Behold: An Interview with Evan Kinori

Photo by Leo Valls

I first met Evan about 3 years ago when he was designated the first and only official West coast sales rep of Magenta Skateboards.  My friend Kohei and I got word from Magenta Boss, Vivien Feil, that Magenta boards were now available through Evan.  We sent him an email one night and he replied telling us we could come buy a board from him at his apartment.  Like kids on our way to a candy store, Kohei and I trekked across the city from the Tenderloin to Alamo Square, the official meeting point.  We rang his apartment doorbell and walked down Evan wearing a velvet smoking robe and some snake skin slippers. Could this be him? We thought to ourselves, and sure enough, it was.  Evan Kinori, the mightiest Skateboard Sales rep in all the land!  We went up to his room and picked out our boards, handed over our cash, and were on our way.  From that day forward, Evan would invite me out to skate and impress me with his slappy skills, along with his huge bag of flip tricks.  I now introduce to you, an Interview with Evan Kinori where we talk about what he has been up to lately.  Happy Reading!
Could you tell us what you have been up to recently?

I’ve been working very hard at learning how to work hard. I’ve been having a great time lately, enjoying my studies, my job, and a new internship. I find myself cherishing the few days a week I get to skate and end up skating much better than when i had all the free time in the world. There’s a really good feeling that comes from being exhausted at the end of the day.
I recently went out to an art show at Tartine in SF featuring the artwork of yourself, Ben Gore, and Ashley Owen. I found it to be a very fun event with its roots in supporting and exposing underground bay area artists! Where did the idea come from and are you planning on doing some more?

Me and my friend and coworker, Ben Borella, came up with the idea of doing monthly art shows at our cafe. We knew the space was right for it and that we both have so many creative and unique friends, it made sense to create a unique, underground setting for art shows. We have no goals of being taken too seriously or of being more elite than the people who come to the shows. In my mind we have the space and the opportunity to put on fun little shows that show people that everyone can do what were doing and have fun with it.
You seem to be a very creative guy, through your skating and what I have seen of your drawings and photography. How long have you been creating in skating/Photogrpahy/Painting/Drawing?

I’ve been skating for around 11 or 12 years, and have been using other mediums of expression since i was a teenager probably. I certainly value freedom of creativity in every outlet. I really like polaroid photography because of the variables that come along with shooting them. There’s a certain spontaneity that happens when you bring the camera out that’s less planned and can be really great for shooting in downtown with all the people and life. I like drawing too but i often have a harder time just letting it happen than i do with photos. My favorite is collage, its my favorite medium because it entails all elements of other mediums, and is really fun to play with and see what appears before your eyes.

I remember that you were riding for Brian Lotti’s Telegraph skateboards. I recently watched his SLAP Pal’s interview where he stated he pulled the plug due to what sounded like a lack of profit and too much work for one person. I was a little sad about that since I was personally really into the brand and its artwork. Could you tell us how you got involved with Telegraph?

As far as Telegraph and Lotti, I had found out about the company shortly after they started and was really into the artwork and vibe. I felt like there was a lot of potential with Lotti behind it and the artful, playful approach to skating and design. I ended up talking to a friend of mine while i was in downtown LA skating around, thinking that it would be rad get boards from them. The next thing i know i hear a wall ride in the distance only to turn around and see Lotti skate by! Talk about speaking things into existence… Anyways, a few weeks later I emailed him and he liked my skating I guess, so we got to talking and he started sending me boards. I was really hyped on talking with him, he’s an awesome, positive person and a true original as far as skating and art. Unfortunately making a business work, especially in skateboarding, takes a lot of time, money, and energy. He was running things alone and was more suited to the design side of things and not so much the business, much like I imagine myself. He decided about a month ago that he was going to focus all of his efforts to his artwork and i have the utmost respect for him. I’m just happy I got to skate with him before it was finished. That was really rad to witness.

I recently saw that you were mentioned as a flow rider of Magenta Skateboards out of Paris, France. Any truth to the rumor? I also know that you are very close to everyone at Magenta. How did you meet those guys?

Since then, I bribed Vivien with Jew Gold to let me get boards from Magenta. I couldn’t be happier to be apart of the company that some of my closest friends are making happen. At this point in my skate life, all I want to be able to do is contribute my two cents every once in a while, whether through photos, videos, or design input. I just love having that outlet, being able to express ideas by joining forces with a videographer or photographer to capture a moment in time is one of the most rewarding feelings.

The Magenta crew was recently here in San Francisco filming the sequel to SF Street Hill Blues. I have heard and have the feeling that the first video was very well received by many people across the globe. How was it filming for that video? Were there any funny or interesting moments?

Making the Magenta videos in SF has been amazing. Its really awesome to have everyone here and working with Yoan is the best because he is expressing himself through filming just as we are through skating, and the combined effort makes one hell of a finished product. We even had Vivien and Soy this year which made it even crazier! Not too mention my furry little friend, Zach Lyons, who has been stuck in a closet in San Francisco for months, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

You also just became the newest member of the Prize Fighter Cutlery Wheel Family. Congrats! I am actually riding their wheels right now and I have to say, they are really good wheels! I also really like their graphics and art. They seem to represent some really amazing underground guys, like yourself, Leo Valls, and Katsumi Minami just to name a few. Could you talk about that more?

I also, as you said, became a member of the prize fighter family, and I’m really excited about it. Ever since i saw the wheels for the first time and Leo wearing one of the shirts, i loved the art direction and the wheels are unreal. Its insane to me that a small company in NYC makes the best wheels in skateboarding that are literally so much longer lasting than any “classic” company. Those things will not flat-spot, Leo will guarantee it. Go to their site and read the about page and you should get what they represent, which goes along so well with my philosophy of skating. get yourself a set and see what we’re hollering about…

Photo by Ben Gore as seen on
Are there any future projects you are working on? Art work? Photography? Skateboarding?
One final question, whats the best concert you have ever been to, and what is the hardest drug you have ever done? I’ll answer for you: The Dixie Chicks and Chamomile Tea.

For the meantime I’m focusing on my schoolwork, and growing as a person and as a participant in this mad world. I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at with my skating, and every time i get to cruise is precious. Ill keep filming and expressing my ideas through skating and hopefully one day get a full video part to show what i want to represent my style of skating.
The best concert I’ve ever been to…that’s a really tough one but I’m gonna go with a 4-way tie between Black Moon, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Bright Eyes, and most recently Brian Jonestown Massacre who put on the most powerful performance ever. And as far as drugs are concerned, just say NO! We only got one life to live, and drugs are a cop out of life. There’s certainly more positive ways of rebelling against society…go skate!


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