"What ever happened to...?"
Where are they now? Vanishing Point: UK skaters MIA from 2000-2010
The first decade of the 21st century seemed to pass in the blink of an eye.
Companies came and went (some came back again…), shiny DVDs eventually replaced dusty VHS tapes, and careers came to ends whilst others began.
Over the course of the ten years between the millennium and 2010, UK skateboarding churned out its fair share of talent, some of which went on to become regular faces who are still out killing it today, but, traditionally, a lot of individuals who we’d become familiar with had sunk into home turf obscurity as the second decade of the 2000’s began.
With this in mind we present to you the first part of our ‘Vanishing Point’ series, which hopefully reminds you of some of the currently missing in action seven ply talent that came to the fore during the period of 2000 – 2010, and where possible, give you a bit of insight into where they are at now.
If there’s anyone you want to see included in part 2, get in touch!
Dave Davies - ollie, 2008. Photo: Leo Sharp.
First catching that nation’s attention as a miniscule human wearing oversized garments whilst flip rock fakieing the ridiculously tight Uni Banks replica at The Works back during their 2005 Xmas Jam, Aaron Sweeney quickly became a regular face at most UK events through the mid to late 00’s, scoring himself a grip of printed coverage in both Sidewalk and Document along the way.
Quickly moving from the short-lived Gyppo Army board outfit to be the first UK resident to represent Antiz in 2008, Aaron went on a globetrotting transition focused killing spree up until 2011 (or thereabouts) when he quietly hung up his sponsored skateboarder hat in order to study medicine.
Rumour has it that Aaron graduated from the Royal Holloway University of London this summer too, so whilst a return to full time seven-ply insanity could actually be on the cards, I doubt that a comeback is that far up his list of priorities.
Having occupied a well earned spot on the Blueprint flow team for several years, as well as being a firm part of the UK Emerica roster whilst Pete Turvey was at the helm, Hartlepool’s Adam Stoddart was about as hardworking and down to earth as it got. Whilst holding down a variety of jobs, Adam still managed to film parts for various North Eastern scene videos, including the late Cleveland Bod’s ‘Secrets and Lies’ (2005 - see below), and the late Steven 'Bingo' Binks' Mischief Skateshop DVD ‘Northbound’ (2005) in which he laid claim to the last part. Mag coverage wise he had his fair share of photos in Document whilst claiming the cover of Sidewalk issue 124 (Jan 2007) and scoring a ‘Haunts’ interview later that year.
As the late 00’s drew to a close, Adam placed himself on the sponsorship backbench in order to concentrate on work and family life. He still lives in Hartlepool, still skates, still films and makes regular appearances in SLDN edits and related instagram clips.
The North East has always been proactive when it comes to documenting their scene, so hopefully that might mean another new Adam Stoddart section will see the light of day soon…fingers crossed.
Following the release of ‘Baghead Flats’ in 2008 – in which Liam had a short part – this lad from rural Yorkshire seemingly vanished from public earshot. Having grown up outside of Wakefield, Liam spent the early to mid 00’s making a steady name for himself as part of the Leeds scene before moving to Sheffield to study, where his then housemate Ben Grove, along with Frank Stephens and Harry Bastard, singled him out as a perfect fit for their reborn incarnation of Unabomber.
Whilst most of his time in Sheffield was spent studying, Liam still filmed a short part for the 2006 Unabomber DVD ‘Urbane Mob’ and the aforementioned ‘Baghead Flats’, before packing his bags and heading out on a five year long voyage to Spain from which he wouldn’t return again until only a few months ago.
Despite his absence from the UK, Liam has been looked after on his travels by the honourable Stu from Lovenskate and, in return, has always come through with footage for their video projects.
Now he’s finally back on Yorkshire soil again you never know, we might see a full section out of him soon enough…
Adam Howe was an East Anglian powerhouse who first appeared as part of The Harmony’s initial line up, though after the release of their first DVD ‘Once Upon A Time’ in 2004, he parted ways with the company and wound up riding flow for a variety of US brands through Shiner Distribution.
Backtailing legit handrails, switch heeling big sets of stairs and switch frontside flipping even bigger, Adam was definitely a purveyor of high impact street skating.
As the opening decade of the 2000s wrapped itself up, Adam slipped off the media radar unannounced and now works in retail, though can still be found skating in and around the Ipswich area.
Adam Howe and Dave Davies were something of a tag-team throughout the early years of the 2000s, so it’s only fitting they should be neighbouring each other in this article too.
Like Adam, Dave was also an Ipswich local, though his solid, precise approach to skating quickly landed him a spot on the UK Etnies team, whilst Dainton saw fit to bring him into the fold of Kill City V2.0, alongside Nicky Howells, Joe Lynskey, Caradog and the rest of the crew.
Not long after Kill City released their Rookies DVD in the winter of 2011, Dave and the company parted ways, though he has popped up on various East Anglian scene videos and edits in the years since. According to those in the know over in Ipswich, Dave still skates regularly and now has a son who can often be seen accompanying him to the skatepark.
At a ridiculously young age, Josh Parr installed himself at the now defunct Bolton Bones Skatepark, hammering the Lancashire transitions on an almost daily basis with a level of ease way beyond his years, a far too solid style and a wit quick enough to put down the most confident of piss-takers.
Under the watchful eye of the Bolton locals - namely Tez Robinson and Andy Scott - around the mid 00's Josh found himself on the receiving end of regular packages from the likes of Pig City, Oakley and Duffs, later Black Label boards through Shiner, and could be seen accompanying Tez, Andy and Mark Munson on road trips to parks and comps all over the country.
By thirteen he'd already scored himself a double-page ‘Omens’ in Document, several photos in Sidewalk, could backtail shuvit on vert having not so much as dropped in on one for six months, and was walking out of most comps with pockets full of loot in exchange for a few minutes of traditional Bolton nonchalance.
When Superdead came into being in 2010, Josh was one of the original team riders, though following the filming of his ‘Ten Tricks for Kingpin’ during the early months of 2011, Josh dropped off radar almost completely. Other than a handful of rumoured sightings at Ramp City in Blackpool, hardly anyone has seen or heard from him since.
Josh, where you at?
For those who don't know who the mystical Arbroath resident Ferg is, he's the reclusive Scottish type who rode for Mackey’s mighty East board outfit, but pretty much vanished off the face of the earth when the company went under back in 2006.
Ferg’s relaxed manner on a skateboard saw him appear in the pages of Sidewalk many times over the years, and his style had also once earned the vocal approval of Mark Appleyard, which is obviously far from being a bad thing.
Though it’s been a while since Ferg graced the skateboard media with his exceptionally laid back presence, he did make the pilgrimage south to Liverpool last year for the East Skateboards X Lost Art X Kev Grey fifteen year exhibition.
Back to East Anglia we go…
Now whereas most of the other people listed so far are either still skating on the fringes of the media or are still in contact with people who still skate, this one is a bit of a genuine mystery.
Ed Clark had a very small window of national coverage over the course of 2004/2005, rode for Unabomber for a short time as one of their Una-Youths, randomly wound up staying with Mike Wright in Hebden Bridge quite regularly around the same time and then was quite literally never heard of again once the first incarnation of Unabomber went the journey in 2005.
Someone somewhere must know something…?
Rob Selley certainly knew how to pick them when he was running things at the now sadly deceased Motive Skateboards. Alongside long established heads such as Sean Smith, Dave Snaddon and Dylan Hughes, Rob also saw fit to hook up a then relatively unknown ginger lad from Exeter who went by the name of Barney Page, and a technically brilliant up and comer from Birmingham called Jack Edwards, both of which were showcased properly or the first time in their sections on Motive’s ‘Dimensions’ video which came out in 2009.
Whereas Barney obviously went on to make a solid name for himself throughout Europe and is still out there killing it today, the life of a sponsored skateboarder obviously wasn’t what Jack was after, and in the years that followed the release of ‘Dimensions’, he gradually removed himself from the frontline, left Motive and DC and has barely been seen since.
Ledges, stairs, mannies, an on point flip game - young Jack Edwards displayed a whole lot of potential during his short time in the media spotlight, and his part in the Motive video would easily stand up by today’s standards, six years later…