We had the good fortune of connecting with Coach Evan K and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Coach Evan, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
When I tell you how many bones I’ve broken skateboarding professionally all around the USA and 8 other countries over 25 years, your jaw will drop. In my industry, I meet so many people who had a bad early experience due to peer pressure and lack of proper instruction. Outsiders unfamiliar with skateboarding see energy drink commercials, Extreme televised competitions, and online fail videos, but skateboarding as an industry has really missed the mark, I think, in regards to showing the world the humble, accessible side of skateboarding. It truly is possible to learn at a slow pace, SAFELY, without being a tough guy, angst riddled rebel teenager, or stunt man. I skateboard every day, performing stunt shows, challenging myself, empowering others to learn, and have never broken a single bone. Skateboarding is safer than it looks.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My profession is the art of articulating and demonstrating the complexities of extreme recreational physics (skateboarding) in an accessible, playful way, so that my audience might believe they can participate themselves. As a Christian I believe all of creation around us is sacred and even the smallest mundane activities can be meaningful, spiritual practices. This ties into my approach with my students because I get really giddy and nerdy about how fun the simplest, playful tricks can be! Everyone is seeing online video trick tips for the “cool tricks” (which I’ve perfected and can also instruct) – but what sets Rocky Mountain Shred School apart is the sheer volume of skateboarding maneuvers that are possible if you set aside the popular/technical/scary moves and play around with the origins of the sport- turning, gliding, carving, board control, balance and the rhythmic movements of the human body in playful motion. I’ve learned along the way that I’ve found the special secret to helping someone go from 0-60 with safer and more incremental methods, but there will always be a macho mentality that scoffs and assures me , (not unlike the viral Shia Lebouf Do It! video) that “you just need to commit and go for it.” I think the magic I bring to the skatepark is the encouraging and empowering wisdom from decades of experience, that isn’t pushy or macho like traditional sports- but more like Willy Wonka giving a tour of the Chocolate factory- describing the ingenious inventions and adventures that are waiting to be discovered in the journey of the unsuspecting skater. Don’t get me wrong- I often have to warn of the potential dangers to foolhardy kiddos who could care less where the brakes are, but once they learn to balance reckless enthusiasm with calculated risk taking, and upon unlocking focused persistence- it’s jaw dropping what they can accomplish! Oh, You thought you came to “Ollie” or overcome your fear of scary steep drop-ins on ramps. Ok, Cool. Now after that I GOTTA show you the tricks called “penguin walk” “5-0 Madonna” and the “funky crunch berry!” I just want people to know that I get totally, completely hyped when I offer a spare Board to the mom or dad of one of my students at the skatepark, they test the waters, trust my process, and before you know it, they’re laughing, leveling up and making outdoor memories with their kids. Skateboarding is the fountain of youth, I’m the “Shred Sensei” and I’ve got the golden tickets! 😄🛹
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Assuming a limitless budget for this adventure, the daily fuel stop is hands down Vibe Foods Superfood Bar! There’s nothing that wakes my body up like unadulterated nutrients in the form of a refreshing smoothie bowl topped with coconut chips, fresh fruit and chocolate chips! They serve the most radical assortment of unique, nutrient dense, hydrating beverages and clean snacks. (I recently learned that most snack foods use highly inflammatory processed oils in their ingredients, so avoiding those will prolong the adventure!) I’m an avid street skater, which means there could be a thousand directions we could turn in Denver or the surrounding cities to have a good time, but hands down, the variety and sheer concentration of skateable architecture in the rhino district are worth a day’s investment. There’s plazas with steel benches to hop onto and colorful railings to balance across, with loud, textured pavement in between. The people watching opportunities abound as well. Courtyards and loading docks around every corner with intricately painted geometrical playgrounds just waiting to be interacted with. Mix in the Colorado sun and the dry climate- and we’ll have a fun day making my preferred art form: Capturing videos of creative and challenging skateboarding maneuvers which will later be edited in sync with emotionally captivating music for a montage that expresses an individual’s unique skate style. A full day can be spent hunting for the filming locations alone. It’s like treasure hunting- “Dude! Do you see that drainage ditch that ramps up just enough to kick you over the sidewalk into the alleyway landing? See the insane artist’s mural in the background? That would be fun to skate and make for a memorable shot! Let’s Go!”
If the street skating wore out the crew, then swimming in a freshwater lake or sun bathing for some vitamin D at an outdoor amphitheater during a concert would be a restful way to recharge. Once the stoke is back, Saturday is the day to visit the world famous Denver Skatepark to see the oddball locals demonstrate unbelievable talent in a more polished environment. They film their stunts, too, but more for social media updates than artistic montages. Ideally, the week long shredding adventure could culminate in a local skateboarding movie premiere event at a local independent theatre. Each athlete on the big screen either demonstrating confidence and courage, or getting bucked off the horse because of a miscalculation- all to the raucous roar of an appreciative crowd. “Oohs” and “Wow!” Being verbalized as if watching a surprising interception during a super bowl game, and gasps of shock and sympathy when the big screen displays unfortunate body slams from those attempting to achieve new levels of brave stunts. It’s my kind of party- camaraderie, artistry, music, crowd participation, and community. Another totally happy day would include a backyard Grill out with the Skatuary crew to session their amazing mini ramp. Street skating is rough and gritty. Skateparks offers endless potential options, but a mini half pipe gets every skateboarder back to the basics and becomes somewhat like a live, friendly talent show. Each trick landed is a contribution to the conversation. Each individual with their own mental and physical boundaries attempting to live through a maneuver they’ve only imagined before. These family skate parties are filled with friends, food, dogs, and children. We could always wrap up the party with a guitar around the fire giving thanks and praises to the One who makes it all possible. (I’ve grown fond of singing eloquently penned hymns loudly as they tend to transcend the everyday silly banter of modern day meme culture; pointing to a higher purpose and greater love.)
This trip might include a trip into the mountains to play with physics in a completely different way- with target knife throwing and outdoor gun range time. If you’ve never shaken a can of soda up then shot it from 20 yards and watched it explode into a bubbly, wildly flipping rocket… you might need to give me a call.
No week with me would be complete without many a deep conversation regarding the meaning of life, the purpose of man, and how to contribute to fix the worlds problems. Could be as simple as sharing an extra bottle of water, offering a a spare ball bearing or shoelace to a skater who just blew one out, or as extreme as budgeting time to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our society- the unborn, safely make it to their first birthday. Although a heated, polarizing topic, it’s near and dear to my heart as I was once a “choice” and my mother chose not to pay to “terminate” me. My life has been so richly full and blessed that I want to make that possible for others. Wasn’t easy, but a life with challenges is better than no life at all, right?
I have a friend visiting from Boston soon, who oddly enough might love everything on this list when he visits soon.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Funny story- hard to believe, but I was a timid and insecure preteen in regards to social confidence. I followed the alpha males who instigated the fun, the loud and confident ones who dated the girls and told the jokes. I hid in the back of the pack and took the cues from those who seemed to know who they were and where they were headed. My mom supported my interest and got me a skateboard and DVD showcasing pro skateboarders who were counter cultural and praised Jesus, which eventually became my teammates and friends. Mom let me commandeer the camcorder to learn to make skate movies and set the example of tirelessly serving others. My dad taught me to edit skate videos on the computer. My grandmother gave me rides to the skatepark and let me commandeer her VCR to study my craft on repeat after school. My youth pastors let me bring my board into the church. Men from church invested in me and many of the Pro skaters I looked up to invited me into their homes, tour vans and inner circles despite my lack of talent at the time. They believed in me, which helped me see my own potential. I dedicate my transformation into a confident, secure and outgoing professional and small business owner that I’ve become, so far, to the community around me that God provided in spite of me. When I learned of my value to God through the redemptive historical account of Christ in the Bible, the approval or rejection of other people didn’t seem so important. I learned to worry about pleasing the Judge of the universe more than fitting in with insecure overcompensating bullies or ever changing fads. That was my game changer. Shout out to the complex, creative and providential plan of Yahweh, my genius Generator, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer! I board for the Lord.
Other: Tiktok- Shred_Sensei
Michael Torres (photos of Evan in red flannel), Katie Boyle (Evan in white with kids), Shad Spencer (Evan stunt photo)