December 1, 2008

Never New Jacked-Keegan Sauder

Photo Jacked

The first ever Q and A interview I did for The Skateboard Mag was with Keegan Sauder more than two years ago. Lo and behold, they never ran it because Keegan was hurt at the time and his photos got old or something...So it goes right? I probably haven't looked at the thing in just about as long of a time, and man, that introduction is pretty bad, but the interview turned out ok. Anyways, here it is, seeing the light of day for the first time ever:

I spoke to a handful of Keegan Sauder’s friends for the following interview to learn more about him. If there was one theme that carried throughout all the conversations, it was that everyone was genuinely excited to talk about Keegan. In turn, I was looking forward to conducting the interview, and my hunch was correct, Keegan Sauder is rad person to talk to. I can only wish that my friends would carry on in a similar fashion about me.

I found out the other day that the new “old man” age in skateboarding is 25. That’s what Tucker at the skateshop said at least, and honestly, I agree. With that in mind, Keegan, at 25, just fits into that category. New jack or not, he’s been ripping for some time now, and I for one, am happy to see that he’s got some good solid footing beneath him. As one gets older in skateboarding, interests tend to diverge and diversify, and you’ll see that Keegan is no exception. Read on about this old man/new jack, and be sure to investigate Stunt Rock.

You’re boogie boarding?

Yeah, I’m just with my friend Adam, and we just went out, and then it got too cold. Maybe I’m just being a pansy though.

Where’d you grow up?

I grew up in British Columbia, starting off in a small town called Nelson. I lived there until I was 15, then lived on Vancouver Island in Victoria for three years, until I was 18. Then after that, Vancouver, and then traveling, but mostly home base is Vancouver. I’m kind of in the midst of trying to move to California. I think it’s time for a change. I just need to get out, and I might as well take advantage of all the opportunity I can, while I can. I don’t think anyone is going to want me to come skate for them and live in California when I’m 35. This is probably something I should have taken advantage of a long time ago, but for whatever reason it just didn’t happen.

How old are?

I’m 25 now.

I’ve seen you around for a while, coverage wise, how long have you been doing the sponsored thing?

I guess since I was about 17, I think. No, no, I was 15, when I first started getting stuff. It started off with a skateshop called the Boarding House, in Vancouver, that started helping me getting stuff for a good price, and keeping me skating. Then a really small company called Cherry Bombs out of Vancouver, when I was about 15. Then Deluxe, then Real, then Adrenalin for a while, then Stereo, and now Zero.

Are you working now, a job to keep you skating?

Not for the last year, I’ve been lucky enough to live the life of not having a regular job and just skating has been taking care of me.

You used to be a figure skater? How long did you do that for, what’s it all about?

Yeah, I’m completely guilty of that. I think I was nine years old when I started taking ice skating lessons, and then where the average person would quit, and start playing hockey, if you stay in it, it just turns into figure skating lessons. And I have no idea why or how, but I just stayed in it, got figure skates, and then did that for a year and half. And then slowly…I was about 11 years old when the indoor skatepark opened up in Nelson, and as soon as that opened I was way more into skateboarding then ice-skating. At the same time, ice skating, all the lessons, just got more and more boring and repetitive and serious, so I’d just be sitting there basically doing figure eights on one foot for a half hour, just thinking about leaving so I could go to the skatepark. And after about a week of that, I was over it.

It seems like you could get pretty worked figure skating.

I guess so, I never really made it to the point where I was gnarly or anything, like doing triple axles, nothing like that. I was still really small at that point, and just doing really, really basic stuff, but it was fun. It’s really good for your balance, I’ll say that much for sure. My mom’s probably bummed, she never got to have a kid in the Olympics.

How long have you been into motorcycles, and what got you into them?

It’s been five years now, starting, I think it was New Year’s Day, 2001. My friend Dylan, me and him were hanging out that day, new years day, did a bit of skating, got a coffee and stuff. We were just stoked, getting over hangovers. I asked him what he was doing, and he just said he was going to pick up a motorcycle, and I was pretty caught off guard. Then I went to his house, and he had this rad Honda CB350 in his basement, and the engine was in a milk crate. I just sat on it, and he started talking about going on camping trips and riding and just working on it and having a project, and I was pretty much sold. Two weeks later I bought my first bike, and that’s been it ever since.

Have you ever dumped your motorcycle, ever slammed?

Yeah, luckily nothing too serious, all my friends know about this one. I was camping at this spot, and to get to it you had to lift up this cable that was strung up across the road at about waist height. Me and my friend Will were just sitting around the camp fire, well, we did have a couple of beers, and then we were going to ride up the road because some friends of ours were driving in and we were going to meet them. I even told them as we set off, “Don’t forget about the cable,” and I forgot about the cable. And I saw it when it was about ten feet in front of me, I was only going about 15 miles an hour, but it was just gravel, so I grabbed a hand full of front brake, and then just slid out and dove under the cable off the bike, and put the first dent in my gas tank. Nothing serious, the bike was still running, I just picked it up and we took off. He showed up and he’d dumped his bike too in wet grass, so I didn’t feel so bad.

I heard about a whiskey bottle in Big Sur?

We just camp out, we try and barge spots, and just roll our bikes down pathways, and just hide out and not pay camping fees. And there is a whiskey bottle in Big Sur, buried at the base of a tree behind the Henry Miller library. It was actually this bottle I bought on a trip last year, I thought it was good stuff, but it was actually pretty horrible, so I just buried it to age it longer. I didn’t revisit it yet on this trip, so it’s still there. One of these times I’ll hit it, but I think I’ll have to wait until my friend Maybe is with me, because I buried it with him.

What’s the name, Maybe?

Yeah, Maybe, that’s a crazy Australian guy.

Dylan mentioned you ended up stuck in Thailand with nothing but a tailored suit.

I actually didn’t even have the suit with me, I sent it on with the friend I was traveling with,. I was in Australia, and I had to leave, because I’d stayed my three months maximum. I wanted to stay longer, and to do that I had to leave the country for a minimum of 24 hours, just to leave, so you can reenter, so I decided to go to Thailand for a month. I didn’t bring my ticket back to Canada, from Australia, and when I went to board the plane in Thailand to fly to Australia, I didn’t have a work visa or proof of my ticket out of Australia, so they couldn’t let me on the plane. All my bags were checked in, so they already went, and I had to spend about 28 hours in the airport. I was just phoning some people, some friends helped me out a lot during that one, and I had to get a copy of my ticket faxed to the airport. All I had with me was cut off jean shorts, the dirtiest button up shirt you can ever imagine, a passport, a wallet, an umbrella that I found on the side of the road, and flip-flops. Needless to say, when customs in Australia stopped me, they were not stoked. I got grilled, harder than I’ve been grilled before. To add to all of it, I think it was just part stress, and part just food, I got really sick and as soon as the plane started to taxi to leave Bangkok I just got diarrhea, and the whole time I was getting grilled by customs I thought I was going to shit myself. (Laughter) It’s funny in retrospect, but at the time it was a nightmare.

What was it like doing the Harvey Spanos movie?

At times it was stressful just because of everyone working on it, namely, my friend Corey (Adams), who was in charge and pretty stressed out, but all in all it was pretty fun.

You’ve got more stuff lined up working with him?

Yeah, I think he’s dropped a few hints about it. It sounds like we could be doing something in Eastern Europe next year. It sounds pretty good. I haven’t been pestering him about it all though because I think, for the last eight months, all anyone asks him when they see him on the street is how the movie is going, so I just try to make a conscious effort to leave him alone so he wouldn’t snap on me. I think it’s just going to get bigger and better with those guys.

I think Corey was telling me that you’ll get hyped on Devo, or let’s say a Metallica “Kill ‘Em All” DVD, and that’s kind of your thing for a while.

Yeah, I have tendency when I find something I like I just get obsessed with it until all my friends want to kill me. You know, it happens with everything, it could be a song, it could be a video, food, it doesn’t really matter. I just usually get obsessed and then just play it out until I can’t even stand it, and then a month later I’m back on to the same thing.

What’s going on with Devo nowadays?

Ah man, if you ever get a chance to see Devo live, and if you’re a fan of Devo, I highly recommend it, it’s probably the best show you’ll ever see. I just saw them in Seattle recently, it was good.

What’s Stunt Rock?

Stunt Rock is a fuckin amazing movie, and an amazing album as well. Go to and figure it out. Basically the best band ever, a model of how we should all live our lives.

You love tea and chocolate too?

Uh yeah, dark chocolate, definitely obsessed with that. And tea time is always the right time.

You turned Tony Cervantes onto tea, you kind of blew his mind with it?

Yeah, actually he had a sore throat once at the Zero house, and I handed him a little, some kind of herbal tea, and he looked at me like “What do I do with this”, and I didn’t know he was serious but I guess he’d never made tea at the time, so yeah, I showed him the way.

What’s up with the Zero house, where’s that at?

Rest in peace, it was in Vista, we had some good times there. Nothing too crazy, but, what can I say about that place? I don’t know, we smashed Matt Winterberg’s (Zero filmer) car to pieces.

How’d you end up getting on Zero?

I guess it was instigated through Scott Pommier? I think I was just talking with him and I didn’t really feel like I was fitting in, or in the right spot with Stereo. And then, yeah I guess he just mentioned it to Jamie, and then, one thing led to another, and here I am. I’m really happy about the whole situation, its’ good, I like where I’m at now.

Are you guys working on a video?

Everyone else is, I haven’t really…I’ve been hurt, hopefully I’ll have some stuff in there. We’ll see what happens, I don’t know, I haven’t really been able to deliver too much lately.

Dylan says you enjoy a good nature swim?

A nature swim?

Yup, those are his words.

Oh that guy always has to mention something like that. Yeah, swimming naked, why wouldn’t ya? Throw in some phosphorescents, maybe a full moon.

Want to list your sponsors?

Yeah, I’m probably going to forget someone though, so here goes. Zero, Vans, Momentum, Anti-Social, Analog, Independent, and I also get hooked up with a phone by Solomobile. Ok, I think that’s everything, nailed it.

Shout outs?

There’s probably way too many people to list, but I have to say without the help of all my friends I probably wouldn’t be alive, same for my family. Maybe thanks to Maybe for taking me to the beach when I was in a rough state, in August. He’ll know what I’m talking about. And maybe no thanks too because he put me on the back of his motorcycle and I probably shouldn’t have even been on my feet.

What about your dog Shmee?

God, I’m missing that guy right now. That dog is a product of a divorce. I probably won’t be seeing him as much as I’d like to, but when I do, I’ll just kidnap him for a few days and bro-down. Dogs rule. They’re pretty much a man’s best friend for sure.


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