Being perpetually stuck totally in the 90s has hindered my ability to accept a lot of the newer guys that pop up in skateboarding. Sure I check-in every single day, but sometimes even the most amazing section can be hugely forgettable due to an absolute lack of style. They're not 'bad' styles as such, some kids are simply devoid of any whatsoever. So yeah, I watch the kicky back beak blunt Benihana out UP El Toro and of course it's sick, but then it's gone and forgotten forever. Sometimes though, there is still a glimmer of hope, in this case it is much more than a glimmer.
From the first time I saw Wes Kremer push, I knew he had that special something. Ridiculous trick selection, chilled as fuck style and always has a smile on his face. On a recent DC tour to New Zealand I witnessed Wes do the most insane shit whilst also chatting with all the local kids between tricks. A real treat to see. I guess growing up skating with legends like Smolik has brought out the best in him. Anyway, without further ado (and before I get REALLY gay about how much of a fan I am), here is Wes Kremer.
Konnichiwa Wes, I just read you were born in Tokyo?! I mean, a fair haired, pale skinned lad living in San Diego doesn't instantly scream 'Japanese' - Were you just born there or do you have any Japanese in you at all?
Haha for sure, heads are always really confused when I tell them I was born there. Then I tell them and people always think its military related. I do not have any Japanese blood unfortunately. The way it came about was that my dad got offered an opportunity to go out there through his work. It was an exchange program where a partner from the Japanese firm goes out to San Diego and my pops would move out to Tokyo. He and my mom lived there for two years and I happened to come about around the same time.
Alright, boring stuff that everybody asks out the way first - you are 23 now, what age did you first pick up a porn magazine and did you think you'd ever go pro?
I was about 10 years old when I was introduced to my first porn mag. It was through my friends brother, we infiltrated his stash. I was too young to understand what being a "pro" consisted of, but I knew it would entail women of all shapes and sizes. Hopefully none from that first magazine.
Growing up around Smolik and other SD legends must have been really inspirational. Were you intimidated by those guys at first?
Honestly, intimidation never crossed my mind when I first started hanging around the mafia. Everyone took me in and made me feel like family right from the start. The mafia homies have always been down to go skate and just have a good time and welcome any skater who's willing to get involved. Sk8mafia is for everyone.
How did you get on Sk8Mafia?
I started skating with this filmer who knew all the mafia homies. I rolled out with him over a weekend he was skating with the mafia. It was on Sunday, we were skating the Chino 4 block, that one everyone used to skate. At the end of the sesh, Dan Connelly gave me a mafia shirt told me I was part of the crew. It's been all downhill ever since. A hill bomb.
It seems like a really close-knit team of friends and that is something you don't see much these days - a team of sick skaters that all actually know and like each other. You must have been approached by other huge corporate board companies, what keeps you with Sk8mafia?
Haha yeah for sure. It's pretty easy for us because we've all been skating together more or less for the last 10 years and we've all stayed cool with each other. Our sessions still feel as classic as the ones back in the day, still the same homies just hanging out, talking shit, cruisin' the streets. Who wouldn't want to skate, kick it, and travel with your homies you grew up skating with.
You have a shoe on DC, you must be fucking loaded. Have you bought any ridiculous stuff?
Haha not even, but I will tell you that I did just host my good homies bachelor party. I helped him out with a trip to the Sahara in the champagne room of the Purple Church. The smile still hasn't left his face.
How much do you hang out with Dyrdek? That fool is cashed up hard, does he ever take you out to the Fantasy Factory to hang out with his receptionist or just buy you shit?
I've only hung out with him a couple times. Hes a good dude, I appreciate what he does for skating. He's definitely helping a lot of people out in skating and bringing a lot more an interest towards skating. I would love to kick it with him at the factory. I've been there once with a couple homies like 5 years ago. It was tight, I had a broken wrist at the time, but had a blast when I was there. Funny side note, Cyril actually used to live with Scott (Big Cat) and Chanelle (West Coast) because he knew Scott from Ohio.
Big Black seems pretty big, how big is Black?
I seen him once at the San Diego airport a couple years ago when we were going on a trip. He's probably about three of me, he's up there with Shaq.
No disrespect, but you always seem stoned - does weed play a big part in your life? In particular skating - do you find it easier to skate after a smoke?
Haha none taken, thats the way I've been portrayed. I personally don't try and put it out there. I've never really been a fan of marketing the "getting stoned" gimmick, but people can relate to it and you can make it funny. I guess the part that weed plays in my life is more social than anything. If I'm with a bunch of my homies that smoke, I can't help but roll as many joints as i'm able to. You gotta to keeping the good times rolling. If everyones skating and having fun, your gonna feed off the hype and get motivated to skate, smoking or not. If you ever feel too stoned to skate, just warm up to break the stone. Roll around for a second, don't even pop your tail.
What about booze? Are you a fan of drinking on and off the board?
Be careful with it, don't get carried away. I enjoy drinking, but it will definitely get you into some shit that could either be the best or the worst situation. Just enjoy good drinks with good people, know your limit too. Try to never be THAT dude when you go out, just have fun and don't instigate shit. Keep it mellow, shit gets too outta hand too fast when drinking. When I drink, I prefer Bombay Sapphire Gin, Sprite, and a lime. The Dirty Sprite.
You've had some sick as fuck parts, and they always flow together really well. Are you conscious of what you want to film and how the part will be structured, or do you just go out and do your thing and hope the filmer and editor does a good job?
I'm the worst at trying to think of tricks to do at spots. I try to just go out, skate, hopefully think of something I can get away with. I try and film with mainly mafia and DC homies. The stuff I film at home is mostly with the mafia, then the stuff I film with the DC homies goes to them.
Are you working on a part at the moment?
Not that I know of.
What are your favourite videos to watch to get you hyped to skate? You seem pretty 90s (that is a compliment by the way) in your approach to skating, do you watch the old videos?
Yeah for sure, I get so much inspiration from older videos. Thats when skateboarding seemed more raw, real, and you could relate to it better. Nowadays skating is too polished, nothing seems real anymore. The videos I grew up watching were Anthology, Modus Operandi, Feedback, The End, Misled Youth, The Storm, etc. I like watching older shit because it's more fun to watch, especially if it's that original shit that got you hyped on skating in the first place.
Purely because of your location, have you ever been on Osiris?
Yup, the first free product I received from skating. I got a pair of shoes every two months from the homie Craig. It was considered as the Osiris Kids B-Team.
Ever owned a D3?
Absolutely. The D3 2001. They were legendary. I thought the space boots could help you float down mountainous gaps with ease and your feet would be fine. I shortly realised this wasn't true.
In fact, I've heard rumours that Mayhew comfortably retired from that shoe, any idea if that is true?
Oh of sho, he's killing it out in Wisconsin right now. I think he has his own skate shop.
So you are pro, have had Transworld covers, some sick video parts, a pro shoe - your life sounds pretty fucking tight. What's next? Just enjoying life?
Thats pretty crazy, I don't really feel like I've been in the game like that. Thanks a lot homie, I really appreciate it. Since I first got in the game, it seems like life has been moving really fast. I'm thankful to feel like I still have some sort of a home in skating. I guess for now, I'm going to do my best to stay healthy, keep skating, keep having fun and enjoy life as much as I can while we're still here.
Did you buzz out on your name being so close to the Freddy Kruger creator growing up? At my school I think we would have tried to find something to mock about that, before giving up and realising it is dope.
Haha I definitely still get Craven to this day. The homie Cigg in Montreal was calling me that the whole time we were on this DC Canada trip. I'm hyped on it.
Alright Wes, anything else you'd like to add? Thanks to anyone etc?
Thanks to my homies, family, sponsors, skateboarding, etc. Thanks to muckmouth for giving me the opportunity to talk some shit and keeping it real for skateboarding. Cheers!
Oh, my mate Eddy is desperately after one the Kramer boards you had, do you have any spare he could buy for his wall?
Fuck I don't know, I don't know if they make them anymore, but I'll holla if they do playah!
Cheers for doing this mate.
Oh and as usual - thanks and apologies to everyone we borrowed pics from. Appreciate it.