For the 79th daily installment of Big Wheel Blading’s Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 series we talk to Kevon Biz Thompson. Kevon is a 28-year-old inline skater, videographer and animator living in Concord, California. He hosts a weekly blading news show on YouTube called This Week in Blade.

What is the current situation with COVID-19 in California?  

So currently we’re all bored in the house and we’re in the house bored! Most of the Bay Area is shutdown with schools and non-essential businesses closed. You need to wear a mask everywhere, or as I found out, people look at you like you’re a lunatic, so I keep one on me if I leave the house. Places like grocery stores, 7/11’s and some restaurants for take out are open, but they won’t let you in without a mask. I saw a sign yesterday that said ‘No Shirt, No Shoes, No Mask, No Service’ which really threw me off but it’s good, because it helps stop the spread. Skate parks just recently reopened, which is dope, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to be sheltered-in-place, til the end of July.

Are you still skating? If so what precautions are you taking to stay safe? 

Oh, everyday. If not every day, every other day! When shelter-in-place is lifted, I’m pretty much gonna be pro. I’m so good now! Naw, but yeah, I make an effort to put on skates everyday and if not grinding, skating to get coffee or something like that. Me and my roommate built a box which has really helped me stay active and learn new tricks. I laced Switch AO Soul to AO Topsoul the other day, like who do I think I am? It is hard to breathe in the mask while skating so I don’t wear one, but I keep my distance from people. I think that social distancing and wearing a mask to protect others is pretty important, especially with people you don’t know, whose status is unclear. I don’t want to freak people out by getting too close to them so I keep it 6 feet. 

Where are you skating?

I’m mostly skating the box and around my neighborhood. I’ve just recently, like last week, started skating further. We also started our Wednesday night skate back up, and a friend an I hit up Lake Merritt in Oakland to skate some laps. So that’s been cool. I’ve been skating a bit of street with some of the local guys and am having a really good time with that. Small sessions but good sessions.

Is there anything that would make you stop skating?

Marshall Law? And even then, I would just skate faster to duck the cops. If I was sick, or tested positive for COVID-19, I’m sure I would. So as to not infect others. 

Are you doing any cross training?

I need to but no. I’m just eating more bacon than one man should.

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time? 

A big part of my time is work, but also making sure This Week in Blade runs smoothly. Since officially linking up with Blader Union I feel my personal standards have increased. So I’ve been working on creating the best show, every time. As well as creating other blading related content. Outside of blading completely, I’ve been cooking and learning new techniques. Working on music, I’ve been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto and Animal Crossing, tryna get that 5 star island you feel me?? If we can’t interact in the real world, we can for sure interact virtually.

AO soul photo by Craig Benabu

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life? 

I’ve been skating a lot more than when I had to deal with commutes and traffic and other humans which is amazing. But I’ve also been eating a lot more and buying sneakers online instead of toilet paper, so I’m in that stage right now! Haha

What are you major concerns right now and looking into the future?

My major concerns right now is my health. Specifically my weight. I’ve gained a lot during the quarantine and I’m working really hard to lose it and get healthy. Thankfully my day job is still going strong so I’ve been able to work from home and pay my bills. But I’m mostly just concerned about my physical and mental health. As introverted as I normally am, being stuck inside, not able to interact with people that I care about has really been taking a toll. So those are my main concerns right now. Everything else is manageable. 

How is your local skate community responding?

Guys have been going out for sure, but mostly in smaller groups. I know that the JSF/Hit it Whet guys have been working in San Francisco. The guys from the south bay have been doing this practice rail game of skate where one person is nominated a day to set the trick that everyone has to do which is cool. I had to set one day, it was great, I did X-grind. But mostly people have been skating with their immediate friend groups and having chill sessions. 

Do you have anything you’d like to add?

I just want to say thank you Jan for this opportunity! Shoutout to BDC, TooEasy, and LTE. Also shoutout to Blader Union for giving me a platform to talk blading with the world. If I didn’t bore you and you made it this far remember to take COVID-19 seriously. Wash your hands, wear masks when you hit up stores and practice social distancing. If we all work at this together we can slow the spread down! Thanks for reading!

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