NORTH SKATEBOARD MAGAZINE
Ad Space MILES SILVAS
ROYAL 4 LOW / KELLY BLACK
INTRODUCTION I’ve been thinking about making North for over two years now. Although I knew I wanted to do something with my photography I wasn’t really sure what form it would take. Digital probably makes up 95% of the photography in most skateboard magazines, but I still shoot on film. With so many new photographers coming up and shooting digital, I felt there was room for another publication that was aimed more at traditional film photography. My favourite skate magazines are always the photo issues, and that’s the feel I want to give out with North. I’ve tried to give more emphasis on the photos with a simple and clean layout. I don’t hate digital, I use it myself to shoot sequences, you just can’t beat the quality you get from film. The whole process of shooting a roll, getting it developed, then waiting to see how the photos have turned out, for me, that’s what photography is.
CONTENTS AARON WILMOT A BRIEF ENCOUNTER WITH JIMMY MCDONALD THE PHOTO SECTION
I’m not in a hurry, I don’t have any real deadlines, and with North I can take my time, get it how I want, and hopefully people will be stoked on it. North will hopefully be printed twice a year. I want people to pick it up at their local skate shop, hold it in their hands and enjoy flicking through the pages. The first issue is all my own photographs. I wanted to do the first one myself, to see if I could I guess, like a personal photo project. It’s taken a while but i’ve finally got there. Hopefully photographers will be into what I’m trying to do, and would like to contribute in the future. A lot of time and effort went in to making the first issue of North. I’d like to thank all the skaters that let me photograph them and all the people who helped me out and gave me advice along the way. I hope you enjoy it. Graham Tait Editor/Photographer
SUPRA TOUR EDINBURGH BOBBY BAILLIE
I heard you stopped checking The Berrics after you found out they were Scientologists? Basically, Big Mark Burrows was like, “did you know they were all Scientologist freaks?” I was like nah, then found out that Steve Berra, Eric Koston, all those lads were. I didn’t know if it was true, or if they were trying to encourage their cult, but I just wasn’t vibing it. For a religion to just come up out of nowhere and be that strange, I wasn’t into it. Very Strange. Apart from all the scientology stuff, the best thing on The Berrics is the Mike Vallely Battle Commander, it’s hands down the best footage they’ve every released. I used to watch him on the Tony Hawk Tours on the Extreme Channel when i was younger and he always stood out. Is that who you were into when you started skating? Not that much, when I started skating is was mostly street. Flip’s Sorry had just came out and everything was about street still, well I felt like it was. It’s what I skated because it was the most accessible to me basically. There was no skatepark near me, the closest to me was Livingston at the time.
Where did you grow up? Uddingston, just outside Glasgow. Next to Blantyre basically. When you started skating, you would just skate about the streets in Uddingston, what year was that? It was 2000 I think? The Shorty’s video ‘Guilty’ was the first video I ever bought. Haha, were you hyped on Smolik? Haha, yeah, I was hyped on that. Brandon Turner’s part in that was the best, so good. Watching those videos then going to Tribal Junkie in Glasgow, i’d get influenced by all those guys skating street in Glasgow at the time. My dad would take me and my big brother into Glasgow at the weekends, hit up some spots on a Saturday afternoon then come back home to no spots. Did it become a weekly event, to take you into Glasgow to skate? My parents weren’t super hyped on the fact that I was skateboarding, I was getting hurt all the time. They didn’t think it was the best thing to be getting into because obviously parents don’t like seeing their kids getting hurt, but they got over it.
How did you get into skating park? I skated street for about two and a half years but started getting bored to the shitty spots, it was round this time we started building ramps. My best friend Gavin Crawford, we used to call him ‘Crawfish’, he was a joiner and so we used to get to make crazy ramps for us. He didn’t really know what he was doing, he didn’t really know what skateboarding was or how steep the ramps should be. He made the fun box where the ends were almost vert with a massive top, we just skated the ends like two quarter pipes, it was good fun. Eventually, people started petitioning for a skatepark in Blantyre, there was supposedly money there from the council. So with the help of two guys Robbo and Gary they pushed it forward and got it built. I remember going to the meeting and saying that I wanted street obstacles, not really knowing what i was talking about. Gary and Robbo were like nah, tranny as much as possible and as big as possible. Thank fuck they did that, it could’ve turned out horrific! So That’s how I got into skating park, Blantyre was pretty close so I started going there. Radworx was out of Blantyre right? Stew Graham and a few other big dogs at the time, and still are I guess, got involved with the Radworx company, they taught skateboard lessons there. We were all loving it. Stew taught for about 15 minutes then would fuck off somewhere and chill., but it was still good. Ben Leyden was there, he was teaching for a while, then Paul Silvester came in and ran it for a bit. That’s how i met Adam Paris, he heard of it from Lesmahagow. People were getting mail through the door about it so kids would just start showing up. We went on some rad trips with those guys too.
You met Adam Paris there, who else was about? It would be me, Paris, James Simonton, and Adam Oburn and Kyle Oburn. Those lads were down at the park everyday, giving it hell, skating so hard and having so many good sessions. We skated there then got other ideas to start going other places again like Livi and further afield. James mum was dynamite for taking us places, my mum was shit, well not shit, she’d take us to Livi occasionally but James mum was really involved. She had Ricta stickers on her car and shit like that. She ended up taking us down to Liverpool to skate rampworks. And another friend John Gillies, his dad took us to ‘The Night Of The Living Dead 3’ all nighter in Liverpool which was amazing. John Cardiel was there, Tony Trujillo, Max Shaff, all the Scottish and English guys were there. I was only like 16 at the time and it was one of the best things I had ever seen.
Seeing all that at 16 must’ve influenced you and what kind of skating you want to do? It was shocking. We watched the bowl jam and it was honestly the most hectic, snake sesh, death match you’ve ever seen. People were getting hit with bottles of beer, people were getting called out, loads of shit was being said. I’m pretty sure Colin and Div Adam had blonde wigs on skating the bowl, drinking can after can of beer and just shredding. That definitely influenced me and made me want to shred harder. Did you skate with Div and Colin at Blantyre? They were there all the time, Colin used to come down every weekend with a ghetto blaster and big cooler full of beer. Skate all day till he was done, then just get the train home. It’s hard to describe how good it was, it’s a memory that’s going to last with me forever, all the skates we had there were amazing. I still Skate loads with Colin, but so many people dropped out from our original crew, I don’t really see them anymore.
You get to that age, 18, 19 where skating can take a back seat when you get into drinking and girls, is that what happened to all those guys? Yeah, it even happened to me, I didn’t stop but I started going out so much, just drinking, having a laugh with my mates and going clubbing all the time. The usual scenario. It didn’t hinder my skating but I was getting a little rusty, taking a bit longer to get tricks. I couldn’t understand how they just didn’t want to skate as much, even if you were going off and getting drunk and that, I still wanted to skate everyday. But they all just eventually stopped. I miss skating with them even now. I was getting more enjoyment out of skating than anything else in my life, I’d still go out but my goal was to just skate as much as I possible could, and did that with Kerr, Adam and Ruari. At that time I also decided to go to University, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I thought I could waste some time at uni. If I didn’t like it then I don’t have to do it and if I did then, bonus, I’ve got a degree. So that’s when I made the move to Edinburgh and discovered whole scene that i didn’t know about.
When was that? 2006, no 2007. What did you study at Uni? I took a stab at social sciences and criminology, sociology, and anthropology. But that definitely didn’t work out, it just wasn’t my thing. I couldn’t vibe with the people there and ended up just skating everyday. Did you drop out? I scraped by into second year on bare minimum passes, but just went skating with Kerr to Penicuk and Sighthill instead, then dropped out for properly. What did you parents say? My mum was severely annoyed, as any mum would be. They want you to do well career wise, so she tried to make me go back to uni but I wasn’t having any of it, I couldn’t be bothered. I knew it wasn’t for me. Especially after my dad passing away I thought what’s the point, I’m not into it so there’s no point wasting my time. My mum was pretty angry, but then realised the same, no point being unhappy so fuck it, do what you want. What did you do after that? I pretty much took a year off. I didn’t work, didn’t sign on the dole. I lived off the money i saved from my bursaries at Uni and my student overdraft. Smoked weed and drank everyday, skated with Kerr. He’d chap my door at 12pm everyday and we go skate everywhere, Penicuk, Falkirk, Fife ramps, everything until Saughton got built. Anything we could skate.
You couldn’t live off your overdraft forever, what did you do when you ran out of money? My big bro took me under his wing and I started working with him in my dads garage. Which was tough, as he had passed away. It was weird to be working there when he wasn’t. I was working as an apprentice mechanic, basically a lackey. I was doing odd jobs, fixing brake discs, changing bumper lights, just simple jobs. I had to get up at 5am to drive from Edinburgh to the garage in Glasgow for 8am. I had to get there for 8 on the dot or i’d lose my wages for the day. Your brother was tough on you? Super super strict. For good reason. He was trying to kick me up the arse basically. Trying to give me a kickstart and help me do something with myself. I had just sat about on my arse for a year. Did you spend a lot of time at the garage when you were younger? Yeah I did. My dad built it from scratch. He started off with nothing and built up his business slowly with buying and selling trucks. He eventually got enough money to buy a premises on his own and built everything himself. Welding fences, the lot. It must’ve taken so long, he put so much work into it. I’d been going from a young age, i’d finish school and my dad would take us there everyday until he finished. It was good, i got to see what my dad did and how hard he worked, the hours he put in. It was a side of life I hadn’t seen yet. Chatting to older people, learning how you sell stuff. I’d help out with little bits and bobs, kid jobs which was good. my mum would put me through the car wash, I used to love it.
How long did you work with your brother for? For a year. getting up at 5am everyday was tough, I was doing a good job there but he gave me an ultimatum. He said he would give me a full time position as a workshop manager but I had to move through to Glasgow. I asked if I could take the position but still live in Edinburgh, all my friends were there, i’d been here for four years and I’d built up a bit of a life here. He said no. I needed to move through to Glasgow do extra hours, call outs, breakdowns, this that and the next thing, to be at his beck and call. I would’ve loved to have worked there but I couldn’t give up one thing for another, that’s not how I work. He said that was fair enough but I couldn’t work there anymore. So we didn’t speak for about eight months. I didn’t speak to him, he didn’t speak to me.
Really? Yeah. Then eventually we phoned each other, had a shouting match, the usual argument shit you have with your brother, and we sorted it out. He kind of got me more after that, I’d given up this to do that, and he respected me more for doing what I wanted to do. We’re all good now. He helped me out with my car and said that if I ever need work then he’d sort me out. I just didn’t want to move away from Edinburgh, the scene was so strong. Glasgow has a different scene altogether, it’s very street orientated. Not that I don’t like street, I really do like it, I just prefer park skating. I still do get hyped on street and love going street skating, I just couldn’t do it everyday. There’s just something about tranny skating. Going to the park there’s always someone there to skate with, whereas i feel like street skating takes a little bit more effort. I guess you could just say I’m lazy, I dunno. I just love the park.
With you finishing up at the garage, that must’ve been around the same time Saughton park in Edinburgh was finished? It had just been built, and that was a major reason why I didn’t want to leave. I’d been here for four years and, i’d built up a life here, and there was a big fucking park just opened. There was no chance I was missing out on it. So i stayed here against my brothers wishes and my families wishes. My mum wanted me to come back home to stay, work with my bro, save up money and do what you’re supposed to do in life. I was like nah, fuck it, i’ll just get a job, any job, don’t care what it is, I just wanted to stay here and skate Saughton. That’s all that mattered to me. So I signed on the dole, I couldn’t find a job anywhere, it’s hard out there at the minute, getting a job is hard. But luckily Ruari’s bother Kree was leaving his job in an Italian cafe to start collage and asked his boss if he could just replace him. She said that was cool so I was sorted. It’s a rad sandwich shop down in Leith. Sandwiches during the day then and Italian restaurant at night. It’s a great place to work so cheers Kree, if it wasn’t for you I’d be penniless. You pretty much haven’t left Saughton since it opened, who do you skate with there? That park itself has brought three or four different crews together which is a good thing, everyone skates there. Kerr, Ruari, Colin, Adam, Shezz, Dunder, so many lads that were skating other places now all skate there. And Gary Dickson has formed a group from it, a super group, called SYB. Basically just shralping anything you can skate. Shralp Ya Bass!
How did the name come about? Dickson claims, that Colin and Div’s dad ‘Napalm’ Jeff smacked him in the face after a drunken dispute at a party one night. Just smacked him in the face and shouted ‘Shralp ya Bass!’. It’s a way of showing people what’s going on at the moment, what we’re all up too. You’re doing a lot of filming and making SYB edits. We’re trying to get as much footage out there as possible, just for the sake of doing it. We enjoy it. The sessions are crazy, everyone’s screaming at all the shit that goes down on a daily basis. It’s gnarly.
Who’s killing it right now? Tea Bag and Colin Adam are setting the standard pretty high, but for someone to come out of the blue and be so spontaneous it’s Kerr McLachlan, he’s so different. Not the tricks he does, just the way he does them. The ability to do tricks that you shouldn’t really be able to do in the bowl, it’s ridiculous. He’s ridiculous. He raises the bar everyday and I just want to say how good it is to watch him skate. How did you get hooked up with Deadmen Skateboards? A guy called James has been hooking me up, he’s been so good. He started a small bedroom company down south,I’m trying to get it hyped up. He’s been helping me out, sending me some boards. I honestly go through boards so fast. The cafe job is rad but it doesn’t pay for boards, wheels, shoes, so every bit of support I can get is much appreciated. Props to him, he started it himself, works hard to help and support skating. I’m stoked on it.
Bank To Smithgrind
photo CJ Switch ride into Nose grind
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A BRIEF ENCOUNTER WITH
JIMMY M DONALD C
The last little while has been great for you coverage wise, what have been the highlights? The last 2 years have been great. I got to travel a lot with eS and 5boro. The recent downfall of eS was definitely a bummer, but being involved in the recent years was amazing. Putting out Chris Mulhern’s, “This Time Tomorrow” was an awesome experience, and recently putting out my short eS x 5boro colorway part was nice. Currently we’re wrapping up the new full length 5boro video which should be out in December. We’ve been working on that for a long time so it’s really exciting to see it finally come together. Europe twice in the same year is pretty good going, and having a full section in “This Time Tomorrow” must have been a highlight for sure. You seem pretty motivated to get out there, have you always been like that or has everything just happened all at once?
I’ve always really liked travelling. I started going on skate trips once I finished High School. I went to Europe for the first time the summer after I graduated. From there I’ve just tried to keep going on trips, and lately I’ve had lots of great travel opportunities. You’re from Maryland right? What was is like growing up there and how did you get into skateboarding? Yeah, I grew up in Bethesda, MD, right outside of Washington, DC. My uncle got me a skateboard for my 8th birthday, and from there I just would mess around in my drive way, then I would skate around my neighborhood with some friends. As I got older I would skate downtown DC and the surrounding areas. DC has always had a really good skate scene. You seem to move back and forward betweeen New York and Philly, where are you living right now?
Yeah, I was living in Brooklyn with Tombo Colabraro (5boro TM) and Joe Tookmanian for about a year and a half after I graduated college in Philly. We had a pretty crazy living situation there and it was getting expensive for all of us, so we moved out and went on some trips, couch surfed for a while, and I ended up back in Philly for a little over a year, and now I’m back in Brooklyn. I’ve been living here since last May. I still go back to Philly somewhat often though. I have great friends down there and I love that place. 5boro seem like a tight bunch of guys, how did you get hooked up with them? All the 5boro guys are awesome. We all get along really well and go on tons of great trips. About 5 or 6 years ago a friend of mine frim DC suggested that I send my footage to 5boro. So I did and Tombo started sending me boards. Then I met the crew and it kind of snowballed from there. Since then I’ve gotten really close with the crew and it’s been a hell of a time. Do you think that being from the East Coast and skating for a Company out of NYC made it harder to get your name out there? Did you ever think about moving to California? It may have made it a little harder, but it’s the only way I’ve ever known, so it makes no difference to me. When I was younger I always wanted to move to San Francisco, and I would still consider spending time there, because it’s such a great city, but for now I’m content living in NYC. Sole Tech announced that they’re putting e’S on Hiatus. It looked like e’S were getting back on track, putting out clips and ads regularly. Did you see it coming?
I don’t think anyone on the team really saw it coming. I knew there were going to be some changes at Sole Tech, but I didn’t imagine they were going to put eS on hold. It was pretty shocking. How did you feel about the decision? Obviously it was a huge bummer. There were a lot of things in the works for eS, and it was awesome going on all the trips, and hanging out with the team. It was really cool to be a part of such a solid company with serious history in skateboarding. About 2 days after I got the news of eS going under, I sprained my ankle really bad and was out for almost 3 months, so I definitely had some time to dwell on the situation. Is anyone helping you out with shoes? A new sponsor in the pipeline? Nothing as of yet, we’ll see what happens. Who gets you hyped to skate, and are there any east coast kids about to blow up? Tons of people get me hyped to skate. Mostly all my friends that I skate with, like the 5boro crew. Lately Joe Tookmanian has been getting me really hyped. He broke his ankle a few years ago and couldn’t skate for a long time and now he’s skating better than ever. It’s really inspiring to see how hard he’s been pushing himself and how gnarly he’s been getting. His part in the upcoming 5boro video is going to be nuts. What are your plans for the rest 2012? Hopefully escape NYC for part of the winter and do some traveling. I’m still trying to get my ankle back to %100 so once I’m all healed I just want to skate as much as possible.
Tom Shimmin Nosegrind Bonk
Ben Raemers Pivot Fakie
George GeorgeHorler Horler -- Nosegrind
Beans Backside Nosegrind
Dave Lane Backside Flip
Brian Mollot Bump To Bar Ollie
Keith Allan Kickflip
Danny Jack Nollie Backside Tailslide
Benson Frontside Transfer
Harry Lintell Backside Smithgrind
Bobby Baillie Frontside Flip
Adam Logan Frontside Shove
Jess Young Backside Lipslide
Camillo Arredondo Crook
Marcus Nicolson Switch Nosegrind
Rauri Britee-Steer Method Air
Miles Kondracki Backside Tailslide
Owen Hopkins Hardflip
Adam Paris Frontside Crailslide
Charles Myatt Gap To Nosegrind
Everyone knows who was on the tour, where they went, and what tricks went down. When a team like this comes to town, if you donâ€™t see some of the action, you certainly hear about it. I found myself in a unique position, somehow i got the job of showing them about Edinburgh. My initial reaction was yeah, cool, no worries. But the more I thought about it, the more i started to shit it. Iâ€™ve seen my fair share of big names, but never all at once, and never all in the same place. I decided to man up, grab a camera, and along with two other photographers and filmers try to document the experience as best i could. Despite the rain, some good skating went down. What follows over the next few pages is an afternoon inside a van with some of the biggest skaters Scotland has ever seen.
Chad Muska - Wallride
Boo Johnson Terry Kennedy Lizard King Spenser Hamilton
Boo Johnson Hardflip Backlip
Tom Penny Stu Graham Chad Muska
Fakie Bigspin Flip
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BOBBY BAILLIE This was a long time in the making. I’ve been shooting photos with Bobby for about 10 years, but never got enough stuff together to do a full interview, haunts, or whatever. We would get a few shots over the space of a month then nothing would happen for another six months, and this seemed to be the pattern over the last few years. When I asked him if he wanted to be in the first issue he was down for it, that was until i told him he had to be interviewed. It took me long enough to get the photos together, Bobby making the time to sit down with me was not high on his list of priorities. His main priority at the moment is moving his girlfriend into his shambles of a house in Fife. I think the real reason he didn’t want to be interviewed was because i would have definitely mentioned the fact that she’s taking over. To be completely honest, he needs a stern hand in his house. He hasn’t had curtains in his living room in 4 years, no light in the kitchen, and it’s only in the last few months that he’s fitted the plug sockets to the walls. I do however agree with him on the chaise longne, that shit is unacceptable in a mans house. I recruited his neighbour and all round piss taker of a mate Greg to interview him. What follows is someone who no longer skates, loves to take the piss, and doesn’t really have a clue, and someone who’d rather not be interviewed at all.
Who are you and from whence do you hail Bobby Baillie? Names Bobby Baillie. I’m 25 and I’m from a wee village in The Kingdom Of Fife called Thornton. So, at the age of 25 one could jokingly suggest that you’re staring down the barrel of the sports athletes so-called ‘peak’, what’s kept you successfully on your board all this time? Awww dear, I wouldn’t say I’ve been successfully on my board all this time. Had your ups and downs? Suppose I’ve just enjoyed it, kept going. Can you remember when you first realised skateboarding was your calling? I dunno, I suppose it just kind of grew. What age were you? I was 9 when I started. Just kind of arsed around for a few years, skating curbs and stuff. When I started getting longer legs I started jumping down stairs and stuff and took it from there.
Did it ever occur to you that recognition might be on the cards or are you the modest type? Did you have a moment where you thought “Im getting quite good at this? Not really, I just kind of went with it. It came naturally? Aye. So who’s influenced your skating and drove you all these years, since you were 9 years old? I suppose having an older brother that skates kind of helped. Grant (Bobby’s second oldest brother) and Morbid (a close friend of The Baillies) were who I grew up skating with. I looked up to them, I wanted to do what the older boys done!
Were they quite anxious to mould you into the next Tony Hawk? I wouldn’t go that far, I didn’t want to be The Bird Man haha. What about skaters? Was there any video section that used to get those skateboard juices pumping before the big sesh? Eh.... Or was it always just Grant and Morbid? Did you think it was just the 3 of you? Haha, nah. I dunno. I’m not really helping you out here am I? We’ll get there. So I heard a stork dropped a mini ramp in your back garden one day. How did that help broaden the trick vocab having a mini ramp a limp away from the back door? The mini ramp was ace, a godsend! I just sort of wandered up the back yard to have a wee skate, come back down and mums got the tea on the table. The mini ramp was rad. I didn’t tell mum and dad about it until the Jewson’s lorry arrived. Faither Baillie was working in the shop (Thomson’s Butchers – Bobby’s parent’s family business at his home in Thornton) and the Jewson’s lorry arrived with pallets and pallets of wood. Then he realised he was getting a six footer in the back yard.
Haha, shit hot. So do you have a preference between ramp and street skating? I like a bit of everything, keep it mixed up. If you dwell on the one thing too long you can end up getting bored of it. Keep it mixed up, a happy medium of everything. Where and what were the spots that helped define your style as a skateboarder? And do you still visit them for the sake of nostalgia? Well The Pivvy in Thornton (Thornton Pavillion) The Pivvy Curb! It’s just at The Primary School. I started skating there. Me and my mates used to skate in circles there just hitting the curb. There was a gap next to it as well. We started getting into jumping down things off the wee gap. It wasn’t much of a gap but at the time it was good fun.
So it started in Thornton ? It all started in Thornton aye, down The Pivvy, and the train station as well. What’s at the train station? We used to go over to the wood yard next to the railway line and nick sheets of ply and bits of wood, metal edges and stuff. We had a skate park down Thornton Train Station, it was ace. Skate parks have kind of multiplied like Balbirnie rabbits since the mid 2000’s, there’s been a serious boom! They’re like the town hall these days, everywheres got one! Did you see it coming? Totally. From when I was young and first started skating up until… well not that long ago actually haha there wasn’t so many skate parks. You had the town ramps in Glenrothes and the ramps in Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy. You’d have to get the bus or get a lift off your mum up to the ramps and that was sort of a ‘big day out’ at the skate park. Now you’re spoiled for choice… other skate parks are available. Where is your favourite skate park? Every one has its own wee good bit. They’re building the skate park in Glenrothes just now, just 5 minutes down the road from the house.
Let’s talk about Clown, when did Clown Skateboards first approach you and what was the initial impact it had on your skating? I think I was about 15 or something, at High School. Maybe even earlier. Brian Jones who I knew through skating Bristo, he skated for Clown, he spoke to Jeff, the owner of Clown. He (Brian) was the sort of middle man, he set it up. They put me on flow and then I eventually got put on the team. I was getting stuff off 55 D.S.L at the time as well and I felt like The Pimp Dogg at school with all the new clobber! I went from being a wee minky, scruffy skater to having all these rad clothes! Got more chicks than the football players! Aaaaaahhhhh maybe not. It was cool having loads of cool gear though.
So besides the free boards and countless stickers what was the mental impact the spotlight had on you? Did you feel yourself grow from strength to strength as a skater? Oh aye, my head swelled right up! I turned into a right arrogant asshole. Haha nobody wanted to be around you? I was too good for anybody! Haha I’m only joking. I really enjoyed not having to worry about boards and stuff, getting them for free. That made me want to go out skating more as well, not worrying about damaging stuff and having to replace it.
Seeing as the pocket money was paying off that mini ramp eh? Aye, aye, pocket money would’ve been paying that off haha. So did you get the opportunity to skate with the big Clown pros? Skipp? Benny Fairfax etc? Aye, I skated with all them. They were all rippin’. There was me and wee Jez from Edinburgh. There was sort of 2 teams. We were like the juniors, and they were the big dogs. So did being part of the team take you anywhere exciting on your board? I was up and down to London quite a lot. Going down and staying with Skipp. Getting to skate the parks down there, Playstation and stuff. Going round and skating loads of rad street spots. They knew lots of spots. So how did you feel skating in front of the camera? Did you thrive or dive?
I enjoyed it quite a bit but maybe took a bit of a dive.
Of course when you go from skating curbs and getting recognised to somebody sticking a camera on you. I suppose that gave me the incentive to try harder because folk are obviously into what you’re doing. I was glad to do what I enjoyed doing. Excel under the red light? Excel under the red light aye, thats it. What’s your most memorable skateboarding excursion? I skated Budapest and Barcelona with a bunch of Irish boys I know through my brother (Grant) who lived in Ireland for a while. There was a big crew, about 10 of us! Barcelona was ace. The Irish boys had an insight as to where the spots were. We would wake up and go to a spot and on the way we’’d find 3 more spots! The irish boys were the know how. Barcelona was the hub. In Budapest the spots weren’t as good as Barcelona but the company was good. The apartment we stayed in was on a hill which we had to bomb every morning to get to the bus. That was good fun, I love going fast down hills haha. I went away to Amsterdam for a mate’s 30th as well to look at the tulip fields and windmills. Had my board just in case. We were sitting in the apartment trying on our first clog and heard the sweet sound of skateboards behind the apartment. Turned out it was the famous Amsterdam bowl! It’s a nightmare skating in clogs!
How aware were you of Clown’s demise? Why was it so short lived? I was in less and less contact with Jeff the owner. It became more difficult to make contact. It just kind of fizzled out. I didn’t know much about the managerial side of things. I kept in contact with Skipp, I was at his wedding. I think he had plans for his own company but I don’t know how that worked out. Benny moved to America I think and got hooked up there, he was rippin! I met Mathius at T In The Park one year, the vert skater on Clown. He was skating the vert ramp in wellies! Had being on the team opened any other doors for you elsewhere? Where did you go from there? Jeff who ran Clown was allocated the sort of skateboards manager job for 55 D.S.L and it was through him I got on that team but that sort of ended at the same time as Clown. It all came crashing down and I took refuge in the boozer haha. I was about 18. I knew Tait from Focus through skating Bristo and he helped me out with boards and stuff. I didn’t skate as much for a bit. It was a bad time for it to end just because of my age, ‘going out age’. I wanted to go out drinking and clubbing at the weekends but Tait was always up for doing photos and stuff. I’ve just been skating off my own back since. Is it true that you’re a time served plasterer? You’ve heard right, I am a time served plasterer – Master Of Plaster. I fuckin’ love my job haha.
Another string to your bow right? Have you ever brought the worlds of plaster and skateboarding together perhaps through a broken bone? I was up the infamous Glenrothes town ramps after a night of gambling at Thornton dog races. Probably a bit hungover. Tried something on the ramp and twisted my arm behing my back and snapped it. This was after Clown though, when I was in the boozer haha. I got a temporary cast on it, well a bandage, but when I went back to the hospital they told me it wasn’t healing right so they put a plate in it. I probably shouldn’t have been skating on it so soon. I took another tumble skating and remember my arm feeling pretty numb and when I went back for the final check up the nurse said that she “never put a bent plate in”. I actually built the mini-ramp when I was signed off work for 4 months... on full pay haha. Rock & Roll Bob. So besides the fine arts of plastering and skateboarding what else do you get up to? Not much. Going out and seeing the boys, getting on with the house, festivals, holidays. Just enjoying life! I like taking the Honda (Bobby’s dirt bike) round the field haha. Haven’t been out in it in ages though. Snowboarding I suppose. If the weather’s not for skating and there’s snow up north I’ll be up the hill!
Frontside Tailslide Transfer
Do you find it easy enough making time to skate these days? Recently it’s been a bit easier. When I first bought my house it took a few man hours to make it liveable but now that I’ve got it in a liveable state it’s easier to make time to skate. It’s not as easy as when you were young though. People work now. What trick landed has given you the greatest sense of accomplishment? Ollieing into the Livi Bowl. That was where I got my first photo. It was a sequence of me ollieing in but I didn’t land it that time, I just crumpled. My wee legs couldn’t take it. Leo put the photo in Sidewalk anyway. I’ve landed it since though so it still counts ha. Even though I didn’t land it first I was stoked about the photo – something to show the olds! How about a favourite quote of all time to finish it off? Well there’s two personal favourites that spring to mind. Faither Baillie’s reference to BBQ’s – “I’ve always thought the best way to cook a sausage is to cremate the fucker”. And some words of wisdom from my oldest brother, Chris, “I’d rather be a live chicken than a dead hero”.
THANKS Sam Paterson Matt Blease Jowey Roden Thomas Payne Albie Clark Kieron Forbes Henry Kingsford Focus Skate Store Nike SB Converse Volcom Form Distribution Stable Distribution Shiner Distribution Rock Solid Distribution Dwindle Distribution
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Cover shot - Daniel Nicholas Front Blunt Transfer
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