MORE THAN JUST THE RIDE
Outdoorsmen of the future War Vets go surfing Skating in Kabul Tony Hawk Bread Pray for snow!
made in the uk ÂŁ3.75 vol. 04 issue 017 Oct/Nov 2009 the malloys by Paul Willoughby
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40 Surfers for the new millennium.
74 Five days in London, fifteen minutes on film.
50 Faces of dissent.
78 Talking destiny as a new season dawns.
54 Bedding down in the backcountry.
80 Threads from every walk of mountain life.
58 Dominican stills. By Scott Bourne.
86 Challenging precepts with the power of push.
66 Keep your map – it’s a work of art.
90 Beating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, one wave at a time.
An American In Sydney
68 Jamie Brisick returns to Oz.
94 North London’s own movers and shakers.
* Special Edition Only
Pray for snow! Neverland MARK SWOBODA
Tony Hawk: RIDE Ticket To Ride Foundation
THE GHOST OF A THOUSAND
Publisher & Editor Vince Medeiros Associate Editor Andrea Kurland Global Editor Jamie Brisick
Words King Adz, Scott Bourne, Ruth Carruthers, Tim Conibear, Michael Fordham, Gemma Freeman, Niall Neeson, Melanie Schönthier, Alex Wade, Olly Zanetti
Music Editor Phil Hebblethwaite
Images Asbestos, Scott Bourne, Josh Cole, Tim Conibear, Matt Georges, Greg Gorman, Richie Hopson, Jeremy R. Jansen, Guy Martin, Dan Milner, Jody Morris, James Niehues, Kenny Reed, Tim Smyth, Scott Soens, Scott Sullivan, Marc Vallée
Website Editor Ed Andrews
Editorial Assistant Shelley Jones
Translations Editor Markus Grahlmann
Design Assistant Anna Dunn
Editorial Director Matt Bochenski
Advertising Director Steph Pomphrey
Website Director Alex Capes
Advertising Manager Dean Faulkner
Creative Directors Rob Longworth & Paul Willoughby
Assistant Publisher Anna Hopson
Designer Victoria Talbot
Managing Director Danny Miller
Skate Editor Jay Riggio Snow Editor Zoe Oksanen
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The Malloys Paul Willoughby
Editorial Enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising & Marketing Enquiries email@example.com Published by The Church of London 8-9 Rivington Place London EC2A 3BA +44 (0) 207-729-3675 Distributed worldwide by COMAG UK distribution enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org Worldwide distribution enquiries: email@example.com Printed by Buxton Press The articles appearing within this publication reflect the opinions of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or editorial team This publication is made with paper from sustainable sources Huck is published six times a year
© TCOLondon 2009
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The collapse of massive polar ice sheets may make headlines but, as the world warms, more subtle changes are afoot. Snow thickness is declining on mountain ranges everywhere, with snowfalls starting later and ending earlier each year. The Alps, main recipient of snow for the European continent, were warmer in 1994, 2000, 2002 and 2003 than they have ever been in 500 years! Praying for snow may not be enough, but thankfully there are signs that SOME PEOPLE ARE starting to do THEIR bit… compiled by Olly Zanetti
Levels of CO2 have risen 40% since the industrial revolution. In that time, average world temperatures have risen steadily. Bolivia’s Chacaltaya used to be the world’s highest ski resort. The glacier has lost 80% of its volume in the past 20 years. It melted completely in 2009, six years earlier than predicted. Snow will never return as the sun heats the exposed rock face. A 1°C rise in temperature could reduce reliable skiing areas in Germany by 60%. Winter sports are vital to many local economies. In 2005, 18% of the total skiing area in France was covered by artificial snow. Covering just 1 hectare uses 4000m3 of water and 25,000kWh of electricity. Snow-making can cause serious water shortages in surrounding valleys. Loss of snowpack destroys mountain ecosystems. Plants are killed by exposure to frost and direct sunlight. In 100 years, 80% of New Zealand’s mountain plant cover may be lost. This could cause 200-300 native alpine species to become extinct. Himalayan ice masses feed the nine largest rivers in Asia. What happens at mountain-tops affects whole valleys. Reduced snowfall causes drought in major rivers. Mountain sport organisations the world over are worried. Campaigns like Respect the Mountain and Sustainable Slopes are raising awareness. To save our snow, we need to keep political pressure up. The most polluting part of a trip to the snow is travel – don’t fly. Aspen has raised $1,400,000 in 12 years for small eco projects. Laax in Switzerland burns local wood waste to heat its 1,000-bed resort.
Sources: NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/, COP15 news report: http://en.cop15.dk/news/view+news?newsid=1831, OECD: http://www.oecd.org/document/22/0,3343,en_2649_201185_ 37825494_1_1_1_1,00.html, Pistehors: http://pistehors.com/news/ski/comments/0685-ski-resorts-unite-to-save-the-planet/), Climate-Change Effects on Alpine Plant Biodiversity: A New Zealand Perspective on Quantifying the Threatâ€™ Stephan R. P. Halloy and Alan F. Mark in Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 35(2):248-254. (2003), The World Bank: http://beta.worldbank.org/climatechange/news/kathmandu-copenhagen-regionalclimate-change-conference), Ski Club of Great Britain: http://www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/respectthemountain/default.aspx, National Ski Areas Association: http://www.nsaa.org/nsaa/environment/sustainable_slopes/
LOST BOYS Absinthe Films hit the road in the spirit of Peter Pan. Text Gemma Freeman. Photography Scott Sullivan “I’m having the life of my life!” rejoices JP Solberg. Unaware of his grammatical
machine – just friends and fun times.
error due to lack of sleep and several beers, the twenty-six-year-old rolls into his
Neverland captures this raw spirit. Discarding exorbitant budgets, flashy
coffin-like bed. It’s the day after the Munich premiere of Absinthe Films’ tenth
technology and distracting storylines, the film is deep with layers of banging
anniversary release, Neverland. Carnage has saturated every crevasse of this
footage captured during an epic winter. The rider section format may be
twelve-berth sleeper bus, hired for the twenty-date European tour. Trampled
unoriginal, but it celebrates the characters that have made a decade’s worth
beer cans, Jaeger bottles, underwear, tobacco, crumbs and random body parts
of Absinthe films legendary. Gigi Rüf is a huge stand out, grinning from ear
cover the floor as evidence of last night’s activities. It’s only day four.
to ear as he applies his artistry to a snowed-in backwater town, while burly
Premiere season used to mark the start of winter. But while lesser
U.S. newcomer Bode Merril takes the prestigious closer. It’s an eclectic cast,
production companies are turning to podcasts or fading into obscurity,
across both urban, man-made and natural terrain, but with established riders
Absinthe have just completed their biggest tour yet, with the majority of dates
like Travis Rice sharing a bill with fresh blood, it’s an inspiring ninety minutes
selling out. This monster bus has been a mobile home for owner/producer
on every level.
Patrick ‘Brusti’ Armbruster, assistant producer Kathrin ‘Kelli’ Kellenberger,
“Absinthe have gone from being this tight group to making each rider
filmer Shane Charlebois, plus riders Romain de Marchi, Bode Merrill, Nicolas
stand out,” explains Gigi. “This is what snowboarding is about – individuality.
Müller, JP Solberg, Cale Zima, Sylvain Bourbousson and others for four weeks,
Everyone’s position is completely unique – it really transmits a real love for
as they spread their glacial gospel across the continent.
There’s an excitable anticipation at each city. “To be honest, over the last
“We’re conveying a dream that, even if viewers don’t have much money,
few years we’d thought that the interest in snowboarding was slowing,” admits
they can escape from their reality,” explains Brusti. “Snowboarding takes you
Brusti. “But now we’re presenting the film at more cinemas than ever.”
away from your desk and your daily problems – it gives you a new outlook.”
As they hop from their daily skate to signing sessions, cinemas are packed and post-premiere parties raucous. There’re no agents, no hype
united by fate HASLAM SWITCH B/S DISASTER MARK APPLEYARD CHRIS HASLAM JAKE DUNCOMBE DAVID GONZALEZ RODNEY MULLEN RYAN DECENZO LUAN OLIVEIRA LOUIE LOPEZ WWW.GLOBE.TV WWW.UNITEDBYFATE.TV INFOEUROPE@GLOBEINTLTD.COM +33 558 49 89 70
Austria’s Marc Swoboda IS MODESTLY PICKING UP FANS. Text Shelley Jones. PHOTOGRAPHY TIM SMYTH If there were a comp that had modesty and enthusiasm as its winning
The project is completely DIY, which is exactly how Swoboda likes to
criteria, Marc Swoboda would score a podium place every time. “I’m so
keep his various endeavours. Take the video he made off his own back with
stoked to be here,” says the twenty-four-year-old. And it’s not hard to see
his “film guy” friend at the end of his first year with Red Bull. It was just his
why. We’re sitting in a lush surf house in Capbreton, South West France,
way of saying thanks to the brand, but after being uploaded to Transworld
where Marc and his fellow teammates have met up for a week of cross-
Snowboarding the video scored over 20,000 hits. To him it is a “little clip”
cultural appreciation. Surfers, skaters, snowboarders, all coming together in
but for Swobodaphiles, the fresh rail style is enterprising; it pushes the sport
one place for the Nike 6.0 migration trip.
forward and puts Austria, and Europe, firmly on the world map.
He may have only started snowboarding at eighteen, but the Austrian
“If you don’t ride in the U.S., you don’t really exist,” says Marc. But with
up-and-comer has already notched up some impressive results, including
riders like him representing Europe, the Americans are starting to take note.
firsts in both the O’Neill Barbecue 2008 and the European Peanut Butter
Comments on the video range from, “This dude is going to have my babies”
Rail Jams 2008 and 2009. But why the late start? “In the area where I come
to, “You’re my hero!” With so much love, it’s easy to imagine the evil ego-
from, no one is snowboarding,” he says. “It’s to the very east of Austria, and
snake creeping in, but Swoboda is staying grounded. “When you’re in the
the Alps start to the middle and the west. There’s not even a skateboarding
scene all the time, people just talk about snowboarding so I like coming
scene – the people here care about soccer and cars. My uncle Harry taught
home where nobody really cares. It’s good to have a balance.”
me to snowboard when my family went on holiday, but it wasn’t till I got a car that things started to happen.”
Underlying his bushy-tailed enthusiasm is a hard-working ethic that he modestly shrugs off. When we catch up in France, Phil Young from Nike
And happen they did, at a cosmic speed. His effortless style and
6.0 tells me about the brand’s first snow shoot in Sweden. After days of
competence on rails soon earned him sponsorship from the likes of Volcom
travelling and under the impression he was going to the hotel to sleep,
and Nike 6.0. And though he dismisses the idea he might be an inspiration
Marc had to get suited, booted and straight out on the mountain. But diva
to other snow-deprived kids, he does empathise with those who don’t have
tantrums there were none – just a grateful Austrian giving his signature
the chance to ride. “It’s super expensive to get started,” he says. “You need
‘stoked’ response before tearing into the powder like a pinball.
the travel money, the mountain, the lift ticket – it’s kind of a luxury sport. That’s why skateboarding is so cool because all you need is a board.” It’s this enthusiasm that saw Swoboda get involved in Seppi Scholler’s skate and snowboarding brand, LOVE. “We got to know a little kid when we were out in South Africa who was living on a skate park. He’d ride all day,
“I would like to see everyone caring about snowboarding, not just the people at the core,” says ‘Swobi’, with a smile so big his eyes almost disappear. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s about having fun, right?” Right. And with this kind of attitude, we’re likely to be seeing a lot more of Swoboda, smiles and everything, for years to come.
but had nothing. Through LOVE, we tried to support the kid by holding a party in Vienna where all the skaters brought something to send to him.”
Knuckles to the face Street artist Asbestos goes ten rounds with Belfast’s best. Text King Adz. Artwork Asbestos Crack of dawn, we take the train from Dublin to Belfast and I realise it’s been
very strange vibe,” says Asbestos. “They’re a battle-hardened population. They
almost thirty years since I’ve been in Ireland. The place certainly seems the
seem relieved that they’ve survived the last thirty years and want to show all
same – green, lush, friendly – except that entering Northern Ireland is like…
the positive things that are prospering, like the young boxers of Ligoniel.”
nothing. No formalities, no border – unlike back in the day.
The boxers are all pretty serious guys and happy to be featured in
I’m on the road with Dublin-based street artist Asbestos, who’s putting
Asbestos’ exhibition. But the streets of Belfast are still a mad place, covered
on an exhibition in Belfast featuring portraits of boxers from the Ligoniel
in sectarian graff pledging allegiance to either the shamrock or the crown.
Amateur Boxing Club. Asbestos has a unique method to his madness. Before
Our point man and driver Richard takes us to the Falls Road, the location of
every show, he scours the locality for discarded flotsam to paint on – pieces
many a flare-up and news report, and then onto the Shankill Road, just to get
of wood, metal doors, whatever he takes a shine to. So in just a few short
the balance right. In both places we find something for Asbestos to paint on:
days, he needs to find his canvases, get inspired and create the artwork. But
something representing the past.
first things first – he’s gotta face the boxers.
Finally, we stumble upon the ‘Peace Wall’. Covered in political slogans
“A boxing club can be an intimidating place at the best of times, but
and half-hearted murals, it may look like a bad dream in art world, but it’s
walking into one in Belfast has that extra element of tension,” says Asbestos.
also a paint-splattered relic of the past. “There may not be the same level of
“Boxers are, by their nature, performers and, as much as it’s about pulverising
violence, but there’s still an air of menace when you go into different religious
your opponent, it’s also about broadcasting the fact that you can. One of the
enclaves,” adds Asbestos. “That said, everyone seems determined to make
trainers, Sean, surmised that it’s got as much to do with heart as brawn and
the city more than a tourist attraction around the troubles.”
that if you’ve not got that dogged self-belief, you’re finished before you get in the ring.” We head straight to Ligoniel to shoot the boxers at the club, which is situated in a part of town where, back in the day, my English accent would
After three heavy days and nights of hard yakka, with Asbestos painting twenty-four-seven and me editing the ‘making-of’ footage for opening night, we reach the summit. “It’s humbling to paint their portraits,” sums up Asbestos, “and show the humanity behind the gloves.”
not have been welcome. The club has been open since 1971 and is funded by the boxers and the local community. “Belfast is a pretty grey place that has a
Pro snowboarder Jessica Venables is working for her share of luck. Text Andrea Kurland. Photography Dan Milner
What is luck? Is it something that just happens – an uncontrollable, otherworldly force that makes stars collide and drops dreams into your lap? Or is it something you make happen for yourself, by yourself, off your own back?
host. I didn’t choose Chamonix, they just sent me et voila… I’m still here!” Having grown up on a farm with three brothers “climbing trees, chasing cows or daring each other to run across the field when the bull was loose”,
Take Jessica Venables – the British freeride snowboarder whose
Jess realised the freedom Mont Blanc offered suited her down to a tee. Instead
story reads like a Dummies Guide To Living The Dream. Not that Jess is
of ricocheting back with the other seasonaires, she fell into a rhythm. “I started
a dummy, by any means. She is, however, living a life that looks distinctly
riding with people that were much better than me,” she says, “they’re my
like ‘the dream’.
She lives in Chamonix; calls Mont Blanc her backyard; spends all winter
Things took a leap in 2003 when, nudged on by her riding compadres, Jess
bombing down faces from 4,804 metres, and all summer long climbing
entered the Verbier Xtreme. It may have been “just for fun”, but the exposure
back up. Then, when she finally tires of her own Shangri-La, she ventures
brought that first taste of sponsorship. More freeriding events followed but,
elsewhere in search of snowy pastures new. Oh, and she’s sponsored by
feeling her “free spirit constricted in competitions”, Jess decided things
O’Neill, so they kind of foot the bill. Lucky, right?
needed to change. “I prefer to put all my energy into exploring new terrain,”
“I feel really lucky as… well, I just didn’t expect it,” says Jess. “Lucky in the fact that I started so late, and lucky, too, that I somehow got really good at it quite fast. But I never thought that I would ever get sponsored and make a career out of snowboarding.”
she says, “like some couloirs here in Chamonix that I’ve been the first female to snowboard.” Today, as one of the UK’s few professional freeriders, the thirty-oneyear-old has carved out a pretty rare niche for herself, shooting in Europe or
At a time when the pros of tomorrow are strapping in at age five,
organising trips to territories untouched. She recently returned from a month
publishing video parts on YouTube by six, topping podiums by ten and being
in the remote highlands of Pakistan – “The mountains there are monstrous” –
groomed for greatness by a ‘shreducation’ at an action sports academy
and plans to do the same this coming year.
throughout their teens, Jess’ story is a breath of fresh air. She may have
It’s a sweet deal. But what’s luck, really, got to do with it? “I have to work
started late – dialling her first turns at the grand old age of twenty-one – but
for things,” says Jess. “I may pull a face at my friends when it’s a perfect
so what? By doing what she loved, she went on to turn pro.
bluebird day and they’re off for a crazy run in the powder and I’m shooting
“It’s never too late to start anything,” says Jess, who got hooked on sliding
photos. I work really hard, but I feel lucky to do what I love most.”
while working as an au pair in the U.S. “The family took me skiing and I fell in love with the mountains. I came back to England and saw an advert for a chalet
PY Y. BROKEN CO LE IS AN ENEM R COFFEE EVERY OBSTAC ES AND BIT TE FIC OF SS LE OBSTACLES NDOW MACHINES, WI OFF THE SLOPES. SHED THE BOARD. YOU G UR IN YO EP D KE AN E AR TWEEN YOU THAT STAND BE
GET THERE PROTEST TO
PROTEST.EU — RIDER: MIIKKA HAST
Contributor co-founder Annie Lam.
Smile On Your Brother Contributor understand charity begins at the skate park. Text Shelley Jones. photography Jeremy R. Jansen “If you’re going down the street and you see someone on a skateboard,
Annie felt inspired to do something in his spirit. “He was always so stoked on
you talk,” says Mike Giles, co-founder of skateboards-for-all charity
skateboarding and an amazing example of the type of person you meet when
Contributor. “It’s not the same with baseball or soccer – they don’t have
you skate,” she says. “We want to give kids who never had the opportunity to
the same camaraderie.”
skateboard before a chance to meet people like him.”
Mike would know. His life, for the last twenty years, has been inextricably
The project has received support from Element and Stereo Skateboards
linked with skateboarding: from the banana board he rode when he was
but, for now, relies exclusively on donations and money raised from events,
twelve to the products he named after skaters in his custom furniture
like the current Smile On Your Brother art show co-organised by skate-media
company, Furni. Nowadays, Mike is cutting a kind of Jesus-on-four-wheels
mogul Bob Kronbauer. The event saw Mike and a friend shaping sixty old-
figure in the skating world. Not only is the Canadian a carpenter by trade
school banana boards in his Montreal workshop to send to artists to customise.
but his latest venture with philanthropist Annie Lam is ambitious in the
By encouraging the artists to think about their first skating experiences, they
‘feed 5,000 people with a few loaves’ kind of way.
ended up with a stellar collection of personal tributes to skateboarding which
Annie and Mike want to give every kid in Canada a free skateboard.
could then be auctioned off through the Contributor website.
They estimate there are a whopping 1.6 million kids in Canada without the
Once enough money has been raised, Mike will start shaping boards for
means to buy a board, but remain unfazed by the challenge. “We can’t
‘drop-offs’. “For now, we have to filter the skateboards through local charities
start by looking at the whole country,” he says. “We have to break it down,
but, once we have the support, the plan is to drive to skate parks ourselves,”
and start with the major cities.”
Mike says. “You can tell the kids who have worn-out shoes and no board,
Cynics may wonder how such an idealistic project with no money,
they have the talent but they don’t have the resources to get to the next
no workforce and no corporate backing will ever reach its target, but
level. We’ll be able to walk over to them and say, ‘Hey, how’s it going? Have
Contributor is about more than statistics. “We’re not trying to save the
a skateboard.’ We want to give everyone the same opportunity that we
world but if we can start this, people may be inspired,” says Mike.
had, a sense of community and a sense of camaraderie, but also a sense of
Mike’s partner-in-virtue, Annie Lam, has lived and breathed skateboarding
for as long as she can remember, and used to manage the Adidas skateboarding team in Canada. When her friend and team rider Rob Piontek died tragically,
Silhouette International Schmied AG, adidas Global Licensee, adidas, the 3-Bars logo, and the 3-Stripes mark are registered trademarks of the adidas Group
Photo: Alex Klun
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Bread, glorious bread! HUCK casts a critical eye over your daily loaf. TEXT Ruth Carruthers. Illustration ANNA DUNN I like mine toasted and spread with crunchy peanut butter. I’m talking about
What’s more, traditional skills are being lost in this industrial process
bread, people, the staff of life. From chapattis to ciabatta, every country
as, under current economics, local bakers simply cannot compete. In the
has their own take on what was originally a simple concoction of local flour,
UK, for example, the bread industry is dominated by a few large industrial
water, yeast, salt and a bit of time. But this simple means of sustenance has
bakers selling over-processed loaves, disconnecting people from the bread-
become unnecessarily complicated, and it’s having an unhealthy effect on
makers around them. Even the bread itself has become very different from
both our diets and the environment. This is not another food scare, but a
what it once was. Take, for example, your beloved wheat-based tortilla, the
deep concern for what bread has become.
base for the ubiquitous ‘wrap’, which has replaced the traditional Mexican
If you tried to survive on bread and water alone you’d be eating more
corn tortilla. As one of the most popular packaged and exported bread
than you realise, including a mix of sugar, fats, preservatives, enzyme-based
products in the world, it has an estimated retail value of $2.12 billion per
‘improvers’ and a host of other manufactured additives. Our most basic
year in the U.S. alone.
food has become adulterated to a point where many people find modern
Fortunately, there are a bunch of people trying to get bread back to
bread unappealing or indigestible – which is not surprising, considering you
simple, like Andrew Whitley, author of the book Bread Matters and co-
can squeeze a loaf of bread, let it go and it will bounce back to its original
founder of the Real Bread Campaign, a movement that wants to see bread
shape, meaning it’s often more like Play Doh than sourdough.
at the heart of a sustainable ecological food system and a move back
The label on your average loaf of bread may tell you how healthy it is for
towards community-supported baking.
you, but it won’t tell you how unhealthy it is for the environment. From fertilisers
“Bread matters too much to be left to the industrial bakers who control
used to grow the grain to plastic packaging and transportation, industrial
over 95 per cent of the market,” says Andrew. “Let’s take bread into our
bread-making is highly dependant on petroleum, eating up thousands of miles
own hands – we’ll have fun, know what we’re actually eating and very likely
between grain-grower, miller, baker, supermarket and finally, consumer. The
feel a lot better...”
overall energy input is phenomenal, and in large-scale production like this, just
It’s a tired cliché, but once you taste real bread it’s difficult to go back
mixing the dough uses about six times as much energy as it does in smaller-
to the supermarket slice. It may be unrealistic to think that we’ll all bake
scale and artisanal systems. Large plant bakeries churn out nine million loaves
our own bread all the time, but wouldn’t it be nice to bring bread back to a
of bread in the UK every day, a process so profuse that £50 million worth of
system that is dependent on people not petroleum – a world where bread is
factory bread is thrown away each year completely untouched.
once more valued for its quality and not for its convenience?
RDCT RD ! * ( ' *, *$ !& , %( $ '
How climbing a massive mountain helped reinvent the shoe. TEXT ED ANDREWS. Nothing represents a challenge like K2. This 8,611-metre Himalayan behemoth, on the border between China and Pakistan, has been dubbed the world’s most dangerous mountain – and rightly so. As the world’s second highest mountain, K2 kills one in four people who attempt it. Back in 1978, K2 was a challenge adventurers Rick Ridgeway and John Roskelley could not resist. Although it had been successfully climbed twice before, in 1954 and 1977, the mountain was synonymous with failure for all the American teams who had taken it on since the first attempt in 1938. “I personally don’t have much regard for mixing national efforts with mountaineering,” says Ridgeway. “But there still was a history there that we recognised.” Picking up the gauntlet, Ridgeway and Roskelley’s team spent a total of sixty-eight days on the mountain – five of these spent at over 8,000 metres – and the pair completed the ascent on September 7, 1978, without oxygen or ropes. “I don’t think that has ever been repeated,” remarks sixty-year-old Ridgeway, who immortalised the expedition in his book, The Last Step: The American Ascent of K2. “It gives you an abiding love for nature but, personally, it also gives you self-confidence and tenacity that you can apply at sea-level as well.” The expedition may have been a massive success, but the ripple effects of what happened on K2 didn’t stop there. After being given “shoes, sweaters and swag” for the expedition by Nike, the pair chose to wear lightweight LDV training shoes instead of the heavy, leather hiking boots of the time for the 110-mile hike back from base camp. “They were pretty beaten up, we had to tape and glue them to keep them together,” he remembers. “To pass the time, we started discussing what changes we would make to turn them into a lightweight hiking shoe.” On their return to the U.S., the near-disintegrated shoes were posted back to Nike with a checklist of features the two of them had discussed during the hike. Taking heed of their advice, Nike released three models of fabric-upper, Gore-Tex hiking shoes in 1981: the Magma, Lava Dome and the Approach – staples of the Nike ACG range. With 2009 bringing the twentieth anniversary of ACG, Nike has been releasing vintage models inspired by Ridgeway and Roskelley, including the Nike Air Approach and the Nike Air Magma. Today, a photo of Rick and John sitting at K2 base camp in their beatenup LDVs is proudly displayed in the Nike museum in Beaverton, Oregon. It’s an image that has gone down in Nike folklore. “I don’t think they have the original shoes though,” laughs Ridgeway. “That’s too bad, it would be cool to see them!” www.nikeacg.com
Left to right: John Roskelley and Rick Ridgeway.
HUG THY NEIGHBOUR The Ghost Of A Thousand incite a riot of hardcore love. Text Gemma Freeman “Give your neighbour a hug,” demands Tom Lacey, strawberry blonde
Despite juggling tours with day jobs, they’ve developed a frenetic live show
frontman of UK hardcore outfit, The Ghost Of A Thousand. In front of him, a
that manages to keep hardcore fans happy, while maintaining a complete lack
sweat-soaked crowd of industry types and local surfers look like they’re ready
of pretension thanks to Tom’s enigmatic charm. This electric live experience
to smash into each other for a wall of death. But they’re not. As the closing act
is captured on recent Epitaph album, New Hopes, New Demonstrations – an
at the Relentless Boardmasters Festival in Newquay, Cornwall, The Ghost have
eighteen-month labour of love that’s blisteringly intense.
managed to unite a pool of drunk weekenders and committed kids as one.
“We want to be good songwriters,” says Tom, “pull hardcore apart and not
“Look at the person opposite you and, instead of throwing your fists in their
care about putting it back together. All the songs got rewritten many times,
face, give them a hug,” adds Tom. “It’s not about beating the shit out of each
because we wanted to get it right. It’s all about hard graft – if you don’t work
other, it’s about community and having a fucking good time.”
hard at it, it won’t happen.”
The future’s looking tough for the UK’s youth: universities are
It’s this pride in their craft that saw Tom create the artwork on the band’s
oversubscribed and competition for vacancies intense. But while angry middle-
sophomore album. “We really stretched our imagination with the album and
class troubadours like Gallows spit venom at our bumbling government, many
wanted to reflect that with this amazing, colourful explosion,” he explains.
bands are embracing positive DIY projects instead of wallowing in dystopia.
“This otherworldly thing, rather than your stereotypical heavy album. No gore
This is where The Ghost fit in. Kids of the Brighton hardcore scene, guitarist
– just something exciting to look at.”
Andy Blyth met fellow six-stringer Memby Jago and his drummer brother Jag
The Ghost Of A Thousand may have entered the hardcore scene with a
Jago at music college when they were sixteen, enlisting Tom on vocals and
colourful explosion, but when it comes to playing live – what’s with all the
Gaz Spencer on bass. But their collective creativity left them stifled by the
hugging? “People need good times,” explains Tom. “We want everyone that
narrowly defined scene of this small seaside city. So they created their own
leaves our show to be wearing a big smile, have black eyes and shit... take
sound – extracting influence from pop, metal and punk, leaving behind the
things back to when bands weren’t afraid to have fun and enjoy what they do.
tough guy posturing and throwing in a big dollop of rock ‘n’ roll fun.
It’s not all rage, rage, rage. It’s a kaleidoscope of emotions.”
“It was difficult when we were starting out, as our local scene was overrun with metal core bands,” explains Memby. “They looked the same and sounded
The Ghost Of A Thousand will join The Eastpak Antidote Tour through Europe
the same on an eight-band bill... then there was us.”
throughout October and November 2009.
“We wanted to do something different and be more about song-writing than instant mosh-heavy classics,” adds Tom.
WeSC activist Amy Gunther contributing to ”WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy” Pick up a copy at your nearest WeSC retailer. For more information visit www.wesc.com
Evolutionary throw-aheads and emerging examples of a new breed of professional surfer, the Malloy brothers have long shunned surfing orthodoxy to do things their own way, from avoiding the pro circuit to becoming ambassadors for green brand Patagonia. In a candid roundtable chat, fuelled by Californian red and music, the Malloy trinity – Chris, Keith and Dan – open up on each other, the state of surf culture, the merits of durable threads and the urgent need to reinvent the way we grow our food.
Interview Michael Fordham Photography Scott Soens
Dan Malloy is singing beautifully and picking gently on his guitar. It’s a traditional English song – a lament whose author is lost to time. The original protagonist is the lonely wife of a whaleman from Hull, the home port of Brittanic hunters of the Leviathan. Shot through with nautical melancholy and displaced in time, the song Dan sings seems to fit the mood. There is something about being here in the hills of Lompoc, California, with the Malloy family, that transcends geography and history. The Malloys are a family of surfers, filmmakers, musicians and ranchers, the current generation of which have been emblematic for close to two decades in the popular consciousness of surf culture. But for all that, each of the family members’ agile feet is placed firmly on the earth and in the here and now. They are good ol’ boys. Forget that saying as cliché. They really are good ol’ boys. There are eight of us here as we jam late into the evening – Chris, Keith and Dan Malloy, Chris’s wife, Carla, and their two-year-old son, Lucas, youngest brother Dan’s girlfriend, Grace, and old friend of the family and cameraman Scott Soens. Before long we become lost in music and conversation, washed in warm candle light, each of us with a belly full of Coors Lite, Californian red, as well as barbecued beef straight off the ranch. The land that extends to all points around us here in this century-old house is part of a rancho that sprawls some fifteen thousand acres around the southern extremity of the Los Padres National Forest. Governed by the same family for over two hundred years, the place is part of an America that existed before America was America. As such, it represents a state of being that is ebbing into memory and whose lifestyle you wouldn’t guess still exists. I’ve come here to get to the bottom of the importance of being Malloy. Soon I’ll go to meet Yvon Chouinard, the boss of Patagonia. Recently, Chouinard and the Malloys began to work together to develop the ocean-borne side of one of the most progressive, influential and environmentally focused companies on the planet. Call the Malloys brand ambassadors. Call them evolutionary throw-aheads or as yet rare, emerging examples of a new breed of professional surfer. Call them the cutting edge of the outdoorsman as practical, proactive custodian of nature. Whatever you choose to call them, the brothers Malloy are vastly experienced media practitioners in their own right. Chris is at the time we meet in the closing stages of post-production of his film 180 Degrees South, a piece that takes a body of work
that includes Shelter and Thicker Than Water into newly broken, environmentally
campaigning territory. After a long, hard-charging career as a free-range pro surfer who was only rarely expected to compete and be a poster child for board shorts, he has focused all his energies these last few months into creating something that transcends the surf film genre. Youngest brother Dan is, meanwhile, one of the most creatively oriented tube stylists, sensitive musicians and neophyte farmers ever to grace a sequence – and is perhaps about to enter a new family-focused, materially productive phase of his own. Middle brother Keith, well, Keith is just Keith – a down-to-earth physical phenomenon with an incredibly calm centre whose newly grounded life here in Coastal California, after years of industry-sponsored surf competition and travel, is about to take a turn to who-knows-where. Through their work and their lifestyles, the Malloy brothers exist at the intersection of tradition and mythology – the twin legends of the West and the outdoorsman as unadorned Natural Man intersect wherever the boys have placed themselves. But having said that, attempting to define a single person in this hall-of-mirrors of the surf media is neigh-on impossible. Attempting to define three brothers is bound to fail. It’s a complex conundrum, and one to which I don’t believe we are equal. We decide, therefore, to let the Brothers Malloy speak for themselves. As Dan mentions over breakfast the following morning whilst we discuss the structure of this piece, “How do you describe what we did last night without making it sound cheesy?”
Malloy on Malloy. Chris, Keith and Dan try to define each other and the surfing triptych they represent. Chris: Older brother, filmmaker and surfer, age 37. Keith: Middle brother, wave maestro, inexhaustible athlete, age 35. Dan: Younger brother, tube stylist, surfboard experimenter, age 31. Chris on Dan: “I think Dan has never really come to grips with how good a surfer he is, or what his contributions creatively are to the films that we have made. He’s too humble for his own good. He still pictures himself as a kid tagging along with his big brothers. And when we surf, he’s always the best guy on it. He carries some of the biggest waves, but in his head he’s always still the youngest brother. He was just a little kid when my sister, Mary, was born. She was born with Cerebral Palsy and was born blind and deaf. So when your younger sister is born like that, you don’t really have time to worry about yourself because there’s somebody that’s in such greater need than you. If she had been this ‘normal’, whiny little girl, he would have competed and he’d probably beat up on her. But in the grand scheme of our family it’s never all been about Dan.” Dan on Chris: “Chris is the most creative and the most motivated of us all. He’s kind of a leader. If it weren’t for Chris, I’d have dug a lot more ditches in my life. I mean that literally as well as figuratively. I think that’s true for Keith, too. Chris helped us figure out a way that we could make a living through surfing. I think that figuring out the things you want to do is a great place to put your creative energies. Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be an artist putting on art shows. Figuring out the things that you really want to do, and figuring out how to work with people whilst keeping the vision true and consistent, that can be as creative as anything else.” Keith on Chris: “Chris has been addicted to doing creative things since he was a kid, whether it was telling a crazy story or dressing up like Evil Knievel. We got our first VHS video camera one Christmas in the eighties, and Chris just played with it until it broke a couple years later. He’s just had that creative thing ingrained in him from day one.”
Chris on Keith: “I admire Keith because he’s no bullshit, and Keith doesn’t
really care if you like him or if you don’t. If you piss Keith off, he’s probably never going to forgive you. It’s just how he is, and I wish I could be more like that. He doesn’t spend a lot of time brooding about this or about that, he just does it – and he’s just very consistent with how he lives his life, you know, he just does what he does.” Chris on Dan: “Dan grew up surfing with people like Kelly Slater and Rob Machado. So while he’s made these huge achievements in surfing, he’s never seen himself as a big success. With peers like that, he’s been made to feel humble in the water. You know, he’s never once in his life said, ‘I made it’. Sometimes you are defined by the people around you. You know, Dan’s sitting there jamming with Jack Johnson, these two nobodies in terms of music. Turn around a few months later and Jack is one of the biggest artists in the world, and Kelly meanwhile has got nine world titles. In that situation you don’t say, ‘I’m the man’, you say, ‘I’m nothing.’” Keith on Dan: “Dan’s the type of guy, when you talk about sessions on some sick wave on a trip somewhere, and you’re like, ‘How was it?’ and he’s like, ‘You know, got a couple, had fun’. That’s his version of the story. Then you see the footage and it’s 8-10ft, there are ten-second barrels! He always understates everything.”
Malloy on Surf Culture & America. The surfer for the new millennium will be less branded contest machine and more freethinking guardian of the natural world. Chris: “There’s a phase change in surfing, and I think it’s about getting back to a more kind of holistic way of looking at what we do rather than seeing surfing as a kind of jungle gym. It started a long time ago, and about twenty years ago was the height of the madness. I feel that now surfing is getting to a place where the like-minded people are embracing it. If you took America in the twenties and thirties and forties, it was such a great, natural place to be. By the fifties, mainstream America started to become packaged and big industry started to take over agriculture and the pastoral way of life, and the libertarian way of life that existed here was taken over by big industry. You had these kids coming up that were strong and full of this pioneering spirit. If you’re a West Coast American, you’re a pioneer. Your family came from their homeland and they got to the East Coast. They wanted to keep moving. They got to the Midwest, and they wanted to keep moving. The people who ended up here in California, we finally got to the edge of the continent. We have that pioneering DNA.” Dan: “Being able to work in the surf industry at all was a long shot for us. Even though we grew up in Southern California, we felt way removed from that surf industry bubble. I almost think that’s why we dove in headfirst like we did. When we were younger we were dying to be sponsored and be pro surfers – the whole thing. We would look through magazines and believe every last word they said and watch videos almost religiously. We were pretty much enthralled by it. It was kind of funny growing up with two brothers who surfed. It’s good etiquette to show up anywhere round here to go surfing with two people or less. From Malibu south you can do anything you want pretty much, but north of Malibu it’s a different story. So we were breaking the rules just by going surfing with our brothers. But our parents raised us to have a lot of respect for anybody older than us, so if the older guys were worth respecting at all, we tried not to step on anybody’s toes.” Chris: “In the fifties, when things started to change, there were some people who weren’t going to settle for a nine-to-five job because they still had that pioneer spirit. The only place the cops, the government and society couldn’t get to them was on
the giant walls of El Capitan and the impact zone of Waimea Bay. They wanted to
live on their own terms, they wanted to be free, they wanted to use
and climbing and doing good work. And then, on top of it, getting to
their hands, they wanted to use their minds – they didn’t want to jump
be involved with the process of making gear that you can be proud of
into the machine that America had become. Surfing and climbing were
is a really big deal to me.”
both ways to express that desire for freedom in nature. The early part of the last century was a really golden period. The generations that
Chris: “We like to work with people who share the same vision and
followed became more compartmentalised and more focused on the act
enable us to disseminate that vision through films, through books,
of surfing itself and less on being independent. So by the early nineties
through making gear you can be proud of – through whatever means
you had climbers and surfers that couldn’t tell you one plant species,
comes to hand. I truly feel that with Patagonia we are doing it in a
they couldn’t hunt, they couldn’t fish, they couldn’t grow, they couldn’t
really genuine way. We’re making stuff that somebody can have for a
build their own stuff. They couldn’t do anything but surf or climb. I
lifetime. We’re giving a lot of the profit back to save the wild places.
think that we now find a group of people that are saying to themselves
What I pray is that the other big companies don’t jump onto this
that surfing and climbing have become technically too specialised, and
movement as the next fashion, like they do for everything, and turn
too competition-oriented rather than experience-oriented. You’ve got
it into a parody of itself.”
surfers and climbers that spend half the day on computers. They go to gyms, they go to shrinks, they do all this stuff so they can be the best climber in the world or the best surfer in the world – while in the process the essence of climbing and surfing, the natural communion with nature if you like, is gone.”
Malloy On The Future. The age of free-range surfing has truly arrived.
Keith: “Surfing-wise I have been blessed. I’ve been able to travel so
Dan: “I can see us getting further into farming. Relatively speaking, I
much and surf so many incredible waves. But, I have to say, I don’t
don’t know shit about it. When you grow up close to something you
have the urge that I used to, to travel and to do those things. I still love
almost want to get super far away from it. Though we always lived
big surf, but the void that travel and exploration filled doesn’t seem to
on the ranch, mostly what my Dad did was underground pipeline
be there anymore.”
construction. So he’s learning a lot too, about ranching and farming. Every year I get more interested in it and want to learn more. Grace is
Chris: “People are starting to realise that surfing and climbing are ways
really, really into it, too. She has a solid foundation of knowledge, and
of thinking, ways of being. Also, of course, the places in the ocean and in
I think if we stay focused enough we could learn a lot in the future here
the mountains where surfing and climbing can give you these beautiful
and possibly do something in farming that’s viable. There’s a lifetime
experiences are disappearing or being ruined. People are beginning to
of things to learn, but in an ideal world one day we’d like to have a small
understand that if you want to protect something, you have to love it.
farm, perhaps part of the CSA [Community Supported Agriculture],
And to love something you have to really know something. What we’re
perhaps with an educational programme for local schools, and some
realising is that we as surfers and climbers should be at the forefront of
sort of residential programme, some sort of deal where you trade
expressing this love and this desire to protect. We’re not tree huggers,
teaching people how to work for food and board. It’s more difficult
but you’ve got to be responsible for what you’re doing. It’s not a hippie
to work in agriculture where you can be proud of the things you
manifesto. It’s about respecting the land that we live on and not ruining
produce, so you have to be creative. I’d also love to continue working
it with industrialised agriculture, for example. We have to be at least
for Patagonia, alongside that, because we can share similar ideals and
mindful and understanding of the impact of what we’re doing. Within
surfing itself, things have been fragmenting. You’re either a retro surfer, you’re an aerial surfer, a stand-up paddle surfer and so on. But I think
Keith: “I think Dan and Chris are more alike in what motivates
there’s a rising awareness that it’s all part of one beautiful thing. People
and excites them. I think I’m a little different from those guys. I’m
are tired of being in a clique. It’s all about just being there.”
actually at a point where I’m trying to figure out what the next thing is that I’m really going to dig deep into, you know. I don’t quite yet
Malloy On Patagonia. Durable goods in a throwaway world.
know what it is.” Dan: “I love playing music with my brothers as well as a bunch of friends up in Ojai, and Grace is learning to play the fiddle now, too. It’s like I was saying before about the sort of creativity I learnt from
Dan: “The relationship with Patagonia has been an important part
Chris. Trying to figure out a way to make a living doing all those things
of the process of getting back to what we truly believe in. I attribute
together would be a dream come true.”
it to the people that I get to work with and spending time with Yvon
[Chouinard] and the other Patagonia people. I consider these people
Chris: “If you’re lucky, you realise you just are who you are, and just
lifetime friends. They emphasise family and being outside and surfing
meant to be where you’re meant to be, that home is home.”
DAN MALLOY SERVAIS PHOTO etniessurf.com
ECO FRIENDLY Keeping in line with the Malloysâ€™ environmental values, the etnies Malloy Jameson features a recycled rice rubber outsole, a natural cotton canvas upper, recycled laces and recycled anti-microbial Dri-Lex to help keep feet odor free.
Photojournalist Marc Vallée is capturing a generation who stand up for their rights. Text Olly Zanetti + Photography Marc Vallée
“I hated the idea of taking pictures at demonstrations.
were picked up by the now-defunct lifestyle magazine
I was fascinated by the work I saw from those who did
Sleazenation, and he was one of the first photographers to have pictures placed with PYMCA, a picture library specialising in global youth culture and music. For Marc, politics was always in the mix. At eighteen he started work as a typesetter and layout artist for left-wing weekly The Militant. “That was before the days of DTP,” says the sprightly fortyyear-old. “We’d plan the pages on a drawing board with paper and pencil. The text would be typeset on a computer and printed out. We’d slice it up with a scalpel, then fit all the elements – text, pictures and headlines – together and wax everything down.” After five years at The Militant, Marc headed for art school where he specialised in fine art painting. “I was told by a lecturer that drawing was not my ‘strongest point’ but that I was good with colour and light. Obviously I argued with him about that – I thought I was a brilliant painter. But he was half right. I did have an eye for light, and photography, to coin a phrase, is drawing with light. I picked up a camera, took some pictures, and they just seemed to work.” As Marc became more established, his semiautobiographical photos of the communities he moved in evolved into a specialism in youth culture. Documenting this side of contemporary life did have its political edge – “It was about people who rejected some of mainstream society’s values” – but it wasn’t until the
– I was in awe of it. But making those kinds of pictures myself? Nah, I was happy doing what I was doing.” It’s not a line you’d expect from renowned photojournalist-turned-investigative reporter Marc Vallée. Based in London, Marc has made a name for himself photographing dissent for the major media. His pictures are rated by two of America’s most daring novelists – Dennis Cooper and Scott Heim – and he’s co-authored three major investigations for
The Guardian exposing police brutality and state surveillance of lawful protesters. But when Marc first picked up a camera at the age of twenty-five, all he was interested in was shooting his buddies. “It was the mid-nineties and I would spend a lot of time in America, just photographing friends. They were skaters, surfers, punks, all hanging out on the New Jersey coast,” he says. “I shot on black-and-white film. The pictures were dark, grainy, full of contrast. I made them big, twenty by sixteen. I’d file out the neg holder, widening it slightly, so the prints would be full frame with a thick, jagged, black border.” Returning to the UK, Marc continued to seek out the alternative. The punk scene in Watford – one of London’s unassuming satellites – first caught his attention, followed quickly by the alternative queer scene, which reflected his own sexuality. His shots
invasion of Iraq that Marc turned his lens on protest. “I went to cover an anti-war demo in London,” he says. “I was still shooting on film then and when I looked at the contact sheets, I saw a similar energy to what interested me in the youth culture work. I’d naturally sought out the alternative youth element of the protest, anyway. I saw this as another facet of youth culture – the skaters and punks, the kind of people I’d documented elsewhere, were here on the streets protesting. It got me thinking.” As protest became an increasing part of Marc’s repertoire, the images he shot branched off into two strands. The dramatic shots – direct protest actions or arrests – were the ones that generally made the newsstands. But still interested in portraiture, he began to put together a series he called Protest Boys, capturing an aesthetic and attitude in young men that had largely gone unrecorded. “I think there’s a lot said about young people not being interested in politics and frankly that’s bullshit,” he says. “They may not be interested in parliamentary politics or the three main political parties, and who’d blame them? But out on the streets, there’s a lot of young people doing all sorts of interesting and creative things to get their point across.” Having chosen to specialise in this field of protest reportage, Marc knows his subjects well. “Some of the people whose portraits I take, I only
“Good journalism should act as the eyes and ears of the public and keep an eye on the state – that’s something the state doesn’t seem keen on.” meet fleetingly. Others, because we’re at the same
And there’s a similar story behind the portrait of
demonstrations – them to protest, me to document
an anti-scientology protester. Having held a banner
irrespective of whether they had committed a crime, or
– I’ve built up quite a rapport with.” And though he
painted with the word ‘cult’, this demonstrator hit
As well as targeting demonstrators, the police
assumes the role of objective observer, Marc still
the headlines when the police issued him with a court
were found to be focusing their attention on the press.
makes a point of researching the demonstrations to
summons under section five of the Public Order
Through legal requests, Marc has found data about
help inform his work.
Act. Apparently, they thought his placard might
him on police files; he’s been videoed and followed
So is he sympathetic to the causes of the
cause ‘harassment, alarm or distress’. The Crown
(almost into the toilet) by police surveillance officers.
groups he photographs? “I wouldn’t put it like that.
Prosecution Service refused to take the case forward,
“It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious,” he notes.
I’m certainly committed to what I do, I want to
and the police were strongly condemned by the
This intimidation is part, he believes, of a wider
interrogate the issues and expose wrong-doing where
human rights organisation, Liberty, for deliberately
strategy to stifle the reporting of protest. “There are
I can.” Given his political past with The Militant, is
interfering with the youth’s right to free speech.
huge political connotations to this. Good journalism
that an admission of bias in his work? “No, not at
Marc’s photograph shows him returning to the scene,
should act as the eyes and ears of the public and
all,” he answers resolutely. “I do accept that partiality
placard in hand, the case having been dropped.
keep an eye on the state – that’s something the state
had even had any communication with the police.
exists. I’m a sentient being, and I’m a product of my
After years of frontline experience, Marc believes
upbringing, my education, my experiences. But I
heavy-handed, unwarranted and often unlawful police
In the UK, the importance of good journalism has
photograph what I see. I don’t distort my work for
intrusion into the basic freedoms of democratic protest
been thrust into the public eye. “Had it not been for
any agenda, political or otherwise.”
doesn’t seem keen on.”
are becoming increasingly common. He has witnessed
The Guardian’s work, the death of Ian Tomlinson [at
At last year’s Climate Camp, near Kingsnorth
police violence toward peaceful protesters and was
London’s G20 protest in April 2009] might have slipped
power station owned by energy giant E On, Marc
himself, in 2006, hospitalised after an incident involving
into the footnotes of history.” Instead, a video showing
took a picture he regards as one of his strongest.
an officer while reporting on a demonstration. Marc
what appears to be an unjustified assault on Tomlinson,
It shows a boy with ‘E On – F off ’ emblazoned in
sued the police, and won. He’s become accustomed to
by an officer from the highly trained Territorial Support
marker across his chest. “In political or protest
such tactics, and is now increasingly concerned by the
Group, was broadcast to the world.
pictures, you need an anchor, like a placard or iconic
less obvious but equally worrying intrusions of state
And as Marc’s pictures attest, engaging in protest
building, to inform the viewer and give the shot
powers into the lives of protesters through surveillance.
politics isn’t just about back-room meetings with hair-
meaning. Here, the placard is his body. This works
In an investigation with The Guardian he and
shirted hippies. It’s an essential part of democracy
aesthetically, but it also makes a point. Humanity’s
fellow journalist Paul Lewis revealed that the details
the world over that deserves our attention and, if we
use of carbon, and the effect it has on climate
of hundreds of demonstrators – their names, political
feel strongly about it, our presence too
change, will ultimately destroy life on earth. And
affiliations, and protests they had attended – were being
there it is, written across his chest.”
recorded on a database and held for up to seven years,
When Mike Basich found snowboarding in the eighties, he found the tools he needed for an alternative life. Interview Melanie Schönthier
To get to know Mike Basich, all you need to do is listen. Take your time and just let him speak. There were times in Mike’s life when he didn’t speak a word. Then along came snowboarding and things began to fall into place. Soon Mike found himself at the forefront of snowboarding’s ‘wild generation’, forging new paths with pioneering madmen like Andy Hetzel and Shaun Palmer. Twenty years later and snowboarding may be a bit more conventional, but as for Mike, well, he’s still off the beaten track. From his hippie childhood in Sacramento and the house he built in the Tahoe backcountry to the two years he lived in a van and the time he dropped 120 feet out of a helicopter, Mike’s life has been anything but ‘the norm’. Mike is currently working on a movie documenting his different take on life. Until it's ready, we’ll let him speak. You started snowboarding with your older sister, Tina, in 1985. Can you still remember the first day? It was really icy. We had no high-backs but we were hooked! It just seemed to fit us perfectly. Why was that? My mom was always looking for something that would give us room to be ourselves. And snowboarding, being a sport for kids, was just perfect. It was new and we could just go out and do anything with it. There wasn’t anyone telling us what to do or how to ride a snowboard. Snowboarding was the best thing that could’ve happened to me at that time as it helped me overcome my epilepsy. You had epilepsy? Yes, a few years before snowboarding came into my life, it was just about making it through each day. I was really far behind in reading and writing and I needed to find something that I could relate to. That was snowboarding. Going out and doing something was my way of learning. I have the feeling that, by finding something that helped me grow as a person, I was able to outgrow my epilepsy. What memories do you have of that time in your life? It was a bit of a crazy storm that came into my life. I didn’t speak at that time and kept a lot to myself, mainly because of the medication. My parents did everything they could to help me connect with life. One summer, we lived in a teepee because my mom felt that living in a round space would help. My parents told me being different was okay, even a great thing, almost every day. Seeing my parents do something so against the American idea of ‘normal’ made me feel more self-confident. Perhaps that’s why I’ve stuck to the road less travelled. So your childhood was a bit different from that of other kids? Yeah, I only later realised that it isn’t normal to ride your horse to the corner store or live in a teepee. I saw so many doctors over the years that my parents took it in their own hands to find a way to heal me. They focused on finding something that made sense to me, A young Basich, prepping for Halloween.
something that I could grab onto, which at the time was, and still is, building things. So during the six months we were living in this teepee we built a house with our own hands, and it really helped me find my way back. Do you think you would be the same person today if you hadn’t had this period in your childhood? I have spent a lot of time over the last four years thinking about the things that have shaped my life… Knowing I was different from others helped me let go of the ideas that are engraved on most of us. As I was homeschooled for three years during my epilepsy, I knew that I didn’t need to follow what I learnt in school but could focus on what made sense to me. My younger life was all about finding the things that made my heart beat stronger. Passion is another word for it. It’s really that simple – find what your heart relates to the most. It’s the reason I’m still involved with snowboarding. Snowboarding was and always will be a non-structure sport. Of course the non-structure part is harder to find these days, but this is the side I have been chasing ever since I started. Snowboarding is a place to find out who I am.
Basich riding from Area-241.
Do you think the younger generation are entering
a home could be anything. With the cabin, I really
but I hope to have it running on the creek soon. The
snowboarding with the same mindset? I see riders
wanted to get back to the simplicity of living.
sledding and splitboarding is endless up here. It goes for
come and go because they mainly started snowboarding
miles. I finally have the set-up to go snowboarding and
to become sponsored. As soon as that is gone, they
How long did it take you to build? Four years! It
at the end of the day I can upload photos to share with
stop snowboarding. I’ve had many sponsors drop me,
would have been quicker if I had built it out of wood,
friends, family and the industry.
but it really didn’t get in the way of me wanting to
but I realised that rocks last a lot longer than trees here,
express myself through snowboarding.
so that took about two extra years. Also, I had a few
Smoking Snowboards are selling boards you make
problems mixing cement in the snow... And there was
from dead trees on your property. What do you
Do you think you would start snowboarding if
some stuff that I couldn’t do in the summer, like two big
think about the snowboard industry’s efforts to
you were a kid nowadays? I don’t think I would be
windows that needed to be brought up in the snow on
produce more ‘green’ products? The best thing
snowboarding as much, unless I started right off in the
my snowcat because the summer road is too bumpy. Just
coming out of all this, is that it’s raising awareness. I built
backcountry. Today, snowboarding at a resort is a lot
getting those two pieces of glass took me two years.
snowboards out of a four-hundred-year-old tree on my
like high school – your image matters a lot to others.
property because I wanted to raise people’s awareness
I think I would have found more creative space in
Do you live there all year long? No, at the moment
about what they buy. But what a product is made of is a
woodwork and art if I hadn’t found snowboarding.
I’m only there fifty per cent of the time, but I hope to
small part of the problem. For example, it only took me
soon. I have Internet, which helps me stay connected
one gallon of petrol to produce one snowboard. This is
There came a point when you stopped competing –
and on top of my clothing company, 241. I am only
a really small part of the oil it takes for people to use a
why was that? I travelled a lot – one year I went to Europe
fifteen minutes from Truckee so it’s not uncommon
car to get to the resort to use the board, and for the lift
thirteen times! But being on the road a lot doesn’t mean
for me to head into town to hang out with friends. In
to run, etc.
you get a lot out of it. Travelling too much was taking me
the winter, I can drive my snowmobile to the resorts
further away from what I wanted to do, so I went from
to go snowboarding or to the closest restaurant
You’ve been working on a movie documenting your
living in a five-bedroom house in Utah to living in a van.
which is nice for dinner, sometimes.
life. What is this project all about? The idea to make
I wanted to free myself up and chase the snow around.
a movie came up when I started to build my cabin. I’d
Those two years were great! Sleeping in the parking lot
Do you ever get lonely? I am pretty content without
like to share with people who I am, rather than just
at Jackson Hole, walking a hundred feet to the tram and
people, as much as I like having them around. But I live
being this guy who won a contest once. Snowboarding
a hundred feet to the spa was a nice set up.
in a place that is a bit different than where most people
has become my life so, if I am going to share that with
live, so people want to come up a lot and hang out... Plus,
people, I want to show them the whole picture of what
You recently sold your van on eBay and now live
my dog Summit lives with me here at Area-241. She’s
in the house you built, called Area-241, in the
getting better at following me on my snowboard and
Tahoe backcountry. When did you get the idea for
even dropped a twelve-foot cliff with me last winter.
this? When I was about eleven years old, the dream
far? That I was able to use snowboarding as my tool in
of building my own house was sprouted. I grew up
How is the riding where you live? I can strap on my
building tree houses in the yard and, going from living
deck and ride straight to the tow rope I put up last
in a normal house to living in a teepee, I soon realised
winter. Right now, it’s powered by my mom’s old car,
What do you class as your biggest achievement so life to become myself www.241-usa.com
Coming October 23rd, 2009 www.rockstargames.com/chinatownwars
FOR THE PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) go and PlayStation®Network © 2007-2009 Rockstar Games, Inc. Rockstar Games, Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar North, the Rockstar Games logo, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, and the Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software. 2, Playstation, Sony PSP Go, 7 and À are trademarks of Sony. All Rights Reserved. The content of this videogame is purely fictional, is not intended to represent or depict any actual event, person, or entity, and any such similarities are purely coincidental. The makers and publishers of this videogame do not in any way endorse, condone or encourage engaging in any conduct depicted in this videogame.
Text + Photography SCOTT BOURNE
My mother has been living on a sailboat for the last twenty years – seventeen of them alone. The adventures this has created for me ranges from sailing through the Bermuda Triangle on a boat nearly boarded by pirates, to being picked up in a tiny prop plane and flown out over a string of islands. As of recent she has made her home in Luperon Bay, a tiny port in the Dominican Republic. It’s known all over the Caribbean as one of the tightest ‘Hurricane Holes’ in the islands and is arguably the first bay that Columbus ever pulled into. In the last year, she and my brother opened up a small restaurant in town and, though she claims she wants to settle down, she refuses to move off the boat. She is now sixty-six. Earlier this year I took my girlfriend down to ‘meet the family’, and this time the adventure began with a motorcycle trip through the Dominican Republic’s remote mountain region.
I. Three barefoot young boys climb up on a church to seek shelter from the sun.
II. In this part of the world everything has more than one use. These plastic Tropicana bottles are used in the streets as squirt guns, or for a game of ‘kick the can’. On the beach, they become water wings. With one under each arm, kids float around like survivors drifting in from a sunken ship.
III. Motorbikes are another one of my mother’s lifelong loves, and travelling through this part of the country – full of dirt roads, shanty shacks and rivers that must be crossed by raft – can be done no other way. In the background, a missionary group in pristine whites wait to cross into a neighbouring village by foot.
IV. Here a young girl has a weave put in while an old woman snaps beans. Many of the scenes of the Dominican Republic could be directly out of a long-lost Louisiana: candle light shining through the cracks of a shanty shack as you walk the streets at night; old men gathered round a small table slapping down dominoes in the shade of a porch or tree; and naked children running wild and free, without a care in the world.
V. Like a lot of developing countries I have visited, the Dominican Republic seems over-populated with wild dogs. Noticing our interest in this stray pup, several people try to sell it to us. In the distance, a man walks across a sand bar to where the ocean breaks.
VI. A year earlier I had travelled alone to visit my mother. The kids in the village had never seen a skateboard and she had asked me to bring one. When I returned, I found the skateboard worn to a nub by the few paved roads, which are very harsh, even for soft wheels. This young boy remembered that it was me who had brought the board and, in the days that followed, he had constructed this one from a broken toy truck.
VII. A large part of the population travels by donkey. In this area of the country, having a sucker or a scooter is a luxury. This young girl finishes off a sucker as she proudly poses over a scooter parked in front of her home. You will see entire families on these bikes. This is not the part of the Dominican Republic you will find advertised as the picture-perfect vacation spot, but it is certainly the beating heart of the country
Could this map be worthy of a frame? Depends on how you look at it, says artist James Niehues. TEXT Ed Andrews ARTWORK James Niehues
Getting lost sucks. It’s annoying at best but, when it happens on a mountain, it can also cost you your life. That’s what piste maps are for, right? Everyone knows that. What everyone doesn’t know, however, is that those life-saving bits of paper are often lovingly crafted by hand. “I can probably draw a mountain better than anyone else,” says sixty-three-year-old James Niehues (Jim to his pals). As the man responsible for hand-painting piste maps for some of the world’s top ski resorts, the Colorado native isn’t boasting – he’s simply stating a fact. He has, after all, spent a lifetime perfecting his craft. “Colorado gives you canyon lands to alpine peaks and so I’ve always wanted to paint scenery,” explains Jim, who started painting while bedridden with a kidney illness in his early teens. What started as a hobby became a career after Jim found himself working in a print shop in Denver, shadowing the work of then trail map illustrator Bill Brown. Since drawing his first trail map of Winter Park, Colorado, in 1986 under his own name, Jim has gone on to draw maps for a whole host of resorts from Whistler, Canada, to Muju, South Korea; Thredbo, Australia, to Portillo, Chile. So how does one approach such a mammoth task? Far from simply pulling up an easel in a valley, Jim works from aerial photographs, taken from a small plane that circles the mountain from all angles, to get even the smallest of details correct. “I put together a sketch and send it to the client,” says Jim. “There will always be alterations but after that, I hand-paint it.” The wonders of technology (i.e. Photoshop) may come in handy when making corrections but, ever the artist, Jim stays true to his watercolour roots. “You can’t get any better than just painting with a paintbrush. It lets you produce so many different colours and textures – you can reproduce the outdoors so much better that way.” So does this mean that, after a hard day’s skiing, that water-stained piece of paper in your pocket is in fact a work of art? “It’s still essentially a map,” he concedes, “and so the priority is to get it right. But the images that make up piste maps produce a desire to visit that place or provoke memories. And that’s art!”
I’m perched on a bar stool at the North
unanimous respect, how even the loudest, drunkest
Bondi RSL, knocking back schooners of Coopers
table in the room has fallen silent. The PA finishes
Green with Jay my Kiwi mate, Steve the art director of
with ‘We Will Remember Them’, which is repeated in
Insight, Derek Rielly of Stab magazine, and the ever-
chorus. There’s a minute of silence and then we all sit
chortling Rod ‘Box’ Kerr, who I used to travel with on
and resume our conversations.
the ASP pro tour in the late eighties, and who famously
“So anyway,” says Box, pausing to take a big gulp
puked while riding a wave during the second round of
of his beer, “Briso’s got his one in the back seat, I’ve
the Pukas Pro after a whiskey-sodden all-nighter in San
got mine in the front, and there’s bloody legs flyin’ and
Sebastian, which, along with the Tom Curren double-
arms stickin’ out, and I reach over and slap him on the
pump bottom turn, is one of my indelible memories
arse as hard as I farkin’ can...”
from late-eighties pro surfing.
Sydney is Australia’s cultural powerhouse. And it’s also a place where surfing – more so than in any other city – informs mainstream culture, from fashion to television to magazines and beyond. Jamie Brisick returns to Australia after a fifteenyear hiatus to find out what it is that makes Sydney the perfect PLACE to have a meaningful life both in and out of the water.
Text and photography Jamie Brisick
Diggers in collared shirts nurse beers at the bar,
I was a fair to middling pro surfer in the
play the poker machines, or tuck into a counter meal
mid-eighties when, on one of my many trips to Australia
(steak, mash, salad). A cacophony of farks and bloody
for contests, I fell in love with a raven-haired, chocolate-
’ells and get one a them in ya’s creates a kind of pub music. Box and I haven’t seen each other in fifteen years, and thus the stories gush, specifically the one about our first big night out together in ’86, which Box tells animatedly, with flying hands. “So me and Briso pull these bushies out the pub in Geelong, right. And we get in the car and start going at it. He’s got his one laid out in the back seat and I got mine in the front…” Suddenly a formal voice comes over the PA. Box stands. Jay stands. Derek stands. The whole RSL stands and so I stand, too. We face the westerly windows that overlook Bondi Beach, a heart-tugging postcard of joggers, surfers, rock pool swimmers and sunset admirers, all bathed in ethereal orange glow. A solemn mood fills the room as the ‘Ode of Remembrance’ is recited, a seven-verse poem honouring casualties of war that happens at 6pm every night in the RSLs, which were set up as social clubs for veterans of the Australian Defence Force. I’m impressed by the
skinned girl who I would share a white-shingled beach cottage with for the next two years. Thanks to her I’d become intimate with the reefs, ricochets, sandbanks and tripling-up wedges of the Northern Beaches, good ol’ fashioned Aussie meat pies doused in tomato sauce, and the miracle that is the drive-thru bottle shop. I’d watch two-time world champ Tom Carroll get deeply barreled at an off-the-beaten track spot called Buggery, ’89 world champ Martin Potter fly across the wonky rights of Whale Beach, and eccentric surf scribe Derek Hynd dance spasmodically to a crude cover of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ at a backyard barbie. Coming from Los Angeles, where we talk ourselves up and try to appear important, it was wholly befuddling to discover that Aussies in fact play themselves down. I would soon learn about the ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’, i.e., those with lofty ambitions and/or excessively high self-esteem suffer ridicule, which is both wonderful (keeps people down to earth) and horrible (champions mediocrity). A terrific moment came when I was
accused of “trying to sound like an American”. This
It’s been a busy year for shark attacks.
In that terrifying moment, when the heaving wave was
from a redneck Aussie with a gym-enhanced physique
First, a navy diver is attacked by a large bull shark
about to swallow the boat, he did not gallantly protect
and an embittered, pinched face. It was not that he
in Sydney Harbour while – get this – doing an ‘anti-
his girl, but rather dove for the bottom. I may be wrong,
hated Yanks, but precisely the opposite. To his mind,
terrorism training exercise’. The following day,
but, last I heard, they were no longer together.
affecting an American accent might get you laid, and
the husband of a pregnant wife gets a good chunk
In the late eighties, my tourmates and I played a
thus I was “cheating”. I took delicious pleasure in
of his arm bit off by a Great White while surfing
game called ‘Faces of Death’, in which we’d zap around
replying, “Umm, I actually am an American”.
the ever-popular South Bondi. On the way to the
beach towns in France, Spain, Portugal and Australia
At any rate, my understanding of Australia would
hospital, thinking he’s a goner, he instructs the surfer
pulling massive, screaming handbrake slides as close
deepen, my love of ‘The Lucky Country’ would grow,
who rescued him to, “Tell Lisa that I love her”. He
as possible to unsuspecting pedestrians, which drew
and I would call Sydney home from ’90 to ’92. This is
survives. Two weeks later, a fifteen-year-old kid is hit
some magnificent facial expressions as well as a few
my first time back in fifteen years.
while surfing North Avalon with his father, losing a
dives into nearby bushes. Once we pulled one on top
chunk of his leg and a whole lot of blood.
sixteen-ranked Dave Parmenter, who was notorious
No one does mornings better than the
I got to experience the aftermath of this one
for his Clint Eastwood-like demeanor. Dave barely
Sydneysiders. At 6:30am in Bronte, exotic, brightly
morning at South Bondi. I’m straddling my borrowed
flinched. From this simulated near-death experience
coloured birds squawk, chirp, whistle and dart across
6’3” Warner thruster, marveling at the transparency of
we concluded that he was the Real Deal.
the jungle-like gully behind my mate Jay’s red-brick
the turquoise water, when an overhead wave appears.
I did not ponder these things as I bobbed in the
flat, making noises that sound more Amazonian
Our cluster strokes out to meet it when suddenly a
waters of Bondi Beach, but rather sat with my feet on
than Aussie. At the beach, a dozen senior citizens in
large, dark, unidentified corpus streaks across the
my board so as to eliminate dangling limbs. I scanned
Speedos and goggles swim laps in the saltwater rock
looming swell then quickly disappears.
the depths and listened to my heartbeat, which
pool, their pink, keg-shaped backs shimmering in the
A wonderful moment follows. The two dozen of
sounded vaguely like the theme song from Jaws. And
blinding sun. Twenty yards due east, a short-interval,
us break into groups. There’s the terrified beginners
then finally the beast emerged, this time breaking
ten-foot-face sou’east swell summons the local surfers
who immediately spin around and stroke for shore,
the surface and doing a dolphin-like dart across a
who trot down the esplanade, shimmy along the
mewling hysterically about giant fins. There’s the calm
looming swell, revealing flaps and flippers and a shiny
rocks, and launch onto incoming surges that, if poorly
and graceful bikini-clad girl, who politely asks her
brown torso – a seal not a shark, thank god, and all
timed, can end in disaster. In the grassy park behind
neighbours if it was indeed a shark. There’s the three or
went back to normal at Bondi.
the beach, a stocky, bald boxing coach leads his ten or
four stone-faced locals, who show not the slightest hint
twelve students through a round of jabs, hooks and
of fear. In fact, they huddle together as if preparing to
On Anzac Day, my surfer/photographer
uppercuts. On the squeaky, orange-tinged sand, the
take on whatever beast. And then there’s the rest of us,
mate Kane and I drive from Bondi out to the Northern
surf lifesavers practise their rescue drills.
confused, quietly shit-scared, in a kind of limbo.
Beaches, i.e., Manly, Dee Why, Narrabeen, Newport,
I had forgotten how sporty Sydneysiders are. Because
Throwing a shark into one’s immediate vicinity is a
Avalon, Whale Beach, etc. Anzac Day is a national
of the rugged coastline, the topography of Sydney's
great litmus test. Primal fears surface. True colours come
public holiday honouring soldiers who fought for
beach suburbs is that of an amphitheatre. Nearly every
out. Some years back, a renowned surf photographer
Australia and New Zealand in World War I, as well as
home and apartment block has an ocean view, and the
was shooting Teahupoo from a dinghy, his longtime
other battles. In various parks and parking lots we catch
beach serves as centre stage, a kind of civic playground.
girlfriend at his side, when suddenly a massive set came.
the tail end of the dawn service, where a good chunk of
Sydney is the best city in the world to slay buffalo on the career front yet still maintain a fulfilling surfing life. the population comes out to pay their respects. I’m told
one of his trademark gouges as if he’s in the bloody
the RSLs give out free beer from something like 6am to
1990 Pipeline Masters. The crowd gathered in the car
8am, thus the streets are wobbly by noon.
park, which seems to include half the town of Avalon,
We check out Barrenjoey, which is triple overhead
erupts into hoots and hollers.
and messy, and where I hear a story about a kid in
I’m filled with both nostalgia and a renewed love
Avalon who’s working on a series of ‘penis paintings’ in
of these fabulous Northern Beaches. Why? Because
which he dips his willy into the paint jar then smears it
surfing is so massively respected here that, in ensuing
over the canvas. What I find interesting, having lived
days, Tom will be showered in compliments for this
here two decades ago, is how there’s been a dramatic
single ride from the butcher, the bank manager, the
liberation of this wave-rich suburbia-by-the-seashore.
mechanic, the maître d' at his favourite restaurant,
In the late-eighties, the general vibe of the Northern
and various sapphire-eyed café waitresses. Because
Beaches was very blue-collar and no-nonsense.
there’s something truly heartwarming about seeing
Flamboyance, gender-bending and Warhol-esque
surfers over the age of forty whipping and weaving and
experimentation would inevitably ruffle feathers.
pulling into stand-up barrels with beatific, Peter Pan-
Then came Ozzie Wright, the now-legendary clothing
ish smiles on their faces. Which leads to my theory...
label Tsubi (or Ksubi), a flurry of experimental bands and a veritable epidemic of dishevelled, paint-
Sydney is the best city in the world
splattered kids hell-bent on shaking up the status quo.
to slay buffalo on the career front yet still maintain
What Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious did to rock ‘n’
a fulfilling surfing life. Sure, there are G-Lands and
roll in the seventies, these people/movements would
J-Bays and Teahupoos and North Shores, but world-
do to ‘old guard’ Sydney in the nineties.
class waves come with a severe sacrifice: you generally
There’s also the technology boom. Fifteen years ago
give up a professional life. On the flipside is Los
Australia was off the pop culture radar. Bands, books,
Angeles, New York City, Tokyo, London, Paris, Sao
movies, magazines, fashion, ephemera – by the time
Paulo, Hong Kong, etc., where opportunity abounds
they arrived in Sydney they were passé across the water.
but surf is either meagre or non-existent.
In fact, I moved back to Los Angeles in ’92 primarily
Sydney is a thriving, metropolitan city where
because I felt as if the world was passing me by. The
you can do virtually anything career-wise, yet it sits
Internet, FedEx, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace,
close enough to a reef-, point-, rivermouth-, bounce-,
etc. have changed this dramatically. Australia may be
and sandbank-studded coastline that, while not
geographically isolated, but Sydney and Melbourne are
quite A-grade, is pretty damn good and consistent.
as current and on-the-pulse as Williamsburg.
This contrasts heavily with my Southern California
But in the water the song remains largely the
surfing life, which is more often than not despicable
same. At triple-overhead North Avalon, the heavy-
and unsustainable. Had I never travelled abroad
hitters are not some new crop of teenage punks with
I might be able to find fulfillment in waist-high,
batwings, but rather the same guys who dominated
onshore, closed-out Zuma Beach.
fifteen years ago. A reeling, Mundaka-like left is
My Sydney brethren, meanwhile, ride fun, overhead
ridden superbly by once top five-ranked Rob Bain.
waves fairly regularly. This is evident in their surfing
Former Triple Crown winner Mike Rommelse bangs
standard, physical fitness, bounce in their step, and
a heaving, aquamarine lip. Late-eighties top-sixteener
cheery glint in their eye. It’s celebrated in post-session
Ces Wilson pigdogs through a long barrel.
gatherings at seaside pubs, restaurants, RSLs, and wine
In the late afternoon, Tom Carroll sprints goblin-
bars, where a strong sense of community abounds. As I
like up the point and on his first wave drops down the
said to my mate Jay on the final night of my two-week
face, swoops off the bottom, stalls with a casualness
visit, “Sydney is the perfect place to either stretch out
and familiarity that suggests parking one’s car in one’s
or kill off a mid-life crisis.” Only later did I realise that
garage, gets severely tubed, comes out, then lays into
they’re essentially one and the same
Derek Rielly is handsome, whip smart and currently topping my ‘Men I’ll Sleep With When I Come Out Of The Closet’ list. He’s also the founder of Stab, by far the most X-rated surf magazine in history. In my quest to get up to speed on 21st century Sydney (as opposed to my dated, nostalgia-tinged version), I interviewed him after a sunny, offshore session at South Bronte. He wore a white headband, white vee-neck tee, brown Louis Vuitton high-cut shorts, and snowy-white tube socks pulled up to his knees. He resembled a lateseventies Björn Borg with an Oscar Wilde wit. At one point he whipped out a ping-pong paddle. Define Sydney’s personality, character, etc. Like most joints, walk a few hundred metres down the road and you’ve gone from gold-rimmed, red-lens aviator, sunshine-yellow with vintage belt, electricblue RL Black Label shirt with epaulets and twobreast pockets, boat shoe-wearing gorgeousness to black polar fleece hoodies and tracksuit pants far too short and far too big. But, if we must generalise, Sydney is a shallow city where making it big is everything. There is no design consciousness or anything world-class except its fabulous harbour and Northern Peninsula. Tell us about the ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’. It exists only in the imagination. You get famous, you make a little money, and you start to get paranoid about who’s your real pal and who’s in it for the connection or to shower under your money. Are the famous above criticism? Best and worst things about Sydney? The architecture is ghastly. Wartime and pre-war shanties and morose apartment blocks abutting astonishingly ordinary
crude attempts at dense housing. That said, I do understand the basic concept of the psychology of taste and realise beautiful Sydneysiders may wish to commune with their ugly side. The weather is fabulous. The women are all-time. The drugs are expensive. The food is great, and great in the quality produce kinda way, not in the Michelin star kinda way, but that’s here as well. The waves are varied, but rarely of excellent quality. Anything else that might help the foreign surfer to better understand Australia? If you want to understand Australia, you can apply the usual template over it, i.e., big cities are inclusive and Derek Rielly.
exciting while the outer areas are insular and dull. But it’s in these dull places that you’ll find good waves. Australians like to fight and root at night. If we can’t get a root we get furious. Livid, even. And then we fight.
The one-eyed Derek Hynd has been a top five-ranked pro, scintillating surf scribe and legendary coach. His latest venture is riding finless boards and twirling 360s by the dozen: “Greatest change in Sydney surf culture in the past decade? The affluent and upwardly mobile (SUP) older generation; the predominance of wide-body boards; a bodyboard element that is more popular than board riding at many beaches, leaving some high schools with more of a lid culture than surfboard culture; street gang culture as a reflection of more population density and less parental control.”
Legendary filmmaker and former Hawaiian resident Jack McCoy
went to Australia in 1970 and never looked back. He’s presently working on A Deeper Shade of Blue, in which he traces the oral history of surfing via the sport’s luminaries: “The beauty of Sydney is clean air, low crime, English speaking, and lots of great people. Most Australians are extremely hospitable, friendly and caring, should you ever need help or assistance. For a traveller, all you have to do is ask and you watch, they’ll go out of their way and maybe even invite you back to their place for a feed.”
Photographer Kane Skenner grew up in suburban Whale Beach on the Northern Beaches but now resides in the cultural hub that is Bondi Beach. He shoots for GQ, Vogue, Stab, ASL and Monster Children: “In the mid-nineties things started to change. People started drawing on their boards, looking at fashion and music a bit more and becoming more worldly. The previous generation went to Indo; we went to Europe. The younger kids today are even more ambitious and supportive of each other. They have more of a worldview than an Australian view. It’s really changed radically.”
Lauded surf journalist, big-wave hellman and brother to the legendary Tom, Nick Carroll is the writer/creator of Bombora, a two-part documentary on the history of Australian surfing: “There’s a really deep underweaving of surfing in the culture here. For example, there’s a guy who lives around here who’s a plumber, and he’s got about ten or twelve employees, and he’s got a really good plumbing business, and they’re stalwarts as far as getting the job done, but – the fucking lot of them will drop their tools and surf when the surf’s good. Their four or five cars will be down The Peak. And people seem to be able to handle that in Australia.
People don’t have a hernia if you say, ‘The surf was good so I’ll be there tomorrow.’”
Polandâ€™s finest take on the streets of London for five whirlwind days of skating and fifteen minutes on film.
Text Anna Hopson + Photography Richie Hopson
Tomek Kotrych. Tomek Ziolkowski.
Jakub ‘Suwak’ Suwinski.
Stu Smith and his LovenSkate-tattoed toes. Tomek Ziolkowski.
Why would eight Polish guys travel to London in
the cobble-stoned side roads of the East, traverse
in the throws of becoming new friends. Then
the middle of summer? If you adhere to current
from the North deep into the South, and they’ll
night pulls in, the streetlights flash to life, and the
stereotypes, you’re probably thinking, “They’re
be filmed and photographed every step of the way.
crew retreat back to the LovenSkate studio for a
plumbers, right? Builders, painters or decorators
Then five days of skateboarding will be edited down
barbecue – sausages and all.
coming to look for work.”
into just fifteen minutes of film footage.
But you, misinformed consumer of corporate
By the time the London stop rolls to a close,
The weather couldn’t be better. Under the rare
the Polish crew have nailed down their take on the
glow of a British summer sun, the crew take in spots
town. They’re amazed by how “polite and friendly”
They’re skateboarders – eight guys from
that would be worthy of an insider’s guide to skating
Londoners are, and remark on all the niceties
different towns across Poland – coming to London
in London, including Royal Oak, Southbank,
they’ve received in the form of “please, thank you
to skate, film and photograph for five days before
Elephant and Castle, East India, Euston and a
and excuse me”. They can’t stop talking about the
hopping on the Eurostar and hitting Paris to do the
couple of secret spots too.
cops who approached them on London Bridge and
news, would be wrong.
One such secret locale is hosted by the East
asked them politely to stop skating on the metal
We’re in the presence of the Quiksilver Town
London-based LovenSkate crew in Bethnal Green.
benches. “In Poland, police are never polite – they
Tour, the very first Polish skate tour in London.
Alex, Kevin and Stu take the guys to a bank hidden
just shout to you, ‘Get out of here now!’” And they
Sick of hearing about the capital’s famed skate
in the courtyard of an old redbrick council estate,
find it endlessly amusing that, anytime they asked
spots from a distance, the crew decided to make
an eerily quiet place surrounded by a small block
a Londoner for directions, everything was always
London the first stop on their tour and find out for
of flats. Over the next few hours, the guys session
“just around the corner”. The cleanliness of the wall
themselves what the fuss is really all about.
the banks in front of an audience made up of three
tiles on the Underground and tastiness of the city’s
kids glued to a window, an old lady hanging her
Indian food factor high as memorable points.
same damn thing all over again.
For the next five days, some of Poland’s finest skaters –
including Michal Przybylowicz, Jakub
clothes out to dry and a man enjoying an al fresco
‘Suwak’ Suwinski, Tomek Ziolkowski and Tomek
dinner on his balcony. All you can hear is the
Kotrych - will skate everything the city has to offer.
rumbling grind and cacophonic clack of a killer
They’ll take in the smooth plains of the West, brave
session being enjoyed by complete strangers, deep
And so, just as they roll in, they roll out of town. For the memories, see the film www.towntour.pl
COMING OCTOBER 2009 A DARK, YET ULTIMATELY UPLIFTING, FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY, REVEALING STORIES OF ARTISTRY AND OBSESSION IN THE REALMS OF FREERIDE SNOWBOARDING, BIG WAVE SURFING AND HARDCORE PUNK ROCK.
TO WATCH THE TRAILER AND MORE VISIT RELENTLESSENERGY.COM
HUCK talks destiny and the genetics of stoke with snowboarding A-lister Lisa Filzmoser. Interview Melanie Schönthier + Photography Matt Georges
What did your parents say when you told them you
skidoo. You drive into the backcountry where some
kickers, pristine parks to urban drops – you
wanted to become a pro snowboarder? When I quit
locals are already racing around with their sleds,
name it, Lisa Filzmoser rides it. At twenty-eight,
university my parents asked me questions and wanted
then you go scoping for spots and build something.
the Austrian all-rounder is a fully-fledged
me to continue. That’s how parents are – I would do
It’s a lot of fun but also tiring, especially if something
member of snowboarding’s super league, thanks
the same with my kids. But they soon supported my
goes wrong with your skidoo. In Europe, we hike
to impressive parts in movies like Dropstitch,
decision when they saw that I could finance my own
more. I also love hiking but sometimes I would
Float and White Ever. Now new proof of her
life through snowboarding. They always tell me to
like to have a skidoo so you can jump a kicker ten
mega-talent is about to be unleashed on the
enjoy my freedom as long as I can.
times before getting too tired. But I’m pretty happy
world in HD with Stance, arguably the best
that those skidoos don’t pollute our lovely Alps and
all-girl movie of all time. So we figured it was
What other life lessons did your parents share
about time we caught up with the lady herself,
with you? The fact that, from nothing, comes nothing
and found out what more we can expect from
– you always have to work hard to get to where you
With a decade of experience behind you, do you
Lisa, and what else Lisa can expect from life.
want to be. For example, it took me three years to get
feel you can handle certain situations better than
my first snowboard because my parents wanted me to
some of the younger kids coming up? I think so.
save so I could buy it myself.
When you’re filming you always feel some pressure –
Do you believe in destiny? There is this saying, ‘Take your destiny in your own hands, but let coincidence be
bother Mother Nature.
pressure from yourself, your sponsors, from the filmers
your best friend.’ That matches my life. If you have a
There is this theory that parents can pass
or photographers. But thanks to my experience, I can
goal you should do everything to reach it, but often a
happy hormones onto their kids if they release
say, ‘No, this doesn’t work, I won’t do this’ more easily
coincidence helps, too.
endorphins while doing something they love
than a young rider who still needs to prove herself.
– whether it’s playing chess or tearing down a
Some things I did at the beginning of my career I
Does this also refer to your snowboard career? Of
mountain – before their kids are born. Do you
wouldn’t risk today, like jumping a kicker with an icy
course. A good example is when Helly Hansen was
think your folks passed the ‘stoke gene’ on to
landing – the risk of injury is just too big.
looking for some fresh female face a few years ago
you? That’s an interesting question! My father used
and they asked Lesley McKenna and Josie Clyde from
to be a skier back in the day and even took part in
Do you find the fear factor goes up as you get
Chunkyknit for advice. I was still riding for Burton and
competitions. Later he was a motocrosser and then a
older? No, I would say you only get wiser as you know
filming for Chunkyknit’s Transfer at that time – the girls
rally car driver, so I guess he could have passed me this
what risks you can take. Sometimes you need to feel
dropped my name and I changed my sponsors and Elan
gene for stoke. But I also believe that it depends on
scared, whether you are young or older, because if you
followed shortly after that. It proved to be the right
what your parents are into when you are a kid – my
don’t feel any fear you don’t appreciate the danger of
decision and now I can concentrate mainly on filming.
sister, who is a professional judoka today, and I were
some situations, and that can result in injuries.
put on skis at the age of two or three. Do you think snowboarding in general has
How long do you see yourself riding professionally?
changed your life? You travel the world, getting to
Would you like to have your own family one day?
As long as I have fun, don’t get injured and my sponsors
know new cultures and people – it makes you more
For sure. I already completed my dream of becoming
still support me. Snowboarding is not only for girls up
open, more tolerant, more self-confident. I’m actually
a professional snowboarder but having a family of my
until the age of twenty-five. There is no limit, and a
a pretty shy person, but without snowboarding
own is another one. Apart from that, there are still a
lot of the older riders can still easily keep up with the
I would be even more so.
lot of open doors in my life. At the moment I’m just
young ones. Women just get more self-confident with
happy about the here and now.
age, which is good for their riding.
snowboarding’s super league. As a kid, is this where
Speaking of the here and now, this Autumn
But snowboarding can be an ageist sport. Do you
you thought you’d end up? Never, it just happened!
sees the release of Stance, in which you have a
ever have those days when you just feel… old? I
I did my first contest for pure fun ten years ago and
part next to riders like Gretchen Bleiler, Hana
know I’m at the end of my twenties, but when I see all
kept doing more and more. But first I had to finish
Beaman and Jenny Jones. How did the experience
these young kids I still feel I’m one of them. That’s the
school – that was something my parents really insisted
of filming in the States differ from riding here
nice thing about snowboarding – you don’t just give
on. I even started studying graphic design and art but
in Europe? There, riding the backcountry means
up because you’re getting older. If you asked me how
noticed very quickly that I needed to choose what I
riding with a skidoo. We filmed some weeks in the
I would describe myself today, I would say, ‘Still young,
wanted to focus on. And that was snowboarding.
area around Salt Lake City where everyone has a
with a little more life experience!’
You have established yourself as a part of female
Photography Guy Martin They say life is what you make it, and on the hill that’s more than true. Some start before dawn, with first lifts, fresh tracks and solo lines that verge on Zen. Others choose nocturnal kicks and hedonistic blurs. It can be about escape and leaving city life behind, or simply doing as your father did, and as his father did before. Whether they’re searching for Satori or bro-downs in the park, they’re carving a life out of the mountain and making it their own.
Sabrina, taking in the view she’s known all her life. Jacket and pants Nikita.
Tyron, working the Pistenbully, the same way he does every night. Beanie Bonfire, jacket Zimtstern.
The TG Ski crew, doing what they came here to do, on a three-hour break before dinner duties commence. Left to right. Hugh wears: Striped jacket DC, yellow pants Bonfire, snowboard Salomon Sick Stick. Henry wears: Checked jacket Burton, beanie Bonfire. George wears: One-piece Burton, beanie Vans.
Bobby, scoffing one down before the obligatory piss-up begins. Jacket Carhartt, pants Vans.
Sam, soaking up a solo moment on the hill. Jacket Santa Cruz.
Laura on shopping day, prepping for a fresh herd of chalet guests. Jacket Burton. With thanks to TG Ski, catered chalet holidays in Morzine, France. www.tgski.co.uk
Challenging both local precepts and foreign tanks, Skateistan is giving Afghan kids the chance to roll on four small wheels. American skater and perpetual world traveller Kenny Reed has just returned from Kabul where he visited the project. Interview Niall Neeson + Photography Kenny Reed
In January 2002, an English skate magazine
is barely a skate scene in the world today which
At what point did the loose idea of skating
ran an article called ‘The New Beats’, about
Kenny has not dropped in on. One notable
Afghanistan turn into you strapping boards
the phenomenon of Barcelona’s then status
exception remained: the land of the Afghans.
together and sticking your passport in the old back
as global skate Mecca. The piece argues that
Occasionally, late at night when we had both
pocket again? I was talking with a few of the guys who
skaters alone were the true inheritors of the
been shown too much of the grape, Kenny would
run Skateistan in Kabul and they mentioned a project
beatnik philosophy of Kerouac and Ginsberg:
secretly declare his intention of seeking out
in the works involving a documentary film about living
young bohemians with a taste for travel, danger,
the Afghan skate scene. Then a few months
and skating in Afghanistan. When they asked me if I
enrichment and excitement. The pre-eminent
ago I was approached by a girl with news from
would be interested in coming to visit with a few other
figure among them was and remains Kenny Reed.
a project called Skateistan, a skate school in
pros I was really excited, and they asked for advice on
Known universally by the sobriquet ‘Traveller’,
the capital of Kabul which takes urban youth
who I thought might be interested in coming along.
and with a passport so full his government had
and the children of the internally displaced
They wanted an international group involving pros from
to stitch a fourteen-page insert into the centre,
and teaches them to view life through another
different countries, a girl skater, and also someone from
Reed is the most widely travelled skater of his
prism. In turn, I reached out to Kenny, but Kenny
a country in the Middle East or the Arabian Peninsula.
or any generation. From Belfast to Papua New
was already gone. HUCK tracked him down as he
From there I contacted about ten different people and
Guinea, via Peru or the Russian Caucasus, there
stepped off a return flight for a de-briefing.
tried to find out who would be interested.
How did you get into Kabul? At first, we were a
So what’s the project all about? It’s a group of
would ride up into the hills and look around the
bit worried as we thought we would have had to be
people who are skateboarders in Kabul who saw an
neighbourhoods for skate spots… trying to blend
interviewed. But as luck would have it, we found
opportunity to start a programme teaching kids to
in and wearing the traditional dress. It’s then that
out we could get an invitation from the Afghan
skate and giving them a place to go where it’s safe
you get to feel anonymous and alone, feeling out
Olympic Committee before applying for our visas.
and where they can play with other kids. There is
the areas and street life in Kabul.
Once we had that, it was no problem at all. It took
nothing else like it in Afghanistan, and I think it’s
about twenty-four hours from that point.
a very positive influence on the community. For
Did you perceive any danger in the air at any
example, in Kabul there are many different
point? Not danger per se – but there were a few
Were you advised to have a minder or did you
ethnicities and skateboarding there, like anywhere
semi-tense situations. You know, like in any major
freestyle it? We were taken care of by the kind
else, is meant to be fun and indifferent of age,
city there are people around the centre up to no
people at Skateistan – no security was needed. There
ethnic background or gender.
good. We always made it back to the house and
were initial apprehensions obviously, but after the
behind the compound wall before dark. Saying
first day meeting everyone, we all felt safe enough.
What did you see of life in Kabul beyond
that though, on one evening when we were out
We had a great crew and we were in good spirits.
the skate school? When I had free time I
on the front porch, with the music playing and
passing beers around after a long dusty day as was
Where was the heavy military presence most
Did you come back with a sense of hope about
the ritual… suddenly there was louder music and a
notable: Kabul or Jerusalem? Oh, Kabul for
the place? I did. I can’t wait to go back and skate
barbecue with a few extra guests. Everything was
sure. When we were skating in the streets we had
with the kids and see friends again. Afghanistan is
good until a decent-sized rock flew over the wall
the turrets of American tanks turned and pointed
a really special place, and right now it’s important
and hit someone in the head. After ten minutes or
at us, following us as they passed.
to be involved with projects like this which are
so the blood stopped and we found out it was some
really making a difference.
young kids from the neighbourhood – the kids in
What are your thoughts on the Western
Kabul play rough.
military presence there? I think the people want
Is Afghanistan the final act of wanderlust or
peace and a life without so many guns around.
a prelude to a new chapter in Kenny Reed’s
Did you see any potential in the kids you skated
odyssey? I’m looking forward to what’s next!
with there? Yeah! The kids improved fast: even
Is this a trip to repeat or one to tick off the list
I’m down for the dirt roads as well as the marble
from after the first day we arrived we noticed a
as done and dusted? I'm planning to go back in
difference. After about a week some of the kids
October, as it goes! There are some tricks I didn't
who were barely ollieing were landing kickflips.
get to land last time.
For War Vets suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, returning to the source is about returning back to life. Text Alex Wade Photography Guy Martin
Every surfer knows the feeling. You haven’t been able to get in the water for a few days, or a couple of weeks, or maybe even longer. Work, or family commitments, or illness, or any other of a hundred reasons might be stopping you bagging your wave-riding fix, but whatever the cause the outcome is clear: the longer you go without paddling out and catching a few waves, the more badtempered you get. But eventually, things turn around. You find yourself in the sea. The surf might be big, it might be small, it might be plain old average: it doesn’t matter. You’re stoked to be amongst it, and all the angst drops away. Surfing works its unique magic. You feel pure again. You don’t have to work hard to imagine this. It’s what we who surf all know. But now imagine that most nights you don’t sleep, because your mind is scarred by visions of a daytime sky darkened by plumes of black smoke from burning oil fields. Imagine waking up smelling diesel fuel. Imagine dreaming of a priest blessing a tank, being covered in shrapnel, seeing your comrades suffer brutal injuries. Imagine all this, and you’ll have an idea of what it’s like to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). And then ask yourself this: if you were suffering from PTSD, just how good would surfing be? One man who knows is Rich Emerson, who, while serving with the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars, was deployed in 1991 in the 7th Armoured Brigade with ‘D’ Squadron as part of Operation Granby – better known as Operation Desert Storm. Emerson, born in southeast London in 1965, is proud to have helped in the liberation of Kuwait, but the experience took its toll. Indeed, it’s possible that unless he had discovered surfing, he might never have recovered.
Put simply, Emerson has been through the mill.
self-destructive spiral of drinking, suicidal thoughts and
Brought up largely in Southampton, his father was a
depression. But I didn’t know anything about PTSD.
Royal Marines Colour Sergeant and Physical Fitness
Nor did anyone around me.”
unique sense of renewal that comes from surfing. “I got a lot of help from my partner, Emma, who contacted the British Legion on my behalf,” says Emerson.
Instructor (PTI). He instilled in his son both a lifelong
Emerson had arrived in a bad and dangerous place,
“Through them, I was introduced to the Warrior
commitment to staying in shape and a desire to serve in
one where he would drink, perhaps to annul memories
Programme, a charity designed to help ex-servicemen.
the military. Aged twenty-two, having qualified as a motor
of seeing fellow soldiers severely injured, perhaps to
Then I attended Operation Amped in California.” At this
vehicle mechanic, Emerson, keenly aware of his family’s
obliterate what he describes as “a strange, nagging sense
point, Emerson’s eyes light up, almost as if the burning
Irish connection – his grandmother was from Ireland
of guilt”. He recalls staring at photographs of the conflict,
oil fields have, at last, left his memory. “Operation Amped
– joined the Queens Royal Irish Hussars, historically
or of his children, whom he was now rarely seeing.
was set up to introduce servicemen to surfing for one
a cavalry regiment and, since 1993, amalgamated with
“Things would spiral downwards very quickly,” he says.
simple reason: surfing can change your life.”
the Queen’s Own Hussars to form the Queen’s Royal
Lean and fit, Emerson today is softly spoken with
Emerson is now at the helm of Combat Surfers,
Hussars. The nomenclature might elude most of the
intense blue eyes. Tattoos betray his military past, his
a UK group similarly dedicated to tapping the source
surfing community, one not known for its bellicose
children and his sporting accomplishments. And a
for veterans suffering from PTSD. Its first event, held
streak, but there is no doubting what happened next.
weathered, tanned face hints at how Emerson made the
in September 2009 at Gwithian Beach in Cornwall,
first steps to getting his life back on track.
was an unqualified success. As local surfer and friend of
“I loved serving in the military, experiencing its camaraderie and sense of purpose,” says Emerson, who
“I started surfing when I was thirty,” he recalls.
Emerson’s, Russ Pierre, put it: “One veteran told me he
excelled at various sports, boxing for his regiment,
Emerson was visiting Cornwall to see his first wife and
hadn’t laughed so much in six years since leaving the Army.
becoming the Army Single Sculling Champion and, like
children, who were by then living in West Penwith. He
The smiles, the laughter and the stoke were contagious.”
his father, a PTI. But Operation Desert Storm wreaked
encountered St Ives’ Porthmeor Beach working at a solid
Emerson knows why. “Surfing is about being in the
a peculiarly insidious havoc: “I wasn’t aware of being
4ft. “I was with a mate, and I just looked at the surfers
moment. You can’t think about anything else other than
under pressure at the time, but my life started to unravel
out there and said to him, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”
being in the sea, waiting for waves, riding them. The
after I left the army in 1993.” Emerson was twenty-seven
Emerson acted immediately on his impulse, buying a
salt water draws the negativity out of you. You feel pure
and had been married to Katherine, with whom he had
board and wetsuit and learning to surf in Bournemouth
four children, Victoria, Luke, Nathaniel and Elizabeth.
and West Wittering, where he was then living. But
Every surfer will know that feeling, but few of us
But his increasingly erratic behaviour contributed to
before long, he had moved to Cornwall. Becoming a
have had to grapple with PTSD. Next time you’re feeling
his divorce – not once, but twice. His second marriage,
surfer helped him deal with the difficulties of his second
a bit of angst, maybe because you haven’t had any waves
to Carol, also foundered, but only later did Emerson
marriage breaking up – “I’ve been very lucky, the surfing
for a while or because the line-up seems a little crowded,
community has been brilliant to me,” he says – and now
spare a thought for the surfer next to you. He might just
“I’d have nightmares about Kuwait, about the
gives him a newfound sense of purpose. Now Emerson,
need some stoke a lot more than you
terrible things I saw there,” he says. “I’d have a horrible,
who was only recently diagnosed as suffering from
almost constant state of anxiety and would get into a
PTSD, is helping other combat veterans discover the
revealing its quiet beauty amongst the chaos www.nineplus.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
Riding is a state of mind. No matter how you satisfy the itch, it’s about satiating an addiction and the lure of the slide. On the streets of North London, the rules are the same. Progression is everything – getting better, going bigger, stomping shit for the very first time – and props from your boys can be cashed for gold. Wherever you play, whatever you ride, it’s all about embracing the slide. PHOTOGRAPHY JOSH COLE
Left to right: Yellowman wears: Depew flatcap. Remus wears: Seasonal Basic 59FIFTY (Washington Nationals) cap, Baseball jacket, Rhinestone Visor T-shirt. Andrew wears: Buffalo Dogear cap, DC Big Logo Splat T-shirt. D.molish wears: Trapper cap, Baseball jacket, G Blaster T-shirt. All by New Era.
Yellowman, twenty-one, is from North London. Interests: money and motors. Motto: “You can’t be wrong and strong.” Yellowman wears: Pinstripe 59FIFTY cap, Baseball jacket . All by New Era. 96 HUCK
Uncle B is from “all over the place”. He works in security and is a Fireblade rider. Motto: “Peace, love and unity.” Left to right: D.molish wears: Trapper cap, Baseball jacket, G Blaster T-shirt. Uncle B wears: All Over Buffalo cap, DC Big Logo Splat T-shirt. All by New Era.
Left to right: Remus wears: Seasonal Basic 59FIFTY (Washington Nationals) cap, Baseball jacket, Rhinestone Visor T-shirt. Yellowman wears: Depew flatcap, Chevron hoodie, Ice Cream T-shirt. Uncle B wears: Trapper cap. DC Big Logo Splat T-shirt. All by New Era.
Yellowman wears: Depew flatcap, Chevron hoodie. All by New Era.
Remus, sixteen, is at college studying music tech and is a lyricist from the Taskforce family - son of the infamous Farma G. Motto: “Doin’ it large.” Remus wears: Trapper cap New Era.
D.molish, twenty-five and from Islington, is a rapper/producer in hip hop crew, Taskforce. Motto: “What you put in, you get out.” Left to right: Remus wears: Buffalo beanie. D.molish Denim Dogear cap, Baseball jacket, G Blaster T-shirt. Yellowman wears: Trapper cap, Chevron hoodie. All by New Era.
www.neweracap.com Photographer’s Assistants: Andrew Howe and Neil Blake. Retouch: Gary Meade.
Creator of the craziest hybrid kicks.
Tony Hawk: RIDE
Freeing gamer’s thumbs, one wireless skate deck at a time.
Mourning the passing of notoriety and fame, by King Adz.
Photo: Tim Conibear.
Back Pages The
Could incarna the latest Hawk’s tion of Tony vid franchis eo game skatebo e take deeper arding digital into the realm?
Other skateboarders who’ve hit the mainstream…
Rob Dyrdek It’s not just Tony Hawk who’s got mass appeal. Since his first reality show, Rob & Big, appeared on MTV in 2004, Dyrdek has been firmly in the public eye – making the world’s largest skateboard, building skate plazas for kids across America, endorsing his own deodorant and writing and executive producing the movie Street Dreams. He’s even scored his second MTV reality TV series, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory.
Skateboarding is hard, right?
next six weeks with your ankle
Hosoi and a floppy-haired Tony
And kind of unpredictable. Even
in a cast. The game and its
Hawk of yesteryear, all in crispy HD.
the smallest of stray cracks in
countless sequels shifted millions
the pavement when you’re
worldwide, educating a whole
because it’ll get them standing
The man more commonly
cruising along can result in a
new generation in the brands,
up and moving around,” says Lyn-Z
known as Andy Mac has
trip to A&E. It’s part of the reason
names and general lifestyle of
Adams Hawkins, Hawkins,just just one one of of the the
competed in every single X
skateboarding has tended to
everything skate. The rest is history.
big-name pros to be immortalised
Games so far and claimed
breed a core mentality, repped
Reality TV shows about the Life
in the game with their own avatar.
a record nineteen medals in
hardest by those willing to crunch
of So-And-So, double-pits-to-
“Also, I reckon the feeling of your
the process. He’s appeared
bones and scrape flesh on the
chesty, Street Dreams; you think
feet on an actual board will get
on The Tonight Show With Jay
cold, hard concrete – people who
these would have happened
them wanting to try skateboarding
Leno, met with Bill Clinton
would defend this art of skeletal
without this game?!
and put his name to a “high-
disfigurement to the death. Then along came something
So is the latest instalment
“It’s gonna be good for kids
Okay, so this isn’t actually
in the Birdman’s video game
skateboarding. It won’t register
pogo stick for kids. Check out
that flipped this insular world on
franchise, Tony Hawk: RIDE, about
as anything more than a blip to
Andy Mac at Quiksilver’s Tony
its head, kicking skateboarding
to introduce even more people to
those purists who want to keep
Hawk Skate Show in Paris,
into the mainstream world more
the thrill of skating without hospital
the art of pushing wood exclusive
than Marty McFly or Gleaming
bills? Taking lead from the success
to those dedicated to breaking
the Cube ever could. When
of the Guitar Hero series of
themselves on hubbas and
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (Tony
games, which lets you play on a
handrails. But it may just get a
Hawk’s Skateboarding to us
plastic toy in your living room with
whole new generation picking up
More than just a nineteen-
Euros) dropped in 1999 on
absolutely no shame whatsoever,
a skateboard and putting a smile
year-old kid, Ryan Sheckler
the PlayStation, it spawned a
Tony Hawk: RIDE comes with
on their face, and that can only
is a teenage heartthrob, film
new generation of skaters who
its own peripheral controller.
be a positive thing.
star and veritable brand
could bust out a nollie 360
This wireless skate deck, which
flip down a fifteen-set of stairs
makes it “the most interactive,
right? But according to the one
winning his first X Games at
without even getting off the sofa.
and virtually real skateboarding
Rodney Mullen, a man one and and only only Rodney Mullen,
just thirteen, superstardom
The arcade button-mashing
game”, according to the Birdman
who has lived and breathed a man who has lived and
awaited little Ryan in the
challenges coupled with the
himself, allows you to push, tilt and
skateboarding for the lastfor three breathed skateboarding
form of a truck-load of
sense of creative freedom that
rotate to perform tricks – kind of
decades, “When I stood“When on the last three decades,
product endorsements and
the game offered appealed
like virtual reality but without the
board andboard got that sense Ithe stood on the and got
his own MTV show, Life of
to both gaming geeks and
Tron-like graphics and chunky
of flow, I thought is the first that sense of flow,this I thought this
Ryan. Ryan is set to appear
wannabe pros alike. Too scared
headsets. Instead, there are storm
time could really get really into a get is theI first time I could
in the Disney film Tooth Fairy
to hardflip that dustbin in real
drains to bomb, half pipes to
video into a game.” video game.”
life? Well, hit square and diagonal
session – even the chance to go
right and avoid spending the
back to the eighties ’80s withwith Christian Christian
After all, it’s only a game,
And if it’s good enough for Rodney... Ed Andrews
in and of himself. After
Photo: Tim Conibear.
Do your bit, & get involved…
Grassr foundatio oots nb football a rings surfing to nd S Africa’s ki outh ds.
Movember Another group of surfers who got up to do good are the Aussie mates behind Movember, a month-long moustache-growing charity event that’s seen everyone from Mick Fanning to the impossibly hairless Slater rocking the mo in aid of men’s health. With a whopping £30 milliion raised over the past six years, Movember’s been doing its bit for prostrate cancer research. Register as a
Contrary to popular belief, belief itit gets gets
emerging in South Africa today.
school but left early, started
mo bro before November and
cold in South Africa, really cold.
A generation of children raised
smoking dagga, frequenting
let the tash fest begin.
exclusively in the townships
the shabines and soon fell in
mountain casting Muizenberg
with little or no knowledge of
with a local gang from which
into deep shadow, the
their ancestry. All they know are
he still carries a couple of faded
The Mototaxi Junket
temperature drops dramatically
the wire-fenced confines of the
self-styled tattoos. He stole
This quest, starting October
and the kids, shivering in their
sprawling urban townships that
and, in his own words, brought
24, involves driving a three-
threadbare wetsuits, decide
keep them. The rolling green hills
shame on his family; an all too
wheeled mototaxi (like a
it’s time to draw a close to our
of their homelands seem as far
common story of wasted youth
sofa on a moped) from Peru
first-ever session. Thanks to the
removed to them as the blinding
in the modern townships of
to Paraguay to raise money
generosity of Tich Paul, owner of
city lights do to their elders. But
South Africa. Then Thomas found
for charity. It’s the latest
Cape Town’s Lifestyle Lifestyle surf surfshop, shop,
while their grandparents still hold
football. He began to coach
hallucination from traveller-
we grab a warm shower and
memories of their rural roots,
local children and, in so doing,
cum-madman Tom Morgan,
a hot chocolate before piling
these kids have no sense of
became a role model – the
who started the company
into the bakkie and heading
cultural identity, no feeling that
perfect reason to not go back
after trying to drive from
home over the mountains
they belong, and with little in the
to his old ways.
Prague to Mongolia in a Fiat
to Masiphumalele, the small
way of opportunity crime often
township that clings to the
creeps in as an easy path to a
known as ‘Coach’, and together
for two rallies, a derby and the
weather-beaten fringes of the
we run the Ticket to Ride
Rickshaw Run, raising almost
As the sun slips behind the
These days, Thomas is
126. Now they’re responsible
Cape Atlantic coast. Pulling in
So it was for Thomas.
Foundation, a small community
£1 million a year.
through the main entrance, with
I met Thomas through my
sports crèche aimed at keeping
work as a tour guide with UK
the young children of Thomas’
cloudless horizon, the streets are
company, Ticket to Ride. Born in
street away from the temptations
Summit For life
a hive of activity as the working
the homelands of the Transkei,
that lead him astray. Our aim
Hundreds of people will
day finishes and the township
he came to Cape Town when
is to provide a little variety to a
have a new respect for ski
gears up for dark. Under the soft
he was still very young, making
life that seldom extends beyond
lifts when they reject them
luminescence of flickering street
the long move west with his
the weathered surrounds of
on December 12 and climb
lights, kids play football, women
brother, nieces and nephews
the local neighbourhood,
3,267 feet to the summit
trundle by with baskets on their
as his mother looked for work
through football, surfing and
of Aspen Mountain. The
heads, men huddle round fires
to support her young family.
soon swimming and arts and
event is organised by alpine
and smoke wafts in the still
Thomas’ father had long since
crafts projects. Our aim is
snowboarder Chris Klug who
evening air as the traffic does
disappeared by the time he
simple: to provide the children
founded an organ donation
its best to weave through the
came to Masiphumalele where
with a sense of belonging and
foundation after a life-saving
crowds unmolested. For the kids,
his family built the small wooden
somewhere they know they can
liver transplant allowed him
today marks their first experience
shack they still inhabit today.
come to enjoy themselves; themselves. A a
to score a medal-finish at the
of the surf and, judging by the
Being brought up by his mother
place to kick a ball around, or
2002 Olympics. Oh, and it
songs emanating from the cab
in a tight-nit Xhosa community,
surf a little, every now and then.
takes place at night, so watch
of the pick-up, it seems to have
and with no father figure,
out for those crevasses!
gone down well.
Thomas was raised in dishonour
and was cast out. He attended
Cape Town silhouetted across a
There’s a new generation
If you dig NASH MONEY check out...
Sneakerhead Nash Money puts a green spin on the custom shoe game.
Beck(y) The brainchild of New York designer Beck Hickey, Beck(y) is a collection of one-of-a-kind bags and accessories made from a combination of old, beaten-up skateboards and plush, high-end fabrics. From earrings to belts, each item is lovingly crafted by hand out of pre-loved old decks that look ready for the grave. They’re
“I’m not that crazy creative
has put his unique stamp on
of collecting, but it just got
skate bags, but not as you
when it comes to painting and
an array of classics, including
ridiculous,” he admits. “You see
drawing, I’m better at handy-
Dunks, Air Force Ones and, most
something new and you just
work and carpentry. I couldn’t
notably, a pair of boutique elk-
want it – it becomes like a fetish.
compete on that artistic level so
skin shoes from Japanese brand
For me, it all came from the
I came up with a way of doing
Visvim which he coupled with a
school playground and kids
Elephant Dung Paper
something different,” says Alex
Nike Air Max sole. “I don’t even
asking if you’ve got the latest
Fresh out of an elephant
Nash, aka Nash Money. Money.
really consider them customs,
Air Jordan, Adidas or whatever.
sanctuary in Lampang,
I consider them hybrids – an
It wasn’t about collecting back
Thailand, EDP does exactly
a name for himself in the
evolution of the sneaker that
then, it was about how you were
what it says on the tin:
sneakerhead world for some
they once were.”
seen by your mates. But when
processes elephant dung into
you grow up, you can suddenly
paper, greetings cards and
Nash has been making
time now, thanks to his fresh
In 2008, after a show Nash
take on shoe customisation. You
arranged in association with
afford to buy them. I do still get
boxes. With each pachyderm
see, instead of playing around
Trust Nobody in Barcelona, he
frustrated when I see a nice
dumping the equivalent of
with simple stuff like patterns
was invited by DC co-founder
shoe in a shop, though.”
more than a hundred sheets
and colourways, Nash gets
Damon Way to work on the
collectors drooling by taking the
Double Label Project released
materialism of sneaker
from sales going back into
whole damn thing apart, before
this Autumn. autumn. The result was
collecting, Nash’s work is
caring for the elephants, the
putting it back together with
the Cad Well – a regal, English
something even environmentally
sanctuary’s inhabitants are
recycled fabrics, soles and his
hunting-themed version of the
conscious consumers would
shitting for the good of their
trademark moccasin stitch.
DC Monterey, complete with
approve of. Today, he carries
rich brown leather, gold hiking
with him a small suitcase full of
sneaker-shoe hybrid that you
boot lace loops, moccasin
blown-out skate and basketball
could wear to a club that
stitch and a brown crepe sole
shoes donated by friends, all
Green Guru Gear
didn’t allow sneakers,” says the
“to add that shoe feel”.
ready to be taken home and
This young company, based
stripped for reusable parts. “I
in Boulder, Colorado, reclaims
“I wanted to make a
northwest London native. After
The Cad Well already has
In contrast to the rampant
of paper a day, and proceeds
drunkenly ruining a beloved
dedicated sneaker websites
compose with what I have to
materials from landfills and puts
pair of moccasins, Nash
buzzing and will be sure to see
hand, as I don’t have the money
them to good use. Thanks to
decided to resurrect his only
a horde of fanatics lining up to
to get things manufactured
the outdoor enthusiasts
pair of smart shoes instead of
add them to their collections.
especially,” says Nash, who once
behind Green Guru, old tyre
just throwing them in the bin.
And though many a stereotype
used the rubber label from a
inner tubes are turned into
“I started cutting up all kinds
has been formed over women’s
basketball vest to make a pair
messenger bags, used
of sneakers and stitching them
obsessive love of shoes, the
of tongues. “I take what I need
wetsuits become laptop cases,
back together, trying to perfect
sneaker collecting subculture,
from the sneakers then send
vinyl banners are stitched
the moccasin cross-stitch,” says
represented by niche magazines
the rest for recycling – I think
into snowboard bags and
the self-taught designer.
like Sneaker Freaker, Freaker, remains
they get ground down to make
somewhat male-dominated. It’s
basketball courts.” Ed Andrews
ropes are reborn as dog collars.
experimented with a heavy-
a compulsion Nash is familiar
duty needle and thread, Nash
with. “I went through a stage
Five years after he first
Nash Money. Photo: Paul Willoughby.
Kurt Vile Childish Prodigy Matador As a solo artist, Kurt Vile, who day-jobs as the guitarist in indie rockers The War On Drugs, is a singer-songwriter who sounds as if he was breast-fed The Velvet Underground and Richard Hell. He’s rough, electric, fervent, from Philly but drawls like a New Yorker, and only if you ripped off all the gorgeous sonic slop that he muddies his songs with would you hear something approaching Bon Iver. It’s a deserved signing to the excellent Matador Records after a lower-key debut in 2008 – least not because you’ll hear him say “sheeeeeeit” like he’s Clay Davis in The Wire. Great record, and Kurt Vile is actually his real name. Nice. Phil Hebblethwaite listen
Chicken Switch Ipecac On paper, a Melvins remix album is a really annoying and unnecessary idea, but these sludge rockers inspire and, more importantly, they’ve got a load of nasty friends. The deal is that each knob twiddler (Merzbow, Kawabata from Acid Mothers, Lee Ranaldo, Boredoms’ Eye, Speedranch, etc.) was given a full Melvins LP to work with, rather than a single track, resulting in compositions that are wildly all over the place, in a good way, and often most mental and foul. PH
Hey Friend What You Doing? De Stijl Some dude from Vice magazine says on the bumph that comes with with Pens’ Pens’ debut debut that that they’re they’re the the best best new new British British band band around. around. Take Take a bow,abuddy, bow, buddy, because because although although youth youth countscounts for something, for something, it never it never excuses excuses making making Hoxton gashbunkum Hoxton music of an order as high as this. For thirty seconds, Pens are okay live, but their record is so intensely grating it has you praying that somehow, somewhere you’ll get back the half hour of your life you lost listening to it. Avoid, like dog shit. PH
In And Out Of Control Fierce Panda Weird record. Of course every Raveonettes album sounds the same, despite what they say, but that’s not the problem (they always sound great). What’s bizarre is that many songs on this fourth LP wrap seriously dark themes in pure sugar pop, just like ‘He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)’ by The Crystals did. But where that 1962 hit is unsettling and clever, a track like ‘Boys Who Rape (Should Be Destroyed)’ on here is totally misguided and completely stupid. PH
United United Colours Colours of Beggattron Dented Now on their third album, the Beggars have strayed from straight-laced hip hop onto the path of experimentation by mixing in electronic bleeps, grime and something that sounds suspiciously like disco. Despite the eclecticism, the album still holds down a cohesive sound and the comedy skits suggest they aren’t taking themselves too seriously either. Some tracks may struggle against their formidable back catalogue, but overall it’s a brave and accomplished effort. Ed Andrews
Mesrine: killerleInstinct Donk Mesrine: Public Enemy Number One Director: Shane Meadows Tired of bullshit British filmmaking, Director: ace director Jean-François Shane Meadows Richet issued five-day challenge: make feature film from in France’s mostacharismatic actor takes on a the country’s mostscratch notorious under a week. And just to four-hour prove howbiopic. easy itVincent is, he’s knocked out criminal in this two-part, Cassel plays Le Donk. Largely improvised andbank shot robber guerrillaand style, it stars Paddy Jacques Mesrine – lover, murderer, freedom fighter Considine a faded ex-roadie across trying to get his new rap protégé a – who leftas a trail of destruction France and Canada before slot at an Arctic Monkeys gig. Itof sounds and it kinda is, but being executed on the streets Paris inthrowaway, 1979. It’s the role of a lifetime it’sfor also warm, funny and Thedepthless gauntlet energy. has been and Cassel, who duly ripshumane. into it with Notwell quite a trulyentertainment. thrown down. Matt Bochenski modern gangster classic, but still epic
The Imaginarium Hurt locker of Doctor Parnassus
Director: Terry Kathryn Gilliam Bigelow action, Terry Gilliam hand-held continues photography his slide intoand cultural authentically irrelevance parched despite the visuals. But presence ofhere’s Heath the Ledger thing: in his there finalis role. no Iraq The titular War, just Docan is an illegal ancient occupation, monk reduced and to running The Hurta Locker sideshow is the circus modern act in equivalent which punters of see rooting their imaginations for the Nazis brought against to life. theBut French the devil Resistance. is after his MB daughter and he’s picked up a suicidal salesman. Yes, it looks amazing, but at this point Gilliam has clearly given up on being a real director, leaving his actors floundering and the film adrift. MB
The Fantastic Mr Fox
Director: Wes Anderson Once adored by hipsters everywhere, Wes Anderson has spent the last few years disappearing up his own perfectly tailored backside. But check it out: this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s kids book is megatron. All the stuff that made him rubbish before – the fussy design, the archness, the irony – here fits the material perfectly, which has itself been retooled into a stop-motion fantasia. MB
Director: Louie Psihoyos Japan is a schizophrenic place. On the one hand, they live in a neon future of flashing fantasy; on the other, they still condone some seriously medieval behaviour. Like dolphin slaughtering, as exposed by this brutal documentary. Every year, the genocidal inhabitants of a Japanese fishing village set about the local dolphin population, offing thousands of Flippers – some to sell on as fake whale meat, others apparently just for fun. This ballsy doc has no time for liberal crap like ‘cultural tolerance’. It’s too busy telling it like it is: this is screwed up and needs to stop. MB
we welive liveInInPublic Public Director: Director:Ondi OndiTimoner Timoner Ondi Timoner is the maverick filmmaker whose Dig!Dig! made mincemeat out Ondi Timoner is the maverick filmmaker whose made mincemeat of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Live In Public is anstartling equally of theout Brian Jonestown Massacre. We Live InWe Public is an equally startling document of human madness, thiscentred time centred onfigure the fiof gure of document of human madness, this time on the Josh Josh Harris. thenineties late ’90sJosh Joshwas wasan anInternet Internet oracle oracle who who called Harris. BackBack in theinlate everythingright right––he hewas wasmaking makingonline onlineTV TVbefore before you’d you’d even even heard of everything dial-up. Thenhe hegot gotobsessed obsessedwith withthe theWarholian Warholian idea idea of of fame, fame, dressed dial-up. Then upas asaapsychotic psychoticclown clowncalled calledLovey, Lovey,and andpissed pissed itit all all away. away.This is an up urgentdoc docthat thathas hasmuch muchto tosay sayabout aboutwhere where we’re we’re all all headed. headed. MB urgent
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SKI &SNOWBOARD SHOW 21-25 OCT, OLYMPIA
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Ghostbusters: The Video Game Xbox 360, PS3, Wii It’s been over twenty years since that ghost in a library scared the living shit out of kids the world over, and now the time has come to relive the experience all over again. Far from being just another crappy film franchise cash-in, Ghostbusters is that coveted third film that fans wanted, but in video game form. It’s written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis themselves, so what more could you want? The game plays as a third-person shooter, with the trusty proton pack being the core weapon in your arsenal, and plenty of upgrades and functions to be found as you battle all the ghouls the Five Boroughs can muster. With heaps of cinematic cut scenes and wisecracks aplenty, it’s more than worthy of the series. But there’s still The Grey Lady in the library the library to face! to face! Fuck. Ed Andrews
New Super Mario Bros. Wii Wolfenstein Wii 360, PS3, PC Xbox Nazis are What the back! hell is Not wrong physically with Princess but commercially. Daisy? And Bowser It seemsatpeople that? can’tdoes Why get enough she keep of getting history’skidnapped ultimate bad and guys, whyand does thehe gaming keep world on snatching is no exception. her? These Before are you questions can say that fetishising-a-darkshould really be period-of-human-history, answered, but let’s not get thebogged original down first-person in details. shooter Thishas New been resurrectedisonce instalment basically again, the giving old 2D youplatform anotherMario shot at but stopping with new Hitler dabbling with multiplayer elements the Occult. andThe the very occasional un-cerebral shake gameplay of the Wiimote involves shooting for special everything power-upwith moves. an extremely And somehow right-wing this dose ideology, of digital from mad scientists smack is still just to as supernatural potent. You’ll assassins. play, you’ll Withget a few hooked extra and inventive touches you’ll curllike upslowing in a corner downcrying time, Wolfenstein with frustration at least when attempts it gets too something damn hard. ‘new’ Ed A– old beat-up formula aside. Ed A
DJ Hero Xbox 360, PS3, Wii Rock fans may have been kept happy for the past few years with Guitar Hero but now fans of the decks can get in on the action. With its brand-new turntable peripheral, DJ Hero gets you cutting and scratching vinyl along to some absolutely dope mash-ups mixed exclusively for the game by the likes of DJ Shadow, Grandmaster Flash and Scratch Perverts. Fun, infectious and bringing a party straight into your living room, it’ll make you think you’ve got serious skills, even if you’re more Alan Partridge than Q-Bert. But so what? It’s totally awesome. Boom! Ed A
Halo 3: ODST Xbox 360 Who can resist a return to the universe of Spartans, Covenant and The Flood? This add-on to Halo 3 throws you right back in the action. You don’t play as Master Chief, but it doesn’t really matter when you’ve got some new weapons, new gadgets (including some very cool-looking night vision) and a new multiplayer game called Firefight that pits you and your friends against endless waves of Covenant. It may be a wee bit short but it’s Halo, and that’s all that matters. Ed A
A sad lamentation of the demise of notoriety
It’s a mad feeling, putting your hero’s number into your cell phone. I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing this recently and the whole process has its own kind of ritual: I have this 'People I Need To Meet' list that I’m working my way through and so I choose one (for whatever book, film, story I’m working on) and then start the process of tracking them down, which can take up to six months and always involves a fair bit of leg-work via agent, manager, record label, PR, people I know who know them, and even Faceblock or Twaddle. Once some kind of contact has been made I reach out to them with an explanatory e-mail (with links to my previous work) and they in turn check me out: what I’ve done, who I’m associated with, any glimmer of confirmation that I’m not completely Radio Rental. This builds up with a few e-mails bouncing back and forth, and then finally we agree to meet. It’s only then that they send me a mobile number in case I need to get hold of them on the day or whatever. And then bang! Taking their number as validation that something is indeed gonna happen, that’s when I get excited. I buy a ticket to wherever and let them know that I’ve laid out and that our date is written in blood. But there’s just one thing that keeps nagging in the back of my mind... What the hell has happened to our heroes? It may be a cliché, but they don’t make ’em like they used to. As a guy who has spent a lifetime sniffing after artists with something revolutionary to offer, my list of heroes is ever diminishing. It’s heartbreaking to say this but there are no newcomers, no real renegades – just a bunch of media-savvy careerists playing some pseudo-rebellious game to establish themselves, before kissing corporate arse as soon as they cash the cheque from their paymasters. Okay, so there are still some artists who don’t go the obvious route. But the moment the Big B decided it was okay to accept the commercial dollar, a little piece inside of me withered and died. I want my heroes to be swashbuckling adventurers riding in and out of our lives on the edge of oblivion, not giving a shit about anything except themselves and whatever adventure they’re on. I want my heroes to be people who don’t even know about silly things like shifting units or social networking, as they’re too busy creating works of genius, dodging bullets, and avoiding their enemies and exes to care.
The traditional media used to be completely controlled and it was only through these channels that you could get some notoriety; some heat. Nowadays, thanks to the access-all-areas wonders of the Internet, everyone and anyone can be ‘a little bit’ famous and – as wonderful as that may be for you, me, the little dude in the corner over there – I can’t help but feel that it’s taken the spotlight away from the real heroes of our time. It’s like there’s only so much vegemite to go around, and it’s been spread too thin. Entire days of our lives are spent glued to a screen watching, reading, sucking in data, but never really participating. I’m into places and things that aren’t on the Internet. Stuff you really have to schlep around to discover. Things you need to taste, hear, see and feel to appreciate. People who don’t need websites to be classed as heroes. King Adz
Hunter S. Thompson (RIP), Michel van Rijn, David Mancuso, Tony Kaye, Irvine Welsh, Federico Fellini (RIP), Charles Bukowski (RIP), Eric Hansen, DJ Cam, Shawn Stussy, Tama Janowitz, Nick Broomfield, David Sylvian, Oliver Reed (RIP), Bret Easton Ellis, Andy Warhol, R. K. Narayan (RIP), Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes (RIP), DJ Alfredo, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Keith Haring (RIP), Colin Hay, Hergé and his boy TinTin, Rian Malan, Werner Herzog, E.L. Doctorow, Maria Callas (RIP), The KLF, Adam Horowitz, Jay Adams, Hopeton ‘Scientist’ Brown, Martin Amis, The Police (the band not the rozzers), Lars von Trier, Blek le Rat.
NASH CAD WELL
Published on Dec 4, 2009
HUCK is an intelligent, beautiful and sophisticated action sports lifestyle magazine, produced by the most creative minds in the surf, skate...