Kevin Yee Xsjado Interview

San Francisco has some of the best, most interesting street spots in the US, how do you go about finding new spots and challenges in San Francisco?

Most of the spots I find are around my place, on my way to work, or around my work. My eyes are always keying in on my environment for skating possibilities, and my mind is constantly assessing whether or not what I’m seeing could be skated in an interesting and challenging way. Since I am filming a lot these days I also think about how beautiful and captivating the image will be. Once something stands out to me I start to skate it in my mind in various ways. I keep at it until I find a trick or a line that feels complete or I decide that the obstacle really isn’t worth it. If I find something good then I am quick to type it into my phone and take a picture of it. After that I will naturally gravitate towards the spot again and again. Sometimes I will decide against my first trick impression and think of something even more interesting. And again, I might just eventually write the spot off. The other day for example, I went back to a park by my work that I have been studying for months. I really love this park, it’s called ‘Yerba Buena’. When it’s warm out I like to stretch and eat lunch there. Anyways, I had three tricks picked out in a single area that I wanted to do individually for photos. Just last week I went there again and the AHA! feeling hit me… I realized that I could connect all three tricks into an epic line. Of course, when the urethane hits the pavement I often find that there are variables like my own mental-bodily states (fear, frustration, lack of focus, dealing with injuries, soreness, tightness etc.) and the actual physical difficulty of the trick that I have to overcome. I am getting better at alleviating these variables through diet, stretching and working out, but I have a long way to go. It’s an amazing feeling for me to land a trick just like how I imagined it. It’s usually harder than I imagine it and I think that is because in mind skating I work with my ideal body, not taking into account a long week at work, an unhealthy meal, an unclear mind, etc… Whether I lace the trick or not, after the real skating is done I always go back to the mind skating with a clearer idea of what my body is capable of. It’s hard to talk about this practice without creating a dualism between ‘mind’ skating and ‘real’ skating… but my feeling is that in ‘reality’ the two are completely intertwined…

You have lived in SF for a while and the city has been skated and filmed in for a decade, is there much potential in the city still?

I find new things to skate almost everyday… So YES there is still really no limit on blading potential in SF. Come out here and find out for yourself! I actually just moved to Oakland and even there I have been walking through the neighborhoods with my homie Matt Murphy and finding blocks full of amazing trick possibilities. At the same time, we don’t have a lot of session spots. When you’re on someones front porch about to lace their down ledge there’s no time for goofing around. You have to handle shit fast and be out. To really enjoy street skating in SF you have to also have an eye for unique spots, if all you want to skate is a perfect down rail then this isn’t the city for you. If you want to see what I am talking about then buy a copy of ‘RIP SF’!