Na-Kel Smith
THRASHER|April 2017
Na-Kel Smith

Like Henny and ‘cream, even Nak’s bails are smooth

How did you first meet Kyle?

I first met Kyle kind of just skating around. I would see him and then I kinda started getting on Real and we started kicking it. But really what defined our friendship was when we went on a skate trip. It was a Volcom trip. Choi was driving his little minivan. It was me, Kyle, Alec, Louie Lopez. Louie is the one who invited me on the trip because I didn’t skate for Volcom. And we drove to SF from LA; we slept in Double Rock. I sacked my first rail on that trip. Everybody got buck. It was a beautiful thing. That’s the beginning of our solid friendship.

People have seen him skate and seen his video parts but what is Kyle like as a person?

He hungry. He wanting it. He not gon’ hide, you know if he want to try a trick he’ll try it. He puts his all into it. And that’s nothing but inspiration to me, you feel me? It’s a great thing to be around because it gives you an idea of where you need to be if you want to seriously be a professional. Same thing with Ishod, you know, the same with a lot of other skaters. I think it’s more about the mentality because if somebody believe they could do a trick, they can do it. I’ve never been the one to be, like, “Oh, that’s fucking impossible. Nobody could do that!” You feel me? So if somebody want to do it they gon’ do it. It just takes that motivation that inside themselves to fire themselves up to actually try it and to actually continue to do it until they land it and roll away. That’s what it is.

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April 2017