The Am Issue: Bobby De Keyzer Interview

In case you hadn't heard, Bobby will be one of the stars in our next full-length video! We caught up with BDK in TO, because he's not moving to California anytime soon. And don't you dare talk smack about Harry Potter!-Blair Alley
Photos by Jon Coulthard

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Half-Cab flip. Cape Town, South Africa. (click to enlarge)

Who are your favorite ams right now?
Cyrus Bennett. I like his skating. That's the first name that comes to mind right now.

What's the best nickname you have?
Screech.

How'd you get that one?
It's just a joke. Me and all my friends have fake vert names that we gave ourselves. Like vert dogs.

So you're named after the guy who skates pools?
Is there someone that does that?

Yeah! There's a documentary about him, Dragonslayer.
Oh, sick. It's a typical tranny name, I guess.

Does anyone call you Bobby DK?
Maybe BDK sometimes from Brennan Conroy.

What kind of name is De Keyzer?
It's Dutch.

“I KINDA LIKE THAT RUMOR. MAYBE I'LL JUST SAY IT'S TRUE.”

Where do you sit on the corporate-shoe controversy?
I think it's cool that skaters are getting paid enough money to live. Good money. I don't blame anyone for skating for a corporate company.

Have you seen the Internet rumor about you and your love for Harry Potter?
Yeah, that one's pretty good. Jimmy [Astleford], the DC team manager, texted me to ask if it was real.

I just saw it on the Slap boards.
It's insane. Slap is pretty twisted for that one. People are fucked if they think that's true.

Does it say that's why you quit DC because someone was making fun of Harry Potter in the tour van?
Yeah, it's pretty sick. I kinda like that rumor. Maybe I'll just say it's true.

Have you heard any other rumors about yourself?
Not really.

What pros or influential skaters were around Toronto when you were coming up? Definitely Morgan Smith. He was the main inspiration that I looked up to. I would see him around downtown and kind of be in awe. Like, "Oh, there he is. That's Morgan," and just sit down and watch him skate the ledge.

Are you thinking about making the move to California?
No, I don't think so. I like Toronto. Maybe in years from now, or just go out there for longer periods, but I don't think I'll move there.

What's your take on the scene in California?
It's cool. If you're not from there, it's way different and I think it would be hard to make new friends. I just like Toronto better, it just feels more natural. The people I'm friends with, I'm not just friends with them because they skate or something. I feel like that would maybe be different in LA.

How did you get hooked up?
DC was the first company to really hook me up. I went on a DC Canada trip and some of the US guys went on it. Jeff Goforth, who works for DC, was on it. They kinda stopped the whole Canada program and kept me. I went on a couple more trips and had a "welcome to the team" thing come out.

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Backside lipslide. Toronto, Canada. (click to enlarge)

Did you try to get sponsored with footy tapes or YouTube links you sent out?
Yeah, maybe at first. I made a couple videos with some friends. Just hometown videos. I think mainly through that. Not really sponsor-me tapes.

Do the Dime guys have a big presence in Toronto like they do in Montreal?
It's not as big because they don't really come film here ever. People are definitely hyped on it.

Who are your favorite skaters right now?
Just the friends I skate with in Toronto probably.

Any of them that we would know of?
Maybe Evan Hay and Jed Anderson and people like that.

When is your next video part coming out?
I think it's coming out in June. It's a little clip for Converse.

IT'S SICKER WHEN DUDES GO PRO AFTER BEING A PART OF A HUGE PROJECT, LIKE A COMPANY, INSTEAD OF A SOLO, THREE-MINUTE INTERNET PART AND THEN YOU'RE PRO.

You're in the next TWS video. Have you met Chris Thiessen and started filming with him?
No, I haven't yet. I missed that first Atlanta trip, but I've talked to him through email.

He's the happiest, nicest dude ever.
That's what I've heard. I think we're going to New York soon. That'll be fun.

What did you think of Substance?
I think it's cool. I thought it was good. I liked Jon Nguyen a lot.

What's your opinion on VX versus HD?
I'm kind of phasing out of VX, I kind of hate it now. It's annoying for both parties, the skater and the filmer. Logging the VX is so much more painful than an HD camera. It took longer out here, but when HD started, forever no one had an HD. Now everyone has gotten rid of their VXs, so trying to film VX here, it's almost easier to film HD. And tapes glitching when you get tricks—I just don't think it's worth it. I still think it's a great camera, though.

Have you seen the Polar video?
I liked that one. I thought it was sick.

Does Habitat have any projects coming up?
I think they wanna start working on something. I know it's not their biggest priority, but we definitely want to put out something, whether it's a full-length or whoever has footage to give. I think we're gonna work on something.

What was the reason you wanted to skate for Habitat?
They've been my favorite company ever since I was super young. I love [Joe] Castrucci's artwork and direction of the brand and all the skaters who skate for it. It's been my favorite forever. It's an honor to skate for them.

Do you feel settled now with your sponsors?
I'm stoked now for sure. It's weird being in the phase I was before. I wasn't stoked skating for DC, it sounds stupid, but not wanting to wear their logos. It's so simple and such an easy task. I'm really happy with everything now, and I won't be switching anything.

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Switch backside Smith. Toronto, Canada. (click to enlarge)

How did you get on CONS, and what about CONS do you like better?
Brennan Conroy sent some footage to Jon Coulthard, and they asked me to come on a trip to Asia. I went on that and skated with those dudes and then went on the South America trip right after. It's been going since then. I like what Richard [Quintero] and Ben Chadourne do with the videos, and I like the image they're making around it and the music they use. It has a pretty distinct look for a shoe brand like that.

What's it take to go pro?
I don't know. More skating, more video parts. More years as an am, I guess.

How about in general, in 2016?
It's weird to go pro off of internet parts. It's sicker when dudes go pro after being a part of a huge project, like a company, instead of a solo, three-minute internet part and then you're pro.

It does seem like those solo parts are marketing tools just to sell one dude's boards.
It makes sense, I don't think it's weird that that happens all the time. I personally think it's cool if you're part of a project and work on something for multiple years with a brand—it's more of an achievement.

Do you have a day job?
No. Just skating.

Skating's paying the bills?
Yup.

Do you still live with your folks?
No, I just moved out and I live with my girlfriend downtown.

Sweet. Sugar mama.
[Laughs] Yup.

Our 2016 Am Issue is on newsstands and in skateshops now!