Kader Sylla is like most 14 year olds: he isn’t that into school, he just wants to skate all day, and he’s saving up for a pocket pussy. OK, I’m not sure if that last part is entirely accurate, but Kader did bring it up and tell me that like 4 of his friends have one, so I have to imagine they’re pretty commonplace among freshmen high schoolers these days.
Sex toys aside, Kader’s got tricks and, more importantly, style. And he hasn’t even hit “the boost” yet. Yup, he’s smack dab in the middle of puberty and I imagine that over the next 12-24 months we are going to see a much taller, stronger, and more angular dude who’s board will finally meet its match. Paired with guidance and sponsorship from Andrew Reynolds, I imagine Kader becoming one of skateboarding’s biggest names, and I am quite honored that we get to run his first big interview and share his young brainfarts with skaters across the world.
So I’m 28, do you think I’m an old fuck?
[laughs] No! I feel like old is 60… I think in your 50s like, you could just do whatever you want. I feel like once I’m around 50 I can just not care about anything and have fun all the time. That’s the age when you can do that.
What’s the hot music that I should be listening to?
A lot of rap… Rich The Kid, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty and Playboi Carti. I listen to them sometimes, but I listen to different kinds of music. Reynolds told me about a song by The Velvet Underground, it’s called “Rock and Roll” I think. I really like that song… I listened to the Rolling Stones one day and I kinda liked them.
Do girls think skateboarding is cool in your highschool?
Yeah, some girls in my high school skate and bring boards to school, and I think that’s sick. Not just like penny boards… like actually skate. They don’t say, “Ooo, you’re a skater,” but they’re hyped on it and all the skaters at my school, I guess.
Have you made out with a chick yet?
Nah… Ha! Hopefully soon.
Have you seen boobs in real life?
Yeah, yeah. Wait, no. In real life? I don’t know. I don’t think so. No.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a freshman in high school?
The worst thing is knowing you have three more years to go at the same school… I really I don’t like my school. But I guess the best thing is when you get out of school, at 3:14 every day, you get out and you are just so hyped.
I skate every day pretty much after school. The only thing is I really wanna be homeschooled because I feel like it would open up my schedule some more because I can’t really go on trips that much right now. Sometimes I’m allowed to miss school but my grades are not so good, so I can’t miss that much anymore.
Do any of your teachers know you’re trying to do skating as a career?
I told my counselor, but he wants me to not skate right now cause my grades aren’t the best. But I’m obviously gonna skate. I’m not just gonna stop. I have some F’s, but I’m passing my college and career class and my second best class is probably improv/drama.
So how’d you get into skating? What was your first board?
I think my first board was a SpongeBob CVS board. I used to just fling it off my patio at my old house. My grandma bought it for me. I used to Tech Deck, so that kind of brought me into skating, too. I think I was around 6 or 7.
How did you learn about tricks and real skating at that age?
I went on YouTube and watched a lot of tutorials on how to ollie and kickflip and shit like that. My brother skated too, kinda, and my mom’s coworker gave him a board and I was really pissed about that. I used to skate his board instead and we tried to learn kickflips around the same time. I got super hyped on skating, then my brother just stopped.
In 1st grade did you even know how to spell skateboarding to search for it on Youtube?
[Laughs] Not really, but I just knew what to write and I used to do it with my brother and he was in like 4th grade, so he already knew how to do that stuff. On Youtube I just watched videos of kids in garages trying to teach you tricks, and I was like, “Well alright, I guess I’ll go off this.” Whatever other kids said.
What were some of the first parts you saw?
I remember always watching Torey Pudwill, Ryan Sheckler and stuff like that. I used to watch Torey’s “Hallelujah” part, that’s what got me hyped. I just wanted to skate. I didn’t know anything about skating.
Has Andrew [Reynolds] given you any good advice you can remember?
He told me something that Jake Phelps always tells him. You always have to have an answer. Like what do you want to eat? Pizza. What do you want to listen to? The Ramones. You always have to have an answer. That’s what I try to do. He also basically just tells me to not whine and stuff. And he just tells me not to spend money on stuff that is stupid. Like I don’t smoke weed but if I did, he’d tell me not to spend on that because that would be bad, and anyway I wouldn’t want to. He just tells me how to manage things right.
My mind isn’t always getting everything that he always tells me. I’m very indecisive so he tells me like, be more decisive, because he’s indecisive too. With Dickies, he likes them and he thinks they’re sick, but he thinks they’re too trendy. One time we walked through Baker Boys and everyone was wearing Dickies and then he left and went to Target and bought Wranglers. He just didn’t want to have those pants, then maybe like within a month he went back to Dickies.
Do any of your friends smoke weed yet?
Yeah, I have friends that smoke weed, but I’ve never done that. It doesn’t interest me at all. I don’t see a point in it for me. I don’t really care if they do it, but for me, I just don’t want to do it.
What about drinking?
In high school, it’s a whole different world really. A lot of people smoke, a lot of people drink, a lot of people do hard drugs. Like cocaine and shit. They can do whatever they want, though. I always mess with Andrew. I’ll just like grab a beer and he’ll be like, “Put that down!” It’s pretty funny. His reaction, every time he just goes like, “C’mon, put that down!”
Did you know if you put liquor up your butt it’ll get you drunk?
If you put alcohol up your asshole? Who puts alcohol up their asshole?
Ya you can get drunk on one beer since it goes straight to your bloodstream.
So like in King of the Road when Jaws did the butt chug challenge, he was probably drunk after that?
Yup. Would you ever try that?
That’s weird. Fuck no.
If you weren’t into skating what do you think you’d be doing?
Uhhh, drug dealing. Nah, I’m playing. I don’t even know any drug dealers. Probably soccer.
What’s Carcass Crew?
Carcass Crew is me, Stella [Andrew Reynolds’ daughter], Jay [Deathwish TM], Spanky and Andrew. We just were talking one night about making our own crew and I said Carcass Crew because my friends used to always say Carcass and stuff. Actually, I didn’t say “Crew” at first. I was thinking, you know 1-8 Hell Ride Cartel? I thought Carcass Cartel because what we are is like 1-8 Hell Ride thing, but we didn’t want our name to be like theirs. So now we’re Carcass Crew.
Dude Andrew’s daughter rips, huh? She’s really good.
Yeah, she got really good so fast, it’s really crazy. I’m 14 and she’s 11. She looks up to Lizzie Armanto, Lucia Lee and Nora.
Who are your current favorite skaters?
Rowan is probably my favorite skater. Grant [Taylor]. Elijah Berle. Pedro Barros. Lance [Mountain]. Those are pretty much the main ones. I’d rather see a really good tweaked backside air in the bowl then see like a tre flip down a 10 stair or something. Oh, and Daan Van Der Linden too.
I really liked Lance’s Extremely Sorry Part, and his Chronicles 3 part, those are the two parts I’ve mainly watched. One trick I really like that he does is boardslide around corners and stuff and I like how he does that hippie jump through ladders. His inverts are just so good. It’s only filmed in the bowl and I like the dummy that comes out and like.. it’s him but like its not really him.
One sec… I gotta get on the bus.
Kader: “Hi, is it ok if I get a ride today? I don’t really have money, and I have to get home. Just for today?”
Bus Driver: “We don’t give free rides.”
Kader: “I don’t have any money today. Just for today? Please.”
Bus Driver: “I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you a ride this time…”
You didn’t have enough money for the bus today?
Yeah, but I got on. I didn’t have money. It happens once in a while. Some drivers are cool with it, some aren’t. It’s never really happened to me where they didn’t let me on. My mom used to give me $20 a week but since Baker started paying me, she doesn’t anymore. I just started getting a check every month from Baker. I just got my first check and I’m trying to save it so I don’t spend it on food and Ubers and stuff.
How much do you get a month for being a Baker Am?
I get $250.
What did your mom think of Reynolds when they met?
She didn’t really think anything. She was just like, “He’s worth $10 million, that’s sick.”
I don’t think that’s accurate, who says he’s worth 10 million?
Nah, it’s just like when you look up Andrew Reynolds on the internet, it says he’s worth $10 million. Then I told him that and he was like, “What!? I never made that much in my life.”
What would you do if someone handed you a million dollars tomorrow?
I’d put it all in my bank account. Actually, the first thing I’d do, I would probably give a couple thousand to my mom and stuff. I’d give like $50,000, or no, $100,000 to my mom. No, I’d give $500,000 to my mom. Then I’d go get food from a really fancy place, then go buy a whole bunch of pairs of Dickies. Like a lot. Like enough for 2 years. Then I’d… I don’t know what else I’d do.
You could also just get a Dickies sponsorship.
Uh no, I’m fine. I like RVCA.
Is there anything else you’d spend it on after that?
I’d spend $20 on a pocket pussy.
You don’t have to be 18 to buy that?
Nah, there’s this store in the mall, Spencer’s [Gifts]. You can just be really low key about it kind of.
They’re not that good, they’re kind of weird… I’d rather just use my hand.
True, true. Yeah, then I’d spend it on a refrigerator filled with cases of Sprite.
WILL TIKTOK BE THE NEW HOME FOR SKATEBOARDING ON THE INTERNET?
We called up some "skate TikTokers" to find out what they've learned and seen so far.
PLOTTING THE LIFECYCLE OF A TRENDY TRICK
"Pressure flips are cool again. Actually, their second act has lasted longer than their first did."
CHECKING OUT A HIDDEN DIY FINGERBOARD PARK IN QUEENS
When we heard about a mysterious concrete fingerboard park hiding in Brooklyn, we knew we had to go find it.
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH ILLEGAL CIV?
The Illegal Civ stuff feels like an ongoing soap opera, so to air out any confusion we talked to a few key characters.
INSIDE THE 20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY OF EMERICA’S “THIS IS SKATEBOARDING”
We stopped by to pay our respects and see if we could squeeze a few stories out of the crew.