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Kristián Nguyen: "I want to enjoy skateboarding and make a living of it."

28/7/2021 | Horsefeathers / Renata

Kristián "Kiko" Nguyen is a Slovak skateboarder who has been living in the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague for a few years now. Last year he won the Czech Skateboard Cup and this year he took part in the famous Dew Tour in Iowa, USA. You will learn more about him, in the following interview.

Kristián Nguyen, photo: Petr Veselý

Hi Kiko, how are you and how is your summer so far?

Hi, I'm great and my summer is fine so far.


You have been living in Prague for quite some time now, but I know that you come from Bánovce nad Bebravou. Why did you move to Prague? Was it because of skateboarding?

Exactly as you say. Due to skateboarding, because there were no conditions for that in Bánovce and in Slovakia in general. In Prague, the conditions are better, so that's probably why.


Do you have any such "home spots" there, or where do you ride most often?

Most often in Vysoplaza, I got it five minutes from the house on a skate. But otherwise I ride all over Prague.


Do you prefer more street or park?

In fact, I'm more often in the skatepark, but the street is better. I try to be there too.

Let's go back to how you actually got into skateboarding.

It was about around 2008. I already knew what skateboarding was, but we had skateboards stored in the old cellar. A friend of mine wanted to try it, so we took them out and that's how it started.


When did you realize that you want to start taking skateboarding "more seriously"? That you would like to start doing competitions and so on?

I had it in my head for a long time, even when I was in Slovakia. I always wanted to achieve something by skateboarding. And the further I go, the more I confirm to myself that it can be easily taken to a higher level, make a living out of it and so on. I've been doing it for so long that I'd definitely like to move it there, haha.

And how do you have it, you don't make a living out of skateboarding yet, do you have any job?

Yes, I work part time.


Do you have any goal in skateboarding that you would like to achieve? For example, to get to the Olympics when skateboarding is already classified as an Olympic sport.

This is not the goal, but I will definitely try, as I am a competitive type. But overall, probably just enjoy skateboarding and try to make living out of it.


And could you tell us what the conditions are to qualify for the Olympics?

This first year it was also quite wild. Also through covid and everything around it, but it should be that there are some qualifying stops where points are obtained in the overall ranking and from this overall ranking then the 20 best from all over the world advance. Plus, there can be only three people for each country. It's quite a calculation, but maybe it will be better until the next Olympics in Paris in 2024. I hope it will be better organized and less complicated.

ČSP 2020, photo: @jan_pelikan
Des Moines, USA, photo: @stefanik_david

You took part in the Dew Tour in Iowa, USA this year, which was the qualifying stop before the Olympic Games, right? Can you describe the atmosphere like there? And overall, how was it?

It was actually my first trip to America, so I was looking forward to that as well. The competition was held in Iowa, Des Moines, the capital of Iowa. The city was about the size of slovakian Trenčín town, so not too big. But they still had the largest skatepark in America. That's probably why it was right there. And overall for the competition - it rained a lot there, it was quite hectic, because we didn't know when we would have trainings, it was moved from day to day. But otherwise it was great, even though I ruined my ride. At the end of the day, it gave me some more experiences for future bigger competitions.


How long did this competition last?

Along with trainings for seven days.


But it must have been great, you were there with the whole Slovak-Czech national skateboard team, so at least as a skate trip it was nice, right?

Yes, as we were there in such group, it was fine.

Last year you won the Czech Skateboard Cup, where you defeated Rišo Tury by one final trick. How did it feel to have such a victory?

It was an amazing feeling. It was actually the very last trick of the whole final. I went last and I had to put some complete bomb, nonsense, to win. And it worked. It was great. Almost like in a movie, haha.


What was the thing you put in the end that shot you to the first place?

It was a nollie bigspin heelflip frontside boardslide to the rail.


And how are you feel about skateboarding competitions, do you prefer to train tricks hard in order to ride them in competitions, or are you still just having fun skateboarding and what comes comes?

It's more like I'm in a skatepark and I think of a trick, so I'm going to try it, learn it and only then I ride it in the competition. But I train it until I totally know it so I can pull it out in the competition. I wouldn't say that I learn tricks primarily for competitions, rather they just come and I then use them in competitions.

Kiko's ride on ČSP 2020 from 3:30 min

Do you have any skate trips planned for this summer, for example to ride some other skateparks, or is Prague completely suitable for your riding at the moment?

Now, in August, I'm going to two competitions, I hope covid doesn't complicate things again, because it's kind of falling apart again. I should go to Viga in early August and a week later I should go to Kiev in Ukraine. These are actually competitions under the World Cup Skateboarding, as well as, for example, Mystic. In fact, there should be a Mystic Skate Cup too this year. So I have some competitions planned, which I'm going to focus on now, but I have to say that I'm also shooting a street part. It seems to be almost finished, but there is still a lot of work to be done. But it already has some vision and form.


Do you have any idea when you could let it out? When can we look forward to it?

Well, I don't have it yet, but in about three months maybe. The deadline is definitely this year. There are shots from this and last year, so that those shots don't get old. So definitely in 2021.


Will it be your first solo part?

Such a full, purely my part, will probably be the first one. I was in the Slovak video Elare, which is filmed by a friend, I had some mini parts in friends montage, but it probably doesn't count as a street part, so it will be my first part.

photo: Michal Jirák

Great, so we'll be looking forward to it. Let's move on to your collaboration with Horsefeathers now. When and how did it start?

It started when Tomáš Koudela, who was my manager for Nomad skateboards, when I was still riding for them, who is also the manager of Horsefeathers, asked me if I would like to ride for HF and I said sure, why not, haha.


Do you have any favorite HF pieces? Maybe some in which you skateboard?

I use underwear and socks the most, haha. These are the very best in the world. And now in the summer also shorts, although I'm not a big fan of shorts, but I quite liked those from Horsefeathers. The pocket ones, they are great.


Do you have anything to conclude?

Just skateboard, be healthy and do what you enjoy.


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