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An interview with Ben Kadow

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An interview with Ben Kadow

Village Psychic

This is Ben Kadow. He is a rad skateboarder. Photo: William Strobeck

This is Ben Kadow. He is a rad skateboarder. Photo: William Strobeck

If you've seen any of his footage, you're well aware that Ben Kadow is one of the most stylish skateboarders around. Needless to say, we were stoked when he agreed to do an interview with us.

We won't succumb to cliches and say “Ben lets his skating do the talking.” No, there were things he wanted to talk about and things he didn’t, and that is just fine. 

In case you're not familiar with him, Ben holds down the last part in Lurk NYC's Strangers, which came out a few weeks ago and is amazing from start to finish. Like most of his parts, Ben's Strangers part contains plenty of footage of him slamming. This sparked our initial plan for this article, which was to edit a clip of his slams and ask him about why there exists so much footage of him falling off his board.

This seemed like a great idea, we'd get an article out of it and the internet would get what it wants: footage of people falling down. That is, of course, until we actually talked to Ben. From our conversation we realized that Ben is a super interesting guy and that there's a lot more to him than what could be conveyed by some Scarred-type video.

So without further fanfare, here's our conversation with one of our favorite skaters right now, Ben Kadow:


VILLAGE PSYCHIC: Lets get some basics out of the way: how old are you, where you are from originally, and where do you live now?

BEN KADOW: I'm 20 years old and I'm from Brewster, NY. I currently live in Brooklyn, NY.

VP: When and why did you move to NYC?

BK: I moved here the year that I graduated high school. The city was always a second home for me growing up, so once I was done with school there was no question about where I was going to live. 

 

No slam could overshadow Ben 50-50ing through jarring kinks like this. Photo: Paul Roura

No slam could overshadow Ben 50-50ing through jarring kinks like this. Photo: Paul Roura

VP: Is anyone hooking you up these days?

BK: Yeah, my sponsors are 3D Skateboards and Vans.

VP: So I wanted to ask you; a lot of the dudes in Cherry ended up on FA, was there ever anything in the works with that for you? 

BK: No, I was never a part of FA. 

VP: How did 3D come about?

BK: I got on 3D just from knowing the right people, and the timing was probably right too.

VP: Clips of you slamming so hard pop up all over the place, what is your process of going about a trick? It looks to be 100% commitment from the get go....

BK: It's different every time. The ideal process for trying a trick would be going out with no preconceived plan, skate around until an idea comes to me, and then go from there. Unfortunately this is only a rare occurrence. What most often happens is I will have an idea in mind that I obsess over and sometimes lose sleep over until I try, and then when I finally do try it I either eat shit and have to come back, get kicked out right away, or sometimes get lucky and land the trick.

 

This is not what gets Ben hyped. And it's not what he wants people hyped on. Source: Gnartifact

This is not what gets Ben hyped. And it's not what he wants people hyped on. Source: Gnartifact

VP: I know some people get hyped on a crazy slam, they look at it as getting a clip in a way. Are you that type of person? 

BK: No in fact I'm quite the opposite. Some slams are funny to me, but normally I don't get much out of them except humiliation and self-doubt. I know the slams are fun to watch and everything, but I'm at a point now where I start to worry that the slams will overshadow the actual skating, like the attention gets put in the wrong place. I'm scared of seeing one of my falls in one of those ridiculous youtube compilations that have millions of views.

VP: Who are some skaters you looked up to growing up? Who are you hyped on these days?

BK: The skaters that had the most profound impact on me growing up were Alex Olson, Corey Duffel,  Anthony Pappalardo, Ryan Ticknor, and Heath (Kirchart). I can't recall seeing any part recently that i thought was anything special, but that could be because I rarely ever watch skating. I guess anything Dylan Reider puts out, he's the best. And I love Na-kel Smith's skating.

 

A solid snap out of a curb cut is as classic as it gets. Ben has style and power. Photo: Kyle Seidler

A solid snap out of a curb cut is as classic as it gets. Ben has style and power. Photo: Kyle Seidler

VP: What are some of your interests outside of skateboarding?

BK: When I'm not skating I'm either cooking or reading about cooking, or going out to eat. A lot of my inspiration these days comes from cooking, learning about what certain chef's philosophies are about cooking and art, I'm able to relate a lot of it back to skating and other things. Sometimes I draw, and I like to read. Right now I'm reading Infinite Jest. I listen to a lot of hardcore, and I love crossword puzzles!

VP: Ben thank you so much for doing this man, wanna thank anyone?

BK: I'd like to thank my friends, family and Brian Anderson, and thank you! It was my pleasure!