Coven Magazine Issue Two

Page 1

Wat e r p r o o f. rechargeable . b r i g h t. bike lights.

W W W. k n o g .c o m . au

This magazine would not have been possible without the help and support of everyone who believes in Coven and what we are doing. A HUGE thanks to all our contributors, readers and advertisers. PUBLISHED QUARTERTLY BY Coven Press For enquiries, please contact

Gut instinct. Sometimes it’s all you’ve got to rely on, an emotion so strong that you call feel it in your stomach, a tight knot of nerves mixed with flutters of excitement. When I began working on Coven, it was a leap of faith, I had to believe in myself or no one else would, to trust my convictions and make a leap into the unknown. It’s a position many of the women in this magazine have found themselves in and like me, they’ve followed their instincts and achieved what they wanted, whether it be editing the new Danny Way documentary, illustrating for Vans or going for it on their motorbikes. Without the courage of our convictions we’d be nowhere, so let’s hear it for women with guts! - Juliet



WRITERS Hannah Bailey, Amy Fleuriot, Francoise Lavelle, Stacey Guy, Maisie Hill, Gemma Ford, Andrew Hartwell, Jenna Selby, Danielle Gallacher, Nhatt Nicholls PHOTOGRAPHERS Sanna Charles, Camilla Stoddart, Nawthan Gallagher, Matt Georges, Clare Lewington, Sophie Allen, Chappypix, Jenna Selby, Jax Burgess, Dan Howell Jon Forder,

Cover: Suzi Kemp This page: Nathan Gallager Printed on FSC certified recycled paper using vegetable based inks by Cambrian Printers All rights reserverd. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form without permission from the publisher. The opinions of authors do not neccesarily represent those of the publisher

12 Buzzkill Jenna Mackgill on her scary moment. 14 Show And Tell The best women’s jackets. 16 Skateboarders in London Sophie Allen and Maria Falbo on being called Avril Lavigne. 22 Suzi Kemp Our cover artist talks shop. 28 Nikita Robb The surfer speaks out on losing her sponsor. 32 Blood, Sweat & Gears The world of women’s motocross. 38 Nikole Lowe On tattooing animals. 46 Camping Essentials All you need to escape the city. 48 Travel A trip to The Scarlet Hotel. 50 Camilla Stoddart Stunning photography from the honorary Kiwi. 58 Anywhere I roam Our ode to the highway.

Nikita’s ‘Camia’ Dress features a print by snowboarder Magalie Dubois. £64

WE LOVE Why settle for a tired old sports bra when Pull-in are making such nice underwear? Available in a huge variety of colours and styles with a full range of coordinating base layers. Our favourite is the ‘fraises’ set. Perfect for summer. From £32.99 www.pull-in. com

Nail Rocks new tropical themed nail wraps take minutes to apply and last for days. Spruce up your digits with one of five styles. Our favourites? The Hawaiian flowers. £6.95 from Asos &

OBJECTS OF Billabong’s Oracle Fox collection won us over with it’s rocker meets surfer vibe.

Our handpicked summer favourites


The ‘unilite’ is DC Shoes’s lightweight flexible action sports trainer. Finally a stylish running shoe! £65

G Shocks’s Premium Range of super tough watches are strong enough to wear on the beach or the mountain and so stylish that you can keep them on to go out for dinner. £250


This summer we’re glued to the awe inspiring and touching Danny Way film, ‘Waiting For Lightning’. Read our interview with the film’s editor on Page 6

Nobrow 7 - A Brave New World. Inspired by the eponymous novel written by Aldous Huxley, Nobrow 7 asks 15 internationally renowned cartoonists to interpret the theme.

If it’s good enough for Malia Manuel, it’s good enough for us! Available in three styles, £69.99

The O’Neill Superkini is a seriously impressive piece of kit. One of the hazards of surfing in a bikini has always been the fact that you might pop up from a tumble minus your dignity! Getting churned in the ocean can be bad enough but when you discover your bikini is nowhere to be seen, it definitely makes a bad situation worse. O’Neill have come to the rescue with their ‘Superkini’, made from amazing ‘NANOFRONT™’ material. This magical combo with staying power has 200% more grip than normal lycra so you can rest assured that your bikini will stay put in the surf.


British bag designer Ally Capellino has teamed up with Lancashire manufacturer Caradice to bring you a range of stylish and functional cycling bags in proofed wax cotton with waterproof linings and heavy leather trim. Pannier £150


More Nobrow goodness in the form of this ‘Queens’ litho print from by Katya Spitzer. Livening up our office wall and making us feel all royalist. Kinda.

We’re so inspiredby the watching Vicki Golden killing it at the X Games that we’re off to give motocross a try. And we wouldn’t be seen in anything but the Alpine Stars Tech3. With a female specific design and fit, these are the ultimate in lightweight, comfort and performance. £180

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Dragon ‘Viceroy’ Retrotort £99 Oakley ‘Changeover’ Madamoiselle £153 ,Sunpocket ‘Orginal II’ from Surfdome £44.99 Vans ‘Spicoli 4’ £14 TRIWA ‘Thelma’ £115

Our pick of the season’s sunglasses. Now all we need is some sun!










The biggest issue in women's skating is the lack of media exposure

I've been skating for about ten years. I grew up with two older brothers and always wanted to do what they did so naturally when I saw that my brother was rolling around I wanted to try it myself.

I was ecstatic when I got to go to the X-Games myself! It was such a tease though because as an alternate/stand in I only got to skate in the practice. But still, skating the X-Games ramp with all of my idols was such a treat! I think if I could go back in time and tell my twelve year old self that I was an alternate for the X-Games, twelve year old me would cry tears of joy!


I decided to make this film because I was really frustrated by all of the cutbacks happening in women's skateboarding, especially since this is a time when women's and girls skateboarding has been the biggest I've ever seen it. But being frustrated and complaining gets you nowhere so I figured it would be good to get the perspectives of the people who make the marketing and media decisions to see where they stand. I want to help spread awareness about the growing world

of women's skateboarding and help to create more opportunities for the future. The biggest issue in women's skating is the lack of media exposure, which affects not only the women skating but also the perception of women's skateboarding as a whole. So the film fit perfectly with my schooling because the Communications major at USC has a lot of classes that deal with media studies and the impact the media have on the rest of the world. My professors were really interested in what I was doing. One of my professors at USC Annenberg, Alison Trope, always showed clips of Dogtown and ZBoys in her class anyway. She even let me show my film in her Gender in Media Industries and Products class as a test screening. My other professor, Ken Cosby, taught at the USC film school and he had some really amazing input as well. I even got an "Outstanding Documentary" award for the rough cut at USC Webfest and a was able to graduate with a USC Discovery Scholars honor. I've received nothing but positive responses to the trailer as well as from everyone I've reached out to for interviews. I think that people are becoming more aware of how much girls' skateboarding is growing which then contributes to more growth. So overall, I think we're going to see a

lot more opportunities for girls in skateboarding in the next few years as people start to see it's potential as a market. But I think that for the playing field to be even the growth needs to not only come from industry support but from the girls and women who are out there skating. It's already happening with girls like Alana Smith and Allysha Bergado but the next wave of girl skaters has to keep pushing the boundaries and stepping up the level of skating. That will then encourage more industry support. It's a cycle. These girls first need the support and opportunities that will encourage them to push themselves, then they will inevitably progress, and then that will encourage greater participation on the industry side, which means greater media coverage, which means younger girls seeing skateboarding as something they can pursue, which means more participants... Making this film was a really great way to meet some amazing people in the industry. I even got to meet Ed Templeton and Elissa Steamer. That was a trip! Seeing how helpful and receptive people like Don Brown and Michael Burnett were to the project was really cool to see. Everyone was so supportive and such a big help. I had no equipment or experience when I started, just the idea. I could have never done it without everyone's involvement and positive feedback. I borrowed cameras from friends, Sam Colen let me use his Canon 7D and tripod for a year and my producing partner Brian Lynch had equipment. He came to every interview because I didn't really have sound equipment and did a lot of filming. Most of the editing was done on my laptop. The hardest thing about making the film was trying to balance my own need to ride my skateboard with finishing a double major and working a job with traveling to interviews and editing and logging about 100 hours of footage. I also had to learn the programs I was using and fit in some sleep. Structure was kind of difficult too.; finding a story to tie it all together to keep it interesting. Also, finishing is quite difficult. After committing yourself to something for so long you really want to make sure it's perfect before the world sees it! The thing about documentaries is that they are very hard to predict. Sometimes, you think you're done and then more opportunities come up that are really important to the issues at hand. Therefore, it's taken a little longer than I've initially predicted to finish. ‘Underexposed’ premieres this summer.



Last month saw the annual ‘Far n High’ skate competition held just outside Paris. Part of the 2012 World Cup Series, the contest had one of the best turnouts that I’ve ever seen. The British girls in attendance this year were Emma Richardson, Sophie Allen, Lois Pendlebury and myself. But after a grueling 12 hour car/ferry journey, and only 3 hours sleep we were not all on top form! The park was pretty packed most days, so instead we spent a lot of our time in the car park next door where we elegantly drank wine and cocktails of whisky and beer in the beautiful 32 degree sun. However it went downhill from there, whether it was not knowing where to sleep, the skatepark running out of water or missing the shuttle bus to the contest. We also managed to read the contest times wrong so Sophie missed the qualifiers. The course was ridiculously slippery and during practise I managed to roll my ankle which later turned out to mean torn ligaments, three broken toes and a few bones. After quite an embarrassing couple of runs mainly consisting of limping up ramps and looking in pain, it was time for Emma's run. They called her name but she was no where to be seen and it turned out that she'd actually had a panic attack and literally run out of the park. In the end, the only girl repping for the UK was Miss Pendlebury. Brazilian champ Leticia Bufoni took first place, as expected, after killing every rail, kickflipping every driveway, and being robbed of her last trick of a 'tre flip' over the gap. Belgium's Aura Bredhart was just behind, with a consistently smooth and solid style, and last years winner Candy Jacobs took 3rd place with her feeble down the big rail. Text: Danielle Gallacher / Photo: Sophie Allen

Photos: Jon Forder

Jenna Makgill - Cyclist, NZ



hen I was racing Downhill I used to live in the French Alps to train, race and have a blast. I had my fair share of hairy moments out there that summer. One day I was absolutely bombing a four cross track from the top of Les Gets down to Morzine with one of my best friends, Pete. We must have been hitting about 70 or 80km per hour as we flew down the piste tucked in behind each other. As we started entering the tree line the four cross rack began to veer to the right and get really rutted due to all the rain we'd had recently. But that was just all part of the fun and I stayed right on Pete's wheel, following his line. Suddenly at the apex of the sweeping right hand berm, Pete slid into a water rut and slightly pulled his brake which immediately made things much, much worse. We were totally out of control and flying down a mountain at over 70 kilometres an hour, which is not a good situation to be in at all. What exactly happened is a bit of a blur; all I remember is drifting sideways into a fallen tree which catapulted me sky high and sent me hurtling towards another tree which I hit upside down,

fifteen metres from the track and ten metres from my bike. Pete was about twenty metres in the bush and had ridden square into a tree and pretty much knocked himself out. Both us were epically winded and all we could hear was each other weazing, struggling to get some air into our lungs as we'd totally crushed them. I was gasping for air but eventually we both emerged with eyes like possums uttering 'holy, jebus muck balls' as miraculously we were both physically fine once we'd regained the ability to breathe. My bike was twisted but completely unbroken but Pete had managed to snap his brand new FOX 40s clean across the arch (if you ride mountain bikes, you'll know how hard this is to do!). Once we could breathe we rolled home in possibly the most conservative manner ever, grateful to be in one piece and determined to stay as far away from trees as possible in future. We escaped with some epic purple bruises but were otherwise fine, if a little shaken. But despite the timidity of my ride home that day, I was back out and at it a couple of days later, flying along next to the trees, but trying not to land in one!

Po s e O f T h e



reated by Gemma Ford, Love Yoga Online brings together a team of yoga teachers to create a welcoming and easy to use site full of yoga class videos and supportive information. Love Yoga Online bring you classes you can complete at your leisure in your own home, the perfect solution if you’re too busy or too shy to go to a class. As a member you can watch all the videos and importantly, connect with your teacher to get essential feedback, something which was previously missing with online yoga classes. For this, the first in her quarterly columns, Gemma talks us through her essential pose for summer wellbeing, Camatkarasana, or Wild Thing. This is one of the most fun and liberating yoga poses to practice. Camatkarasana opens the heart space and helps to relieve fatigue and low moods, which we could all be forgiven for feeling a touch of considering the lack of 'summer' weather we have had so far this year! One of the best medicines we can give ourselves is to release the shoulders, free the chest space and literally open up to all the fun times and frivolity of the summer months.

step your left foot back behind you with your toes just touching the floor. Sweep your left arm over head and allow it drape behind you, opening your shoulder and curling back squeezing the shoulder blades together. To move deeper into the back bend lift your hips keeping the tail bone long, remember to keep the right shoulder over your wrist for stability, and take a couple of deep breaths. To release flow back into downward dog to stretch it out and then repeat on the left side.

To practice Wild Thing start in downward facing dog and bring your weight into your right hand and the outside of your right foot moving into side plank or vasishtasana. Now to step into the back bend; keep your right shoulder directly over your right wrist and

Please take special care with this pose if you have any wrist or shoulder issues, always listen to your body in your yoga practice and move out of the pose as soon as you need to, it should feel therapeutic. Have fun!

show and tell Thanks to an overwhelming response to last issue saddle review, ‘Show And Tell’ is back to bring you a guide to the finest female specific jackets. We put a large selection of jackets to the test on the trails and the roads and hand selected our favourites. We took style, price and functionality into account and whittled it down to our top three jackets for cycling and running. The North Face 'Better Than Naked' Jacket £100 A well cut, breathable, ultra lightweight running jacket with contoured panelling and bonded stitchless seams which packs down to a miniscule size. The stretchy Ripstop fabric is soft against the skin and the lack of stitching and delicate feel of this jacket makes it very comfortable. The cut is relaxed without being baggy with a pocket for your keys at the front and laser cut ventilated panels to keep you cool. Despite the ultra lightweight feel of the jacket, the material is strong and offers some protection from the elements; it's basically an ultra light softshell for warmer temperature and as such, copes well with a light drizzle but is not ideal for heavy rain. This jacket felt very soft, cool and comfortable to wear, perfect for a long run on the trails without getting clammy.

Patagonia Women's Houdini Jacket £100 Another gossamer thin, lightweight running jacket, the Patagonia Women's Houdini Jacket is a versatile water repellent piece designed to offer light protection from the elements. The lack mesh ventilation didn't appear to be a problem as as the jacket still felt adequately breathable and the jacket dried in minutes after a downpour. Style wise, this was a winner as it's a bit less 'sports geek' looking than some of the other jackets. The simple one colour design appealed to us; we felt that this could double up on our travels as a lightweight jacket to wear about town. The sleeves were slightly on the long side, but overall the cut was good; gently contoured for a women's body without being figure hugging. Felt as light as air to wear. Nike Women's Storm-FIT Jacket £65 This running jacket differs from the other two we liked as it offers a little more protection from the elements. This jacket is heavier and less packable than the other two as the soft stretchy material is designed to keep you comfortable in rain, sleet or snow yet it's still very breathable. This jacket completely blocks wind and performed well in bad weather, the sealed seams keeping out the terrible rain we've been deluged with. With reflective strips, plenty of vents, inner cuffs with thumb loops, a packable hood plus a fitted media-player pocket, this jacket is packed with features. Given the dodgy British weather, it's a good bet to see you through more than one season.


Pearl Izumi Women's Elite Barrier Convertible Jacket £89.99

Rapha Women's Rain Jacket £190

Madison Stratos Pack Jacket £39.99

A lightweight, high performance jacket, the Elite Barrier felt soft to wear provided comfortable protection with very little weight. The fabric and vents offer great breathability plus you can zip the arms off and wear as a gilet which is great for changeable conditions. We liked the hidden pocket zips, relflective elements and large zip pull for when you have your gloves on. The fabric delivers great wind protection and the material repels rain very well although you will find that the shoulder zips leak in a downpour. Exceptionally lightweight but very effective, the jacket felt good on the skin although the sleeves seemed slightly baggy and long.

We're big fans of Rapha and were delighted when they started producing a women's range. Their clothing is at the higher end of our budgets but so stylish that we're willing to shell out. This rain jacket features a snug, ergonomic fit with a drop tail and is very durable given how light and packable it is. The offset zip is a nice feature so the zip doesn't rub on your chin and the fabric is soft, silky and stretchy. The waterproof front and rear panels, waterproof zip and taped shoulder seams keep you dry but the breathable side panels keep your temperature moderated. Felt great against the skin. A great, good looking performance jacket and worth the money.

At the other end of the price range is the Madison Stratos Pack Jacket. Despite a small price tag this jacket performed well in showers, the water beading and rolling off but when we were hammered by a torrential downpour the vents did begin to let in water. Faired well in terms of breathability although it felt slightly clammy on the arms when riding at high intensity. The overall cut is very nice, slim yet casual, and the fairly wide, softly fleeced neck felt very comfortable. The rear pocket features an audio port to wire in your ipod which is a nice touch and the jackets packs down into it's own rear pocket. An absolute bargain fantastic for the commute.


skateboarders in london When researching the magazine (and idly checking out blogs and videos on the internet), there are always a few names who keep popping up and when it comes to the world of UK skateboarding. Sophie Allen and Maria Falbo's names have been on my radar for a while. I rode over to Dalston, bang in the middle of the hippest bit of East London to talk skateboarding, photography and their favourite places to skate.

skateboarders in london skateboarders in london skateboarders in london

Photo: Nathan Gallagher

New Zealand native, Sophie Allen has been on these shores for around three years whilst Devon local, Maria Falbo only made the trip to the big smoke a little over a year ago. Since arriving in the capital, both have been working on their own creative projects; like many East Londonders, Sophie and Maria’s hobbies and work overlap - Sophie is co-founder of Story magazine whilst Maria runs Copson Street, a collective focusing on music, skating, culture and style who recently collaborated with Eastpak for their artists series.

obsessed with it. I began by mucking around but then I started shooting stuff for Element; they needed heaps of photos for a new Zealand skate blog . I'd also shoot a lot of events and contest and eventually I just became truly hooked, bought my own camera and moved over here. I did a little course at St.Martins but I didn’t like it, it was a bit shit, then I did some work for a lighting company and began shooting music as well as skateboarding and doing a lot of events. I set up Story Magazine with Richard, a skater I'd met at an exhibition. It's arts basically, it’s called Story because it starts off as one, beginning with a theme which runs through each issue. So Richard had come up with the idea for the magazine and had shown me some sketches he’d done. We sat and argued about what to do for about six months and then it kind of took off in a way. We spent some time figuring out what we were all about and put out adverts for people to help then did a heap of fundraising and printed it. The first issue was free then Richard and I started arguing about selling it. We couldn’t afford to print it as the advertisers we had didn’t cover the costs so we decided to go online to build up our readership and then try again for advertising. That's what we're doing at the moment. I want to put a price on it, I’m not sure if he does. It’s just a part time project we both enjoy and I’d like to keep it going even though it's a lot of work. It helps if you have money behind you. I actually don’t want photography to be my future, In 5 years I’d like to be a graphic designer for my own magazine and still skating, living in NY or LA or Melbourne.”

in London if you’re a female skater you get called Avril Lavigne by random people

Over cups of tea in the open plan kitchen, we began our conversation in a typically English manner; by moaning about the weather. Alongside her passion for skateboarding, the other love in Sophie's life is photography and she was hoping to have the chance to get some new photographs of Maria to go with the piece but so far we'd been scuppered by the weather and it seriously seemed like it would never stop raining. I quizzed Sophie on her passion for photography and how she became involved: “My dad was a photographer so he had heaps of cameras lying about and I used to just pick them up. Then I started skating and shooting photos and just getting

Maria's creative outlet, Copson Street, started life as a blog whilst she was living in Barcelona, a city she’s been regularly visiting since the age of sisteen. She told me: “There’s a really good kind of attitude and atmosphere in Barcelona and I guess that inspired me to start Copson Street, to write about things I was seeing. I love Barcelona! There are so many girls who skate there; everyone just moved there and hangs out. I went to the Etnies skate camp, that was my first time there and I fell in love with it. It’s way better to skate there and people

Photo: Lisa Kindberg don’t give you shit like they do in here; in London if you’re a female skater you get called Avril Lavigne by random people, Vice Magazine will probably stop you and photograph you, it’s so annoying.

thing. Mile End skatepark is small but at least you can go straight there, and know there’s something to skate rather than waste all your time searching for street spots.

Copson Street was just started for fun, well it still is fun, but we've just kind of grown since we began. We have more contributors writing on a greater variety of things, we make t shirts and stuff like that. I’d like to develop it further, we’ve got plans to do a clothing collection and work with great people and maybe even make some money! Obviously the Eastpak collab was great. But really the main thing I want to do is keep skating and keep being creative and Copson Street allows me to do that. Barcelona and the whole vibe was definitely a big part in my decision to create an outlet which is so influenced by skating. The whole place is like a giant skatepark and you meet up, go skate then head to the beach. Normally I prefer riding parks, but in Barcelona I love skating street.

With the conversation back on to skating, I asked the ladies how many years they'd clocked up on the board, learning that Sophie had been skating since the age of fourteen whilst Maria's tally is eleven years. She told me:

Sophie: I like street too, just not London street. You spend too much time looking and then get kicked off straight away. I take pictures of spots on my phone to I’ve got an idea of where to go but then I forget where the pictures were taken! So I tend to stick to parks as it means you know you’ll definitely get to skate some-

“When I was fourteen they built a skatepark in my hometown and the whole school just started skating, loads of girls and loads of boys but then slowly it fizzled out and there were only three girls left. Learning how to ollie took me about six months but I stuck with it. A lot of people didn't; my best friend told me she'd lost her board because she wanted to quit so then it was just me and the boys. There were about twenty of us and every day after school we would run home, grab our boards and hang out until it got dark, just learning stuff. That happened everyday for all of our teen years. We lived and breathed skateboarding, it was the hang out place.” Growing up near Auckland, things were a little different for Sophie and she spent her days building

backyard ramps out of ply and honing both her photographic skills and her skateboarding with neighbour Mikey. Mikey's dad was super into skateboarding, had heaps of land and used to build them ramps to skate, including one enourmous vert ramp which Sophie dropped into with her eyes closed. “It was huge! Mikey dropped in first, there was no coping and a big gap, and you didn’t know if you would hang up or not. He said I couldn’t have a glass of coke or lunch until I did it. So I stomped down and did it with my eyes closed! Haha! I just skated with Mikey on our homemade ramps all the time, like Maria I didn't have any females to skate with, the only girl I knew who skated lived about three hours away.” I can sense that Sophie and Maria do enjoy skating with other girls but it's not exactly high on their list of priorities and it's certainly not going to mean they don't go skate. But I know they went along to some of the Ladies Skateboard Series last year though, so I quiz Sophie on her goals as a photographer and whether she feels a duty to document female skaters.

“As far as female skaters go, in London it’s only me and Maria, everyone else in the female skate scene lives outside of London. Jenna Selby was in London before but she’s moved back to her parents in St. Albans, so it’s hard to just meet up and go skating and to shoot photos. I don’t actively go out to shoot women, I think everyone is equally important, it just depends on who I'm with actually. A lot of the skate photos I was doing in New Zealand were just of guys because that was just who happened to be there. I do think it's harder for girls in skateboarding because most of the time their other friends don’t skate, whereas guys hang out with other riders there will be a big group of riders who are all friends and hang out and ride all the time. With my girlfriends everything is separate which makes it hard to find the time to see them or hard to find the time to skate.” We chat about the difficulties of finding time to do what you love, spots in London we all session and how slippery we all find the bowl at Clissold Park (I knocked a tooth out there). We have a giggle about how some girls seems to stick their bums out when they are BMXing or

I ask the pair whether they're into contests and your duties as a female sponsored skater. Do they consider themselves athletes? It turns out that much like myself, both of them hate contests, and both of them would have a beer before a run. Maria’s main thing against contests is the fact you only have a few minutes to ‘prove’ yourself: “Contests aren’t really like skateboarding, you have a three minutes go! Skateboarding is doing what you want when you want to, that’s the whole point. Plus I get really bad jelly legs and can’t land anything and just get really upset. Sophie agrees about the limitations of short a short run, elaborates on her own hatred of contests then adds, “ I do think that to keep female skate contests going you really have to push yourself, to make it better for everyone else, but at the same time I really don’t like them and I don’t want to be the one to do that! I’d rather go out and film a video part. wNowadays with the success of Vimeo and Youtube and stuff you can totally do that and make it work for you whereas when I was fifteen, those platforms didn’t exist so sponsors really cared about comps. But now I’m free to do whatever, I don’t have any sponsors at the moment as I left all my sponsors when I left New Zealand. Photo:Sophie Allen skateboarding. So which skaters do they look up? “Elissa steamer, she’s just a legend!” says Sophie. “I liked her better when she was drinking though, classic! She was my first idol, also Jamie Reyes because I used to wear her pro models, and hers were the only ones without pink or flowers on them. It didn’t turn out so well for her though; she got kicked off her sponsors for doing heroin” “She was gangster,” adds Maria “although I’d say my favourite skater at the moment is Sarah Meurle. She’s lovely and has a really chilled style, she’s really nice to watch.” Sophie mentions Brazilian, Leticia Bufoni’s great style on a skateboard and Maria chimes in: “Yeah the Brazilian girls are like a new breed of skateboarders...they are just like, ‘pow’! They have lost their girly style, the Brazilian girls have wiped out that sticking your bum out thing. I was always trying to lose that style.”

Maria has been sponsored since her teens when she was first hooked up by a brand of sunglasses. At the time it meant a lot though and it spurred her on to do a few contests which led to her getting hooked up by Nikita. “I met the guys from Nikita at one of the contest I entered; they flowed me lots of stuff for a few years, then when I was eighteen they hit me up and sorted a proper contract. I was so happy. I’d worn Nikita from day one; I remember saving sixty quid to go get a hoody from my local skate shop; so being sponsored by them was like, literally living the dream! Rockstar bearings came a year after, and I’ve been flowed Supra for a bit. I used to be on Rouge Skateboards... Sophie: What happened to Rouge? Maria : They don’t make 7 8ths haha. If I could ride for anyone I'd ride for Nikita. And Chocolate skateboards. And Red Bull. Sophie laughs and says that she would ride for a bank. We all dream about what we would do if had a wedge of cash, the places we’d ride, the plane tickets we’d buy. Then after saying our goodbyes I’m out the door and back down to earth as I head off into the rain for a soggy ride home.

SUZI KEMP illustrator

Our interview with Suzi began with me teasing a few one word answers from her as I perched on the bed in her flat behind Kingsland Road. The shy and unassuming Suzi squirmed in the chair as our photographer circled her and seemed bashful when we turned the conversation onto her. I admired the eclectic collage she'd assembled behind the desk in her bedroom and questioned her about her influences, noticing flyers and doodles lovingly scissored and positioned on the wall. Things were getting off to a slow start but eventually the gentle natured Suzi talked us through her illustrative process and the path she took from her initial doodlings to working with the likes of Vans. Coming to London by way of Brighton where she studied illustration, Suzie always drew at school but was unaware that her hobby could ever constitute a career, not even knowing such a course existed until two years before commencing. It was during her time at Brighton that Suzie met Mark 'Fos' Foster, director of Heroin Skateboards and it was Fos who was to give Suzie her first commercial job. I caught up with Fos to find out why he picked this unknown

college girl to design a deck for Heroin and he told me why this young ingenue stuck out: “I hate illustrators. I can say this because I suppose that I am one myself, but I hate all the twee 70's Marcus Oakley rip off stuff that they send me all the time for consideration for Heroin, or the fake Japanese style Manga stuff. Ninety nine percent of the stuff I get sent is a direct rip off of someone else. There's so much garbage out there. So I must have been out of my mind when I went to an illustration degree show a few years ago. A hot girl invited me, what can I say? Anyway, amongst all the trash there was a bright pungent shining light, black metal images, zombies covered in tattoos, darkness, madness, beauty. This was Suzi Kemp's work. So I get talking to this girl in a Descendents tee shirt and it ends up being her work, she's really cool too, it seemed only natural and somehow organic that I ask her to do some Heroin graphics and then later some Altamont ones. So yeah, amid a sea of banal, boring illustrations there are people out there making beautifully disgusting work still, and Suzie is one of those.�

Since working with Fos, twenty four year old Suzi has gone on to further develop her commercial portfolio and is finally beginning to clamber her way out of student debt. “ I always drew as a kid, I just didn't realise it was a job that you could get paid for. And it's hard at the start, its been a bit hand to mouth for about the last two years. I always feel like its a struggle but it's not a job you should get into if you want to make money straight away. You feel like you're getting somewhere but then you can just get nothing for another month. I do odd jobs, you cant really give up, you just have to keep going and have a plan. As time goes on, you develop and work on more projects but it takes quite a lot of time for them to come into production. It's often just a matter of being patient.” It's a slow process; it's tough for everyone these days, even when you're young and gifted but hidden beneath Suzi's shy exterior lies a tenacity which paired with her talent, should see her go a long way. With her game plan drawn up, Suzie is working through the list of people and companies she'd like to target for work and having a remarkable degree of success. Recently Suzi worked with Vans on their women's look book. “Working with Vans was genuinely a dream! I just thought, 'well why not email someone, something might come from it!’ I only get in touch with people who I think it would really work with and getting the go ahead from Vans was amazing. I emailed the art director and she was so nice and I ended up doing some illustrations and type for them.” Noting Suzie's Black Flag sweatshirt, whilst the photographer hovers and repositions Suzi in the light from her window I ask her about her influences, guessing music would figure in there somewhere. We giggle about Dalston's 'thrash uniform' and the lack of these faux metallers at any of the gigs; a recent SSS gig at the Shacklewell arms was pretty much empty despite all the posturing thrashers littering the streets of East London. Suzi wears her influences on her

sleeve these days but that wasn't always the case: “I'm into punk bands and going to hardcore shows. When I went to art college I felt like I couldn't really show those influences, and that everything had to look a certain way and be a certain way. I finally realised when I left that not everyone likes the kind of stuff you like and that's what makes uou and your work different so why not put those things in? At college I think you worry that you have to go through some kind of a process but I actually think that some-

so I love to start manually and then just add blocks of colour on the computer. I like to put the two together, I think it works really well and it's become my kind of style. I do a lot of stuff for web which I love as you don't have to convert to CMYK, it can just be proper bright. I'd like to get back into screen printing too but at the moment I often just do a digital print if I want to exhibit something. I've been doing a lot of fabric design as well; I've been doing some t shirts which obviously is pretty straight forward but I've also been working on some fabric patterns for a client. To wrap things up, I ask Suzie if she could do artwork for one band, who it would be and she struggles for an answering before deciding “Probably a bunch of cheesy hellcat bands or Epitaph bands, all the Hellcat artwork really influenced me every though its really cheesy!” And as Suzi’s eyes finally connect with the camera lens we know we've got our shot. Suzi Kemp is the illustrator behind this issue’s cover. To see more of her work, visit times it’s best to just go with what you initially think and work on instinct. Other than my musical influences, I've always like naïve artists, like 'outside art'. I I like graphic stuff, I love Raymond Pettibon, but he didn't actually influence me, he just kinda made everything make sense. I thought, actually, yeah, I do this! I also like tatI love could too art but then I guess that Raymond doesn't really influence my Pettibon, work either, I just really like it and respect it a lot.”

but he didn't actually influence me, he just kinda made everything make sense

I can see Suzi's influences in her work but notice that unlike some of her contemporaries, Suzi likes to take a slightly different approach herself, adding a digital element to the hand drawn lines she begins with.

“I always start with black ink but then I take it onto the computer to add colour. I love colour, it’s the best. I used to do painting and I do love painting but when I paint it takes ages and it just kinda sucks the life from me. I like doing stuff by hand but I just really love block colour

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It's a sunny May afternoon in Cape Town and Nikita Robb is standing with a craft beer in one hand and a trophy in the other. Four months of training and preparation and she has achieved her goal. When I quiz her about how many South African national titles she has won she looks puzzled, “Uh… I dunno, like somewhere around 8” comes her somewhat forced answer. Through her tone I can sense that I'm asking a stupid question and that to her, all her previous titles don't really matter. The only title that counts is the one she's just earned. Nikita is a special kind of wave-rider. Very few surfers are talented enough at surfing to be able to pick up any sort of surf-craft, paddle out and rip from the first wave. Each surfboard is different and it's a special gift to to be able to understand the differences and to control them. For us normal folk, it can take a few sessions to understand a new surf break or find that elusive 'sweet-spot' on a surfboard. Nikita does it first time, every time, whether it be a longboard, an alaia, twin fin or single fin, big wave or small wave. It kinda pisses me off. While I'm digging rail and bogging turns, Nikita is flying high and carving hard with her trademark casual style, arms slung low with front-footed speed and power. A household name in her home country of South Africa and always smiling with her cheeky grin and sharp tongue, Nikita has travelled a very different path to your run-of-the-mill female professional surfer.

Nikita, you were born and grew up in East London, South Africa and spent most of your life living in a hotel? Ya, I have lived in one hotel my whole life and my parents still live in a hotel. It's pretty unusual huh? The on duty receptionists used to babysit me when I was young and I'd sleep under the concierge desk. My dad was the general manager of the hotel so I got away with being a cheeky little bugger. How cheeky? I once hid in the pot plants and shot guests with a mini pellet gun. I didn't get away with that one though. Big trouble. When did you start surfing? I think I was about 12 years old, my mom loved to tan at the beach during summer and because I was an only child I would be bored to tears. I completely hated it. To help keep me entertained she got me a body board, which soon became just as boring. Then she enrolled me in a surf lesson group and I loved it immediately. By that stage I had tried everything from ballet to ice skating to piano and was shit at most of it, but surfing stuck and I couldn't get enough of it. Do your parents surf? My mom does. She started a little while after me, she's cute, she loves it. I don't like to surf with her though because I get so stressed out. She's not scared and just goes on any wave and she's very accident prone, the other day she ended up with a black eye from her board hitting her. But I'm so proud of her, there are very few 50 year olds who surf three times a week. She's a 5ft 1inch Portuguese lady with a massive personality and an even bigger zest for life. So your family is Portuguese? Just my mom's side of the family are Portuguese. They are a typical Portuguese family, they love food and entertainment and we are all very close. I'm also a Portuguese citizen, although at this stage I surf for South Africa. I grew up here and my roots are here. The town you grew up in, East London, has produced many of South Africa's most successful competitive surfers, why is that? I think it's because there's a super strong bond between the surfers in East London. The surf conditions are wild and can be damn scary at

times. Rosy Hodge and I grew up surfing with the boys and they would push our performance level during every surf session. They often pushed us to go out in big scary surf and even though I was shitting myself at the time but it has definitely made me the surfer I am today. There is a unity between all the 'Slumtown' surfers that you don't see very often, the older guys pass on their knowledge to the younger crew. It's good to know that somebody is watching your back when you are in the surf, especially in big conditions. I think the wide variety of waves in the area also helps mould top competitive surfers, we have everything from beach breaks and point breaks to slabs and reef breaks. It's also pretty sharky, if you have a look on YouTube there's a video of two sharks attacking one surfer at my local spot, Nahoon Reef. It was the first ever video of sharks hunting in a pack. It's a bit gnarly.

There is a unity between all the 'Slumtown' surfers

What do you feel is the strongest part of your surfing? Probably my backhand. I really like doing big backhand re-entries, guess I'm confident because I've grown up surfing right hand points. I like a bit of size when I surf, I still feel good in the small stuff but I definitely prefer when there is a bit of size and power in the waves. I've also been working on my forehand lately; I've always known that it needed a bit of work and have been putting in the hours over the last few months. I moved to Cape Town almost a year ago and there are a lot more lefthand breaks on offer here, so it has been a nice change. What inspired the move from East London to Cape Town? My parents were moving from East London, SA to a town about four hours away called Knysna. I’d hardly been at home for the last few years because of all the traveling that goes along with being a competitive surfer, so my room had been transformed into an office/storeroom. I used to hate Cape Town because I thought it was always cold with freezing surf, but I spent a month here during the lead up to my parent's move and loved it. So I made a spur of the moment decision to get an apartment and

move here full time. It’s great, there is always good surf somewhere on the peninsula, fantastic restaurants and bars and interesting friendly people. I love that in the same day you can hike to the top of a mountain, go for a bike ride through the city, visit a wine farm and get amazing waves. What's it really like surfing on the World Qualifying Series? It's a lot of fun, the people are great and you meet and make a lot of friends. Most of the time it's a big party, most events you go to are during the 'party season' or the contest is part of the biggest beach festival of the year and there is a lot going on. To actually do well on the World Qualifying Series is difficult, you have to learn to not get involved with the party side of things. It is cut throat; there are no friends in the water during a heat, its every woman for herself. It's weird because even though you are there for yourself you still want to see your friends succeed, but then you also want to be the one to win the contest, that's the whole point of being there right? It can also be really expensive,

especially when traveling on the South African Rand. It all adds up. You have to make sure you keep fit and healthy, and that can be really difficult when flying between continents. I try to take my creature comforts along with me to help create my little home on the road. I always have my laptop and hard drive for the downtime, training equipment and then little bits and

pieces that remind me of home. I'm kinda superstitious as well, if I do well during my first heat, I have to stick to exactly the same routine before the next heat You based yourself in Australia while you were competing on the WQS in 2009? I lost my major sponsor at the end of 2008. It was horrible they just said 'sorry we can't renew your contract' without any notice at all. It was awful, I had finally got my seeding up and was in a good position for 2009, I had been training so hard and my whole world came crashing down. I did some soul searching and decided I would try to go it alone. I needed to work somewhere with a strong currency to make enough money quickly and it worked out best for me to base myself in Australia for the first half of the year as the women's tour starts there and there are a few big events. I got a job in a nursery doing gardening and used my wages along with my prize money from the Australian leg to get to the following leg, I think it was Brazil. There was a ton of pressure on me at each event to do well just so I could get to the next one. At the end of the year I finished 9th on the WQS and then had to wait until the last World Championship Tour event to finish so that ASP could work out the seeding. Basically, for me to qualify, Rebecca Woods had to make the top 10 of the World Championship Tour, and she did in the final event of the year so I was in! After qualifying for the World Championship Tour at the end of 2009, what was your first year competing against the top sixteen women like? It's very different to competing on the WQS, everyone is very serious and on their own mission. You're at such an elite level and I don't think I totally got to appreciate and take in the World Championship Tour. I never felt my worth and wasn't confident and never really gave myself the chance to show how I can really surf. You work so hard to get to a certain point and no one tells you that you’re going to have to work even harder once you get there. It's kinda like 'Yeah I qualified! But now what? Where do I go from here?' You have to mentally

Photos: Chappypix prepare yourself and make certain sacrifices and push yourself in every area of your life. Do you think that you having no major sponsor ended up affecting your performance? Yes, I think to a certain degree it did but most of all it was my own self confidence. I had qualified by the skin of my teeth through the World Qualifying Series, and I guess I didn't ever feel like I had made it onto the tour with merit, I had just been really lucky. With hindsight though, I guess it doesn't matter how you qualify, it just matters that you did. When you have a company that's willing to support you, you don't have to worry about the small things and can just focus on the task at hand, preparing for your heats having good nights sleep, not worrying about how you going to get down to the beach, what you can afford to eat and what not. I was very lucky to have parents who supported me and gave me every opportunity to achieve my goals. What's next for you? I'm currently living in Cape Town, surfing and coaching young girls. I ‘d like to get a part time

job just to get in a little extra cash but otherwise I have a few sneaky surf trips planned to get some epic waves and footage. I've been doing a bit of work with the RED Cap foundation which has been awesome, and also with Surfing South Africa's development program, helping teach under privileged children how to surf. I also have some plans to surf new and exciting waves and push myself to get into some big waves. I'm very keen to surf some of the massive winter swells that hit Cape Town, there are some crazy big wave spots around here! I also love to longboard and ride different kinds of boards and setups, I have just got a little hand plane so have also been doing some bodysurfing! All in all, life is good! I have a great group of mates and family and I'm so happy to be able to surf every day. I will surf for the rest of my life and I'm pretty stoked about that.

I’d been training so hard and my whole world came crashing down



The world of motocross By Francoise Lavelle

“Get down, get out, get away, be careful” were all too familiar shrieks from my mum as I shadowed my older brother building his many motocross beasts in our garage. I was around eight years young when he discovered these heavy, grease stained machines with tweaked engines and mud splattered frames. They sung such a thunderous racket they were especially hard to ignore. But as inquisitive as I was, I wasn’t able to pursue this bike rebellion (as it was seen back then) with as much commitment as my passion for snowboarding, surfing, fixed gear and now BMX. Seems that it is still the case for many females out in the UK. Originally known as ‘scrambling’, motocross has always been seen as a male orientated sport. Originally the bikes were expensive, heavy, noisy, dirty and needing the kind of technical adjustments and attention that many women were not knowledgeable of . But since the days of the first Cross Country Motorcycle Trials up in Scotland, things have changed; bikes have been upgraded to lighter frames, with spring suspension and engine enhancement to give the rider more comfort, control and speed and these new technological developments have come hand in hand with the sport's progression into Freestyle Motocross, or FMX. Thanks to events such as Monster Energy’s 'Masters of Dirt', Red Bull’s 'X-Fighters' and the ‘Nitro Circus Live' events, the sport is now reaching bigger audiences of families and women, giving FMX the huge boost it so rightly deserves. With backflips, superman grabs, leg holds and an

abundance of acrobatic manoeuvres whilst flying through the air at speeds of 80mph, freestyle motocross isn’t in an easy skill to learn. But there are now female global stars who are fast becoming icons and idols for all ages of MX riders. Nitro Circus' Jolene Van Vugt has marked the sport forever, being the first female to backflip a motorbike whilst Americans such as Vicki Golden, Ashley Fiolek and Jessica Patterson are leading the MX racing fold. Puerto Rican, Tarah Gieger mixes it up with MX Racing and Enduro, whilst Maria Fosberg holds the accolade of being the fastest racer on the planet. Currently the USA are leading the pack in the sport but sure enough the other international racers are picking up the pace. Steffi Laier of Germany has already broken onto the track across the pond and is looking stronger and stronger. Its quite endearing to learn that if its wasn’t for Miki Keller, previously a snowboarder from US, that

the women’s motocross category might still be underground. Nearly ten years ago Miki developed the Women’s Motocross Association, or WMA, only 4 years after she had been introduced to a motocross bike at an event arranged by the snowboard industry. Her passion and drive to make more of the motocross scene led her to develop more women only classes at the various men’s MX races and with this the WMA was born. Taking a break from her challenges in the sport, Miki was super keen to share her experiences with me as well as some encouraging words to get the UK women as pumped as those friends of ours across the water.

is very accepting but there’s still a motocross industry resistance to really accepting women as pro racers. We are chipping away at that with racers like Ashley Fiolek on the American Honda team and Jessica Patterson on Rockstar Suzuki but we still struggle for time and exposure at the WMX Nationals in USA. But ESPN X Games has been very good about treating the women as pros since day one. There’s lots of talent in women’s racing these days. Meghan Rutledge out of Australia is fantastic, Sayaka Kaneshiro on Muscle Milk Honda, Kasie Creson and many more. There are some amateurs coming such as Jennifer Burton and Brandy Richards who are very fast. Also a young girl from New Zealand named Courtni Duncan that I think will be one to watch. I even do some training with a 7 year old girl in North Carolina named Gray Leadbetter. It is an exciting time for Women’s Motocross.”

we now have a handful of pro women making a very good living from racing

“I have seen a lot of change. There’s so many more females racing at all levels and the level of competition is much higher. The women are closing the gap between them and the men’s pro privateers in terms of speed and talent. Additionally we now have a handful of pro women making a very good living from racing as well as gear, product and programs aimed at female riders. I think the attitude toward female riders has changed and

The association was developed to nurture women’s professional racing and riding and today with motocross growing larger it covers more than just racing. With

female stars at the X Games and on TV, female specific MX equipment and protection by brands across the world, there is now a huge retail future ahead and with this comes advertising, sponsorship of riders and events, brand teams and mass market appeal. It’s now no longer unusual to see a girl at a track, without her boyfriend/ brother/dad, or even on a mud splattered, greasy and powerful bike. With the growing presence of female riders, there are now an abundance of championships to sink your teeth into in America. “The top ones are the WMX Nationals (Women’s Motocross Championship), the FIM WMX series in Europe and of course the X Games. Our new website provides a central place for females to get in-

formation on Off-road and Motocross events and racers, it has all the big race schedules, video and results.” says Miki. Sprint forward 20 years or so from the days of my parents garage and there is now a women’s Motocross scene here in the UK and it’s growing as fast as the women are racing. The BSMA Girls National Championships are held at the Moredon MX track in Wroxton near Banbury. Last year over 100 ladies from UK and Europe entered to race for the podium spots and the competition is back by popular demand this September. Maybe over the next 12 months we could see speedy developments in ability for a UK or more European females to achieve an X Games 18 invite or two? Fingers crossed!

To gain an insight into how to get into MX, I spoke to Emily Proctor from East Coast Girls MX in Yorkshire who has set up a group for like minded female MX enthusiasts. “I am quite new to the scene and I didn’t know many girls who rode and I found it a bit daunting to go and introduce myself, but really wanted to ride with girls. We approached a number of girls whilst we were riding at different tracks to ask them what they thought of the idea and they were all very positive. The amount of girls joining is always growing and we have had great support from local businesses who have given the members discounts in store. By beginning the group I have made new friends and riding with other girls has given me more confidence, they understood the problems I had encountered - such as not being able to touch the floor and finding the tracks intimidating. It has helped my confidence to ride, and I hope it helps all the other members too.” I like to do any sport with an element of danger, I recently started roller derby but motocross is the sport that I am determined to be good at, and the only way to do this is practice. People don’t realise the hard work involved in riding a motocross bike round a track. You need to be strong in order to wrestle with the bike and not end up on the floor and you need stamina to be able to last the twenty minute practice sessions you get at most tracks. I try to ride every weekend at a track although the weather can prevent this. I try to practice corners, speed and control once a week.” Not all girls are exposed to MX via the expected brother/father/ boyfriend connection. A lot transfer their interest from other high octane sports which require the same drive, passion and commitment as Motocross. As well as having a huge role in co-founding Nikita Clothing, Heida Birgisdottir has been fascinated by dirt bikes since she was a teenager. “Around 2002, some snowboarding friends got a bike and that’s when I really started thinking about getting one too. First I shared one with a friend, but after a short time I was so into it that I got my own. I think it’s really important to start with the right size of bike. I think a lot of girls are afraid of the size and power of the big bikes. I’m quite short, so I started with Yamaha TTR 125, it’s a small 4 stroke bike, but more like a track bike than motocross. But it was super nice to learn on, like changing gears and all that was really easy. Then I got KTM 85 and then I took the step to 125, two stroke, which I’m riding now. I also think it’s important to get some lessons from a good teacher to learn the right techniques in the beginning. I remember when I was starting all the guys just wanted to help out. I think most guys are just stoked to have girls riding. I don’t really think MX is a masculine sport, but there are a lot of girls who are into Nikita that like snowboarding, skateboarding, MX and a lot of other action sports. Most of my girlfriends who ride motocross also snowboard, and some of them skate or surf. I just want to tell all the girls out there, if they want to get into motocross or any other sport or activity, just go for it. You can do it if you really want to!” If the action on the track still sounds like just that bit too much of a risk and you’d prefer your flask of tea on the track side, spectating and supporting the racing is just as important and exhilarating as riding the bikes themselves. It will surpass your expectations just how fast these women ride. You will find it hard to separate the men from the girls, sometimes not being able to tell who you were watching. Check out the upcoming ‘Nitro Circus Live’ events in November at London's O2 Arena and Manchester MEN Arena or for something a little more raw get down to the BMSA in September for a taster of the race action. Or go one better, get some kit and jump on a bike. There are many national tracks offering learner sessions for women. Its another reason to get out and about and off the high street.

Photos: Nathan Gallagher

Nikole Lowe is best known to those outside the inner circle of tattooing simply as the 'hot blonde one on London Ink’, the diminuative blonde having won fans the world over with her ferocious laugh and wicked sense of humour. But to anyone else with more than a passing interest or a dolphin on her ankle, Nikole is one of the finest tattooists in the world, owner of Good Times Tattoo in London and proud owner of both leg and arm sleeves by Filip Leu. With a waiting list of over three years, Nikole's detailed, colourful Japanese style work has won her legions of fans and her shop Good Times has been a a runaway success from the start. Boasting artists such as the amazing Saira Hunjan, Danny Kelly, Nick Horn, Piotrek Taton and Miles Monaghan, Good Times is a conoisseurs's tattoo studio, a far cry from the dodgy seafront shops of yore.

do everything in New Zealand. It wasn't really until I came here that I started specialising more. So I started off with the Maori stuff then moved into mostly flowers and butterflies then it kind of progressed in Japanese because the flowers and butterflies needed backgrounds. Mainly I do Japanese these days. Do you ever get bored of doing the same stuff all the time? Yeah I'm always trying to change it. People are quite open now to letting me just go for it, if I say I want to try something new then they're always pretty up for it. I did a Koi fish on the London Ink show once then after

In speaking to Nikole I was struck by the dual aspects to her personality; both supremely confident and self depracating, Nikole often referred to the fact she'd succeeded due to being in the right place at the right time. But to describe Nikole Lowe as lucky would be to flippantly dismiss her hard work and dedication to tattooing; her success is entirely her own, a direct result of hard graft and talent. Nikole and I caught up in her light and airy second home to discuss her shop, career and the difficulty of tattooing cats. How did you originally get into tattooing when you were back in New Zealand? I got into tattooing by accident, I was young, I was broke and I used to draw a lot, so I went to sell some designs to a tattooer and he basically fell in love with me. It was just a case of right place, right time. His receptionist was pregnant and he needed someone else so he offered me an apprenticeship. He obviously saw something in me and I never looked back. Then I moved here in 2000 and started working at Angelic Hell on Frith Street. I was there for a while then I went to Into You for a couple of years before setting up this place. That was about three years ago. How long were you at the shop before they let you start tattooing? I was an apprentice for three years but they let me start tattooing after the first year. But heaps of days I did nothing and if you don't work, you don't get paid. From what I can tell you started off doing a lot of butterflies and flowers and then progressed into Japanese work? Well when I first came to the UK I did a lot of Maori stuff, the traditional New Zealand stuff, plus I did basically everything as you kind of have to be able to

that all I got asked for was Koi fish. I got so sick of them that I decided that I wouldn't do another one for a year. So I had a year off just to get over it with no Koi fish because it was basically like every day. I mean you can only do it so many ways, it's a great tattoo but not if you are doing it every day. What was the TV show London Ink like?


It was an interesting experience, I don't regret it at all, it took me out of everyday life. It was a really good experience meeting some interesting people, and doing things that aren't the norm which is great as life gets a bit repetitive, you know? And it helped me out with getting this place. I mean I was busy before but now I'm just crazy busy. It was fun, working with Phil and Dan is always fun. We've become much better friends since we were filming than when we were actually. Do you think they'll do another series? They still repeat it and we haven't filmed in four years but I'm not sure.They did come up and have a look at the studio and wanted to do a 'where you are all at' kind of thing but nothing ever came of it. They went completely broke when the recession hit and a bunch of people lost their jobs. So who did you set up Good Times with? Myself! It's all my own, I was gonna have a partner and then I decided no, I mean you work so hard and then people just take your money and if I had a partner that's not a tattooer then they'd just get money for nothing in my opinion. How did you fund it? I loaned a bit of money from the bank, a couple of grand from my friend, my flatmate's granddad lent me two grand, my parents lent me a couple of grand. This one friend who I've known for a while just gave me a big chunk of money too, he was just a really nice man, a really good friend. It was so hard to get a loan from the bank because it just when the recession started. So it was difficult man, I just loaned little bits from a whole bunch of people. I was just really lucky. The shop was an immediate success though, so you must have been pretty pleased at how quickly it took off? Yeah, well I already had a whole bunch of people who I wanted to work here, like Saira Hunjan and Danny Kelly, all people I'd worked with before so I immediately had a good crew which is why it worked. It's a really beautiful studio in Shoreditch. Is the rent high? No not really, because the place had been

New Zealand at the start. Now you're such a success do you go away and do guest spots much? Or does running Good Times take up all your energy? I hardly ever go away and guest, if I go away I go away purely for a holiday I don't want to go away and work somewhere. If I go away I want to switch off. I'll take my sketchbook but sometimes I don't even open it. Although saying that, this year I am going to Bali for three weeks to work in a resort and I'm going to New Zealand to work at a convention! But apart from that I don't usually go away, I have responsibilities here now, it’s my own shop.

empty for eight months and it was the recession and as it's on the first floor rather than street level, it's cheaper. I know the guys underneath me pay more than double. I think they just wanted to rent it out. It was just a a matter of right place, right time again, story of my life! Whats your favourite tattoo that you've done? I have a few but you get new favourites all the time as you're always getting better. But a couple that stick out are the skull back piece on Alice Temple and then probably the swan on the front of Sinden but there are others but those two as they're so different and they both looked really good on the person. They're probably my two favourites but I always have other ones. I have this week's favourite and my next week I'll have next week's favourite. You’ve got a huge waiting list! Do you close your books after a certain amount of time? I only ever book myself up for three months at a time but I have a waiting list of about three years. I have some other really good artists who work here so they can take all the people who don't want to wait. At least you're in demand, you're not just sitting in your own shop twiddling your thumbs! Well I've done that! For about the first ten years of tattooing I had to have other jobs because tattooing didn't support me so I always had two jobs. There was some days where I'd be at work and not tattoo at all and people don't realise that now, they expect to be tattooing straight away. But I used to really struggle tattooing in

Whats the weirdest tattoo you've ever done? I did an angry duck on a dwarf's penis. In New Zealand this little dwarf, well obviously he was little, he was a dwarf, but anyway, he got an angry duck on his penis and then afterwards he got me to write 'Grrr' underneath it. I think it was a dare. I haven't really had many weird ones in England but a Chinese man had one nostril bigger than the other and he used to put eyeliner under one to create a shadow, I couldn't even tell by looking at him. But anyway I tattooed black up inside his nostril for him which was pretty weird. Actually, here's a weird one, when I first started in New Zealand 20 years ago a lot of cats and dogs with white ears and noses would get sunburned. They'd blister up and go cancerous and they'd have to have bits cuts off. For some reason they thought that tattooing the cats' and dogs' ears and noses black would stop them getting sunburnt. Crazy! So I used to go to the vets and tattoo these poor cats' and dogs' ears and noses. If you look in a cat's ears they have all these little folds, it used to take ages! Once I did a St. Bernard, that was probably biggest dog I did.

I used to really struggle tattooing in New Zealand at the start

I feel like you're winding me up... No it's true! They don't do it anymore, I think they realised that it doesn't stop cats getting cancer but twenty years ago they thought it might! It was good practice, I got twenty dollars a cat, which nowadays would be about five or six pounds. But I was so slow, it took ages, it would take me about an hour per ear when it should have taken about fifteen mins but you've gotta start somewhere!

Amy Fleuriot’s fair trade safari

London Fields is a small patch of green in East London, criss crossed by bicycle paths, home to two playgrounds and and the only heated Lido in the city. It was here in January 2011 that I met Bee Friedmann whilst out walking our dogs, Hiro and Wolf. With many years experience working in craft development in South Africa, Bee's love of baskets and jewellery led her to explore new possibilities in Kenya. Romantic imagery of safaris, Wildebeest Migrations and palm fringed beaches have long made Kenya a popular tourist destination. However, the cruel truth is that whilst millions of pounds find their way into Kenya not many of those pounds actually filter down to the local communities living in the shadow of the countries biggest wildlife parks - Tsavo East and West. The possibility of climbing Mt Kasigau, meeting talented local craftswoman and the lure of the African bush were enough for me to make the decision to accompany Bee on her next trip. Inspired by tales of the Kenyan artisans I began designing a collection of contemporary jewellery, dog collars and leads using traditional materials such as wood, brass, leather and bone for our new company Hiro + Wolf. On the 1st of May 2012 Bee and I boarded a plane with photographer Clare Lewington to embark on one hell of an adventure. Taita Taveta, also known as Kasigau is a vast area of open Africa plains overlooked by a dominating mountain and situated around two hours drive from the cool Indian ocean of Mombassa. Every day in the ten small villages that make up Kasigau, people wake up, tend to their crops, cook thick ugali, a maize flour porridge served with kuku and chatter loudly. The rains have been disappointing in recent years, the local elephants spend much of their time destroying crops and the nearest hospital is several miles away but this does not deter the locals whose warmth and strong sense of community is

instantly apparent. One of the main craft activities in Kasigau is the weaving of sisal Kiondo baskets. For many years these baskets have been used domestically as well as sold in tourist markets. They are made throughout Kenya but vary from area to area. Even within Kasigau each group weaves slightly differently. Kissimeni's baskets are very finely woven and tend to be thinly striped whereas the Bungule women favour vibrant colours such as hot pinks and use a thicker stripe. In Jora the women weave tall, narrow baskets perfect for slipping a bottle of wine into. Rukanga Town, Councillor Ezra David describes the challenges that poaching and charcoal production present to Kasigau and how visitors provide an important source of income to the region. Despite being in the middle of a national park, Kasigau and its people do not benefit from the thousands of visiting tourists who rarely venture into such rural areas. In addition to the unique flora and fauna, the area is also home to the Taita White Eye, a small bird only found around Mt. Kasigau.“We live in a very poor region and it is important that we look to provide alternative sources of income for the people here.” Ezra says, “If they can make money sustainably through selling baskets or leading guided tours of the area then they will no longer need to exploit the land, which will in turn help us protect the areas wildlife and eco system.” Ezra is also part of the committee which each year organises the Kasigau Bike Challenge. The sandy 30KM route around Mt. Kasigau attracts local and international teams to compete and raise money for community based projects including paying for school fees, digging wells and maintaining water supplies. Dressed in hiking boots and denim shorts, carrying back packs laden with water, nuts and fruit, Clare and I arrive

Photos: Clare Lewington

at the base of Mt. Kasigau to meet our guide. Casually attired in an over sized t shirt, rolled khaki pants and rubber flip flops Julias tells us he climbs the mountain every single day, sometimes going up twice. His thick weathered skin clings to the hollows of his face making his wild eyes appear even more pronounced. We have no doubt that Julias belongs to the mountain. Bee bids us farewell, squeezing into a basket laden car on her way to the local post office to send her haul back to London. Following a narrow trail from the rural town of Rukanga our path ascends towards the foot of the mountain. For the first thirty minutes we hop across large flat rocks punctuated by tall grass. A group of toned teenage boys lounge in their boxer shorts taking advantage of a rare pool of water - despite being the rainy season Kasigau is in draught, washing their clothes and cooling off under the hot sun. The terrain is rocky and rugged. Soon we come across a water pipe, that Julius explains, was installed by locals with funding from Kiwanjani Eco Lodge. It provides much needed water to the surrounding villages of Bongule, Jora and Rukanga during the dry seasons. We follow its path up into the mountain, scrambling over rocks and streams. After an hour and a half we reach a clearing and replenish our strength with fresh tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. Julias removes his flip flops announcing that he’ll continue bare foot. Leaving the clearing our path suddenly steepens and we fight our way through thick bush, hanging onto creepers and pulling ourselves up rocks. This is not like any trail Clare and I have followed before and we are grateful to have Julias as our guide. The forest is full of life and decay, at several points we lose our footing as the soft earth gives way beneath us and we become increasingly careful of which branches to steady ourselves with as we make our ascent. The view from the top of the 1600 metre peak is breathtaking, we pause to watch the clouds pass shadows over the flat bush land and villages below. In the distance Julius points out a small triangular patch of white, which it transpires, is actually the snow covered peak of Mount

Kilimanjaro, some 220KM away on the border of Tanzania. As we descend the clouds break and heavy rain makes the already steep route increasingly difficult to navigate. Soaked and covered in mud we slide our way down through the trees, the air thick with the scent of warm rock, earth and fragrant lilac flowers. We near the base of the mountain just as the sun is setting, bathing the peak behind us in a yellow light, the bright orange and crimson sky making a striking contrast against the dark palm tress silhouetted below. Finally reaching the bottom we buy a small bottle of whisky in a local drinking establishment (a shed in someone's back yard) and celebrate our momentous achievement on the drive back to Mombassa. Situated off the hectically busy Mombassa highway down a typical urban African road dotted with roadside eateries, hairdressers and seamstresses, Bombolulu Workshop improves the lives off people with physical disabilities. Opened in 1969, Bombolulu was taken over by the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya in 1987. A member of WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation) this nonprofit organisation works with around 150 skilled artisans in 4 workshops producing a range of jewellery, carvings, textile and leather products. It is a safe haven for its disabled members, offering sheltered housing to the craftspeople who choose to live on site as well as support to those who live outside. Here the artisans are provided with a regular income, medical benefits and access to child care and HIV prevention. The centre helps it’s residents overcome their physical limitations and empowers them socially and economically to become fully integrated members of their communities. The Jewellery workshop is the biggest of the departments. Strips of brass are coiled, cast, cut and hammered to produce never ending combinations of quality, hand made jewellery for brands across the globe. Next door in the carving workshop large reclaimed tree trunks and boxes of treated bone (a by-product of the meat industry) are turned into the delicate daisies, hearts and stars for Hiro + Wolf’s jewellery range. Sewing machines whirr in the textile department as colourful kitenge fabric is stitched into the fun ribbon-tie pouches each of our products will be sold in. We are fortunate to feel part of the process, sanding, sewing and assembling our new samples whilst getting to know the individuals that are creating them. Back in London we unpack our new products and look forward to sharing the story of their creation with customers in the UK. Bee's house is bursting with baskets, piled high on every shelf, ready to be sold from her stall 'From Afar' on Broadway Market. It has been a rewarding experience and we are satisfied to know that money from the sale of each product will go to help one of our new friends in Kenya. John and Mustaffa e mail us from the leather workshop at Bombolulu to say they miss us and hope to see us again soon.

Film - Kodak Portra 160 is in my opinion one of the best films ever to be made, I don’t go anywhere without it. Analogue Camera - The Canon T90 known as the ‘Work Horse’ was the first film camera I bought which could sync with a flash at a fast enough speed to capture the skating images I wanted to take. It is a completely manual focus and although nearly 30 years old, it’s still doing me proud.

Photographer, Skateboarder and founder of rogue Skateboards, jenna Selby lets us peep inside her bag

Digital Camera - I ummed and ahhed for ages between buying the 5D Mark ll and the 7D as I wanted to use the camera for filming too - in the end the full frame option won out. The one seen here is now known as my 5D Mark ll Mark ll because I had my original one stolen on a shoot in South America last year.

FD lenses - I prefer using prime lenses as they provide less distraction when shooting. The 85mm 1.2 is my favourite. I could spend hours just looking through it not taking a photo! A close second is the 15mm Fisheye. Slaves - Work brilliantly for shooting flash off camera.

Batteries - Backs up for peace of mind. Handycam Supplied by Kodad to make short edits. Flash Guns - For both digital and analogue cameras. The Vivitar 283 was one of the first flashes I ever bought and has been going strong since uni. Wallet - Oyster card and money Hairbrush - I’m usually looking somewhat windswept half way through a shoot. Pens and paper - Useful for taking down or handing out details.

Rogue Stickers - To spread the word. Kids love them! Book/IPod/Magazine - Passes the time when travelling. House Keys - Always useful!! Tissues - My only OCD tendency is to carry tissues with me everywhere. I don't like to get caught out. DC Lip Balm - The only balm which doesn't make my lips go bright red after using it.




ESSENTIALS tent pitched, coffee brewing, anywhere is paradise

Clockwise from top left: Northface Westwind 2 Tent £385.00 A lightweight, durable two-person tent, perfect for three season adventures. Lifeventure Soft Fibre Trek Towel £29.99 A highly absorbant lightweight towel which packs down to a tiny size. GSI Halulite Microdualist, £59.99 A super lightweight set of cooking pot, bowl, cups and forks. GSI Personal Java Press, £32.99 Nesting mug and coffee press with insulating sleeves. Wild Woodgas Stove MK II £49.96 Our favourite piece of kit, this stable, compact woodgas camping stove packs down to the size of an apple. We chucked in a few sticks and minutes later we were sipping coffee. With no need to carry fuel, this is a simple, easy, effective way to heat your dinner. Easy to use and cools down rapidly after use. Poler Stuff Nap Sack £99.99 A sleeping bag you can wear! We like!


Scarlet Hotel Mawgan Porth

Errant Surf have just added a surf boat break to their list of appealing sounding weeks away. Departing daily from Fuertaventura, the surf charter offers you uncrowded waves and access to remote surf spots.

Cornwall is home to one of the most beautiful stretches of coast the UK has to offer, but many of this surfing mecca's towns play host to an ever increasing number of stag and hen weekends, fine if you're up for spending the weekend necking WKD and chasing members of the opposite sex, but less appealing if you're looking for a quiet getaway and some quality time to yourself.

This is a surf trip you will not find anywhere else. So, pack your board and your fishing rod! £529 per week

Unicorn Trails offer a week of camping and horse riding along the beautiful beaches of Morocco. Beginning in Essaouira, enjoy a week in the saddle and nights under the stars on a beautiful Arab cross steed. £1065 per week

This summer, Pure Mountains, in association with, are running two mountain bike breaks just for women. Designed for the experienced rider to further her skills, enjoy four days of riding in the Spanish Sierra Nevada with coaching, yoga and luxury acommodation. £529 per week

Just around the corner from the hustle and bustle of popular Newquay, lies beautiful Mawgan Porth, home to the fabulous Scarlet. This beautifully imagined, eco conscious hotel and spa nestles above a shimmering expanse of coastline, the tumbling tiers of the exterior a celebration of the partnership between architecture and environment. An 'adult only' hotel, a break at The Scarlet promises a relaxing experience, the emphasis being on unwinding in comfort and enjoying all mother nature has to offer. The sleek design of The Scarlet immediately sets it apart from other eco conscious hotels. If you were expecting lentils and Birkenstocks, think again; The Scarlet has a somewhat more Californian take on eco friendly, with style and elegance uncompromised by sustainability. With solar panels, a biomass boiler, a natural ventilation system, and locally sourced food, this getaway does not come at considerable cost to the environment. Smart, yet unfussy, this idyll does away with unnecessary 'hotel rules'. Upon arrival we were invited to relax in the reception area whilst a member of staff came over to attend to us, perching next to us on the sofa. A glittering floor to ceiling glass window drew the eye across to the infinity pool and the coastline beyond, the smooth expanse of glass coupled with bright yet earthy tones of the textiles in perfect harmony. Once checked in, our friendly host showed us around the many levels of the hotel, a clever marriage of light, open spaces and smaller, cosy hideaways to escape to. The jewel in the crown for me was the beautiful out-

door pool, a reed filtered natural swimming pool surrounded by granite, pebbles and decking, the perfect blend of nature and design. Perching next to the outdoor pool, high above the golden beaches below, sat two wood fired hot tubs. These looked gloriously tempting but sadly we weren't warned when we booked that advance reservations were requireed. I did my best not to feel too jealous of the couple sat soaking whilst sipping cocktails. A seaweed soak in the tubs, ably attended by your own 'hot tub host’, is a very reasonable £35 and looks like the perfect way to soothe aching muscles post surf. The spa is a big selling point of The Scarlet and no visit would be complete without sampling one of the Ayurvedic treatments on offer. Designed to restore and revive, guests are encourage to amble down in robes and relax in cocoon like pods between treatments. Following a consultation with a Tri-Dosha qualified practioner, treatments are tailored made to your mind, body, spirit and desire. A hammam, couples suite with double bath and a meditation room complete this quiet temple to the soul. If like me, you like to unwind by thrashing out some tension in the waves, Mawgan Porth is home to a surf school and hire shops. The waves are a short trot down the hotel path, across the near deserted beach and when we stayed in May, there was a mere handful of people out in the Ocean. The surrounding bays and coves are also packed with breaks, though with a short time to enjoy the amenities of the hotel, we preferred to stay close to home.

The chic interior design of The Scarlet continues to the light and airy bedrooms, many with sea views, and huge french doors blurring the boundary between indoors and out. Many rooms have waterfall showers with large sliding doors to access a private terrace or giant roll tops baths to luxuriate and soak in. Our room was one of the 'Just Right' rooms, and it was exactly that, comfortable and unfussy with well thought out touches such as bowls, towels and treats for Bella, our dog who'd accompanied us to review the hotel. Unusually for such a sleek hotel, The Scarlet is dog friendly, and Bella was welcomed by the staff, if not by some of the guests! Pooch parked on the balcony, we headed to the restaurant to dine overlooking the locals still out in the surf. With an emphasis on locally sourced food and a list full of European wines, to minimise air miles, the focus at dinner is thankfully not on detoxifying or dieting like at some spa hotels. Simple, seasonal food was elegantly presented with a minimum of fuss, and we enjoyed delicious locally caught fish whilst gazing out across the glittering bay, soothed by the gentle rolling of the waves. It's impossible to feel stressed at The Scarlet; it's is small piece of heaven on the Cornish coast. It's incredibly important to give your body time to relax, to slow your heart rate, to breath and to treat yourself well. It's impossible to visit without The Scarlet without doing just that, so from now on, I'll be visiting as regularly as possible. Rooms from £190pp /

Camilla StodDarT In Her Own Words I was always into creating things when I was at school. I spent almost all my time in the art block making and creating. I took up photography as an extra class and learnt how to develop photos in the dark room, it was one of my favourite things but I never thought that I would one day be a photographer. I went to Art Collage in London and got a degree in Theatre Design, and even though many of my projects ended up being photography based I still thought I wanted to work in film and theatre. Once I graduated I took my camera to the mountains and never looked back. I'm a very keen skier and I think I have this passion to blame for taking me to where I am now. I followed the snow to the Southern Hemisphere, camera in hand. For the first few years I worked as a ski instructor to keep me going financially while I took photos of my friends skiing on a series of back to back winters. In a run of fortunate events, including meeting the right people and going on some cool trips, my photos started to get published in magazines. This began my photography career. I love adventure and the outdoors. It's certainly not as easy as it sounds, and by no means did I start to make money immediately, but it has been a huge roller coaster I am still riding and loving almost ever minute. There are trips where things don't go to plan due to snow, weather or injury which can be a huge disappointment. It is such a lot of work to put a trip together, and all these factors can effect your trip’s success and the money you can make. My first trip I organized to Japan was a huge learning curve for me. I spent months putting plans in place but on the first week of our trip it rained. Photos were impossible and the conditions were so bad. We then had a very interesting and crazy drive to another resort where the snow began to get better. In the end we got a couple of very wind effected powder days and did a lot of hiking to get what we wanted but I managed to get enough photos to make the stories we needed for press. Its a huge responsibility when organizing a trip. You have to promise a lot of people masses of exposure and media in return for supporting your trip, and promise the media a great story with amazing photos in return. If conditions don't go your way it can be devastating. I have never had a total disaster; the skiers/riders I chose to take with me are professionals and we can make something out of a bad situation, whether it involves hiking, building, walking etc. I have had a number of amazing trips also, and as long as the good times outweigh the bad, I will keep on going. One of my proudest moments was getting to the finals in the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2010. I was the only female and my photo was picked out of 23,000 entries! But my proudest moment of all would have to be in Are, Sweden last July when I was invited on a photo shootout for a mountain bike event, along side one of my favourite photographers, Mattias Fredricksson. It was such hard work on the 5 days we were given to shoot and edit our slide shows, and I felt completely out of my depth. At the end of the event we had to show our slide show to a huge audience to be judged. My slide show won, and beat 4 men, including my idol, Mattias. Such an honour!


ANYWHERE I ROAM Photography Sanna Charles Styling Mireia Roelas

Tamara: CARHARTT Knitted top WESC Shorts COS Leggings BEYOND RETRO Boots & Sunglasses Fiona: LEVI'S Shorts GSTAR Vintage Denim Vest BEYOND RETRO Boots & Tshirt


Opposite: AMERICAN APPAREL Tshirt COS top DICKIES dungarees VANS Shoes

Tamara: SCHOTT NYC Jacket EDWIN Tshirt EDWIN Jeans BEYOND RETRO Boots & Sunglasses


Fiona: SCHOTT NYC Jacket EDWIN Jacket ASOS Leather Gwloves

Tamara: as before Fiona: CARHARTT Jacket WESC Shorts AMERICAN APPAREL Tshirt CARHARTT Socks DR MARTENS Boots

Illustration: Tom Jennings

Ok, so it feels a bit stupid writing an article about summer when it has been raining every day, but one can live in hope. Let’s imagine for a moment that it is, in actual fact, a lovely sunny day outside; at last there’s an opportunity to wear your favourite summer kit! You know what you want to wear, but have you given any thought to what sunscreen (if any) you’ll be wearing?

Prior to being heavily tattooed, I hardly thought about protecting my skin from the sun, I was far more interested in becoming -cough cough- a golden goddess, but now I have great artwork to protect, and more importantly, I’ve recently had a couple of patients the same age as me tell me their skin cancer stories. Scary stuff, so read on.

Of course nothing beats avoiding the sun during the middle of the day, as well as using clothing and hats when you are in it to create a physical barrier, but we are British. This means that when the sun shines, we are so busy relishing the heat, that we ignore all of the above.

When choosing a sunscreen (yes, there is more to it than picking the one that is on sale), these are the things to look out for:

When you start to feel the burn, get out of the sun! I know this is hard if you have had too many ciders and you are sleeping it off in the park, but hopefully your friends are not mean enough to leave you there.

First off, there are two main types of ultraviolet: UVA and UVB. What’s the difference? Think ‘A’ for ages, and ‘B’ for burns. SPF numbers only give a guideline of the amount of time that you are protected from UVB, so if you don’t want to end up with Donatella Versace’s skin, you need to use sunscreen that offers high UVA protection too. How do you know which ones do? Look for the UVA stars, which range from one to five, five offering the highest level of protection.

Next up, get drinking. No, not more cider; water, and lots of it, but don’t gulp it, sip it slowly to prevent shock. Rehydration is key when trying to prevent sunstroke, and if you have any electrolyte tablets (I love Nuun tri-berry ones), add them to the water. Taking painkillers at this stage would also be a good idea. It’s important to cool your body down, so take your clothing off to let heat escape, and ideally, take a cool shower or a bath, then lie down with your legs elevated to prevent dizziness.

Next up, make sure you use enough. This where a lot of people fall down, they get the UVA/UVB stuff, but skimp on the amount they use. Here is the deal; if you use a sunscreen with SPF 25, and five UVA stars, you could be protected for 5h 40m. Chances are though, that if you don’t put enough on, it will only protect you for 1h 50m.

Finally, please keep an eye on your moles. If you are unsure about what to look out for, use the A-B-C-D guide:

The British Medical Journal recommends putting sunscreen along your index and middle fingers, and applying this amount to each of the eleven ‘zones’ of your body. Each arm, upper leg, and lower leg is a zone, as well as your head, chest, abdomen, upper back, and lower back. The BMJ also suggests applying sunscreen 30 minutes prior to heading out, and reapplying again after you’ve been outside for thirty minutes, then after swimming or toweling.

• • • •

Asymmetry. Does each half look the same? Border. Are the edges irregular or blurred? Colour. Is the colour uneven, or is there more than one shade? Diameter. Is it more than 6mm?

If the answer is yes to any of the above, the best thing to do is to see your GP. More people in the UK die of skin cancer than in Australia, so let’s follow their example and “Slip! Slop! Slap!”

• by Maisie Hill

Photo: Dan Howell

Kym Perfetto is a bike messenger, actress, stunt girl, and celebrity trainer. She has competed in messenger races all over the world and ably holds her own against the guys. Whether it’s riding fast, Hollywood films or television appearances Kym is doing it all. She talks us through her daily routine.

have the occasional flight to L.A. for meetings, TV spots or to guest teach classes at the new West Hollywood location. Lunch is usually a ton of green things, a salad with some protein or hummus and broccoli with a sandwich. My favourite is to get kale salad from city bakery (they give a 15% discount to cyclists!).

I wake up fairly late because I don’t work in the mornings. About a year ago I realised, 'hey, I work for myself if I don't want to wake up early, I don't have to!' I’m not a morning person; I told work years ago that you can put me on the schedule for 8am if you want a really shitty teacher to show up, otherwise don’t make it any earlier than 10am.

I guess I do what I do because it kind of fell into my lap, I think it’s the same with a lot of people that like riding, it wasn’t initially a conscious choice. I didn’t have a car, I just had a bike and rode everywhere. In a way It’s Austin’s (NY messenger) fault. I credit Austin for ruining my life, he told me that not many girls show up at the races and I wasn’t making any money and he told me I could win a bag so I started racing, then everything just followed. I love riding my bike all the time. When people look at my body they say you don’t get that body from riding a bike, but it is from mostly riding, also push ups and pull ups.

First thing on my mind when I wake up is that my legs don’t want to move. I'll roll over and check out how sore I am, if it's Friday and I’ve been teaching all week, I’m usually like ‘I can’t move everything hurts’, if it's Monday then I feel good. I rock, paper, scissors my boyfriend for who has to get up to make coffee. The winner gets to hit snooze and wake up to a fresh cup! I hate breakfast, well I love breakfast but I want it at 1 in the afternoon so I grab a Snickers, spandex, headphones and my bag before rushing out the door. I almost always cut it close which is more of a personality flaw than a choice, but running late keeps me fast on the road. The longest I ride to work is 14 miles and the shortest is 8 miles, the other day I achieved a personal best: 14 minutes from Bed to Union Square!

After I’ve finished at the studio I ride back to Brooklyn for a rehearsal for my band No Way Jose. Dinner is usually later than I'd like. If I've had a long day of teaching I love one cold beer, some steamed veggies and a little protein, either fish, chicken or tofu. I prefer to drink my carbs instead of eat them. When I want to relax I like to go out and dance and watch bands. My boyfriend is in a successful band so I go and watch him play, my free time is like his work time. I love to go rock climbing, indoor at Brooklyn Boulders or outside, I like going to the beach when the weather is nice. I am just too hyper active for television and books. I finally get to bed about 1am.

Lady Gaga comes to my classes!

I get to work at Soulcycle where classes last 45 minutes, for the most part the classes are full of people that don’t ride bikes. Sometimes I get messengers and tri-athletes, they like it because it’s got a lot of high cadences, really fast spinning so it helps with your speed. We play really loud music, the guys that do the sound system for Madison Square Gardens do our sound system so it’s really cool. The music is turned up, lights off and it’s just intense bursts of hill climbs, sprints etc. It’s like when you close your eyes whilst riding and see how far you can go; you get to do this for the entire 45 minutes at SoulCycle and just zone out. A large chunk of what I do is motivational speaking, so you get loud music, riding and someone getting into your head, pushing and motivating you to overcome fears, doubts and inhabitations. Most days I teach two indoor cycling classes at SoulCycle, one in the morning and the other in the evening. I'm also a personal trainer for 3-5 clients, so I will head off to train a client then come back to the studio to teach the evening class. SoulCycle gives me a lot of good contacts, Lady Gaga comes to my classes! I also

I also act and do stunts for film. I’m working on a few television shows, film and documentary projects. We’re planning on shooting a reality series for SoulCycle, which could be good or just terrible! I’m also working on a game show; there's a show in the US called Cash Cab, you get in to a cab and have to chance to win thousands of dollars by answering questions and they're doing a spin off with messengers where they stop on route, ask people questions and hand out money. I got the spot as the messenger host! My life as a city-cyclist and messenger has played a role in everything major I've done. From travelling the world racing, my approach to training my clients, to starting out in stunts or to making music! Add to that the film I recently did stunts for, Premium Rush's release at the end of August. I'm feeling pretty good about this year! My next project I'm working on is a fitness travel mini-series called KYMNONSTOP. We start filming this July. It's going be rad.

Thanks to technology, I still was able to have a 'small moments' kind of relationship with my friends back in London, writing letters to say the big important things, emails to ramble about friends that you've bumped into that are shagging other friends and drunken proclamations you may or may not have made, and text messages to share a train of thought, an incomplete idea, a small laugh and to remind people that you are still alive somewhere. At an international rate of just 20p per thought it was well worth it to continue to speak with my friends like they were just a river away instead of an ocean. Posh John and I were comfortable old friends in a way that wasn't meant to last; too much comfort too quickly meant it was easy to take our relaxed relationship to the level of forgetting to ever speak and then suddenly finding that you are no longer friends. But in New York, that relationship was suddenly important, to have a casual contact with someone that was 'home' meant a lot. Sitting on a set of steps waiting for work it was easy to imagine him doing the same when he texted me the news that he hadn't been keeping up on his bike maintenance and had discovered that he only had seven of the possible sixteen teeth left on his cog. I laughed, bit my nail, and promptly broke off a piece of my own tooth.

You couldn't see it, it was the back part of a tooth, but as I went on through the day talking to receptionists and delivering packages I couldn't stop running my tongue over the new rough patch, and my lack of self control was beginning to really annoy me. Any lack of attention on my part would send my tongue curiously moving back and forth over that broken tooth, it was irritating and it was also beginning to make my tongue hurt, but I couldn't stop myself. Something would have to be done. I ran into Bambi at a messenger centre in mid-town, and in a flash of brilliance I asked him if he had a metal file. He said he did, and that evening I found myself in Bushwick at his warehouse borrowing it. I had met Bambi before, he was sitting at the end of the bridge waiting for work, drinking coffee and I stopped and introduced myself in a way that would eventually be parodied by everyone I know; I stuck out my hand and said “Hi, I'm Nhatt�. In a city where everyone is so concerned with being cool, having some random rookie come straight up and say hi to one of the city's fastest and least humble couriers was not an everyday occurrence. It was also not an everyday occurrence to have a London bike messenger attempting to file her front tooth down while leaning backwards with a hand mirror under the only decent light in your apartment. If my introduction didn't win me a life long friend then I think getting that chance to watch someone file their own tooth did it, well that and a few beers. Bambi and I have never spent as long in one place together as we did while I lived in New York, but we’re inseparable in spirit. A tooth that broke in sympathy with the teeth of a friend's broken broken cog half a world away cemented a friendship that would be made up of text messages and twenty pence a thought conversations for the rest of my life.

@Jim Russi