Karl Watson has a long history of ongoing innovation in skateboarding. From his his days as an orginal Embarcadero local, to his legendary tech Pier 7 lines, to founding Organika Skateboards; Karl’s done it all with flawless style and unmatched finesse.
CCS caught up with arguably the nicest dude in skateboarding and blasted him with a series of What’s. Karl dug deep with some hard-hitting retorts.
What was the craziest thing you saw happen at Emb? In the early 90’s the H-Street team came to EMB for a demo. Me and all of the other EMB youngsters (Lee Smith, Sam Smyth, Nick Lockman, etc.) were stoked but the OG’s could care less who was coming to demo at their spot. To make a long story short, Alphonzo Rawls was trying a trick down the infamous Seven Stair when his board shot out and hit someone’s girlfriend. Alf didn’t say sorry and just picked up his board and proceeded to continue skating. Big mistake because the OG’s didn’t play. The best fighter at EMB was this dude named Ryan. He was one of the leaders of THC (The Honky Crew) and he didn’t play.
So Ryan approached Alf and just punched him in the face. Alf started running because at that point most of THC was ready to throw down too. They ended up fighting inside of some high-end art gallery. It was one of the craziest things I’ve seen there for sure. But it was weird. I was excited and bummed at the same time. They were going after one of my favorite skaters and all. It was tough to watch, yet intriguing. Those were the days…
What EMB OG member do you miss the most? Gave it some thought and it’s tough to single out one person. I miss the overall experience, the excitement of being a part of history and knowing it, and mainly the camaraderie amongst us; it was like a family.
What’s it like steering the Organika ship? A work in progress! We’ve got some stuff up our sleeve, BIG TINGS FOR ORGANIKA IN 2012 AND BEYOND! LOL.
What’s a meal you could eat all day, every day? I love Hummus! But not the cheap Hummus made from Chic Peas. I like the Hummus made with Garbanzo Beans, that’s real Hummus….so basically anything I can dip into Hummus : ) Yummmm.
What’s the simplest way to maintain that PMA? Taking time out for yourself and being surrounded by trees and bushes with no sign of civilization at all. That’s what helps me recharge to deal with this crazy time we’re all living in.
What basic trick gives you the most trouble? Haha, should I be completely honest? Sure, why not…Well, my kickflips are sometimes quite painful to watch and they feel slightly awkward to execute. In laymen’s terms, I’ve got a mean rocket flip. LOL!
What’s the best part of being a dad? Watching my oldest son Elan getting taller and resembling me more so than ever. He’s like a mini me but much better looking.
What’s it like not eating Meat? Makes no difference to me anymore. I eat fish and have been very tempted to eat meat in recent years, but it’s been 15 years since I’ve eaten red meat. I’ve nibbled on small pieces of chicken and turkey a couple times but it truly makes no difference to me, it’s just my personal preference.
What are a few of your favorite skaters, past and present? Past: Tommy Guerrero, Ray Barbee and Brian Lotti.
Present: Pudwill, Nyjah and all of the new kids coming out with “no name yet” just crushin’ stuff.
What’s your worst injury? Torn PCL 5 years ago; took me out for a year. Also a broken tail bone; couldn’t walk right for two weeks.
What’s the most money you’ve spent in a day? $740,000 on a house. Well, I guess I borrowed it. Wait, it was borrowed then spent, so technically I did spend that much. But I was just paying back what I borrowed. Oh Nelly! Too confusing.
What inspires you? Being aware of the vastness of the Universe and the multiple perceptional nature of all life within.
What’s your favorite part about getting LRG packages? Selling it…Haha! No way!!! My favorite aspect of receiving an LRG box is knowing that everything inside is truly high quality and expertly designed. Then I get stoked that I can go hook some people up on the street or at a skatepark. Always love promoting my sponsors in a positive way.
One of the things I’ve done for a long time that not many people know is pull up to a bus stop or a group of perceivably unapproachable “hoods” and say, “What’s up, anybody want some free stuff?” Their reaction is always priceless. “For free! Are you serious!” They’re always skeptical at first but when they realize I’m not trying to sell them the stuff they get super happy…Makes it easy to break down a tough exterior.
What’s the secret to a long, healthy pro career? I don’t know. You should ask Cab that question LOL. Well, it’s always been in my nature to look at things differently, that being said, I just like to be original and love to be the first to do something. I think that’s kept me going for a bit.
What’s your favorite trick? The Slappy! That trick is too much fun.
Photo by Mike Metcalf, courtesy of 9Five.
Get Karl’s Signature 9Five Shades and gear he backs from LRG at CCS.