When I’m skating hard and pushing my personal limits alongside a group of good friends, I become really stoked. You know that radical feeling of zooming down your local slope, bangin’out all your steeziest maneuvers—It feels great! Sometimes when I’m in the zone—the times when my smile is a permanent feature of my face—I start to make sound effects when I’m slaying the course. I’ll make explosion sounds, martial arts cries, laser mouth-blasts, or I’ll even try a creative combo of lion roars and face-smashing calls from the underworld. Such calls boost my shredding experience into the outer limits, and, more than not, increases the stoke-factor of any homies within earshot. These spontaneous shrieks from the spirit-realm have been used for ages and are known in martial arts as Kyah.
There are many other sportsmen of discipline—and raddness—who propel sound whilst getting loose with their bad selves. Martial artists have been using the Kyah (Japanese style: Kiai), since the first ninja flew over some bamboo and into a rumble. Karate black belts and other ass-kicking professionals use the Kyah when attacking an opponent for a couple of reasons. One of those reasons is to strike the Fear of Death into the souls of their opponents, and another reason is Power—when a loud noise or shriek is combined with a haymaker for instance, it increases its power by twenty-five percent, causing more damage in less time and making the crowd go wild. The Kyah also has a physically tangible purpose in martial arts. When a fighter goes for an aggressive maneuver he or she is more open to being nailed themselves, and thus more likely to get the wind pounded out of their sails from the opponent. When Kyah is used, the fighter breaths in beforehand and audibly exhales while throwing the punch—significantly lowering the chance that he will get the wind knocked out of him, and raises his chance of staying in the fight and whooping some ass.
Aside from skateboarding and martial arts, all sorts of sportsmen—including volleyball and tennis players—employ the Kyah. If you’ve ever watched a professional tennis match then you’ve probably noticed that the players grunt during many of those swings at that fuzzy green ball. Such noises are strategic and meant to increase the power-to-ball ratio. As I said before, I definitely maximize my shred with a healthy dose of speed-shrieks, hooty-howls, and power-grunts. If you’re really looking to take your slashing to the next level, or just add some extra fun, I suggest you do like the ninjas of ancient times or like a sexy Russian tennis player, and on your next session, try giving out a crazy cackle, a shrill cry, or a robust roar. Embrace the power of the Kyah!