INSIDE BREWS FIRST EDITION
Liverpudlian rider Jamie Scott really knows how to get the job done. This photo is a true testament to his ability on his bike and presents an obvious question that needs an answer. Why isn’t he sponsored? When contemplating which rider should be featured on the first cover of Brew we all knew it should be someone who carries a few qualities through their day to day life, whether BMX related or not. An individual should always compose himself in a way that it true to their nature and should always of course, be someone you can sit down and have a brew with. Jamie encompasses both of these qualities and I hope his cover shot brings some well deserved attention his way.
11 STYLE FOR MILES A Personal account of riding in Newcastle and the endless search for scenes and crews.
SPECIAL BREW 13 THE LONG GRIND A compiled list of 5
of the best in the grind game as voted by you the readers.
06 2013 DUB JAM The most surreal BMX event you will ever attend powered by king size Rizlas. 22 NATHAN CANTRELL An interview with a rider who’s pro but still waits tables in Grimsby for a living. 27 CULT TALK IS CHEAP AND EMPIRE BAD IDEA, THE REVIEW A look into two of the most highly anticipated BMX videos of 2013. 38 BMX THE GAME We sat down with Barspin studios the guys behind BMX the game.
No1 43 A RIDERS GUIDE TO LIVERPOOL If you’re lucky enough to visit Liverpool we’ve suggested a few spots you’ll definitely want to visit.
50 DARREN NASH An interview with someone who’s on the other side of the BMX industry. Darren Nash tells us what life is like behind the lens of a camera.
57 PARK CHECK The park wardens are on the prowl
and they’ve given you a glimpse into Panama Skatepark in sunny Whitley Bay.
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I N S I D E INSIDE | 4
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o here we are at our last milestone of production, your first issue of brew is on the shelves.
I’d be lying if I told you that getting here was all smooth riding. Over the past few months here at Brew we’ve been huddled together in our small studio trying to source you the best features and interviews. Which as any rider will know is not an easy task in the depths of winter on our small, united island. We’ve nearly packed it all in over the past year, chasing after riders and losing camera equipment was beginning to wear off somewhat as a novelty. It’s what we love though, why would we do it if we didn’t enjoy getting out on our bikes and doing what we do best? We’re all part of this ever changing scene of BMX and Brew’s doing its best to keep up with everybody. But that’s easy isn’t it? All we do is ride our bikes, get you the best interviews and shoot the best photos. Were going to remain independent and we’re here to stay. Without the influence of corporate media fat cats we have the ability to print whatever we want without getting our wrists slapped. We’re never going to sugar coat anything in an attempt to keep everybody cosy. We want to give you a real glimpse
into what it means to ride a BMX. Who knows the scene better than the boys at brew and you guys? Right about now you’re probably shaking the seasonal cobwebs off your bike, getting ready to go out on the streets and feeling for the first half hour like you’ve had 4 cans of Tennents super. But don’t worry you’ll get it together and winters clutch over you and your bike will soon vanish. We take the rough with the smooth; we’ll sit down, have a brew and think about where our little bikes are going to take us next. It’s definitely a change from what it was but change is good. We’re proud of what has become BMX and all of the natural progression that’s part of it. We’d all get bored if everything was the same. Brews documenting all of this change for you in its own special way. Stick the kettle on and settle down on the settee, it’s time too read your first issue of Brew BMX Magazine Take us with a pinch of sugar and enjoy.
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TALENTED GUYS WITH RED EYES PUT ON A DISPLAY FOR DUBS’S 2013 RAMPWORX JAM ’ve always found the DUB jams to be quite a surreal experience, surveying a scene of riders giving it there all on every obstacle imaginable whilst drinking and smoking copious amounts is something that most ordinary citizens would find downright outrageous. However outrage sells and Rampworx skatepark was kind enough to prize open it’s doors and disable their smoke alarms this March allowing everybody’s favourite team of heavy smokers and heavy riders to hold their annual jam. This jam was no exception, pretty much every rider taking part in the event went above and beyond the call of duty sending themselves down huge rails and blasting over insane set-ups, all whilst, of course being under the influence of either pure adrenalin or something a little more potent.
With big names such as Seventies and Monster Energy sponsoring the event and with big cash prizes of up to £1000 it’s no surprise that everyone wanted a taste of some action. One thing I love about these events and I’m sure others will agree is it’s always a pleasure to be in a vast group of BMX’ers all under one roof. And when your with the likes of Ben Lewis and Scott Ditchburn there to accompany you, you know your about to witness something special.
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The jam itself started off relatively slow and the skatepark seemed especially quiet considering the nature of the event about to take place. To kill some time I decided to have a walk around the place and see if anybody was about for a chat. The skatepark itself is segregated into three sections, each of which holds different obstacles catered for different styles of riding. The third section also contains a smoking area and funnily enough that’s where I found the riders. As I walked through the doors I felt as if suddenly I had become an extra on the set of Cheech and Chong I can assure you everybody was cheeched and chonged. Unsurprisingly I found a group of riders being somewhat hassled by an older gentlemen who was telling our friends to throw away their roaches and do something productive with their lives. Sheepishly the riders walked back into the park heavy footed and grinned in the man’s direction. Inclined to hear the old man out I approached him and asked him what he thought about what was happening behind the skatepark doors. At first he seemed a little taken back but soon opened up and I saw a brighter side of the gentlemen which his previous audience may have not. “At the end of the day it’s all good, these lads are participating in something which is healthy and relatively un-commercialised and in all honesty it’s quite impressive how they can keep their balance after smoking that stuff, if that was me I’d feel like I was orbiting around Jupiter craving a packet of ready salteds.” I thanked the man and set foot back inside the skatepark, after all it was time to witness the DUB jam. As everyone knows a big event needs some element of structure and someone behind a megaphone barking out orders and witty one liners. This time our protagonist came in the form of Dan Paley, with a little help from long time DUB affiliate Jay Bean. After Dan informed his audience that the first obstacle going to be ridden was the flat rail, everyone piled in around the rail and let the pros do their thing. Unless you’ve’ been living under a rock for the past three years you’ll know that Ben Lewis and Alex Kennedy both carry an impressive bag of tricks on their backs. However, to put it lightly they were going absolutely nuts on that rail sliding their pegs in ways which you’d have to be really chonged to believe was real. The main trick that stood out for me was Kennedy’s icepick grind to hop over switch icepick. Ben Lewis, a worthy advisory to Kennedy’s trickery ended up walking away with the cash prize for this section of the competition with some high tech wizardry of his own.
“I’ts quite impressive really how they can keep their balance after smoking that stuff, if that was me I’d feel like I was orbiting around Jupiter craving a packet of ready salteds”
Catching some big air on the step-up was next up on the dub agenda after Jay herded the crowds back to the first section of the park. This is where we really got to see just how crazy and progressive the riding in a DUB jam can be. Riders such as Paul Ryan and Ollie Evans sent themselves at least 6 foot into the air whilst throwing their limbs about in a manner of
all kinds. After the madness settled down the pros gracefully stepped to one side and let the younger fellows have a go at gaining some glory. A young rider by the name of Sean Elliot managed to impress Dan and Jay with a hefty three-whip over the set up all before, unfortunately, sticking his legs through his bars about 5 foot in the air and crashing down with some force. Get well soon little man. At this point I felt as though the jam was drawing towards an end, of course this was until Leeds local Dan Paley piped up and squealed over the mic informing the masses that the final segment of the Dub Jam was going to take place in five minutes. Quick as flash everyone ran towards the smoking area and hastily pulled out their king size Rizlas, this again was nothing short of surreal. After the crew had a toke from their special bags the crowds began to filter back in and lay witness
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to what can only be described as the holy grail of street set-ups. A newly fitted gold hand rail accompanied by various sizes of stair sets and ledges sat in the centre of the room and teased the riders with it’s perfection. This segment of the competition was again extremely progressive, Ben Lewis and Pete Sawyer both put the set up through it’s paces and christened the rail with an assortment of ice picks and toothy hangers. Ollie Evans a Liverpool local was having a really tough time trying to pull an up rail 50-50 to 180 barspin, this being a difficult trick for anyone to pull. On a few occasions he was eating the floor really hard but after a few minutes of composing himself he pulled it out the bag, needless to say the whole place erupted and he walked away with a big cash prize. It’s always good to see that determination in a rider especially when they’re attempting something which they’ve fought for in the past. Soon after the winners were announced and the crowds began to be on their way. The riders however, stayed for a while and rode the park for a little longer. I found this quite inspiring and affirming in a way, in that moment I realised the DUB team are just having fun and doing their bit for BMX. All in all as with every DUB Jam there was good vibes and good times shared by all. Now though, I’m off to see a man about a pack of ready salteds.
More skill than chill, this man’s talent never ceases to amaze. Toothy-AK
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DUB JAM | 10
STYLE FOR MILES A Newcastle special
f I was a teacher stood in front of a class of unruly BMX’ers and asked for a show of hands of who’d been riding in Newcastle, the answer would be very slim. I suppose when considering Newcastle’s current place in BMX it isn’t difficult to understand why the cities not somewhere you would hop on the train to for the weekend. It is however, not with out it’s own charm. Newcastle was once a Mecca for BMX talent and churned up a variety of videos which I’m sure if you started riding before 2006, you would have seen. The most notable being NSF 3. NSF, standing for North east street foundation, was originally a BMX shop set up in Newcastle’s city centre. The shop was Founded by Chris Souter and the most talented riders in the north east at the time. After realising what the crew was capable of NSF decided it was time to not just show case their riding to the UK, but most importantly record a production which they could reflect back upon in later years to come. With riders such as Cookie, Ben Lewis and Olly Ollsen behind the handle bars it’s no wonder NSF was as successful as it was. The riding was truly progressive and showed everybody that even riding a two foot tall ledge could be fun as long as you’re with your mates. The video carried an air of professionalism
with James Newrick behind the camera and did well to represent Newcastle as a scene which was progressing and having fun. The video not only exposed the high level of riding in the north east regions but laid the foundations for future riders which would take the reigns and make what they could out of what the city had to offer. Newcastle’s riding scene blew up into the limelight around the time of NSF’s conception and showed the rest of the UK how a little industrial city can hold it’s own against the mighty giants down south. The video featured talent from riders from all walks of life and remained closely nit to the north east. Riders such as James Newrick and Cookie allowed a glimpse into the then prolific BMX scene and expressed the raw street riding which scenes from other regions would now attempt to emulate. The response that NSF received was greater than expected, it seemed that not only were other regions producing scene videos but they were also editing there videos in the same style of James Newrick. Obviously the video was hugely influential, however, after the dust settled Newcastle’s scene took a turn for the worst.
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Scott and Olly blast some of Newcastle’s prime home made and man made transitions. I grew up riding in Alnwick, a small town just off the Scottish border 30 miles north of Newcastle. Round that region there’s really not much to ride, you’d get what you were given and you’d have to travel into Newcastle if you wanted to ride something half decent. Growing up as somewhat of a country boy I was fairly naive when first travelling to the city. The diversity and skill which each rider held was beyond my Imagination. Perhaps this was because I was used to Alnwick locals asking if I knew Tony Hawk, but nevertheless just a small trip to Newcastle’s exhibition park would reaffirm my faith in BMX and it felt as though I’d earn something new on and off the bike every time I visited. These were the days after NSF and after chatting to a few locals I realised that the crews and scenes had somewhat Disbanded. I had learned that NSF had officially shut down due to problems with business and that Newcastle’s city centre which normally echoed the sound of free wheels was beginning to quiet down. In a way this saddened me as I’d always wanted to ride with people from the NSF scene, they always seemed cool on and off the bikes and would have been great to have been a part of what was once and always should have been a massive part of BMX. It seemed as though it was the end of an era and it felt to me as though I’d have to travel to other parts of the UK if I really wanted to get a glimpse of what riding in a crew was like. Fortunately I was wrong. In 2009 my new home became Tynemouth. A small seaside town, Tynemouth is only 10 miles out of Newcastle and is
easily accessible through a metro system or a car. Living here gave me the chance to travel into Newcastle frequently and find out first hand what the riding scene was all about. Generally speaking I would start a day of riding at the skatepark and slowly work my self onto the streets. Small crews of riders were present all round Newcastle at the time, mostly younger kids but nevertheless, enjoying riding their bikes. But this wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to be part of a sophisticated crew of older riders that knew Newcastle like the back of their hand and were down to be part of a scene. After forming friendships with riders in Tynemouth I finally felt as though this was happening. We’d travel into Newcastle every weekend to search for spots and people to ride with. Everything began to fall into place as we rolled about through the city centre in a massive pack of riders. Feeling like a unit we would help each other progress and watch out for one another on Newcastle’s tough streets. I never did get to experience the feeling of being a part of such an influential BMX scene. However, being a member of big crew nowadays is something which only the lucky ones get to experience and I feel graced to be a part of it.
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T H E LO N G
YOU VOTED, WE LISTENED
egs, grinds, damaged property, bent dropouts. It’s all a part of your staple BMX diet. You’ve really got to hand it to the guy who welded pipes of metal to his frame and decided to rough his bike up on a ledge. This man was a pioneer and to some a true hero. There’s a lot of hype in the BMX media sphere at the minute surrounding new ways to grind and new pegs to ride. The most notable being crank arm grinds and plastic pegs. If the guys who introduced grinding to our sport have checked into the current affairs of the grind I’m sure they’d be extremely impressed by its progression, if not a bit Shocked. The point of this article is to showcase some of the best riders in the grind game the boys at Brew and you the readers believe to be the best. The votes are in. Grind on.
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N NATHAN WILLIAMS O
There’s definitely something in the water over there in Nashville, everyone’s sure of that. Nathan William is a very popular name in BMX and is famous for pushing the possibilities of what is capable on a bike. This is very present in his grind game as he steps up to plate every time and fully commits to sending himself down ridiculous hand rails and head height ledges. Mix this skill up with his chilled attitude and positive outlook on life and you’ve got a great rider.
Nathan Williams first popped into the limelight in 2007 when he featured in his first full length riding DVD. His section showed the world what he was capable of, particularly on his pegs. Before Nathan’s love affair started with BMX he played basketball in high school which he definitely exceeded at. This carried on for nearly 7 years until he picked up one of his friends bikes and instantly felt comfortable. Not long after he was beginning to gain some skill and his basketball trophies were being replaced by posters of his favourite riders. Nathan’s got one of those grinding styles where it looks as though he’s floating. Everything
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looks effortless and perfect. He is an avid supporter of plastic pegs and claims that they have opened up a world of possibilities to him. To really understand Nathans ability on his pegs you need to watch his most recent video part in This is United. This section is extremely progressive and shows William putting his pegs to use on set-ups most riders wouldn’t look twice at. The reason why Nathan is featured in this article is because he’s a cool character on and off the bike. He’s got a lot going for him through gaining growing support from his sponsors and seeing the world through riding his BMX.
N AARON ROSS O
Some say everything in Texas is big and if they’re talking about Aaron Ross they’d be right. His riding is powerful and calculated but never boring. His bag of tricks features a never ending repertoire of big spins and whips which he manages to muscle out of grinds and stalls. He’s built a reputation for doing some of the hardest and burliest tricks but some of these remain technical and extremely hard to emulate. Ross is master of his own style and no one can get a piece of it.
Aaron Ross is from a town in Texas called Corpus Christi. When he was kid he did all the normal things an normal American would do, spent his time outside, hung out on the beach and rode his bike. At first he skated but after his friend was given a BMX on his 12th birthday Aaron was instantly attracted to the idea of BMX. Aaron first started experimenting with riding flatland however this didn’t really work for him. He was destined for bigger things. Ever since picking up his BMX and progressively picking up talent it’s very rare that more than a few days will go by in which he won’t ride his bike. Ross now lives in Austin which is home to one of his sponsors, Empire BMX.
Aaron Ross’s most recent video part in Empire Bad Idea showcases his all round ability on a bike perfectly however it’s his grinding which really shines above the rest. One particular clip shows a set up where Ross double pegs up a rail to 180 then fakies to half cab double peg down another rail. If you’ve never seen Ross ride that last sentence probably sounds made up. So go see it for yourself. Ross is boss.
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You don’t have to look any further than the internet to see that there is endless talent in BMX but it takes something special to be original. With many cookie cutter web edits of riders doing the same tricks on the same set-ups it’s always good to see someone who takes a different approach to things. That’s why everyone loves Ben Lewis’s riding. Not only was Ben a pioneer of moves such as the crank arm grind but his style and skill on his bike back in 2006 is still copied nowadays.
Ben who is from Liverpool and aged 27 is a mature rider who is considered a pure breed street rider. From growing up in a large city it is somewhat of a coincidence that Lewis first started riding in the same school yard that skate boarding legend Geoff Rowley started pushing his board around in. Ben carries his championing spirit and home town underdog style throughout his riding and personality rising up to be one of the worlds most progressive street riders. He is a true all rounder and will grind his pegs on spots and lines that other riders would fail to see. Ben, once in search of an all mighty street session travelled 70 miles in one sitting. This journey took him 10 hours and once he arrived he still managed to ride on a level which most riders
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would find unrealistic. And with that sort of determination he has been able to overcome a string of injuries which threatened his career. This in turn has gained him the respect of many riders and the praise of many of his fans whom all look up to him. The first real progression in Ben’s peg game can be seen in his section of NSF 3. His last few clips all focus on one rail which he proceeds to beat to death. One grind in particular, the crank arm, has become his signature move was first featured in NSF and laid the foundations for more peg trickery to come. Ben is a progressive an influential rider both past and present. I’ve witnessed his talent first hand and he’s more than approachable if you ever get the chance to meet him.
N BOB SCERBO O
Emerging from the ever deepening talent pool that is New Jersey, Bob Scerbo formed his own path through the over weeded field of BMX. Scerbo loves riding his bike and through being a part of street scenes in New York such as Animal and Skavenger it’s no wonder that he’s considered one of the best on his pegs.
Bob Scerbo started riding when he was 14 with his friend George Dossantos. At this stage he had been playing basketball his whole life but was beginning to become bored with the constant expectations that came along with his talent. After talking to his coaches and deciding it was all becoming to much he placed his basketball on his shelve and dedicated his time to something else. Scerbo doesn’t recall how he first started riding BMX however it was a move in the right direction which held many positive repercussions. Bob has the tendency to pick up a hobby and really get into it. He’ll spend countless hours researching a topic. Nobody really knows why apart from Bob, perhaps it’s to fulfil his curiosity.
One thing that Bob’s notorious for is always riding a broken bike. He claims that he doesn’t really care about his bike or any of the parts that come with it but as long as he’s having fun nothing else matters. This attitude is portrayed in his riding and by no means is his talent hindered by not having the best parts. Bob often talks fondly of his old scene in New Jersey and claims that he spent countless hours on his bike in the search of new spots. His affiliation with brands such as Animal and Skavenger have helped to expose him as one of the best in the grind game and as always he remains to have fun on his bike to this day.
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In any particular sport there are athletes who define a genre, individuals who forge a new path for riders to follow. For the street BMX scene this character comes in the form of Edwin Delarosa. Edwin ushered in a new age of technical urban street riding which was undoubtedly laced with line tricks but most importantly multiple grind combos. His bike is now being emulated all over the world with it’s clean brakeless four peg set-up. New York city has long been know for its BMX street scene. Edwin, however blew up this scene with his own brand of street riding. X-games coverage of BMX first introduced him to his new found love and on his 13th birthday he was given his first bike. Unlike most riders at the time Edwin ditched the complexity of his brake set up and forged his own path in how street riding should look. His career was first jump started when he was given the chance to “jump in the van” and take part in his first ever BMX trip. This proved fruitful for Edwin as he demonstrated his then unfounded style to a range of BMX brands. Immediately after this trip he travelled over to the west coast of America where he filmed
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his part in ‘Turbulence’ in one week. A range of video parts emerged from Edwin soon after this time mostly coming from the immensely popular company Animal Bike Co. Delarosa was quickly asserting himself as a very talented rider and earned his rightly deserved title as a street legend. Although Edwin is to this day widely imitated he still stands above the rest with his confident and powerful style that makes it seem as though he’s capable of anything. Nowadays most of Edwins signature parts can be found in his shop ‘Post’ which he co-founded with his friends. Edwin has slowed down recently due to the birth of his daughter, however he remains a legend of the grind.
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BACK AND FORTH CHIT CHAT WITH NATHAN CANTRELL THE HOLIEST MAN IN BMX What does it actually mean to be a ‘pro’ rider? Everyone knows the term but far less have any idea of what it really involves. Being a pro can mean your making 100k a year and travelling around the world in your Mercedes Benz. But it can also mean your making 10k a year and living on your mates couch. This realization can come to a shock to some people who have put in many hours work in order to achieve pro status. This of course is only relevant if you care about it and there’s one rider out there who certainly doesn’t. Nathan Cantrell would still be out there riding what he wants in the way that he wants even if he was rolling with the high ballers.
Things haven’t always been fair on Connor but he’s always kept his head down and his spirits up and his sessions going strong. And at this point he’s progressed to a level which can’t be ignored. His new accumulated ‘pro’ spirit has been long deserved however he still remains very under the radar and definitely isn’t racing his Mercedes around his sleepy town of Grimsby. Nathan currently waits tables at an Italian cafe and still manages to sneak in a few hours of riding every day. Along with his strong work ethic comes a friendly personality. A truly well rounded individual.
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How long have you rode for?
too almost make it worth while.
Where do you work?
I’ve seen a few of the videos you and your crew have put out. Does it ever scare you watching your friends going for bangers?
All in all it’s been around 8 years but I’ve taken time off the bike for work. Now that I’ve got something promising in the works though I’m going to try and get out as much as possible.
I wait and reset tables in a small Italian Cafe, it’s pretty boring most the time but the foods good so it has it’s perks.
I always get nervous every time. But you’ve just got to think of the rider and think of how talented they are. I wouldn’t call them out of doing anything if I knew they were capable of pulling it off.
How many hours do you normally I noticed you befriend a lot of the work per week? younger riders at the skatepark About 20 to 30 hours a week. It all depends on what time of year it is though. During the winter I might only when most riders probably work 15 whereas in summer I can work up to 40. wouldn’t. What’s you views on it? Do you have to work or could you ride full time for a living? I pretty much have to work. I could ride full time but with the position I’m in now if I injured myself then I could be living out of bins. I wouldn’t have any money for food or anything like that. I have to work to stay financial stable. I don’t mind working at all though. It gives me a break from riding and keeps it more fun and interesting every time I ride. I would love to make it a full time gig but I suppose it would burn out quickly for me if I rode every single day.
How has your riding changed now that you’re pro?
When I didn’t have sponsors I would always have to wait until I got paid to buy new parts if my bike broke. So having sponsors gives me the help and up and go to get out riding again.
Does it add any stress to riding?
For me personally it’s not particularity stressful but I do like to put myself out there for my sponsors. It only seems fair as they’ve gone to the trouble of adding you to their team. I try and get a few photos or edits out a month just to show everybody that I’m still in the game.
Does it affect the way you view riding at all?
Not really. I would still put videos out there regardless of whether I was sponsored or not. But it’s definitely good to have a solid reason to put it out there. If you fall and get hurt filming a video or shooting a photo going through that process over and over again seems
That’s a pretty deep question. When I grew up it was always so cool to see a pro rider down at the park and when they made the effort to come up and talk to you it made that experience so much cooler. So when I got older I made a point of always being really friendly to the kids. Maybe give em’ a sticker or two.
Describe your day to day schedule?
Get up at 6am, get a shower and drive to work. By 7am I’m normally arriving at a street near work where the parking is free. I always ride my BMX into work to get me loosened up. At around half seven I’m at work setting up the tables which mostly involves setting the places and doing other fun tasks like filling up salt and pepper shakers. I’ll wait tables until anytime between noon and 3pm depending on if it’s busy or not. If it’s light outside when I finish I’ll probably try and get to the park to get a session in before it’s nigh time. I try to get out on the weekends as much as possible too.
Do you have any funny work stories you like to tell us about?
You might be surprised to hear this but waiting tables really isn’t as fun as it sounds. There was one time though that another waiter threw an orange at me as a joke and it ended up completely missing me and hitting a customer in the face. Needless to say they lost their shit and the waiter was fired on the spot. That day was both sad and funny.
How about a good riding story?
Too many to single out but there was this one time when me and the crew were all out filming and one of my friends was trying to toothy hanger a rail over and over again. There was a Subaru Impreza parked at the bottom of the rail and he was literally missing it by half
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“HE WAS FIRED ON THE SPOT”
NATHAN CANTRELL | 24
a foot each time he bailed. In the end he pulled the toothy but he also ended up putting his foot through the side window. I’d never seen anything like it, it was so crazy. A guy came out of the house across the road soon after and chased us away with a baseball bat. We all still laugh about that to this day.
Sounds pretty intense, I heard you were a wrestler in high school. What’s your take on the sport now?
That was just something me and my brothers liked doing a long time ago but I gave that shit up pretty quickly. I don’t really keep up with it nowadays but it’s cool if your still into it.
Have you ever had to use wrestling in real life?
One time and I don’t really fancy talking about it.
Have you ever been involved in any traditional sports? No not really, I would play basketball from time to time but that was about it. I gave that up as quickly as I gave up wrestling and I suppose it all turned out for the best.
Is your cafe like the one in faulty towers? I refuse to answer that.
Have you ever been let go or fired from a job at all?
Not really, my last job was a bit of a shambles and I messed about loads on the last day so that wasn’t great. I still got a reference from my employee though so all’s well that ends well.
moving up would mean seeing more of them so I’m pretty comfortable where I am. I don’t think I could deal with snobby customers all day long.
Does anybody call you out for having your nose pierced and your ears stretched?
Surprisingly not too much. There’s been a few times when I’ve got a couple of dirty looks but apart from that I’ve had very little problems with it.
The use of a helmet is pretty hot topic at the minute and I notice you pretty much always wear one. What’s your views on this?
A few year ago I tried a truck driver down an eight set and completely looped out half way through the spin. I ended up doing about 8 cartwheels on my head and as soon as I got up I could tell something wasn’t quite right. I felt a lot of crazy pressure in my head and I kept throwing up as I was walking home. This really scared the shit out of me. At that moment I knew I needed to head to the hospital sharpish. As soon as I got there they put me straight into ICU and started dong a range of tests on my head. It turned out I had internal bleeding in my brain and I was kept in the hospital for 4 days. I was off my bike for 3 months after that so ever since then I’ve always worn a lid.
What’s your thoughts on contest converge compared to magazine or photo coverage in BMX these days?
Do you get special treatment at work for being a pro rider?
They’re all as important as each other and each one is a great way of exposing BMX. I suppose if someone is a bit camera shy then going to a BMX contest and giving it your all is a great way to get noticed but I love the idea of being in a magazine and having something which you can hold in your hands to look back on.
Do they think you’re in the X-Games?
Do you have any last things you’d like to say or have any thanks to give?
Yeah definitely but they’ve known that since day one. They know I go away on trips and need to take a lot of time off work for that kind of thing.
They do think it’s pretty cool and they’ve seen some videos of me and always call me a superstar. I’m pretty sure they think I’m some kind of famous person but I always remind them that I just ride for fun.
Do you ever want to move up?
Yeah, thanks to all my friends and family who have supported me through my injuries and thanks to the restaurant for giving me time off work when I needed it and as always thanks to my sponsors who help me ride my bike.
No way, I pretty much dislike all of the customers and
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“I ENDED UP DOING 8 CARTWHEELS ON MY HEAD”
NATHAN CANTRELL | 26
CULT TA L K I S C H E A P
THE REVIEW BREW BMX MAGAZINE
LIVERPOOL P R E M I E R AT T H E LO OT
s you are reading this Cult Talk is Cheap DVD’s are flying off the shelves and premiers are taking place all over the world. With riders such as Dakota Roche and Russ Barone filming for the video over the past two years it’s pretty easy to have an idea of what’s in store. And with Ryan Navazio behind the camera and handling a large proportion of the editing, it doesn’t seem like production standards are going to be an issue either.
was going to feel dragged out and should have maybe been edited down a little further but the time flew by and what was close to an hour felt like 20 minutes. In order to really know what the DVD was like you need to watch it for yourself but I’ll do my best to give you a glimpse into it’s greatness. I’ll keep the following review as brief as possible so I don’t spoil it. I’ll let the video do the talking (pun very much intended.)
In order to find out what the video was all about I decided to show my face at the Liverpool premier of Talk is Cheap. The premier was due to take place in Liverpool’s one and only BMX shop, The Loot. The riders and filmers came from all over the world to introduce the video and sign a few autographs for their eagerly awaiting fans. The Loots owner DUB Jack was kind enough to clear out his stock room for the night and gave us all a chance to watch one of the most progressive videos we’ll ever see on his beautiful HD projector. The Cult crew including Dan Lacey and Alex Kennedy all came down to support the event and were more than gracious in chatting to the kids and making sure everybody had a good time. Ryan Navazio, the director of the video even flew from America just so he could see the gob smacked faces of everyone attending the event.
After settling down into our seats and wolf whistling Navazio’s introduction speech the lights went dim and waves of excitement swept over the audience as we knew we were about to witness something special. The videos first section kicks off with Alex Kennedy. His part is full of next level technical riding and is full of tricks very few of us have ever seen before. This relates in part to his use of a freecoaster and four pegs. This
The Video comes in at around 53 minutes of full production and is split into nine sections. Initially I thought that 53 minutes
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part really will leave your head spinning. It’s one of those sections you have to watch over and over again just to comprehend how someone can be so talented on a bike. The section is split into two parts with two individual songs each of which are relaxing, complimenting Kennedy’s style of riding and personality very well. As the screen fades to black after Kennedy’s section a long haired wind swept looking individual pops up onto the screen and everybody realises it’s Dave Krone who will now be showing us what he’s got. I found this section quite surprising. Krone is a rider who remains fairly under the radar and does little to express himself in BMX media. It seems though that he left this section to really show the audience what he was capable of. Krone lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia but has also spent quite a bit of time living in Sydney Australia, both cities have acted as a catalyst towards his talent and have really laid down the foundations for his skill. His section includes lots of front wheel trickery such as nose manuals and g-turns all of which are a testament to his progressive riding. What’s in store next for Krone? Big things no doubt.
Next up it’s Russ Barone the vegetable powered street killer. Barone puts his vegan diet to good use and proceeds to send himself down a variety of ledges and rails. He’s always a good rider to watch as everything he does seems to be so effortless. One particular trick that stood out to me was a wallride up a ledge to ice pick. This sort of thing is seen far and few between so it’s always a pleasure to see a trick which hasn’t been done to death. After the vegetable lovers section is over it’s time to welcome a mix of carnivores to the screen, all of whom were hungry for some meaty skateparks and stair sets. The mix section includes riding from Shawn Swain, Jayson Johnson, Andy Erickson, Levesque, Iz Pulido, and Andrew Castenada. Cults owner Robbie Morales also has few clips in there featuring him cranking full pelt at gaps and floating over trail sets. Even Navazio has a few clips in there which was nice to see. Soon after the mix section Trey Jones flies onto the screen and proceeds to flair jersey barriers for fun. His section also includes lots of trails riding and death defying gaps. He’s really
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not scared of nose manual or two and fearlessly sends himself down massive stair sets in search of blasting his back wheel on the following set of stairs at the bottom. If your a fan of Trey’s riding you’re really going to enjoy this section. The music choice for me wasn’t amazing as it was a bit to outlandish however the riding in this section more than makes up for it. Sebastian Keep is up next and what a banger his section turned out to be. It was great to see him doing what he did best, blasting out of wooden and concrete transitions all whilst of course, composing himself in that floaty fashion. For an older rider he really did well to give it his all and never strayed away from doing the bigger stuff. One particular clip which really pays close attention to this shows Keep being towed along at around 50 miles an hour by a red bull x-fighters motorbike bike. As he gathers his speed the camera zooms out and shows the audience what’s at the other end of the track. A huge vert ramp. Keep airs it in his signature floaty style and puts on the pressure for the next section. Without a doubt it’s Cults smoothest rider up next, Chase Dehart. This man will seriously leave you feeling like melted butter as he puts his pegs and bars to good use sending him self down and over an arrangement of stair sets, hand rails and street gaps. His manual to 180 game has really come along well and it seems as though he’s taking everything he already knows to bigger set-ups. Dehart lets his style be known all over the streets of California, Philly and beyond. Watch out for the roof action in his last clip.
The other Chase follows Dehart’s section with a lot to prove. He let’s himself loose over a range of obstacles but his section starts off with an all out aerial assault on some of Californians finest concrete bowls and natural transitions. One thing I found surprising when watching Chase Hawk ride is how talented he’s become on his pegs. Chase was once a pegless rider and seemed to only be comfortable riding trails or transitions. It seems like this has all changed though as his pegs are put too good use throughout his segment. His last trick in the video shows him taking on a serious kinked rail and by the looks of it, it took him a few tries. A solid section all round. Last but definitely not least it’s Dak Roche with the final section. His riding in Talk is Cheap is seriously insane. His parts are normally the most anticipated and with him being one of the most talented riders out there this comes at no surprise. His section is an immense 9 minutes long and it overflows with head height bunny hops and monster icepick grinds. What this man is capable of on a bike is something very few other riders can reckon with. It’s safe to say that this section will go down with the greats of our time. As the video came to an end and our eyes began to hurt from the increasingly growing light we all looked around the room and realised something. None of us had made a sound throughout the video. We remained completely silent and shocked at the level of riding and production throughout the DVD. It seemed that everyone’s views on the DVD were all the same. Talk really is cheap.
TALK IS CHEAP THE REVIEW | 30
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EMPIRE BAD IDEA
THE REVIEW BREW BMX MAGAZINE
at in front of a tolerable 22” television screen, with the lights dimmed and a sandwich in hand it suddenly dawned on me. For the life of me I couldn’t remember the last time I’d watched a physical hard copy BMX DVD. This notion made me sad. Sure It’s all well and good sitting on the toilet with your Ipad checking out web edits of quadruple three sixty backflip whips to ice pick but when you’re not putting money back into BMX and supporting companies that actually went through the hassle of producing a DVD, you know there’s something wrong. And that statement is by no means self-righteous or preachy, we’re all guilty of it and there’s no denying it’s ultimately cheaper to make use of the internet to support our constant BMX cravings. Don’t worry I’ll end my rant here but I will offer you one last opinion; there’s a reason why certain companies produce DVD’s instead of opting to create an edit. Full scale productions are filmed over years not weeks meaning all the best riding captured over that time period is going to be of paramount quality. BMX companies are obviously aware that if someone wants to see a progressive move then they will dig deep into their pockets and buy it. This circle of production and commerce ensure the quality of production and riding in BMX DVD’s will always prevail. However I digress, it’s time to press play and see if Empires newest DVD release ‘Bad Idea’ will prove me right or wrong. A well shot moody scene introduces the video, riders such as Aaron Ross and Tom Dugan spin their bars and put their pegs to good use on various props in what we can only assume is Empires storage warehouse. The outlandish backing music compliments the scene, fading out and leaving us begging for
more. We can only hope that this trend of quality riding and editing is commonplace throughout the DVD. After the introduction we’re feeling calm, collected and spaced out. Kevin Porter brings us back down to earth with frustrated groans and an angry throw of his bike, already we’re aware the first section has landed, and what a section it turned out to be. The first clip stood out to me the most, KP starts to manual a set of small dirt hills whilst ‘Video killed the radio star’ begins to set in and gain some volume. When he reaches the last hill he pulls up hard on his bars and spins an almighty tailwhip, as he does the song reaches its peak and lets out an “owwhhaahhooo.” Perfect, Empire really know how to match a song to a rider. This style of cinematography is present through the rest of the section and KP spins, stalls and hucks in effortless style, pat on the back for you. Next up its Sean Sexton, nobody had seen much from Sean for a while. He seemed to have slipped back under the radar after he blew up into the limelight in 2009, nevertheless he lets his presence be known setting the scene and changing the dynamic of the video with a big nosebonk barspin. One thing that most riders don’t seem to realise about Sexton is that he’s an extremely versatile rider, his section does well to demonstrate this. In one instance he’s hang fiving across a skinny down ledge however 10 seconds later he’s upside down blasting a flair on a ditch quarter, a jack of all trades and a master
EMPIRE BAD IDEA | 34
Switch 180 bar-Sean Sexton of the lot. As the song fades it seems his time is up and his section ends with a truck driver from a man sized ledge into an equally large embankment. As the piece fades to black Simon and Garfunkel strum on their guitars and gracefully introduce a wild haired rider by the name of Tom Smith to the screen. As for the riding in this section I wasn’t entirely impressed, his style lacked flow from trick to trick and most of his moves seemed a little forced. However, not everything was lost in this section as it’s now that we really see the fabrication in editing and production of Bad idea. The filming is smooth, calculated and catered for each riders style whilst the editing also holds its own and ensures each song verbalizes more often than not neck risking riding. A positive point I’d like to add when discussing the music choice in Bad idea is the lack of gangster rap, this seems all too common in online web videos and let’s face it, what’s gangster about riding about on a little bike? Obviously not too much. Never mind, the time we’ve all been waiting for has arrived. Aaron Ross is up on the screen with a bit of Van Halen thrown in for good measure and straight away he’s throwing down some progressive moves. He starts his street agenda with a big feeble
grind to 540, a trick we’ve only seen a handful of riders manage to pull off. This trend of progressive street riding is present throughout the rest of his section and confirms my suspicions about the quality of BMX videos. The title screen rolls on and it’s time to sit back and reflect on what a good piece of work bad idea really is. Undoubtedly it’s one of the best BMX productions I’ve seen in a long time. Compliments are due on both ends of the spectrum as the riders, filmers and editors gave it their all and contributed to BMX in a positive way. Bad idea really opened my eyes too what’s possible when riding BMX, it opens up a world of travel opportunities and allows us to meet new people.
“Lets face it, what’s gangster about riding around on a little bike? Obviously when put into those terms, not too much”
Empire did a brilliant job in giving us a glimpse into what can be achieved through a little bit of know how behind the bars of a bike, a lens of a camera and a click of a mouse. Lesson learnt, buy a DVD and save the triple whip ice picks for the kids.
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EMPIRE BAD IDEA | 36
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AN INTERVIEW WITH SHADER MEDIA THE GUYS BEHIND BMX THE GAME I can pretty much guarantee most people reading this article will have at least once played Matt Hoffmans and or Dave Mirras pixelated BMX game. Granted these games used to be rather progressive once upon a 2003, nowadays the physics and graphics don’t quite cut the mustard especially in comparison to current niche genre games such as skate. It’s a topic that’s often talked about. Many times I’ve heard riders and friends asking why our consoles haven’t been graced with a new BMX game. However when you consider the market place its not too difficult to understand the sad truth. There really isn’t that much money in BMX, no matter how many monster energy sponsored events occur the profits very rarely infiltrate the bank of BMX. Game producers such as EA are aware of this, they know the market place for avant-garde production and will
normally only produce a game if they’re positive there’s a salary to be made. Right now you’re probably considering putting your thumbs down for retirement and giving up all hope after reading about EA’s disinterest, however, we have some good news. Smaller scale indie game producers are always there to pick up the slack from the corporate fat cats and recognise qualities or demographics which others may have missed. This time our hero comes in the form of Barspin Studios born from Shader media in Barcelona, and no that’s not an earthquake, it’s your hands trembling because yes, there is going to be another BMX game. To get a better idea of who these producers are and what the game will be like we sat down with the programmers of their simply titled love child ‘BMX the game.
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Who is Barspin studios?
Are you a big team for the project?
Why make a BMX game?
So how can the production grow?
We are a studio born from Shader Media in Barcelona. Shader Media being a group which develops a range of 3D solutions such as 3D procedure simulators, 3D catalogues and VR holograms. The company has always developed these solutions through a video game system so have a lot of experience in the field.
Some members of the “Shader Media” team though it was the time to utilise our knowledge, experience and resources. We wanted to start our dream of making a BMX game. We were very excited when we first played Skate. We thought that if they could do it we could do. So if we all have the experience to make it why should we not?
Why hasn’t EA made the game?
You should probably ask EA that but we have had the same question since Skate’s launch. A game such as Skate comes from a big company and big games need big budgets with big sales and big profits. Maybe a BMX game doesn’t meet they’re requirements.
Most current games are by a team of hundreds of people, there is however many great games made by small teams such as Minecraft. The difference lies primarily in the size of the project. Normally in larger projects you will need more resources and hands on deck so we need a lot more support to grow.
Without help from the public this project will cease to exist. There’s only one way to grow, receiving support from more resources is a must. Currently we are self funded so we have decided to open a Kickstarter which is an online site which you can donate money too and the funds will go straight into the game. This will allow us to add more ideas, more features and anything thing else in between.
Can users submit there ideas to you? Your ideas and opinions are the most important seeing as the game will be built around you. You can check the forum online and the suggestion box. But in order to develop your ideas we need more resources.
When will we see the first signs of actual game play?
So an indie team is a good alternative?
You’ll have to be patient as we’re only going to show the game play when the game reaches alpha version. In the meantime you can check our Facebook page for images of development. The images will show you how it works and it’s progress. We hope to make you part of the project.
We think so and we think it’s a good thing. Above anything else an indie team holds a lot of advantages over a corporate company. We’re going to focus on the bikers needs and make a game like no one else has ever been able to do. We can make it as realistic as possible without having to cater for the mainstream audiences needs as it’s a game by riders for riders.
When do you think that stage will be reached?
We are trying to get everything together to launch it in December 2013 however we still need help to make this thing possible.
Why should the market trust you over anybody else?
Because we are a little known company and aren’t bound to any influences from other corporations. We are getting bigger and better on this. We are putting everything we have into this including our resources, our hours and our money.
Have you started making the game?
Yes we’re making it right now, we’ve been working on it for some months.
What have you already made?
We are still in the early stages of development, but we’ve designed a large portion of the graphics. We have also developed the concept and many of the processes. Most importantly we have completed the main part of development program structure and core diagrams. We are developing the control system and the integration of the animations. We have also started modelling the programming, mechanics and physics but there’s still a lot of work to do.
Will any official BMX brands such as Fit or Cult be featured in the game?
Several brands have already contacted us to appear in the game however we hope to feature many more, as for Fit and Cult we have heard no word from them. Ultimately we would like to include all BMX brands in the game however it’s hard for companies to invest in us. With the life cycle platform of the game we’re hoping to add more brands as we go along.
What does the game map look like?
We’ve decided to only put one map in the “core game” and a huge park editor. If we receive more funds we’ll add a city similar to Barcelona to roam including all of it’s famous spots. The city scape will increase depending on the support and the resources we receive. Hopefully the whole map will increase as each version of the game updates.
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“WE NEED YOUR HELP”
BMX THE GAME | 40
How is the game going to feel?
Our aim is to make the game feel as realistic as possible, where grinding a rail or doing a tailwhip isn’t easy, like real life riding. We want the game to feel as though your actually riding, in which beauty and creativity is combined. We don’t want the game to have particular challenges, we want the challenge to be based around the player who has to improve day to day. Obviously we want the graphics to be paramount with HD textures and realistic illumination. Ultimately we want to make the best BMX game and we think we’re headed in the right direction.
Has anybody submitted any good ideas so far?
We have thousands of your ideas to add to the game. That’s exactly what we want to take advantage of and we’ve made the game extremely accessible to you. As for the actual ideas we’ve had a few ones about including pro riders and certain street spots however were not going to reveal too much as this stage. If you’d like to submit an idea send us a message on Facebook or visit BMX the game online.
What’s next for the game? The life cycle of BMX the game is “evolvitive meaning the aim is to start with a simple and powerful base. A base with life like physics, good graphics, good controls and a park editor. The first edition will carry a base upgradable in all aspects. So update by update we will add more features, more pieces, more tricks, more maps and famous spots. This way the users can enjoy the game as quickly as possible and receive free updates which allows the game to grow constantly whilst the user plays.
How important are the physics in creating game play?
We think that the physics of the BMX the game are it’s most well designed feature. This game will simulate all of the movements and sensations you experience when riding a BMX. We are working hard to make the physics as realistic as possible so they’re very important to us.
How are the controls going to work?
There are a ridiculous amount of tricks and variations of tricks which need to be considered before attempting to create a button system. We are however, working on a controls system at the minute which will allow you to imitate the real movements of a BMX.
What will the park editor include?
We want to open the creativity and beauty of BMX. The game will have a skatepark editor. It will allow the user to build a park through use of hundreds of materials. All the pieces are
in a customizable size, shape and material. The design is down to you, you can make your own ramps, trails, race courses or even pools. The users imagination is the only limit. Once you’ve built a set-up you can upload it onto the shared community centre.
What consoles will the game be available on?
Eventually we want to make the game playable on PC, Xbox360 and PS3. Due to the system that we are currently using we can easily design the game for each of these consoles. Making a console playable game is very expensive so for that reason the first edition will only be released for the PC. We aim for this edition to be released in December and depending on the support we receive we will release editions for other consoles in the same month or very soon after.
What’s the mile stone for your Kickstarter and how will that benefit the game if its reached?
The first milestone is £55 thousand, we think this is easily achieved and hope that people will dig deep as we know this is going to be something special. The money will benefit the game is many ways. As I said before it will help to build a realistic physics base which simulates BMX behaviour in multiple scenarios. Some of the funds will help to develop a trick system which be controlled by the analogue sticks. The gestures will be representative of the actual trick in real life. We will also include a replay editor which allows the user to capture his riding on screen and edit it into a format which can be uploaded to various social media sites such as Youtube. The final proportion of the funds will be used to make the game more interactive for the user, we hope to include customizable bike parts and characters which the player can mess about with.
What challenges do you face in the production of BMX the game?
Like any other game we’re going to face a few risks, the main risk we want to try and side step is delays in production. Occasionally a two day project can turn into a week long one due to unforeseen circumstances. However we have a lot of experience working against deadlines for Shader media, all of which were met on time.
Anything else you’d like to add? Nope, I’ve talked to much.
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“GRINDING RAILS ISN’T GOING TO BE EASY, JUST LIKE REAL LIFE RIDING”
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THE RIDERS GUIDE TOO THE CITY OF LIVERPOOL A LOOK INTO LIVERPOOL’S SPOTS, SCENES AND RIDERS Liverpool has and always will be one of the most BMX focused cities in the UK. Classed as the city of culture and one of the more wealthy areas of England there’s countless spots to ride and familiar faces to see. Endless amounts of hours can be spent riding around the city and its suburbs in search of new spots and crews. With Liverpool being home to groups such as the DUB crew and skateparks such as Rampworx it’s no surprise that a massive amount of talent and progressions has emerged from it’s streets. The next few pages pay a homage to what has been achieved through BMX in Liverpool and gives you a glimpse into exactly where to ride and places to show your face if your ever lucky enough to visit it. Leave what you’ve heard about Liverpool at the door and experience it for yourself.
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As with any city Liverpool has had its ups and downs in the past. Recent events exposed and more often than not exaggerated by the media have left Liverpool’s reputation somewhat tainted. It’s quite unfortunate really that Liverpool has been branded as a city of crime and violence as it has so much to offer and as shocking as some events may have been, they were primarily very extreme, isolated episodes. Don’t be afraid to travel to Liverpool in fear of a “thieving scouser” stealing your bike. This is a common untrue stereotype which has outlived it’s relevance. Poorer areas of cities are often the roughest so if an area does look underdeveloped turn around and avoid it. The same goes for any city really so don’t take this as a warning as Liverpool is by no means dangerous. Now that’s put of the way and your suspicious have hopefully been laid to rest it’s time to discuss Liverpool as a BMX scene. Back long before the DUB and the Rampworx days Liverpool was only a small spot on the proverbial BMX map. A few riders such as Ben Lewis were beginning to pop up in the limelight but were nowhere near as exposed as they are today. This relates in part to the fact that the crews back then weren’t particularly big. The small crews weren’t producing many videos and the lack of skateparks meant that Liverpool’s BMX scene was tremendously overlooked. This was however, all about to change. Over the past decade a crew of riders who established themselves as DUB have thrust Liverpool into the public sphere of BMX. Many spots which you see in
edits today are the result of DUB sharing them with you. The crew entails a range of home-brand riders who are all extremely talented and friendly. Ben Lewis, Scott Ditchburn and Phil Demmattia who are just a few of the DUB riders do their best to ensure that BMX in Liverpool is always portrayed in positive and progressive way. This is most noticeable in the DUB’s DVD where the crew showcases the spots and skateparks which Liverpool has to offer whilst having fun on their bikes. Liverpool as a city is split up into many suburbs and areas so spots are scattered all about. Through personally living in Liverpool the plethora of sites faces and most importantly spots has been witnessed first hand. Like most rideable cities most of Liverpools spots are held in the city centre. A good place to start would be China town which features a wide range of smooth ledges. These really look like there out of a video game and are an absolute training ground of peg trickery. After grinding your pegs away on public property you’ll probably want to catch some air, to do this you need to head down onto the docks too ride a perfectly shaped stone quarter pipe. At first you may find the cobbles rough but you’ll soon glide up the transitions and Harry Main may even stop by to do a flair whip. Make sure to keep riding along the docks as there’s many hidden gems stored along the river Mersey.
Fafanu at Rathbone bowl-Phil demmatia
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Royal hospital wallride-Pete Sawyer Another great spot in the city centre comes in the form of a wallride. The wallride is hidden around the back of the Royal Hospital and surprisingly security isn’t that much of an issue. The spot has featured in many of the DUB videos and due to it’s size you can really blast it. Notable tricks on this spot include a wallride to whip. But don’t kill yourself trying that one in a hurry. If you have access to a car or aren’t afraid of a little 3 mile cycle make sure to check out a spot in Childwall. This spot is without a doubt the most recognized in Liverpool and features in a range of BMX full length videos such as NSF and Shook-Over the Pond. The spot itself is in the grounds of Calderstone school, security may be an issue during week days so try your best to get there on a weekend. With a range of wallrides, banks and sub boxes you can always ensure your’e going to enjoy yourself there. Another spot on the outer regions of city comes in the form of an old school coping-less skatepark in Rathbone. You’ll be quite surprised when you walk up to the place as its the last kind of skatepark in it’s generation. The park holds a range of banks, spines, transitions and sub boxes. Make sure you bring a brush and maybe a few stick on patches with you though as
this place is literally covered in glass. You should also keep your wits about you in this area as it’s been known to be a bit rough. Liverpool’s main skatepark Rampworx is a training ground of talent from riders all over the city. The skatepark is broken down into three main sections each of which is catered to different riders style. The first section the ‘main room’ holds a huge variety of obstacles where you can be sure to find something fun to ride. This area of Rampworx is mostly influenced by park and holds set ups you’ve probably haven’t seen before, never mind rode. These include: a spine ramp, jump boxes, kinked rials, rhythm section, rainbow box, fun box, sub box, big quarter pipes and a drive way. The second segment of the park holds a large bowl which is really fun to ride if you’re after some air. The final section of the skatepark is hugely street influenced. With a variety of ledges and rails you can really put your pegs to use here however it also contains lots of ramps which are fairly small and mellow which would be perfect for novice riders to warm up on. Rampworx is a great place to go on those rainy days but Liverpool as a BMX scene needs to be experienced out on the streets. You’ll probably see a few familiar faces which may feel surreal but don’t be scared to go up and have a chat as scouse riders are always more than accommodating. Now you’ve got the know how and the street knowledge get your tickets booked to Liverpool and come experience first hand one of the biggest BMX cities in England.
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LIFE THROUGH THE LENS AN INTERVIEW WITH DARRIN NASH Where to start with Darrin Nash? He’s far from the Tenants Super drinking scally who normally occupies Manchester’s streets. Avoiding this route he dove head first into BMX photography and experienced a side of photo journalism which many will never reach. Darrin is someone who has grown into their own whilst capturing BMX, once a quiet young lad he is now respected and praised by everyone who has had the pleasure of shooting with him. His photos, with their perfect compositions and
brilliant lighting never fail to impress and pay a true testament to how far he has come. In a world where many photographers become jaded and forgotten Darrin is doing well to keep his style fresh and creative. Currently Darrin is working on a sports portfolio for a few popular companies however his true passion for photography stays in BMX. We had a long chat with Darren to see what life’s like behind the lens.
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What was the first photo you had featured in a magazine?
My first published photograph was featured in an independent French Magazine called Arc BMX. I was 17 at the time and still living in Manchester so there wasn’t a shortage of good talent to capture. I suppose I was only an aspiring photographer at the time and I was submitting photo’s to a range of magazines trying to get my fingers in a few pockets. I think a few of my photos were being published at this time and one of me riding was also featured so it was cool to be seen on both sides of the camera.
Who or what originally inspired you took start taking photos?
printed. I think this really kills the photo. In my opinion it makes everything mundane and irrelevant, if you’ve already seen a photo on Flikr or whatever it’s not a new experience seeing it in a magazine.
Do you think BMX photography can get a bit stale sometimes?
Without a doubt, it’s no secret that new innovations in DSLR photography have levelled the playing field somewhat and now that everyone has clicked onto this a lot of the styles of images are becoming quite similar. Most people agree that certain tricks look best from the same angle and that’s fine and probably true to an extent but if you don’t change things up at the end of the day it’s all going to end up the same.
My initial exposure to photography was in high school. I took a photography journalism class and it all went from there. We were first shooting with film and developing our stuff in the darkroom. I’d never used a DSLR until I was like 15 so that was a nice change from spending all my time in a sweaty darkroom.
In your opinion what makes a good photo, BMX or otherwise?
How do you stay motivated to keep shooting photos?
What makes a Darrin Nash photo, any styles you use?
It’s pretty easy to stay motivated when your passionate about something. At the minute it’s my main source of money so that helps to keep me motivated too. I moved to Liverpool recently too so being in a new city with new spots, new riders and new scenery always keeps things fresh and has kept me driven. I love shooting with new riders and this city seems to be chocked full of talent so that’s pretty cool. The docks are sweet at night as well.
I suppose traditionally a “good” photo is sharp, timed correctly and properly exposed. I think a photo should carry all of those qualities but should be memorable in a way.
The fact that I took it I guess? Na man I don’t know what my style would be classed as but I try to mix things up as much as possible. I might try to take things from a different angle or make it look a bit more interesting in post production. I still try to shoot as much as possible on film as the results can be pretty amazing. I’m not too sure what makes a photo mine but I’d love to think that my images are a bit different.
So has moving to Liverpool changed the way you shoot?
I’d say so yeah. Changing city changes a lot of things in your life so that’s bound to creep into some of your hobbies and outlooks. I’ve always found that each scene has a different style. Liverpool’s scene seems to be in the street and I’m used to shooting in parks with lots of light so spending my time here has had an impact on how I might compose a photograph.
What do you see as the worst trends in BMX photography?
There’s a few floating about at the minute, there’s one in particular though which really pisses me off. I find it really frustrating when people upload their photos onto the internet then send it to a magazine to try and get it
Do you think the BMX industry values photographers?
I’d definitely like to think so as BMX is so visually exciting. As inspiring and fun as a BMX is to watch, there’s something great about an iconic still image that will always strike a chord with people. BMX companies still need photos for advertising so it’s pretty much always going to be featured in the industry.
Have you ever had any sketchy situations where your camera gear has been at risk? Countless times man. When I was shooting in Manchester a lot we were going into really rough council estates to try and get a few snaps. The best
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“I TRY TO MIX THINGS UP”
DARRIN NASH | 52
“BEING A SOUND GUY IS THE MAIN THING” BREW BMX MAGAZINE
spots are in the roughest of areas so I’ve encountered quite a few problems with horrible council dwellers and even the police sometimes. I once had my camera confiscated for a week because someone was getting arrested in the background of a photo and the police cottoned on to it. I’ve never had any of my equipment properly stolen though so I suppose that’s always a plus.
Is there any riders which you enjoy shooting with the most?
It’s always good to be back home and go shooting with the lads but being in Liverpool has opened me up to so much progressive riding. I’m really enjoying shooting with a few of the DUB team at the minute. They’re all super sound on and off their bikes so it’s an absolute pleasure to tag along on them on a street mission.
What’s the worst bit of criticism you’ve got?
I’ve never had anyone directly insult my work but I bet there’s a few people out there who don’t like my work and slate it openly. I suppose ultimately as long as you like what your doing other peoples negative comments become irrelevant. There’s been a few times that my high school tutors have questioned my methods behind a few photos but this is only because I try to take a different approach when capturing a scene. Most negative insults stem down to either jealously or misunderstanding so most of the time I don’t take any criticism on board unless it’s constructive and the guy knows what they’re talking about. If you like it then don’t let anyone else take that away from you.
What makes somebody good to shoot with?
Pulling everything first try. Just kidding. Being a sound guy is the main thing.
Do you think it’s a hard task to make it as a professional BMX photographer?
Yeah pretty much, It’s pretty hard to break into any side of the BMX industry. But I think it really depends on how much you put yourself out there. If you’re prepared to go up to a rider and ask to take their photo you’ve already got your foot in the door and if you’re good enough it’s pretty much only a matter of time until you’re going to be recognized. If you’re serious
about it you can’t be shy.
What has the internet done for photography?
All in all it’s created a good platform for people to publicize they’re photos. Uploading your photos is amazingly easy and for the most part it’s pretty inexpensive. But I suppose on the flip side it’s made photography rather disposable and a lot of images can get lost at sea. Like don’t necessarily make for longevity.
What do you thinks in store for the future of photography?
Professional I-Phone photographers? That would suck.
Why don’t you have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
I’m on my computer too much as it is so I don’t want another reason to be stuck on there all day. I’m always taking the piss out of all these platforms but I’m not going to bash something just because I don’t use it. I kind of think Instagram is going to be the death of photography so I try and stay away from that as much as possible. Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to meet others but both of these things are pretty heavy on time consumption. I think it gives people a false sense of knowing what’s going on in the real world. The internet may be a reflection of the real world but it’s like viewing life through a mirror only showing one aspect. They are two separate places and it’s dangerous when people stop making that association.
Most people think the camera equipment defines the actual photographer, is this true?
I think a photographer should be defined by their ability to take a photo. A bad workman blames his tools and even though more expensive resources normally means better quality you can still take a nice photo with a disposable camera.
Any thanks you’d like to give?
Thanks to everyone who’s supported me and thanks to Brew for letting me be in the magazine.
Not a problem. DARRIN NASH | 54
UNDER THE RADAR
CHRIS MANION How long have you rode?
About 6 years. I first started riding mountain bikes but there wasn’t much to ride in my hometown of Alnwick so getting a BMX became a natural transition.
You moved to Liverpool recently what’s it like riding down there?
I’ts a good local community of riders around here, there’s a lot more going on down here BMX wise. Theres the DUB jams and a range of skateparks, you always see people out and about on there bikes too which you’d never see up in Northumberland. The amount of spots down here is immense and you don’t have to travel far between each one. One bad factor with riding down here is the amount of security guards who think riding a BMX is a ‘problem.’
Where would you most like to ride in the world?
There’s the classic Barcelona but I’d love to go somewhere untouched and experience a place which isn’t completely BMX orientated. I’d like to see the place as well as ride it.
English or American riding, what do you prefer?
English riding is a proper representation of English attitudes. It quite often looks grimy and raw. There’s no pretence in it so I like it better for that.
How did you feel when you heard about Randy Taylor dying?
It was quite surreal to be honest. Obviously I didn’t know the guy but when your involved in a community like BMX and a figure like that dies it’s obviously going to make an impact. It’s a massive shame. I remember watching him in stoked on being pumped and loving his stlye.
Does the advertising of smoking weed have a place in BMX?
I think it’s pretty stupid. It’s not the best thing to be advertising to kids. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with smoking weed but when you see a little kid wearing a BMX brand T-shirt with a big bud leaf on it you’ve kind of got to question that side of the industry.
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PANAMA SKATEPARK BESIDE THE SEASIDE
his is my local, a gem from 2008. If any of you have ever seen photos from around the 60’s onwards you will notice that this seaside town used to be a place of glamour and wealth. However good things don’t always last and people began to lose interest. This coupled with lack of investment saw the Whitley’s aesthetics fall to it’s knees. Whitley Bay has always been a place cultural growth, so with an incentive from a few riders the local council made the very wise decision to give us a place to ride our bikes. Panama skatepark was born.
This is probably going to sound like a pretty biased comment but this is possibly one of my favourite places to ride. It’s got a little something for everyone. If your after some street nibbles it’s got a pier 7, varying sizes of ledges and a nice long jersey barrier to keep you going. However if your after some air Panama boasts one the best bowls the north east has to offer. Ramps range from around 5 feet to a deep nine foot vert in the bowl and even a bit of oververt if your feeling especially horizontal. Get yourself down there and thank the council for doing their jobs right. BREW BMX MAGAZINE
INFORM. Address The Links Whitley Bay North Tyneside UK
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