Ali Boulala interviews Kevin 'Spanky' Long - the second in our series of interviews conducted by Ali Boulala, recorded on a filming trip to Paris with the Baker Skateboards team. Read on for Ali and Spanky discussing the many positive aspects of skating, sobriety in the Baker team, greater inclusivity in skateboarding and more besides. Make sure you've caught Ali's Dustin Dollin interview.
Ali: Why are you in Paris?
Spanky: We are here for a filming trip, for Baker 5, no for Baker 4! Baker for life! We’re just skating the spots here in Paris and that’s about it.
Do you have a good photographer here?
Yeah, maybe we could use another one?
You could use another one? Ok!
Yeah the more the merrier! You going to shoot tomorrow?
Yeah, if you do some tricks!
Both you and I have been a part of the negative side of skateboarding, what would you say are the positive sides of skateboarding?
I’d say there’s endless positive sides. There’s a place for us to express all the wild energy that we have, get our physical wiggles out, channel all that energy in positive places. There’s of course the negative things, but we all know about that. Traveling the world, being with friends, being outside all the time, being physical - all those things are priceless.
Good things. If you look at skateboarding as it is today what would you erase if you could erase one thing?
In all of skating?
Yeah, today’s skating…
Camouflage pants that are all the different colors of camouflage at the same time.
"The generation that we’re from is strangely misogynistic and I never even noticed it growing up, it was not very inclusive"
There are a lot of girls skating, but not a lot in professional skateboarding - why?
I think that it’s sick there’s so many more girls now, all of a sudden I’m watching the general acceptance becoming up to date. The generation that we’re from is strangely misogynistic and I never even noticed it growing up, it was not very inclusive. I don’t know how that slipped through with something like skating which is supposed to be progressive. I can’t explain why it was like that, but I know that it was, it’s really obvious that it’s changing for the better and becoming far more inclusive for girls.
I know what you mean. Who would be the first girl you’d put on Baker?
It would be Stella, Andrew’s daughter, because she fucking rips!
But she likes Birdhouse so…
Element? Ok. She doesn’t want to ride for Baker?
I think that she doesn’t want to get it for free, she wants to earn it.
Which is cool.
The Baker team is a group of pretty extreme personalities, even for skateboarding. The team has gone from being one of the rowdiest teams in skateboarding to one of the most sober teams, why do you think this is?
(Laughs) That’s part of being the rowdiest, sometimes you push it until you can’t push it anymore and you’re forced to make some different choices - for some of us anyway. It’s just the nature of having an extreme personality, you can only take it so far.
If you had to stop skateboarding completely or only skate Street League or Monster training facilities which would you choose and why?
(Laughs) If I had to choose right now I’d try to skate Street League and the Monster training facilities, but I don’t think that would last very long and I’d probably quit. I fucking love skateboarding, I don’t like that aspect of it, I just don’t think I’d be able to go cold turkey. What would you do?
I’d probably just quit.
I feel like most people would. I think 99% of the time in my life I’d have said that I’d quit, but I’m especially a skate rat at this moment in time.
I think if I was 14 I’d be like yeah Monster! But yeah… Ok, another where you have to choose one of these options - Nyjah’s neck tattoo or Sheckler across the back?
Sheckler across the back for sure.
That was mine too.
I’d get Sheckler’s face on my neck, and Nyjah on my back (laughs).
"it’s a frightening question because our President is known for his impulsive, shocking tweets."
Now to Sweden, what do you know about Sweden?
Tons… what do you want to know?
Just one thing, whatever…
You’re kind of from there, that’s the most important thing I know about it!
The official twitter account of Sweden is given to random citizens every week to manage. If you could manage the USA’s twitter account what would you tweet about?
I’ve never used Twitter, it’s a frightening question because our President is known for his impulsive, shocking tweets.
You could tweet about anything you wanted to. You’d say nothing, just blank?
I would just declare as the American people that we don’t all associate with what our President is saying. This does not represent our country.
In other countries they celebrate military victories, Saint’s Days and politician's birthdays. In Sweden we celebrate cinnamon buns, waffles and saffron pastries. Thoughts on that and what pastry would you like to celebrate?
I’ve had those saffron pastries they’re fucking good. It sounds like you guys got it pretty well figured out. I’m not too much of a pastry guy, I guess the chocolate croissants? Pain au chocolat? I’m not really a sweets kinda guy.
Ok, so the gear you’re wearing what made you choose that? Did you choose a blue shirt because the French have blue in their flag?
No, it’s just the shit I wear everyday when I’m skating. If I get a trick in what I’m wearing then I’ll wear it again, I’m superstitious.
So you’re the complete opposite of Dustin. You got a trick in that and you think you’re going to get one again?
Yeah, usually it doesn’t work but…
What trick did you get, or is it secret?
I don’t remember.
Recommend one thing to the readers
I recommend that you guys fly me to Sweden so I can come check that shit out.
Check out Spanky's new Emerica Dissent Colourway.