Around the World with Kilian Martin
Skateboarding is an art in its own right – especially if you have the finesse and keen creativity akin to Kilian Martin. The SoCal resident by way of Spain shatters boundaries and definitions by bringing the nonchalant edginess of freestyle into the world of street skating. The combination is captured by many of his collaborative films with director Brett Novak. His most recent film was shot on location in India – therein lies the art. With every camera angle that hones in on Kilian’s signature craft, the same frame captures aspects of the Indian culture. Brett and Kilian’s partnership has resulted in six visually captivating mini skate films shot in international hot spots.
There is no doubt that Kilian’s agility and gravity-defying approach to skating stems from his childhood involvement in gymnastics and his teenage years engulfed in skateboarding. His feverish appetite for progress is reminiscent of the zeal of the Z-Boys in the mid-1970s, while his futuristic technicality sets him apart from the rest of the skate world. When you have mentors that include legends such as Stacy Peralta and George Powell – would you expect anything less than innovation?
Milk Made: Footage of your skate tricks have been captured around the globe. Your latest work is included in the documentary, "Riders of the Lost Art". Can you tell me about the film?
Kilian Martin: "Riders of the Lost Art" is a documentary produced by Lynn Cooper about freestyle skateboarding and the ups and downs that it’s had in skateboarding. Lynn himself came to Oceanside (California) to film some interviews by the classic skate spot, The Amphitheater (Pier Plaza Amphitheater).
MM: In addition to this documentary, what other projects are in the works?
KM: I have some projects I am working on that I can’t talk about yet. [I’m] also looking forward to making a new short film with Mr. Brett Novak.
MM: Just when I think you have created every trick possible, you come up with something new and completely mind blowing. Ollies and nose blunts from off the side of the wall – amazing! What specifically aids in your vision for new tricks?
KM: The tricks I do sometimes come from a trick I have done before. Other times it’s a combination of tricks I have seen other skaters do and me trying to give it my own touch. [It’s] all about picturing in your head what could be possible before doing it.
MM: You’re on the Powell-Peralta team. Based off of past interviews I read, you seem ecstatic! What’s a key takeaway you have gained from Stacy Peralta and George Powell? Have they given you any advice?
KM: They always have told me to keep doing what I am doing, to do my own thing. Being part of Powell-Peralta and getting advice from such legends motivates me.
MM: Your line of skate decks feature a wolf and fire – pretty edgy. Do you work with a design team on the boards or do you personally design them? What level of involvement do you have with your designs?
KM: Powell-Peralta has its own team of designers. I wanted a wolf. The legendary artist VCJ (Vernon Courtland Johnson) gave it his own view with the help of George Powell.
MM: Skating is second nature for you at this point. What has been your favorite part of the journey?
KM: Making videos has been a big part of my journey, those videos help me keep track of my tricks and push my skating a step further.
MM: What do you hope to achieve in the future as far as progressing in skill set as a skateboarder?
KM: I would love to make more original tricks off stairs. So fun — and fun is what it’s all about.