Dejaune is a Dr Who fan who is addicted to speed and skateboarding. He tells us about winning the juniors at Maryhill this year, skating with the East Coast homies and plans to break records. Khaleeq behind the lens.Hi Dejaune, how are you?
Doing Good. Yourself?
Great thanks. Where are you from?
From the planet Gallifrey.
Your skateboard is a Tardis?
Yes it is. Travels all over the universe.
When did you start skating?
I started skating back in 2009 around NYC with “The Concrete Kings”
What’s a Concrete King?
The CK’s are a group of skaters from around New York City that get together every Sunday for a skate around the city. It was all started by Solomon Lang of Bustin Boards.
Who is Solomon?
Solomon (King Sol is what they call him) is one of my Team mates and homies from the city. He’s probably the most energized skater in the city. He’s also a model and chick magnet, Haha.
Has he been an influence on you?
Yeah, He’s been the one to help me push it more and more through the streets of NYC.
How did you find them?
I found them while skating around downtown Manhattan one day. Sol called me over, asked if I was down to ride along, I said “Hell Yeah”.
Did skating change for you after making friends?
Yeah, It gave me the momentum to skate faster. These guys were fast through the NYC traffic.
Is traffic surfing the crux of NYC skate culture?
YES. That’s all there is to do. It’s fun and dangerous at the same time. Me and my friends Kiefer Dixon and Leon Vincent do it all the time. It’s a thing here in the city. Me, Kiefer, Leon, and our friends Steven, Sam, Danny and Jonathan do it on our Fixed Gear bikes.
How hectic does it get?
It gets very hectic. You have the morning rush hour/afternoon/ and evening. The most hectic/funniest I’d say is the evening. Everyone is trying to get home after a long day at work.
Are you safer/faster on a bike?
I’m faster on a board. Haha. I just use my bike in the off season to stay fit and work my legs out.
What do you like about going fast?
I love the adrenaline rush it gives me. It’s like being in Fast and Furious.
What’s your role in the gang?
No idea. Haven’t been to a Sunday Shred in months, Haha. But when summer comes back, Ill be in the streets.
What other events do they organise?
They organize this event called “The Mini Bomb”. If you’ve heard of the “Broadway Bomb” The mini bomb is just half of that route.
What were you riding back in ‘09?
I was on a regular skateboard with super messed up bearings and hard wheels.. Haha.
What kind of skating do you enjoy these days?
FAST skating. I’m addicted to speed. It’s all I want. But when I can’t make it out to the fast hills. I go do some freeriding over at a hill called “Dark Tower” by my house.
Are there many nice freeriding spots in NYC?
Yeah, there are a few in central park.
What’s fun about Dark Tower?
It’s a hill. Haha. Pretty much the only hill closed off to traffic (Besides the workers that work down at the bottom) that we can use both lanes.
What was the first event you attended?
I can’t remember to be honest. Haha. I’ve been to so many.
What has been your favourite year of skating so far?
2013 has been my year. Winning race after race. It’s been fun, especially winning Maryhill juniors. Sucks this year is my last year as a junior there.
What made you decide to compete?
Watching these YouTube videos of Kevin Riemer, Scoot Smith, Mischo Erban, Patrick Switzer and all the other top riders racing and going fast made me want to get into the downhill scene.
Is it hard for a kid from the East Coast to beat the boys from Vancouver & Cali?
Yeah. Here on the east coast, we don’t all have hills like they do in Cali and Canada. So they are on top of their game.
Had you done many races before Maryhill this year?
Yeah. A couple races on the east coast, like Major Stokem 5 and I love Downhill.
Are any of those your sponsors?
Yes. I’ve got a lot of sponsors that have been helping me out this season.
Who are your other sponsors?
Bustin Boards, Hillside Gear, Pretty Noise Lab Trucks, Hawgs Wheels, Riptide Bushings, Longboard Loft, The Pucks, Push Culture Apparel, GhostSkate and my mum!
When did you first get sponsored?
I first got sponsored back in 2010 by Wank Longboards. Love those guys to death.
How important is parental support for young racers?
It’s very important. Without your parents you wouldn’t even be here. Haha, If you don’t have sponsors, and you want to compete in races, your parents are your sponsors. They are ALWAYS your first sponsor.
Did she see you win?
She did not see me win. She hates taking planes for some reason now, Haha.
What did you do to get ready for Mary?
I did a lot. I’d ride my bike about 50 miles, Do a lot of up hills and then some sprints. Or do some running. My homies were like “ don’t take every practice run. Your legs will be dead.” Haha, well, I took EVERY practice run there was. Got my legs used to the course and my lines dialled.
What was your favourite heat at the race?
I don’t have one to be honest, Haha, All of them were awesome!
What was the highlight of that weekend?
The party at the campsite haha, and hanging out with my friends and team mates who I don’t get to see a lot. it was fucking epic though. Me, Khaleeq and our boy Billy rolled up to the camp site one night in his van to pick someone up. Then these guys start shooting fireworks at the van as we’re leaving, And he just flips and hops out on them haha. That made my night.
“…while on the truck going back up for the finals, I said a prayer to my dad who passed a couple years ago ‘I made it, this ones for you’. I let some tears out as I crossed the finish line and pointed to the sky.”
Did having home support help your result?
Yeah, All of the homies in NYC were rooting for me. And while on the truck going back up for finals, I said a prayer to my dad who passed a couple years ago, “ I made it, This ones for you” Haha. I did indeed let some tear out as I crossed the finish line and pointed to the sky.
Hugs. How did you do in the other races this season?
I did pretty good for my first year of serious racing. Got a couple first places.
What is Major Stokem?
It’s a race that’s hosted by my friend Adam Dabonka in Fortlee, NJ. It’s a good beginners race, for those that wanna get into downhill.
Aside from Dark Tower – where else do you ride locally?
I don’t go to central park that much any more. I skate Dark Tower a lot. If not DT, then I head into NJ.
What’s the spirit of the NY community?
It’s like, if you have a board, other skaters you don’t know will like, say hi, what’s up. Stuff like that.
Did you hit the broadway bomb this year?
I did. It was pretty gnarly running through lights at full speed trying to catch the break away team.
What are your plans for the future?
To travel around to more races with my best friend who I don’t get to see that much. Try and break longest heelside record.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-14.
2 – what weapons would you choose in a zombie apocalypse?
A British SA-80 (L85A1) rifle, M-16, And a normal handgun.
7 – why did the chicken cross the road?
To holla at that thick chick that was all lonely.
Congratulations on a killer first season, thanks for taking the time out to chat with me!
Thanks man. Anytime. Glad to do this.
Any last words?
Shout out to all my NYC crew, #StaySkatin. To my mum – I love you. Sponsors, friends and family, Love them all.
Follow me and my adventures on Instagram!!! @That_French_Kidd
Khaleeq, you are a beast photographer!