Kevin Thatcher at Winchester Contest, 1978 - Photo: Gary Medeiros
Kevin Thatcher at Winchester halfpipe, 1978 - Photo: Gary Medeiros

Kevin Thatcher

You are? Kevin James Thatcher aka KT aka T-ed for those Thrasher fans.

Early days…? Born September 23, 1957 in San Francisco. I started skating about 1962 on metal wheels.

Famous for? Being the editor of Thrasher. But on Team Tunnel, I was famous as Blackhart’s mechanic. I made Blackhart’s skateboards for the Hester Series. I would work on a board for 2 weeks and he would shoot it out of the pool and it would come down and crack in half. But it was pretty cool.

Skating for Team Tunnel? The 1978 Winchester Open, 1978, I got 8th Place. It was a lot of fun to place that high in a pro contest with Bowman and Saladino.

Set-up for Team Tunnel? I built my own boards. Usually hardwood, not plywood, with a blocktail that I added on. They had extreme cutaway wheel wells that went all the way down both sides of the board. I called them K Models and gave ‘em K Model logos.

Tunnel days? We always searched for pools and pipes. There were a lot of rad spots like Bombora in Stevens Creek under the 280 Freeway. We skated slalom on our boards, high jump over the broomstick, spinning 360s in Blackhart’s garage. Blackhart and I built the Backyard Bowl at his house. It was a sick looking, harsh transition bowl in his backyard. It was probably were we learned harsh transitions. Blackhart ripped it. You could easily bump your head. His mom begrudgingly let us build it.

Gnarliest wipe-out? I brought Steve Caballero to Los Gatos High diving pool. It was real deep. I did a backside edger and grabbed the front of my board. My glove got stuck on the top nut. I did a full body slam. Lots of blood. It was gnarly.

Working for Tunnel? I started working for Tunnel making decks and doing other assorted shit. I made 200 Blackhart models that were quickly dispersed. They were made of solid alder with a wedge tail. They were already shaped based on my shape that Rick rode. I made the wheel wells at the Tunnel warehouse with a disk grinder on a drill. Michael McCreary would spray paint them with a Jerry rigged sprayer. Slap a sticker on it and ship them out! I think royalties might have been $100 and a bag of weed.

Other teams you skated for? Independent. Rick and I met them in Santa Cruz and my history with Independent is connected with Thrasher.

Thrasher Mag? After Tunnel, I got into graphic design and worked at a graphic design shop. Fausto called me and asked if I wanted to start a magazine, so I said “Let’s do it”

KT words to live by? Fuck it! But I mean that in a positive sense, as in just do it! It’s a big world out there.