Barney Page is an actual beast! We’ve managed to get hold of this dope RVCA edit filmed when he was back in the UK Summer just gone. We also managed to track him down in Andorra and ask him a bunch of questions about homesickness, hill bombing and his constant travelling. Peruse the always rad photos of Mr Page, read the musings and watch the exclusive RVCA edit.
All hail the Orange ripper.
Interview by Stephen Cox & Photography Julian Dykmans & Mike O’Meally
Hi Barney, what’s the craic?
Not much mate, just chilling. I’m in Andorra at the moment up in the mountains. It’s super nice, man. It’s a ski resort up here and it’s close to Barcy, which is nice.
Hearing lots of different languages around you?
Well their language is Catalan but there is Spanish and French going around too. Mainly Catalan though.
Just off the back of a trip to South Africa too, right?
Yeah, it was an Etnies trip. It was pretty sick, man. It was only a couple of weeks but it was a really great experience. We all met in Johannesburg then flew into Cape Town and we hired a van from there. We drove over the two week period back to Johannesburg to fly out. We hit a few cities on the way, which was sick. It was nice driving throughout the country as well. You get a better feel for it that way don’t you?
Definitely. So who was in the van?
Axel [Cruysberghs], Albert [Nyberg], David [Reyes], this new rider Silvester Eduardo and this South African skater Brandon [Tissen], but he only came for a few days. A few others too. It was good, man.
What were the skating scenes like over there?
I guess it’s growing. It’s more surf-based but they’re doing more for skating over there now too. There are a lot of stoked kids skating out there and a lot of older dudes too. There are skaters that are hooked up through distributors out there, which is always sick. We went to some good parks too. Not the best parks but we hit some weird ones in cities that no one ever goes to. It was great to skate with all the kids there.
Above – 5050 drop down 5050 – Photo: O’Meally
How were the streets?
A lot different than what I’m used to. There were really good spots that looked rad actually. But a lot of it is really rough as you can imagine. The thing is, it’s not like Barcelona were you can just jump on the underground, get around and find spots. You sort of need a guide. Luckily we had Sam [Clark], who grew up skating all these spots and knew all the times you could skate there along with all the little ins and outs of everywhere. It would be hard without that help.
Much different from Exeter anyway, where you’re from.
Yeah mate, Devon boy born and bred [laughs].
Good article in the last issue of Sidewalk on Devon right?
It’s cool that they did that article actually. I guess there’s less focus on the whole southwest area. It’s usually more midlands and north. I guess there are a few up and coming people now. I went out with them for a couple of days when I was home last around Christmas. It was hard getting anything done in the winter but it was good seeing everyone. It was quite a small scene in Exeter when I grew up. Years ago there were more skaters though, then the older dudes sort of just moved away. In between when I was 16 and now it just isn’t what it was. That’s not to say it’s died either.
Above – wallride rag back in – Photo: Julian Dykmans
Did you get into skating through those lads?
No I used to BMX and was at the skatepark with a friend and had a go then ended up getting one for Christmas. I chucked the bike to the side. Everyone tries every little sport growing up. Scooters and whatnot [laughs]. It’s a tight crew now though no matter what anyone is doing with their life, if they’re at university or whatever. It’s close to Bristol, which is good. Bristol has a sick scene.
The hill bomb in the latest RVCA edit looked sketchy.
Yeah [laughs]. That spot was so cool, man. It goes out flat on the bottom so you can ride it right out but you need someone there to keep a lookout because it’s a cross junction. It was so much fun but no one else would do it with me.
You’ve been with them a while now.
Yeah, I got hooked up with them through Etnies. So long ago now. Probably 5 years or something. After a while Etnies asked me to ride for the Europe team. RVCA sort of came around the same time that happened.
Above – big old frontside boneless on home turf – Photo: Julian Dykmans
A few guys I’ve spoke to recently mentioned that when you’re on a Euro team you can be somewhat disconnected from the other Stateside team or not representing the brand in the same way. How do you feel about your situation? You’re on the full Etnies team now and not separated there but there’s the other side of the coin with RVCA too.
I guess over the last year or year and a half there were only three of us on the Euro team: me, Axel and Albert. Because we have been doing so much other stuff with the rest of the guys we’ve sort of just become one team if you know what I mean. We’re doing the Europe side too but everyone is sort of together which is a sicker way of doing it. Like with the South Africa trip: it was a mix of Europeans and Americans. It’s a nice way to do it. It’s not bad that RVCA aren’t doing that though, it’s just not what they’re doing. All the RVCA dudes are so sick and I’m stoked to be part of the team. It was so nice doing that RVCA clip and being back home for a week just before the end of the summer. It was so much fun going down to Cornwall and stuff. I can’t wait to do another edit like that.
I spoke to Tyler Surrey recently and we talked about the Sk8Mafia and Sweet collaboration video, which led the conversation to what happened with Sweet. Did the plan for Sour come straight away or what way did things go down?
That’s a weird one. I guess all of those guys after the last few years have all wanted to do their own thing because they weren’t happy with how Sweet was going. They weren’t being given the freedom or credibility to do their own designs and all the rest of it. They weren’t really that stoked on it really. Then I started skating for them and then on probably the first or second trip the whole thing came out about everyone quitting and starting the new brand, which everyone was may more down for. I was down for sure [laughs]. I could see it coming. And now Albert’s on as well. It’s going to be really sick. I’m so stoked.
That skating from all the guys really is unbelievable.
Yeah, mate. They’re so fuckin’ good. They’re such nice dudes to hang with. That’s why it made sense for me because I was skating with them so much before. It all came together through hanging out. I think I was drinking one night in Barcy and we just started talking about it and then it all eventually came together.
Above – bung on switch frontside nosegrind tailgrab – Photo: Julian Dykmans
It’s good that the video has a date attached already, which is rare in skateboarding usually.
Yeah [laughs]. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a DVD or on the web actually. I suppose it makes more sense for it to be on the web just to get it out there as it’s the first thing we’re doing. It’s free and will spread more.
So do you all have hoards of footage or is the plan to go out and rip until the deadline?
A few of the guys have some stuff. It’s hard when there’s VX too because everyone is filming HD now. You’re doing stuff for other companies when you’re away too. I’m going to try and get down to Barcy next weekend and bash out some footage. But I’ve got good feelings about it. We don’t want it to be a particularly long video either.
How do you look at your own parts in terms of how you’ve developed or progressed over the years on the board? Do you try and consciously change up what you’re doing or how are you inspired in that respect?
I guess sometimes shit just pops in and out of your head. It depends what spots you find and skate too. Then there’s who you’re skating with and how you’re inspired. Watching videos inspires you differently to actually skating with people, which is much better. There’s always enough to change things up though.
I’d guess Wes Kremer inspires you. I can see similarities there in terms of style and trick selection.
Really? Jesus that’s a compliment [laughs]. Kremer’s the shit.
No one ever said that?
No, that’s pretty cool though [laughs].
Above – feeble grind a distance – Photo: Julian Dykmans
Are you far along in your skateboarding career now that you feel comfortable financially? It’s always harder for UK skaters to have that do you not think?
Yeah. You’ve obviously got to watch your pennies and what you’re spending. I don’t rent a place anyway because I prefer to float around and go on as many trips as possible. If I had to pay rent I would have a lot less to live with. I think for me it’s better to not pay rent.
More fun too.
Exactly. It depends on where you live too but I haven’t found anywhere that I want to live just yet or a city that I could be placed in for a fixed period of time.
Let’s talk about the UK scene. Being a skater from the UK how do you view the large number of companies popping up? What does it mean for the skaters or the quality of the skating?
There’s so much stuff in the UK actually. I’ve been thinking about that recently. Which is really cool at the same time. But then I guess…I don’t know. I suppose it’s every man for themselves and their companies. If you want to try and make some money go for it. But then it makes it harder for established companies. But you need the up and coming companies because all the bigger companies have teams from years ago, which are getting a bit older; it’s never the same as what you remembered from years ago. There’s definitely a few dope ones in England right now. National is really cool and Lost Art is obviously the shit, even though it’s not a board company. [Dave] Mackey is just killin’ it.
Well said and cheers for this Barney. Any shout outs to finish up on?
RVCA, Etnies, Sour Solution, Red Bull UK, Desert Crew, Lost Art, Venture and Sidewalk. Safe man!
Above – back smith stall pop to fakie – Sequence: Mike O’Meally