Austin Keen is a 22-year old skimboarder from Tybee Island/Savannah, Georgia. He took the time to answer some of our questions and we combined those with the photography of Andre Magarao.
How long have you been skimming?
I started surfing when I was 10 then started sand skimming around on woodies here and there when I was about 11 and then started getting introduced to surfing waves on a skim when I was about 13-14
Where do you skim normally?
Wherever is working in Laguna
Who do you skim with?
Friends and a Lot of the regular skim community in/around Laguna.
What is your favorite skim spot?
Aliso on a crisp clear warm day. Especially when the sider is working.
Where have you traveled to skimboard?
All over the US, Philippines, Australia, Japan, Mexico and Chile.
Where do you want to travel to skim?
Brazil, Europe, Africa, Taiwan, Anywhere with good vibes, nice people, and good waves.
What board(s) do you ride?
I ride an Exile 5/8 MS Hybrid shape. I’ve been riding it since I’ve been with Exile at the beginning. Pretty much a perfect board for any conditions.
Do you compete?
Yes. I’ve done the UST the past 3 years. Stoked for 2013 UST.
And what are some of your contest highlights?
Most recent Highlight was winning back to back UST events – Santa Cruz and Exile’s Oktoberfest in Newport. Winning Vilano a couple years back was great also since I grew up skimming in that contest.
Do you have any sponsors? What companies?
Exile Skimboards, EastCoastSkimboards.com, On A Mission Surf Traction, Mostic Clothing.
What other board sports do you partake in?
Surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding here and there in the winter time.
Where do you see the skimboarding going in the future?
I’ve seen it grow big time first hand, and I see it growing as large as the surf industry yet following through a path unique from any other board sport.
What riders influenced your skimboarding?
Bill & George Bryan, Brandon Sears, Andy Chiavetta and Paulo.
What riders are pushing the sport right now?
All of the top competitors on the UST.
If you were stranded on a desert island that already has a plentiful resource of skimboards what three things would you bring?
Guitar/ukulele / Music / A female.
What makes you happy?
Keeping and active body and mind. Creating music. being surrounded by nature. Meeting new people, especially those of other countries and cultures.
If everyone rode a skimboard would the world be a better place?
Haha, I’m not sure, but If everyone did what they truly loved, and lived along side with nature the world would be a better place.
What skimboarding goals do you have?
Win the UST, stick some New tricks and get barreled and come out as much as possible.
What is your favorite skimboarding trick?
Getting in-and-out barrels, giant 3 shuv re-entries, giant super man re-entries, giant Frontiside wrap Barrels.
Last words? Shout outs?
The photos of Austin are from Aliso and 10th st, Laguna beach during september 2012. The photos were taken by Andre Magarao of Skimbrasil.