Rayne Team Rider, IGSA World Champion and Concrete Wave Speedboarder of the Year, Kevin 'K-Rimes' Reimer is back on board after suffering a serious ankle injury in May that required surgery. Noth Vancouver's North Shore Outlook was fortunate enough to meet up with him for their article, ‘Getting back out there and attacking again’.
For former longboarding world champion and entrepreneur Kevin Reimer, things are looking up.
The North Vancouver resident has hoisted numerous trophies, designed and marketed his own line of longboard trucks and is currently preparing the release of his own set of wheels. Well-known North Van board makers Rayne Longboards are his primary sponsors. And he’s only 22 years old.
But after breaking both his tibia and fibula in a practice run four months ago in Britannia Beach, Reimer’s sights are anywhere but the clouds. He’s focused on growing his businesses and reclaiming the top spot competitively — as soon as possible.
“I’m focusing on the business for sure, but once that’s established I’m getting back out there and attacking again,” Reimer told The Outlook.
“The plan is to climb back to the top. I’m working with a physiotherapist and a trainer now and hoping to get back to racing.”
As a teenager, Reimer started off street skating, his board more a means of exploration and transportation than a vehicle to make a living. He quickly, however, realized you could ride down hills. And he liked it.
Fast forward a few years and his work on the hills has taken Reimer to Europe, South America, Australia and across the United States where he’s competed against the world’s top longboarders.
He’s set to return to the international scene later this month, with plans to do a few runs in a tournament in Brazil on Oct. 26. Afterwards, he’ll head to South Africa and Puerto Rico.
Growing up on the west side of Vancouver, Reimer said he dreamed of moving to the North Shore as a teenager to conquer the hilly terrain that defines the area.
But that ideal landscape hasn’t come without difficulties for residents and the longboarding community alike.
Last summer, Glenna Evans was killed after colliding with a van in the Mount Seymour area days before her 28th birthday. Since the accident, municipalities have mulled how to handle longboarding on local streets. Currently, longboarding is permitted on North Van streets, with the exception of those with speed limits exceeding 50 kilometres per hour.
In July, the District of North Vancouver hosted a well-attended public meeting to explore ways municipal governments can regulate the growing sport.
Reimer applauded the “forward thinking” district for holding the meeting and acknowledged the challenge faced by governments in attempting to strike a balance between various groups using the roads, for pleasure or otherwise.
He says his sport is here to stay and those involved take their place on the hills and roads seriously, forging connections with the land in ways motorists, cyclists or pedestrians don’t understand.
“It’s a relationship to a lot of people, communities and the urban landscape that we’re a part of everyday,” he said.
“You can enjoy the city in a way that it’s not made for, but it works really well for.”