NORTH SKATEBOARD MAGAZINE
NICKY HOWELLS SHOT BY LEO SHARP
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SILAS BAXTER-NEAL WALLRIDE KICKFLIP OUT
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BRAM DE CLEEN - BACKSIDE 180 INTO THE BANK • PHOTO: MAXIME VERRET
When I got the news that the New Balance team were coming to Scotland I was so hyped. I thought I’d maybe be able to shoot a few photos here and there but never thought much of it. If I had, I probably would’ve panicked, I mean look at that team! Seb Palmer, the man behind the NB team and organiser of the trip told me to get involved and get whatever I could out of the opportunity, so that’s what I did. I dusted off the old Canon 35mm, stocked up on a bunch of 35mm b&w film and went for it. The whole team killed it and I managed to shoot photos with everyone except Levi Brown. He was injured the whole time he was in Scotland so unfortunately I only shot the above portrait. It would’ve been great, he’s been on my wish list of skaters to shoot for years. Maybe next time. I don’t know why I had neglected to use my 35mm for so long, The results are great. But that’s just my opinion, you can make up your own mind!
Graham Tait Editor/Photographer
Cover: Scott Anderson - Bs Nosegrind - Photographer: Graham Tait
Contents New Balance Numeric Featuring: Arto Saari Jack Curtin Jordan Taylor Jordan Trahan Marquise Henry Tom Karangelov Tom Knox Tyler Surrey & Scott Anderson
Mikemo Capaldi fakie frontside flip
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In Scotland Photos by Graham Tait Interviews by Stephen Cox
Hi Jordan, how have things been since the trip? Good. I thought it was weird to hear that it was your first time leaving the States when you came to the UK. Yeah, first time overseas. I hadn’t been on any sort of trip like that. I was waiting for skateboarding to do it for me [laughs]. Save some money you know?
I hear it was a toss up between Liverpool and Edinburgh that you enjoyed the most.
What age are you? Twenty-five. Crazy. I’m sure you can now see how growing up in California is a lot different to growing up somewhere like Glasgow or Edinburgh. For sure. I was born in Encinitas, which is in San Diego, Southern California. Every day is sunny so it’s perfect for skating. The architecture was the biggest thing that stood out to me. It was a massive difference. Did you get to take it all in? I really did. Every day we were up doing things so I was experiencing something new and soaking it all up. The accents were so different between cities too. Even from Manchester to Liverpool, which was such a small distance. There was a lot of lingo that I didn’t know. It was hard to understand sometimes when someone was asking me a question or whatever.
Liverpool was rad. It seemed so raw. It was completely different on one side of the city compared to the other. Edinburgh was just beautiful, with the big old castle right up the street from where we were staying. Besides how it looked it seemed like the people were so genuinely nice and friendly too. How did you feel about meeting up with the locals and experiencing different skating scenes? We were skating with the Lost Art dudes and [Dave] Mackey. One night we all went for something to eat but skated with all the kids on the way instead of driving. It actually felt like I was in the mix for a second, living there or something. It was cool. What differences did you notice between the local crews here and where you are? Maybe more vibing here, especially in LA. It can get weird sometimes. There are more skaters here in LA, so you see it more often. Maybe everyone is in their own world a little more or something. No one talks as much. In the UK it seems like you see a skateboarder and you just talk to them. But then maybe it was because I’m from America and they wanted to find out some stuff.
How did the Toy Machine hook up happen? I made a few sponsor tapes along the way, which helped. That was a big step for me. Is having an acoustic guitar compulsory for getting on? [Laughs], I don’t think so. I got onto a couple of trips though and from there they were making the Brainwash video, I was just filming to film but it all ended up going towards a part. Do you have any input with how things go down or has Ed [Templeton] got it all figured out? Oh no, we do for sure. Kevin Barnett is pretty open to ideas too. Everyone can talk freely. It’s rad.
Good to know. In what ways do you think about how you improve your skating or go up a level for the next part? I don’t know if I necessarily want to go up a step. I’m trying to progress for sure but it’s more that I’m trying to do something I haven’t done before. I want to skate cool spots that you might have to think about a little more; you might not see the trick you want until ten minutes after first finding the spot. It’s way harder for younger skaters to get themselves out there now too. Everyone is just so good now that it doesn’t matter; you have to have something else. I know you grew to like a lot of the spots here because of their ruggedness after a while. How important is it for you to find new and different spots?
Has he ever photographed your dick?
It’s super important for me to feel that I’m doing something worth doing. It gets me hyped.
[Laughs] no. Not yet.
Are there skaters that inspire you in that way?
Have you ever been offered a money incentive by Ed to land a trick?
Shit. I guess Van Wastell. He would just do what he wanted, he didn’t care. But I feel like I’m not even that good so I have to go and find spots that I can do tricks on. It comes down to the fact that if you find a spot and you know no one has skated it then it’s all yours, you know?
I think maybe on my first trip he gave me twenty bucks to land a trick in a certain amount of tries. He’s never given me lists or anything [laughs].
Definitely. What about that “Jordan’s Night” video? What have you been filming for lately? [Laughs]. What about it? I’m in the process of putting out a solo web part for Toy Machine. It’ll hopefully be out within the next six months. After that there’ll be a full length Toy Machine video so I’ll be filming for that too.
Fs 180 into the cobbles
[Laughs]. You tell me.
How did New Balance start up for you?
I don’t know. It was a rainy day when I still lived in San Diego and we were just bored. We didn’t write anything down or didn’t practice. That was the result [laughs].
Tom [Karengelov] and Russell Houghten are good friends and they put in a word for me. It went from there and I just started skating with the dudes and it worked out. Everyone is rad and it’s not like a big team either: so it’s close-knit and everyone has a say. New Balance is a big company but the skating side doesn’t have a corporate vibe or anything, which is cool. It’s similar to Toy Machine in that way. There aren’t rules or anything, you just skate.
I was waiting for some skating to appear on the screen. Yeah [laughs]. There are a couple more new videos. I’ll get them over to you. You said that you can imagine the rain making things dark. The optimists here will say it makes you appreciate skating more, or it adds to the challenge. The one that springs to mind when it comes to your side of the water is getting kicked out but is it really as commonplace as it’s made out to be?
That 180 into the cobbled bank looked a bit dodgy. I Don’t think that spot has been skated before.
Yeah, kinda dude. You go to a school at the weekend thinking it’s safe but someone is there and kicks you out straight away.
That randomly worked out pretty quick. I thought for sure I was going to land between the cobbles and eat shit but I didn’t [laughs]. I think I got lucky. It’s a basic trick but something as simple as the ground means there is so much more to think about when you’re trying to land. I like that. It’s not as black and white, I guess.
Does it ever put you off hitting the streets?
Heard you wanted to go to Brighton but couldn’t.
Not me personally. Maybe a couple of times during the week though, yeah. If it happens so many times in a row. It makes you wanna skate something random too where you won’t get kicked out.
Yeah, heard it was cool. But then someone told me it was also the gay capital [laughs]. I’m still down though, for sure. And also that you thought people were more blunt or straight to the point in the UK but found it refreshing? Yeah. So I’ll put you on the spot and finish with asking why your girlfriend was on the trip? [Laughs]. She came at the end of the trip with Russell’s wife, they’re good friends. The last couple of the days I was reminded that it’s a big no-no in skateboarding. Everyone was giving me a little shit but it was all good [laughs].
Were you sick for part of the trip too? Yeah I was sick for about three days. I don’t know what I had. I think it was the flu maybe. It could have been from the previous trip in Portugal. How did you find meeting the local crews in each city? I think the skaters are all the same as where we’re from. Things are a little smaller but that’s the only difference to me. We stopped by a lot of skate shops like Note in Manchester and Lost Art in Liverpool, which was cool. We went to a Liverpool game too actually. I’m a Liverpool fan. I take it you were rooting for them?
Hi Marquise, how are things? Just out of bed? Pretty good. Yeah, I’m just getting my morning started. Good times on the New Balance trip? It was amazing. Really fun. It was a little on the cold side but it was all good. You were one of many that had never been to England or Scotland before. Was it a culture shock for you? Definitely. The architecture and the people were so different to what I’m used to. The spots were a lot rougher than anywhere else I’ve been. But they’re a lot closer which is good. Out here in California you definitely need a car to get to every spot and go from city to city. I feel like everything was closer for sure. The food is a lot different too. I had to get that full English every other morning [laughs]. I wanted to go to London too, that would have been cool. I heard it has more spots and a bigger skate scene but I can always do that next time.
Yeah but they lost that game. It was still cool being there in the stands and hearing the crowds sing. I had a beer and a hot dog too but I had to rush back to the stands before the second half started. You were buzzing off that camera store in Manchester. What happened there? Yeah. Me and Tom [Karangelov] were on the way to breakfast one morning and we stopped in this camera store and they had a one-pound bin. It was just full of old cameras and cases. We just started looking through it, bought a few and got some old film for free. We were late for breakfast and then next thing you know everyone went after to get a camera. Everybody was taking photos of the whole trip. Stepping on Arto’s toes. Definitely.
You had no luck trying to get that couple to move out of the way for the frontside noseslide did you? When we first got there the spot was clear open. The main worry was people walking on the sidewalk, normal city stuff. As we were skating some dude and his girl came and sat right on the skate spot. We asked them nicely to move and everything but they wouldn’t so I just kept skating. Eventually they got over it and left. I got the trick anyway. You were laying down consistent lines on the trip. How do you think about how you’re changing up your skating or progressing when you’re filming? I don’t really think about it too much because then it becomes too much of a build up in your head and you can’t get the line or land a trick. I just go with the flow on it and see what happens. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. If I over think it’s too much on me. These things have to happen naturally.
How did you get on New Balance? It actually started with John Rattray. I gave him a call and explained my situation over at DC and he was all for it. He asked the guys if they were down for me to go on a trip to Vancouver and ever since then everything has been good. I’m hyped on the situation. It’s a lot different and a way cooler look than DC. Some of the other guys mentioned seeing the shoes getting made in the factory. It’s crazy how you see the shoes and you think they’re dope but then you see the whole process from scratch all the way down to the thread and certain fabrics depending on the season. We saw it all step by step with every piece. It’s so precise. How long have you been pro for DGK now? Hooked up through iPod footage originally right? About six months. I was working at Active here in California every week and would skate at night and the weekends. I was filming with my friend who also filmed for the Ice Cream team back then with Terry Kennedy and all those guys. They had a trip to Chicago and they met up with Josh [Kalis]. I guess he was showing them around the city and my buddy showed him my footy on his iPod. He was hyped and called me and the rest was history. At the time I was getting éS shoe flow and Baker boards.
A couple of years on since Parental Advisory now. Who influences your trick selection when it comes to filming stuff like that inward heelflip blunt? I’d have to say Guy Mariano, Eric Koston and watching old videos too. There’s the personal creative aspect too where you’re trying to do something different. It’s more of a challenge then too. It helps me progress to do something that I’ve never done or no one has ever done. What have you been filming for recently? I’ll have some stuff in the Gold video but not a full part. I’m in the process of filming a part with my buddy Anthony Claravall. We’re travelling to different countries that I’ve never been to. We’re telling the story of what I’m doing now and after I turned pro, of seeing the world and some cool skating. Let’s finish up with finding out how big that beard is going to get. Are you trying to give Nick Boserio a run for his money? Shoot [laughs]. Hopefully it keeps growing and growing. I trimmed it twice. I need to stop doing that. I’m going to keep growing it out and hopefully it gets down to my chest or something.
How’s it going Tom? Good, man. Just in London trying to skate. It’s pretty damn cold but it’s dry. Hopefully it picks up soon because I can’t deal with this too much longer. It’s too much, man. Good times on the New Balance trip? It was really good, man. I thought it was a weird option to not go to London. Sebastian [Palmer] mentioned to me that there’s almost too much to do in London, it’s costly and with the weather and stuff, we ended up going north and it worked out perfectly. Do you make it up to Scotland much? I’m Scottish actually. My mum is from just outside Edinburgh. I used to go up every year and skate Bristo Square. I’ve stopped going recently but the trip has left me wanting to go back again more. There’s an insane amount of spots, way more than I thought. You were the only guy on the team not to be in a foreign place. How was it seeing things from that perspective? I guess it was nice for the guys to see all the different towns and cities; they got to see that sort of difference between Liverpool and Manchester when it came to the accents after an hour’s drive. But I didn’t have to be a tour guide because I actually don’t know where things are up north; I haven’t been to the places enough. For me it was more about telling them weird facts about things and they would ask me questions about certain foods. I guess they took me as somebody from Britain and saw it as one place. I had to explain to them that I’m from London and that the north was different from the south. It was funny. I enjoyed answering their questions.
It must have been interesting to show them what Lost Art was about and that side of things too. Definitely. Because everything is so close and everyone knows everyone. It’s funny because I would go to all these different cities and every single time I’d see someone I know. I think it would be so different in America, you can’t know someone everywhere. Here, it happens frequently. [Dave] Mackey came skating with us and they were tripping on him. They were so hyped because they could tell he has been there and done it and he’s still in skateboarding for good reasons. They were rocking Lost Art shirts and everything, it was sick. I heard you had everyone playing “penny up”. We always played “closest to the wall takes it all”. Same as that? Almost. I used to play it in London when I was a kid. You throw the coin as close to the wall as you can and whoever gets it closest gets to pick up all the coins. They throw the coins in the air and call heads or tails. Whichever you get right, you keep. Then it goes to the next person and the next until all the coins are done. I think that’s where the name of the edit came from: Quids In. We’d always say, “quids in”. They got really into playing it late at night. I came up pretty hard to be honest
Have you ever considered a move to the States? That’s a tough one. I’ve thought about it in the past but I can’t see myself doing it anytime soon because London has such a scene in itself. Kind of the way I skate and what I do is molded for London, or Britain at least. I feel like I can do video parts better if I’m here. I can go over there for a month or two at a time and get some filming done anyway. For the moment that’s a no. Especially with somewhere like LA, when some people move there it seems nightmarish. You have to drive, but I don’t even have my license. You just get public transport here, so I haven’t even bothered. I’d be pretty useless out there. I could live in New York or somewhere like that I think. If I was going to move somewhere I think I would move somewhere in Europe though. Now with the Internet I think it’s fine to just go out there a bit. It’s easier now. Do you think about when you might go pro for Isle? I don’t tend to think about that but quite a lot of people have asked me that recently. I’ve never mentioned it to any of the guys like Nick [Jensen] or [Paul] Shier. I think it’s one of those things that if I talk to them about it and we discuss it then it would put me in a position where I almost wouldn’t feel like it’s deserved. I would just want them to want me to have a board with my name on it rather than me pushing it. For now it doesn’t really affect my life whatsoever. I can still travel, skate and make a little bit of money to get by. I just try to do what I want to do. If people like what I do and they want to take me places then that’s great.
Bs Tailslide Shove
Did you know Paul and Nick had something in the works when Isle started up?
About five months ago you said you’d almost finished your part. Have you been filming even more with Jacob Harris since then?
I had a couple of offers after Blueprint but Nick and Paul had already figured out that they were going to do Isle. They hadn’t told me about it but hinted at something happening. But this was before I even knew Blueprint was dying. Well, I knew it was dying but I didn’t realise everyone was going to leave. On the day that Shier left and everyone left I was a bit fucked because I had no idea what was going on. Then people were talking, “are you still on? You haven’t officially left”. I didn’t even have an Instagram or anything at the time so I had no way to formally quit. Soon after, Nick said something about a company but I didn’t really know what it was all about. He ran me through it at the beginning with the team reveal, which was cool: one out of six, the two out of six etc. I always watched the Blueprint videos as a kid and liked what they did so it was a natural thing to go and skate for them when I got the offer.
I’ve been filming here and there but it’s hard with winter. I’ve been working on a little clip for Small Wheels too. But yeah, I’ve kind of finished my part now I just need to get a few tricks, some unfinished business. Hopefully I can get around to doing those.
Who were the other offers from? A few UK brands. The National. Well they didn’t offer me but they mentioned something. Mark Baines mentioned the possibility of riding for Fabric. There might have been some more I can’t really remember. As soon as I knew about Isle that was the definite road to take though. Everyone I know is into Isle’s art direction and the team so the next step is Vase. Where did the name of the video come from? I don’t know if I can explain this properly but it seemed to fit as vases are often decorated and used to extend the beauty of their contents. This seems to be the same with skate videos I think.
So it’s a full-length now? Well it started off as a promo. These things always do. It’s going to be yeah, but not everybody is going to have a full part though. Because we only have Jake to film it and he lives in London, we don’t have the funds to fly him out to LA to film Shier or Jon [Nguyen]. The full parts will be of me, Chris Jones, Nick and hopefully Sylvain [Tognelli] if he can make it to London a bit more. We’re just back from Barcelona and got some stuff done despite a few injuries. We want to get it out soon but you know how these things are. Not too long to wait though. You’ve spoken previously about Jake’s influence on you in terms of your trick and spot selection. How do you think your Vase part has progressed? To be honest I just really try and film stuff that I find hard and that I’m happy with. I want it to be the best that I can do. Sometimes things come out and people are really hyped on it. Like that especially long line we did in Eleventh Hour. We didn’t really think of it as a “thing”, but after Jake edited it that way to the song, people seemed really hyped on it. Maybe that will happen again or maybe people will think my previous parts are better. I’ve no idea.
You’re the only non-American on New Balance too then. It’s cool. When Seb originally started talking to me about it he said he wanted one person from Europe at the beginning. I was stoked to get that position. It’s cool to be given the opportunity to actually be on a team rather than some stupid European division. Companies are starting to change that though. There’s more of a spread now, with an overall team. It’s way better because I was in America before and I went on trips and you can feel the difference. You realise you’re nothing to do with it at all. With New Balance I know all the guys and it’s tight-knit. It’s a rare opportunity too.
The last and most important question: who is higher on Google, you or the original Tom Knox? [Laughs]. Somebody told me that I’m higher! Someone told me there was a topic on Slap about him and then for the first time somebody said, “I thought you were talking about the other Tom Knox”, which was me. Since I was a kid people have always mentioned that to me. I’ve watched all his parts. He’s sick. I’ve always thought it would be sick to go on a little adventure and meet him.
Hi Tom, how are things?
Did you fly it too?
Pretty good. Just skating in SF right now.
Yeah, a couple of times. It’s pretty hard. It’s like driving a remote control race car.
How was your stay in the UK? It was a lot of fun. Everything looked cool and the spots were super crusty. I’m pretty much used to perfect skate spots. It’s gnarly rolling onto cobbled surfaces. The longer you’re out there the more you get used to it though. Everything definitely seemed so much older than here in the States. I hadn’t been to the UK before either so it was really new to me. Irn Bru was nice. That’ll get you guys stoked. We went to a football game too and everyone was so loud and gnarly. You were up and out the door before anyone in Manchester for some music tourism. What did you go and see? One day me and Arto went to Morrisey’s house. That was cool because I grew up listening to The Smiths and that was where he wrote a lot of that music. Another morning I just walked to this bridge where a famous photo was taken, which I thought was pretty cool because I had the poster hanging on my wall as a little kid. Who was the photo of? Joy Division. It was a rad photo so to go there and be in the same spot was a cool feeling. I was on US time so I was waking up super early. How was it filming with the drone? It was gnarly. Usually you do the trick first and then you get the roll up shot. Flying that is crazy because everyone is just looking at Russell [Houghten]. I didn’t really do too many of those shots though. All the other dudes did more.
How do you compare the skating scenes in the cities you visited to what you’re used to? One of the days we skated with this kid Farran [Golding]. He just seemed like one of the kids I would skate with all the time. He showed us a couple of spots, which was rad. Have you ever been inspired by videos or skaters from the UK? Probably not new UK stuff but older stuff like old Flip trips when they would go through England. I don’t know too much about the new UK skaters but Tom Knox is rad though. When we were in Liverpool we went to one of the old skateparks Geoff Rowley skated when he was little. It was cool to see that and some of the old spots he skated. It really got me stoked. Do you think smaller countries don’t make enough noise? I don’t know but it’s strange that lots of companies have European skate teams, “This is our Lakai England team” or whatever. That stuff is kind of lame. Everyone should just be on the same team. True. I know you were in limbo for a short while after leaving Zero. Looking back was that a big risk? I’m really stoked that I did that. I guess it could have went two ways but I was lucky enough it went the good way.
Now you’re on 3D. How have things been so far? Really good but there haven’t been any trips planned just yet. We’re just doing our own thing and both Brian [Anderson] and Austyn [Gillette] are working on parts. They can’t put footage to something that’s not Nike or Huf at the moment. I guess we have to figure that all out but the boards and the shirts all look rad. Hanging out with Brian is awesome. We’re able to tell him what we like. He likes that and Brad [Staba] helps out with things too. How do you see the brand growing? It seems smart to keep it small and be careful but then there must be more pressure with more eyes on you. I feel like there’s more pressure for sure. I want 3D to be successful. I want there to be interviews, photos and footage out there and for people to know that I’m working my ass off for something that is rad. Hopefully all that pays off. When I rode for Zero, Dane [Burman] and [James] Brockman were doing really gnarly stuff. Those dudes were killing it and if I did something it almost seemed smaller. It’s different in that way with 3D because we all separately make up a large part of the team and in that sense anything we do is bigger. It’s great that am skaters can get paid with companies like New Balance. It’s awesome. They really do help me out with everything. I can go in there and tell them what I like and don’t like. The guy that runs it skates and gets where I’m coming from.
I’m hearing it’s a more mature team from the guys. I’m guessing that suits you if you don’t drink or anything. Is there a reason you never have? When I was younger I saw how it affected a lot of people and what it did to friendships. I just didn’t want to be that guy that did something to my friends so I figured it wasn’t for me. I feel like a lot of people hang out and meet from drinking so I’m usually by myself or with one or two friends. I wouldn’t really go out with people when they’re drinking. I just hang out with my girlfriend and my dog and some close friends. You’ll skate better without nasty hangovers too. What are the plans for the rest of the year then Tom? I’m working on this little video with my friend that works with Thrasher so I think all my footage will be going towards that. There are a couple of New Balance trips planned: Australia and Montreal. We’re going to make a move on a little 3D thing but we’re not exactly sure what it is yet.
How was the trip? It was good, man but I got hurt the first day out in Manchester. I slipped out on my tailbone and had to deal with it for the rest of the trip sitting down in the car. But you were still good to skate? Yeah, definitely. It didn’t hurt too much to skate, only to sit in the car and not move for a couple of hours. I had to take the time in the morning to stretch it out. Sometimes it happens on the first day of a trip and you can’t skate, but to be able to get something here and there was great. I surprised myself a little bit. I kind of just wrote myself off for the rest of the trip straight away and eventually we were out skating with all these guys in Edinburgh and they took us to this spot, the over the rail to double bank. Where you got the ollie? Yeah. I was tripping out trying to skate this thing, it was so narrow. You could really get pitched on it. I think it took me about thirty or forty minutes. The hard part was throwing your board down and trying to guess the speed. You had to slow yourself down on that rugged ground, just slow enough so you could catch the bank without slamming to the flat. Which of the places you visited was your favourite? It’s kind of hard to say. In England my favourite place was Manchester. We stayed there the whole week and then took trips out. We got to know the crew there a bit more and it was more comfortable environment.
You landed in early before the rest of the team didn’t you?
How are you finding being on New Balance then? How did it all start up for you?
I was the first to land, yeah. It was seven in the morning after my red-eye from New York. I walked around the city for six hours just checking things out and then after stopping in at the hotel to see if anybody was there I eventually walked into Note and met all the boys there. I guess on this trip I was the only guy that wasn’t flying from LA so every time it’s more of a big deal for me because I might not have seen the guys for six months. It’s funny, I’m the guy that’s not in California.
I met Arto in May 2012. He was getting in the mix with them, even though there weren’t even any pictures of shoes or anything. He was on WeSC and I was too and we were riding about town for a few days. I think on his last day we got breakfast and he just asked me about it. I kind of wrote it off for about a week then I got a call from John Rattray, who was the team manager at the time. I didn’t expect it all to come together the way it did.
Have you travelled to Europe before?
How do you feel the brand and the team is establishing itself?
We had gone to Paris with the 5Boro guys a few months ago but this was my first time visiting the UK. I kind of expected that we would have trouble finding stuff to skate but we didn’t. I was expecting the weather to be a problem too but it was perfect the whole way through.
It’s low-key and that’s a reflection of how many people are involved and how many people work for the brand; maybe two or three. Above Sebastian [Palmer], the brand manager, it’s just the owner. We’ve talked to him and came to understand how he wants the brand to be represented and it fits. I imagine if you ride for Nike there’s thousands of employees that aren’t really in the mix and you’ve got flow guys that never really get their shot. This is a different, smaller and tight-knit group. I like it.
You came at an interesting political time too. Well that was insane. I was sitting in the car with Sam Ashley and another friend of ours that works for New Balance in the UK, but they spoke at length about what was actually happening. I got all the right information from those guys. Then there were some riots up in Glasgow the very first night when we were there but we were lucky enough to already be driving off to Edinburgh just as everything started kicking off. We missed out on that. I remember the following morning going to the coffee shop and it was in the paper about the minister resigning. I was felt like that was some next-level history.
Russell Houghton really brings something different to the table too in terms of the edits. Yeah the amount of time he puts into each video is crazy. And we’ve only put out three videos so far. We’re still sitting on an LA video that we’ve been working on, which won’t come out until we have new shoes to present again. We’ve been piling up the footage without any trouble.
What do you think is different in terms of the team?
I hear there’s a full length 5Boro video coming soon?
Compared to most other trips I’ve been on there’s no alcoholic on the trip [laughs]. It’s strange. Usually I’m surrounded by the gnarliest of characters that have to be dealt with all the time but these are all grown men who know how to handle themselves. I guess the trip could be a little more interesting if it were the opposite but I feel like it flows real smooth every day and we skate or do what we can. It’s really not a high pressure environment.
Oh yeah. Since I moved to New York about three years ago we’ve been saving footage. It shouldn’t be too long coming out now. A few months. I guess that’s always the way though, “Couple of months. Couple of months”. This is all the HD footage that we transferred from Join, or Die, which was VX. It’s picking up from the last video.
I heard Jack Curtain came along to see how well he could fit on the team. How did you find travelling and skating with him?
Yeah. There’s definitely enough footage. We’ll probably scrape out the stuff that’s not worthy but we’ve put enough time and thought into it to get the stuff we want.
Jack is a cool guy to hang around with. I met him for the first time out in LA a week before this trip. There was a schoolyard session one afternoon or whatever. He surprised the hell out of us on this trip. He skated this rail in Glasgow, I think Rattray might have nollie 5-0’d it in an old Zero or Blueprint video. But you have to skate past these stoppers, the blind bumps at the top of the stairs. He did a nollie gap out to crooked on this double barrel rail. Fuck. I didn’t expect Jack to do the shit he did. It brought a different level of skating to our video, some more technical stuff.
And you’re happy with where you currently stand?
Looking forward to it, thanks Jordan.
Anyway, onto the important stuff. You met up with someone through Tinder then? It’s not so scandalous actually, I’ve been chatting to the girl ever since. She’s a real sweetheart. It’s a girl from Edinburgh I met on one of the last nights of the trip. But you were missing for a night I hear. Oh missing? I don’t know. I spent the night and walked back in the morning. It was cool. That’s how I remember it, I was hungover. Took a photo or two on the walk back.
Hey Arto, last time we spoke it was about a year ago. How was the New Balance trip? The trip was great. I truly enjoyed it, such a good time. I’d never been Scotland and I always wanted to go. It’s always been quick trips to England in the past. It was really interesting to make it all the way up there. It’s more like Finland; the spots are a little more rugged and you’ve got to work for it. It almost makes for the most unique visuals in the world too. Every spot looks insane.
How was it hooking up with everyone on this side of the water? It’s a little bit bigger over here in the states but I feel over there it’s a little friendlier and more for fun. People just take you to spots. Over here you can’t keep a spot from someone because there are people everywhere but over in Europe people are less competitive anyway. It can be competitive here but there are good vibes too. There are just more skaters in a concentrated area over here. It was super rad to be very welcomed by the locals over there and they were psyched to take us around. Really good vibes.
Did you prefer England or Scotland? Fuckin’ Scotland all the way mate [laughs]. I mean, I don’t wanna start any shit. I enjoyed it all but Edinburgh was truly beautiful. It was really an amazing place. Which doubles up for shooting for you too. From a photographer’s perspective it’s like a dream and from a skateboarder’s perspective it can be a total pain in the ass. Everything is a little bit rough, it’s not necessarily the smoothest ground. You can easily lose a little skin here and there. For visuals and stuff it was insane. It was rad to see the old plaza where all the old Blueprint guys used to skate. Bristo Square. Yeah, to see that place live was a treat. Barely any rain too. Sounds like a success from that alone. We got great weather the whole time. It started sprinkling maybe on the last day when it was getting dark. We got lucky on that. It made the trip super amazing.
Are you finding yourself torn between your board and your camera on trips like that one? Not really. I love photography more now than I do anything else [laughs]. I probably shouldn’t mention that in skateboarding magazine while I’ve still got my board out. I’ve found a balance between it now. I love shooting photos and my passion for that has grown constantly. It enables me to not hate my own physical skateboarding as much. Is there a sense of having achieved what you want to on the board and now being able to explore skating in another way with photography? For sure. Having this other passion has given me another approach to have fun with skateboarding. I don’t necessarily stress myself out with it so much. I don’t have to set this bar for myself where I have to go out and do the gnarliest trick and put my body on the line. There are still certain things I want to do on the skateboard and there’s the aspect where it’s never enough. It’s a constant hunger to do better, bigger and different but I’ve definitely learned how to balance that more and I actually love skateboarding again now. I hated it for a while there.
Really? I was so miserable physically that it made me actually hate the physical act of skateboarding. I love being around it but for a while there I completely took a backseat. I couldn’t come to terms with how to enjoy it anymore. I just thought, “fuck it. I’m not going to do it all”. That’s how my mind works. It’s hard to imagine, did you have the seventh knee surgery? I’m six deep right now. The next surgery is something so major that I just don’t want to mess with it yet. I’d rather just not have any ligaments. Other than go through all that pain and be out for god knows how long.
Good to hear. Your photography seems to pop up in the right places. How important do you think magazines are for skateboarding? Very important. I love the smaller publications like North, especially the way people are doing it from the heart and for the right reasons. There’s not necessarily money involved. Smaller things usually tend to have a lot more credibility and they’re closer to the core. As you get bigger there’s a lot more bullshit that easily feeds into the machine, it’s just in the name of the game. It happens. Of course they help in different ways though too. But I think having a local magazine keeps the scene strong. It creates a community which thrives off that. It’s important to have these things all around the world to hear different voices. I always love looking at that stuff.
You pulled that Nosepick off easily enough though. Do you have goals with your photography? That one was for Stu [Graham]. I couldn’t come back to the states and be face to face with him without saying I skated Livi. I had to get something there. It took a few tries, I started creeping up the wall while Russell [Houghten] was getting the helicopter ready. Do you actively try to put yourself out there still? Oh yeah. There’s definitely constant fire under my ass to get footage and I still want to produce but you know, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t jump down every handrail that I come across. I try to skate to the best of my ability and get some stuff in the edits. I’m in a better place than I was a couple of years ago with all that.
I just want to keep going. One of my small little pipe dreams just came through, I got my first billboard in LA. I know it sounds stupid but I’m happy about it. It was a cool little ego boost for sure. I’d love to do some more personal art project but lately it’s been tough. My goal is to balance commercial photography that pays the bills and have the time to do rad art projects, to have a life where I can support myself and my family through photography. That’s the ideal situation for me. Sounds like a plan. I’m guessing Russell must have a big influence on you too. I love how stubborn he is. It’s definitely inspiring. He doesn’t just give up. He always pushing the envelope: he studies the new technical side of things and also has a creative mind. He tries to push the boundaries of filmmaking. Yeah, there’s a lot of shit that doesn’t work but everything that does looks so fuckin’ rad. His drive is insane.
You mentioned the drone camera earlier, which could seem out of place to some. I mean, I like that stuff. I’m a total gear head. I know other people are like, “what is that? Get the drone off the sesh”. I’m the opposite, “how many toys you got? Oh there’s a crane? Let’s do this”. For certain things, certain tools work. I just look at them as tools to do rad shit. But I get it too. When I was a lot younger skating I didn’t want any distractions, a second filmer or to wait for the camera. It was painful enough to wait for the VX to turn on. When you’re filming with Red cameras there are a whole lot more problems you have deal with. I love that Russell is always open to exploring new areas and new things. How are you finding the New Balance team? Everything has been happening naturally and it’s been a slow build which is nice. Rather than just going after dudes and throwing a bunch of money around or whatever. The guys are on the team because they truly want to be on the team. The trips are super fun too. I’ve heard there are less feelings of pressure because it’s more low-key than other companies. The thing I love most about skateboarding is the diversity. You’ve got all these big and small companies. That’s what creates skateboarding; all these different mad men. It’s rad to have a full scale of lunatics involved. Yeah, there are contests and competitiveness but at the same time I don’t think anyone started skating to compete or go to contests. They started skating because they loved the act of doing it. It’s just one fun part of it, there is so much more offered than competitiveness.
I saw you all visited the shoe factory too. We got to stop by there, yeah. That was super cool. I got some made in the UK kicks which was amazing. We had a look around, saw how the shoes were made and checked out all the different materials. That’s one rad thing too, how New Balance operates. They make stuff locally and support the community. Obviously parts are made overseas too but they have a very legit approach to their brand. I love that. We’re under a very great umbrella. Thanks for your time Arto, next time you come back are you going to hook up with that guy who was drinking the can of Lech? [Laughs] yeah. Rag-and-bone man. I couldn’t understand a word he was saying to tell you the truth but he did have a lot to say. He was talking for a couple of hours but nobody had any idea what he saying.
Hi Jack, how are things? How was the FTC premiere? Good, man. It was really crazy. It’s the next generation of SF skateboarding. All these kids made the video and it was nuts. There were hundreds of people there. They couldn’t all get in and the cops came and shut down the block [laughs]. Good times on the UK trip too then? It was great. Really fun. I was so hyped on Scotland because I’ve been to England a few times already but I’ve never made it up north. The political stuff that was going on was crazy. It’s really interesting going back to Britain because that’s where we all originated from really. It’s funny because we’re really similar but also really different. I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to Scotland but it was so green and old. Everyone loves tea over there, man. It’s like a ritual. No matter how old you are, it’s a thing. You’re originally Irish too aren’t you? Dude, I’m not even sure where my family were from because it was so long ago, but the Curtin name is Irish. I know that they immigrated to Pennsylvania to do Iron Mill work. I want to look into it though, it made me want to visit after going to Scotland. The guys tell me it was your tester trip to see if you were the right fit. Did you make the cut? No, dude they were bummed on me so they kicked me off.
Just kidding. But yeah, that was my first trip with everyone and it was awesome. I knew most of the dudes but I hadn’t really met a couple of them. Everyone was super welcoming and it’s a really good crew. Everyone is really motivated to skate, positive and easy going. There are no egos or anything. It’s good, man. Really mellow. The focus was really on the edit and the photos with no demos. Yeah. Not that demos aren’t great but it’s really hard to stay motivated to go street skating after a demo when all your energy has gone. It wears you out real fast.
You battled for the front crook on that bank didn’t you? That spot was really tricky. It was kind of a backup trick too because I was trying another trick for a few hours and that wasn’t really working. I wanted to get something at the spot because it looked so cool and it was so much fun. I thought the front crook would be pretty mellow. I tried it towards the end of one day but it wasn’t working so we went back. Tom [Karangelov] was trying something too and I eventually got it. I think it took me about an hour or so. I just thought it was going to come a lot faster because I do that trick a lot. But because it was so high and so short it was tricky.
Do you follow the UK scene at all from the States? How was it meeting with all the locals? I’ve always loved all the Blueprint videos; super good, well-filmed, amazing skating, good spots. I’ve been super hyped on Danny Brady, he’s one of my favourites. Paul Shier too. Even the Lakai video, Fully Flared, had a good representation of Nick Jensen and all the homies. The UK scene has been getting noticed in America since the eighties. I was there before the New Balance trip with Thrasher and we went to all the old skateparks around England. It was crazy because we visited skateparks that people had been skating in old 411 video magazines and it was weird to place it, “this is where Danny Wainwright did that insane trick”. How do you compare it to SF? The thing that SF has is obviously all the hills. It’s similar in terms of the spots being really weathered though. It’s crusty but that’s what I like about it. I’m from the East Coast so SF is the best of both worlds. It’s got the East Coast vibe but has that California weather. Even though we didn’t visit London it actually reminds me a lot of New York; big, old, cool architecture, a lot of people, the fashion. It’s great to be out on the streets in both places.
I really liked that aspect of the trip because they knew where all the hard to find spots were and just knew the lay of the land; how to act in certain neighbourhoods and whatnot. Graham [Tait] was super cool too, man. I really liked him. He was really welcoming and fun to be around. The same Graham I know? Yeah [laughs]. He kept us with lots of spots on deck. You’ve been pro for a stretch on DGK now. Since 2005 I think. Nine or ten years actually, wow. That seems like a long time ago. I was on Lucky bearings and wheels and they had a board company back then that Henry Sanchez was on. I met Henry and his filmer and we all became good friends, skating the pier. I would skate with Marcus McBride and him. When DGK started Henry was one of the original three riders. It was him, Stevie [Williams] and Henry. Henry quit Lucky and the filmer knew the owner who started DGK. He brought my name into it and Henry vouched for me.
It’s been a couple of years since Parental Advisory too now. That switch flip 50-50 on clipper was nuts. Who influences your skating when it comes to something like that? Thanks, man. Shit. Since I started it’s always been Gino [Iannucci]. Anthony Van Engelen has been a huge influence. Mike Carroll too. But with that switch flip 50-50 it has to be Stefan Janoski. He has the best switch flips. He was taking that trick to big spots before anyone. I had to do it before he did it [laughs]. I suppose it’s too soon to know if another video in the works? They’re talking about it and want to do another one. Wade [Desarmo] has a bunch of footage. But the Gold video is next month, which will have a lot of DGK riders. I’m filming for the LRG video at the moment though and it’s been going well. I’ve been filming steadily for almost two years now. They want to put that out this year so it’s kind of getting down to crunch time. I just have a lot of tricks in my mind that I want to knock off the list. How are you feeling about what you’ve got? Good. I obviously want it to be better than my last video part. It’s hard to do but that is the only way to progress. I don’t like filming tricks that I’ve already done in other video parts. I think as I’ve gotten older I just want to film things that are just exciting to watch and that look good. More of what trick will fit the spot the best; not more of flipping in and flipping out. I just want to skate with speed, style and creativity.
Hey Tyler, how was the dentist?
So the New Balance trip was your first proper stay in the UK?
Oh shit. It was alright. I had to get some fillings and I’ve been putting them off for months. I hate that place, dude. What did you get done when you went the other day?
Yeah, it was my first real trip there. It was sick, man. I was flying through one other time to Finland and had a seventeen-hour layover in London though. When I got there I tried to sleep on a bench but got woken up by some cops at four or five in the morning asking if I had a ticket, “yeah, yeah. I’ve just got a flight in fifteen hours”. I just decided to roam around the city a little bit. This lady on the flight was like “do you skateboard? There’s a skatepark off Waterloo by the tube”. I asked if it was Southbank and then knew that was where to get off. I just walked around and found it. I skated it around six in the morning and it was Go Skateboarding Day randomly too. That was my only experience before the trip.
Same as yourself, I shit myself going near the dentist every time. That sucks, man. But when you came over the stereotype that all people in the UK had shit teeth was disproved, right? In all the sitcoms over here or whatever they always portray people from the UK with bad teeth. And you’re off surfing today?
You wanted to see Oxford too because you’re a big Tom Penny fan aren’t you?
Yeah, a friend of mine from Spain wanted to go. Do you have a talent for it? Fuck, I can ride the waves but I haven’t surfed that much really. I should have more often for living in San Diego.
For sure. I’ve met him a few times. He went on this little day trip with me and all the Sk8Mafia homies in Barcelona too. He’s sick. Scotland or England then? Pick. I liked them both in different ways. Manchester was a great skating scene. Glasgow was too. The scenery up in Scotland was fuckin’ amazing. The drive wasn’t even a task because of that you know? It was really enjoyable. You were shocked that some of the guys thought it was a long drive because you’re used to way longer journeys weren’t you? For sure. A four-hour drive doesn’t feel like anything for us [laughs]. We’re completely used to driving a lot with everything further apart. The difference in the accents after driving to a different place was pretty gnarly. Those thick accents are really hard to understand.
Was it you that joked about being exiled from the skate community if you bondo’d a spot in Scotland?
When I spoke to Wes [Kremer] he said it’s Sk8Mafia for life. How long have you been pro now?
We were just fuckin’ around like, “damn. We haven’t seen anything so crusty. If you use that shit you’ll never be allowed to come back and skate again”. It’s like cheating.
Fuck, maybe four years? Me and Wes pretty much got on around the same time. We got on about twelve years ago when we started making stuff. Those were just the guys we were skating with in San Diego: Smolik, Dan Connelly and Brandon Turner. They were just around and we would skate with them. It was just their crew and they started making shirts and it all naturally pushed on from there. It was never a question it just happened. Never looked back.
How do you compare it with San Diego? So much more weathered but definitely a lot of fun. It wasn’t bad it was just, “now I’ve got to fuckin’ man up here and skate through”. It was tight. The skaters were all the same though; it was like a second home and everyone vibed real well. How did you feel going into that switch ollie? We actually drove by it going to a different spot. I’m a big fan of over the rail and into the bank. I’m always trying to find that type of spot. We were just like, “let’s go and peep that thing”. We went there and right before it there was a big crack that lifted up. I was like, “fuck I don’t know if it’s skateable”. Tom Knox said that someone had kickflipped it a long time ago and then he found the photo. We were skating another spot and I found this sign, which worked when I took it back. We taped it down to cover the crack. The trick didn’t take too long to get though. The cracks were kind of mossy though so I kind of slipped whenever I kicked it out.
Loved your shared part with Gustav Tonnesen in Stee. And the whole video too actually. Thanks. I was stoked on the whole video too, it was tight to share it with the Sweet homies. You think collabs like that would happen more often. I was trippin’ because I heard it was the first collab video between international companies in skating. I didn’t believe it but I guess it’s true. You must get asked a lot about the switch flip late shove-it over the bump to rail. Honestly that’s the only one I’ve ever got. I think it came about because I was skating some local park, going up the bank switch and tried the trick. I kicked it in the air after the switch flip and it kind of went but I didn’t get it. I thought it might work somewhere though and that spot was close to my house. We went there and I just thought, “fuck it. I’m going to try it”. Got that one and then never tried it again.
People usually skate away and nail the flatground trick cool, calm and collected but you slammed on the frontside heelflip.
Pack of Hydes was a more natural stint of filming for you in comparison to Stee though wasn’t it?
I tried but fucked it up.
Yeah, cause I knew they were going to do a Wes part and then a couple of weeks before it got released Dan was just said, “yeah, we’re going to do it like Tim and Henry’s Pack of Lies. You’re going to have a part too”. “Shit, really?” So yeah, for the last two weeks I had to get out there and try and film some shit. The rest of the footy was just whatever, from just being out skating. It was good that way because it’s hard to stay hyped when you’re filming for a year. For two weeks every day you can keep going at it.
You keeping in touch with the Sweet crew? Yeah, for sure. I was just on a trip in the Middle East with Joseph [Scott Jatta]. We keep in contact with those dudes even though I haven’t seen them in a year. Is it true about the company ditching the team? I read that in a couple of places. Yeah, dude. They were kind of backed by that shop Junkyard or whatever and the owner who was good friends with them just cut the budget or something. It’s fuckin’ horrible. I know a lot of money they made was off the clothes. Swedish people were stoked on some shit. I remember when we first went out there to Sweden the TM told us, “last year our best selling item was our pink khakis”. I was like, “what?” He said, “yeah. Swedish people wear some weird shit. That’s how we made most of our money” [laughs]. Maybe they’re just going to keep the clothing going and ditch the team. It’s bullshit though, that sucks. They’ll figure it out though for sure.
How did New Balance come around for you? How are you finding it? I knew Sebastian [Palmer] from éS. He just hit me up about it before New Balance even started doing anything. It was about six months before anything came out at all. Everyone vibes really well on the team and I didn’t really know any of the guys before it started either. Everyone skates differently, which was really cool the first time we all went out together too. We all feed off each other. It’s tight. What’s the plan for the near future then Tyler? We’re going on this SOTY trip for Wes actually. We’re headed to the Canary Islands in Spain next week. It’s going to be fuckin’ sick!
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Photography by Graham Tait Interview by Stephen Cox
Hi Scott, how’s it going mate? You were just out for some food?
Can you tell us a bit about your life growing up?
Not bad. Just went to a chippy, aye. I’m in Buckie at the moment. It’s an old fishing town. I’ve never done a phone interview, do I just talk for a bit and you take notes or something? When does it start?
My mum and dad met in Jersey but are from Cumknock and Glasgow. I was actually born in London but lived in Glasgow till I was five. We lived in a flat in Tollcross because my gran and granda lived there in Bridegend, which is just down the road. I remember going upstairs when I was young and my mum said “where’s your bike?” I must’ve left it outside so she looked out the window and there were a couple of neds on their way over the fence with it. She chased them and managed to get it back though. I think things like that made them want to move. My aunt stayed in Carluke so they decided to move there. The first week we were there I met my mate Wulba. When we were thirteen he got a shitty supermarket board with the fake griptape, so we learned to basically roll about then got proper boards for Christmas. I’ve been skating ever since.
It’s already started. I’m recording. Oh I see, I thought that might happen. That’s cool I’m just new to this and wanted to know exactly how it goes [laughs]. I don’t know what you work as but I hear it’s quite specialized. I tune and restore pipe organs. How did you get into that? My colleague’s mum and my mum used to work together in a nursing home, and that’s how I got the interview. I was into that sort of hands-on technical stuff at school and like anything you don’t really plan what you’re going to do. Are there many people that do it in Scotland? We’re the only company in Scotland that does it. I travel everywhere and get to see the random nooks of Scotland. I wander at lunchtime and find random books and items of clothing and stuff. The actual job when we are travelling can be pretty boring because we’re just tuning an instrument but the places you go are cool.
Do your mates in Carluke still skate? Aye, there are five of us left that still stay there. Wulba, Div, Colin, Shezz and myself. Tamo moved to Edinburgh and Weir and Young Gun stay in Glasgow. That’s who I basically grew up skating with until we could drive and started skating with all my mates in Glasgow.
Photography by Kazuhiro Terauchi Interview by Graham Tait
What’s your opinion of the skating scene in Glasgow and how has it changed over the years? I’ve been skating Glasgow for about a decade, back when the shop MBC was about. Focus used to be next to the St Enoch Centre too, I really liked those days. It’s had an amazing scene for years, before I even skated with the likes of Jamie Bolland, Mark Foster, and Gary Brown. When Kelvingrove skatepark was built it gave everyone somewhere to meet up, it’s still where we get stuck half the time. Zander Ritchie, Fergus Wood, Paul VX, and Simie Simpson have been filming the scottish scene as a whole for the past few years. With Simie about to put out Street Snacks Vol.2 and Zander about to put out the Focus video Weather Permitting, people should check them out for a good representation of the current street scene. Which skaters inspire you from Scotland? I’m lucky enough to know most of the skateboarders that inspired me, and still inspire me. I’m just going to rhyme off a list of my friends: Colin Kennedy, Ben Leyden, Stu Graham, Div Adam, Colin Adam, Shezz, Benson, Mark Burrows, Mark Foster, Jamie Bolland, Declan Welsby, Jake Wason, Freddie Lusk, Andrew White, Gary Brown, Teléboys, The Harvest Gang, Adam Logan, Chris Weir, Tom Simpson, and Paul Silvester.
I hear by the time this is out the Focus Video will be out? Yes! It’s taken about two years to film my part and finished filming the end of last year. There’s been a few snags here and there but Zander has smashed it! I’m glad it’s finally finished, hopefully we can help out the shop after them helping all the lads out for so long. This is only the second Focus video in 13 years, with the first (Salt & Sauce) being a really big deal for most kids around my age growing up and skating in Scotland. Along with H’Min Bam. This is like the new generations take on things and I’m really proud to be a part of it man! I want to give a little mention to Sean Revill who got me hooked up with Focus in the first place! You’re getting flowed some shoes from Nike SB too aren’t you? Aye, my friend Colin Adam has been getting shoes for a while and two years ago we had been skating more and more with Colin Kennedy. He hit up Colin Adam to see if I’d be up for getting a few pairs and it went from there.
I saw the NESW Nike SB North edit. I was really hyped to be part of that, especially with Colin Adam and Joe Gavin, who I’ve always liked. That was thanks to Colin Kennedy too. Henry Kingsford and Jim Craven came up for a weekend and we went to some spots, it was cool. Miles Kondracki and Kieron Forbes were with us most of the day, we skated Bristo, a few other spots, then got a Red Box Noodle, it was a good day. Colin Adam got his trick at Saughton the next day, it ended up being a productive weekend. I hear you’re “not a dafty and you know what you want to shoot or film”. [Laughs] I think sometimes it just works itself out. There are certain well known spots that you might think of something you want to try, but I also like the spots you stumble across or find by random. With photos I feel lucky because I’d already filmed them and knew where they were. We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to get, although we had to shoot the last couple of photos in December and January which was brutal! Scotland is full of crusty spots which can be good, but can be hard to skate in winter. I’m really happy with the Beanplant photo we got. The one of the roof of the leisure centre? Aye. It’s next to Meadowbank stadium in Edinburgh.
Slappy Bs Tailslide
You got kicked out the first time too. [Laughs] Aye. It was me, Zander, Daniel [Nicholas], Tait and Miles. You need to climb a dodgy wooden fence to get up to it, and Tait has a bad back and all these flashes and that. He thought at first he wanted to shoot it fisheye. By the time he got up the guys from the sports centre were telling us to get down. Zander was filming him trying to climb down the building and shit. It was pretty funny. [Laughs]. Obviously shit like that happens but because it’s Tait it’s funny. Speaking of funny, what about your face in that wallride photo too? [Laughs] mate, that’s haunted me for life. Well, not really. Since I’ve been an adult skating I’ve been aware that I look insane. It’s a common thing. Some people look like they’re about to be violently sick and shit, it’s wild. It’s good man, I’d rather it was like that than normal because at least it’s funny when you randomly catch peoples faces in magazines. I don’t realise I’m doing it, it’s like pure concentration. Sometimes people say to me that I’m smiling because I’m having such a good time, that’s just me concentrating! More of an ‘effort face’, I look happily scared I think.
You got a good lot of photos at unknown spots, which is cool.
Plans for the rest of the year?
I’ve got mates that don’t skate anymore but they still look at places and see spots. That’s where the wallride spot came from. Some guy that Miles knows text him a photo of it. It’s randomly behind a retail block and next to a cycle path. It’s a hard spot to skate because of that big curb, but it’s a really cool spot. That’s the thing with Scotland in general, there are so many spots that are almost good, but they’re shit. They look good and you can technically do something with it, but it’s a battle.
I would love to get to Copenhagen for a couple of weeks. Cycle around with mates hitting up different parks. I’m also just looking forward to being outside again with it being winter right now. I’m also going to film more with Zander and hopefully film a part for Simie’s Street Snacks Vol.3!
The nollie into the bank looks crazy enough. My mate Owen Godbert had ollied into it. Looking at the footage it didn’t look that big so I wanted to check it out. I think by the way it looks it could be over a hundred years old. It’s in a wee valley and it could have been an old rail track or something. Folks just walk their dogs and cycle there. But one path skews off up the hill slightly and the main path keeps going. After about thirty feet of that there’s just that stair set. There’s no reason for it, man. It’s a wee park area. It could just be more grass and trees, there’s no reason for that to be there. But it’s perfect too. I got a photo with the Grey boys doing a beanplant into that. I was really hyped that day, man. I knew the Grey boys would be into that spot. The bank is that big but it’s also the floor, man. That path before and after the edge of the steps is terrible. Not to mention the hole at the top of the bank that you need to get over, if you fall, you’re fucked.
Cool. You want to throw out some thanks? My mum and dad, The Carluke Chapter, Sibs, Tait, Sean Revill, Focus Skate Store, Colin Kennedy, Nike SB, Harvest Skateboards, Lemon Farm, Glasgow Society Of Skateboarding, and all my friends.
@ L E V I S S K AT E B O A R D I N G L E V I . C O M / S K AT E B O A R D I N G
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Published on Jun 2, 2015
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