The Tuesday 25 with Ben Krahn

Dirt Ramp Ollie
Photo: Garric Ray

1. Go-to-trick: 
Ollie? I try to do them as often as possible. When is the ollie ever not going to be cool? “Oh, you just ollie’d over a picnic table?…. WEAK!!!” Sorry, you will never hear that. The ollie is the coolest trick of all time and always will be. No-handed aerial? Continues to amaze me….

2. Warm up spot:
Ideally, I would warm up with some flatground or mellow street skating at a low key street spot that is totally off the beaten path, no lurkers gawking in the background trying to figure out what the hell you are doing.

3. Current Location: 
Portland, OR

4. Favorite Skateboarder Cover: 
I am not familiar with all the covers but the first one that comes to mind is the Jonathan Mehring foldout cover of Jaws kickflipping off the rocks in the desert. So sick! That is what I want to see. I want to see something different and epic that inspires you to want to skate and find cool spots. I always look at skate mags in the store instead of buying them and that is one of the few mags that I actually sought out to buy because of that cover.

5. Bomb a hill or sloppy a curb:
I love both, obviously, but I am going to have to go with bombing a hill. I lived in S.F. for a few years and there are few things more exciting than flying down a hill at the edge of control.

6. Video you watched as a kid:
I watched a lot of skate vids as a kid. One of the first that I saw and loved was Future Primitive. Another of my all time favorites that has, in my opinion, withstood the test of time is “This Is Not The New H-Street Video“. Practically everything in that video at that time was new and groundbreaking and I used to watch it almost every day for skate inspiration. My best friend and skate partner at that time basically ended up quitting skating because of Matt Hensley’s Caballerial over a picnic table in that video. He was discouraged because he felt that he could never be that good at skating, so what was the point? Might as well quit. The video had the opposite effect on me, I definitely wanted to Cab a picnic table. Still haven’t done that, probably never will, but still wanting to. Sick video!

7. Website (non-skate one):
Not very exciting, but I regularly check the weather sites. It rains here a lot in the winter. I like to get an idea of what kind of weather is coming so I can make plans around that.

8. Worst/ best question at a demo:
“Where’s Bam?”

9. Craziest run in while being a taxi driver:
Imagine a broke, drunken/enraged Frankenstein that refused to get out of the back seat of your car while threatening you with physical harm. Good times.

10. Favorite skate photo:
One of my all time favorite photos is the Gabe Morford photo of John Cardiel tweaking the HELL out of an Indy crossbone over a stack of buckets on the wet ramp. That photo is amazing in so many different ways. Love that photo!

11. Drink:
If we are talking about an alcoholic beverage then I would go for a Dark & Stormy (rum and ginger beer). Good stuff.
Coffee in the morning, water throughout the day.

12. Guilty pleasure: 
I will be honest about this… I have the first couple of Lenny Kravitz albums on my IPod… and I like them. I also get a lot of shit for having the complete Red Hot Chili Peppers discography on there… but I don’t care, I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

13. Movie quote:
I don’t know a lot of movie quotes off the top of my head. One that has stuck with me throughout the years that has become a regular part of my vocabulary would be to end a statement with “…and that’s official!”. I had a friend that said it all the time and I kind of adapted it. I thought it was funny and didn’t realize until years later that it was a line from Raising Arizona.

14. Way to spend your money:
Quickly. It goes fast. Way too fast.

15. Thing to get for free:
Light and air.

16. Current AM:
I am stoked on the crew of younger skaters that are killing it down at Burnside. It is cool to show up to the park and see these guys ripping.

17. Weirdest thing you’ve witnessed at Burnside:
Non-skating creep lurkers.

18. Worst skate trend: 
Worst skate fashion trend = big pants in the 90’s. How did that come about? So fucking weird and dumb looking…. and extremely unfunctional.
Worst equipment trend = small wheels, also from the 90’s. SUPER lame. Impossible to get any speed and they would also instantly flatspot because the riding surfaces on the wheels were so narrow.
When wheels started to get small I remember thinking that I would never ride any wheels smaller than 50mm… and then the wheels continued to get smaller. I think 39mm was the smallest that wheels were made? 39mm! Ridiculous. It was actually not an option to get bigger wheels of any kind unless they were some old outdated wheels from the 80s. The only wheels available in skate shops were well under 50mm and I was so happy when the bigger wheels started to come back.

19. Partner in crime:
There have been lots of them throughout the years – an evolving cast of characters.

20. Book:
There have been lots of them throughout the years – an evolving cast of characters.

Ben Krahn’s Remarkable Wizardry from on Vimeo.

21. Too much time is spent:
Wasting time?

22. Best trip in recent memory/ever:
I have been fortunate to have had some good travels in my life. I think the most important part of good skate trips always involve a good group of friends that are not difficult to travel with and want to skate cool and fun spots. In the skate industry, it is common to travel with people you don’t know and nothing can suck the enjoyment out of a skate trip faster than having to travel with some difficult kook you don’t know and/or having to wait around for some clueless tween to jump down rails. Been there, done that. Not fun.

23. Pro when you were a kid:
I was amazed by many of the 80’s vert and street legends. I used to study skate mags as a kid. I could relate to the concept of street skating a lot more than the vert skating so my first favorite pros were the street pioneers Natas Kaupas, Mark Gonzales and Tommy Guerrero. These guys were not only skilled athletes but also artistic visionaries/innovaters. Props to the O.G.s.

24. Famous female/actress:
Not many of those to be found here in Portland.

25. Thing about skateboarding:
“It’s Clobberin’ Time!”
Sorry, you will have to be a huge nerd to get that one.

Ben’s Sponsors:
Blood Wizard
Independent Trucks