There are a lot of skaters like Kyle Walker that get less shine than they deserve. Regardless of how good their skating may be — and Kyle’s skating is phenomenal — they can be too unassuming to make a big name for themselves. Where’s the face tats? Why isn’t he wearing some fashion-forward ‘fit straight from New York Fashion Week? When having a notable image is as important to a skater’s career as it is in today’s skate climate, it might be easy to overlook the quiet dude from Oklahoma with the next to last part in the Vans video, even if he is grinding longer and faster than your favorite fuccboi.
We got in touch with Real’s newest pro to figure out what drives him to go so hard in the paint. Kyle was good enough to put up with our calls while he was on tour, and answered some questions about losing his virginity, wearing a helmet, and the importance of having a father figure. Serious stuff for a serious skater.
How old were you when you lost your virginity?
I lost it on my 16th birthday. To a girl I was talking to a bit, she wasn’t my girlfriend, but she wasn’t a random chick either.
You guys trade? Or was it a one sided deal?
One sided deal. She was 19, three years older than me. I was not opposed.
Do you think that’s a good age to lose your V-card?
Shit, I don’t know. Better that than 12 [laughs]. I’m sure if it came up earlier, I would’ve done it then too.
My theory is that it’s better to lose it the older you are, because then you spend all that energy and frustration on skating or channel it into a different outlet.
Yeah, that was the thing, I wasn’t really fuckin’ with girls when I was younger, I just wanted to skate all the time. Skating kept my mind focused on that instead of getting caught up on dumb shit.
You really roll this giant spliff?
Yeah. We rolled that right before Thanksgiving dinner before eating. That was when I first got out to California, and I was like, “oh my god, they got crazy weed, yeah!” Lil’ kid shit. That was real, a little chopstick.
Do you think weed helps you skate?
It can for certain people. I’ve kinda been off of it for a while. It used to be like 3 joints before getting to the spot, but we went on this world premiere tour for Vans and we didn’t smoke really at all on that. After that I’ve sorta just laid low. Saves some cash. Clears the mind, ya’ know?
You chugged your own piss on a Thrasher King of The Road trip right?
Uhhh, yeah, that did happen. I threw up right after.
Do you regret it?
I mean maybe slightly, but whatever. It didn’t really taste like anything, just like warm water since I was drinking beer all day, I was drunk as fuck and I got hurt on the trip. I had to take one for the team. I thought it was like highest, longest, most, like some of the other challenges on the Thrasher trip, but that actually wasn’t the case…
What would you rather do: drink a gallon of your own pee, or eat a spoonful of your poop?
A gallon of pee for sure.
You ever think about trying “The Bubbler”?
You don’t even use a cup for that one [laughs]. Just point it up and shoot it up.
Recently you almost skated into a car and escaped death. What happened?
It wasn’t really an almost, I hit the car and the back tire ran over my left foot. Luckily I only fractured my fibula and left foot a little bit, but no broken anything, and I didn’t have to get surgery. It was sketchy, but good thing I didn’t land in front of that first tire. I would have been done.
There were 2 of my homies in the street watching for cars. Nakel [Smith] ollied it first, and after that I was given the thumbs up, but had a good ways to push before the gap I was ollieing. I looked up like maybe 10 or 15 feet before I start to ollie and I saw Nakel and my friend holding up their hands to stop an oncoming car. Normal drivers looking at the road would usually stop, but the driver didn’t and then last minute swerved to not hit them. My guess was that she was on the phone or something. She swerved around them while I was already in the air ollieing the gap so when I landed I had like 5 feet before I hit the car.
Have you ever thought you were going to die before?
Yeah, kinda random actually. A couple of days before the car thing my homie Reece and I were out in Laguna Beach swimming. We were body surfing out there for 15 or 20 minutes and we saw this one big ass wave come in so we’re like, alright lets get this one and then call it a day.
Little did we know it was like a 9 or 10 foot wave, and they were coming in in like sets of 10. So after the first wave, we got caught up in this rip current where we were stuck and going absolutely nowhere. I never grew up around an ocean, so I didn’t know how to get out of a current. Another big wave comes right after and that was when Reece and I both looked at each other and panicked.
We were just getting thrown around underwater trying not to get knocked out or hit our heads on something. We were underwater for like 8 seconds at a time, then were able to catch a short breath right before another wave would hit us. We were struggling trying to swim back, but we were going nowhere.
Apparently you are supposed to float to the side to get out of a rip current but we were in panic mode and were getting hit by wave after wave. Crazy thoughts were going through my head. We were trying to kick as hard as possible, but our muscles were out of energy — my body did not work anymore. That was the closest I felt to death. There was crazy shit going through my head. All these childhood memories… I thought, I’m not even gonna tell anyone goodbye, this can’t be happening. We were about to start screaming for help and we look up and there’s a lifeguard right there. He pulled us in. Luckily the lifeguard literally saved our lives. Props to that dude — to all those lifeguards.
Once we got on land we sorta just lied on the beach and rested for a while. I was thinking that I should feel embarrassed, but then it was just like, no, this fool just saved our life! I wanted to give him money or something.
”I had 3 near death experiences in a month”
That sounds scary as hell.
Yeah. Then the same week, I got hurt skating and wanted to be in a healthy mode to try and get better as fast as possible. Jim Thiebaud told me to try beet juice. I’ve never had beet juice before, so I went and ordered a smoothie and by the time I got home both sides of my throat had literally blown up to the size of baseballs. It started out as a little bump, like a big ass pimple. I thought, that’s kinda weird. I hopped in the shower hoping it might get better, but it was just slowly getting bigger and bigger. I asked my roommate, “Yo does this look weird?” and his eyes just immediately widened and said we should go to the doctor. We hit every red light on the way to the ER. By the time I got there I couldn’t even spit I was so swollen.
I don’t get this either, but when I went into the ER, I looked like I was dying and they were like, “yeah, you look really fucked up but you gotta sign these papers and take a seat.” I was like, “Are you kiddin’ me? I feel like I’m about to die!” Then I tried signing my name, and the lady was like, “actually, you need to get back here now.” She dragged me into the bed, shot me up with some Benadryl and I was good within 5 minutes.
So I guess I had three near death experiences in a month. I’ve heard bad things come in three so I think I’ve got that shit out of the way for now.
I saw your sponsor me tape, from when you were 12 or 13 I assume?
Yeah…that helmet footy.
Yeah. Did your parents force you to wear it?
Yeah. If I was a parent I would want my kids to wear one too. If your kid is doing a bunch of dumb shit outside on the concrete… I used to wear pads and a helmet all the time, but then I went to this summer skate camp and when my mom left I took off everything. I felt free as hell. It was nice. Then after that I started skating street without the helmet.
Have you considered adopting a nickname so that skaters don’t get you mixed up with the other three Walkers (Clint Walker, Sebo Walker, Walker Ryan?)
Well, a lot of people call me K-Walks.
How about Kyle “The Tornado” Walker?
Uhhhh, nah. I think I’m good on that.
Growing up in Oklahoma, have you been through some crazy tornados with your family?
Yeah, back then we didn’t have any storage room or a cellar either. Once there was a big one coming and we sat in the tub and stacked like 2 mattresses on top of us. That’s really all we had. You know you’re supposed to have cellars or a storage room or something, but we didn’t have that in the house where I was growing up. Luckily the tornado passed by a mile from our house, but it felt like it was right over our heads. It was wild — sounds like a freight train riding over your house. It can leave one house perfectly fine and the next house can be completely gone. That was an F4 tornado, F5 is the highest. It was pretty fucking wild. It was just me, my mom and dad.
What do your parents do?
My dad has his own heat and air business, which he has done forever. And my mom owns her own vintage store. They are doing good. My dad is actually my step-dad, but he’s been around since I was like 2, so I pretty much look at him as my real dad. They have been supportive since day one. I wouldn’t be nowhere without them.
Have you ever met your biological dad?
Yeah, I’ve met him. I just never talk to him. He kinda just walked out of my life when I was younger and then, I dunno, we’ve never really tried to reconnect. He did try a few times, but it never was really anything much so I was just like whatever, if there’s no need for me to be in his life then I guess I don’t really need him in mine, ya know?
He started drinking a lot early on and my mom didn’t like him around, so my mom and I moved from Texas to Oklahoma. He would send Christmas cards and random gift cards every once in a while, but my mom made it my choice whether I wanted to talk with him or not. Even when I was young, she didn’t force me to do anything, just, “if you wanna talk to him, you can,” but i just wasn’t about it. This fool doesn’t wanna do anything, theres no need. I’d talk to him every now and then, but then he stopped writing for like 4 years. I sent him a letter saying that if he wanted to be in my life, then he had to do it to the fullest, and if not, then I didn’t need him. That’s what I told him.
Do you ever feel resentment towards him, or have you worked past it?
I think now that I’m older I’m just kinda like, it would be kinda crazy to just have a 1-on-1 dinner with him and actually talk man-to-man, ya know? Maybe that will happen one day, who knows…
If you did meet up with your dad and had one question, what would you ask him?
Why’d you have a kid in the first place if you’re not gonna do it 100%?
Do you think you will hear from him now that you are a pro?
I haven’t talked to him in years. We will see. I’m sure sooner or later something will pop up. I’m not really in any rush.