Interview by Alan Ng
Words by Alan Ng and Amie Nguyen
Photography by Alan Ng
The justalilhype! Crew caught up with Kenny Randell at a skate park on Esquimalt Road. While Kenny has been off his board for almost a year now and have been swamped with work, he is currently reprioritizing his life to allow more skate time. Kenny believes that skating is a culture that brings people together. Throughout the interview, he speaks upon his life as a skater, video projects that he has been immersed in, and tells us his favorite spots to skate.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Kenny Randell, I have grown up and lived in Victoria my whole life. I’m trying to skate as much as I can but I have to work a lot more now than I did when I was younger.
What got you into skateboarding? Do you remember the first time riding on a skateboard?
It would have been my cousin and I when we were young. I don’t know if we found them in our parents’ basement or what happened but we just used to sit down in bomb hills and played a game called road rash, trying to bump into each other really fast and just knock each other off. I didn’t see him for a couple of years after that but I started standing up on it. Don’t know exactly what sparked it.
Tell us a bit about the skating community in Victoria. Are there a lot of skaters around?
There are. It’s definitely grown more than it has before in the last six years or so, right around when this park was built – it started getting a lot crazier and the kids that do skate are just a lot more devoted into filming and actually making something out of it. It’s becoming something a lot better than what it used to be.
A lot of skaters work with many videographers and photographers to gain exposure. Have you started that process yet?
Oh yeah, in Victoria there’s quite a big group of guys that all have their own cameras. They all kind of swap footage around and work together. It’s actually real nice to live out here just because of all the kinds of people there are. I think a lot of time it’s hard to find these people.
Tell us a bit more about your skate videos. How were you involved in them?
I had little parts and some tricks in a couple but I got my own part in “Custody Battle” — it came out in Victoria. We started filming in 2005 and drove down to Los Angeles in over a month. It was about six guys. It came two years ago, premiered at Science World in Van. It’s a really good video made by Kynan Tait and Angus Boros.
Tell us a bit about your goals and aspirations as a skater.
I am actually at the point that I am scared that it’s going to turn into a hobby just because I was off the board in the past year with my broken ankle and right now I’ve been too busy with work. I am at the point where I am trying to get out as much as I can. One of the steps that I plan to take in achieving the above is moving in with roommates that are skaters. My roommates are awesome now but I would like to find skateboarders to live with to get more active.
What other cities do you like to skate in other than Victoria?
When I was on that road trip, I think San Fran was one of my favorite cities for sure. Down just south of L.A. in some of the smaller towns, there are many ridiculous skate parks. I was in New York last year and it’s not as good as skateboarding. There are too many people and the grounds are all chopped up. That’s why there are only a few pro skaters out there and a ton in L.A.
What does skating bring to the youth?
Place to be, something to do. You can’t say skateboarding is amazing for kids because it keeps them away from drugs and all that stuff, that’s not
true. I’ve always liked it a lot because I’ve noticed that it spans the genre of people. You will have like gangsters and thugs hanging out with hash kids and punk rockers, and they are getting along. They’re all in it for the same cause kind of thing. It knocks down a lot of barriers and brings people together.
There are a lot of skateboarding brands out there today. What’s your opinion of the fashion industry tapping into skate culture?
It is inevitable. It’s going to happen because there is money to be made. I don’t like it too much. I am only 23 so I wasn’t really into the world of skateboarding when it was totally underground back in the day.
What is HYPE?
HYPE is the ability to find drive in yourself or use something to give yourself drive. I’ve always seen HYPE as this overwhelming urge to do what you got to do.