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2X WA F F L E TREAD
SAMMY MONTANO | THE FILMORE
Sammy skating in new spring apparel and the Filmore. The Filmore features Globe’s Super-V outsole and Nitrolite™ footbed designed and tested for skateboarding.
@globebrand | GLOBEBRAND.COM | est. Australia 1994
22 Heads or Tails
72 Magenta in Istanbul 60
92 Road Rager
126 SOUR in Guatemala
36 Frank & Stinky Trouble
46 Skateboarding, academia & public space 106 Yardsale
Cover: Mike Arnold Hippie jump Taipei Ph. Alex Pires Contents: Daniel Pannemann Frontside kickflip Hanover Ph. Friedjof Feye
Ph. Alex Pires
Editor in Chief: Will Harmon Photo Editor: Sam Ashley Associate Editor: Arthur Derrien Design: Ben Weaver & Seb Howell Anthropography: James Jarvis
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Pushing Boarders panellist Alexis Sablone hugs her teammate Trevor Thompson, in Valencia.
It’s Monday afternoon and we go to print in a couple hours. The original editorial for this page was scrapped at the last minute, so now I have to write something on the fly. I remember when I was in high school and I’d rush through doing my homework after school because I desperately wanted to go skating. My grades suffered, but my skateboarding didn’t. Now two decades later I’m rushing through writing this editorial because I’d like to go skating this evening… Some things never change I guess. So I’ll keep this short… I wanna give a big shout out to Pushing Boarders for hosting skateboarding’s
first ever academic conference; it was truly inspiring and the highlight of the year for me so far. You’ll get a little insight into what was discussed by reading our interview with Ocean Howell, but I would suggest listening to the talks yourself, which should be uploaded online by the time you read this. The whole weekend really made feel proud to be a skateboarder and I feel honoured to share the same passion as so many talented others.
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Heads or Tails Carhartt WIP in Taipei
Taipei... This time we’d buy Jake Harris a new zoom lens and that would become the focus of our trip... Everything else would become secondary... This text, these photos, Max Palmer... All we cared about was zooming in and zooming out! We took Mike Arnold to Nicaragua and thought we’d take him again even though he doesn’t skate for Carhartt. Might as well. He kept flipping coins though, why was that?
Photography by Alex Pires
I had a few big decisions to make at that point in time. I came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter which way I decided because it was impossible to foresee what would happen in the future: so why not flip a coin? It’s the
same as taking a decision anyway. It’s as unpredictable. Or least that’s what I thought. Sylvain Tognelli: You did it for going vegetarian for like a year or something right? Yeah but only kept it up for about two months. That’s pretty good... It’s all right yeah… But then I started reading The Dice Man and it just got too gnarly too quick. The first time he flips the coin he’s like ‘if it’s heads, I’m gonna go rape the girl downstairs’, and it’s heads and he does it. I was just like… ‘I think I’m going to close this book now… This is too much’. You can’t live your life like that. Flip a coin to see whether you should close the book or not? I should have done that really… I think it would be a funny thing to do
Sylvain Tognelli Wallie over the channel
Rémy Taveira Wallie transfer Mike Arnold Backflip would guarantee you some new experiences. You wouldn’t be bored. You’d be able to put in the parameters of how illegal you want it to be. If you were to make this app and somehow find a way to make it legal, do you think people would actually follow the app and not go to jail because it wasn’t their decision? Blame the app. [drinks arrive]
though: living without thinking about your decisions at all. That was your idea for an app as well right? Oh that was like a random experience generator for if you’re bored… If you keep doing the same things over and over again, like going to the pub and talking rubbish every evening, you can have an app that generates things for different aspects of your day. You could put in your budget as well. Say you have like £50 for the day, it will tell you to go buy like this item of clothing, go buy this drink from the shop and then go have sex in a church. Or some other random selection of things thrown together that could potentially land you in a lot of trouble, or not, but it
If this pencil that I’m going to roll falls off the table, then I’ll talk about ayahuasca for the next half an hour. Nobody wants that. Why is it that when we do an interview for Free, one of the questions they wanted me to ask you is about ayahuasca? Why are people so obsessed with this? Well most of the time when people do it, they claim they have such a profound experience that it changes their life. It can go either way though; it’s not always for the better. If you read into DMT and things like that it’s really
interesting because it’s supposedly this chemical inside your pineal gland that makes you dream and is released when you die. I thought it was when you’re born as well? When you’re born as well. And one of the main active ingredients in ayahuasca is DMT, so there’s something about that experience that doesn’t feel like you’re taking a drug. It makes taking acid feel like going on a fairground ride or something – like a little joke with a few sparklers and colours. Ayahuasca is a whole different kettle of ball games. I heard something interesting once about ayahuasca, someone was saying that for westerners like us, taking ayahuasca is a completely different experience to what it would be for someone who’s from South American countries where there’s a lot more belief in symbolism. Basically, we grew up in a very rational world, with rational medicine. So we see this as like an exotic way of learning more about ourselves, whereas there, it’s a bit more normalised. So it’s changing
a real experience you have because for them there’s nothing weird about doing it. We have very Christian symbolism that doesn’t correspond to fucking crocodiles and snakes you know: it’s very different. So when you do ayahuasca, you see these things, but they don’t correspond to anything for us, so it’s really hard for us to make sense of it. It’s basically in a different language like reading Chinese or something; we just don’t know how to interpret what’s happening. Does anyone know what it means though? Or is it just interpretation over thousands of years of ayahuasca use passed down to the point where it’s like, ‘the snake means’… I guess I don’t know because I’m a westerner. [20 minutes of ayahuasca talk follows, drinks arrive]
Yeah… So Taipei, ha ha… Every time I go to Asia (to link it to the spiritual world) I’m always impressed at the amount of temples. There’s a lot of space, even in a huge city like Taipei, dedicated to spiritual things. I don’t know that much about it, but it seemed like there are lots of different religions from different times. And people burning candles and having shrines in their garages, like in the place across the road from where we were staying. I remember being so jet-lagged that I was up at five in the morning and ended up getting a six-pack and just sitting outside watching this guy slowly walk around his garage burning these incense things. It looked like a nice way to wake up.
It’s funny, I wonder if this guy, when he looks at us as westerners, if he sees some sort of gap? Like we’re lacking something? Because this guy is able to go to the mall and consume like the biggest capitalist, but also somehow articulates stuff with his incense and smoke in the morning. Us on the other hand, we live in a world where you can just go to the mall. That’s pretty much it. There’s not that much more. You go to the doctor he tells you ‘you have a problem, you need to take medication’, that’s it. Maybe he doesn’t even care... Yeah I wonder how they see it… Because a lot of us here in the western world see the way that they deal with illness and that sort of… Is it holistic medicine that it’s called? Sometimes we feel like it’s not going to do anything. Alternative medicine? Yeah and why is it called alternative medicine? Is that just from our perspective? Yeah because we decided it was... Yeah, because I guess we grew up in an environment where ‘oh you’ve got a headache: take some pills. Take something for this, take something for that.’ I guess we just ignore the connection between our brain and our body don’t we? When in reality it’s much bigger than we think. You see that with the placebo effect don’t you as well, which is used in our culture, but the connection is there. I think we had it more before: we used to have witches you know. And the only way for modern medicine to establish itself as the only explanation of the world – as opposed to what was left from medieval times with the witches – was just to kill everyone.
Or to kill all the knowledge, which was easy because there weren’t many books written. It was all oral knowledge, so I think that’s why it’s called alternate medicine or Chinese medicine, when actually it’s pretty close to what people used to do here as well. I’ve had a few crazy experiences with that stuff. I went in Berlin to see a body therapist – whatever that means. I was going to yoga classes at the time and the yoga teacher was swearing by him. So I went to see this guy who made me lay down and looked at energies in my body and stuff. Straight away he was like ‘oh. You have a tension in your stomach, I don’t really know what it is as I’m not a psychologist and haven’t learnt about this stuff but I can tell it’s there, I can feel it when I touch you. If you want I can find a way out for this tension, it’s going to be a bit intense. It’s been here for a while: it’s really tight. If you want as a first session, I can take this out so you trust me. You’ll realise that this
Sylvain Tognelli Boardslide to fakie
Max Palmer Ollie over to noseslide
works.’ I was a bit freaked out but told him to do it. I was curious I guess; he seemed really confident. And he did this really quick weird massage. I don’t know how to describe it... It was some kind of physiotherapy but he wasn’t working on my muscles, more working on my digestion or stomach or something. He was like ‘it’s going to be very intense’ and I felt it start moving, almost like it was an animal. He had his hands on the side of my stomach and I felt it move out slowly like in the movies when people have bad spirits inside them or something... And I felt it. And then when it came up to my chest, I was crying... No way that’s so fucking crazy. Then for like ten minutes he was like ‘lay down, lay down, it’s OK, lay down.’ And I was just laying down, in shock. Then when I slowly got back to normal he was like ‘I’m a body therapist, I don’t know what’s happening in your brain but I can see when there is tension and bad energies in your body. This is one little thing but I can also find so many other
things if you come again.’ Fuck, have you got his email? I never went back. I got his contact and he is really cool. But I never went back as I was so freaked out. I left the place telling myself, ‘wow this is amazing I want to come back every month or something.’ Then after a few days I got so scared, like the experience was too much. I don’t know if I want to feel this kind of thing again. Were there any lasting effects from that experience? I guess the rest of the day must have felt very different but… I didn’t feel like I changed or anything...
Mike Arnold Wallie
There might have been some longer lasting effects; it’s hard to tell when it’s you.
What time is it? Can I get two more of those please? God. Might as well, the idea is to get into it... OK I’m also just going to write what I think from now… There’s probably loads you can do, with recording interviews… Because you only have the audio but that’s not the only way you can get your point across. I don’t know. It strips away your mannerisms… When you interview the person you have a recorded thing. But while you interview the person, you could also have a log with the time and note down every little expression... Even how they’re breathing. Because after, when you analyse it, it’ll help you sense if they’re stressed or if it’s a bit more relaxed. People used to be freaked out when I did interviews like this for sociology research at Uni. Because you’d be recording and then they’d look at you and you like... ‘What are you writing down?’ Oh my god you’d get so self-conscious. They also used to tell us that the first half hour, basically, you can almost always delete it straight away when you edit. Because people are just into their appearance and they always try to keep everything super coherent and together to show their personality in a certain way. You’d always get 30 minutes of ‘yeah and I had three kids because I was going to do this...’ everything makes so much sense. And after that, that’s when your brain starts to get a bit more
Max Palmer Losi grind
[They order beers]
tired in the conversation. That’s when irregularities start to show up. I guess that’s the more interesting part… I kind of like the way that it can change. It would be interesting to do interviews whilst changing your surroundings. Like if you’re going for a walk or let’s say on a boat or something… And the waves get more and more choppy as you’re recording the audio. Someone starts throwing up. Ha ha. ‘We’re all going to die! OK: I wanted to say...’ Or like torture people during skate interviews just to see how they really feel. ‘I’m just going to hit you in the shin every ten minutes.’ ‘Then five minutes…’ ‘So when did you start skating?’ Bang! ‘How old were you when you had a first sponsor?’ Arrrgh! ‘Okay it was Red Bull...’
Or you could do like… You know when people play drinking games and when you say a certain word you have to drink? There could be something like that: if you say a certain word then something happens to you accordingly. I don’t know what, but you’d have to drink… Ah right on cue. [drinks arrive] hard...
So Taipei... That hippie jump was really
Yeah, you may remember me from… I’m trying to stop hippie jumping... But I find it’s like an addiction. Oh yes, it’s so bad. I never used to care about hippie jumps... I thought they were funny, but I didn’t really care. Now I find I’m consciously being like ‘come on man, don’t do it again’. But there’s so much more you can do with them. And once you’ve opened that box… I don’t see any reason to close it until you’re sick of it. I’m sick of it.
Rémy Taveira Nollie kickflip
OK then we have an issue. I don’t hippie jump when I go skate, but when I go filming I start hippie jumping stuff. Do you not want to film them anymore? No I would film them... I’m trying not to but I would. But when I just go skating all I want to do is like kickflip back tails. I find it really confusing, my brain and my body are going in two different directions. I know I want to find other stuff and do other stuff, but then it’s so much fun to do a hippie jump. It unlocks a whole new load of spots as well. There’s so many spots that you could only do hippie jumps on. So once that’s open in your brain you just see them everywhere. After the Atlantic Drift episode I told myself I was never filming a hippie jump again. I was like ‘I’ve had enough’. But between then and now I’ve probably filmed more hippie jumps than I had up to that point! Fuck it. Arthur (Derrien) was asking if you banged your head on that thing? What did I do… I ripped my hand open because
it was really rough. It was dark as well, and you had to just do a little hippie jump then get into a ball and tuck. It was almost like you had to close your eyes and hope you’d land on your board… And just make sure you don’t hit your head. I used to go caving a little bit when I was younger, and you’d go into small dark holes and just hope that you’re going to get out: it kind of felt like that. Just jumping into this really tight space that you don’t know if you’re going to get out of. If anyone else had done it, it would have been so gnarly but watching you do it... It looked like you had it from the beginning. I guess when there’s potential to hit your head though, something can go very wrong. And then after I did it… I felt so, almost overwhelmed, I don’t even know why. It was quite an intense session trying that. Then after I was nearly throwing up, I felt like all I could do was lie down and pour water over my face. Maybe it was just heatstroke? It wasn’t that, it was different. It felt like the sickness from ayahuasca, ha ha. Like an out-of-body experience... It was definitely weird though; I’ve never felt like that before. It was really bizarre. I felt really stimulated and had this overwhelming feeling in my stomach, like too many butterflies, but I can’t really explain why. It’s funny how after trying a trick for ages you often end up in such a weird state of mind and body. Did you try for that long? It wasn’t even that, it’s just that it was just really intense. It was constant, there was no a breaks… I just kept going and going and going. And you were trying a trick just before as well. Oh yeah fuck… When is this edit coming out? Whenever this stops.
Max Palmer Gap to wallride nollie out
WWW.CARHARTT-WIP.COM MAX PALMER — POLE JAM • PHOTO — ALEXANDRE PIRES
Eniz Fazliov, ollie into the bank
Words Dallas Rockvam All photos in Milan by Justus Hirvi
This is Frank, depression, pizza, bs heels, listening, stuff, stinky and more. I’m sitting and typing this out whilst heating up frozen pasta on the 31st of May 2018. This Stinky Trouble x FRANK trip happened the 9th – 20th of April. So it is just so in this short time I cannot write any whimsical story about this or that, but rather make the points and be done with it… The subject is not even directly related to this trip, but it is at the same time, and I’ll try and get it in there. The subject I want to write about is depression, not even closely related to Italy, pizza, or skateboarding I know, or? Let’s see. There was always this idea in my head to write this article about depression. As I was driving alone from upper Austria towards Milano Centrale I knew I would try to do it. And now Will asked it to be done by
Friday and it’s noon on Thursday. And I’ve only truly just begun… Two minutes to midnight. ‘Or any minutes to midnight’ is a reference to the ‘Doomsday Clock’, which is a clock from The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, to represent the likelihood of a man-made global catastrophe – midnight being doomsday and the further away being a less troubled world. In 1953 the clock was at its closest ‘Two Minutes to Midnight’ as it stands today, at two minutes. I have felt pretty close to midnight these past couple years even as close as one minute I would say, only now have I possibly regained a minute. Just before this trip actually. For anyone that has ever dealt with real serious depression you will know that just to talk about it can be like pulling teeth. It started off just in passing or making funny jokes about it. Like on this trip I was filming
Eniz Fazliov, ollie on to wallride
this long line that will never be seen due to this mystery camera* – whilst filming I was telling Tommy I am having a ‘mid-line crisis’. You know like where you maybe change a trick to make it easier on yourself? Everyone is doing this right? Ha ha, like a purposeful ‘Freudian slip’ I am actually saying ‘midlife crisis’ and in this case I was literally going through emotional dialogue inside my head (which I did tell Tommy, I assume everyone has this also sometimes) because I have this whole five seconds in between the ollie and where I need to roll on this smooth bit and fall down these stairs… Over and over. But I
worked it all out, got it and it was not even on the camera this whole three trick line, ha ha. What are we going to say about this shit now? Really randomly I’ll just say pizza (of course, it’s an Italian skateboard article) … You ever go out for food? Of course you do, so let’s just say in this case you go out for some nice pizza and you order this nice pizza (‘cause you’re in fuxing Italy), but what comes out is not the pizza you ordered, also ‘cause you’re in Italy? Of course this has happened! Anyways, do you know how that order gets fucked up? Either lost in translation (language problem) or they did not listen or
* Mystery camera: the VX, which Tobbe gave Tommy for us to use since he was not coming on the trip… We knew it was likely not filming half the time but it was still enjoyable, almost more so knowing it was a mystery… It was a joke like some flying saucer mystery VX. ‘Does it work? Or does it not?’ Well half the time it did not.
Tommy May, ollie in pop shove-it out
they don’t fuxing care about your order… How is this related to depression? All of these are directly related to truly LISTENING! Please if you have ever the chance to listen even if it might make you uncomfortable (which often it can be), if someone actually choses to open up to you then listening in these moments could literally change his or her life forever thereafter. Just pointing this out because like I said, it’s important to eat good pizza and if you can help someone I do believe this helps you, and so on and so forth… Infinity pizza for all… Nice right?
What the fux is really happening here? Like am I trying get some skateboarders to all of a sudden want to open up and become some emotional sand bags skating around? Well no and yes; I just had this very hard fucking two years where I literally destroyed and tore myself down inside and then on top of it I had a really close friend take her own life. So fux it I throw the subject out there like some have before me and some will after… If this helps just one person I am pretty sure it’s all worth it no? I don’t really care about keeping this really
Dallas Rockvam, backside 180 heelflip
Eniz Fazliov, frontside 5-0 grind
cool idea that we should all be so damn cool and not talk with one another especially where our world is going… Peace and Understanding. If yah ain’t into it, sorry. A big thanks to the Stinky Trouble crew for showing us Centrale, ha ha. Especially Aref, thanks so much for the hospitality and dealing with us… Momma and Poppa much respect!! We were blessed with the best. I truly hope to meet again! Respect and thanks and love Chris, Bastard, Jacky, Martino, Peppe, Eniz, Tommy, Justus, Rob, Centrale Crew, Hashish, Dogs and so on and so forth.
Rob Maatman, kickflip
Aref Koushesh, hippie jump
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Skateboarding, academia & public space: a conversation with Ocean Howell
When discussing the topic of skateboarding in academia one would be remiss not to mention Ocean Howell. Most skaters will recognise Ocean’s name from old H-Street and Birdhouse videos, the 2005 iPath promo or maybe from tales of the infamous Howard House in San Francisco. But after gracefully bowing out of professional skateboarding years ago, Ocean immersed himself into academia. Many degrees, journal articles, a book and two kids later, Ocean is now teaching history at the University of Oregon. But somewhere along the way to his newly tenured status as a professor Ocean wrote some pretty important academic papers about skateboarding. I say pretty important as Ocean’s work has been cited in dozens of academic journals, quoted in books and newspapers, heard on radio programmes, and used as an academic reference for many skaters lobbying town councils for a place to skate. After visiting London for Pushing Boarders, Ocean decided to stay on for a few extra days. Arthur and myself met up with him one evening for a quick skate at Stockwell and then we retired to the Marquis of Lorne for some pints and conversation. The following is what transpired. – Will Harmon
Dakota Servold Backside tailslide Barcelona Ph. Gerard Riera
Arthur Derrien: What are your feelings about the whole Pushing Boarders event? Was it what you expected? Ocean Howell: It was better than I expected to be honest. I mean it’s different. I expected it to be just really narrowly focused on skate academics because it was organised by people like Iain Borden and his graduate students. So I expected it to be a little smaller and I guess, what people are saying makes sense, is that once Long Live Southbank got involved, it got little skate-ier and a little larger and a little more publicity…
I think that was really cool. It was also nice to see academics talking to planners, talking to organisers, talking… And then just a bunch of skaters and they’re all listening to that. Will Harmon: Yeah there were some great discussions. I think it’s good for everyone just to be talking to each other and not be siloed off. I care a lot about skateboarding obviously and about advocacy, but I’m not an active organiser myself. If I have to talk to people who are saying complete bullshit: I can’t stand it. I have to go to research. There are a lot of people who are really patient and good at persuading: I think that’s great. I think everyone needs everyone else in order to try to get a good outcome for skateboard culture and to promote it. In general, the thing that was most interesting to me, and I think is most encouraging, is the idea that skateboarders really are in the position to make cities more egalitarian places. I really believe that. But I’m nervous people are going to start congratulating themselves too much. I think they have to be really careful about it and be aware of the potential pitfalls… Potential ways that what they are doing can get appropriated or, you know, just used as a mechanism to boost property values and to… AD: ...be used for gentrification. Exactly, which happens, it definitely happens. Look, skateboarders shouldn’t be expected to solve every problem. You know when you get yourself in the position of pitting homeless people against small business owners, against skateboarders and all that… You know that tells you that there are larger structural problems that skateboarding can’t solve on its own… But skateboarders can be aware of the landscape and think about where there are opportunities and where there’s potential. And I think they should say no to some opportunities. Now that the cities are actually listening to us, I think it’s important to be selective and not to just agree to anything. I’ll use an exaggerated example to make the point: what if there was a site that was like a woman’s health clinic, or like an orphanage or a homeless shelter, and they’re like, ‘we’re going to level all this stuff, we’re not providing any replacement services or anything but build a beautiful skatepark,’ I think they should say no to that. WH: If skaters want to be considered, they have to consider others. Exactly that’s a perfect way to put it. But I think there’s a lot of potential. Something from a personal perspective: for my generation of skaters, it’s insane to think about collaborating with city councils and governments because the whole idea was ‘fuck you’. But things have changed, so there’s something just strange about seeing the whole thing. WH: So you said that skateboarding lead you into academia, which is quite unusual
I would say. Yeah that’s not a typical path… WH: How can skateboarding benefit from academia? Well actually this was really nice (and surprising): a lot of people came up to me this weekend and told me that when they’re dealing with city councils or contractors who are building parks or even with parents: they point to my work, they point to Iain Borden’s work and it legitimises it. That’s amazing to hear. The book I wrote is about urban planning in the Mission District, and it’s a very academic book, I’m very proud of it, it’s a very heady piece of work with ten years of research. But I don’t think it has had as much immediate and obvious impact on the world as the handful of essays I’ve written about skateboarding. Just because people use them and it’s a live issue. It’s a set of debates that are happening right now and involve how the city is going to be designed and where money is going to go. Those are very important issues and academics can at the very least provide a patina of respectability. In the most basic sense ‘hey look, it’s legitimate because the university cares about it’ – that’s the first layer. But then also provide objective research to back things up. To back up why? Because this way when you’re presenting arguments to a city council you can say ‘look here’s actual research that demonstrates this…’ I think that’s very important and this is where I see my real role. I’m very happy to serve this function of being a public intellectual in these kinds of places and kind of just be a cheerleader for it to a certain extent. But I view my most important role as just providing objective research. I’m so glad a lot of people have reacted so positively to the things I’ve written that were critical. The stuff that people have always been most interested in, and this weekend for sure, was you know the observation that skaters are swept out of some places and they are used as a broom. AD: That was something I was going to ask you to explain... I mean but that’s a very critical thing. You can imagine a scenario in which skaters wouldn’t want to hear it, but it’s the truth. So my job is to tell the truth whether I like it or I don’t. It doesn’t matter if I like what I find. One of the guys who trained me at Berkeley used to say: ‘If my facts don’t conform to my politics, I don’t change my facts, I change my politics’. Like I say, the act of skateboarding is pure in my mind. But if people went in a different direction with it, I’d be like, ‘I’m not having anything to do with it anymore but I still have my skateboard. Fuck all of you, I’m going to go skateboard because I love skateboarding. This can be your thing and I’m going to do my thing.’ An academic’s role is to tell the truth. And it’s very important that someone like me, or Iain Borden, remain objective about it because then that’s the only way that it will retain its authority. Otherwise, if I slip into the mode of advocacy… I mean I’m
happy to put on a different hat and be an advocate in this room… AD: Seems dangerous... I know and it’s always a bit uncomfortable for me. And you know, I’m a fucking skate rat, I still am. I obviously want to see a certain set of outcomes. But my role at the end of the day, the most important role I can serve is to provide objective analysis about how skateboarding interacts with city governments, how the city is designed, all that kind of stuff. AD: You just touched on it briefly, but can you
properly explain your analogy of the skaters being swept out of some places and being used as a broom in others. Part of the Broken Windows policy in the US in the eighties was these police sweeps… Will did you ever get caught up in sweeps in Union Square? WH: Well I escaped, I ran out... Yeah I did too… I never got caught but I got caught up in them. They would drive into the square. It was really nasty and the idea was, ‘you’re a sign of disorder’ so they’re going to
sweep you out. But then in a lot of other places where they started building a lot of skateparks… The one I was thinking about was Burnside: that’s a classic one. So they started pouring concrete up to the pillars underneath the bridge and then the city (the Oregon Department of Transportation more precisely) comes and says: ‘what the fuck are you guys doing? We’re knocking this down. This is unauthorised.’ And all the surrounding property owners said, ‘don’t you dare! This was an open-air drug market and a big problem. These guys are scrounging, drinking beers and shouting but they’re fine.’ People’s cars aren’t getting broken into, it’s less threatening on the streets because you know the lower rung of people who are really hard up and so therefore commit actual crimes, they’ve been scared out. So that was the rationale by which they allowed Burnside to remain. Not because they were trying to support youth. I mean that was a supplementary benefit. WH: You think their PR people tried to spin it like: ‘yeah we’re going to help the kids’? No, it’s to help property value. And that is a tool in the tool kit of urban planners in the United States now. And they know; if you get one alone in a room they’ll be perfectly frank about it. Why do they site parks under bridges? Because that’s always where you get a rung below you, on the social scale… Right? And I mean there’s a good case to be made for doing that though… It’s very complicated because you know what skate culture is like and especially at a park… It’s a
Ben Grove Frontside noseslide Manchester Ph. Reece Leung
Ben Raemers Wallie frontside tweak Barcelona Ph. Gerard Riera
supportive community for kids who might otherwise end up in that situation. In Portland there was other places where they were proposing to put parks and the homeless advocates didn’t want it because they knew that that meant moving out their clients. They knew that was a tactic. WH: It’s a tricky situation. There you have it: homeless advocates versus skateboarders… Fuck that. So that was the whole rationale of Love Park… The people who were supportive of allowing skaters in Love Park were saying ‘oh there was just drug dealers and homeless people there before’. Well there were homeless people there before because of fucking Reagan closing all the mental hospitals. AD: Which is a different problem... Right, and one that they’re not addressing. WH: Skateboarders are being used as the broom.
‘We’ll just sweep ‘em out and under the rug’ you know? That’s a good metaphor because they’re not doing anything for those people, they’re just trying to fucking get rid of them. WH: And once the property values go up, we’ll sweep the skateboarders out and make a Starbucks. The other term I use is the ‘shock troops of gentrification’ because the exact same thing happens to skaters. They’re the next… You know, ‘get rid of the lowest rung, skateboarders are good for that.’ And they’re like the higher rung up… And then when the Frappuccino crowd shows up… Sweep the skaters away. So that’s a perfect example of a thing that skateboarders, I think need to be very aware and conscious of. And I don’t think skaters are here to solve all these problems. But there’s certainly, I’m sure it’s happened already somewhere, a place where it’s just really obvious
that you’re being instrumentalised in order to fuck another group up. And I think we need to just be conscious about that. WH: So speaking about just that, ‘defensive design’, obviously it’s only aimed at a certain category of the public: skateboarders, homeless people, people who do graffiti... So how do you think the Frappuccino’s and free Wi-Fi crowd aka a lot of the white middle class users perceive it? Is it working? They don’t see it! OK so here’s a story I tell in one of my pieces. You know the bay blocks (in San Francisco)? Where they put all the really nasty skatestoppers on? I interviewed the architect who designed those exact ones. She called them pig ears. I went through the letters to the editor for a bunch of newspapers. That’s always a good place to look if it’s hard to figure out how people are thinking. It’s always hard to know what the public is actually thinking unless you go out and do surveys. You have to get like human subjects and all that… But you can get a sense of stuff from letters to the editor. So I went through a bunch of those and there was a lot in there, a lot of people were talking about it and I don’t think I saw a single thing that was supportive of it. I think everyone was pissed. There was one that I remember really well… ‘I’m a person who should hate skateboarders; I’m a middle-aged lady with a bad leg, but this is so mean-spirited. It’s uglier than the damage that the skateboarders make.’ WH: I don’t know if you’ve been to San Francisco Arthur, but it’s literally like a mile long and all skate-stopped. AD: Must have cost so
much fucking money. Just in steel alone for those things… But so the answer is, in so far if it’s visible, no. And that’s actually why I really wanted to point it out to people that this is happening, so people understand. I mean I’ve never had the experience of someone saying ‘oh yeah they should do that.’ I think people are sometimes… They don’t know what to think about it. But no one is like ‘oh yeah those fuckers.’ I mean I’m sure those people wouldn’t talk to me to begin with; I’m sure there are people that think that… WH: But what makes the bay blocks unique is that there are not so many businesses around there. I understand what Gustav (Eden) was saying about making the noise, danger to pedestrians and the damage... OK fair enough. But at the bay blocks it is just people jogging, riding their bikes, walking... There are no businesses where the noise would make any type of difference. I know but it’s just those stunning views of the Bay Bridge and Angel Island… WH: Why can’t skateboarders enjoy that too? That’s exactly what I’m saying… They don’t want that on a postcard of San Francisco. It’s part of the tourist’s vision. AD: The thing is they exist. Who picks this tourist vision? I guess it’s not fair. I know, I know. WH: Think about how many different generations of skateboarders have travelled to San Francisco for skateboarding. I know but that’s not the kind of tourism they want either – especially in a place like that. I mean some places like Barcelona are interesting though because when they had, I’m sure they don’t have a phone book anymore, but the last time I was there in 2005 I think, they had a phone book still. And they had a picture of a skateboarder at MACBA. And they were like, ‘this
is a vibrant place.’ San Francisco doesn’t market itself like that, it goes for ‘this is beautiful and exclusive.’ There was one more thing I wanted to say about that. The thing about whether it works for people. We saw those things on the way over here when we were by the station in Brixton, Stockwell station right? The new spot with the anti-skate stuff… People don’t see that; they don’t know what that is. And insofar as the design has got more sophisticated, because you could just throw those clips up, skatestoppers that are on everything… But people don’t like them. Average people don’t like them. They look like shit and they look mean-spirited. WH: Well they are not comfortable to sit on either. They’re not comfortable to sit on and also you can just tell that they’re there… It’s like spikes. No one likes seeing spikes even if it’s for pigeons. When people see spikes in a place and they know it’s to keep homeless people off… People are uncomfortable with that. They don’t want to be confronted with that fact, the fact that the city is built for a certain public. When we’re talking about public you’re never talking about everyone. The city is designed in such a way as to selectively filter its users. Planners don’t talk about the public; they talk about users. And they have to. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad or stupid. You have to design things for certain things and not for other things. But you know when people are confronted with the fact that you’re not designing for people who are in a worst possible position, also just like young people who are skateboarding, they don’t want to be faced with that. They don’t want to have to think about that. So in so far as the design, it has become more sophisticated in becoming invisible as defensive, then it is working. And I think it’s important for us to continually point it out. ‘Do you know why they designed it like this?’
WH: Yes, right! There was actually… I was really psyched, I don’t know if you guys would have seen this but the Guardian quoted me a lot. There was a guy Alex Andreou, he was an actor who went through some hard times and ended up sleeping rough for a while in London, and he read my stuff and wrote a couple really nice essays about his experience and cited me in it a bunch. So what he was doing was pointing it out and he used me to point it out. So I think all of us need to be continually pointing that out to people like, ‘do you know why they’re doing that?’ WH: You’re right so many people don’t even realise... They don’t know. And it’s designed so as to be invisible. I also think that in some places it probably makes sense to have them. You know like out the front of a cancer ward and there’s some sick ledges that you might know… Some 14-year-old that’s going to get too excited and run into someone… So you know there’s probably some places where… And especially when we’re getting to the point that they are actually designing some places for us… We do have to make some concessions I think. Not ‘like we need to hold on to every little thing because we know it’s going to go away’… Like maybe it won’t. AD: So there have been cases when architects have been super-supportive of skateboarding and they’ve designed benches with metal edges. But then the city or the building owners put skate stoppers over the already metal-edged ledges. So the architect has one vision, and then I guess it’s just ruining the architect’s work... That happened at the new federal building in San Francisco. I went to a talk with the architect Tom Mann: he was pissed. He was really pissed. He was like ‘no this is for the public! No, I wanted people to skate it’. AD: Is there anything
architects can do to prevent that from happening to their work? Well you know it’s like anything else, you put it out in the world and then you don’t get to control it anymore. I mean that is a tough one. I don’t know, I’m not a designer. I’m a historian who is around that culture a little bit. I mean the person you want to ask that question to, and I think you should, was the other guy who was on that panel: David Knight. Someone asked him a question, maybe it wasn’t directly that, but it lead into this discussion pretty quickly. He was saying that when you do the renders, there’s some kind of notes that you can put in. AD: That’s the thing I mean. Is there a way for them to... When you think about it people imagine that architects are out there creating the spaces that we all live in. And there’s a sense in which that’s true, but there’s also the sense in which architects are just contractors. You know what I mean? WH: You make a building then someone else is going to manage it. You know like I get in a guy to do the mud on my wall. Mud my walls and then I can do what the fuck I want with it after he’s finished and left. I mean so that’s a hard one because you know they’re just contractors and they are scrapping with each other, they are competing with each other to get commissions… AD: So it’s always going to be on a policy level then? Well, no it is on an implementation level. I think it often bypasses policy. Because there’s like a policy level where people decide that these are the kinds of things that we should be doing. But then it comes down to the administrators who are actually like, like the city councillors aren’t thinking about looking at ledges. You know what I mean? They’re on to the next thing. ‘I got the money for this… I got the money organise for this… This is gonna work, OK…
I’m on to the next thing and then you guys work this all out…’ And then it’s the administrators, like the mid-level administrators, who are making these decisions. You know so I think it’s like midlevel city planners… You really need to talk to those people. AD: So apart from having the Gustavs (Editor’s note: Gustav Eden is Skateboarding Coordinator for the city of Malmö, employed by the Streets and Parks Department) and people like that, you just can’t avoid that from happening? No, well I think there are things you can do. I think especially the more notoriety you have as an architect… You do have some weight to throw around… AD: OK so if you’re like a massive deal you can be like ‘this was for this, look what’s happening...’ Right exactly so, it’s partly about convincing… Talking to architects and trying to convince them to exert whatever influence they do have. Their influence isn’t determinative, but it’s still influence. The mid-level planners, they need to be educated too. AD: During the Pushing Boarders talk about public space David Knight said: ‘The single biggest enemy of good public space, is the will to iron out conflict.’ And how the most successful spaces are the ones that are in conflict (he used Trafalgar Square as an example). Can you explain what he meant by that? Is it a statement you agree with? Yeah I was going to say I worry a little bit about that… I think I do agree with him as long as he meant it in a certain way… I think he did… It’s not conflict in so far as, people throwing bottles at each other… ‘We’re going to design this space for Antifa and neo-Nazis’… AD: It’s everyone wanting the space basically. Yeah exactly and not open conflict in the sense of like literally fighting or a 14 year old
running over someone in front of a cancer ward. I doubt that’s what he meant. But OK so think about space like MACBA, have you ever spent time at MACBA? AD: I’ve spent a lot of time at MACBA. Yeah so do you notice how certain groups of people come at certain times of the day and just kind of claim space? It can get a little testy at times but when I was there I only ever saw a couple of
things go down. There’s real value to groups of people claiming a space. There’s a whole immigrant community that lives right there… And they come in and they start kicking a ball around, and then the skaters are there… AD: That’s what makes a place vibrant, this mix of groups. Then just like a family coming out of the museum like, ‘oops sorry’ to the skater. Then the kids are watching the
Oscar Candon Noseslide Marseille Ph. Felix Schaper
skaters... And then the guy that’s selling you a beer starts having a go on the skateboard... And then there’s like rich tourists there who are used to having everything designed exactly for their comfort. They have to come through into this major cultural institution… You know a world famous museum, a glowing Richard Meier building, and then they have to see skaters and North African immigrants… WH: People kicking a football full speed towards you... Totally… AD: They’re forced to sit down stop and have a look and take it in... And then usually everyone’s like, ‘heya!’ WH: Most people enjoy it. Yeah exactly, and I assume that’s what he
meant by that in which case I support it 100%. AD: Yeah. As opposed to to a space only being for one type of person. Yeah exactly, exactly… So there’s like this complex negotiation of space. Who gets to sit where and all that kind of little micro stuff that goes on. That’s what the public is. That’s how everyone understands… And that’s what a good public space is like. And that’s why I love European cities, because there’s so much of that. There’s so little of it in US cities. So yeah and so far as public spaces hosting conflict, in that sense, I’m all for it. WH: It teaches people from different backgrounds how to interact with each other. So, as you haven’t written much about skateboarding recently, but you said you’d
Heitor Da Silva 50-50 grind Philadelphia Ph. Zander Taketomo
like to again soon: after what you heard this weekend, how would you steer your future research and writing? Are there some things you heard this weekend that made you think, ‘wow I’d really like to look into that’? I guess all the organising that’s going on… That might be worth looking at. I am interested in that: all the stuff that’s happening here (London), and in Copenhagen, and Malmö. So I mean maybe that… I don’t know I’ve got this other project on my plate right now that I’m trying to wrap up. So it all depends… I mean the one thing that’s always really, really interested me and I wanted to study is the thing I mentioned in the first panel which is, the fact that skateboarding kind of chases waves of economic development, chases global capital basically. Because global capital produces certain sorts of actual physical spaces… So China, I don’t know where’s the next… There’s some stuff in Tel Aviv… People are starting to skate Dubai. WH: Taiwan is getting big now. Right and then it will be Uzbekistan… Well it won’t be as Uzbekistan because it’s fucked, but whoever is next for a big wave of modernisation, a big influx of global capital. Unless it’s like Singapore or something, where they have a crazy policing scheme. And eventually what will happen I think is that… Because you know how in certain places, anti-skate design they’re savvy to it now. They know how to do it. Eventually, it doesn’t seem like it’s happened yet, but that’s eventually going to get integrated into international architectural knowledge, design knowledge. I don’t know when it’s going to be. AD: Not if we beat them in that race to modernisation... If skating manages to get ahead... As the way you make a good city. AD: That’s more modern than having a cap/knob.
The way that you make a modern and good city is by welcoming it. AD: It’s unlikely, but imagine... OK when Alexis (Sablone) was talking about her experience at Love Park, getting kicked out of the spot by undercover cops with longboards... Imagine how far that is from what most of us experience in Europe. As Gustav was joking, kids being force-fed marble in Malmö... How does it get to the point where there’s such a huge gap between America and Europe in the way skateboarding is perceived? It started in America, America’s made so much money from it... I have a lot of shit to say about that actually. Generally, it’s a culture of conservatism that we’ve been in the throes of for a very long time now. It’s a broad based shift, starting in 1970s. A reaction against what happened in the 1960s – that’s why. The riots… The riots that happened in the late 60s, the cities fucking burned. They really did. WH: So the powers that be completely changed how they thought about public space. I never thought about it like that... That’s exactly why. Not exactly, I mean there’s a bunch of shit that happened after that. But that’s the seed of it right? There was a youth culture, and then poor people of colour, who rose up against the Vietnam War and for free speech issues or civil rights… The Civil Rights Movement… All of that shit, so when people see young people, even if they’re white, and brown people and black people out damaging things, like taking up space, there’s a fucking instinct in there to get out a baton. You could talk about the mess in Berkeley when (Ronald) Reagan was the governor of California… Then all of the civil rights stuff… Which, we too often only associate with the South. I mean that shit… The Black Panthers in Oakland… Stuff was going on
everywhere, and so we are still living through this backlash against the 1960s. I think that’s really the roots of it. OK here’s another important thing… Did you read the thing I wrote about skateboard parks? I wrote a thing about skateboard parks; it was actually the first thing I published in a peer review journal. It was about progressive era playgrounds. I published it in the Journal of Urban History… WH: OK I don’t think I’ve seen that, but I’d love to... It was about progressive era playgrounds. Why did we first get playgrounds? It’s a really interesting story. What I say there is, it’s all about property value, it wasn’t about the ideology that people had. And what I wrote about skateboard parks is the same, it’s sort of following that up for the present era, ‘Public Skateboard Parks are the Neo Liberal Playground’ that was the title of my piece. Which again was a critical thing I think might have pissed skaters off, but people really responded positively to it. I was like great yeah… But it’s all about property values. That’s another reason in the American context. And here (in the UK), for one thing, it’s harder to own anywhere… It’s much more of a socialised economy. It’s all about private property there. So that has an absolutely material literal expression where, ‘you’re on my piece of property’ like, ‘you cross that line you’re now on my piece of property’, but it also has a mind-set. When people are in public spaces or people are walking through public space… They conceive it as a kind of as a private property. Do you understand what I mean? So it’s like, ‘this is for this… Look there’s a bench here and it’s clearly meant for people who have shopped in that store to come here and eat this kind of fucking sandwich’… They have a certain kind of possessive sense of everything. Even when things are actually public, their conception of publicness is a very privatised
version of it I think. So yeah all of that big fucking frothy mix of stuff contributes to the fact that people look at skateboarding that way in the US as opposed to here. And you’re right, that’s gross and it’s maddening. Like that’s where it fucking came from. WH: It’s interesting, I never thought about it like that. OK so Malmö is a very forward thinking city and that’s helped skateboarding thrive there, at the same time as Daphne (Greca) said in the talk yesterday... Athens is quite a chaotic city with lots of problems plus a very anarchic attitude, and that has also benefited the skateboard scene. But I feel like most cities are somewhere in between that. They aren’t as forward thinking as Malmö, but not complete chaos like Athens... In your opinion, what are some of the best things an average skater can do to convince his or her city council that skateboarding benefits public spaces and city life? Well, I mean that’s really a question for Gustav… Also it depends on the context. Talking to Eugene, Oregon is not the same as talking to Malmö, not the same as talking to Athens, not the same as talking to London. Actually I really appreciate all the stuff Stu (Maclure) was saying… Learn your local council, learn their language, learn who the people are, learn their concerns… I’m just saying because they are all incredibly different. So the main thing I would have to say is understand where you are, understand what the local politics are, understand who’s involved. And learn about it. Again I’m so impressed with European cities. Like dirt bag skaters, who are just fucking pounding beers and smoking blunts show up and go, ‘OK there’s an issue that I think is important’, and then they fucking get it together go to the city council. AD: That was
definitely the case for the Long Live Southbank campaign. WH: It’s incredible. You’re like ‘these fucking dudes?’ AD: Fucking heroes man, it was unbelievable. WH: You’re like ‘ok there’s a 10% chance that they can make a change.’ And they did it. They saved Southbank. To me that is incredible. It brought people together. I mean that’s it… Understand the local scene and organise. And learn to speak that other language. And I appreciated some of the stuff that Gustav was saying, you know, ‘when you’re young and you’re super into your culture, it’s really easy to dismiss everything else and to feel like you’re selling out when you’re doing this stuff ’. But you’re not. ‘Oh, you’re doing property damage… No, I’m activating this space’. And it’s not learning how to bullshit: it’s telling the truth. People speak different languages, and there’s nothing wrong with being able to speak in different registers, you know what I mean? You don’t curse in front of your mum… WH: It’s the way you talk to people that confront you as well. That’s another thing you can do. ’I’m not trying to damage this; I’m trying to use this dead space.’ Right, so learn to speak in the appropriate registers. You know, you speak a different way at work than you do when you’re with your friends drinking beers… or with your wife, or with your kids… My god I have kids now, boy do I have to speak in a different way than I’m inclined to… And my students… And the older you get and the more responsibilities and worlds you move into, the more you learn to speak different languages and the more you realise that’s fine. Young people tend to have an issue with that. They think that they’re not being true to themselves. WH: Selling out or something. Selling out yeah, just by
learning what a city council is. You know what I mean? Learning the basic stuff. That’s not true. You live in this world and you have obligations to it. AD: And you’re doing yourself a favour.
You’re doing yourself a favour… Exactly. Learn to speak in different registers. And you’re not being untrue to yourself; you’re just broadening your world. Trying to convince skaters of that I think is important.
Javier Sarmiento Switch kickflip Barcelona Ph. Gerard Riera
Quentin Boillon Kickflip Basel Ph. Fabien Ponsero
62 Gabriel Engelke Backside hurricane Barcelona Ph. Fabien Ponsero
Lucien Clarke Backside tailslide London Ph. Sam Ashley
Jasper Dawson Clough Frontside air Penzance Ph. Leo Sharp
Lucas Puig Backside kickflip Saint-Jean-de-Luz Ph. ClĂŠment Le Gall
Alex Hallford Backside noseblunt Glasgow Ph. Rich West
68 Jérôme Chevallier Frontside feeble to fakie Gaillac Ph. Clément Le Gall
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Magenta in Istanbul
made the trip from Sweden many times since he was a youngster. His broken Turkish worked Istanbul aka Constantinople aka wonders… The locals would have eaten us alive if it Byzantium aka Rome, the current most populated wasn’t for him – nah just kidding. The local city in Europe – a promising pedigree for a skate population is incredibly nice and very down with adventure. There should be mad stuff to skate, skateboarding. Exceptional hospitality really, some locals to share tips, sessions and a laugh with. Günes made it easier for us to appreciate it by It was the first experience of this special place for translating the locals’ enthusiasm for our kickflips. most of the crew and Istanbul delivered on all our Günes knew the plugs for all we needed, which hopes. consisted of three things: a skate spot to start the With one foot in Europe and the other in day, chicha (hookah) and beers to close it. He Asia, Istanbul is the only major city in the world to delivered flawlessly. Jet Lag Brothers baby! stand at the crossroads of two continents. Once We brought the Jersey twins on the trip, considered the most important city of its time it the notorious fast men Glen Fox and Luka Pinto. still boasts the most unique blend of Luka has problems with his knee so he claimed he multiculturalism and diversity I have seen in one was gonna stick to filming. He showed up in North place. Günes Özdogan surely isn’t a first timer here, Face hiking boots with filmer wheels and still as he has family in the area and he’s repeatedly managed to bless the Turkish soil with his natural
o t n i P a Luk p i fl k c i k e d i s k c Ba
Words Vivien Feil Photography Sem Rubio
talents on a board a few memorable times. God bless Jersey Island, mother of these two unique fellas. That being said boys: will you please move to some more accessible place on Earth swiftly? Thanks. Both these boys had barely heard of Turkey before, so they came to Istanbul with no preconceptions and no idea what to expect. It’s arguably the best mind-set to visit a new place. They were blown away by the size and diversity of this behemoth of a town. The food, chill vibes and massive politeness won them over quick. ‘I don’t have a bad thing to say about this place,’ said Foxy on his way out. OK, he likes everything so it doesn’t count, but still, listen to the man. Good thing Luka brought his hiking boots since the city rests on seven massive hills; everything is tilted. We went on daylong expeditions at random and struck gold on every occasion. Again it helped that Istanbulites are so down with skateboarding and so welcoming to foreigners. Dudes running shops would take their tables and chairs out of the way in a hurry to enjoy watching us destroy their marble storefronts. Soldiers and cops were trying to see a kickflip rather than our passports. Only the street kids were a bit annoying. But I’d be annoying too if I came from Syria after some dudes blew my entire life up. There are over a million refugees in town; you can tell our dear
x o F n e l G d n i r g e s o n e d i s Back leaders are playing their little war games in the vicinity. Add to it a political and financial crisis that’s been going on for a few years, Turkey has it pretty tough these days. Extra props to the people for keeping it G and remaining to be the best hosts in these hard conditions. Mr Panday was also a first timer. We share an interest for history and Istanbul is by far the number one place in Europe to see cool shit from the past. Some of the most impressive churches, mosques, Egyptian obelisks, underground tunnels, Roman buildings and palaces you’ll ever see just line up the streets endlessly. Everywhere you look there’s some Aladdin old type of house, wall stone
or mosque to remind you this place has been around for a minute. It blends perfectly with more modern structures and soon enough you walk past ten things you’d stop to stare in awe anywhere else in the world without twitching. The hills bring 3D to the package with skyscrapers battling minarets and medieval castles with the Sea of Marmara in the backdrop. If you’re enjoying this sight during sunset sipping on raki and chicha, and feasting on delicious appetisers, watching Soy Panday do a nose wheelie, you’ve hit heaven. Sem Rubio the great Spanish photographer came in late on the party. He delayed his arrival by several days for believing the
treacherous weather forecast had us doomed for the entire week. The Turkish Gods decidedly ruled in our favour and we could skate todo los dias sin problemas. Sem showed up on the weekend right after we decided the best way to top a full day of skating was to attend a massive feast with locals at a homie’s restaurant, full bottles of raki included (look up what this thing is, it’s good, but it’s not good if you get too many). It was an epic night, but surely the day after, we were not the almighty athletes Sem is used to shooting with. Not that we were ever that. And not that he would care either as his fiery Catalan eye could turn a tortilla into the Mona Lisa. Sem stayed for a short time but shot a lot. Most of the stuff we did we barely noticed he was shooting, which is a great sign. The loose style of photography that has thankfully widely replaced the painstaking flash setting process suits him very well. Sem is a special photographer and we are blessed he came along on this trip. He could very well be shooting anything and get universally
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acclaimed for it, yet he chose to stick to skateboarding, in spite of how little financial gain there is in it and how unappreciative the industry can be with these artist types. Not bad hombre. Also he ollies fences in Misled Youth so you know he meant business on that side too. If you visit Istanbul and you’re looking for the local spot, go to Barbarossa Meydan (Barbarossa Plaza) in the Besiktas neighbourhood.
There you’ll find perfect floor, ledges, manny pads, stairs and the trademark cannons. You’ll meet the ‘Meydan’ locals Adem, Emir, Kadir, Arno, Kutberk, Bartu, Cengizhan, Furkan and the rest of the gang. According to Günes, the scene grew since his last proper skate trip there with Patrik Wallner back in 2010. Let’s hope it continues. The locals welcomed us with open arms, as I’m sure they will do with you as well if you come their way.
n a g o d z Ö s e n Gü p i fl k c i k Nollie
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n a g o d z Ö e d s i e l s n e ü s o G n b a c f l a h e d i Fronts
79 The food here is off the chains bruv. It reflects the widespread influences Istanbul has had and collected throughout the years from Europe, Asia and Africa. You can find any style with a local twist. People say you could try a new dish every
day but I’ll stick to chicken shish mamen. Günes introduced us to his favourite morning starter, which even Sem liked. Here is the recipe of this marvellous dish from Grand Master Kebab Chef Gunzzz:
n e m e n e M Ingredients (serves 4):
– 8 eggs – 6 medium/large tomatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks – 6 long green peppers cut into small chunks (our host uses one or two sliced blazingly hot green chilli peppers as well, but bravery is required for this version). Bell peppers can be used if you can’t find long slender ones. – 2 finely sliced white onions – Half a cup of olive oil – Salt and pepper to taste
Beat the eggs in a bowl and add a little salt and pepper. Warm the olive oil in a large pan, then lightly fry the onions and peppers without browning. After about two minutes add the chopped tomatoes. Cook the mixture until all the veggies are nice and soft (around 7-8 minutes), and the juice has been reduced by about half. Pour on the eggs and stir continually until it begins to firm. The resulting masterpiece should be firm and juicy, not dry. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with fresh bread: the ideal accompaniment to mop it up.
We filmed a bunch and made it into an edit that should be up on the Free site now. Go check it son! To sum things up, Istanbul is banging; we give it a 5-star review and we will be back soon.
U R Y Ollie up ollie over Athens Ph. Fabien Ponsero
A N N The not-so-easy task of interviewing Uryann was originally delegated to Loic Benoit. Why not so easy? Because when you’re 22 and as humble as you are good at skateboarding (you’ll see what we mean), you’re not necessarily going to have that much to say for something like this. Why Loic Benoit? Because he on the other hand loves the sound of his own voice and has absolutely no filter. Plus he’s been shooting Uryann in Lyon ever since he was a shrimp. Problem is, having a loud mouth asking the questions, as funny as he may be, isn’t always going to magically ‘make’ an interview. Except maybe if that loud mouth is Dan Magee. So anyway, after close examination of the first draft that Loic sent us, we quickly realised that for these photos to stand a chance of making it into the mag, we’d have to try something completely different for the text: which is why we’ve chosen to interview LB (‘the interviewer’) instead. Uryann gets to let his skateboarding do the talking (which seems to be every skateboarder’s dream these days) and we finally get an excuse to tell the story of one of the most polarising personalities in French skateboarding: it’s a win/ win! Apart maybe for Loic but given the shit he’s been talking over the years it’s only fair that he’d be held to account at some point…
Interview by Arthur Derrien
What did you learn about Uryann Raudet by interviewing him for us? Loic Benoit: Not an awful lot to be honest… I guess that he’s recently moved from Lyon to Biarritz and is starting a new life there, but it mainly just confirmed what I already knew about him: that he’s a beautiful, solid human being, very modest and that he gives himself the means to succeed in whatever he wants to do. Which recently has been to film for the new Antiz video and shoot for this interview – pretty straightforward. Why do you think we decided to interview you instead? Because skateboard magazines have been interviewing skaters between the age of 16 and 22 forever and what comes out of them is often quite similar. Skating is changing and magazines are realising that there are other stories to tell… Correct. Just a shame I couldn’t come through with some banging skate photos so it would feel more like my interview! Ha ha... Can you start by telling us a little bit about how you made your way into the French skate scene with photography, then Antiz, then working for Vans? I grew up in the countryside close to Lyon. I used to do other standard team sports but instantly dropped them when I discovered skating. I sort of realised that they really weren’t my thing. Anyway so I was instantly super passionate about it. Like a lot of kids I had the dream of one day being sponsored but that dream was shattered when I fucked both of my knees, one when I was 18, the other when I turned 20. I loved looking at magazines and still wanted to be involved with skating so ended up getting into photography. Shortly after I made the move to Lyon I started working at Wall Street and through hanging out and eventually living with Hugo Liard, I helped him start Antiz. This was in 2001. Can you tell us a little bit about that? I guess it’s something that Hugo had been brewing for a while and at one point he decided to go to Algorta to meet Julian Dykmans with the intention of convincing him to be his partner. I’d accompanied Hugo out there and when Julian gave him a ‘maybe…’ I decided to step in (Julian got involved shortly after though). When we got back from the trip I took him by the hand and went straight to Jérémie Daclin who’d offered to help us. We got 100
Feeble grind Athens Ph. Fabien Ponsero
Backside tailslisde Alicante Ph. Fabien Ponsero
shirts made then 300 boards a couple of months later and that was it, we were ‘a brand’. The fact that I sort of gave Hugo the little kick up the ass he needed to do it also unintentionally defined my role and I ended up managing the brand and being the ‘office guy’, enabling the other two to focus on skating. And I loved it! I feel like I really got to enjoy the best years of Antiz. It was tiny; it felt like we could do anything we wanted, almost like we weren’t running a brand. Why did you part ways then? Eight years in it got to the point where we weren’t making enough money to keep going unless we made some big changes. Margins were getting too small and the only solution was to borrow some money and start getting the boards made in China, which I was against. It’s when a lot of brands were making that move and
I didn’t want to be a part of that. I was convinced it was bad for the environment and I wanted to see skateboard manufacturing remain in the hands of skateboarders. Buying a Chinese board at a shop every now and then feels bad but if you’re actually getting them produced, that’s gnarly… I didn’t want to feel responsible for that. The ideals I had weren’t compatible with a successful board company so I preferred to stop. And it’s always that thing when you start something small with your mates and it grows, when it gets too big for you to handle it in the chill, laid back way you thought it was always going to be: you question stuff. So yeah that ended and I decided to focus solely on photography. I got some jobs working for the city of Lyon, a few other random commercial bits and bobs and then tried to shoot as much skating as I could. Then came your job as French Team Manager for Vans, which ended quite recently right? Yeah Alex Deron (now Element Europe TM) was leaving and hit me up saying that they wanted someone that was a photographer or filmer and that they were backing me. He sort of told me what to say and what not to say, and I got it. Which is impressive because I can’t say holding your tongue has ever been your forte. I guess I just don’t like waiting until people have their backs turned to say stuff. It’s also definitely what cost me the job in the end… What’s gnarly for me now is that the whole time working for them I didn’t have a proper contract. They didn’t need me full-time but instead of getting a part-time
Frontside 50-50 grind Barcelona Ph. Fabien Ponsero
contract I’d get a contract for the provision of services, with an allocated amount for a whole year. I haven’t had a proper payslip since 2009, which seems mad but in this industry can very easily happen. I was stoked to be making any money from ‘skating’ and I’d look around and think ‘there aren’t that many companies that would be able to offer me even this, I’m young, it’s my passion… So what if it’s not really a secure job, I’m lucky to have it!’ But you’re not young forever. Exactly, and before you know it you’re 41, you lose your job and you have no unemployment benefits. At the same time obviously I can’t say ‘how did this happen? I didn’t see this coming!’ because you sort of do. But it’s skating so you tend to just be happy with what you have. Also I’m not stupid, if I got that job, I know that it’s because they could see that at Antiz we managed to do so much with very little money. They were hoping I could apply that to working for them. But it’s maybe not very fair for big brands to expect you do stuff in the same way like organising trips where you camp or sleep on floors... Yeah. Or like when you get the sign off to do a special photo book and your bosses tell you ‘I’m sure you’ll find a kid who’ll put that together on the cheap for us’. No! I’m not asking people to work for a few pairs of shoes. Laying out books and magazines is a real job; you need to pay people properly for these things. It’s very different from making the most of the little resources you have at the tiny brand you started with a couple mates. Yep. This isn’t a problem specific to that brand though; you see it everywhere in the skate industry. Do you think it’s problematic that the skate media generally don’t speak up about this stuff (and other controversial issues) as much as say they would in the Big Brother days? I mean I wouldn’t say it’s a problem but I do love seeing people called out when they deserve to. I got brought up on Freestyler in France so it’s always been something I’ve enjoyed. And yes it’s harder but there’s still people doing it, even if sometimes it’s not the magazines. Like say when the Josimards crew dug out and posted the clip of Benjamin Garcia (French ‘pro skater’ interviewing scooter kids at the FISE scooter comp), I love that shit! You know better than anyone that it can get messy though... Can you explain what happened with the whole Aurélien Giraud thing? Basically I’ve known Aurélien since he was tiny; I shot some of his first photos. He’s extremely talented and happens to have a mother that wants to make a champion out of him no matter what. He’s part of this new generation that skate but could literally be doing rally racing or any other sport – it’s the same approach. I’ve tried explaining to her that maybe it’s better to stay away from energy drink sponsors, how the industry works, that sort of thing. And she’d say ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ but clearly didn’t give a fuck. Anyway when the whole thing happened with HDV being under threat, before we’d even had a chance to properly organise, the national TV showed up at the spot one day out of the blue and Aurélien, who’s usually at the skatepark 90% of the time, happened to be there. He was given ten seconds to defend our cause on national TV and all he could come up with was that he needed the place to
practise for the Olympics. I think that’s actually a half-decent argument if you only have ten seconds and you’re speaking to the general public... Really? I felt like there were so many other things to say to defend our cause! Also he’s not really the best public speaker either. I basically thought his intervention really didn’t do us any favours; it made skaters look like idiots. Anyway I’d shot this photo of him when he was 17 (360 flipping the 13 at the top of the plaza) that I decided to post on Instagram with some silly hashtags like #donotusethewordshdvandtheolympicsin thesamesentence or #Ihaveamastersand speaktothejournalists. It was just a small dig at him to show him he’d fucked up. Due to his overinflated ego and his mum getting involved, it all got pretty out of hand. I received a letter saying that
unless I took it down right away, I’d be taken to court for defamation and for using the photo of a minor without his authorisation. So I took it down. At that point he was an ‘adult’ though right? Which is why him not taking care of the situation himself, and getting his manager to send me a letter threatening to take me to court was a bit strange. At the same time there’s so many kids now for whom skating amounts to going to 5-star hotels, sticking the plastic wristbands on and skating in the comp. They’re disconnected from the real world… Given your reaction to Aurélien’s TV intervention, I’m guessing you’re completely against skateboarding being in the Olympics. Can you briefly explain your position? It’s wrong on so many levels… For one it means every country has to organise and have a federation. That means public money. For me public money is synonymous to embezzlement and all sorts of disgusting shit that makes me sick every time I switch on my TV. I don’t want skateboarding to be a part of all that. Okay granted, but public money also means more
money for skateparks. Skateboarders are ‘members of the public’ too, why shouldn’t they be allowed to see more of that? It’ll also lead to more people discovering and having access to skateboarding. Yeah well I’m not interested in that. Well isn’t that a bit selfish? Shouldn’t everyone be allowed to enjoy this wonderful thing that you’re so passionate about? For me skateboarding has always been for the weirdos, for those that didn’t want to conform, for the outcasts. It’s about jumping on your skateboard anywhere and not having rules. That’s what led to our culture being so interesting and diverse. If kids discover skating on TV with people jumping around a skatepark with scoring boards and stopwatches, think about the kinds of
skateboarders they’ll become? Well we don’t know do we? And maybe skaters should be allowed to become whatever kind of skater they want to be… But there are so many other sports and activities you can do if you want to make it about competing and uniforms. Skating was never that, why come and change what we have? I know it’s happening, it’s inevitable… I guess the idea of skateboarding becoming a standard thing that everyone does really doesn’t excite me. Which to an extent I can sort of understand… Tell us a little bit about all these photos of girls you put up on your Instagram. How did you get into that? It could be argued that this kind of photography sexually objectifies women, is this something you think about? I knew this one was coming… I love women and I’m not trying to tarnish their image or objectify them. I have lots of feminist friends and it’s a train of thought I support. Basically I’m single, have very open relationships with women in which everything is completely transparent for all parties, and photography often makes its way into some of our sexual games. Okay but it’s mainly the fact that they go online that’s questioned here. Every photo that gets posted on there is done so with the consent of the girl featured in it. I just like capturing the sensuality of these moments. You have to keep in mind that behind every photo I put up there’s probably about another 50 of the same girl as I’m working towards a book. And I’m not showing any of their faces…
Backside lipslide transfer Lyon Ph. Loic Benoit
Heelflip wallride Barcelona Ph. Fabien Ponsero
Hmm… People that get offended when they see a bum really need to think about what they’re getting offended by! Lyon’s Catholic Church had been covering up one of the most horrific paedophilia cases in the country and nobody bats an eyelid. You share images of two adults and their consenting sexual acts and people kick off! If certain images of submission make you feel uncomfortable, remember that the adults that are playing these games are both into that sort of thing. Nobody is doing anything they don’t want to do, so just ignore them. And maybe use that energy to think about what you’re doing when you send your kids off to the boy scouts (editor’s note: these cases of church paedophilia involved boy scouts) rather than busting my balls about some nipples. I’m not too sure what to make of that answer but I think I’ll leave it there. Cheers for the chat Loic!
Victor Pellegrin Lipslide Pesaro
Words Kevin Parrott
Photography Jelle Keppens
Vo l c o m
There was a loose plan to drive a couple of the Volcom vans east to pick up a select few of their team and skate the northern half of Italy, come what may. It turns out that Eniz was already going to be there as he was hitting Milan for two weeks with his buddies, the Frank crew. As much as this could be seen as an obstacle – because we didn’t want to cannibalise each others’ photos or footage by hitting the same spots days after one another – it actually helped the trip take some form. We’d all meet in Milan, as it was simple for most to get to and then get the fuck outta there, immediately. We had two weeks to hit the road and check some new places out. The final decision was to head east until we saw the coast and then start going south. We had a few people to link in with along the way and a few spots we knew we wanted to hit. Ben Raemers, Harry Lintell, Alain Goikoetxea, Hermann Stene, Victor Pellegrin, Jorge Simões and then Eniz Fazliov who we’ve already mentioned had calendars empty enough to join in.
While half of the crew were years deep on Volcom trips and knew their place in the van there were more fresh faces than I have seen in quite some time on these missions. From what I understand, this was a first to be on a Volcom trip for Hermann and Jorge. This is kind of unusual as those boys are fairly deep in the game these days; but I guess that speaks volumes about the level the rest of the dudes play at whilst on Volcom trips. It takes a hell of a presence to get your seat. We also had a semi-local spot guide joining us in the form of Martino Cattaneo. He is from the Swiss/Italian borders and knows Italy well and also speaks the language. What was clear from the outset was that this dude rips. Like, next level ease to his flow. He could also hang. He’d eat whenever there was food and skate whenever there was a spot.
He drank beers if they were there and supported with plenty of ideas for things we should hit up – just positive output and nothing beneath that. All of this combined changed the landscape for Martino within a few days. He’d shot a few photos and had filmed several heavy tricks. At this point, it became clear that he shouldn’t be hanging with the band but should be a steadfast part of the band. If I were to continue with this bad analogy I’d end up banging on about Martino being some part of the rhythm section, but I’m not going to do that. The point being, Martino rips and has a new clothing sponsor now. He also has his space in the van from day one of being involved. Sometimes it just works out like that.
Harry Lintell Switch frontside 180 Ancona
[next] Hermann Stene Ollie Fano
Martino Cattaneo Indy air to fakie Caos Skatepark, Cittadella
Alain Goikoetxea Backside air Railway Skatepark, Brescia
To u c h
Volcom has a local distributor in Italy who took the outline of our route plan and set up a few stops along the way at DIY parks so the team could do the demo thing or at shops so they could stop by and say ‘Hello’. Demos are always a funny one… I guess some people see them as a necessary evil. Playing the performing money role isn’t everyone’s cup of tea especially as no matter your physical or mental state, ye shall be judged by the session’s performance forever by the locals.
But even if you were having a good day, what if you didn’t like the park? What if you struggle skating in front of crowds? The difficult thing to overcome with demos is that you have to be entirely unselfish to get through them. It’s not really about you. Sure, find your fun session, but for the sometimes-intimate number of people watching, that could be the closest they ever get to seeing heavy
Jorge Simões Backside 50-50 grind Osimo
99 skating in the flesh above and beyond their local park hero. You don’t need scientific research to figure their importance; the common expressions used throughout these sessions – shouting, heckling, cheering, smashing the tail of your board – should tell you that there is an important connection happening. The actions and reactions could well define whether that kid will buy your board (should it ever
come), click play on your video part or chat shit about you online. It’s gnarly; with an interview or a video part, you can sculpt how you come across to a certain extent. Demos are just plain raw and that touch and feel aspect I think is immeasurable. As an example, just look at how often those Tom Penny Radlands Skatepark ’95 lines get reposted. I’m not saying that any of the demos we did on this trip will have one thousandth of the effect of that old gold, but I bet there are more than a handful of kids who went away with a new-found backing for Harry, Jorge or any of the others purely because they sessioned their local park in a very public way and hung out.
100 Tw o
We e k s
trick then chances of This was a coming back to the long trip to be spot are rarer than jumping city to city hen’s teeth so the in the vans and to state of your body skate each day at a isn’t really something level these guys would you can let get to the be stoked on. forefront of your Whilst thoughts. chucking yourself down Going on skate something big might trips is amazing but well write you off for also completely a couple of days, exhausting. general fatigue is As much as still out to get you. these things quickly Keeping that at bay stack up against you, for a fortnight is a and just to counter tough task. It’s a what I’ve said above, testament to the focus everyone finds their some of these lot have rhythm on a trip. For that they kept it up. example, a two-van Eniz was trip is always split probably feeling it into the party van and more than most as the chill van (No whilst we were on day matter the thoughts of one, he was looking at the driver on the about day eighteen of matter). It’s weird travelling and going that it always happens hard everyday. – but it does and you Without can’t mess with the wanting to sound like laws of nature. I am complaining – on You’ve got trips, you rarely have Victor and Harry who your own space without seem to be permanent actively having to members of the party find it. Even then, van, loving life and you share a bedroom letting the world know with at least one and then Hermann and other person and are Raemers who most on the move definitely hang in the constantly, repacking mellowest van. Hermann bags and reloading is possibly the most vans. suited to that van over Traffic en anyone I have ever met. route? That doesn’t Whilst Raemers likes just mean you have shotgun and the van DJ less light to skate role, Hermann will in. It also means you just sleep no matter might have to eat at the distance. We witnessed him sleep for five some weird service or six hours straight in the van and then station. Or lose an check into the hotel only to sleep ten hours hour or two sleeping. and be the last back to the van the next day. That spot you The only thing that’ll wake him is a want to hit is also notification from an iPhone video game or a only coming around chance to skate. And he will skate anything. once. Now or never. If Conversely, that party van – Victor you don’t get your has gone from the new guy on trips to become
Victor Pellegrin Ollie Ancona
the face of the party van in a fairly short period. But what did you expect from a guy who has ‘Take off. No landing.’ tattooed on himself? Weirdly, though I hear (because I avoid that party van unless I absolutely have no choice) that Jorge was the loudest on
this trip. I always worked on the idea that if someone is sleeping and has reclined their seat or taken their shoes off (two signals that they are intentionally seeking sleep and haven’t just passed out) then they are not to be fucked with. The Instagram stories appearing on most drives from Jorge’s account tell me that he doesn’t play by those rules. Whilst I am not trying to put across
Ben Raemers Frontside carve Ravenna
the idea that Jorge will be stealing Victor’s crown anytime soon, I am trying to state that there is always the mellow van if you need to take that space. Jelle, Alain, Eniz and Martino bounced back and forth as required. The other thing about travelling and having space in the van is that with a bit of preparation, you can prepare for killer barbecues to be had anywhere. We did just that and having Alain in the van made it all a bit special. He is someone who has spent enough time on the road with P-Stone so has had the training and given a flame seems to be able to work magic and feed any number of hungry troops until content. I reckon the secret is in the oils. We walked through a supermarket chucking whatever we could in the basket without too much thought. Sausages, burgers, rolls, peppers, cheese, a few condiments – the usual, basically. It was a speedy visit until we got to the olive oil section. This is where Alain spent 50% of the store time selecting a couple of different choices to make sure we ate well. It is apparently the most important part and going by taste, it works too. Sadly our self-appointed chef ended up leaving the trip after a week. We hit up the Elbo Skatepark, which has to be one of the gnarliest spots I’ve ever visited. Alain had frontside aired over the face of the fullpipe a couple of years previously but only had iPhone footage of the trick and always wanted to shoot a photo and film it properly. Plus, for us this was a heavy, heavy trick for the article. Everyone was
excited to witness it go down. However (and I am coming out in cold sweats just thinking about this), Alain had less than ten tries before the session ended. The struggle seemed to be keeping your board on your feet once you launch into the frontside air as you are going at ridiculous speeds to clear the channel. This means impact and running out of it constantly. The final attempt took its toll on Alain as his knee buckled under him bending in ways that knees should not bend. An ambulance and a couple of scans later, Alain was switching flights up to get home to see his local doctor and begin the process of fixing himself. I’m genuinely hoping that when he reads this, it will be at La Kantera whilst taking a break from a skate session rather than hobbling home after picking up more olive oil. Ben Raemers also had to leave shortly after due to
It is a different approach to Jorge or Harry who will just session everything in their path to work out what is possible and step it up from there. It must be nice.
Hermann Stene Backside 50-50 grind Ortona
some scheduling conflicts. He is a busy man with a lot on his plate these days. He is hard working (I’m not going to say ‘lucky’ because this is just lame as it doesn’t give respect to the fucked up things these dudes do on their skateboards) enough to have been taken around the world several times by sponsors and has the game figured. Do what you do and do it well. He is so established that he quickly and easily finds his rhythm on trips. He is a pretty visual person so will sit back until he finds his spot where he can shine, thinking entirely about the photo and footage.
Jorge Simões Kickflip over the stairs Pozzoleone
This trip had an eclectic mix of folks. Not just in terms of where each person comes from, but also what gets them going when it comes to skating. Not every spot is for everyone and not everyone wants pizza everyday (well, maybe just one person. You know who you are). Some want to party. Some want to cruise it. However, there is that common thread beyond a sponsor in that they all have that raw drive to wake up and skate all day and to meet new faces. They can all just be and let others be, too. That is what got Martino his new hook-up and that is what allows Ben to happily wait for his spot to show up while
Harry, Jorge and co. can’t ever leave their skateboards alone for a minute. That is what allows Alain to cook up a storm and not feel like he is expected to serve. It is a fairly inspiring thing to be around. I guess it is the same ‘touch and feel’ as the experience the folks at demos get to witness only this time it is almost internal, feeding off of one another’s similarities and not despite any differences but in appreciation of. Long live the Road Crew.
YA R D Sam Sitayeb Ollie London Ph. Sam Ashley
point because they weren’t coming through with any London photos. But basically the skateboarding they produced in the last couple of months – especially Charlie Birch 2.0 whose talent grew exponentially this winter working at the Palace park – combined with one of the funniest interviews we’ve recorded, left us with no option but to give them the biggest slot in this issue. Which is pretty crazy considering this is the first article the crew has ever had in a magazine…
I think our interview with Yardsale’s main man offers a pretty comprehensive overview of what the London brand is about, so I’ll try to keep this short. I will say one thing though: when we first decided to do this piece we honestly had no idea it would turn into something of this scale. We even got close to sacking the whole thing off at one
S A L E Interview Arthur Derrien
All right then. I feel like before we start talking about Yardsale we should probably discuss how you got into filming Dan. Dan Kreitem: Yeah sure. At first it was just me and my mates going out and I’d just film whatever the fuck was happening. It was never like ‘do this trick here’. It was more like we’ll go out all day and then still film throughout the night and just capture everything. For the memories rather than the stunts? Yeah kind of more like that. Then I started doing it for Slam (City Skates)…
When you were working at the shop with Casper (Brooker) and stuff? Yeah, it’s sort of when Jake Sawyer was still the face of Slam, it was sick. I think Casper rang me and was like ‘do you wanna work at Slam?’ and I was like, ‘er fuck yeah, of course’. I’d quit my job at Size (a UK trainer/ clothing shop) two weeks earlier and Slam was the dream job. I filmed a lot with Paddy (Jones), Jake, Darius (Trabalza) and Casper because that’s who I liked to be around… And that kind of led to Yardsale. I used to think like, why is London always shown in the same way?
Curtis Pearl Gap to wallride Paris Ph. Alex Pires
What like Blueprint/ VX1000 style? Yeah you know what I mean? I love Blueprint but I just felt like I wanted it to look different. Even the Hold Tight edits I used to enjoy when I was a kid… But then when City Of Rats came out I just wasn’t into it so much. Why? Just so grey looking and some of the ‘funny’ bits felt a little forced. I felt like we could do something sick. Also at the same time, the reason Yardsale as a brand started was because I thought ‘well you don’t make money from videos’ and so let’s make some t-shirts or something. How long was this after Size? I feel like it all went super quick. OK so throughout the whole time I was working at Size, I used to sit upstairs by the window in the winter, not even moving, just watching people walk in. Just being there, that was my job. Throughout that whole three-month period I was just like ‘fuck me, this is not where I want to be’. And I was just looking around at the clothing (not that I’m trying to sell my clothes in Size) and would think ‘these guys are making stacks off just fucking some bullshit. Fuck I could do something!’ I was starting to know the Slam lot more as well so thought I could sell it there. And then when Slam gave me a job I was like all right: I can fully now make t-shirts and get them sold in the shop. And I did. I didn’t really know what it was at first but that’s basically when I started filming the first Yardsale video. I felt like I just had to do it right then and see. And you hadn’t had any formal training in fashion design or anything? No, not at all. I honestly had no idea about anything. How did you come up with the logo? So basically my cousin is an artist and he’s really good at drawing stuff up on
Photoshop. He still works for Yardsale now. I’d go to his house every weekend for about three or four months, we kept making logos and I was like ‘hmm, nah’. I was so particular with it. And then we finally made one together, which was the first circle logo. And that was kind of before palm trees were how they are now. Everyone’s printing fucking palm trees on shit these days. But I’d had no training. I did business studies but I didn’t even attend the lessons, I got like a D in it. And then with designing shit I’ve always had like hand-me-downs from my great uncle, that’s what I liked. But that’s the hardest bit; you just have to trust your instincts all the time. What’s the deal with the name? Dude it’s so weird. I don’t know. It’s literally like the first thing I wrote down and thought ‘that looks kind of cool’. I remember being like ‘oh we’ll just use this as like a template for now, so I can go to my cousin’s house and we can like fuck with it’. And then it just stuck. Plus it made sense because the first video was with my mates in Los Angeles as well. It wasn’t just like a British word, you know what I mean? So the original idea was to have it half London half LA? Yeah kind of. I mean it was always based in London and I had no idea what it was going to be. I definitely didn’t think it was going to turn into an actual skate company with some of the best riders in the whole of fucking England on the team. It was bedroom as fuck. So yeah my mates were filming in LA and I wanted them to be in the video. And Stephen Spilker who was filming them, I really looked up to his edits at the time and they all had sick footage, so we just blended it together and made this weird thing. It’s literally so random. Ah so the LA/London thing wasn’t like the basis of the company or anything, it
sort of just happened. Yeah it was literally that! Coming back to names, when I think about it I basically just wrote something down and I was just like ‘fuck it’. Honestly if you’d have told me this shit was going to happen four years ago I’d have been like ‘you’re joking. You’re honestly fucking with me!’ It’s insane. How did you get the money to start it? Did you have any backers? Did Slam help out? Basically I spoke to my dad and was like ‘yo, do you reckon I could borrow a grand and a half?’ I showed him everything that I was doing, where it was going to be sold, what we’d make after and explained that I could definitely give him the money back… And he was down! And we made the first run of t-shirts, which got sold at Slam and Palomino. Shortly after I received an inheritance (2K) from my great uncle, which allowed me to start making quarter-zips. What about the boards? OK this is the craziest thing: basically the Slam guys approached me after the first Yardsale video came out. So I had meetings with them for about four months back and forth talking about how they basically wanted to own 50%, but would give me loads of money, would manufacture everything in all the Slam factories, could get me anyone I wanted on the team… It was almost like a bit overwhelming. Anyway I ended up going along with it, designed some boards, they got them sent off and then said they’d start working on the clothes with me. I was so sceptical about giving up 50% of my company that I came to an agreement where the deal would be: we see how the first year goes, we split everything we make that first year 50/50, then if I want to do it, I sign something. So anyway the first lot of boards got made with Slam’s money. And then I kept on emailing them like ‘dude these board
Charlie Birch Bluntslide pop-over Paris Ph. Sam Ashley
designs got sent off four months ago where are they’? ‘Yeah they’re still being made please just stop emailing us that much.’ And I thought ‘what you mean stop emailing you? These are my boards, this is my company, my life!’ I kept on hassling them because their whole part of this deal was that they would give me access to their factories to get clothes made and nothing was happening. So long story short, six months after we signed this deal and I was just like ‘look you’re starving my company, I don’t wanna do this anymore’. Me and my dad sat down and wrote an email explaining ‘thanks, but now we’re done’. And then they were like ‘yeah we were thinking the same too’. And then that was it. A blessing in disguise though because you know that if they see the potential in a brand it can definitely become something! Literally! Like I wake up every morning and I think thank fuck I haven’t given up 50% of my company! 50% is a fool move. If it was 49% maybe yeah, but 50, that is not your company: I’d have people telling me what to do. So at that point I was like ‘yo they’ve given me so much inspiration, I know this can work now’. They were so serious about it! Anyway I quit Slam, started doing odd jobs for production companies and started making some money from Yardsale. Sketchy money, like you sell t-shirts one month then you don’t, but I was still managing to live off it because I was living at home. And then the next season it really took off? I feel like it did yeah.
From the outside it felt like one minute it was like three t-shirts and a few boards then the next it was big. Like when I came to the office last time I couldn’t believe it. I remember thinking ‘damn he’s got Zak (Mayell), Tom (Delion) and Paddy (Jones) working here, there’s so much product everywhere...’ It went super quick. Yeah it just got to a point when I thought: ‘it has to happen now’. We filmed the third edit and the fourth was about to come out, which is the one that Julian (Kimura) is in. That was two years ago in December. And I was like ‘I want to make a line of clothing’, like an actual line of clothing. And then basically with this factory that I used at the time, which I still use for half of my shit, you don’t have to pay for the clothing until it comes here. So I just thought ‘we’ll just commit hard and if it fucks up it fucks up whatever. If we owe like 25 grand… It’s not the end of the world, we’ll come back from that’. That’s if we don’t sell it. I was confident that we were going to sell it. It was going to be good shit. So anyway that’s why there was so much… And then that came out with a cool photo shoot (okay they’re not so cool now, but they were at the time) of everyone wearing it and the video. That’s what boosted it. And once the cycles are in motion you can grow it, if it’s selling. And it was selling so it was cool. How come you guys kept going to LA? Basically we (Curtis Pearl, the Church brothers, Zak) grew up going to LA. And then as people got added to the team they came… To escape winter really. We were like ‘we can be in LA right now with our mates filming a video or we can be in London in the winter at South Bank or Mile End’, so we were like ‘fuck that!’ So we started to go once every year for a month or two months to film.
Curtis told me to ask you about the first LA trip and some fucked up house party. Oh my days, yeah. So basically, this was in 2014 and I somehow… I basically emailed this lady who lived in this crazy villa in the Palisades, which is the rich mountain part of LA, and managed to blag it for half price because it was off-season. This was the first proper ‘Yardsale’ LA trip, and the place was crazy! There was a terrace; you could see the whole of LA! So on one of the last weeks Josh Church who came with us was like ‘oh we should have a house party and get a band to play on our roof’. And I was like ‘ha ha, yeah man, jokes’ or whatever. And he was like ‘nar man we should definitely do it’. He’s a bit tweaked. He was like ‘we’ll film it, it will be a cool video’. I just thought he was chatting shit. So anyway Friday evening I’m at the local supermarket down the road from our house and this group of people come up to me and ask: ‘Do you know where this event is? We’re going tonight, it’s on Instagram’ and I was like ‘ah let me just see I’m not from around here…’ And I was looking at it… ‘1334 Goucher Street?! That’s my fucking house! What you mean? What is it?’ There was like this massive flyer for this party where this live band was playing! Josh had gone and just done some fucked shit. So anyway I was like ‘yeah it’s just up the hill I guess; I’ll see you in a minute, whatever’. So we get there and these guys had pushed my bed out the way and set up the drum kit. My room was like the bit where you could see the whole of LA. So to Josh I’m like ‘dude what the fuck have you done?’ But he was all ‘fuck it, it’s the last week whatever, if we get kicked out, we get kicked out’. And then slowly, probably about 250 people showed up. Like this band was playing, it was sick! There was 15 Mexican bruddas drinking
Modelos in the corner just staring at them the whole time, ha ha. And everyone was on the roof and you could see it starting to bend in and shit. Then at four in the morning predictably five police cars show up to the house with megaphones and shit but our mate Guffy just goes down and tells them they can’t enter and somehow deters them from coming in! I woke the next day just like: WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED! And we didn’t even get kicked out! It was the funnest party ever. I’m sure everyone was probably underage as well. Oh dude for sure. Imagine being from there and seeing that there’s a house party with a band playing in the Palisades, it’s free… Everyone in LA is obviously going to go. So LA and these trips have sort of become one side of the company. I guess the other big part of it is all the missions you guys do to all those bleak towns to skate sick brick banks spots. Like Maidstone and stuff... Mate that’s the mellow one. That city’s not as gnarly as the other ones we’ve gone to. That place is like semi-alright. I don’t know what it is… Me, Curtis and Sam used to always say, ‘there’s no spots in London’, which is not true there is loads of spots in London, but we’d filmed there so much at one point and had been to all the spots that we liked to skate that we’d say that. Like we’re not gonna go to a stair set, we’d been to all the weird cutty bank spots, so we decided to just venture out a bit. I’d just passed my test and I had a car so we started driving to like Chatham, Peterborough and other places. I’d Google Maps a town that looked like it had at least four estates in it and we’d go check it out. Is that how you guys would do it then? You’d look for estates that look like they could have spots and hope for the best? Pretty much yeah. So for instance Chatham: I would
say is the first town that we consistently still go to: we love it. It’s a shithole but has the craziest, most British looking brick bank spots. I Google Mapped it and saw these tower blocks that had wallrides and was like ‘yeah let’s just drive 45 minutes out the way’, we went and it was so sick. Everything was amazing. Now Chatham is like the go-to! It’s heavily featured in the Yardsale videos. But the place is fucked… So the main spot is these amazing red banks outside the shopping area, and you just see the people leave the shopping area and get on the bus. That’s the whole thing you’ll see… And there’s a massive TV with a loudspeaker like preaching the news to everyone, it’s almost like mind control. There are people just going in and out of the shopping centre looking so fucked. It’s so grey; people are smoking so many long cigarettes and just like pushing trolleys along. We went to Woking recently actually, which is also a complete shithole. That’s where Sam does the nosegrind right? Sam (Ashley) told me about that day... Yeah. All right so we’re driving into Woking and we passed these two crackhead dudes. Just standard English chavs and there’s one chav like bopping behind him and he’s like ‘I’ll give you £2 for one bun on a zoot’ and we were like: ‘did you just hear that?! Ha ha!’ So anyway we drive in to the town, don’t think anything of it, get to the spot and this guy – the same guy who asked for the £2 bun on the zoot – is strolling over and he’s like ‘give me your skateboard, give me your skateboard!’ He took one and gave Kyle his pouch saying ‘there’s half an ounce of weed in there and an iPhone, be careful’… He was just off of his nut. Anyway he got on the skateboard, tried to do a front flip over the rail without the skateboard, just holding onto it, and smacked his head and like completely split it open, gushing
Kyle Wilson Backside 50-50 to step ride Paris Ph. Sam Ashley
Julian Kimura Ollie up, ollie in Paris Ph. Sam Ashley
out with blood. It was insane! He was like ‘that’s what happens when you take 19 Xanax…’ Just tripping out. And then he tries to rap to the camera with this massive hole in his head. Suddenly there are loads of people crowded around looking at this dude now rapping to me while I’m filming him, with this hole in his head. It’s the best footage! So he’s bleeding out, rapping then he was like ‘you go this way, I’ll go that way’. We were like ‘dude we ain’t robbed the bank’ like you’ve just come up, you’re fucked up and now you’re bleeding: you should go to hospital’. Then he just started sprinting off. And then, about three hours later when we were in a random part of the town, we just saw drops of blood and were like ‘let’s just follow it and find him! He’s probably in a hole somewhere’. It was so fun. I remember we had to leave the rail because it was covered in blood and tissues and water from where we tried to wash the blood off so we could skate it. But yeah that’s basically how it goes, we’d drive an hour and a half to a town, think ‘hmm, I dunno about this place’, then instantly be so hyped because this random crackhead has just made all of your mates crease. You’d just be so glad to have come to Woking just for having seen that, but then everyone’s hyped and we get loads of good footage. These weird, random situations just get everyone hyped. I guess that’s the puddle of blood you can see at the bottom of the rail... So disgusting man. It’s sad, that’s what happens in those towns though. It’s so sick that you guys put Charlie (Birch) on. Dude it’s weird I think Kyle (Wilson) is the one who got him on. He DM’d me when the Palace park opened. He must have seen Charlie skate it and was like ‘dude we need to put Charlie on’. I was so sceptical at first because obviously Charlie’s the kind of kid who’s had a career
in skateboarding from a young age so he’s kind of got that weakness to him where you can judge him easier because you’ve seen him as a kid. Yeah it’s a lot harder say if you’re like Louie Lopez, than if you’ve come out of nowhere as a grown up and straight away everyone thinks you’re super steez. Exactly. But he’s like a prodigy. He’s also at that stage where he’s grown into an adult and he’s from fucking Liverpool! He’s like a Rowley! And the thing is as well, you got the first stage of someone riding for Yardsale where you’re like ‘they’re good at skating: sick. They look steez: sick. Your mates like them: sick.’ And the next is ‘OK, we’re going to go to Paris next week, what’s it going to be like when he’s on the trip?’ And then he comes on the trip and he’s instantly part of the family! Straight away he’s just like fully blending in, cracking jokes. Almost like ‘I’m so glad you’re here, what did we do without you before’. It’s perfect, he’s not in the corner on his phone being like ‘I miss this…’ On these trips, like Paris, you have to be just fully focused on everyone you’re with, and Yardsale. Oh the van breaks down and we’re stranded for 24 hours? We still have the best time. How was it having Sam (Ashley) on a trip for the first time? I was a bit worried because he’s like a legendary UK photographer. I didn’t want him to show up on this trip and Charlie’s on mushrooms, Kyle’s rolling zoots… Someone’s not even here yet. And it was the gnarliest fucking trip. Ha ha, well he loved it. Everyone got to the office an hour before Sam got there, ha ha. I’d lied about the time… The first few London missions with Sam were sick. People actually fully committed, I think it helped him being there. Having someone shooting for a magazine that everyone fucks
with and the fact that he’s shot all of their favourite skaters, it’s almost like this is the childhood dream: in a weird way you have to commit. The van situation sounded hilarious. He was sending us live updates that were so good. Okay so maybe 11 hours before we went to Paris we still hadn’t decided if we wanted to go to Paris or Budapest. So when we finally picked Paris, I told Sam Sitayeb ‘get here now, I know you’re good at this sort of shit, we need to book a van’. He rang up this fucking sketchy ass guy called Paul that he found on Gumtree and I heard Sam on the phone say ‘£600 really?! Automatic car? Really? And you can have as many drivers as you want?! Yeah yeah yeah we’ll take it! I’ll come meet you and get it right now.’ We couldn’t believe it, ‘this guy is going to let any of us drive the car, for like a week, a 15-seater van, and for £600?! And we can take it to France for no extra cost?! When Sam came back he was like ‘yeah about the van… It’s manual. It is a 15-seater but the petrol cap doesn’t work. He had to spend like half an hour trying to get the cap off. It’s also falling apart and it smells like vomit.’ Anyway on the way back from that trip it broke down an hour outside of Paris. We stopped at a petrol station and Sam rang the dude up: ‘Paul when you said this was your prized possession we really trusted you and believed you. Now we’re stuck an hour outside of Paris and it’s broken down. That £150 we paid for breakdown cover can we use that?’ ‘Uh I forgot to put it on…’ ‘Paul I’m really disappointed in you…’ He’s so good at fucking being a little bullshitter. So smooth… We ended up convincing Paul to drive six hours from Bermondsey to where we were outside of Paris to pick us up in his van, leave his other van there and drive
another six hours back to London. In that time while we were waiting for him we were like ‘we just need to drive to a river somehow’. The van could drive 10mph so we drove the van at 10 miles for an hour and parked outside an Aldi, bought loads of wine, went by a river and just got absolutely fucked. And Austin (Bristow) fell in the river. That’s when I was like ‘Sam Ashley’s going to hate us forever…’ Everyone was so fucked, just being such cunts, lobbing shoes across the van. One hit Sam in the head; one hit me in the head. Ha ha ha... And then OK so two hours from Paul arriving to where we were in France, we found this abandoned hotel just where the van had broken down. Like in the middle of nowhere. So I go with the VX and everyone just runs in and starts smashing the shit out of it! Charlie’s got a chair and he’s like smashing through a double glazed windows as hard he could, Curtis is like spraying a fire extinguisher everywhere. Everyone was out of control… Sam (Ashley) was like ‘we’ve come this far, waited 24 hours, the guy is finally going to be here in 30 minutes and we’re going to get the police called on us!’ So we slowly left but Charlie couldn’t stop, ha ha. Ten minutes after we’d all left he came out saying ‘come back we’ve got more damage to do you pussies!’ We finally got back to London at six o’clock in the morning the next day and had to have like an hour conversation with him trying to get a discount. Sam was like ‘Paul you’ve let us down man we need a discount’. He didn’t give us a discount, ha ha. He was like ‘I’ve lost so much money what do you want from me?! I wish you never rang me. The whole drive to France I couldn’t stop thinking about how much money I would have paid for you not to have rang me; this is such a ball-ache.’ It was funny… Poor Paul...
But wait there’s more: you know how this past weekend some of the boys went back to Paris? Found another guy on Gumtree. Same thing super cheap and weirdly at a similar address. We call him up to arrange the picking up of the van and he’s like ‘Ah man these kids they fucked my other van up…’ No! Yes… And it was Paul using another name. We’d already paid the deposit and shit so we had to get it! So we send Curtis in a disguise to pick it up. We gave him a flat cap and shit, ha ha. And it worked! But guess what? The van ran out of fuel! No fucking way ha ha ha. Paul to the rescue? Nah luckily he didn’t have to come get us. We just trekked through a field for an hour to get fuel. But when Zak brought the van back he fully recognised him… So crazy. He must be having nightmares about you lot. You mentioned Austin falling into the river... I heard that boy’s been providing quite a lot of entertainment on the last few trips. Can you give me the shoe story from LA? I fuck with Austin man, he’s cool, we will take him for a month and he’s just hyped. Like he’ll even sleep on the couch the whole time and not give a fuck. He’s so appreciative. Also he was 19 and had never been to America before, so I kind of had to take a step back and remember what if felt like when I went the first time, how mad that was. Anyway so a few days in we’re just driving around and we find ourselves at the top of this gnarly hill. It looks pretty scary. Julian films me on his iPhone doing a slappy and just about bombing it. I was stoked. And then we look up and Austin is on a cruiser board with the 5D camera in his hand (that he’s not filming with) just tanking it down this massive hill. Austin’s good at skating but anyone on a cruiser board, holding a camera and going down that isn’t
Curtis Pearl Frontside wallie Paris Ph. Alex Pires
making it in one piece. The crazy thing is I remember asking him after it happened ‘why did you do it? Why did you bomb the hill with the camera?’ and he was like ‘well I saw you do it and thought we’d probably have to film something in a minute so it would be good to see if I could actually go down it myself.’ So anyway when we look back and he’s like halfway down this thing and I’m like ‘OH MY FUCKING GOD’. Julian’s tripping out, he’s going so fast and when he hits the bit of the hill that goes straight he gets more speed wobbles. He senses that he’s going down, somehow flings the camera up but then his head goes directly into the back of a parked van and he disappears. I’m instantly sprinting over thinking ‘he’s dead, stop the trip, the cameras fucked, everything is fucked. It’s all fucked!’ I get to this van and there’s blood everywhere. He’s face down on the floor… He gets up, has tears in his eyes, and he’s like… Keep in mind that the camera is completely smashed to pieces on the floor. He goes: ‘my brother’s sunglasses! Oh my god I broke my brother’s sunglasses!’ So Austin could have died, the camera’s been destroyed, he might have to go hospital for which he hasn’t got insurance, and the first thing that comes into his mind is his brother’s £50 sunglasses! He was like shredded to pieces! And then, to top it all off right, this was a white van and you could see his faceprint dented into the white van. No lie we’ve got a photo of it: his head shape was dented into the van. Me and Julian saw it and were like ‘that’s his face in the van! We have to call an ambulance you can’t make that imprint and not have done some serious damage…’ Did you call an ambulance? No he didn’t have insurance and he was like man ‘please, please don’t call my mum!’ It was insane. Wow.
We were trying to make him not sleep because if you sleep after you hit your head you can die or whatever. So we were trying to keep him awake but he slept through the night, woke up and was just absolutely covered in scars and blood. And then he put this like tape… He didn’t even buy a plaster! I was like ‘let me buy you plasters!’ But he taped around his thumb and then a week after he un-taped it and his whole finger was completely white, like an alien finger. It was wrinkled to shit. Julian and I were looking at it pointing and laughing… He’s insane. And then yeah a few days after, I gave him a pair of my Vans and he mixed his other Vans with mine. And halfway through the afternoon, after a whole day of having them on, he realised he was wearing two left feet. We couldn’t believe it… He was like ‘oh gee I didn’t even know…’ Ha ha ha! They weren’t even the same colour! And they were different sizes as well because I’m a size under him. ‘Yeah I thought it felt funny…’ Oh mate… I love Austin man he’s so sick and such a good filmer. What about the skaters? How did the team come together? Basically how it all happened was Darius and I were skating a lot together at the time. This is when it first started. Then one night after Slam I went to Mile End (skatepark), saw Curtis (Pearl), and I was just like ‘this kid’s so fucking steez!’ I almost hated him at first because I was like ‘he’s a bit… He looks like he’s too steez.’ Yeah he almost skates like he’s showing off but in the best possible way. It looks so sick. He skates like he’s showing off but it’s almost like you want him for your own skate mentality so you can skate like that. Because of that when I asked him I was kind of scared. But ‘fuck it’ I thought,
Kyle Wilson Backside 180 kickflip Los Angeles Ph. Alex Pires
Sam Sitayeb Frontside nosegrind Woking Ph. Sam Ashley
‘if he says no, whatever, he’s a cool guy, fuck him’. But he was like ‘dude I’m so down, can’t stop smiling you made me so happy. I’m so fucking down.’ And then his skating has developed into becoming like my favourite skater. I’m genuinely inspired by how Curtis skates. It’s like street tranny you know? Like snappy banks: your board goes down and then snaps out. It’s really pushing your board into these weird positions; it’s full energy. I feel like a lot of younger kids in England can see the style. They fuck with him hard.
I guess the next dude was Jake Church! Jake and his brother Josh they need to be involved in this somehow, I’ve known them forever. I still remember the car journey as a kid going to see Jake being born. I was like fuck this, got to meet Josh’s baby brother ha ha. This kid is ruining my Sunday! Anyway Jake doesn’t ride for Yardsale anymore in terms of filming for it, (it’s a long story) but he’s always going to be a part of it. He’s going to get a clip for the new vid. He has to have a trick!
Dude for sure! I’ve been trying to get him to do a trick. His legs are kind of fucked though… Then after Jake it was Sam Sitayeb? Yeah. I wasn’t sure about putting him on at first… I think Sam’s 19 or 20: so he’s young. And he’s always been like super intelligent. Like wouldn’t go to bed until seven in the morning because he’d be up learning how to program and shit. And he’s now made this game or app. He also doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, doesn’t do anything like that. I feel like this
is kind of reflected in his skating, how he flicks his board into tricks. It’s almost like, not robotic because he has style, but you can really see how he does everything. He’s very meticulous. Dude his new footage is the best footage in the whole video. It’s almost like he’s pushing to go pro first. Oh yeah you don’t have any pros do you? No, no pros. I like it when brands really wait to turn people pro. Like wait ‘til they’ve really made an impact, had
loads of parts... Like how (Dan) Magee did with Blueprint. What about Kyle? How Kyle got on the team? I remember Curtis was like ‘yo you need to come to Mile End right now and watch this kid Kyle skate.’ I was like ‘really?’ I went to Mile End and I remember watching him and thinking that he was really good but it’s almost like he didn’t have his own image yet… I’m not trying to like be a dick, you just don’t really when you’re a kid. And then I basically slept on the decision for too long. Like a month and a half maybe. And I remember getting a text from Curtis or Zak who worked at Slam at the time saying that Kyle had just come in and picked up a package from Palace… I felt it instantly: I knew I fucked up. I knew I should have put him on… But I got Curtis to ask him anyway, just in case ‘who knows, maybe he’ll go for Yardsale instead of Palace’. Curtis texted him – and I remember we were at the top of this hill about to bomb it and he replied ‘Yeah: 100%. Fully down’. To which Curtis secretly recorded my reaction! I was like ‘yeaaaah, so stoked, let’s bomb this fucking hill right now!’ And now his style has developed into something completely mind-blowing. Yeah. And this winter of working at the Palace park, getting sick at transition has just made him ten times better. Yeah, he’s incredible. That’s why we pay him. And he loves Yardsale! It makes me happy that he loves it like that… Honestly how this whole shit worked out, thinking about it now, it fully trips me out. I really appreciate everyone fucking with it. What about Julian? Who is Julian? What is Julian? Oh man, I think you could write a book about Julian. Basically Curtis went to skate Paris one time and met him, then instantly was like: ‘yo you have to put him on!’ I was I was a bit like ‘chill out man, you just
made me put on Kyle, don’t get too hyped…’ Then later he came to London and I saw him skate in person and realised just how talented he was. If you were a kid and you saw Julian it would almost be even more entertaining than to watch Kyle because it’s so mesmerising. The skateboard is like glued to his feet. When he slides a ledge he just sticks in there and flows out… Also when you think about the whole team with Julian as an addition, he’s so special. He’s this weird dude that’s lived around the whole world… He’s like everything, half Japanese, half Brazilian, a bit of this, a bit of that. Lived in Miami, lived in Prague, Barcelona, Tokyo… What sort of stuff do you draw inspiration from when you’re thinking about the clothes? The clothing is a huge part of Yardsale. Obviously the skating is the main thing but most of the money comes from clothing. It’s always just been what we’re into. I feel like the way it started off was when Curtis and Darius first started filming for Yardsale… They would come along with these clothes, and it looked good but I’d be like ‘yo maybe wear this…’ I remember the first line Curtis ever did, bombing that hill and doing the wallride, he’s in a Fila piece that me and Josh bought. And that’s the shit we always wanted to make… Like me personally, I hate designing t-shirts because I don’t really wear t-shirts. I wear polos or longsleeves or quarter-zips and shit. We’ve always heavily taken inspiration from the 80s and 90s. We don’t think like ‘oh this is cool now’. I’ll be inspired by shit I randomly find on eBay… Like weird shit. Everyone is always making 20 t-shirts a season but I don’t really want to do that. So we make other stuff instead. Also finding a good graphic for a shirt is so hard... I guess it’s ‘skate clothing’ because we skate in it, but skaters want to get laid just
Charlie Birch Wallie London Ph. Sam Ashley
as much as the next dude: they want to look cool. You know making clothes that you want to go out in… Nobody wants to go out in a massive logo t-shirt. At the same time I want it to be fully: ‘this is skateboarding’ and we don’t fuck with posey Instagram skaters’. Which is funny because I feel like people outside of London who might not know so much about the brand might get that vibe from it. I honestly don’t want it to be like that. I want it to be cool but not in a way where it’s like hey ‘this is me, I’m an artist/ motivational speaker’ and all this shit. No: I skate, I smoke weed, I fucking fart on my mates when we’re on trips. We’re idiots but yeah we still look cool… You know who I fuck with as a skate company? 917. They’re core as fuck and they look cool without being posey. I think that’s the most important thing. I don’t want it to be like a posey company that’s all about lookbooks. I think there’s a way of being very core to how skaters see you and also being cool in people who don’t skate’s eyes. You can kind of get a perfect match. I’d say Palace have succeeded in doing that. Yeah for sure. And of course Lev’s so sick and everything he’s done for skating is fucking amazing. But put it this way, if he was still making PWBC News edits and a kid like Blondey came out of nowhere and was doing exactly what he’s doing: he would be number one on the hit list. Rory, Brady, Charlie and Torey are the ones that make me want to wear the clothes. They’re the ones I want to see. Ha ha cheers Dan. I think we’ll leave it at that. Can’t wait to see the vid!
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SOUR in Guatemala
Skateboarding is filled with chance encounters… Having these useless wooden toys really brings people together from far-flung places and all walks of life. Guatemalan skater Paulo Franco was visiting the skateboarding Mecca (Barcelona) last year with his friend Ches and just by chance he met the Sour team. The next thing you know the whole Sour team are on their way to Guatemala. We spoke to Paulo, Sour head honcho Björn Holmenäs and Sour filmer Jack Thompson to hear exactly how it all panned out.
Photography Nikwen Interviews Will Harmon
7 2 1
Barney Page Slappy 180 to fakie 5-0 Antigua
What is the skate scene like in Guatemala?
mean buying online is cool, but it’s cool when you know that there’s a physical store too. These ‘virtual shops’ are doing The skate scene in some kind of weird move and they don’t pay taxes, so they sell Guatemala is in the process of developing… I’m gonna call it a boards half the price of a board sold by a local skate shop. So my ‘small scene’ that is divided into small groups depending on what point is that these ‘virtual shops’ part of the city the skaters live makes real, core, skate shops suffer and they run the risk of and what social environment they are surrounded with. For disappearing altogether at some point. example, there’s a few zones in How did you meet the the city (Guatemala City) that Sour team? are called ‘red points’ because PF: Ha ha, it’s funny… they’re drug distribution points So Ches (Hernandez) and I had or a gang operational zone, so been watching the Sk8mafia the kids there skate to try and videos for more than ten years; have an escape from their I think since the Sk8mafia reality, but they don’t have any skate culture to stick with and to Saturdays… So a few years later we started seeing that there were use as a role model. They don’t some guys skating with them have any access to magazines and they don’t have the chance to that looked amazing in the way they skated. It was very feel free to go skate other spots attractive because it was totally with other skaters from other parts because they feel insecure, different, so we started and many other reasons. There’s identifying some of the Sour a few more groups that just go to guys in those videos, and they the skate plaza, for example, and were absolutely incredible… So then we went to Barcelona a few 50% of them skate hard every times and we knew that some of day in that park, and the other them were living there but WE 50% are dealing with nonNEVER SAW THEM! Ha ha, integrated families, drugs, until last year… robbery, etc. I’ve been skating We went on a trip from here my whole life, so from my July to August and in the last 12 point of view skateboarding is days I was battling for a trick in free and different for every El mercat de les flors… So we skater in the country, but we decided to head there but we don’t have this reinforced didn’t go the way we usually do. culture of skateboarding here By chance, we happened to see a because society always puts skater going out from a half personal development last; we closed metal door, and it was still act as a primitive society Gustav! We didn’t say anything and that reflects in a poor and to him, we skated the spot. At very small skate scene. the end of the session we start How do you guys get talking… Ches and I were like skateboards? Are there skate ‘hey man we should go and see if shops in Guatemala? the Sour shop is open right now’. PF: We get skateboards We thought it was a Sour skate from a few skate shops that are shop when we first saw it, so we operating in the city. There’s three real skate shops working in started walking down the block, and yeah, it was open, but we the city right now, so as a skater didn’t see anyone. So we decided you usually have to save money for a month or two, and then you to leave, but suddenly Björn appeared and said ‘quieren can go to the shop to get your madera?’ So we thought let’s buy board or your shoes. Personally, a deck for the memories, and he I am a big fan of physical skate nicely told us to come inside. He shops, but we are now facing a told us that on that Saturday problem as a developing skate they were gonna have a sale and scene, which is ‘virtual shops’. I
that we were welcome to come and buy some Sour product then. Man we got so excited, because we were about to get Sour product and bring that product home were no one knows anything about European brands, especially Sour. You’d be the envy of all your friends... PF: Yeah, so that Saturday came and we went and we met Sami, I think Jack was there inside and also Josef. It was a gnarly sale, they gave us beer and treated us very nice and we talked a little about Guatemala.
Gustav Tønnesen Frontside heelflip Puerto San José
Björn told us that he had been to Mexico some time ago and that he was a little curious about Guatemala, and he showed me a
used board with a Guatemalan sticker on it… It was a board that a friend of mine, for some reason, left behind in Barcelona when he went to the Red Bull skate arcade contest. So that day Björn asked Sami about going on a tour in 2018 to Guatemala and he was like ‘fuck yeah!’ Then Björn asked Josef and he agreed too! So we bought some clothes and some gym bags from Sour and we got a Gustav board. We left it in the office because Björn asked Gustav to sign it. So we came back two days before we were heading back to
Guatemala, picked up the board, and Sami showed us the computer with the Sour Guatemala tour on the schedule! Ha ha, man I was fucking excited, but I don’t know for a moment I thought ‘hmm maybe they’re gonna find a better destination later’ or ‘maybe they’re not gonna go’ but at the same time I’m thinking about how mind-blowing it will be for people in Guatemala to have them there skating! Have pros or a pro skate team ever been to Guatemala to skate before?
PF: Yeah, we have been visited by a few pros, Jerry Hsu and Chris Dobstaff, when Jerry was riding for Maple a long time ago. Later Raymond Molinar and Milton Martinez came. Then Nate Jones, Dennis Busenitz, Max Schaaf, Adelmo Jr, Guru Khalsa have visited over the years… But an entire pro skate team, never man! It’s the first time we’ve had a whole pro
Daniel Spängs Switch backside tailslide Puerto San José
skate team here, and an absolutely incredible team as well! So what was it like having the Sour team skate in your home country? PF: In the beginning I was kind of worried because I really wanted them to have a great time here, and I don’t know, many of them haven’t been in this part of Central America because it is an unexplored country for skateboarding. So I just really hoped that they’d get everything they wanted here. I remember I started spreading the word to the local skaters… ‘Hey guys the Sour team is coming!’ Most of them knew Albert, Barney, and Gustav from videos, but then when Sour came my friends were shitting their pants, ha ha! When we started going to the spots it was really dope man, because every one of them can see a skate-able thing out of nowhere. Their creativity is at
500%, so it was very inspiring to see them in real life and to share moments at skate spots with them; an all around amazing experience! The Sour guys really reflect the type of person they are in their skating. They’re an amazing group, on and off the skateboard! Thanks Paulo. OK now Björn I’m going to ask you about you and the team’s experience there. What did you know about Guatemala before you guys visited?
I actually didn’t know anything before Ches and Paulo stepped into the office. I mean I knew where it was located and that they had good coffee and some pyramids, but that’s about it. I didn’t know anything about any skate spots there or the political situation, I just knew it was a poor country. I think it’s ranked 31 out of 33 Latin American countries in terms of
Frontside rock â€™nâ€™ roll Martin Guatemala Sandberg City
shoot photos for an article there’s gonna be something, and we were right! There was definitely something, but they weren’t the easiest spots to skate. So what were your first impressions of Guatemala when you guys first arrived? BH: First of all our first flight was cancelled so we got there 24 hours later, so Oscar (Candon), Nikwen, Koffe and
Kickflip Guatemala City 3
spot research beforehand or anything? BH: When they got back I asked them to send us some photos of spots over there that they thought were interesting. To be honest there were spots there, but it wasn’t like ‘wow, wow!’ spots around every corner like Barcelona. It was also way rougher terrain. I’m always sure that when we go on a trip and
poverty. I had been to the south of Mexico, which borders Guatemala, and I really liked it, so I figured it would pretty much be the same as the there. I really wanted to take the guys on a trip somewhere where we could see something completely different. So before you left Barcelona, did you ask Paulo and Ches what there was to skate over there? Do any skate
Frontside 180 kickflip Puerto de Iztapa
Spängs came before us. They said that the house was amazing, but everything else around was really weird. So when we got there we got a van and rode down to where the house was and the road was super sketchy. Also the van was supposed to be a 15-seater, but there were 12 of us in there at that point with all of our stuff and we were all sitting on top of each other. The
suspension was all down on the ground and all the trucks in Guatemala don’t have any rear lights so we didn’t see anything. All of a sudden a massive truck would just be there right in front of us! There were motorbikes without any lights with three people riding on them. And the locals had told us to be careful, as there were a lot of highway robberies… So it wasn’t really like we felt super safe. Also there was no Internet. It didn’t work for anyone on their phones so we had no GPS. All we had was screen grabs of maps so we were constantly getting lost. We’d end up in dark alleys with police with big guns… That first night I thought: ‘what have we done? That’s it we’re lost; we’re gonna get robbed and perhaps even by the cops!’ But eventually, when we were about to give up, we
ended up by this gate. We expected it to be a gated community, but it was actually just one out of four nice houses in a really poor neighbourhood. And so that’s where we were staying. And this is Guatemala City? BH: No this is Puerto San Jose. So we parked the van in there and we asked the guy taking care of the house to get us some beers and then we pretty much just locked ourselves into the house. But then you wake up the next day, it’s light outside and everything looks different. But it definitely took us two days until we realised it was actually really nice and safe there. Oh OK. BH: We didn’t see anyone that wasn’t from Guatemala in that city for those two weeks. We were the only
sitting in all the traffic. So since we didn’t have much luck on our first days in the city we decided to skate locally. So we hooked up with this crew of tuk-tuk drivers. We had like four tuk-tuks, we’d pay them for like three hours (the equivalent of ten Euros) and we’d just tell them to go in a certain direction and take all the small streets until we say ‘stop’ if we see something. By doing that that’s how more than half of the article came about. Oh sick OK. BH: And wherever we’d stop, everyone around would stop too even the police, they would stop the traffic so we could skate… The taco stands would move out of the way and everyone was just applauding and the security guards with shotguns were even moving motorbikes out of the way for us. As most of you guys speak Spanish did you talk to the locals and ask them what they thought of you guys being there? BH: They were extremely surprised that we were there. Everyone was superfriendly and curious about what we were doing. Even the local newspaper interviewed us. There are 20,000 people in the city (Puerto San Jose) and pretty much everyone knew each other and they knew there was a big group of foreign skaters around. So when we were out skating and people heard about it, everyone would go there to watch us. So you guys were quite a spectacle. BH: Yeah and I think you see that in some of the photos. For Barney’s backside flip I think there was probably 150 people watching and surrounding the spot. And did you meet all the local skaters? BH: Yeah as Paulo mentioned not many foreign skaters come to Guatemala for obvious reasons. If you’re gonna do your skate trip somewhere where you really want to get the best skating it won’t be your first destination. I’m not saying you
foreigners in the village. Oh man, Gringo alert! BH: Yeah! All blonde guys mostly from Sweden so yeah, we stood out. But over the days, in a very short time we realised everyone was happy to have us there and no one meant anything bad. They were the most humble and nice people, the Guatemalans. I didn’t have one bad encounter the whole two weeks we were there. So it just looked sketchy at places but everything was OK? BH: Well the locals were saying it can be sketchy there, but it can be sketchy in London, in Barcelona and in Stockholm as well. If you’re unlucky then you’re unlucky. More than anything it didn’t feel safe driving as the roads aren’t like autobahns and we didn’t really have any seatbelts. And didn’t you mention that the locals said to not wear new shoes and to look too flashy? BH: That’s what they said and obviously everyone showed up in their new Nikes and adidas. Someone asked us like ‘how much are those shoes?’ And we were like ‘uh, I don’t know?’ But the new looking shoes… That was taken care of in like five minutes. As soon as you walk out the house your shoes didn’t look new any longer; everything was dirty. So when you guys finally got used to being there, what was it like trying to go skating? BH: Looking around where we were staying at first it didn’t look like there was anything. So we thought we’d do the majority of the skating on Guatemala City. But the drive to Guatemala City was hectic. First of all the drive there wasn’t the nicest as there were so many people in the van (16 in all) and it didn’t really feel safe. And Guatemala City was harder to skate than we thought. There was quite a lot of distance between each spot and it felt a little bit like being in the US
Backside 180 kickflip Puerto San José
shouldn’t visit there, but you need to take some time and have the locals with you when you go skate otherwise you’ll be pretty lost. Every country has the embassy website that warns you about certain stuff and Guatemala is a high-risk country where it says you shouldn’t go, but that’s also complete bullshit. So I’d say anyone that wants to should definitely go there… But it’s not an easy destination. So I know you said nothing sketchy happened to you guys, but I heard there were a few non-skating
injuries... Care to share? BH: We had a barbecue at the house and there’s a swimming pool there, but it wasn’t very deep. So Barney tried to front flip into the swimming pool and landed on his head straight at the bottom of the pool. Ouch. BH: Yeah we thought he had broken his neck. It was a heavy hit, but it’s good that he’s got a thick old English neck there. We were worried in the beginning but then it was all good. He was OK, but that was
the heaviest one I guess. Then Josef almost cut his entire finger off trying to cut some meat or something at another one of our barbecues. And then Oscar fell into the sewer. He just fell through like a manhole when we were hanging up laundry in the backyard. Simon stepped on a blowfish, a poisonous blowfish on the beach. Holy crap! BH: Yeah but he was OK as well. No skate injuries, but I guess that Barney one was really scary when it happened. He was sore for the last two days
of the trip. Josef’s cut didn’t look that bad, but he still needed to get seven stiches. Tell us about the van story. BH: I’ll let Jack tell that one. OK...
just started rolling backwards. Sami hadn’t put the handbrake (emergency brake) on. So it was me, Oscar, Gustav and Barney in the van and it was on a pretty steep, narrow hill. So I’m frantically trying to push in the clutch and brakes trying to start the van and we’re just flying backwards. Oscar’s trying to We were at Paulo’s find the handbrake but it was in summerhouse having a a weird place like under the barbecue, which was 45 minutes dashboard or something – I away from where we were didn’t know where it was. We staying, and Josef had just cut his couldn’t find it and Gustav was hand. The driver was coming to trying to open the door to jump pick up Josef and the driver had out. Barney was just sat there already said that we had needed accepting what was happening… to get out of there by 11pm, He had just accepted that we because it gets kinda sketchy were gonna die. Sami had run there after that. So we were over and was hanging onto the kinda panicking and rushing to steering wheel from outside the get ready, as we needed to follow van window. He was trying to the driver back to the city steer us backwards down the because we didn’t know the way. hill. I was just standing on the Sami had parked the van last, on brake, or what I thought was the the hill by Paulo’s summerhouse. brake, trying to make the thing So we all got in the van hoping to stop. And all that was going go (I hadn’t driven yet this trip) through my head was that the and I went to put my foot on the brakes were out. Then I thought clutch and what I thought was maybe there was a beer can the brake and then suddenly we under the brake, so I started to
Erik J Pettersson
Kickflip to fakie Puerto de Iztapa
kick the brake or what I thought was the brake, then I felt the real brake, which was actually to the right of what I was stamping on and there was some big chunk of plastic between the accelerator and the brake. So as I tried to kick the thing I thought was under the brake I managed to find the real brake and I stamped on it and we were like half a metre from going backwards off a cliff. Wow... JT: Yeah Oscar never found the handbrake, because it was a hidden lever that you pull under the dashboard somewhere. That was why Sami never put it on in the first place because it was a real awkward handbrake. He thought he’d just leave it in gear, but he never thought we wouldn’t be able to find the brake. So after we almost fell off a cliff we all got out and just sat there shaking. The driver had left us by now and we had to find our own way back to the city. What an ordeal! So Björn what other impressions
Josef Scott Jatta
Backside Smith grind revert Guatemala City
Gustav Tønnesen Switch Spanish grind Puerto de Iztapa
Everyone had their day that they weren’t 100%. Any last words or thoughts? BH: Looking back on it all I just want to say we’re supergrateful to Paulo and all those guys. I wanna give the biggest thanks to all the locals and everyone in Guatemala; everyone was so nice. And the family where we stayed, they were so nice and helpful. All in all they were some of the most humble and genuine people I have ever met. That’s the main thing I want to say I guess.
about our own country and ‘let’s get electric cars and just ship our old cars to other poorer It’s such a beautiful countries’. I mean it affects the country and it has the most entire planet. I mean I feel like insane volcanoes. We’d see lava no one talks about it (pollution) pouring out of volcanoes and in Guatemala. They are just we’d see smoke and shit and concentrating on surviving you then old beautiful colonial know? But it was a bit shocking towns. There were lakes up in to see people just throwing their the mountains and such garbage out the window right by extreme nature it was like Game the jungle. Hopefully those of Thrones and Jurassic Park at things will get better over time. the same time. It was just so Hope so. So all the nice and so different from guys on the team had a great everything else that you time? normally see. But at the same BH: Everyone could time it’s a relatively poor come – no one was injured so we country where people throw were pretty lucky to get the plastic bottles and shit entire team out there. We all everywhere and that’s pretty sad stayed in this amazing house to see. And it’s not entirely their with the most amazing host fault… I guess the education family there that helped us with about it and recycling is almost whatever we needed. Everything nonexistent. That was probably just turned into the best trip. No one of the only negative things bad things really, well maybe about the place. And you’d see some of the food and the water all those old American cars that made some of us… Well they said that been just shipped down to 70% of European people that go Guatemala and they’d just spew to Central America get the shits out bad fumes and pollution. and that was pretty much spot There were plenty of toxic old on. cars and old school buses going Seventy per cent of everywhere. Most of us, we the team! think about our own, we think BH: Ha ha yeah.
did you have about Guatemala?
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