Riley Blakeway, aka ‘The Dolphin’ has just released his debut part, The Kook for FUK’N’OATH, and it’s nothing but good times. Read the below interview from pro-surfer guy Warren Smith on Riley’s transition from ocean to pavement.
Photos by Andrew Peters and Brent O’Donnell
Interview by Warren Smith – Pro Surfer
Warren Smith: What’s it like to turn your back on the surf world? Leave the salt for sweat life of a skater. How did we lose you?
Riley Blakeway: I don’t think I’ll ever lose the surf title. No matter how long i skate for I will never not be the salt dog. I was talking to someone the other day and they were like “you guys have it way better at the beach” and I was thinking, well that’s funny cause I’ve only surfed five times in the past year, but I’m still a surf dog.
You’ve been hitting the skate scene pretty hard.
Yeah my hips are pretty beat up.
But don’t you just miss the salt life?
Come on, the babes?
Yeah, I mean..
Exotic locations, play at the beach all day long.
It’s not like I left surf life to pursue skate films or something like that. But at the same time as I left surfing to do other shit I stopped surfing and started skating a lot more. Most of the people I hang out with skate. But surf dogs have way hotter chicks and way more tropical, nice locations. If you were a chick you wouldn’t wanna hang out in a sweaty ditch, you wanna hang out by the beach.
Are the skate dogs receptive to your flippery background?
I don’t know, it took a while I think. I first started skating when I met Sparkes 4 or 5 years ago and I’d still call tricks wrong and everyone would make fun of me. I’d call a curb cut a wheelchair ramp or something. One time I turned up and I had a little Element logo on my grip and everyone in Sydney gave me shit. It was dunga and my wheels were all yellow and I think Rhino said it looked like I’d fished my board out from under a mini ramp in Malibu. Everyone loves giving me shit. It’s a never ending hazing of trying to skateboard all the time. I skate every fucking day. Maybe I’m working towards acceptance, but probably not.
How long does it take you to get your skate outfit together? When you put on a pair of pants and you stand in the mirror you’re like “today I better come with my skate gear looking good”. How many times do you change when you put on your skate outfits?
I don’t change that much anymore cause I only have two pairs of pants I wear, one pair of shoes and five t-shirts. It always takes me a long time to get dressed no matter what the occasion. No longer then normal.
Normal wigs. Does the skate world know about wigs? They know about wigs cause you are innately a wigs, but do they know that in the surf world you have a nickname of Captain Wigs.
That’s not even the surf world, that’s your world.
When did you start skating?
I would always do like a fifty fifty or a 5-0 to tail on a mini ramp when I was younger. But then I started skating with Sparkes cause he kept forcing me to come out, I’d skate a bit but I was still making surf movies and doing that whole thing. When I moved to LA, I moved away from the beach and was skating cause that’s what was around.
Do your porpoise flippers help you flip the board or keep you from flipping the board?
I do everything really fucking weird. I do heel flips with my toes in a kick flip position. I don’t even use my heel, so there’s surf dog things I do but I’ve somehow made it functional.
Do you do any sort of slashes? Surf shit?
I did a frontside wall ride yesterday and that’s the most surfy feeling trick maybe.
Sometimes when I do reverts, I definitely surf my way out of the revert. Do you do a chop hop when you do a backside 180 ollie?
The main surf dog thing is with frontside 180’s but to pivot so it’s like a fins out snap, but no I don’t do any of that.
Do you mongo?
I’ve mongo’d my whole life.
I don’t even switch mongo.
Your biggest skating accomplishment?
I think I did something the other day and I said that it was my biggest accomplishment. If anyone knows me I’ve probably said that about 100 times— “This will be the best thing I’ve ever done”. Either Baxter, that long board slide in Echo Park, or the back tail on the bank downtown that I surfed out of with no shirt on. I barely slid and then slid more sideways down the bank.
When you take your shirt off to skate are people like, fuck that’s a tan skater?
No but I think I’ll always have surfer upper body.
Your shoulders are not very skate are they. Those blonde locks aren’t very skate either. There’s a couple of things keeping you from being a full blown skater. I don’t know if you’ll ever be able to fully cross over.
Nah, I think I’ll always be a kook.