Started and still run and owned by Justin ‘Syd’ Sydenham and Vans team manager Danny Wainwright, Fifty Fifty has established itself as one of the UK’s most respected independent, skater-owned skatestores. It has always been based in the heart of Bristol, and the shop’s current location is at the bottom of Park Street, just across the road from the famous skate spot of College Green.
Wainwright and Sydenham ploughed their competition winnings into starting the shop in 1997 – today, Sydenham manages the store’s day-to day operations while Wainwright takes charge of shop design and direction, staff management, and art direction and graphic design for the Fifty Fifty brand.
From the very beginning, Fifty Fifty has had a great team of sponsored riders, and many of the team at the time, including Dan Wileman, Danny Wainwright, Flynn Trotman, Korahn Gayle, Mark Pritchard, Nicky Howells, Paul Carter and Will Ainley featured in the shop’s celebrated 2009 scene video Bristol’s Finest. A joint production with Bristol in Bloom and Skateboard Cafe, Bristol’s Finest was given away free with the December 2009 issue of Sidewalk, and featured a ridiculous closing section from local boy Gayle.
Since then, Fifty Fifty has gone from strength to strength, taking second place at the 2010 Vans Shop Riot held at the Skatepark of Winterthur in Switzerland. The shop’s latest video release was a savage 2013 summer promo, filmed and edited by George Nevin, in which Gayle took out a series of Bristol spots in style.