The skateboarding world isn’t the friendliest place. It’s teeming with adversarial peers, agenda-driven magazines, pushy advertising agencies, and cubic tons of cold, hard concrete. So it’s not uncommon to see the quieter, gentler skateboarders disappear after they’ve been introduced to the mean-spirited personality of the industry. Fortunately, San Antonio, Texas nice guy Forrest Kirby has yet to be physically repelled by skateboarding’s darker side. He phoned me from the offices of Rhythm skateboards.
What aspect of skateboarding draws you to it the most?
I like the way certain people skate¿it’s inspirational to see someone who skates with a good style. They don’t even have to do hard tricks, as long as they have a good style.
Who’s been inspirational to you?
A lot of different people, from Natas Kaupas, Gonz, Eric Koston, and Gino Iannucci to the new guys like Kenny Read, Jake Rupp, Anthony Correa, Kenny Anderson, and a lot more.
What do think about skateboarding, now that you’re involved in the business of it?
I came from a small town, so I’m not used to people vibing me. I’m a friendly person; I’ll introduce myself to people, and I get vibed sometimes for it. It’s kind of bullshit.
What differences do you see between skating where you grew up and skating here in California?
I see a lot of differences, like the way skating goes down. It’s so formal here in California¿you go to a certain spot to get a certain trick with a certain photographer. It doesn’t really flow as much as when I’m at home with my friends.
What does your family think about skateboarding?
Right now, I’m just on the run. It’s not giving me a living; I’m struggling. It’s just the life of an am. Hopefully, I can make it to the professional level.
Where does your money come from?
Rhythm. They have love for me. So does Alphanumeric and all my other sponsors. As long as I work, I’m gonna eat.
Is being a pro your ultimate goal in skateboarding?
Actually, no. I want to be an entity in skating. Someone who people will know by my style, like, “Hey, that’s Forrest.”
Do have a plan for your future?
What is it?
I can’t tell you. But I can tell you that I definitely have a plan.
What do you do besides skateboard?
I read. I try to focus daily on everything around me and take in all the energy. I just take in everything, and have mad respect for everything and everybody.
What do you read?
I read different books about religion and stuff, and I just try to figure out why I’m here and stuff.
Do you enter a lot of contests and do you feel that it’s an important part of skateboarding?
It’s definitely not an important part of skateboarding, but unfortunately you’ve got to do it. I have respect for everyone who does it, but it doesn’t appeal to me.
What’s your family situation?
I have two sisters¿one younger, one older. Their names are Crystal and Saundra. My mom’s name is Kay. I’m from a broken family, so I don’t really have a dad. But that’s cool.
How do you think that’s affected your skating?
It’s pushed me. Skating’s just a different outlet, you know? So, whenever I’m feeling down, I just go skate and progress.
Yeah. Watch out for F.O.R.E. pronounced: four-e! He’s on the run-though!
Forrest rides for Rhythm skateboards, Alphanumeric clothing, Axion shoes, Shorty’s hardware, Tornado wheels, and Active skate shop.