit, starting the day off with the Plus skateshop campers, followed by a limited Tommy Guerrero Board release at Refuge to stand up to cancer and ending with a skate jam at The Wig DIY where Dan Mancina was surprised with his new Braille board. Thank you, Motor City!
6/20/2018The REAL Team continues their Actions REALized Tour, pulling up to Clemente DIY in Grand Rapids for the Josh Higginson Memorial Skate Jam. Josh co-founded Premier Skateshop in 2001 and was an integral part of the Grand Rapids skate scene. His influence will live on for a long time to come.