We’re very proud to announce Christian Maalouf as my first addition to the RP Athletics Club. The visuals with him have been insane! I wanted to sit and have a bite to eat with Christian and catch up about what’s going on, and talk about his project and board sponsor WKND. Christian rode for me w. Stereo skateboards years ago, and I’ve always been impressed with his maturity and his style. He skates like someone who was present for the early 90s, it’s truly refreshing! I’m really stoked our paths get to cross again creatively, this is going to be a fun reconnection and journey with RPAC. Have a read and enjoy!
CP:What’s going on WKND Skateboards?
CM: WKND is an entirely homegrown skateboard brand I ride for, started by Grant Yansura of Cosmic Vomit fame…
CP: So that’s a video that Grant made for the readers that don’t know…
CM: Correct that’s a video that Grant made,he’s actually made two of them and one of them won some kind of award so he’s pretty good at what he does. All of us on the team were either in limbo or having trouble w. where we were at w. a board sponsor, so Grant started this and has given us all a voice…which is nice cause we all have a say in what happens with the brand. We run it out of my living room, so it gets hectic, and complicated at times, but..we gotta move soon so maybe if people order enough boards we’ll be in a warehouse. WKND.com.
CP: And you actually do shipping correct?
CM: Yep. We pack and ship every single shop order and every single online order ourselves.
CP: You do or the whole team does?
CM: The whole team does.
CP: Wow! That’s pretty cool.
CM: Yeah it’s whoever is home that day.
CP: So who’s all on the team?
CM: Well I don’t know if Grant’s on the team, he probably should be? And we have Johan Stuckey, myself, Alexander Schmidt, Raymond Molinar, Taylor Caruso, Trevor Thompson, and Andrew Considine.
CP: Taylor is the kid I met at Garvanza right? Kinda Ethan Fowler-esque?
CM: Possibly, he looks like an old Chicago dock worker from the 50s…
CP: Yes, Ethan Fowler style, pre-Goth Ethan.
CM: Hope he’s not bummed I say that, but he’s steely as fuck.
CP: No who would be bummed on an Ethan Fowler comparison.
CM: So me Alex and Taylor live together, along with my girlfriend, and there’s two new guys…Andrew and Trevor, they’re in Florida though, they’re Grants friends from back in the day. They came out and skated with us and got the thumbs up.
CP: So the WKND videos are really humorous and cool.
Who comes conceptualizes the skits?
CM: Mostly it’s Grant, but we all come together and we all enjoy throwing in old VHS tapes from Classic movies and coming up with ideas based on movies we all watched as children. We all grew up in the 90s so…and Grant is a pretty creative guy so he writes up some sorta script and we loosely follow that.
CP: So there IS an actual script before you film them?
CM: Yeah yeah Grant writes scripts and we base them on whatever movie and loosely follow the characters (i.e. the Sandlot skit). It’s also pretty cool cause then we don’t have to film as many skateboard tricks! Those are hard to come by these days. We do have a full skateboarding Promo coming out, but we’ve been pushing it back because one of the guys will get hurt, and we all have full time jobs so it’s kinda hard to all get out skating together. Grant works for Nike SB so he has his obligations there and films us on his off days. He’s always got to jet off to travel w. Nike and stay at a 5 star hotel.
CP: Woe is him. Well, it’s doing pretty damn well for it being your guys side hustle I’d say.
CM: Yeah definitetly. We’ve just been kinda building an aesthetic and showing the kids and the skateboard world that they can all be a part of what we have going on with WKND. We’re not too cool for anything.
CP: That’s an awesome approach. How was the feedback on the last series you guys did w. the 80s/90s female crushes?
CM: Dude it was insane. I don’t know what it’s like for every other board company, but I’ve never had to send out the boards for the other companies I’ve ridden for. So the volume I see moving out of my front door is kinda mind blowing. I didn’t know it would be this successful this soon off. I think we’re only technically about half a year into it. So for how long we’ve been around and what we’re doing, it’s going really really well.
CP: Definitely, stoked on what you guys have going on.
CP: And who are your inspirations for skateboarding?
CM: Oh man it’s ever changing…Ethan Fowler would have to be one of the classics, as well as probably, Kenny Anderson. Rob Welsh. And for these days, I like a lot of those newer guys out in New York…Cyrus Bennett he’s in these new videos this kid Johnny Wilson makes. They had one called “Horny”, one called “Strangers”, and they had one called “Paych”, and they’re just like super raw New York dudes. http://youtu.be/50rfkQzp9-0
CP: What about with WKND was there a concept or theme with the skating or the footage? Or has it been based around your guys individual personalities?
CM: Yeah I mean Grant’s not pushing us to do anything we don’t want to do, as much as he maybe would like to. He’s not really cracking the whip, we’re free to skate whatever and however we like. And we all skate kinda different, but we’re able to skate together.
CP: That’s important!
CM: Johan’s pretty gnarly though, a lot of us just sit at his spots.
CP: He’s your big dog.
CM: yeah he’s our Heath.
CP: And then tell us about Brixton, how did that relationship start?
CM: I used to work at Cowtown in Arizona, and I just called Brixton to ask for a hat, and I somehow managed to get myself on the team. They’ve pretty much kept me afloat since then. they’re just great people, they make really cool stuff, we go on really cool trips, and they’re really generous and helpful. Ill ride for Brixton as long as Brixton will have me. And they just started in a garage too…
CP: Yeah thats pretty mind-blowing considering their size now.
CP: So weird question, but is it true you used to train ballet when you were a kid?
CM: No. I didn’t do ballet…
CP: So why did someone tell me that?
CM: I was a gymnast for awhile…
CP: A gymnast! That’s it, ok, that makes sense. God people love to exaggerate.
CM: Yeah I quit when I was transitioning to skating but…
CP: Do you think it’s helped you at all with that magic pop?
CM: I don’t know, maybe it helped me be limber but, that shit’s all gone away now.
CP: So, you are officially the first member I’ve inducted into the RP Athletics Club, what is your favorite thing about RP?
CM: Well, you can’t beat new socks! I got stinky hobbit feet, so I appreciate being able to put clean fresh looking socks on all the time.
CP: Definitely needed for stinky skateboarders.
CM: And it’s another brand that I know it’s new to skateboarding so it will be really cool to stick around help build it up and see where it goes.
CP: And I’m stoked to work with you again too!
CM: The rekindling.
CP: You got it. Thanks Maalouf!