Braydon joins Street League

Braydon Szafranski handles a lengthy backside kickflip down a triple-set. Anthony Acosta

Not a familiar face on the contest scene but an established name in the streets, Braydon Szafranski is the surprising last-minute addition to the lineup of competitors for the 2011 Street League contest series. In fact, even Braydon was fairly surprised to hear he was wanted for the league when he got the call from Rob Dyrdek a few weeks back. We spoke to Braydon to find out what being a new addition to Street League means to him and how he's going to approach his first season.

How does it feel to be picked for Street League?
I don't know, it's kind of a weird feeling. It's not what I expected. I would have thought I'd be more like, the last choice. So it's a really good feeling, I'm psyched. It's going to be a great adventure.

How did it come about?
I've seen Rob [Dyrdek] and those guys around town a bunch and I've thrown it out there like, "That looks like so much fun, I'd love to try it," but never really thought about it. And then, like a week and a half ago, Rob called me out of the blue. I was on my way out to the Coachella festival, and he left me a message and asked me if I wanted to be in it. I actually thought it was a prank call and I checked with a couple other people but it was his real number.

Do you think you have a shot at making the finals?
I'm going to give it my all. I've seen the lineup and everyone is insane so I have no clue, but I'm going to work my hardest and just see what happens.

Which section do you think you will excel in?
That's a good question. They all look really fun. I saw the course and it looks just like the streets! But I think I'm the most excited to skate the stairs section. It has some good-looking hubba ledges and some perfect stairs. So I'm excited to see how big they end up being.

Are you planning on training for this at any of the private parks in the Los Angeles area?
I've been skating Brandon Biebel and Dylan Reider's skatepark but I didn't get the same kind of advance notice as everyone else. And then I'm going on a tour on Monday to Denver so I'll just be out street skating.

Do you have a strategy already?
At this point, no [laughs]. I'm just planning on going in there with open eyes. Maybe by the second or the third contest, I'll have in my mind what to do. Everyone else had last year to get used to it. I've watched it on TV and it looks like the Lakers are out there; there are that many people watching at once. I'm going to just give it a shot and see how it goes.

What tricks are you planning on relying on for the big points?
I've been working on a couple different tricks and we'll see what I can get the most consistent. I hurt my ankle a little bit ago so my switch skating is kind of dead right now. So I'm trying to see what I can figure out regular and fakie.

Do you have anything else in the works right now?
My second shoe came out last week for Emerica. We're working on the Shake Junt video, "Chicken Bone Nowison" which is pretty much everyone from around the world and that should be fun. It's going to be a fun, good-times video. There are about 100 of us from around the world that are part of the family; For the homies, by the homies. I've gots of tours I'm going on this summer, around Europe and everywhere else. And then we're going to start working on the "Baker 4 Life" video, that will come out in about two years so there isn't much to talk about so far but its going to be the new hotness!