Photo via Kyle Camarillo
After a day of practice for Damn Am New York, Dylan Witkin was able to give us some time to talk about his latest projects, becoming a part of the Foundation team, and why his friends believe he’s a Dead Head.
Thanks for letting us catch up with you Dylan. Congrats on becoming a member of the Foundation team! Can you start off by telling us some of the typical things we all like to know-where you’re from, where you live now, and how you became a skateboarder.
For sure, yeah. I grew up in Lake Forest, CA which is in Orange County, and I still live there. I’m 24 and I’ve been skating for 12 years. I mean I’ve always skated but, seriously for 12 years now. One of my older brothers got me started in skating. He gave me my first board, I don’t remember a lot about it, but it had an alien on it. I don’t think it was an Alien Workshop board though.
Probably the most recent news is that you’re off of Expedition One and on Foundation. Tell us about how that went down… Had you been looking for a new board sponsor?
Expedition One just didn’t really feel like it was doing much for me. Frankie Heck and I had been filming and working on a lot of stuff to promote being riders for the brand but they weren’t really helping us out with anything. The communication wasn’t really there either with the brand. Before I quit Expedition One, I went on a Bronson trip and became friends with Dakota Servold. It was good because I was already friends with quite a few of the other guys who are on the Foundation team and they were all down for me joining. I called Expedition One to let them know I was leaving. I’m still good with everyone there, it was just time for me to move on.
I can’t imagine that there’s anything better than working, filming, and skating with some of your best friends. Is that what you’re most hyped on when it comes to skating for Foundation?
Yeah, the fact that I’m friends with everyone on the team is the best. We are all homies but we are also a team. The guys who skate for Foundation are super gnarly. They tend to go to bigger spots and skate hard. There’s a lot less pressure when I skate with them. We skate big rails with those dudes. It’s nothing but good vibes when we’re out skating.
Tell us about Foundation’s video Oddity. When will it be coming out?
Yeah. A lot of the guys have been filming all over the US. I know they’ve been in New Mexico, Colorado, and we’re heading out to North Carolina and a few other places before we wrap it up. The video is supposed to be out early next year. I think they were hoping that it would be the end of this year, but they’ve decided that giving more time to get footage will make for a better video. Everyone on the team is working really hard for this film. The filmer, and guy putting the video together is really trying to put together a certain vibe for the film. Corey Glick has a ton of footage for the video. Man, he’s so good. He can go out daily and get tons of usable footage.
Will you have a full part in the video?
I’ll have a full part, but it’s not going to be a long one. Right now I have a minute and change of useful stuff. I’m hopefully going to have at least two minutes in time for the video.
You’re also sponsored flow by Nike- can you talk about your summer with them? Did you go to a lot of the Am competitions with those guys?
Yeah I’ve been traveling with them but I haven’t been going to all of the competitions. I’m not too into the contests, I mean they’re good to do, but I like to really just film. I’m the oldest one on that crew so my process is a little different. They go all day every day like at The Berrics and post clips on Instagram pretty often. There is nothing against what they do, I guess I’m just different. I don’t mind going to have fun at parks, but I really like to put more into the streets, and work on putting out a video part that will last forever.
So what are your thoughts on Instagram clips and using Instagram as a way to get recognized and to build a following?
Some people give you their vibe from a good video part and I guess that’s what my goal is. From a business standpoint IG is better for sure. Things have evolved though, ya know, and it’s harder for kids to sit down and watch a full video. But, I feel like there is still so much value in a full video that will be around forever. Like someone can go to YouTube years from now and see your part from that video.
I for sure agree, I can tell you my top five video parts for sure, but I couldn’t give you a top five of IG clips so I think you’re right with that thought.
Can you tell us about your love for the Grateful Dead? You’re a total Dead Head aren’t you?
Laughing, Yeah,my friend Larry Schmidt and I were hanging out. He played a few songs while we were hanging out. He’s a really cool guy, so I just thought that since he liked it I figured it was so cool. I still get more and more hyped on them. I always find new versions of songs that they’ve played live. I love hearing all of the different ways they vibed and played off of eachother. I don’t listen to music when I skate, but I constantly have lyrics in my head. I like music with a lot of depth, a lot of people listen to their music, but don’t understand it. I like a lot of meaning in the music that I choose to listen to. It helps me with life.
You had a part in the newest Bambaklats video. Not a lot of people know what that group is. Can you give us a little background about how you got involved with that?
From going to Tampa, Tim Zom and I became good friends. He was in California and stayed with me for a week. He invited me to come out to Holland and stay with him. I went out and stayed three weeks with him last summer. From just hanging out with Tim I became good friends with a lot of the other guys in the group and we would skate together. Sammy, the guy who filmed the video filmed me also and he hit me up and told me that I probably had enough footage to be a part of the video. I was super hyped to make it happen, it was a homie video and it turned out great.
Typically guys talk about the spots in Europe being super crusty. Would you agree? Was skating there a challenge for you at all?
I don’t like the idea of being worried about stuff like that, ya know. I love skating New York, it’s rough and yeah it presents a challenge, but I think that makes your skating more gnarly. What’s the perfect spot? It’s a skatepark. But to me, going to a gnarly spot, just makes skating more fun and interesting. People complain about things they should deal with. I like to watch dudes who skate rough spots, guys like Jake Johnson and Wes Kremer. They just go all out and kill it on those gnarly rough spots.
I agree Wes is for sure one of my favorite guys to watch for that reason also.
Thanks again for the time Dylan! I appreciate it so much! Could you fill us in on what you have planned next to close out the interview?
Yeah! Thank you! After Damn Am this weekend I’m heading to North Carolina to film and then home. From there, I’m heading out on a road trip with Leo Romero while he’s filming his PUSH part. Braxton Powers, Dakota Servold and I are riding along with him… The Berrics is setting everything up for Leo and all of us other guys are talking to our sponsors to help us out with expenses. Foundation is super cool and kind of lets Dakota and I manage ourselves and decide where to go and what to shoot. It’s nice.
Awesome! I love watching all the guys you’re heading out with! I can’t wait to see everything you’re working on! Braxton’s Pig Wheels part is one of my favorites of the year! Have fun and good luck at Damn Am this weekend!
Yeah Braxton is a great homie! I will and thank you!