Tornado Alley is a swatch of plains states in the United States’ interior where the bulk of the nation’s tornados take place. Clint Walker grew up in Altus, OK, near the Texas border in Tornado Alley, and as a child, watched a tornado cross a field in front of his house, from his front porch.
This year, a tornado leveled Moore, OK, and Clint used his newfound professional status and industry connections to raise disaster-relief funds for the city. Beyond that philanthropy, Clint has used 2013 as a statement year, traveling nonstop, breaking his collarbone nonstop and skating in his scary/tech/casual way, nonstop. He should make Oklahoma proud.
You're on King of the Road (KOTR) right now. Thus far, is it as gnarly as it looks on TV?
Well, it hasn't actually started yet, it starts tonight at midnight. Everyone's stoked though!
What are you guys doing while you wait for midnight? Just watching the clock or what?
Right now we are driving from “Jaws” [Aaron Homoki’s] house in Arizona to Albuquerque, our first stop. We should make it just in time to open the book; we stopped at a cliff jumping spot to swim for a bit.
Altus, OK, is your hometown. Where is Altus, and what's it like?
Altus is in southwest Oklahoma, about 10 minutes from the Texas border. It's a pretty small town, pretty typical small town, 19,000 people. A lot of country folk. It's rad going back home though and staying with my family and skating with my friends back home. Big B and Blake hold it down in Altus.
You and Don Nguyen did that Oklahomies benefit board for Moore, how did that come about?
I just hit him up seeing if his family and friends were okay, he said they were but we should try to do something to raise some money. I asked if he thought Andrew [Reynolds] would be down to do a colab board with Birdhouse. He asked the next day and everyone was stoked on it. Birdhouse and Baker both killed it, they worked together and had the board out in no time.
How was the reaction to that board, did a lot of people help out, did people buy it?
All the sales went straight to Red Cross. People seemed to be really stoked on it. We were for sure. They may still be selling but last I heard they presented Red Cross with around a $14,000 check, I believe. So hopefully that helped someone in some way.
You turned pro this year. Did it change your life at all, or are you the same old dude?
I hope I'm not old yet. It was definitely crazy. I would like to think I'm the same... nothing's really changed. Still just skating with my friends. I've been hurt a lot recently, I've broken my collar bone like four times now, so it's kind of gotten in the way of some goals I had but it's still been an awesome year and I'm super stoked on everything.
You're about to go on pretty-bid-deal-trip with KOTR, but what's the best trip ever? Meat Party? Done 2.0? Is it in the future, still?
Dude, every trip is so rad. I love going on trips. The Meat Party was insane! Done Trip was awesome, too. But the trip me and my friends are on right now is so sick. I bought an RV and we are traveling around the US for a year living in a different city each month. It's been so fun. Look up Fully Torqued RV tour for the episodes.
I've been told you have a good eye for spots and tricks, and your footage shows that. What was the first video you ever saw, and who influenced you in skateboarding early on?
I started skating in a really small town with like 7,000 people... So no one I knew really knew anything about skating. They just skated. I didn't even know skate videos existed for the first couple years I skated. I saw a commercial for The DC video on MTV and I was so stoked that there was a video by a company with just skating and I had to have it. So The DC Video was my first video, I really liked Ryan Smith and Anthony Van Engelen’s part. Shortly after I got PJ Ladd's Wonderful Horrible Life. I watched that a bunch. Some time later I was turned on to the Zero videos, I really liked Jon Allie. I think the spots I skated had more of an influence though... As with most small towns, there wasn't a lot to skate so you kind of had to make due and get creative with what we had.
Breaking your collarbone sucks for sure, but why do you keep doing that? Isn't it supposed to get stronger?
That's what I heard. I broke it filming for [Ambig’s] Modern Art and it had healed up fine, I think, but I slammed it into the edge of a ledge at the first [stop] of the trip and broke it, and now I keep skating before it is healed. It's broken right now. I broke it three and a half weeks ago, but didn't want to tell anyone because I've wanted to come on KOTR since I was like 14. I had to come. I'll break it again soon, I'm sure.