108: Bryce Kanights/Wayfarer

Bryce Kanights, Portland, November 2019. Photo: Tozer

“You know you’ve got the shot, and that you’ve exposed it properly. But you still don’t know if it’ll make it safely back in your hands”

Skateboarding royalty alert! There’s really no other way to describe Bryce Kanights, one of skateboarding’s most legendary photographers.

Bryce really has seen and shot it all. He came up as an original SF local, honing his photographic talents by shooting his local punk and skate scene. From there, his career developed as skateboarding itself did, meaning he had a ringside seat for every notable development in skateboarding history.

Think of an iconic image from skate history and chances are Bryce was behind the lens. Gonz at Alcatraz? Bryce. The iconic pic of Jake Phelps everyone ran when he passed? Bryce. The EMB heyday? Yep. Bryce again.

Today, he lives in Portland, still shoots skating and is, as I discovered, absolutely fantastic company with a bottomless bag of anecdotes that could fill an entire season of the podcast, let alone one episode.

It was a true pleasure to sit back, and listen to a master tell tall tales from his incredible career. My thanks to Jen Sherowski for doing the intros, and for Bryce himself for taking the time to spend the afternoon with us.

Listen to the episode here:

HUGE thanks to Travel Portland, Hertz and Black Diamond for their help in pulling this entire Portland trip together.

Connect with Bryce

Show Notes

  • Sunny day in Portland.
  • Trip to Mammoth.
  • Prep for winter season.
  • Volcom Brothers SkatePark.
  • New boards.
  • News of Jake Burton.
  • East coast vs West coast.
  • Snowboarding since the early 80s.
  • 43.
  • The Search for Animal Chin.
  • “It’s not good luck, it’s not bad luck. It’s just there”.
  • Blend 43.
  • Studio 43.
  • Summer of ‘75.
  • Cadillac wheels.
  • First skateboard.
  • California Precision Skateboards.
  • “In ‘76, it was on”.
  • Rainbow Skates.
  • Beginnings of Thrasher.
  • Hobbyist photographer.
  • Brought up with a dark room.
  • Self-taught.
  • First published photo in Thrasher.
  • Hunter’s Point Shipyard.
  • Downfall of skateboarding’s first wave.
  • Sick Boys’.
  • Collaborative photography community.
  • Hokus Pokus.
  • Working with Mack Dawg.
  • Snowboarding scene.
  • The next wave of skateboarders.
  • Financing Studio 43.
  • Vetting skateboarders.
  • Tube socks and Duct Taped ankles.
  • The end of vert skating.
  • “Hell Ride started at Studio 43”.
  • Big pants, small wheels.
  • 1.5 years with Dogtown.
  • Skater-owned skate companies.
  • “Video was moving in”.
  • Low res video captures.
  • No age barriers.
  • Iconic shots are happenstance.
  • Losing shots.
  • Shooting on film vs digital.
  • “Each shot counts.”
  • Client work.
  • Role of social media.
  • Uncredited work.
  • The move to Portland.
  • Hot summers and cold winters.
  • New Portlanders.
  • “My mind is racing through images”.

People Mentioned

  • Tim and Gendle
  • Mark Gonzales
  • Jake Phelps
  • Jen Sherowski
  • Tadashi Fuse 
  • Shuhei Sato
  • Tom Sims
  • Jake Burton
  • Rob “Orb” Fladden
  • Tommy Guerrero
  • Neil Blender
  • Joe Fong
  • Aaron Lasnover
  • Monty Smith
  • Michael Brown
  • Kevin Thatcher
  • Camden Scott
  • Fausto Vitello
  • Natas Kaupas
  • Jim Thiebaud
  • Julien Stranger
  • Mack Dawg
  • Tobin Yelland
  • Greg Smith 
  • Mike Ternasky
  • Tony Magnusson
  • Noah Salasnek
  • Aaron Vincent
  • Chris Roach
  • John Cardiel
  • Henry Sanchez 
  • Mike Carroll
  • Salman Agah
  • Dan Drehobl
  • Omar Hassan
  • Christian Hosoi
  • Danny Way
  • Jason Lee
  • Chris Pastras
  • Wade Speyer
  • Matt Reason
  • Ricky Oyola
  • Chris Senn
  • Paul Schmitt
  • Brad Dorfman
  • Andy Howell
  • Jim Muir
  • JJ Rogers
  • Ed Templeton
  • Andrew Morrison
  • Danny Sergent
  • Brian Brannon
  • Kevin Thatcher
  • Jaya Bonderov
  • Matt Pailes
  • Tim Brauch
  • Phil Shao
  • Geoff Rowley
  • Terry Kidwell
  • Steve Douglas
  • Jamie Thomas
  • Cara-Beth Burnside
  • John Rattray
  • Don Brown

Places Mentioned

Companies/Brands/Organisations Mentioned