Keegan Valaika interview

After Arthur Longo, we continue our series of interviews with an another 22 years old kid with mad steez : KeeganValaika. He fastly became a reference in street shreding for the "core" scene... while ripping the backcountry. And he never gives interviews, almost. 

And to top it all, in order to introduce this first class interview, here is his part from the last Burton movie "Standing Sideways", exclusively on Fluofun !

Fluofun : So first, can you introduce yourself ?

Keegan : Well, I’m Keegan, from Laguna Beach, California, and I’m just here to do some rail jams and go film some stuff in Helsinki with Forest (Bailey).

How's been last season ?
It’s been fun man, I've just been in the powder actually for three weeks or so before heading to Europe, just hanging in colorado back home where I live and it’s been nice, we had tons of snow out there so, it’s been a good one. I hadn’t touch to many rails lately tho, so coming out here, is a little… of a sketch.

It's a bit surprising to see you in a contest ... (Stair Set Battle Final in Munich)
Yeah, I know, we came out to do the Gnarly clothes booth at ispo and then since I was out here and I talked to the event organiser and I was like « whatever, I’ll do it », you know it’s just for a day and he hooked us up with the hotel and everything... it worked up sick, Forest came out and Ethan (Deiss) was also supposed to come, but some shit happen…

So Burton is making a movie...
They’re making a movie yeah, I don’t know how it’s gonna be called yet, but I think they’ll got most of the pro team, and then a couple of the ams, filming parts of it. I’m sure Ethan won’t have like a really good part for it, and i think Freddy might be filming a little bit for it… But the things is, Freddy and Mikkel and all them are filming for our movie too, so it’s gettink like, a little complicated some times, I don’t know. It’s just hard to figure out where everybody’s at, specially when you’re out here in Europe.

You’ve boomed last year ?
I don’t really know if it’s really different, I'm just snowboarding so…

Here in Europe, you were not that famous… but then all the sudden, you were everywhere. Your parts were the best for the kids and everything.
That’s sick man, that’s cool, those kids amazed me, they’re good as fuck. I can’t wait to see some of the parts these guys pull out beacause I never got to see the Euro videos and stuff... Alexis’s been show me a bunch of since I got here and they’re some fucked up kids out there I’ve never even seen before you know, some really good kids for sure.

So, how did it start for you ?
I filmed for Bozwreck when I was younger, with Nate Bozung and Matty Ryan made a movie and I wasn’t really sponsored for snowboarding when the first one came out and then I get on Burton, I won like some little rails jam. But I told the team manager « Ryan, I don’t wanna really do contest if you don’t mind » so I just film for Bozwreck 2 (his part 08/09 here). Then Transworld came about, I’ve known Joe Carolino the guy who make the movies (In colour) for a while. He told me they were making a new movie and he wanted me to be a part of it. He also told me that Jake OE, Mikkel and a bunch of other kids I am good friend with were filming for it so I was like « Of course man ! ». I pretty much hang out with em the whole year, it was so fun man.

Latest project ?
It will be GIVIN Films, me and Aaron (Hooper) we just brought our own production company. I guess, it’s sick because we do whatever we want, it’s not like I just go film and then they take the footage and put some songs I don’t like and… some wack shit. It’s sick cause it’s all us, we sit at the computer we pick the music and edit the video.

Give us the envy to see the video. What it’s gonna be like ? Do your promo job.
Yeah fuck man, Forest is gonna have probably the best rail part of the year, for sure. And…god there’s so many ! Alex Stathis, he is a kid from Canada and he’s already got a bunch of good footages too. And… Wyatt Stasinos, he is this powder kid from Colorado, he kind of lives in the mountain and does his own thing, he’s got no sponsors right now but he got 6 minuts of footage already, all like gnarly lines and stuff… it’s gonna be awesome.

You can see a lot of mixing between rail parts and « real mountains » parts… it wasn’t really the case before, with rail vids OR mountains vids.
I think that’s how it needs to be for sure too, it’s just so much sicker to ride natural terrain, you just look at it and it’s like « Damn I can go from here to there » cause when you go build a park kicker it’s just so stuck like « Go do this trick or whatever ». It’s so much cooler when you watch Nicolas (Muller) or Blauvelt or or any of those guys who just find the terrain and then ride it how they see to. I feel it’s like the same way I look at rail riding so it’s just make sense to mix both of those. You don't build your own rail in the street, you just go there and find something that works and snowboard on it.

Frontboard to drop Keegan sur un toit Keegan moins sérieux Keegan sur son caillou

There’s always controversy about tricks amongst the core kids. How do you decide if a rail trick is legit or not ?

I don’t know… basically if you do good what you’re trying, is what it look like. If you try a lipslide and you land inbetween your bindings and go down the end of the rail, come off and land that’s a sick lipslide if you ask me. But a lot of times people in snowboarding, would be like do a lipslide and just turn around down the rail and… I just think it looks cooler when you really lock your tricks. Just like all the french kids and Forest, they are all good examples of propper snowboarding I guess. I mean you just should DO trick… it’s that easy !  I’m not a big fan of jumping around while you’re on the rail you know big combos and stuff but… it’s cool, I didn’t care if people do it, if it’s what they want to do, if that they’re having fun with, whatever. It’s just for me, I’d rather look nice and locked on long good tricks for sure. 

Tell me any embarassing story.
Oh dude, I don’t know… me snowboarding in this contest, that was embarassing !

Keegan et sa Baracuda de railWith your freeride board ?  (the pics right there -> )
With the freeride board yeah ! I’m riding the Burton Baracuda reverse camber for pow board so, I can’t go switch or… just like it’s all fucked up. It’s fun cause it goes fast, faster than a rail board. It will be a good time.

It's a bit like Stefan « Mu » Maurer riding the park with his Fish.
Yeah he is sick, I haven’t seen that video honestly… I heard he hit rails on that thing.

That’s sick, I wanna see that shit. Steph Maurer right ? Moo is da shit, I love that, he is awesome !

He does tons of tricks on it, 720, 1080 and all…
Ten eighty on that shit… oh my god ! You’re like « no way, that’s so sick » ! And you’re so far back on that board dude ! It’s sick, it’s kinda of more like skating you know cause skateboards are so directionnal and nose is little biger than the tail so it kind of makes sense. But at the minut you go switch it’s like no way, doesn’t make any sense.

In fact I was in the Colorado powder like few days before and I just flew straight from there to there… and didn’t really had the time to pack my shit.

(Forest joins the interview)

Keegan : hey, that's Forest, that's him you should be interviewing !
Forest : Bullshit !

Tell us a funny story about this guy.
No funny stories… Um, I was really drunk the other night at the bar, we all were but I… yeah I don't even know if I want to remember, I wish I could tell you some funny stories.

How long have you been in Europe ?
Four days… I think, cause we haven’t slept tho, so I couldn’t tell you really. We just got here at the ispo tradeshow and, everybody’s drinks just all day long you know. So, here in Europe, we just do like europeans do.

It’s more german than european.
Yeah more german I guess (laughs).

In here they’re drinking beer in the morning...
Keegan : Yeah they get like wasted !
Forest : Everybody does, they’re just drinking constantly. It’s sick !
Keegan : But now I’m so like... my body’s feeling it. I need to get some good sleep. Last night we rested so it feels a little bit better.

Was that you’re first time in Europe ?
No, it’s like probably my third or fourth. I’ve been to Norway twice and I went to Switzerland, I went to Saas Fe with Freddy, to shred the powder, it was fun. Freddy is da shit. Freddy is so cool, such good style on jumps man, looks like he’s sleeping, he doesn’t move… « I’m Freddy, i’m doing 720 like i’m waking up, no problem » haha.

So, what’s difference did you notice between Europe and US ?
Keegan : Oh fuck, beer is so much better out here man, it’s amazing. But I like darker beer and here they keep give me this light beer and when I asked for dark beer, they bring me the shit with coca cola, it fuckin suck. Why would you ever put coke and beer together ? It’s like half dark beer and half coca cola.
Forest : It’s not even dark beer, it’s just regular beer… It’s like super sweet.
Keegan : It’s nasty, I just want the beer. Anyway, we’ll post a bunch of shit from the Euro trip but our filmer is just lazy as fuck, we got to motivate him. He’s listening to pink floyd all day and don’t talk to anybody.

Thanks and have a good one guys !
Thanks Fluofun !

Keegan in the powder, it's like that :

Photos : Burton except b&w, Atiba et Fluofun




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