Meet the skateboarding sensation Kilian Martin. The Spanish wonder boy is a globally recognized professional skater who has taken the freestyle approach to a whole other realm. His unique movements and elegant flow have set him apart in a class of his own. For the last few years Kilian has been nailing mind blowing tricks all over the planet which have been artfully documented by the outstanding skate director Brett Novak.
Surfdome has been extremely fortunate to get the opportunity to pick Kilian’s brains in an exclusive interview. As there were so many pressing questions to ask, we turned to the Surfdome following to make sure we made the most of this opportunity! As expected, there were some great responses and Kilian has answered your questions below!
Tom Jackson: What inspired you first to start skateboarding?
A friend of mine had a board and wanted me to try it. I accepted because I thought skateboarding would help me get better at surfing. Not long after , I was hooked.
Sam Vickers: How long did it take you to learn to skate?
I have been skating for a little more than 8 years and I am still learning…Its not about how long ,but how fun its been.
Kemi Mo: Being that surfing was your first love, before skating won over your affection, do you still surf a lot? If you still surf, is it as good as your skating skills? Also do you use some of your major skating stunts when surfing?
I surf once or twice a week. I don’t take surfing serious. Doing it is fun and it’s a good work out… I don’t do any major stunts but who knows, I might start getting better now that I live close to the beach.
Jeroen ‘woony’ Mares: I’d like to know what or who got you into the freestyle and not the ‘mainstream’ skateboarding?
Skating the way I do, was my decision. I think, I found freestyle watching some of the Powell Peralta classic videos. It was original and different from what I was used to see. Skaters like Kevin Harris doing their own thing, that inspired me to incorporate that kind of skateboarding into my skating.
Harry Barlow: Do you take inspiration from Rodney Mullen?
I usually take inspiration from the stuff I have done before, that way I compete against myself . My friend Rodney Mullen inspired pretty much everyone of us skaters with his originality.
Víctor Seco: Where did you get the true inspiration to do these amazing tricks!?
There are a lot of things that can inspire me, a movie, a story ,an artist … Or simply someone that works really hard to get something that he ends up getting.
Olivier Goedefroy: Why do you think freestyle skateboarding has become less popular then what it used to be? Nowadays, when a good freestyle skater is found, people see it as something amazing and innovative. Yet it is the oldest style of skateboarding and it has been around since the sixties. Why do you think people forgot about it? (ps: The things you do with it are of course very innovative and amazing)
I think because it stopped progressing. Its been around for so long that if you don’t take it further , and if you don’t push it ,it ends up dying. The concept of skating those flatland tricks on obstacles can take it to the next step.
Jamie O’Donnell: How do you view skateboarding’s position in modern culture? Do you believe that it has been embraced as a more mainstream sport through shedding some of it’s counter-culture stereotypes?
Words like ‘training’ instead of ‘practicing’ are taking over the mainstream side of skateboarding.“Money as the main motivational factor”, I don’t think skateboarding can be measured by points. It’s not about competition, it’s about having FUN. In the way they are mainstreaming skateboarding are hardly showing that…But hey! That’s just me, I want to see myself as an artist, not as an athlete.
I could do commercial work as long as it was something that I didnt have an ethical conflict with. I would do it, take that money and fund my own projects. It could influence people to question the commercial side of things.
Joe Duncan King Skelly: What is your opinion on longboarders and do you see them “ruining” skateboarding or just bring a new aspect to the sport?
If you wanna ride longboards, that’s cool! If you are on a board that you enjoy and it’s your passion, I think we are all on the same team.
Simon Gibson: Did you cut down a Frankie Hill deck to make one of your freestyle decks in your video? And is Brett Novak the son of Rich Novak, one of the founders of NHS?
Powell Peralta made a custom smaller board and asked me what graphic I wanted on it, so I chose the legendary Frankie Hill graphic. Yes , Brett’s dad is Rich Novak, that’s all I know.
Tom O’Toole: Which is the best city in the world for skating you’ve been to so far? And is there any iconic places you want to freestyle around?
I love skating Barcelona, it’s just such a great city to skate. Yes, I do have an iconic place in an iconic country, that I want to skate. But I might eventually make a video there… so I can’t tell you.
Hasif Toofanny: If you didn’t have a career in skateboarding, what would you be doing and why?
I have no idea… I might be working as a waiter at a 50’s restaurant in L.A , so I would get free food and free good music…
Hannah Salmon: Skateboarding aside, we know you’re a massive 80’s geek, especially when it comes to cult-classic films such as Karate Kid & The Goonies. If you could be any character from that era, who would you be?
I think I would be a skateboarder version of Sean Astin.
Brett Novak (The Director): Why do you eat so much damn bread?
Its just an inherited habit.
Ariel Montague: Do you have a girlfriend? If not, I’d like to kindly invite you over for dinner and stuff.
I don’t have one. What kind of food?
Tiago Dias: Can you train me to skate like you?
Trying to skate I do, won’t take you very far… Get inspired and do your own thing.
Mahoosive thanks to Kilian for taking the time to talk to us and his fans! Inspired? Then check out Kilian’s sponsor’s gear and get ripping with Powell Peralta!
If you guys have missed it, or need another hit of Kilian magic, check out his latest video Altered Route. Set at an abandoned family park in the Mojave Desert, it is a unique and amazing video!
Check out more superb work by Devende Photography