(Featured: Sidewalk Magazine Issue 223. Photography by Chris Johnson and introduction by Leo Sharp. The interview had to be cut down slightly for the mag, here’s the unedited 7,102 word version…)
I’ve known the extraordinary human being that is Korahn Gayle for a good twelve or thirteen years now. In that time, he has consistently been late for every session, pissed about having a laugh instead of going for his tricks and generally distracted everyone with his comedy antics.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I first became aware of Korahn around 2003. I remember being in Fifty Fifty watching footage of a little kid skating off the second block at Lloyds (a spot he went on to OWN) with power and board control way beyond his years. Not long after, Korahn started working in Fifty Fifty. Picking him up from the shop during his lunch hour to shoot his First Light for Sidewalk; he said he wanted to check a set of eleven stairs up at Bristol University and I was dubious as to whether we could get there, shoot a photo and get back in time for Korahn to start work again. I needn’t have worried. He frontside flipped the stairs perfectly second try and we were back in the shop fifteen minutes later…
This level of consistency isn’t the only reason Korahn is one of my favourite people to shoot photos with. He gets everyone amped to skate by somehow being a constant source of amusement whilst whipping up his own unique concoction of precise yet on the edge skateboarding. He may sometimes look like he’s never stepped on a skateboard before (see his East ‘Vapors’ intro – one foot landings, arms flailing…) but rest assured he thinks about tricks on a sublime level. Once asking him about how he does fakie flips off things (as I would always miss the pop when reaching the edge of the steps/block etc.) far from the standard reply of “dunno man, I just do it”; Korahn launched into a monologue encompassing the finer details of his methodology. About how he concentrates on his foot positioning and speed right up to about six feet away from the pop, at this point he fixes his gaze upon the edge of the top step as he moves towards it then at the last second before the pop, he looks back at his feet. This scientific thought process seems to be inherent in all of Korahn’s skateboarding.
Yet Korahn’s common sense may have been left a little lacking in the past. I could talk about any number of stories like how he left his headphones on Las Ramblas in Barcelona one night and thought they would still be there the next morning. His supporting theory being that the headphones might have fallen into one of the grooves in the slabs. Or the time Korahn packed his passport in the same bag as a leaky bottle of Coke. By the time he got to the airport, the Coke had rendered it illegible resulting in Korahn not being able to check in. Perhaps the one where he asked Chewy Cannon which shoe company he rode for on a Nike trip… Or maybe the one about the girl that looked like Eddie Izzard….
But that’s all in the past. Korahn is definitely way more on it these days; holding down a job as a personal trainer whilst still skating full time. I was uber stoked to be present at his recent marriage to his long time girlfriend Lucy, where he managed to turn up on the right day AND remember the rings!
Kaygeezee has achieved a lot in a relatively short space of time and I’m proud to say I’ve been there to witness a lot of it. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours and can’t wait to see what his next NBD is for Lloyds…
Intro by Leo Sharp, interview by Farran Golding, photography and captions by Chris Johnson.
Easy Korahn. So I suppose double congratulations are in order then?
When we last spoke you were just about to fly to Istanbul for a Red Bull comp. Before that you were up and down the country for the premiers of Alfresco. Then you got married and where off on your honeymoon. I thought you were supposed to get more time to relax once you’ve wrapped up a video?
Yeah it’s been crazy. I knew the video was going to come out around the same time I got married. Then on the honeymoon I just went crazy, not worrying about health or anything. Do whatever then once I’ve come back from the honeymoon I can start being healthy again and maybe chill out a bit. But it doesn’t really seem like that’s going to happen much. I got straight back from Mexico, landed in London and skated in London Am. It’s pretty funny; I got back and hadn’t slept from the day before. We landed at 7AM then I couldn’t go to sleep so I was like ‘fuck it, I’ll go skating!’ So I went skating with Chris Jones in London, I was so hyped because I hadn’t skated for three weeks. So just skate, skate, skate, skate, skate – I couldn’t stop. Then I woke up the next day so achy… it was good and skating was fun and then in my run in London Am I got cramp just because I was so fucked (laughs). It was fun though man, good to see all the crew.
You on a trip with Jordan Trahan too, right?
It was to the Maldives and Sri Lanka, that was sick man; he’s one of my favourite skaters for sure. Best tre flips on flat, he’s an absolute beast. That was fun. You know the Red Bull media house? People put ideas forward to them and they have the budget to make it happen so I’m lucky enough to be invited to these things. It was good, it was Nick Boserio, Nick Garcia, Jordan, me. Then Sam McGuire the photographer and Patrick Warner the filmer. It was cool.
What was with the deal with that photo of you skating a board you’d sprayed Café onto the bottom of?
I was leaving the next day and we’d basically sold out of Café boards. I can’t just go skating with a different board if there’s the chance of getting a photo in a magazine so I decided to spray a few boards, they were Science boards actually. Went to Rock Solid, grabbed a few boards and did some of my own designs on them. Now I’ve got a photo in Transworld on one of those boards and you can see the Science logo underneath it (laughs).
Going back a bit, how did you end up getting on Skateboard Café in the first place? Obviously a lot of the people involved with the brand are from Bristol like yourself, did it come about from hanging out with them after leaving Crayon Skateboards?
Well basically I left Crayon for Skateboard Café. I was seeing all the Skate Café stuff and the crew and was hyped on it, it was fresh. (Andrew) Makepeace and Rich (Smith) are pretty good at designing, I was skating around with Rich in Bristol as well and Makepeace is like my best mate so he was like “if you did want to skate for Café you could.” I was skating for Crayon but I wasn’t really hyped and was getting more and more like ‘shit I need to do this.’ Then I took a trip to Bordeaux with Café and I could feel it coming. In the end I just had to tell Dykie ‘I’m sorry, gonna move on.’ It sucked because obviously Dykie’s the man but once I’m over something I can’t stay with it because there’s no point; I just won’t rep it properly. So I made the switch and started getting Café boards.
It wasn’t too long after you left that Crayon closed down wasn’t it?
No but it was only because it was never going to carry on anyway, it wasn’t anything to do with me (laughs). I remember Chris Jones rang me and said he’s been offered an exciting board sponsor, I think it was Isle. He was like “oh man I think I’m going to have to take that.’ We were both like “shit we’re both leaving, this is bad”. It sucks but I think Dykie had a lot of other stuff he was doing, it’s super hard to run a company but he did a good job.
When I interviewed Mackey he said you and Dykie were his favourite things about the East days. “Comedy, 24/7.” I think it was.
Dykie is comedy for sure. Comedy gold. So many stories, I hope he writes a book one day, ‘50 Stories from Matthew Ryan’ – it would be amazing. Ah shit! I just stood on something. I just stood on glass… I always walk around when I talk on the phone and I just go back and forth and I just stood on piece of glass. Maybe it’s telling me to stop, but yeah, where were we? (Laughs).
Rich and everyone else has been working hard on the video for the last two years, how are you feeling now that the video is finished?
Good man, I just want to get onto new projects. I find if you just work on something for that long… I kind of lost whether my part is good or not; I can’t tell. It was a mission and it’s out now and if people like it that’s good, if not that’s fine. Rich did a really good job of it, I’m just glad it’s done. Basically my whole problem is I always change what I think looks good clothes wise. So then I’m like ‘ah man what was I wearing there?’ and then months later I’ll be wearing something else and be like ‘yeah this is the shit’ and then months later think ‘I look like a dick.’ I might try and do a part in all joggers (laughs). I’ve never looked back at joggers and thought they looked wack. So I might try film a part in joggers, that’s a plan.
(Laughs) everyone’s had an outfit crisis…
Yeah exactly. I know joggers aint the best one but they’re the easiest to skate in and I’ve never looked back and thought they were bad (laughs).
How do feel about your part in comparison to your other sections?
I don’t know man; it’s hard to say really. It’s one of those things where… If I look back on my Bristol In Bloom part  which is when I was twelve or some shit I’m like ‘yeah that was sick.’ I think once a part is five years old or something I can start to enjoy it. That’s what it feels like because I forget I did it and don’t think ‘maybe I should’ve done that there’ or ‘I could’ve got this.’ At the moment I don’t really enjoy watching my part, I’m just like ‘ah is it good?’ It’s just a blur to me but the rest of the video I love watching! I’m looking forward to in five years time when I can watch my part and decide whether I like it or not (laughs).
Who had your favourite part in the video?
Man they’re all so good, I love it all, but my favourite part is Harry Ogilvie. It’s probably my favourite part in years just with the tune and it’s got so much style, it’s sick. He does the frontside 180 switch manny up the curb and his body keeps turning, he looks at the car that beeps at him. It makes me laugh every time because it’s so steeze. That’s my favourite for sure.
How did you find filming for the video? Would you usually go out with an idea of what you wanted to get or just head out with a crew or Café boys and get whatever comes you were happy with?
I guess near the start of the last year of filming, because that’s when the footage is from really, it was go skating, get stuff and it was fun and cool. Then because my Bristol’s Finest  part was quite a lot of jumping and hammers I was like ‘I need to make this a good part’. Especially if I’m getting a board after. Then it became a bit more serious and I was going to have last part so it was “Korahn you need an ender that’s going to end the video.” To be honest it became like a chore in the end. Just tiring and I’d do something and it won’t be good enough because… It was kind of like – doing a trick or wanting to do a trick but someone might be like ‘eh not sure about that because you could probably do it on something harder’ or ‘everyone’s already seen you do that.’ It was just becoming way too like everything mattered and I just wanted to skate. It started getting really annoying; but it wasn’t anyone else’s fault, it was my fault. I got the fact that it should be a good part. Basically I didn’t go skateboarding for about four months straight – I didn’t skateboard I just trick tried, it was mental. But it’s one of those things where that’s fine if it’s not just jumping down stuff. I’m happy to trick try if it’s tech stuff but when it’s ‘oh you need to get a few more hammers’ – it’s not what skating’s about is it? But I knew it was going to be like that and as soon as it’s finished I could just skate again for fun. So we’ve reached that point and skating is so much more fun now (laughs). I’m happy but obviously looking forward to filming more where it can be lines and stuff. There’s barely a line in my part just because it got to that point where it was like “we’ve got that stuff already, we need to get hammers.”
With what you were saying about there being pressure on you to deliver an ender, was it a relief when you saw Mike Arnold’s part and be stoked for him to have it?
By then I’d already fakie 360 flipped Lloyds so I thought if anything we should put that as an ender, it’s a new trick down Lloyds. But then I got to the point where… Because it was meant to be finished in December and then they moved it forward. I’m not going to kill myself for another four months but in the end it turns out that I did (laughs). I was being a diva. Then I saw Mike’s part before the video came out and was like ‘oh my god that has to be last part!’ It’s like a work of art, that’s how I feel about it. Because the music is perfect, the whole part man, it’s just perfect, I love it. I spoke to Rich and he agreed but was kind of still in the mindset that “nah Korahn needs last part.” I said like… My part; everyone has seen 80% of the tricks. Everyone has seen me do 80% of the tricks. Whereas in Mike’s part no one has seen 80% of the tricks done. Do you know what I mean? It’s much fresher, he’s got an amazing style and it needs to be last part. Because I just felt like finishing the video with something obvious is dry. Whereas with something where everyone is like ‘shit that was crazy!’ – that was the main thought behind it. It got on Jenkem, it’s the best shit ever.
You finally did a fakie tre down Lloyds which you’ve battled on and off for a bit (laughs). I know you’ve landed on one and slipped out before… How much a relief was that? It looked like you did it in the middle of winter too.
Yeah I did it on the day before New Year’s Eve. I was having a fun skate that day, feeling really good. I went down to Lloyds and loads of people were skating, there was a good vibe and then I thought ‘fuck it I’ll try it.’ I wasn’t scared that day for some reason, of slamming or anything then I started trying it – it took a little while then I landed on it and snapped my board and was like ‘ah it’s over.’ Josh Arnott gave me his board and then the next go, or two goes later, nearly landed on it and did the splits. So I was like ‘nah. I think it’s done now, that hurt.’ Then it was just getting dark and my leg was hurting from where I did the splits so it was just ‘fuck it one more go’ then went for it and didn’t really think I’d land it at all. I was so relieved man; you can see it in the footage, it’s kind of embarrassing. My head comes up, I didn’t cheer or anything but was like ‘oh my god.’ As soon as I saw it I was like ‘fuck I don’t think that can be an ender now’ because I’ve done that weird super excited thing. But I couldn’t help it man I was too relieved. It was a relief to do it. If you try a trick for ages and snap your board it’s good to roll away. I ramble don’t I? (Laughs).
You’ve done a hell of a lot of tricks down Lloyds, is that your personal favourite?
Probably not just because I know I can do them nicer, I feel like the one I did in Bristol’s Finest is a much nicer fakie tre but it’s good to have it done. What’s my favourite trick that I’ve done down Lloyds? Probably be the switch back three I did in that comp off the little ledge, just because I was wearing joggers (laughs).
Did you spend a lot of time with Danny Wainwright whilst he was filming his part in the video?
It was amazing to have Danny in the video; I felt it would bring a bit more hype to it as well. He’s always been one of my favourite skaters to watch so that was really cool but I didn’t spend much time filming with him at all. I was there for his wallride nollie at Macba. The rest of it Rich was just going on trips to Barcelona to hook up with him and skate but I was on another trip or busy or something like that, but I like the way it came out.
Got any good stories from the Copenhagen trip we featured in the mag? How much of the events surrounding your drunken double set switch backside flip can you remember?
I was trying to bigflip this set by the water. People were waiting because it was the last day and I was just wasting time I’d been trying it for so long. There were loads of random people watching so I couldn’t get angry because I didn’t want to be a dick. So I was just holding it in. Then just one time it got too much, I just picked my board up and launched it in the river. It was the dumbest thing. I remember some guy in a Danish accent just like “anticlimax yah!” It was so funny. Then with the switch backside flip, I’d been drinking loads, proper wavey watching people skate. I was trying to just skate flat ground and found it so hard, I was all over the place but I think with switch backside flips you just ride backwards and jump and your foot kind of rolls off and does it. So I chucked one down, just as a joke. Then I got too close and was sucked in. So I tried it a few times and eventually got it. But it was weird because I was pretty wavey. It was fun, it was a lucky one, it’s one of my favourite tricks in the part as well.
What’s the scene like in Bristol right now, anyone we should look out for?
It’s fucking amazing really. So many kids killing it. I think you’ll hear more of a kid called George Hill and this kid called Sebastian ‘Mungo’ Spey; he kills Lloyds, there are so many though. I’m sure Tom Kinman will be around soon because he’s really good as well. There are so many kids and then all the older guys too – the scene is really good at the moment for sure.
Can you explain how Mike Arnold managed to slip past everyone’s attention until he moved to Leeds?
I don’t understand it! I think he got good in Leeds (laughs). Nah I’m joking. I think he was short when he was in Bristol but he didn’t actually live in Bristol, he was on the outskirts. I think he was quiet too. I don’t really remember him if I’m honest. Then I saw this clip of him, it was that Hyde Park one – I saw that and was like ‘oh my god!’ You could tell if you got someone to film a video part of him it’s going to be insane. That’s when I found out he was going to get on Café. I did not think he would have a full part but he got so much stuff, he got so much throwaway footage. Well it’s not even throwaway is it? He just put out that like minute and half of other tricks. He’s a tank (laughs).
You’ve spent a lot of time skating other cities in England, are there any scenes you’ve been really hyped on? Could you imagine yourself living somewhere other than Bristol or would the thought of tricks you haven’t landed bolts down Lloyds just keep pulling you back?
I would like to go to London and skate with Chris Jones, Tom Knox, Casper (Brooker), Smithy (Neil Smith) and that crew. I’m not going to move but I’m going to try and get up to London more often because there’s so much to skate. I think there’s a good scene there at the moment, obviously there’s always going to be. I do think everywhere has got a good scene, pretty much just because skaters tend to be sound people so you just go skating and have a laugh. I would like to move to London, but the wifey’s not down because she only moved to Bristol five years ago and loves it here. The other thing is it’s really expensive there. If I could afford it, I’d move to London just for a couple of years because it’s super productive. But Bristol’s cool, it’s all good.
You’re Skateboard Cafe’s first pro and Danny Wainwright is also getting a guest board too. When did you find out you were turning pro, did Rich drop that one on you as wedding gift?
It was just one of those things where Makepeace, I think he might have even said when I first got on Café “you were pro on Crayon so we’ll eventually put you pro.” I always knew that it was on the cards, then I guess if nothing had changed and the video worked out that it would probably happen. It was gonna happen around Christmas but the video wasn’t out and it gave them more time to work out what they wanted to do board wise. I didn’t always know but there was a time when I knew that once the video is out I’m gonna have the pro board straight after. That put pressure on me but made me try a bit harder on my part because you want to be able to deserve what you get. I chat so much shit, I reckon I’ve done like a kilometre and a half walking about my house (laughs).
So how has life been since getting married?
Yeah it’s been alright, I’ve just been doing the same stuff really, skating and working quite a lot. It’s been all good.
You’re missus isn’t from Bristol right?
Yeah she’s from Bournemouth, she moved to Bristol about five years ago now. I met her in Bristol on a night out – pissed.
(Laughs) yeah, yeah, very.
Where did you say you went for the honeymoon, was it Mexico?
Yeah man. It was good. It was a resort called Playa del Carmen, kind of down south near Cancun. We were in the pool like every day playing drinking games and stuff. I got pretty much paralytic about five times in two weeks, drinking everyday too much and then I got back and haven’t drunk since basically, because it just killed me (laughs). But it’s good to have a rest from it innit?
So wedding day, did you have any nerves or were you ready from the get go?
I did have nerves at the start and then I had about half a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and I was fine. (Laughs) I got up and was a bit nervous then Louis Marshall handed me the bottle, had a few fat swigs and I was fine then. It was fun, just seeing everyone there; it was cool and obviously marrying my wife was wicked. I wasn’t very nervous, which I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing (laughs). But yeah it was good fun.
What did you do for your stag party?
Err…dressed up as a vagina.
Makepeace sorted it. We went go-carting because I didn’t want to do anything crazy and couldn’t be bothered to get super fucked up. I didn’t wanna have to dress up; well I didn’t mind dressing up… I didn’t want to get tied to a lamppost naked or something. I know people do all that stuff but I didn’t really want anything crazy then Makepeace got me the vagina to wear and I was like ‘fair enough, I’ll wear the vagina.’ It was the Alfresco premier as well, so we went and watched the video and used the venue of the after party for Alfresco as my joint stag do basically because I knew everyone would be there. I didn’t get that – well, I got really smashed but I thought I was alright and then I woke up in the morning in my own piss by my front door.
(Laughing) you didn’t even make it into the house?
I made it in! But in my house you walk in and then there’s the landing and you go up the stairs. I was just down by the landing; on my knees as if I was praying or something. So I guess it was a good stag do… Louis Marshall was actually worse than me! Louie was real smashed, I don’t know how he ended up in the morning but in the night he was wasted man, being proper ‘Boisterous Barry.’
So wedding itself, bit of a soppy one but how did it feel seeing your wife to be walk down the aisle?
She looked amazing and it was a cool experience. It’s funny because she’s quite a jokey person and kind of had to act serious walking down the aisle. It was outdoors as well so she came walking through some bushes and stuff. We played the ‘Here Comes The Bride Song’ and then half way through it was like “whomp, tsh tsh, crash” – into some fucking drum and bass version so it was pretty funny seeing everyone’s reactions. All the old people thought it was cool, it was funny.
Sounds like a pretty unconventional wedding.
With that song, Lucy’s so stubborn that she was like “why should I have the normal shitty song?” Then we had to look up something slightly different so she didn’t feel she was doing what she was ‘meant to do’ basically, so we changed it, it was cool though (laughs). We just wanted to do it outdoors in a venue called Gants Mill. Lucy looked it up and I hadn’t seen it until the day of the wedding, naturally, but it was really nice. She done good
When it came to the ‘I do’ moment were you tempted to say anything stupid?
Kind of, I’m always tempted to say something stupid (laughs). I’m trying to remember… When they said if there is anyone who has any reason you shouldn’t get married, I remember looking around pointing at them like ‘don’t you dare…’ but no one did so it was all good.
Who was your best man?
Makepeace. I was dreading his speech, it was bad but it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. He brought up things like once I walked in my room one morning with Match of The Day on with a couple of cups of tea and I was naked and I thought I heard him coming out of the bathroom so I ran in the room and was like ‘shit, Makepeace nearly saw…’ and there he was in my room so I put a cup of tea in front of my dick (laughs). Then he went on to say that’s where we got the name ‘twiglet’ from, pretty funny. Also at the end he was like “nah, in all seriousness let me just get you and Lucy to look at each other.” So we looked at each other and he goes “statistically, you are looking at the person who is most likely to murder you” and I was like ‘cheers mate!’ You gotta laugh don’t you?
What was the ratio of skateboarders to family members like at the wedding?
Well we were only allowed about ninety people to the reception and then about thirty more or something so it was a mission because I wanted all my mates to come obviously. About seventy percent of it was family, then a lot of Lucy’s friends so – oh man I probably only had about fifteen skater mates. It was cool though, Dougy (MacLaughlan) made it there, which was so funny! It was good to see all your different kind of groups of people mingle.
Manhead said to mention Dougy dancing with your mother in law…
(Laughs) Manhead rang me and asked “is it alright if Dougy comes?” and I was like ‘course, yeah.’ The more the merrier. He came along and was the life and soul of the party, it was funny man, just getting involved, it was good to see him. Everyone got really smashed, a lot of people don’t remember the end of it but Lucy’s mum, my mother in law I should say, decided to get all the guys to take their tops off. There’s some funny pictures on facebook. All of us there, tops off, Leo and Dougy – it’s classic, you’ll have to check them out (laughs).
Sounds like you get along with your in-laws then as not doing so is the usual married life cliché.
No, her mum is a really nice lady. I have to say that, she does my taxes (laughs). Just kidding, but yeah she’s super cool.
Me and Ben were talking about how Leo has photographed pretty much most of your life, from your first photos in skateboard magazines to your wedding.
Leo’s one of the best guys and you know he’ll be good with wedding photography because if he asks someone to do something he’ll ask in such a nice way that they’ll just do it. He was smashing it, going round getting photos of everybody, it was cool to have him as my wedding photographer. He’s taken so many photos of me and he would’ve been there anyway so it meant that it could be another person which the wife wouldn’t get annoyed about when I was trying to take more friends to the wedding (laughs).
Stupid question, but how does shooting a skate photograph with Leo compare to shooting a wedding one?
Well he doesn’t ask you to do it again and again as much at a wedding (laughs). The amount of times where I’ve shot a photo with Leo but I’ve done it a bit stinking and had to re-do it three, four or five times… But it’s my fault for being stinking. We were driving in the car somewhere and I was like ‘I need a wedding photographer’ and he says “dude I’ll do it.”
‘Wicked, how much do you want?’ and he was like “I’ll do it for free. The amount of times I’ve made you jump down stuff for me, of course ill do it for you” or something like that, so that was dope. But Leo’s made me do so many tricks which I wouldn’t have done. ‘Should I 180 this?’ and he’ll be like “hmm, I dunno mate, frontside flip maybe?” and it’s like ‘for fucks sake Leo!’ But it makes you do stuff (laughs).
Leo’s pretty much been your manager then?
(Laughs) pretty much. Along with Syd (Justin Sydenham), (David) Mackey and Colin Kennedy yeah. They’ve all helped me loads along the way!
Any stories worth sharing about Leo from all the years you’ve known him? I imagine there’s a lot to pick through…
Leo’s just the man isn’t he?! “Hashtag smashing life.”
Right, you’re married, you’re pro, you’ve got a proper job; do you feel grown up yet?
(Laughs) annoyingly, a little bit. But I don’t really know what growing up is, if you know what I mean? I guess I’m just trying to be more productive, maybe, but the whole being married thing to me is more of a gesture than ‘I’m not gonna do anything anymore.’ My wife’s in Ibiza right now (laughs). So I’m just trying to be productive I guess. I’ve just done a sports massage therapy course, so now when I’m on trips I can rub people down, that’ll be fun (laughs). I’ve done that course because I’d like to be a physiotherapist but I think I want to be just in the sports side of things rather than dealing with other parts of it like head injuries and stuff, I just wanna do more to do with sports. So sports massage therapy is sort of a shitter version of physiotherapy.
How did you end up working as a personal trainer?
I work in the gym as a fitness instructor, teach a couple of classes and then I’ve got a few clients personal training as well. There was a free course about five years ago or something for a fitness instructor and personal trainer course. I’d just stopped smoking weed at the time too so I was just like ‘yeah it’ll give me something to do.’ Got on the course and then just started working in the gym and the good thing about the gym was I could go on skate trips, they’d just let me go and come back whenever I needed to and that’s the same with my gym now. They’re like really good to me. It’s like an ideal job really. I can just say ‘I’m going away next month’ and my boss is cool with it.
It’s pretty contrary to the standard skateboarder of mine or your age as we’re usually fairly unhealthy.
I reckon it’s changing a bit these days. People are realising if you want to skate for a long time, you can’t just drink and smoke all day while skating… I mean you can get away with it but you’re more likely to get injured. So you want to keep as fit as possible just so you can skate as long as possible. I think it’s changing, where before it was “the gym? What the fuck?” I think now people are a bit more like “well, I could do a little bit of exercise” and stretching as well – yoga, that kind of thing. Daryl Dominguez does yoga all the time; he’ll be skating for a long time man. People still kind of think gym means jock, like “let’s get hench as fuck.” But it doesn’t have to mean that at all, doing a bit of plyometrics and proprioception work can be so beneficial. Plyometrics basically means jumping and explosive stuff really and proprioception is basically your ability to sense where your body is and how it is moving. I’ve got a friend who skates and he kind of struggles a bit with propioception, so he’ll injure himself quite easily because he doesn’t feel his body as well as you’d like to as a skater. So for instance when he jumps off something he won’t judge the height right or how his body weight should be and that’s when you’re way more likely to twist your ankle or knee, jolt your back or get a heel bruise or something. You can do loads of proprioception with balance work and jumping up and down, getting your neuromuscular pathways working better then you’re way less likely to injure yourself. That’s the best thing about training, for sure.
What are the clientele like you work with does it vary from people wanting to get in shape, athletes and physiotherapy?
I’m seeing loads of members so they’re not my clients as such but we give them basic help, you get all sorts of different people. I might see three different people in a day and one could be a young guy that wants to put on some muscle, another a woman that’s got a bad knee or a weak hip so you’ve got to find a way to strengthen that or work out the route of the problem or just someone who just wants to lose a bit of body fat. There’s a lot of squash players in the gym as well so we try and do a lot of squash specific stuff with them, lunging and loads of balance work with them, but you can see any sort of person really.
Do you have to spend a lot time around bad tattoos and muscle vests?
(Laughs) actually at my gym the old slogan was ‘for people, not posers’ so it’s not so aesthetic in there. It’s more about rehab, general wellbeing and getting better for your sport. We’ve got the world’s number one squash player training there. It’s not like a Fitness First you know? We get so many people coming in like “man I just went to that gym down the road and it’s horrible.” Then they come here and it’s nice. Good staff, obviously (laughs), we give our members a lot for free and noone’s judging each other.
How much time do you spend exercising when not skating then? I know you’re pretty into football too, aren’t you in a team with Makepeace?
I used to do a bit of strength training, got kind of hench and then a year ago stopped because I was just like “this aint good for skating.’ I’d go to a comp in Europe and some guy would be like [in the weirdest Spanish accent I’ve ever heard – FG] “eh muscle man” and I’ll be thinking ‘fuck that!’ Don’t wanna be thought of as that guy at all and also it doesn’t look as good I don’t think apart from like Brandon Biebel and Louis Marshall. They look pretty sick and they’re hench. I just wanted to lose that muscle bulk, which I have, I’ve lost quite a lot of weight and it’s just better for my skating. Plus it means I’m not wasting time training when I could be skating. I stopped playing football this season so I could just skate. I teach a couple of classes like core strength, body weight and balance but I don’t train basically. I’m not trying to put on any more muscle. Although I look in the mirror and go ‘fuck me I’m skinny now!’
It has also come to my attention, thanks to Shaun Currie, that you’re a pretty good MC…
(Laughs) Ok. Wow, you gotta ask Shaun about his MCing skills, because he can MC! But Kaygeezee’s got some bars (laughs).
Can you drop some?
Nah, I don’t think I can because it’ll be so shit! Oh man… It’ll just be shit. I don’t think I can… Ah ok, I’ll try. Fuck it, drop me a beat. I might swear a lot.
Hold on a sec, my laptop’s stuck on a fucking Compare the Meerkat advert…
I’ll put on a tune in my background, hold on. Fuck, this is gonna be so wack. What should I use – oh I like spitting to this shit! You know MF Doom? There’s that album which has got like no spitting on basically. This is pressure now man. Can you hear that?
[Sarsaparilla by MF Doom starts playing.]
You hear me, you hear the bars? (laughs) alright, fuck it…
So I’m sitting in my house these flows will be shitty,
Drinking a coffee from a fifty-fifty –
That’s what I’ma sound like but I’m gonna plug…
My new board that’s coming out – soon!
I’m doing a VX part in the room,
Spittin’ some bars, sound like I’m on shrooms,
But fuck it…
This is all Shaun Currie’s fault…
So when I see him I’ma put a bolt,
To his dome!
Nah I’m jokin’ bro,
I hope your collarbone,
Is feelin’ okay but I dunno!
So, this is what we usually do…
Me and Harry Ogilvie spit bars in the room…
We go back and forth on a Whatsapp ting…
Next thing you know we’re having a laugh and sing…
Yes we’re meeting at the Green, carrying on in the scene…
Spitting them bars, not getting lean,
Like we used to, yeah we used to…
But then we realised that we don’t do nuttin’, do DOODOO
No we don’t do shit but I don’t give a damn cause all I’m gonna do is spit about…yo…well, I dunno…
(Laughing) As if I just said I’m gonna plug my board.
(Laughs) Don’t worry about it, that was great. Have you got anything coming up soon then?
Basically I’m stoked on this board that’s gonna come out that Rich-T did so we’re filming a VX part for it and we’re in the process of doing that now. Gonna go to Paris for a week in October, but yeah, it just came out in my rap (laughs). I think it’s gonna be out in December so I’ve got a couple months to film this part which is fun! Filming VX. Feel like a kid again innit.
Safe, cheers Korahn. That seems like a place good one to end this on, all the best!
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