Skate Nerd: Josh Kalis, That Kickflip, Peep This (1999)

In our continuing quest to rake through history with a fine-tooth comb we embark on another forensic skate nerd investigation—this time focusing on Josh Kalis' part ending kickflip from RB Umali/Zoo York's 1999 release Peep This. Pegged by many of your favorite keyboard critics as one of—if not the best kickflip of all time—we checked in with Josh, eighteen years later to get his thoughts along with his own picks for all time favorite kickflips.

Hey Josh, thanks for doing this. Was that barrier at the Brooklyn Banks?
Yup. That's at the Brooklyn Banks.

Do you remember this going down? It looks like you almost flick it late and then catch it sort of with the board facing downwards.
I do remember it. To a point I remember it. I just remember that it just sort of happened to be there. The barrier was just there and I remember being like, "Damn, we should try and ollie the barrier." It was just on some fun cruising around type shit. I think, if I remember right, the kickflip—I just started throwing it over there. I can't remember the dudes name who was shooting the photo but I remember it specifically being to get the photo. RB was filming too but the photo seemed more important somehow. I don't think that it was meant to be an actual video part trick.


Loop of the kickflip in question. Peep This, 1999. Scroll down to watch the full part.

Then it's the ender in that part.
Yeah. I don't think it was meant to be anything like that.

I might be completely oblivious but I don't think I've seen a photo of this.
I remember the dude telling me that it came out blurry in the photo. It was the same dude that shot the sequence—and it might have been the same day actually—as the half cab heel over the Banks wall. He shot a sequence of that too and that didn't come out either. I honestly can't remember the dude's name. He was mad cool. I didn't care. But I'm pretty sure neither photo came out.

If you watch that clip is that sort of your standard kickflip technique or was this one different somehow? Does it stand out to you when you watch it?
I mean I like it you know. When I saw it I was like, "Damn, that's sick." And then for RB (Umali) to put it as the last trick in the part I think made me recognize that it was special. What I liked most about it was that it wasn't supposed to be that. It wasn't supposed to be an ender or this kickflip that people would talk about for a long time.

Since this one has sort of been pegged as an all timer, do you have any picks of your own for best kickflips?
Any Mike Carroll kickflip is my favorite kickflip. That photo of the one over those curb cuts in SF (Dolinsky photo, Thrasher 1994). That photo, it almost looks like he's catching it so good that it bends the arch of his foot. Like the board hit his shoe so hard that it bent the sole. One of my other favorite ones he did was the one he did over the pillar thing at Pier 7. That one was so bangin'.

Mike Carroll’s 1994 kickflip photo—Josh’s pick for all time best. See bent sole from catch impact. Photo: Dolinsky 1994.

When he did that first one in '94 it was right after everyone had been messing with double flips and pressure flips and all that. But it was almost like it was a new trick, just to do a really fucking clean and caught kickflip.
Yeah. I always loved Kareem Campbell's kickflips too. They were kind of mobbed out. But the way he would mob 'em out—usually when somebody does a mob kickflip it's either a little rocketed or maybe flat. But Kareem's would always bone themselves out. Even though he mobbed 'em a little, the tail would still come up. But Carroll for me is just the best.

A good example of Kareem’s one of a kind technique. Doped Out Children 1995. Photo: Kosick.

Do you remember what was going on in your life circa '99?
Those days I was living in Philly and we would go to New York on the weekends. Love (Park) would be so crazy on weekends we would just take the train up to New York and I would stay with RB. If I remember right he had a place on 12th and A. I could be wrong, but I think he had rented a spot there with a couple of roommates. We'd sleep on his couch and skate the city.

That whole part has the Star Wars light saber beats over it too. Any idea where that came from?
I had no idea where it came from. I think that was just what RB chose for it. I thought it was cool though for sure. (Ed Note: After I posted the clip of Josh's kickflip to my Instagram, Zoo York OG Eli Gesner (aka @ocularge) mentioned in the comments that he had mixed the Star Wars beat for that part. Props to Eli!)

Josh’s 360 flip isn’t too shabby either. DC Shoes ad, TWS June 1998. Photo: Skin.

I think that was pretty much all my questions. Someone did mention it was super dirty under there if you fell.
It was always nasty there. But you never really thought about it. You skated and if you fell you fell. It wasn't an issue. You just showered at the end of the day, if you showered, and nobody really cared.

Here’s the full part:


Josh Kalis, Peep This, 1999. Video by RB Umali/Zoo York. Music by Eli Gesner.

Follow Josh on Instagram: @joshkalis
Follow RB Umali: @rbumali
Follow me: @deadhippie
Scroll down for some more classic Kalis photos.

Josh’s uber classic Nov. 1995 TWS cover, Vol. 13, No. 11. Backside 180. Photo: Skin.

Alien Workshop ad of another amazing 360 flip. Photo: Gee. TWS March 2000, Vol. 18, No. 3.

Another classic Kalis TWS cover. Noseblunt slide. Photo: Gee. TWS March 2002. Vol. 20, No. 3.