Jake Keenan (Still) Skates Big Stuff

Skating giant ass stuff had its time in the sun, but it never really caught on in New York City. Many arguments can be made as to why this is, from skaters’ reliance on flatground spots as meet up points, to the relatively flat topography of the Boroughs, to skaters in New York not wanting to get hurt because of their furniture moving or set building jobs.

Yet there have existed in every era of New York skating those who actively look to huck themselves off obstacles and down big drops, skaters who are likely bored by the plaza/basketball court/curb spot style of skating that is commonplace to most skaters living in the city.

Jake Keenan is among this rare breed.

Jake’s recent footage ended up in two videos (with considerable overlap between the two), SOBER, the second offering from the BSA crew as well as OMW, the first and hopefully not last video from Angel Delgado, who is now officially old enough to buy cigarettes (outside of NYC). In celebration of the release of Jake’s recent footage (many jaws were dropped at both premieres, including ours), we’ve decided to highlight his recent feats of strength and ask him the hard question: Why go big when you could just chill?

This is a far cry from chilling at Blue Park. Jake Keenan, ride-on 50-50. As seen in  OMW .

This is a far cry from chilling at Blue Park. Jake Keenan, ride-on 50-50. As seen in OMW.

So, skating big stuff – is that fun to you?

It used to be fun! For me it takes a lot of time and patience to figure out manual or ledge maneuvers. The big stuff is more of a make-or-break situation. It’s easier for my brain when the consequences are greater. 

There aren’t a lot of skaters here (in NYC) that skate spots like the ones in your part. Are you traveling a lot to skate?

We traveled a bit for this video. I think I went to Atlanta, Philly, Los Angeles, and Asheville. It’s so much easier getting footage in cities you’re not familiar with. I feel like when someone asks you what you want to skate today in NY, your mind goes blank. There’s so much to skate but at times it feels like it all feels the same. It’s nice to get out of town and find something weird and exciting. In my eyes, the best part about skateboarding is traveling with your boys.

Do you ever just go skate flat?

Yeah I try! I surprise myself sometimes. I will forget about a flatground trick I used to do when I was 17 and just pull it out of my ass. My muscle memory is different. I’ll have a decent nollie flip for a couple days and then the next day it’s gone. I’m hoping to pull some rabbits out of my hat for our next project. 

Who were the skaters you were into growing up? What about now?

I got beat up a lot in 8th grade for dressing like Ali Boulala. I loved that guy’s shit. He skated what he wanted to in a way no one else was doing at the time. Does that make sense? So yeah, Ali Boulala, Tony Trujillo, Jesse Paez, Dan Drehobl. My favorites now would be Danny Dicola, John Motta, Jerry Mraz, Tyler Franz, and Gus Gordon.

Growing up, what were your favorite videos? 

I grew up watching 411, Logic, and Digital. I loved video magazines because they showcased every part of skateboarding. Personally, I enjoy seeing Bob Burnquist and  Ragdoll skating in the same video.

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