Miles Silvas is still sweet 20, but Torsten Frank, who spent the last two and a half years on – no shit – 25 trips with him for Away Days, describes him as a super cool, loyal personality with the mindset of a professional. As a skateboarder who takes care of his diet and warms up before the session. “When I sit down in front of my computer in the evening to check the footage, I realize at some point that Miles is standing beside me the whole time. He just wants to know exactly what happened over the course of the day and if he could maybe make the trick he did look better. Miles wants to play at the upper end of the game.” On his way there he might let himself be influenced by some of his comrades who are also wearing the stripes, but who can clear oneself, especially in that age, from looking left and right to see what’s cool at the moment? It’s for sure that there’s a bunch of people that simmer with excitement for his part, even more than they do for one of his colleagues. And if we take a look at the names on the adidas roaster, that’s clearly sending a message. Talking about names… John Cardiel, Matt Rodriguez, Brandon Biebel, Omar Salazar – a pretty exquisite list of guys from the Sacramento area which can already be complemented by another one because Miles won’t leave the stage anymore.
Hello Miles, congrats on your second Transworld cover, that was a massive switch heel right there.
Thank you – I was hyped on that for sure!
How did it happen?
We were on an adidas trip in Barcelona – we were in the area and when I saw it, I was hyped to skate it.
Was it a battle?
It wasn’t too much of a battle – I’d say within ten tries.
When you do a big trick like that, do you go for it first try or do you have to struggle with your mind until you catch it for the first time?
No, usually when I try a trick, in my head I know I can do it or at least I am pretty positive that I can do it. Usually I ollie the stair or whatever one time, which I also did in this case, and then I tried the switch heelflip right away and tried to land it first try. I don’t like to throw it out there and land on my feet. That sucks. I try to do it as quickly as possible.
Did you land it first try?
How many covers does that make now? Three?
Actually it’s four: I got two Transworld covers and two Thrasher covers.
"We tried a lot to make Organika the best, but we didn’t get too much support from the owner"
I only remembered the kickflip backside tailslide as a Thrasher cover… Which was the other one?
The switch backsmith on the same spot on the other side of the stairs.
Right… the first three covers are from your 1947 part in case somebody missed out on that – which cover are you most proud of?
Uhm… The one I’m probably most psyched on is the first one because it’s the first cover you’d ever get and I didn’t expect it, so it was the best feeling. And the spot is right by my skateshop in my hometown, which I skate for. So it’s a local spot and a trick I had in mind really long. It was a big deal for me when I landed the trick.
You really didn’t expect the cover after you did a backside nosebluntslide on a 18-stair handrail?
] Yeah… I mean, back then there weren’t too many people who knew my name, so I really didn’t expect them to give me the cover.
I guess they didn’t have much of a choice. Do you remember the day you saw it for the first time?
I remember Walker [Ryan
] and Karl [Watson
] were in town and we went to the skateshop because they told me I should do some product review. Walker had the mag, which just came out, we flicked through it and then he said something like “They put the wackiest dude on the cover though” and showed it to me. And then all my homies stormed out the shop with champagne bottles poppin’. After that we kicked it at the shop for a little while and had some beers.
Did you have any idea back then that you will go this way you took within the last three years?
Obviously I knew I was gonna keep skating – I was with Organika and they had a good team and we were doing a lot of stuff, so I thought it will go on this way. I had no idea I was going to quit Organika and switch from Lakai to adidas. Everything was kinda lined up to keep going higher and higher in skating, so I knew I just need to keep skating and having fun. But I didn’t think too much about that. Obviously everybody wants to be pro and shit, but you never know. I just knew if I keep going and progressing and learning new tricks that there was the possibility to make it happen.
What made you want to leave Organika?
Me and Walker and Karl talked a lot and things weren’t going the way we hoped for. Things got a little weird and shady and at some point it reached a critical peak… People weren’t treated as they should be treated and got kicked off out of nowhere. We tried a lot to make Organika the best, but we didn’t get too much support from the owner… It was a toxic situation. We didn’t go on trips and shit, so Walker and I finally reached the point where we decided to quit together.
Karl must have been bummed.
Yeah, he was. We wanted him to leave with us and maybe do something together, but he was kind of stuck with the brand, so he gave us his blessing to quit. It sucked because it was my first board sponsor and it had the potential to be a cool company. There were a lot of flow guys who were really close.
"I don’t want to make a quick decision. "
As far as I know, you don’t have a new board sponsor, right?
That’s right, I’m not searching too much right now, because I’m not in a situation where I’m like “fuck, I really need a board sponsor.” I am just going to skate and concentrate on the adidas video. I have a shop sponsor, so I can get any board I want to skate.
You said you are in the process of getting your own place near your hometown and that you are currently still living with your parents. How are you deciding on a new sponsor? Do you take any advice?
I have a lot of friends in the industry, I hang a lot with Jeff Landi [photographer and Official TM
] in Sacramento, I got Walker Ryan who is pretty much like an older brother to me. I talk a lot with them when situations go down and I think everything through. I don’t want to make a quick decision.
BS Nollie Switch 50-50
Do you have a plan when you want to make a decision board sponsor-wise?
No, I don’t have a plan for that right now. I haven’t really had too many people yet who hit me up for a board company. There’s not too many board companies I would like… I just want to finish the adidas video and see what happens after that.
What would you say if the Palace guys reach out for you after the video?
Uhm… I don’t know… I would be psyched… I have some friends over at Palace. I go on a lot of adidas trips with Chewy Cannon and Benny Fairfax. Also we skate together for Wayward Wheels. Those are the homies. I wear a lot of their clothes anyway because they do a lot of collabs with adidas. I would be hyped to ride for Palace cause I think it’s pretty sick. I don’t know… I really don’t know who else honestly. I mean if they wanna hit me up. I don’t know what their situation is though.
"I would be hyped to ride for Palace cause I think it’s pretty sick"
I think you were like four years old when Eric Koston pushed the limits in Menikmati. But since then there was a huge evolution in skateboarding trick-wise – especially with handrails if you like to compare Eric’s backside noseblunt-ender and your first Transworld Cover. Now you ride with TX for adidas who was also in Menikmati. Do you sometimes talk about this evolution and where skateboarding can still go in the future?
Yeah, sometimes we talk about that and we are like “damn, it’s crazy how far skateboarding has come.” I mean every day you see some new fucked up shit on Instagram. So sometimes we definitely trip on that like what skateboarding is gonna be like in ten years.
Do you have some kind of imagination where it could go?
I don’t know… It’s kind of scary to think about that. I mean I ride for adidas. I obviously like adidas a lot. I feel like right know skateboarding is getting pretty corporate. It’s kinda like Nike and adidas, Vans, Converse… those are the big players right now and the rest is still around. But those brands are dominating right now. And then you have a lot of smaller independent board companies like Palace or Polar who are trying to get in the front row. So… I don’t who is going to maintain in the future. But I know skateboarding is going to be growing and growing. Everybody’s skating and everybody is fucking good. The trick level will probably be even more insane than it is today.
Frontside Crooked Grind to Fakie
But what is there left to do? Is that something you think about after you’ve filmed a banger?
Sometimes I think about that but not too often. I try to concentrate on my own skating and I think there are always new tricks to learn. But it’s true, the tricks are getting more fucked up and I think that way more people are trying to have more fun with skating shaped boards and doing other tricks like skating more creatively. I am not saying people can’t keep up, but sometimes it’s harder for people to keep up, you know? I am not saying no complies and stuff are gay, because I think every type of skating is sick and not everybody wants to get fucking gnarly and do crazy tricks, cause… yeah, it’s just hard to keep up. You can’t keep fucking… like … even me… I’ll never back noseblunt a 18 again or back noseblunt a 19 or 20 to progress. I think you’ll just have to think outside the box to progress, if you are not Nyjah who is probably backnoseblunting a 30 stair some day. So I don’t know… It’s going to be pretty interesting to see.
I have to admit, I have no clue about Street League, but I heard you’ll be in it soon. Did you have to qualify for it?
Uhm no… Actually I didn’t, because they did some new shit this year to get more skaters in it who usually don’t skate contests. Because usually you have to compete in other contests to get into Street League. So the kids could vote on the website this year and they chose me and Kevin Bradley, Ryan Walker and Chris Joslin to be in it. So I’ll be in Barcelona and Munich soon to skate the first arena stops. There you have to qualify top eight to go on to World Crown. I am hyped to be able to do Street League because if I had to qualify in other contests I’d probably wouldn’t do it, because I like being out in the streets filming more. But since I don’t have to do anything to get in the arena, I’ll just give it a fucking try. So I’m hyped.
"I think it will push skating and I think it will be video of the year"
Do you guys get money to do Street League or only if you win something?
Uhm… I don’t know honestly. I’m pretty sure that you get some money for showin’ up and then obviously there is price money, but I don’t really know how that works in detail.
A lot of people are waiting for the Away Days video and some think it will set the bar for the next years. Do you think the video can live up to the expectations? Did you already see something?
I think the video will be sick. We went on so many fucking trips and try to film good shit and go to new places. I think people are going to really like the video. It will be a heavy video. A lot of people came through, like Alec Majerus is gonna have a gnarly fucking part, TX, Lucas, Busenitz, Silas, Na’kel. I feel like everybody is going to have a sick part because every trip I go on, I always see people fucking killing it. It’s gonna be pretty epic. I think it will push skating and I think it will be video of the year.
And how do you feel about your own part?
I feel good about it. I am not done with it yet. I’m still wrapping up some last minute things and try to learn new tricks for it. I’ve seen my tricks, but I’ve not seen any edited stuff yet.
I hope you guys will have a sick premiere! Thanks for the interview, Miles.
Nollie Inward Heelflip