JUNE 2019 | The Kidd: A Conversation with Luca Kidd
Words & Photos: Jeff Mathis
There’s no shortage of young talent lately in the wide world of wakeboarding. Now more than ever, young rippers are rising through the ranks and making a name for themselves rather early thanks in part to the magic of the Internet. A good dose of talent doesn’t really hurt either. Enter Luca Kidd. Luca seemed to come out of nowhere last year and it’s a good thing he did because he managed to snag first (or podium when he didn’t come out on top) at almost every event that he decided to enter. That’s not all though, this kid has the style to back up all of his technicality. Did you see his cover from last year? If that wasn’t style then I don’t know what is. And with a rad attitude and a hunger to progress, there’s no telling where this kid from the UK could go.
So what’s a day-to-day like for Luca? Well, it’s pretty simple really. Eat, sleep, ride, repeat. When you spend your summers in the Sunshine State, what more do you need? Plus, when you have your own fresh Malibu M235 in your backyard, it’s kind of hard to pass up. Between all the riding and sleeping, we managed to get Luca to sit and chat with us for longer than a few minutes. He clocks in at 110% all the time so if you can get the chance, make sure to take it. There’s no telling when you’ll get the opportunity again.
- Full Name: Luca Jon Kidd
- Birthday: 4/26/01
- Weight: 175 lbs.
- Height: 5’10”
- Foot Forward: left
- Blood Type: OG negative
- Favorite Color: purple
- Siblings: Jack (brother – 31 years old) // Billie (sister – 23 years old)
- Favorite Trick: any sort of grabbed roll to blind
A: Luca! What’s good? For those who don’t know you, introduce yourself. You know, where are you from? How long have you been riding? That sort of thing.
L: Yo! I’m freshly 18 years old. I actually just had my birthday back on the 26th of April. I’m from London, originally. I lived there until I was 14 and started coming to the US for the summer when I was fifteen. I’ve been riding since I was 10 so this is my eighth season.
A: So was your family a big water family growing up?
L: Yeah, I’ve been on the water since I was like four, probably earlier. My granddad was the British National Barefoot Coach for a while so that’s pretty sweet. We’ve always had boats and stuff so we were just always out on the water.
A: Alright, gotta break the ice somehow! Let’s dig in. Everybody that’s been out on the boat with you knows that you’re always stoked to go ride, shoot, and everything in between. What is it about wakeboarding that gets you so hyped?
L: I think I would just have to say the creativity that you can bring to your riding. I love having fun with all the boys and doing it as a team, but everybody’s got their own twist on the sport. Everybody can do a trick and put their own spin on it to make it their own. It’s not just a sport where everyone is doing the same thing. It’s always changing and that’s why I love it. The people in the industry are super nice. I just love wakeboarding.
A: Was that the mentality back in London?
L: Yeah, just riding the cable and going to the boat lake and riding with the boys all the time, it just started off as a fun thing to do and has become a lifestyle for me.
A: Who were “the boys” back in London?
L: Where I rode, it was a cable and a boat lake called JB Ski. I used to ride boat with Lee Debuse and then go to the cable with the Peacock brothers (Ryan and Liam), the Battelday brothers (Joe and Jack), and Matty Muncey, mainly. CK Koester used to come out and he was like the pro that we looked up to. Nick Davies would come out too. Good times. It’s also crazy how we all took our own paths that have kind of led us to the same spot. We still all ride together when we’re in the same place.
A: You’ve come a long way within a relatively short amount of time. I mean, up until last year, I had never heard of you to be honest. But with some contest wins, a sick cover from June 2018, and a pretty strong social media presence, your name is getting brought up more and more. What has helped you get to the point you’re at today?
L: A lot of people have helped me along the way for sure. I have to say my parents the most because without them I wouldn’t be able to do any of this. So thanks to them of course! Somebody else who has been a big help along the way is Harley Clifford. When I came to America four years ago, Harley was kind enough to let me stay with him. I lived with him for six months and basically just did what he did. We would go ride with all the different crews so I got to meet a lot of people in the sport through those sessions. Also, hopefully my riding spoke for itself *laughs*.
A: How did you end up meeting Harley?
L: It’s pretty funny actually. I met him at the 2015 Worlds in Portugal, which was my first WWA contest ever, and I ended up winning it. After the contest, I was just hanging around playing a game of SKATE and he came over and we just started talking. So later that night, we were at the bar because it was after the contest and we saw my dad and his dad getting absolutely smashed together. So we all became friends then and he offered me a spot at his house on Lake Jessamine about a month before the season started.
A: What was your highlight of the 2018 season? And if you don’t say winning “Best Fashion Air” at the Old School Contest then we’re going to have a problem…
L: Well obviously winning that…*laughs* no, for real, it was a pretty hectic season. I was going to so many events and riding in so many contests that it was such a whirlwind with everything going on. It didn’t really hit me until the end of the season that I realized how much traveling I actually did. Probably the best moment was when I won Worlds in Japan along with the overall series. It was a nice cherry on top of a solid 2018 milkshake.
Solid method, even better face
A: Where are you currently living?
L: Right now, I’m over at Taylor McCullough’s house on Lake Holden. It’s a pretty sweet spot. I’ve got my Malibu in the water so it’s hard to complain.
A: What all do you have planned for the 2019 season?
L: I’ve got a lot of contests I want to do. I want to get to all the Pro Tour and Nautique Series stops, I’ve got a few of the Malibu Rider Experiences to go to, some plans with Liquid Force, and try to ride as much cable as I can. I’ve been really enjoying the cable and want to give some cable contests a go. I rode in Boardstock while in Australia but it was tough. I couldn’t get my lines together so I definitely want to get better at it. Brostock is back for this year so I’m definitely going to that.
A: Anything else worth mentioning?
L; Yeah, I actually got invited to this event held by the Olympic Committee in San Diego called the World Beach Games. It’s like 25 different sports and one athlete per event gets invited from different countries. Skateboarding, beach volleyball, wakeboarding, really anything beach- or water-related has a spot. I’m mainly excited to see the volleyball girls to be honest …
A: What do you like to do in your down time? I know you’re not afraid of a friendly wrestling match … you want me to get Raph or Harley over here?
L: Oh yeah *laughs*. Probably not, I’m trying to stay uninjured for the season. You know, hanging out with the boys, watching movies, playing Fortnite, and trying to go to the gym everyday. We’ve actually been playing a lot of basketball lately. We go down to the park and just rip some two-on-two’s. Oh, and foiling. A lot of cross training going down.
A: Speaking of Raph and Harley, who would win that matchup?
L: Raph. One hundred percent.
A: Oh yeah? Give me a break down. I figured you’d back Harley on this.
L: I mean, Harley’s got some moves but just look at them. Look at Harley. Look at Raph. Look at their backgrounds. Raph would destroy him. Raph would destroy anyone. He’s the “Lone Wolf”. Everybody knows it.
A: How was Australia? You were just out there for Moomba Masters with the Liquid Force crew, yeah? Was that your first time Down Under?
L: No, that was actually my fourth time down there. I ended up staying with Cory Teunissen. I went there with a broken wrist from basketball. I was trying to dunk and slipped off and landed directly on it. I went to the doctor and they said I had to wait six weeks to get the cast off. The day I could take it off ended up being my ride day for Moomba. I kept going to the gym and doing as much as I could with it on so mainly a lot of legs. So two weeks before Moomba, I headed to OZ and just drove the boat a lot while I was waiting to get the cast off. I ended up cutting it off a bit early and tested it out by riding some cable. It felt good so I rode all week getting ready for Moomba. I basically had to relearn how to ride because I had been off for the past month and a half. I didn’t do so well which was a bummer, but then we went up to the Gold Coast and I got up with the LF crew and just drove around with them. It was my first sponsored team trip besides the Malibu shoot last year and it was such a good time. Can’t wait to do another one.
Poking one out for the boys back in the UK
A: What’s the boat scene like in the UK?
L: Small and mighty. The people that are into it are so stoked on the sport and do as much as they can to grow it, but it just doesn’t get as much traction as it does in the States. It’s cold as hell too so that doesn’t help.
A: You and Shane Bonifay linked up for a solid “Behind the Watermark” piece for Liquid Force last year. Any plans for another edit this year?
L: Yeah, I’ve got a few things in the works. I’m figuring it out right now but I definitely want to get something going. The ideas are there, just have to get it all mapped out.
A: I have to ask because you’re the only rider I’ve seen (besides maybe David OC) doing them so … what’s up with the cuffed tricks? Too cheap for a wrap handle?
L: *laughs* Honestly, I saw David doing it on Instagram a bunch so I gave it a try and it ended up being super easy. I actually did cuffed toe back 5 and 7 my first set trying them. I try to grab them the best I can and I think it looks dope anyway. It’s completely different than wrapped; it’s way easier. I actually just took the worst digger on a wrapped nose toe back 5 before I came over here. I was a little late today because I had to get in the hot tub and stretch before heading over.
A: Is there anything about the current state of wakeboarding that drives you crazy?
L: Oh man, I could get really into it and I don’t know if I can take the time. There’s just a bunch of stuff I feel like could change. I feel like events definitely need a facelift. Don’t get me wrong, the WWA is awesome and do so much for us and for the sport but if we could get some other things going on at these events for the people to do then it would attract more people. There’s just a lot of downtime at events and it’s hard for people to stay interested. Take Moomba for example: There’s literally a festival going on all around the wake event, with thousands of people coming in and out and seeing wakeboarding. And social media arguments. So lame. If you’re going to talk shit, then say it to someone’s face. Not calling out anyone at all. It’s just too easy nowadays.
A: What are you stoked on?
L: Trick progression in contests for sure. You’ve still got guys like Harley doing double flips and killing it which is rad, but now you’ve got riders like Guenther and Tyler Higham focusing more on style and getting rewarded for it. I’m definitely stoked on that movement.
A: Where’s one place that you really want to go check out and ride?
L: The Delta in California, for sure. There’s so much wake history that has gone down out there and I’d just really love to give it a rip.
A: Well thanks for taking the time to chat with us Luca. Do you have any little nuggets of wisdom to pass along before we go?
L: I just want to thank everyone who has gotten me to where I am today. My mom, dad, brother, and sister for sure. My sponsors: Malibu Boats, Liquid Force, Bro Clothing, M North Inc, Active Watersports, LDB Wake School, and Smith Optics. Oh, and just keep it real. Later!
Luca always keeps his grabs proper