Our certified 2015 Rookie Of The Year—the one who gets voted in for being the best new pro to get his name on a board—won’t have his name on a board any time soon. At least not literally. After shutting down the Lifted Research Laboratories with his steel-plated curtains in 1947, Miles joined Walker Ryan in a coordinated Instagram walkout from their longtime board sponsor, Organika. Treading a road previously traveled by Chris Cole, Shane O’Neill, and many others, Miles Silvas currently finds himself in that oh-so-2016 position of having enough big name/big paycheck clothing and shoe sponsors to not even need an actual board sponsor—once the most important sponsor of them all. With another big upcoming part, this time in adidas’ much publicized Away Days—sure to cook the books even further in his favor—here is a Pro Spotlight for one of the best new talents this side of Rodrigo TX in Menikmati.-Mackenzie Eisenhour
Portrait by Dave Chami
What’s new, Miles?
Right now this adidas video is pretty much what I’ve been traveling a lot for. Since we wrapped up the LRG video it’s pretty much been mad trips and full steam on that.
Is it crazy to jump from one big video to the next one?
It wasn’t too bad actually. They sort of overlapped a little. Filming for both at the same time—that was a little bit harder. But now that the LRG one is done I can focus on certain tricks for the adidas one. So now it’s pretty easy.
Did it add any pressure for you getting last part in 1947?
Not really. I didn’t expect the last part in that at all. So I don’t feel any pressure for this either. I’m just skating trying to change it up a little. This video is going to be pretty crazy just with the people involved.
I suppose the obvious question is, do you have a board sponsor yet?
No [laughs]. It’s still pretty up in the air. Everybody keeps asking me and going like, “You probably have a bunch of offers lined up and shit.” But I really don’t [laughs]. I’m just kind of chilling right now skating shop boards. I’m not really tripping on it right now.
Was leaving Organika coordinated with Walker Ryan? It was simultaneous on the Instagram posts.
Yeah. We had been talking about it for a while, and things weren’t really going the way we wanted them to go over there. Just for everyone. No one was really too happy with it. We just had it in our heads for a little while and then finally just talked to Karl [Watson]. Told him like, “We want to quit.” And then decided that we would do it together on our Instagram and try and show respect to Karl. But yeah, we ended up peacing out together.
That must have been tough. Was Karl pretty cool about it?
Yeah. He was super cool. He’s the homie. It was more internal shit that made it happen. It really didn’t have anything to do with Karl. He had our backs throughout.
I’M JUST KIND OF CHILLING RIGHT NOW SKATING SHOP BOARDS. I’M NOT REALLY TRIPPING ON IT RIGHT NOW.
It seemed like since you guys had left together you might be starting something new together. Nothing like that?
No. He [Walker]’s chilling. Doing his own thing. I don’t even know what he’s up to. I’m doing something else. I don’t really know exactly what yet. But I don’t think it will be together.
Is there something in the works where you have to wait a while and then announce it?
No. We just kind of quit. He wanted a clean slate for 2016 and so did I. But neither of us really had anything more than that planned. There’s nothing in the works. It wasn’t a master plan or anything. We’re just kind of freeballing it right now [laughs].
I guess it might be kind of liberating to just focus on shoes and clothes. Board sponsor isn’t that big of a paycheck nowadays.
Yeah. It’s crazy how the board sponsor used to be like the biggest thing. Now you can almost get by without one and be totally fine.
I read that you pretty much played every sport before settling on skating. What makes skateboarding the best?
Yeah. I played everything growing up. I played basketball and baseball when I was younger. Played soccer for a little bit. Then through eighth grade I played baseball and football pretty much. Then right before high school I decided that I couldn’t do the other sports anymore. I just wanted to only skate. I let my parents know, and my mom was kind of tripping, like, “You don’t want to play any high school sports? No team sports?” I was like, “No, I just want to skate.” So they were cool with that, and I dropped everything else.
I always thought skating was the hardest thing out of the bunch. What made you choose it?
I had just played the other sports for so long by then. Just going through the whole deal of having a coach and having to be at practice at this or that time. I was already skating while I played all those sports. So I would be skating after school before having the actual practice. The coaches were tripping on me skating. Once I realized I could do it all on my own time frame and just skate, it became obvious what the best choice was. As far as it being the hardest, my dad’s side of the family is super athletic, so all those other sports definitely came pretty easy. Then skating, some tricks come easy, but others you just have to really keep trying for a long time. It’s a lot harder than most sports for sure.
Are you still boys with Blue Turner and Miika Adamov through Folsom?
Those are the homies. I was just with them yesterday. I skate with Miika and Blue a lot. Our Sac posse is pretty sick right now.
IT WASN’T A MASTER PLAN OR ANYTHING. WE’RE JUST KIND OF FREEBALLING IT RIGHT NOW [LAUGHS].
Were you guys trying to move down to LA together?
We were thinking about it. It was up in the air for a while because I’m about getting to the point where I want to move out. Blue has lived on his own. We were talking about moving down to LA, but I think we might just try and get a little house up here in Sacramento for now.
Are you born and raised Sacto?
No. I was actually born in San Jose. I lived there until I was five, then moved to Vegas for a year for my dad’s job. Then I’ve pretty much been in Sac since first grade. So mostly I’ve been up here.
Did you start skating up there?
No. I lived with my aunt from ages one through five. My family lived with my mom’s sister, and she had an older son, my cousin, who skated. I got a little banana board and was cruising around San Jose when I was five. Then we went to Vegas, and I remember rollerblading and riding bikes but still skating too. Then by the time I was seven I had a little quarterpipe in my driveway. By the time I was hanging around with a group of people that skated I was probably in second grade.
First video you memorized?
I didn’t start watching all of the older videos until recently. But growing up, a lot of the videos that were free at the skate shop were the Strange Notes videos with Sid Melvin and shit like that. I remember Grant Taylor had a “Moving On Up” or something. So those videos and then I think eventually somebody gave me Nothing But The Truth [’07], and I would just watch that nonstop.
First board graphic that you took notice of?
When I started getting Organika boxes, I remember getting Adelmo Jr’s stained-glass board and I was super hyped on that.
What’s Adelmo up to these days?
I’m pretty sure he’s been back in Brazil for a while. Doing his own thing. I think he has a little board project he does. I haven’t talked to him in a while. But I think he’s doing good.
AFTER THAT, I DON’T KNOW, WE’LL PROBABLY DO SOME PREMIERE TRIPS AROUND. THEN IT’S PRETTY MUCH A BLANK CANVAS FROM THERE.
You’ve mentioned that Karl Watson sort of “discovered” you skating a contest he was judging. Is that about right?
Yeah. I was skating in these shop contests around Sacramento and the Modesto area in the Central Valley. I was doing all these little random contests, and he happened to be the guest judge for one that I happened to win. So he talked to me after and was like, “Do you have any footage? Can I take down your info?” And that was pretty much the first sponsor I got. I also had a full part I had filmed for this little homie video, so he sponsored me as a skater and then hooked up my friend Alan Hannon as a filmer. Alan films for Supra now. We both got hooked up through Karl.
How have things changed since turning pro [May 2015]?
It kind of feels the same. Outside of having my name on a board—although I don’t have my name on a board right now [laughs]. But it feels like the same deal. Just traveling a lot and filming.
Your back noseblunt from the October 2013 cover still ended up as the last trick in the 1947 part. Did it seem like that was forever ago by the time you saw the part?
Oh, yeah. So many people were hitting me up for years [laughs]. Like, “What’s up with the footage of that?” That was funny. It felt like forever.
Plans after Away Days?
That premiere is May 12, so I’m trying to wrap that up right now. After that, I don’t know, we’ll probably do some premiere trips around. Then it’s pretty much a blank canvas from there.
Three all-time best video parts?
Rodrigo TX, Menikmati [’00]; Gustav Tønnesen, The Sour Solution [’15]; anything Ishod.
All-time Sacto skaters?
FOFA and the PLAboys.
All-time best video?
Baker 3 [’05].