Kevin Lowry is one of the hardest working skaters in the industry, Canadian or otherwise. It's no surprise that he's gained fans on the international scale by skating fast, powerful and not giving into flash in the pan tricks and trends. Recently, all of his hard work has paid of with an international pro board with Habitat. As someone who's known Kevin for a long time, I couldn't be happier to see him get the recognition he deserves. He's come a long way from the little grom I yelled at for pushing mongo.—DAN WATSON
Congrats on turning pro for Habitat! How did that all come about?
The possibility came about when I first got on Habitat. They pretty much put it in my hands when I got on.
So this is an international pro board, right?
Yeah it’s an international pro board but you can skate it anywhere in the world you want.
Lots of people don't really understand the "international team" or "international pro" deal. People think it's like not really being on the team but it's a good situation for you, right?
For sure, I wouldn't want it any other way. At this point I have seen so many people from Canada rip so hard and it never worked out for them. What people don't understand is there are only so many seats in a car. Its not always possible to have a spot on the team. There's a breaking point where you can't add anymore people. The fact that these companies are even bothering to support international guys in some shape or form is rad. Sometimes it's best to work with the cards you are dealt.
Your first board was designed by Joe Castrucci. That's a good sign there. How stoked are you on that?
So stoked! That's probably the best part about the whole deal. Joe's art direction and vision over the years have made Habitat what it is today. His work gives you a certain type of feel when watching his videos. Maybe this is why I've been attracted to the brand even before I rode for them. To have an artist like Joe take time out of his day to make a board for me is unreal. Plus I gave my input and he interpreted it the way he saw it, couldn't be happier about it.
You were riding for Blueprint before Habitat and after that fell apart it took you awhile to find the right board sponsor. Were you ever worried about finding a company you actually wanted to ride for?
I kinda liked being a free agent. I was getting love from a couple different companies and spray painting boards and just getting back to basics. I was just skating for myself and not worrying about anything else. There was a moment where I thought to myself I'm not sure if I can skate for anyone because if I'm not 100% into a brand then there's just no point.
So given the choice you would rather go without a sponsor than ride for a brand you're not completely stoked on?
Yea pretty much, it's like settling for less. What is the point? Don't get me wrong I skated for a few companies I wasn't 100% on when I was younger to get support. Maybe I am realizing that more now. I feel as if people just want to be able to say they are sponsored. These days I would rather work a job and buy what I want to skate then just skate for something I can't stand behind.
When everything fell apart at Blueprint you were just about to be officially welcomed to the team, and then right after you got on Habitat, they went on a temporary hiatus. Did you ever feel like you were cursed?
(Laughs) No I never thought I was cursed. My gut told me everything was going to be all right plus things happened slower in Canada and I still had boards or could get them while people in the States felt the hiatus more drastically.
Recently, you also switched up your shop sponsor to Ninetimes in Saskatoon. The city you grew up in. How does it feel to be riding for your hometown shop?
Yeah I did. Long story short, I was riding for a much bigger shop but things didn't work out. Ninetimes and all the guys and the team there are like my family. Jason who owns it has been my good friend for 15 years. He has seen me at my best and my worst so we are pretty much brothers. We used to skate together way back when we were just learning so I'm stoked to be with my Ninetimes family now. At the end of the day all that really matters are your friends, family and the people close to you.