Talkin' With The Team #3 - Julian Kelly
Sk8 Skates, and as of late Vagrant Skates through Platform Dist! Much love to those dudes and Colin for hookin' everything up. Beyond grateful for it all.
How long have you been sponsored by Sk8 Skates?
6.9 months on the dot.
How did you get on the team?
Beats me, probably just riding Austin Thomas' coattail long enough til I got the ok.
Favorite Sk8 Skates rider from the past?
Was Justin Basset on the team at some point? I feel like that's a thing, and if so then I gotta give it to him. He's probably one of my favourite Winnipeg skaters ever. Not for any trick in particular, but just for his all around style. You don't get many guys like him coming out of Winnipeg, and watching him skate was just so influential to me. It's like he just charges at anything in front of him, that's what it's all about. Oh shit, and how could I forget Andrew Geeves! He's just a sweet dude and a true Winnipeg legend in my eyes. Switch back heel down Woodsworth before I even knew what a skateboard looked like.
Favorite Sk8 Skates rider from the present?
Gotta be my dog Keiran Zimmerman. Perfect mix of looks and personality. But for real, his drive is contagious and he's one of the most motivated dudes I've ever met. He seriously skates non stop and produces more than anyone. His brain's just wired to skating full time and despite his routine mental breakdowns he's just one of the best guys to be around
Favorite up and coming winnipegger?
That's a real toss up between Tyler Geurts and Everett Polanski. Ty's been on a tear for years now so hopefully someone picks him up, all the best man. But Everett has actually been so good for so long and is another one of my favourite Winnipeg skaters. And he's just so damn charming. The type of guy you'd wanna bring home to meet the folks, you know?
What are you working on right now?
GTS GTS. Get the shit, get the shot, whatever you wanna call it. Just been gathering as much content as possible all summer with loose ideas of what's gonna come of it. It'll all come together soon enough, but there's nothing you can do if you don't have the content, so that's been top priority. Well asides from expanding my instagram portfolio that is, cause we all know that's what it all comes down to in the end. Definitely been my most productive summer by far, full of endless good times and stories I'll cherish for a long time
Best day of your life?
Wouldn't have the highs without the lows man. Reflecting back on it, some of my best days were also my worst days. I'm gonna say any day I've taken a good slam cause it's so easy for me to forget how good I've got it. Nothing quite puts things in perspective like your skateboard reminding you that you ain't shit. Often times when you take a good slam it sets that fire under your ass to get it though. It's the most incredible change of pace that very few people get to experience. Lots of good days and bad days, but it's the good days that make it all worthwhile. So who knows, maybe tomorrow will be the best day of my life. Or the worst, fuck it, I can't call it.
Tell us a good story about another team rider?
I dunno, I guess this one night a couple months back a crew of us were camping in Montreal at this DIY, and we met a crew of younger skaters and their parents who were gonna camp there too. Being hospitable neighbours, and wanting to stoke these kids out we chatted em up for a bit and hung out til it was their bed time. It was still relatively early and we had some partying left in us. Mere minutes after them closing the door to their truck's camper, Josh, who had been drinking, decides to shotgun a beer which must've only been a few feet from where they were laying in bed. Being a seasoned gunner none of us thought anything of it until lo and behold, this beer didn't sit right in Josh's stomach and he started puking out literally every beer he must've drank in Montreal. It seriously sounded like all of us were puking in unison for like a minute straight. Anyways we wake up in a sluggish daze the next day to the sound of skateboard wheels on concrete and kinda peer through our tent to catch a glimpse of these kids ripping the DIY first thing, but they took off before we even rolled out of our tents . Later that evening we catch up with those kids and their parents and recon what spots they checked out and what they got etc. We found out they were right on our tail at one of the spots and barely an hour after we were there one of these kids that was roughly half our age did the same trick at the same spot as our good homie Everett. Not only that, but then one of the dad's brings up the puke fest Josh displayed the night prior which he had front row seats to. He wasn't bummed at all, more impressed if anything.
Gnarliest trick ever done in Winnipeg?
Ah this one's tough for me cause I haven't been around the scene very long, and I'm blown away almost regularly when I go to spots and hear what's been done there. My perception's probably a little screwed but I suppose I can't really have a wrong opinion. From what I know, I'm gonna say anything that's gone down on the motel rail. Nick Serduletz 5050 and lipslide, along with Austin Thomas' 5050. That thing is just so intimidating and steep. It's hard to imagine ever mustering up the courage to actually jump down it. To see that thing and to know it's been skated tops the charts for me. Also Sascha Daley's kickflip into law courts has always blown my mind. If I had to pick one though, I think I'd have to go with my boy Austin's smith grind down that 16 in his Times Change part. That's gotta be one of my favourite clips I've seen come out of Winnipeg, and Austin's just such an entertaining person, so that clip has always stuck out to me. As I'm writing this I keep thinking of other gnarly shit that's gone down and the list just doesn't end, but that's one of the things that stokes me out so much about Winnipeg, there's no shortage of motivated individuals just in it for the love of the game
What are some slang terms that only Winnipegger's use?
Not exactly slang, but if you hear this one you'll know you've arrived "What are ya doing with those bolt cutters? That's my bike!" most commonly heard around the Osborne area.
Who should get on the team next?
Hmmm this is a weird question. I know there's probably a bunch of kids waiting for their name to get dropped that rip so hard, but at the end of the day it's tough cause there are more factors at play here. It also comes down to whether you're sweet to hang with, or hit the road with. Everyone I do that with anyways is happy doing it sponsored or not, so that's what makes 'em sweet people to be around. Getting sponsored doesn't make skating any easier or make the slams hurt any less, it doesn't mean people will always be hitting you up to go filming or hop in the van, that's all on you. I mean don't get me wrong it's great having people who back you, and believe in what you do, but that never would've happened for me if I didn't believe in what I do.
I think more younger dudes need to find a sense of individuality and just do what they're into because it's what they're into. I really wish the best for everyone and it might be kind of cocky to say, which isn't my intention, but you gotta be stoked on yourself before anyone else is gonna be. Buuuut I guess I'll still give a couple kids the satisfaction cause I have faith in the future. I'll give my shout outs to Logan Esquash and Joey Braun. They are both pretty rad. I know it makes no difference to these guys, and they're in it for the love but I also wanna give shout outs to some of my close pals and favourite skaters alike; Jack Davis, Andrew Kevany, Everett Polanski and my main dude Hayden Siemens. They're all sweet, but if you don't know 'em already they're probabably on instagram somewhere, aren't you?
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Follow Julian on Instagram @juliankelly
Photo by Tyler Geurts @tyler_geurts