Continuing on with our recaps of last years Big Push, today CJ talks to Joe Mark, Karim and Boots to get some stories from Adidas' 2011 country wide jaunt.
As ever, get your read on below then check back tomorrow for more words from another crew of shoe humans!
Joe Marks - Nollie heelflip. Photo: Lex
So this was the first Big Push for you Joe, how did you find it and was it how you expected it to be?
Yeah, it was better than I expected, it was fun skating with everyone on the team and trying to complete the challenges. It was unfortunate that Gunes dislocated his shoulder on the hill bomb right at the start of the trip, because he was killing it in the warm up session.
There were some pretty rad personalities and talents in that van with you; did you feel under pressure to go off at places like the Wolverhampton big three to kind of earn your stripes?
I didn't feel under pressure, but I wanted to get as much footage as possible and help out with the challenges and NBDs.
Being part of a super tight and rad crew like 'Get Lesta', how was it skating, filming and shooting photos with a new crew?
It was good to skate with everyone and get to some new spots. I had never been to Scotland before, so it was good to skate there and meet Benson.
Was there anything you got robbed on during the week and is there anywhere you guys visited that you want to head back to?
I didn't really get robbed on anything. There are loads of good spots in Glasgow I'd like to go back to because we only got one day there and it rained a little bit.
Who was Adidas Big Push MVP for you?
Definitely Lev, ha-ha! Everyone skated hard so I wouldn't be able to choose an MVP.
Karim - Nollie front shuv. Photo: Lex.
This was your second year on the Big Push right? How did it compare to the previous one and did you get to hit up some spots you'd had your eye on?
This one was really inspirational for me because the calibre of skatin’ was a lot higher than the first due to the vast change of terrain that you had to adapt to. Skatin’ with the JLB's: Chewy and Gunes, it's insane watchin' those two skate because of the level of techness achieved by Gunes on ledges is second to none. The ridiculous high octane and full speed lines by Chewy (Gunshotta) Cannon, seeing that shit in real life was the best shit ever! Trill Swag on Waka Flocka Fairfax! So Trill. Was a pleasure as ever to go skate wit Boots and it was jokes watchin' Joe Marks' regime of sit-ups, push-ups and other gym related exercises, as well as jumpin' down stupid sets of stairs and gaps, which was dope to see as I'd never skated with him before. Lev kept it real Trilll, makin' sure everyone had what they need and brought the hype. And Lex was just as G as ever. Photo Hype!
They're were two spots that I really wanted to skate that I had my eye on for a long time and was hoping that we're past through the cities that they were in. One of them was the Playhouse ledge/gap that I had never been to and wanted to gap up to manny it for a long time.
The other spot was this road gap jus outside of a train station in Sheffield, which is actually a taxi rank. I'd been itching to skate that ting, really glad I got to.
Known to most for your coverage and presence within the strong London scene, how was it to visit somewhere like Livi which is pretty much the opposite end of the spectrum both geographically and terrain wise?
I'd like to start this part off by giving a big shout-out to Stu Graham and Benson! They keep that shit real! Livi Bosses! Watchin’ them two merk that place was one the things that stays firmly indented in my memory from this trip.
As far as it being geographically different, that's for sure! It was really dope jus’ being there and being able to cruise around the park, so was havin' a lil game of "FITBAW" (football) as Benson put it. The terrain there is gnarly and unforgiving if you bailed! I don't think that anybody would know jus' how sick the clips are that got filmed there unless you've been there and experienced it for yourself.
The Flaming front lip in the Bowl and switch drop-in by Benson,
One of your photos was a nollie pop shuv over the notoriously high Wainwright/Manhead bar in Millennium Sq, Leeds. Did you struggle to get a decent run up and how was it to actually get enough pop to get over it?
Nah didn't really struggle at all when I was jumping over it, apart from the passers by we didn’t have any trouble skating there. When we got there and I started scoping the spot it was more a case of, damn! I wanted to skate here for a while! Since I'd seen Josh “Manhead" Young's cover of the overcooks. I saw that I was like “I would love to hit that spot up". The run up was kinda jokes though cuz of a low hanging branch, every time I took a run up to jump over the rail kept gettin' slapped in the face by the branch with mad leaves on it. Apart from gettin' attacked by foliage I was stoked on that spot for sure, looks so good like something out of Washington DC.
With you guys starting out in London, travelling right up to Livi in Scotland and then back through the Midlands, how did you find the travel and was there anything along the way in terms of spots that you were hyped on and would head back to?
Yeah for sure, I mean it’s natural to have vendettas with spots after a trip and even ones that you've filmed at and made the trick that you wanted to do you still wanna go back and try something else. Spots that I would really like to go back to are quite numerous because don't really get to skate the north very much at all. Got a few spots that I would love to go back to one of them is that downhill spot in Newcastle with the stair sets of three that are grindable, outside of these offices that look like house fronts, almost San Francisco steez. The Wolverhampton Sainsbury's spot but that kinda goes without sayin'. Another spot I really liked was this over a rail into a bank spot that I nearly did a pop shuv over. Chewy did the ollie over the rail and power slide revert on the bank, So Trill! Would really like to go back to that spot and get the trick I was trying.
The travelling was really dope got to catch up with homies, meet new homies, Lev is a good Hype as is Lex and everyone keepin' an eye out for new spots.
Good Spots, Trill skatin, everyone on a hype!
Holla to everyone who was on this trip! Shout-outs to Chewy, Lev, Flocka, Gunes, Lex, Frankie, Lexington, Jah Marks, Boots, Benson, Stu Graham, all the Skateshop we hit up on the way, The Whole P.W.B.C, Palace, Adidas, Everyone at Slam City Skates, Wu-Tang, everyone at Supreme London/New York. Everyone at the Clapton Castle. Anyone I forgot too many names to mention.
Boots - Ollie. Photo: Lex.
A well seasoned veteran to the Big Push with both Death (under Document) and now Adidas (with Sidewalk), how have things changed over the years for you on these trips and do you play a different role these days?
All the Big Pushes I have been on have been rad but there’s definitely a difference in the way the two companies go about it. With Death it was loads of dudes in a van skating for literally the whole day leaving little time for anything else like eating or sleeping, as it was always footage first. It was amazing because everyone was just hyped to see each other and down to shred but after three or four days of skating for hours and hours, the crews’ enthusiasm seemed to be wear thin, making the last few days not as productive as the first.
By the end of the Death Pushes, I felt like I would never skate again and nor would I want to after a week of torture! Ha-ha. But, they were amazing and I would jump at the chance to do another one. The format of the Adidas Pushes is very different and far more relaxed, less dudes and less skating but still handling business and getting it done. Both approaches are rad!
How was it for you having such a wide variety of skaters on a trip like this, with street guys like Joe, Chewy, Karim and Benny right through to Benson who owns all things transitioned?
Being with such a well rounded crew was great as we could pretty much go to any spot and someone would have something for it, whereas in previous years we've been to big stairs and no ones up for it. Jah Marks had all that covered this year and laid down the law like a champ.
You shot the doubles photo with Benson in the Livi half pipe right? How sketchy was that and did you have any close calls?
Shooting the doubles photo with Benson was really fun, it was kinda sketchy at first and I felt wheels skim my hair once or twice but I wasn't that worried because its Benson - he don't mess up very often and he's only little!
Whilst on the Big Push, the deadline for your Sidewalk W.O.R.D. interview was drawing in and filming responsibilities for the upcoming Death 'Ordinary Madness' DVD were in the forefront of your mind - did you feel under pressure to not get hurt or save anything for those projects?
I have felt a lot of pressure in recent months to get all this stuff finished and in regards to not getting hurt that's been the biggest problem. The ball of my foot is knackered making it really difficult to jump down anything, which sucks because it's messes your confidence big time and in turn my skating has definitely suffered. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to get my foot sorted and get the bangers for my video part.