Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PROTO Interview: Brandon Kilbury

By Steven Tongson and Jordan Jasa

For a long time now there is one rider who I feel has been underrated by a lot of other riders time and time again. His name is Brandon Kilbury. Brandon or “BK” as he has come to be known as was born and raised in St. Albans, Vermont, where up until last fall was his home. He now lives in Rochester, NY, where he is attending college. Brandon started riding his scooters much like a lot of other riders did. His cousin had a scooter and he rode it for a little while, messing around doing little no footers and small tricks like that. It was a couple months later that his dad would buy him his own Razor Scooter. It didn't take long for Brandon to pull out his kickers and start riding them with his scooter. Before scooters he also rode bikes, inline skates, and skateboarded. However, something about riding a scooter clicked, and he decided he was going to stick to it.

How has the college life been? Are you a lot busier than you were in high school? How does your riding fit in?

College has been great, I'm going pretty far from home so it's been an experience getting to know the area and all new people.  I live in a special interest house (it's almost like a frat I guess) called Engineering House, and I'm the VP of that so I've got meetings and stuff to go to which I've never dealt with until now.  With that on top of at least twice the school work I had in highschool it's hard to find time to ride anything other than the sidewalks in front of my dorm but I try to get to X-Dreams skatepark as much as I can, until it recently closed. I still ride every chance I get but it isn't usually much so I feel like I lost some ground, but that's not to say I regret college in the least.

You say you lost some ground?  You just put out a driveway video a week or two ago, and you were doing fakie manual combos.  Seems like you've actually gained ground to me haha.

Well that's what I did manage to progress in was flat, since that's all I really rode.  I got nose manuals and some other techy junk a lot better over the school year.  I feel like I lost ground in park and some other areas though.  I've been riding Talent again since I've been home for the summer and I'm just a lot less consistent with some big tricks I used to have dialed, especially at that park.  Since park is pretty much my favorite terrain is sucks to feel like I have to relearn things I never used to even think about.  Although I am happy to say I can finally tuck no hander good!

When you first started riding...did you want to get to where you are today? Did you ever expect to be one of the best scooter riders in the world?

To be honest, I'm not really sure.  I don't think I ever had any expectations since scooters were close to nothing back then.  All I had to look up to was Martin Kimbells clips wayyyyyy back.  And even when SR first began I was still nowhere near as good as Josh, Ricky and the rest of NBS back when they were all riding.  I don't think I ever had any room to think I was one of the best, because whenever I started feeling like I was getting really good, Jesse would always have new clips to shoot me down haha.  It's a cool feeling though now, I'm glad I'm part of proto because I feel like Andrew really knows what he's doing and he treats us all real well, and as annoying as it is to get messages and friend requests from all these scooter kids I don't know, it is something not everyone gets to experience so I should probably work on appreciating it more haha.

Would you say Martin was your biggest riding influence back then?

Oh definitely, his videos were the only ones I could find and give me ideas of what to learn.  I mean I picked up this piece of metal and was clueless, I was still doing just no footers and one handers when I found his videos.  He was doing like whip rewinds and stuff and I couldn't believe it.

If you had to pick one rider who you thought has influenced your riding the most, who would you say?

I'm gunna have to go with Jesse.  We were good friends and his videos just blew me away, did he ever release the 360 triple whip to bar video?  what the hell is that... He was just a maniac and a good guy to talk to and if it weren't for him my BLT2 part probably wouldn't have been half as good.

Sometime later in around 2003 footage of Brandon would start to pop up. It was usually of him outfront riding his infamous kickers, more than often wearing an over sized shirt, and some tan really baggy pants. He would do pretty basic stuff in the videos, with a few or more tricks being really good for the time they came out. After 3 or so mini videos of much of the same thing with small improvements some people started to wonder if Brandon was ever going to get out of his driveway and off those kickers. The answer in short, Yes. By 2005 we were up to about Mini video 6. He was no longer just riding his kickers in his videos, and if he was he was doing tricks like 360 double whips, or 720s off of them now. He was starting to ride park and street more, and he was progressing fast, almost too fast. Which would become evident in a video called “BLT”. BLT came out featuring riders; Brandon Kilbury, Levon Fortin, and Tyler Hale. The video was finished in 2006, and despite Levon and Tyler's amazing sections, it was BK who had most rider's attention. His riding had come such a long way. His section for that video is a little over five minutes of insanity. If you've never seen it, go watch it now.

Watching your videos all the way from Mini 1 to BLT2 part shows some amazing progression in your riding. Has progression always been important to you?

Yea definitely, it's different for everyone but I just get bored doing the same tricks, like all the guys out there pushing the wide bars and style and 180s and that junk, the videos are just boring.  I don't really understand how people can have fun just doing turndowns and euro tables all the time haha.  That's why I go out and if I can barspin a box, I'll try bar to whip and keep pushing it until I feel satisfied or that I might hurt myself (or actually do).  I know I might not have the best style of anyone out there but I'd rather keep learning new tricks and getting hard ones dialed just because that's the riding that always impresses me.  Jesse never stopped progressing the whole time he was putting out videos, neither did all my other influences (dan, jon, benj, dylan, etc.).  Pushing it is what it's about, where would skateboarding and BMX be if people learned to kickflip and tailwhip and then just stayed there?

Do you think you will ever slow down, in terms of learning new tricks?

As much as I hate to admit it, I think I already have slowed down.  between blt1 and 2 was pretty much the fastest progression I ever had, I remember the sessions at talent I always had with Levon and Teehale, where all 3 of us would just be bouncing tricks off each other, and all 3 of us could usually match each other within 1-3 tries.  I don't really ride with any other scooter riders anymore since those two quit that are a match for me so I don't have much to push me.  Also I know as college goes on I'll probably have less and less time to ride.  I don't know and can't say for sure that I'll ever quit riding, but I don't know if I'll ever be at the level I was last year.

I believe you rode new a b foldys for a year or two, right?  What made you want to ride those?

Yea, the original BLT was the last video I put out with any new A footage, and leading up to that I was kind of a weight freak.  It wasn't so much that I felt like I wasn't progressing, but that was when I was trying to get triples, scooterflips, and fingerwhip stuff on flat and it was way easier with the new a.  Not to mention Teehale did the same and loved it so we never really saw any reason to ride the longer B deck.

Seeing other riders (like myself) riding new a decks, kickers, trying to emulate your riding, how does that make you feel?  Do you realize how you've impacted the sport?

You know, I hate to get on a teammate's case, but I gotta let you know how much I disagree with what Dylan said about your riding.  I don't care where you're riding or what you're filming with, you do some crazy stuff.  Just had to let you know.  But anyway, it might seem weird but my mom reminds me more than anyone what an impact I've had, especially around VT.  There's a lot of littler kids she's met that know me and look up to me, and she gives me complete credit of getting scooters into talent skatepark.  It feels awesome to know people look up to me, I mean who wouldn't want that?  I don't always think about my impact because to me it seems a little conceited to admit how good a rider you are and how much people think of you and things like that.  I try to convince myself that I'm just providing some viewing material when I put out videos haha.

Haha thanks, that means a lot.  At what point in your career did you realize that you had become a top name in the sport?

Hmm, it was probably right after BLT1.  Filming for that I still looked up to the razor guys and felt like I needed to impress the people that were better than me.  After that though my mindset switched, I kind of realized it wasn't such a gap between me and Josh Toy and all them, that I could probably do some tricks they couldn't, and that was an awesome feeling.  So my influences changed and I started looking for different riders to learn from.  I think it was those people that were in the same boat as me, the unsponsored riders that were really starting to progress.

I’ve always felt that your BLT1 part, or really the whole video, shows the epitome of kicker riding.  Would you agree?

Haha I don't even remember what was in that video, but yea probably.  I don't watch many videos, but I NEVER see kickers anymore.  I wouldn't really say it's good or bad, but it's always a cool benchmark when someone does a new trick off "a kicker", it's like when someone does a new trick flat or over a spine, ya know? but yea, I know I flipped a kicker in that video and that was pretty much one of the biggest things I did with a kicker.  I'd be pumped to see more people doing it, definitely with street and park mixed in too, but still.

After BLT 1, Brandon was seen differently in a lot of riders eyes. However in mine, and a lot of others opinions he was still underrated. Since then we've seen BLT2 which gave us another 100% insane section from Brandon, and he was added to the PROTO Team aswell. Now a days some of Brandon's favorite tricks to do when he goes out and rides are actually quite the opposite of his ridiculous tricks in his videos. He likes to cruise around doing nosemanual stuff, and fakie tricks, and he loves truckdrivers. If you were to ask Brandon who is favorite person to ride with is, he would say Matt Dibble. They are really good friends, and when they ride together all the pressure is off. They find themselves laughing and talking sometimes more than even riding. When it comes to riders that Brandon looks up to, and looks to for inspiration its a lengthy list of amazing riders including; PROTO Team riders, Dylan Kasson, Brian Murphy, Jon Reyes, and Dan Barrett, and also Tyler Bonner and Jesse Macaluso. These are the riders that whenever Brandon watches them ride, has his jaw on the floor much like his riding has ours on the floor. For 2009 Brandon's plans are pretty simple. He wants to ride more street, and he has lately been finding himself thinking about trying tricks, but not actually doing them. This summer BK plans on committing to the tricks he was previously only considering or thinking about, and throwing them down, and of course staying injury free.

In addition to setting a new bar by doing huge tricks over huge boxes in BLT2, you also did a lot of these lines with no pushing in between.  Was that something you were trying to work on?

I know I've mentioned him a couple times already but Jesse is who really pushed me to ride like that.  He was the first person I remember riding a park real well, like clearing everything and flowing good and all.  and he would throw crazy tricks into his lines too, so when I started riding talent a lot it took a lot of practice to throw lines together without pushing at all but it's a great skill to have when you're riding parks.  It makes everything easier and I think that's what led me to be able to clear big boxes and stuff.  Plus it looks way cleaner.

How did you first meet Matt (Dibble)?  How is riding with him different than riding with other people (Tyler Hale or Levon Fortin, for example)?

OH my god..... seriously there's an essay Dibble wrote about me for a school project he sent me and it is the most hilarious thing, talking about the first time we talked (and I mean hilarious the way he worded it, not because it was stupid or something).... talking about like "I n00bzorz from teh srzorz IMzzing me" or something, holy shit it's just hilarious and I had to mention it..

but he just started talking to me on AIM one day and we got to be good friends, XW came along and we chilled and now that I go to school in Rochester (2 hours from him) we hang out probably every 3 or so weeks.  It was different in that me and him don't ride when we ride.  We laugh and talk and omlbal (ask him what omlbal means).  It's always fun though, levon and tyler were always like pushing me to ride harder and everything, dibble was a bad influence on my riding since I never get any done when I'm around him haha.  I love the kid though he's gotta be my favorite person to "ride" with.

You guys definitely have the strangest slang I've ever heard (lit, jockin, oves, etc).  Whats up with that?

it's what he calls newspeak, and it's not just me and him. If you hang out with his friends at home, it's how EVERYONE talks in Westfield.  And it's pretty much just the most ridiculous list of inside jokes in the world that an entire town knows.

Weird.  When did you get on Proto, and how did it feel when you got your first Proto (SR back then) parts?

It was right after TIC '07 in feb/march.  Buff was there and he came up to me after the comp and was like "here, want an SR fork?" I was still riding all stock besides rads and yaks so I was pretty damn excited.  I don't remember how long after that he sent me buff bars but I know it's still the best feeling to get a package full of parts that everyone else spends a fortune on.  I think the last one was baby slayers, new buffs, baby scs, striker fork, 4 protos?  I mean come on, Andrew is the man.

Last year you came incredibly close to landing a double backflip at XW.  Have you tried it since then, or do you plan on ever trying it again?

I've gotten this question so many times haha, the only double backflips I've done since then were into foam at Ohio Dreams this last winter... which were also my first attempts into foam ever.  I think buff had high hopes of me and murph doing train double flips on his mini mega ramp during SD3 but neither of us ended up doing it.  To be honest I doubt I'll try another on ramp.  There are only two boxes I'd ever try it on and they're both gone now, I originally planned on doing one at rye long before xw on the box I flipwhipped but they took it out before I had a chance.  If I ever ride another park with foam and preferably resi, along with a box, all of which I get real comfortable on.  MAYBE I'll try hucking some more.

Come to Madison and do it on 4 seasons box.

yea we'll see haha, I'm looking for a 5 foot high box with tranny landing and a short gap....

I wouldn't count on it though.  I seriously shake just thinking about it haha.

It'll happen someday I bet.  Any last thoughts?

NO MORE DRAMA ON SR!  and proto ftw <3

Brandon Kilbury is one of the few riders who people should really be looking up to. He went from being someone who rode nothing but his driveway and his kickers. To being someone who can match 90% of the riders today when it comes to tricks, in both park or street. His tricks will continue to get better, his style smoother, and his riding even more consistent than it already is. As hard as that is to hear, its the truth. And as hard as it is to believe, in my opinion, he’s still underrated.


  1. Big thanks to Brandon for giving such amazing and in depth answers. We REALLY appreciate that kind of stuff.

    This is def. one of the best interviews on here so far.

  2. I laughed so hard when he was talking about all of the stupid stuff we do together. I love this guy, definitely one of my best friends.

  3. BK is so amazing, I wish I could ride like him hahah
    Oh I'll tell Martin about it too, he might like to hear about you

  4. Well when I first started riding It was on my younger sisters razor haha I was just fooling around and I didnt think anybody really rode scooters I heard about brandon the first time when justin underwood showed me and video of brandon doing a backflip off his kicker but really didnt think much of It until I learned how to tailwhip and I started getting into scootering seeing how brandon was from the same town as me he pretty much inspired me to ride I watched his sick videos and learned a few tricks from watching them after I watched BLT I really wanted to start riding talent more often and do all those awsome tricks over a box like they do Iv been riding for about 2 years now and Im still nowhere close to doing half of the tricks that brandon does over that box but I can say his riding influenced me alot.

  5. Dylan Just want to say that u and rigel are the ones how influenced me


  7. You got it wrong He was born in St.aldens and rasied in Swanton


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