Skate & Educate: An interview with Keegan Guizard from Collegiate Skate Tour

For a few years now, you may have noticed that from time to time we share or post content related to a contest series known as the Collegiate Skate Tour. The series is an outlet for it’s creator, Keegan Guizard, to share his passion for skateboarding, higher education, and travel. Now in it’s fourth year, the Tour is better than ever, and Keegan is continuing to expand it through hard work and determination. So I thought it’d be rad to catch up with Keegan to discuss it. Enjoy.

CST think tank

Photo: @gillhormel

Let’s start with the basics; name, age, how long have you been skateboarding? Got any footage?

Keegan Guizard, 26. Been skating for 18 years this winter. I don’t really have any footage compiled. Just tricks in video promos and “friends” sections here & there.. And Instagram clips floating around.

Current set-up?

8.25″ Element Maders Apse deck. Independent classic 149s, Bones STF 54mm, Bones Reds, Diamond Grip and Hardware

How did you get into skateboarding?

In early elementary school, I thought it was really cool. My friend’s older brother had a board in their garage, and I used to ride it in their driveway. I liked it more and more every time. My dad got me my first board for getting honor roll in the third grade.

What college did you go to in North Carolina? When did you graduate?

I went to NC State University, home of the Wolfpack. Graduated in December, 2012.

I’ve been a fan of North Carolina skateboarding for forever. Early Post22 videos always got me hyped. Seeing that North Carolina has a produced tons of professional skateboarders and has a rich skateboard history. Who are some of your favorites from NC?

Glad you know what’s up! Post22 is the truth, especially in Raleigh where I lived for eight years. I’ll stick to those I actually got to skate with in North Carolina. Getting to skate around Justin Brock before he really blew up was tight. Dan Murphy, fellow NC State grad! Chet Childress is a real OG from my hometown. Brett Abramsky gets me hyped. Durand Beasley for the ramp session hype. Sturgil Horn for the party hype. Connor Champion rips.

Any up and comers to look out for from NC?

There’s so much young talent in NC. I hope they all keep it up! Will Smith has crazy natural talent. Isaac White is fun to watch. Alec Chambers just moved to New York, but he’s sick! Gary Bolos is in SD now; he’s ripping everything.

I heard you lived at an incubator? How was that? Is that where you came up with Collegiate Skate Tour and how long have you been operating it?

Yeah, I lived at this accelerator in Raleigh for a little while, called ThinkHouse. It’s a place where entrepreneurs live together, help each other and get help from local serial entrepreneurs and co-working spaces. It was a really sick place to be around really smart and very cool people. I can’t say enough about Raleigh, North Carolina either. In so many ways, it’s a great place to be. Collegiate Skate Tour first came up before that, when I was still finishing school. ThinkHouse was a great place to live and be when growing my company, and the Tour’s been in existence for about four years now.

At one point I believe you worked with Rob Mendieta at Collegiate Wake Tour? How did that come about and do the two tours have any affiliation?

When I was in school and my friends and I were running the NC State Skate Club (NC Skate), we were invited to an intercollegiate event in Jacksonville, FL. It was a great time and a great trip. When the next year came around, I tried to contact the guys running the event, but no one was doing anything to continue it. So someone sent me over to Rob Mendieta. He’s been a good source of help and advice, since he’s been doing college wake boarding events for about nine years now. Our first ever event, we collaborated with his wake boarding tour, but we haven’t done an event together since. We still stay in touch; we just don’t organize skate & wake events together. Yet… We’re both doing well, and Rob’s a good dude.

So far what’s your most memorable Collegiate Skate Tour Moment?

That’s a tough one. There are so many moments and so many trips that have been really epic in different ways. 1. Early on, when the Tour was still very young, almost every trip overlapped with an NC Skate group trip, so all the homies came out. Early trips, from NC to FL, were the funnest times and some of the best skate trips ever. We’d mob out to Tampa or Cocoa Beach and have a great time.

Working in skateboarding and traveling for work has allowed me to get out west a lot and eventually move to California. That’s been an invaluable experience. Even though I love the east coast, it’s been great to get to know the other side of the country, settle in SoCal (for now), and see a lot of the Northwest.

I can’t decide between early trips from NC or currently being in CA, but I’m super grateful for all of it.

Photo: @collegiateskate

Queens, NY Collegiate Skate Tour Stop Photo: @collegiateskate

What is CST about and what are your goals for the Tour? Any events you’d like to add or different cities?

Collegiate Skate Tour is a national contest series and organization for college skateboarding. We encourage higher education for skateboarders everywhere. We’ve done this mostly through our event series, putting together contests in New Hampshire, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, and lots of other places in the US. Right now, we’re focused on our big events in Oregon, New York, California and Florida. I’m pumped that we’re becoming a nonprofit now, so that we can get college scholarships going for skaters! We’ll have scholarship money for contest winners, and also there will be standard merit-based scholarships though the Tour. I’m super hyped on where we’re at, and we should have college scholarships available through Collegiate Skate Tour for skaters sometime in 2017… Stay tuned.

connect and compete workshop

Collegiate Skate Tour “Connect and Compete” Pannel Photo @collegiateskate

Thoughts on skateboarding in the Olympics?

Any popular past time that can be made competitive will be highlighted in a competitive setting. There will always be people that make that happen. I mean, there’s Street League, there’s the Dime Glory Challenge, there are the smaller local contest events and even the college skate contests that we put on. Skateboarding just got popular enough for long enough to make it to that stage, where it’s been considered for (and accepted into) the Olympics. I understand why people are bummed, and I understand why other people are hyped. Lots of us (mid-20s and older) grew up with a skateboarding that took us out of the box and gave us something unique and creative to pursue. Skateboarding didn’t used to be cool, and I think that’s why the first godfathers are so cool now – they truly did something different. But we have to see it from others’ perspectives. Some dudes from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and poorer countries got saved from the streets by skating the streets. And a Street League berth, a contest prize purse, and the bragging rights of winning championships are all things that they should rightfully be proud of. Tiago Lemos right now… just as an example. That dude rips! And he’s not turning down any opportunities – I understand that. Skating in the Olympics, for a lot of dudes, is winning the game. Coming up from the streets and becoming a champion. Skateboarding is different things to different people, and those that dig a Sunday slappy session aren’t gonna lose that because of the Olympics. In fact, I’m one of those people. Skateboarders aren’t losing anything by the its inclusion in the Olympics. The contest scene skaters are getting greater opportunities because of it, and the raw street skaters might not get kicked out as much because of it. Whatever you like to do, do it.

Since being a part of NC State Skate Club and setting up the Tour what are some other clubs/schools killing it?

It’s rad to see certain schools stepping it up, in terms of skateboarding. NC State had a really solid club and crew when I was in Raleigh. All over Florida, there are legit skate clubs: UF (Gainesville), UCF (Orlando) & USF (Tampa) to name a few… The University of Southern California even has an undergrad course for skating! It’s called “Skateboarding and Action Sports in Business, Media & Culture,” and my friend Neftalie Williams teaches it. I’d have been so hyped to have that class to earn credits in school!

Hahaha, me too! I would have been all over that class. Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, Keegan!

Be sure to keep up to date with the Tour through CST’s Website, Instagram, or Facebook.

Upcoming Collegiate Skate Tour Stops

Queens, NY @ Astoria Skatepark on October 8th, 2016

Carlsbad, CA @ Transworld Headquarters on November 12th, 2016

Gainesville, FL @ FreeRide Surf & Skate on February 25h, 2017

Eugene, OR @ Revered WJ Skatepark on May 20th, 2017

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