Updated: November 6, 2009, 5:20 PM ET

Picking Up Speed: Kevin Romar

SoCal ripper, Kevin Romar takes new sponsor for a spin.

Brooks By Josh Brooks
Archive

There are a lot of things that I've come to expect out of Kevin Romar—a nollie 360, the majority of his footage in a ball cap, really smooth, effortless style—but I didn't know what to expect out of an interview with him. When I started asking around though, I heard intriguing stuff, like putting shoes on cars, golf carts going into lakes, gnarly car crashes. And, when I talked to him, I found out even more about an over-the-top miniature golf celebration, jaw-wiring, blended chicken, his aspirations to become the Deion Sanders of video games and skating (those were actually my words more than his), waking up late, Chocolate flow, getting on Blind, perfectly round afros and his barber. To see what I'm talking about, read on.

Ben KarpinskiMaybe someone gave Kevin advice to stay away from cars—especially semis—after all of his car crashes, which might be why he's blasting out of that thing like he's at a Call of Duty gamer tournament...don't want to get caught geekin' out that hard.

How does one get new shoes for their car?
[Laughs] It's just like an upgrade on, let's say, tires or something for a car.

So, basically, if you're getting rims or something, that's getting new shoes?
It's not getting rims. It's getting new tires. The tires are like the shoes, but I didn't get the laces yet—that's the rims [Laughs].

Are you into that? Like, pimping out your ride or whatever?
Naw, I'm just in chill mode with my car. I'm not getting rims just yet. I might get those later on, but I'm just trying to keep it riding smooth. I'm not super into pimping it out or anything.

Well, speaking of cars, I heard you've had some bad luck with vehicles, in general. For starters, can you tell me the story about the golf cart and the lake on the ÚS Arizona trip?
[Laughs] Oh yeah! Some of the dudes stole a golf cart from the golf course and I guess they found the keys in there, or something, and they drove it around the golf course and then drove it or pushed it—or something—and ran it into a lake. The golf cart pretty much sunk into a lake. It was pretty funny.

Were you there with them?
Nah, I just heard about it. They came back running, like, "Oh s**t! You guys won't believe what happened right now. The golf cart went into the lake." We were like, "How'd that happen?" and they were like, "I don't know." I wasn't there. I was at the hotel. But, it was funny, because we thought we were gonna get busted after that.

Ben KarpinskiRincon Romar-ed! His everyday banger—the nollie 360.

Oh, I thought you were in the golf cart. Scuba was also saying you got into a really bad accident on the 405.
I've gotten into a few bad accidents, man—so many, it's not even funny. Luckily, I'm still alive. For a couple of them, I was in the back seat and during one, I was in the front.

And you had to get reconstructive surgery or something?
Yeah, we were going to a spot and my homie was driving and he wasn't paying attention. And, you know around Santa Monica on the 405, where it gets a little crazy and the traffic just stops no matter what?

Yeah.
He was just driving and wasn't paying attention and slammed on the breaks. We were all like, "Look out, look out, man," and he slammed on the breaks and hit the car in front of us. And, it was like an SUV and our bodies just flew forward. My face hit the back of the passenger seat and it messed up some of my bottom teeth. I had to get surgery, but they got it all fixed up and stuff. The bottom teeth just came out of my gums, basically. But, I have braces, so they were still in my mouth, like they were still connected to the braces, so it hurt really bad. So, I had to get surgery and they put them back and the gums and stitched it all up. It was pretty gnarly.

I thought you fully broke bones in your face and had to get reconstructive surgery, like a "Through the Wire" type situation.
I did, actually. This trip in Florida, I was playing miniature golf and I jumped down some stairs, 'cause I got a hole-in-one at one of the last holes. And, it was all wet at the bottom of the stairs, so when I jumped down, I did a 180 and slipped out and landed on my chin. I broke my jaw in like four places.

Did you have to get it wired shut?
Yeah, I had to get my mouth wired shut. I lost, like, three teeth. It was crazy.

Just 'cause you got so excited at miniature golf? That's a bummer, but it's hilarious.
Yeah, it sucked, dude. I had my mouth wired shut for like a month. I had to drink through straws. This one time, I blended up chicken—I was that hungry, it was that bad—and put it in some water and tried to drink it through the straw. That s--t was gross. Never again.

What was it? Boiled chicken or fried chicken?
Chicken strips from KFC.

Oh my God, that is trife. Was all that downtime with injuries and car crashes the reason you got really into video games?
[Laughs] Nah, I'm not even into video games. I play one game and that's about it.

Ben KarpinskiYou would think Kevin would be more likely to break his jaw switch ollieing this beast than playing miniature golf.

What game is it?
Call of Duty 4.

So, that's the only one you play?
Yeah, that's the only one I play, for the moment, but Call of Duty 5 is coming out soon and I'm gonna be on that one for a minute. I'm just getting over Call of Duty 4.

Getting over mirking fools up constantly? I heard you're on some crazy rank.
Yeah, it's the last one, basically. It's called a Gold Cross.

Don't they have big tournaments for that game? Like, you can compete and become a professional or something? Have you ever thought about doing that?
Nah, never thought about that, 'cause I don't want to get caught slippin' and going to tournaments.

Yeah, that's just too embarrassing.
I'm not like that big of a nerd on video games. I just play for fun.

I don't know, dude. Worst case scenario, you could be like the Deion Sanders of skating and video games.
Damn, Deion—that's my idol when I was little.

You could be sponsored for both things, kind of like Deion.
Yeah, that'd be pretty sick. I'd have to think about that, though.

I heard you wake up super late, too. Is that because you're up all night playing Call of Duty 4?
I used to play Call of Duty 4 until like 5 a.m. and then wake up at, like, 3:30 in the afternoon.

You just said you just got out of the shower and it's about 2 pm. Did you just wake up now?
No, I got up at about noon today. I've been getting up pretty early, now. I don't know why.

Probably because you're amped being on Blind.
Yeah, that, for sure, and I just got a new bed, so I'm actually going to bed, now.

So, you were on Chocolate flow for a while. How did that transition to riding for Blind as an am?
Well, Sam Smyth, the TM over at Chocolate—he was helping me out as much as he could. Like a lot of companies, they were having budget cuts over at Chocolate, so he just kept sending me boards until I found a new board sponsor. So, I hit up a few people. I hit up Shad Lambert. I hit up Jared Lucas, he's the Bones team manager. So, I was like, could you hook me up with something? I was really stoked on Blind, because Blind has the sickest team, and he's like, "Yeah, I know Weiss pretty well." So, he e-mailed Weiss and Weiss hit me up and he was like, "Man, I'm down. Just give me your information and I'll send you some boards." Then, it happened from there.

Tight. So, how long were you getting boards before they bumped you up to am?
Dude, probably, like, a couple weeks—three weeks? It was super fast. I was hyped.

Ben Karpinski

They really do have an amazing team. I was watching them at the Vans Downtown Showdown and they have so many guys with so much talent. You don't realize it until you see them all together at one place.
Yeah, exactly. That's why I was super hyped on Blind. They have one of the sickest teams, if not the best ... ahhhhh!

[Laughs] Speaking of the Downtown Showdown, I saw you get everyone hyped up when you put down the nollie bigspin heel. But, the one thing I noticed—and I think the dudes from SPoT noticed it too—was that your hair stays perfectly in place. [Laughs] So, where do you get your fro done?
Dude, you know what? It actually just grows perfect like that. I get so many people asking me, like, how you get it in a perfect circle? Like, someone thought it was fake. But, I don't know, it just grows like that. Every once and a while, I'll trim it—like the split ends, I guess—so it stays a little more even, but, I don't know, it just grows like that.

Yeah, I've definitely seen some people trying to do the fro thing and it looks all mangled and haggard, you know?
Yeah.

So, do you want to give any shout-outs to your barber?...Or, you friends?
[Laughs] My barber? Yeah, to my barber, ET—hes' pretty tight. Shad, Jared, Black Mike and all the homies.

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