Keegan Valaika is a rare talent with insane style. Insanely good style. Snowboarding is often seen as a sport or even a chosen lifestyle. However, it is only when riders like Keegan emerge that allows it to be observed as an art form.
Hometown? Laguna Beach, CA
How was your recent northern hemi winter & what did you get up to?
It was good before and after I got hurt. I tore my MCL and was out for 3 months so that was a bummer. But as soon as I got back on the snow I was able to get a trip to Minnesota and a trip to Alaska in filming for the Burton movie. Early season I was able to film a couple things with videograss as well so I should have some stuff in their video also.
What plans are there for a trip to the southern hemi. If any?
Budgets are tight these days so I haven't heard of any southern hemi trips this summer. Seems like the companies are trying to save all the money they can, which means no more summer trips for me. As much as I like going down to NZ for summer, I can't say I'm bummed at all to take some time off and just hang out in Laguna.
Your riding style has been described as being like pro skater Tom Penny. What are your thoughts on this?
That's cool. I think everyone's style is somewhat influenced by the people they looked up to as kids. For me those were mostly skateboarders, and Penny was definitely one of them. I used to watch his part in the ES video Menikmati every day.
What is it like representing a huge company such as Burton snowboards ? What are the benefits and drawbacks, if any?
Benefits are things like, never having to stress on whether or not your check will show up every month, overnight shipping, things that you would expect from a well established company. The drawbacks are generally just the hate. People love to hate on Burton. So since I ride for them I tend to catch a lot of that hate. The thing I don't understand is how some of these kids talking shit on Burton are the same kids riding snowboards made by rollerblade companies. It's one thing to hate on them for being big and corporate, but at least they don't make rollerblades.
What snowboarding trick gives you the most pleasure?
Backside lipslides. best feeling ever. or Just hauling ass through a steep deep pow run making huge turns.
Which snowboarders do you respect and why?
The one's who aren't dicks. haha. Basically, as long as they're nice to me when I meet them, I got mad respect. I respect Nate Bozung and Matty Ryan more than anyone though because if it weren't for them I would probably still be doing contests. They gave me a chance to film a part when no one else would. BozWreck for life.
Where is your favourite spot to shred?
for street stuff Rail Gardens for sure. For just plain cruising through nature it's Alaska hands down.
What did you have for dinner?
Chicken, Kombucha, PitaBbread and some Berries.