Every year around Thanksgiving I try to write a list of things that I’m thankful for, and this year would be absolutely no different than the others.
I, just like you, am extremely grateful for all the people putting in work.
I’m thankful for the company owners, whether long-established or new people taking chances. I’m thankful for the filmmakers, photographers, illustrators, and, of course, my fellow blade writers.
Thanks to the shop owners and employees. Thanks to the ams. Thanks to the pros. Thanks to the people doing it for absolutely no paycheck other than the one that comes in self-satisfaction.
Thanks for everyone who continues to make this incredible sport continue to thrive in the promise that the more we invest in our future we will reap the benefits for decades to come.
Me, personally, at this moment right now, I’m thankful for Razors.
I’m thankful they made the right decisions and moved up Korey “Sneaky” Waikiki up to pro.
Now, I know the thread about said decision continues to be broken down into the smallest of meta forms on the thread on the Be-Mag message board, but I shall attempt—if you allow me to be so bold—to tell you why, if you questioned it, it is a wonderful decision to put someone like him—more specifically Mr. Sneaky himself—onto a pro team.
Now that I’ve made my opening arguments, ladies and gentlemen of the court of public opinion, I—someone who spent time in too many courtrooms—present to you, Blade or Die’s Exhibit No. 1:
Korey ‘Sneaky’ Waikiki | Razors Pro
I wish I knew exactly which wordsmith penned the YouTube description for that video, and I’d love to credit the editor, Nico Sotomayor, but a better character assessment of Sneaky could not have been made:
Hailing from the highly influential Norcal scene, Sneak has grown up around some of the best in the game. His skating bridges a gap between classic style and modern technique. Regardless of trends come and gone, Sneak maintains his own look and a positive outlook on blading. We see him as a future icon. It is for these and many other reasons that we is proud to announce Korey Waikiki as Razors Pro.
For those of you who claim you’ve never heard of Sneaky, let’s spend some time to get to know him. The young chap was good enough to take the time to answer a few basic questions, so let’s all read what he has to say.
First, a little biographical information.
Korey ‘Sneaky’ Waikiki
Years skating: shit, roughly 11 years
Setup: Stock Silhans
Sponsors: Razor skates and Aggressive mall
Videos: Hyphy 2 & 3
Next In Line
In Motion 3
Game Theory (briefly)
Children of the Future
and a lot of online edits…
Q: You grew up—and are still growing—in the Bay. Early in your skating career, you’d be shredding regularly with Vinny Minton, Victor Arias, Ivan Narez, and hella other heads. What was that like as a beginner, being around such seasoned dudes?
A: Wow, I love this question. Basically Ivan, Vinny and the crew came to my local skate park one day and for whatever reason I think they saw some potential because before I know it, I was skating with them every weekend. Naturally being surrounded by that much talent, you are bound to get better. I remember they would take me to spots I didn’t even think I could jump on to then before I know it I started getting the hang of it. Its been on since.
Watching your pro edit, it was hard to tell what your dominant foot is. Do you even have a natural foot anymore?
Yes I do, I am naturally right footed but I would go to the skate park religiously and spend a lot of time learning things the other way. I loved it, it’s like learning it all over again and obviously some came quicker than others but happy I put the time in because now a lot of tricks make sense both ways.
Have you heard anything about getting your own pro skate? If that’s something possible, what color you going for? Also, have you thought of adding spikes to the toe? Could be cool.
Haha, no. that has not been talked about so I really haven’t really thought about it. Thinking yellow might be tight. hahaha
So, since you’re one of the youngest pros—if not the youngest—in the game, what do you want to bring to the sport?
If I could bring anything, I would like to bring more unification. our industry is so divided or so it seems. I feel as that people either prefer the “Broskow” way of skating or the “Aragon,” if that makes sense. Once you decide which type of skating you prefer, often times, it’s like you can’t respect the other type, which to me is dumb. I personally like watching people who skate nothing like me but regardless, if I like what I see, I will be the first to tell you. Lastly, I would also like to get the youth involved more somehow because I feel like our industry lacks appeal to the younger generation of kids.
For other youngins starting out and want to reach the pro level you’re at, what do you recommend?
Hmm… If I could say anything I would tell them to skate for the love not for a paycheck, if it is meant to happen it will.
Now, we all are cognizant of the errors of leaving a bewildered newcomer alone to such mellon-balled, soft-core questions, so it’s good practice in all things fair to unleash our young compatriot to the unnerving hounds of public discourse.
One part of being cast into the limelight is being scrutinized under the inquisitive nature of the online rollerblading community who present themselves in their finest fashion as Rollernews, Be-Mag message board, and YouTube comments. So, if you’re so patient to examine carefully, are carefully-selected comments scrutinizing Sneaky’s introductory editorial debut into the professional rollerblading realm.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: More than 90 percent of the online discussion regarding Korey Waikiki’s performance in his Razor’s pro edit has been not only diverse in discussion, but overwhelmingly positive to Sneaky’s ability and career, but also to Razor’s decision to move Mr. Waikiki from am to pro.)
Sneaky’s exact quotes in reaction to each comment are below said comment.
I don’t understand how people think that. To say Jeph and Aragon or whoever on the team, skate similarly is blind.
Do i need to? I mean, the people that have approached me have been genuine fans of my skating, so I rather please them than seek approval from people who don’t like me from the get go, period.
Like I said, my skating is not for everyone. I would be ignorant to think that I could please everyone.
Whoa. People are ruthless, man. I don’t feel the need to even reply to this one. I don’t like giving reactions to people just looking for one.
I suppose it depends on your definition of pro level. I mean, I know I was happy with a lot of those tricks, especially for a free online edit.
As far as the boring, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I understand my skating isn’t for everyone, but to each his own. Also, no one is forcing you to watch it.
I often get the Aragon comparison, which in a sense I guess is a compliment because he is the best, but I’m not trying to be the next Aragon. I rather be the FIRST Sneaky, if that makes sense.
Aahhh damn! Roasted me. Good one though. I’ve heard MoglI from the Jungle Book too when I had a bowl cut.
man I miss that dude, he was one of those people that would make everyone around him better because you would see what he could do, which would push you to do better. anyways, he kind of lost sight of blading and went down his own path, but from what I hear from other friends in WA, he hasn’t lost a step.
I met Sneaky in 2009 after the Kind Grind Classic Ocho in lovely Sacramento, Ca., home to all those dope, JSFing Roller Warehouse kids. This was after the comp where we found ourselves sitting next to each other in a Mexican restaurant that made its own tequila. He was 10 years younger than me and I was still grom-struck from this steazy, skillful little shit that did the tricks I could only do so well in dreams. Who the fuck am I kidding? I can’t do anything he does.
Then, and many times after, we’ve been able to talk at length on numerous subjects, from a philosophical take on human interaction to how much alcohol it would take to get an elephant drunk.
Besides his skill on the blades, Sneak projected the sheer essence of his character: talented, smart, equipped with quick wit, and a possessing a wide-eyed youthful look at the world.
In the three short years from when I met him to the moment I write this now, I can safely say Sneaky has been through enough eye-opening experiences in his life to make him appreciate what he has even more, although I didn’t think that was possible.
Sneaky may be young in comparison to most other pros (hell, Bolino is only a year older than him), but he’s been a smooth staple of the NorCal blade scene for nearly a decade and reps his JSF status very well.
This means more to sponsorship in this sport than the average blader believes. Being pro isn’t based on the talent you can throw in front of a camera lens or large competition crowd, but also how you conduct yourself as a man (or a lady).
If you think being made pro is based solely on the talent you can display immediately on command, go talk to Stephane Alfano and I’m sure he’d have a lot to bitch about. He’s the prime example of an incredible athlete whose unwillingness to adopt certain professional standards equated to nothing more than his name being a punchline. Things like flashing your bare ass on national television and burning JoJo with a cigarette at Winterclash have nothing to do with skating other than acting like a complete unprofessional.
So, the next time a company makes a decision to toss someone into the professional ring, consider the fact that personality plays a huge role. As a small business owner myself, I can tell you this: working with incorrigible ego-driven people rarely gets anything accomplished.
Sneaky? He’s nothing like that. He’s young and talented, but also humble, inquisitive, and hungry for life. He’s so tech you can’t tell what his switch is and holds nearly unlimited potential into what he can accomplish.
Sneaky isn’t merely a child of the future but also someone who is improving the present every day.
Under proper constructive criticism, the potential of Sneaky’s abilities to expand not only the vernacular but the confines of rollerblading in a postmodern X-Games deployment-esque scene is much more exponentially powerful that merely dismissing the legacy of a many on a few years drunk on youth and the manifestation of pure, God-given freedom.
From JSF BBQ to BCSD, Sneaky has always amplified the quality of any situation he’s been a part of, whether on blades or conversing about any topic.
If you have cross words about Korey Waikiki being named pro for Razors, then I shall not restrain myself from crossing words with you, good sir.
Rollerblade or Perish,
— Mr. Brian John Lydwine Krans, Esq.
P.S. — If you’re so inclined to partake in my other word play, may I suggest you order A Constant Suicide, Freeze Tag on the Highway, or Shred ‘Til You’re Dead II from quality retail establishments like Aggressive Mall, Intuition Skate Shop, or wherever you may find them.