Kevin Kowalski has held it down in the Dew Tour bowl contest since its inception. That’s a decade of Dew, and he is ready for more. But, like the rest of us, he has been more or less on lockdown at his home on the Oregon Coast in the town of Seal Rock.
Unlike the rest of us, though, he has a backyard paradise called ‘Kowalskiland’ that has manifested in the form of a concrete bowl to keep him busy. In addition to his bowl, he has been able to trek into the woods and onto the ocean to mix up his routine with some occasional camping and fishing missions.
Nevertheless, Kowalski is ready to be back on the road, and, more specifically, back in a bowl for a contest. We caught up with Kowalski to cover everything from his Dew Tour roots – which run deep into his childhood – to his current Pacific Northwest activities that are keeping him sane while the whole world sits and waits. Never a pessimist, instead of being bummed on the current global pause he is focused on the future and is as excited as ever to skate with his friends from all around the world.
How many Dew Tours have you skated in? Do you remember the first year you skated it, where it was, who you skated with?
Yeah, I remember hearing about the Dew Tour introducing a portable concrete bowl [in 2011] designed by Chris Miller. Then I got invited to go. That was my first Dew Tour, and I have skated every event since. Bucky Lasek, Pedro Barros, Chris Miller and a bunch of other skaters were there that first year.
How about before you ever skated in one, did you watch Dew Tour events when you were younger?
Yes, when I was pretty young the Dew Tour was in Portland, Oregon. A friend and I went with our parents and got to watch the contest in person. I had only watched it before on TV, so it was cool as a kid to get to go and see it for real.
Over the years there have been a lot of fun locations, bowl designs, and concerts. Do you have a standout memory or two from the earlier days of Dew Tour before it came to Long Beach?
Yeah, definitely. In Ocean City after the contest, we would all meet up to have a ‘Maryland crab cook’ on a bunch of picnic tables covered in newspaper with all you could eat crab and a bunch of other good food and drinks. Then there was a concert with “H.R.” from the band Bad Brains.
Having the portable bowl contest come to Portland was pretty cool as well because I got to skate in the contest where I went to as a kid just to watch. It was cool hanging out and skating with all my friends around the city in my home state.
Since the event has come to Long Beach there have been a lot of changes and you have skated in everything from the Team Challenge, Individual Pro, and the Olympic qualifier. There have also been massive turnouts in Long Beach from the skate industry. Has there been anything about the event in Long Beach that you have really enjoyed from these last few years?
There has been some good times there. I think just seeing other skaters and friends is the best part. It’s just one of those things that brings everyone to one place. There’s always after-parties or concerts, and a lot of good places to go out. I stayed on the Queen Mary ship last time, that was pretty cool.
It was close and you could see it from the Dew Tour. You could go on tours around the boat there were good places to get food and a lot of cool stuff to check out. It was a lot more fun than just staying in a hotel room.
Shifting away from Dew Tour a bit, I wanted to say how rad your part was in the Occult video! What’s it like skating and filming with the Blood Wizard crew?
It’s so much fun! The team is all really good friends. We feed off each other and just have a really good time.
Do you have any other projects of sorts in the works?
Just having fun skateboarding! Looking forward to getting on the road with some friends and having a good time. Skating some contest soon. Filming and shooting photos for projects.
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What else have you been up to lately? Any local fishing or camping around the beautiful Pacific Northwest?
All the time! I’ve been going on a lot of hiking trails through the forest. Fishing on the ocean and up the river. Camping has been good, too. I have a camper van that’s good for skate trips and outdoor adventures.
How’s Kowalskiland been treating you during these stay-at-home days? That bowl looks so fun, but also so difficult! Have you made any tweaks to the setup?
It’s been good! Definitely nice having your own backyard set up to skate when the other skate parks are closed. It has everything I like to skate and couldn’t be happier that Dreamland skateparks helped me put it there.
Thanks again for the interview! I’m looking forward to seeing you again soon at Dew Tour Long Beach. Until then, any parting words for all the homies out there you are excited to see and skate with soon?
Looking forward to skating with you guys and seeing you out there!