Who loves tie-die, skateboarding down hills, salt spring slashers and gets paid to party? Max Kaye! He reminds us why it’s so important to have fun. Get stoked.
Maxwell, how super are you?
Depends for what, I guess. I mean I’m pretty super right now, if that’s what you mean. Haha.
What’s the super-est thing that’ll happen this year?
Well, if all works out – all that big mountain skate love, and as many other new events in Europe I can get lucky enough to go to. Like Transylvania plus the longboard race I organise in my home town. This will be the 9th year of Salt Spring slasher
As well as an outlaw called the salt spring slip n slide, this will be year 7.
How’ve you kept it up for so long?
We have had an amazing group of organisers over the years and, whenever one of us can’t host, someone else in the group picks up the pieces and makes it work. It’s a great little team of amazing people. And, of course, we could not do this without the riders. It would not happen! In the past, we had sponsors drop out a month before the event and just silly things like that. So without the community, this would not happen.
What’s been your favourite memory from the Slasher?
Oh man, there’re so many. Top memory is from the 1st year, we had one rider going hard in the party and, from my understanding, he ended up getting lost in the woods, naked! He was found by some hikers the next day on the hiking path, they thought that he was just some 16 year old kid who partied too hard, he was 20 something! 6 or 7 years later we found his clothing, stiff as a board!
Hay bale forts on the bottom corner is another good memory.
One year, it would rain when the riders were at the bottom then, by the time they got to the top, it was all dry! So some people had only one rain wheel on because they had no idea what it was like at the bottom.
The lake and skatepark after the race is always a good time.
Witnessing Nick Jean do the first squat heelside stand up slide racing at 90km/h was nuts. He has also gotten 4th every year but, last year. That’s 8 years in 4th place.
Trent ‘dad’ Badner puking at the start line and the finish looking at the people he beats going ‘’aww come on guys I wanna get knocked out already’’
Troy Yardwaste doing start line and shot gunning a beer every time he says ”go for opens, womens and juniors”.
Wouldn’t it be great if you held the Salt Spring Slasher on Friday the 13th?
Haha maybe next year! Imagine, ten years of slasher on Friday the 13th!
Why do you put this race on?
Well I am not the original organiser that’s a man named Adrian English. But, this race I have been trying to keep going because I love it. It’s funny but it’s that simple. I mean, you ask me two days before and, I will tell you I hate it. But I love having all my friends come to my home town and just get some island life and skate the hill I learned on. And this year will be no different.
Who is Adrian?
Adrian English is my skate dad. He showed me downhill; how to ride smart, how to slide, how to go fast, how to make my setup better. Gave me my 1st DH board. He introduced me to the coast long board family. He started the salt spring slasher with our good buddy Jude (idk how to spell his last name right).
Does downhill have any skate moms left?
I think so. My mom is a skate mom. She has come to every race I hosted and has become a skate mom to a few friends. She’s put 30 smelly skaters in her house a few times. You don’t have to skate to be a skate parent. You can just be the driver who always takes care of things. My mom has taken care of a bunch of my friends with nothing but love.
Speaking of events, have you voted?
Haha no… I’m bad. I planned on doing it today. Last few days have been busy with family and life. I totally forgot until today when I saw people posting so, got to get on that.
How are you deciding who to choose?
I’m going to go with people who I feel are really going to do their best under the worst pressure and have the best interest in the growth of the sport. I am excited to see what will happen and what they will do to make it better and grow.
How did you get in this skateboarding game?
All my friends street skated in school and I could never figure out how to ollie or anything. Plus, hard wheels with a fat kid don’t work too well or at least, for me. Big tree go boom. Then, my mom got me a longboard and, when I went to the 1st salt spring slasher and saw what downhill was and met so many amazing people who did not care who I was, they were just stoked that I skated – even though I did not know how to do anything. I’ve never looked back since.
Has big tree found his happy place?
Haha, I’d say so. Still got some things to work on after a few injuries but, I’m happy to say my life’s going downhill and I would never change a thing.
Are the people your favourite thing about skating?
Well ya, I’d say so! Going to an event in another country and not knowing anyone there is fun. Jumping in a group of people’s heat and having a great time is rad. At the end, you have a new good friend from another part of the world. And then, if you’re lucky, you convince them to come to your home and you get the chance to show them around and vice versa. A local world instead of being a tourist.
We are so lucky. Longboarding may have gotten super big in the last few years but, we are still so small that it feels like a family that is all over the world and that’s something I think is so special about our sport.
Because of long boarding I could pick almost anywhere in the world with roads and find someone I know or a friend of a friend and go there and travel and see their world. Plus you can’t party by yourself… Well you can. I know I do but, it’s a lot more fun with friends.
Where in the world have you made new friends?
It’d be easier to answer ”where don’t you have friends now”. It sounds very cocky but, because of skating, I have friends throughout the US, UK, South America, South Africa, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Russia and of course, Canada.
What are you thankful to downhill for?
Fuck man, so much! It helped me grow and become a better person. I learned a lot about myself and from all the other people I have met on and off the hill. It helped my confidence and it just took me a bit outside my comfort zone and let me grow from it.
What happens outside our comfort zones?
I feel in a way we get to live and experience things we would not normally do sometimes when we are outside our comfort zone. I mean you can discover a whole new world if you step outside it
When did you first skate outside Salt spring island?
Adrian English moved to Vancouver where all the skating was happening and, one day, I went to the big city for a few days and he took me out to some of the best places you get to skate in Vancouver. After that it was danger bay 9.
How was your first danger bay?
It was everything I expected and, so much more.
It was a big old fashioned drunk downhill skateboard family reunion. With a super fun race. If there is one race you should go to at least once, it’s that. So many skaters were there from all over the world. It was my 1st time getting an understanding of what the longboard family truly was and if you want to see any BC OG skaters, this is where you must go! From the party to the race it’s hard to have a bad time.
What’s special about Vancouver?
Oh, man! So much. They’ve got hills that some people can only dream of. The cheap eats like Bons of Broadway’s all day breakfast. If you been, you just know. An amazing skate house called the Stoop that puts up so many people through the summer, it’s like a skateboard hostel. A rad local skate shop like Flatspot that hosts and helps with so much skating, so many slide jams, every Thursday parkades, and great parties in the shop. There’s a bunch of events and people to skate with.
It’s all about the baked ham. Once you learn the tricks, a meal under $5 is too good.
What is the Stoop?
The stoop is one of the greatest places in Vancouver. It’s a skate house that has been running for over 10 years now. It’s the closest thing Vancouver has to a skate hostel. In the summer, there could be more then a dozen living on the couches. And there’s always something going on. From beers on the back deck to skating the allies and doing bus runs. When you think of it, with that many people in one house, there’s kinda a party every night.
We also love to make fun of ourselves. We tried making our own videos which were really just super funny news desks and our news man is always pretty drunk.
If you wanna come, remember to be respectful, clean up after yourself, buy the housemates some beer and/or toilet paper, if you’re only there for a day or two and, if you can afford it, they will remember you. Do your dishes!
Who are the main Stoopers?
Oh man, there are so many out there, it’s not like we are a team. I’d say it’s more a lifestyle once you stay a summer, you will totally understand. I’d say the main one now would be Misha Green he may ride bikes more than he skates now but, he’s been at that house for 6 or so years now.
Where did life take you after that first DB experience?
After danger bay, I went home and started trying to learn on my own how to skate faster and better; with friends, if they ever came to the island. Learning to skate by yourself a lot can be kinda hard. After high school, I went backpacking in Europe, not for skating. While I was travelling, I met my uncle in Germany and he made me feel like I should and could chase my dream, instead of just wishing I could do it.
When I got back to Canada, I got some guys into skating on The Island and we started skating every day through the summer, going to the local races. Later, I went to Puerto Rico then, back to Canada then, Europe to skate and even went down to South Africa to race.
What are the hardest lessons you’ve learnt?
On January 13, 2017, I lost my dad to cancer, it all happened so fast and, before I knew it, he was gone. He never had to be there for me, he was not my dad by blood but, by love. From almost the moment I was able to walk, he was there to pick me up when I fell. I never got to thank him or say I was sorry for things I had done. So I’d say the true hardest lesson I have had is tell the ones you love, you love them and, hold them close. You don’t know when they will be gone.
On a bit more of a lighter side, these are my 4 tips for skate trips:
You can’t plan for everything to work perfect and shit does happen one way or another. Be able to go with the flow and try to adapt.
Use skater time wisely, the rest of the world does not run on that time. But, it is always nice when it does.
Keep your shit together in the car. Your mom’s not there to clean up after you. Don’t flail all your stuff around. Keep it together in your bag, it’s really not that hard.
And last, but not least, and if all else fails, put a smile on and hope for the best.
Are local shops important?
Oh god, yes! Without true local shops, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. They help with everything; spreading event details, stoking out new riders, and helping the community. Back in the days before flatspot, we had switchback and to me switchback set a bar that all true skate shops should aspire to. Host events or help others do it, show up for support and actually support. Help the new guys get stoked. Do fun things and have fun with it. Now, we have flatspot in Vancouver and they do every thing to keep downhill going in and around Vancouver. Much love to them and all those skateshops that help out their community.
What happened to Ke$ha magic?
Well the longboard of ke$ha got them in trouble. But there’s still ke$ha magic in the air. As long as bussy is still rolling, the party won’t stop.
How did it feel to make that first trip out to PR?
Right before we got there, we went to king of kona in Florida, so rad. PR was so sick we stayed right on the beach drinking rum and coconuts, meeting the local skate crews travelling around skating crazy stuff, seeing amazing things. The events we went to were so much fun and, the people were amazing. I dream of going back and, one day I will. I also got 4th in street luge on my long board.
Most beautiful thing you saw?
Watching whales jumping out of the water from the bar while drinking beers, as the sun went down.
Did you have to work hard to get to Europe?
Oh, man! I worked my ass of for my trip. Sold a lot of stuff. I was just lucky to have had such great parents who let me stay at home to save money.
People don’t always see how hard people have to work to travel for Stoke. Or, is it easy?
Its super hard, man! You pay for it all; the races, wheels, transport, food, beer and rent! You have a place to come home to. It’s so worth it, in the end. It sucks when you have friends who have a lot payed for and they just bitch about their sponsors not helping them more and just talking bad and taking it for granted.
I get that they worked hard to be there in their own ways but, so did I and everyone else. I think some people forget how hard some of us work in different ways just to get to a few events in other countries or even around our homes. Everyone’s different and that’s fine. Just remember, not everyone is as lucky as you or I.
Was it worth it?
Does a bear shit in the woods?
I would not change it for the world! I made so many new friends. skated roads I had only dreamed of. Went on adventures and saw amazing things. I think everyone should do a euro tour, even if you don’t race – now that there are so many free rides. You can just go and skate and have fun.
How is the euro tour special?
Well it’s crazy to meet people from so many countries that all have the same thing in common with you. The adventures along the way, the roads and the sights are something else.
Did you do okay in the races?
I was stoked and that’s all that mattered to me. Always room for improvement. But, I was happy.
Who were you representing?
I did not really have anyone that year. I repped flatspot at the time for pure love. Then, Rock Louie sunglasses messaged me on the trip saying I was on the team. Got to even get a little flavouring action from venom.
How do you get a sunglasses sponsor?
Haha, well they were sponsoring my homies, idk how they got it worked out. One of the guys behind Rock Louie messaged me and said ”if you wanna be on the team, you’re on”. That was great for me. My helmet at the time had no visor and, these shades worked great! Plus, you can trade out the lenses between like 8 different styles for whatever you like.
Did you enjoy Hot Heels?
Hot heels might be my fave race from 2014. That whole trip was just too funny. I knew no one from South Africa. My friend Sebastian was going to be on the same flight from Amsterdam but, someone partied a bit too hard the night before. Bumped in to IDF’s Koma getting onto the plane. I was ready to sleep at the airport and in the morning, go to Cape Town and try to figure out what to do but, I was saved by Koma, Gabi and Ben! They asked where I was staying – I told them I didn’t know. I’d been hoping where Sebastian’s was staying might have some floor space. Turned out that was Ben’s and bless him, he let me stay there.
It was the best! Kinda funny how everyone who he had at his place, I knew from other events around the world. Hot heels as an event was amazing! Probably one of the best views from a race hill. It was also fast and had no drifting, just how I like it.
I like sliding and all that but, for racing I love to just grip and rip! Being a big guy helped there. If hot heels ever came back I would be there in a heartbeat if I could.
2014 was nuts I ended up as number 61 in the world which I still can not believe.
Why didn’t you aim for 69?
Haha I did not even plan or think I’d make top 200.
You raced in the last (for now) Hot Heels. Should the race return?
It was so well done. I had so many rad runs. It’s fast and you still have to strategise. The crew was so rad. It was small and it was like a family and they were so welcoming. It may be small but, they’ve been around for some time and I have so much respect for them.
Did ending up in the top 64 bring any new opportunities?
I don’t think so. I mean, I was stoked. I was happy and that’s what mattered most. If i’m not one and done nowadays I’m stoked lol.
How was your 2015 compared to that epic year of travelling?
The 1st bit was just me working in Munich at the nightclub. Then came back to Vancouver and started working at Landyachtz. I was there for the whole year, trying to save money and go back to live in Europe. In the summer, I went to events like Catalina classic, danger bay, Jake’s Rash, giants head, Maryhill free rides, and even the f bomb trip through the rocky mountains where I got 3rd in a 10 man heat down the old paskapoo race hill in open traffic.
If you go to Canada without an f bomb trip, you missed out so hard!
^(all done by bricin striker lyons)
Did you learn anything from working in Munich?
How to work night life, surviving drinks with VERY little German. And what hard work was, again.
Do you still work for landy?
Nope left all that to work in the night life in Germany. In a way, you could say I get paid to party now, instead of putting together skateboards.
Where did your 2016 adventures begin?
I messed my knee up bad that winter, but I still had to work due to just getting my visa and everything. Worked my ass off till June with not a lot of skating, few events here and they were all so much fun. Went back to Canada to see my family and skate giants head and help run Salt Spring Slasher 8 with JM Banting.
Came back to Germany and then just made it in time into Austria, for Almatrieb. It was so wet and rainy but I still had such an amazing time. After. we drove up to kozakov then down to slovenia for knk. Took a day off to go to croatia and skate. Then to Italy for teolo and then back into Germany and stayed with Alex D who was my partner in crime for the whole trip.
We drove up to insul together, after which I went home after about 3 months on the road. I was stoked to come back to Munich and relax for a few days, before going back to Austria for one last event – Bella joyride. I had the worst and dumbest crash of my life there haha. After that, I went back to work until Alex D emailed me and asked if I wanted to go to Portugal for a skate video – how can you say no to an invite like that? Sadly, on the first day, I crashed and really did a number on my ankle, so I was not really in the video.
Did you win any parties?
The only one I can say I won was alpenrushen from big mountain skate with Juergen Gritzner. We made it every night till the sun came out and I still did not wake the people in my room up, when I would go to have a nap before skating around 7am.
How was Portugal
Breathtaking! We spent a whole week on the 2nd highest mountain in Portugal. The DJI crew were so rad but still so professional. Lots of respect for them. Sadly, I high-sided and stomped my ankle on the first day and could not skate. So I spent the rest of the time on the mountain sipping on beer, making sure riders were safe. Watching the clouds roll by and the windmills cut through the clouds like they were butter.
Highlights of the year?
Moving to Germany and making it work as well as taking 3 months off to go skate amazing places I had only dreamt. Doing that with friends and nothing but good times along the way. And for sure getting chances like working with the dji guys!
What are you looking forward to, this year?
By the time this gets out, I will have gone to the Philippines with my family for 3 weeks which will be great. And back to Germany, get back to work with a little trip to Tenerife then, back to Noram for Maryhill danger bay and Jakes rash and to organise the 9 salt spring slasher. Then back to Europe, get right back to work and hope I can do the eruo tour again. Might have to pick and choose a bit more this year. So, besides that, I will just try and go to as much as I can.
Looking forward to skating in Asia?
It was a rip! The locals there have nothing but good and positive energy. I can’t wait to go back and see more.
What’s taking you to The Island?
Big Mountain Skate’s got a sweet event and it’ll be nice to get away and see some friends in the sun. Plus, heard great things about this island. Plus plus $1 beers.
Make a wish!
Haha… I just wish for another fun year doing what I love with great people around me. Not getting wrecked would be nice too.
Did I forget to ask anything?
I love tiedie lol. I can’t think of anything really. Only other interesting thing I got in the skate world is my board collection from the last 10 years of skating.
Who should we interview next?
Pick 3 numbers between 1-21.
17 – What is Victoria’s secret?
A place I don’t go full of stuff I cant wear.
3 – what crime are you most likely to go to prison for?
Drunk in public.
8 – what did Lincoln keep under his hat?
A portal to another world.
Max, bro! It’s been a real trip doing this with you. Thanks for taking the time out to knock this out. Safe travels and see you around!
Thank you so much for this chance loved chatting with you. Hope one day we will meet and have a beer or few.
Any last words?
Don’t give up on your dreams and things you love. Remember to have fun. I want to thank everyone in my life who helps me and supports me in all the ways that they do and have. I don’t think I could get away with what I’ve done without their support and love.
Instagram is @kayeontherock
Flatspot longboard shop
Rock Louie sunglasses
Milch und Bar
Dirty broke girl clothing
The Stoop skatehouse
Timeship racing gloves
Doug Douglas Metal Works
Team Papa Les Cares (plc)