Berard goes west to focus on skating

Billy Childress

Kyle Berard, 27, builds skateparks and rides them as a pro.

Kyle Berard is a man of many talents and even more nicknames. Berard has won more contests than he can probably remember and he's still working his day job. Kyle Berard puts 100 percent into whatever he's doing. He's a true working class hero. I hear you recently relocated from Virginia to San Diego?
Yeah, I'm back out west again. My dad and I sold our skate shop (Cardinal Skateshop) to a good friend of ours named Jason [Hawkes] and he is holding it down. So it was time for me to get back on my skateboard full time and come on back out west.

How is the move treating you?
So far so good, mate. I live with [Matt] Mumford and [Pat] Duffy lives around the corner so we got the band back together. We go out and skate almost everyday, whether it be Washington Street, or the private stuff around here. We try to switch it up during the week.

Billy Childress

Kyle Berard, indy fakie.

What do you miss most about Virginia?
Virginia is home, the East Coast is home. I miss a lot of my friends but then again they all moved, too. Virginia is super transient, but its fun being home during the holidays. But the weather is tough.

How long did you own and operate Cardinal Skateshop?
My dad and I owned Cardinal from 2003 till we sold it in 2009.

Why did you end up starting up a shop so early in your pro career?
Well, a few reasons: One being we thought it was a good idea because the scene in [Virginia Beach] was overrun by surf shops. There was nowhere you could watch videos and grip a board and go skate. There was no meet-up spot, you know? There is now because of us. Another reason was I thought my career was over. I had no board sponsor, actually at that time I didn't have much going on in skateboarding at all. Coming off a few bad injuries and going to college. Things were up in the air.

What type of work do you do to help support your pro career?
Well, after selling the shop I got a job at Artisan Skateparks, which I still do on and off. I am a concrete finisher. I do a lot of other jobs on the parks, but that would be the main thing. It's rad to learn a trade on the job. Learning something like that kind of gives some insight on how things are built, the processes of things.

How did you first get into cement work?
I had no construction background when I started. But everyone at Artisan skates, so I had known them prior to getting the job. I asked them for some work and made the cut.

How many skateparks have you built now?
I think I have worked on around 15 parks in the past three years. Something like that. Some jobs are only a few weeks, others a few months. It depends on the size of the parks and the weather. We have made some really fun stuff to skate over the years. And not to mention in some of the smallest towns where kids didn't have anything to skate at all. Places where kids probably throw rocks off the bridge for fun, or shoulder tap in front of the bowling alley for cigs.

What's the best one you think you have built?
We have built some really good ones, Bedford, Va., sticks out in my mind. It's huge and has everything with a sick layout. But for overall park quality in an amazing place, I'm going to have to go with Cherokee, N.C. It's an Indian reservation about three hours north of Atlanta. The place is so nice, when we were building it we stayed in apartments on this river you could go tubing down. Or fish, or whatever. Getting off after work and taking the lazy river from the casino to the apartment was so sick.

I hear you are doing some custom pools work out there, too.
Yeah, we'll Artisan and I have done around 10 skateable swimmable pools. We have more in the works, we haven't done any for any pro skateboarders but better yet, skateboarders that have full-time jobs that save up. Those are the skateboarders I look up to. The older guys that still have the fire and would love to spend their money on something to ride in the yards.

Have you done any work down at Washington Street?
Nope, I haven't done any work down there, but I skate their a bunch. Its tough to ride, but I guess it is supposed to be.

Billy Childress

Kyle Berard, front feeble.

You had some good stuff in the new TWS video, how was it filming for that project?
It was fun, but just trying to get a frontside grind and pumping out of it to get enough speed for the next wall is hard enough. But there was some really good sessions down there for those few months.

How did the name Karl Beard come about?
I think that was something that [Mike] Burnett came up with. I had a photo and he captioned it that. I have had a beard since I was maybe 17. But people think I have had it since I was 10 or something. I'm 27 now, so it is acceptable now.

You are still the only skater who won Tampa Am and then skate the very next Tampa Pro 2 and win that too, what Am could you see doing that now?
I won Tampa Am 2000 and then Tampa Pro 2001. I didn't turn pro directly after the Am. I don't even think I had a board sponsor when I won the Am. I don't know who could do that now, I am sure it will happen again. It was different back then though. You just had to make your run and flip your board once. Now you basically have to do the loop and a switch 360 flip in the same run to make the finals.

Do you have any other nicknames out there that you would like to share?
I had a lot of nicknames at the jobsite. Ruby, Baroo, Brewbuddy, SmartyBerard, Baruboo, Rubin Studdard, Rubel, Pile Rebar. Anything that sounded close to Berard. Ruby is the one I hear the most. Pile Rebar was when I was tying rebar or picking up trash.

What are your plans for 2012?
Skate. I'm 27, it's time to focus on this skateboard thing. I don't have the shop anymore, I work with Artisan from time to time, and I live in California. I skate and build stuff to skate. Its been really fun these past few years.

Who are all of your current sponsors?
I ride for Consolidated Skateboards, Lost Clothing, OJ wheels, Independent Trucks and Cardinal Skateshop.

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