Vital stats please
Luke Humphries, 19 years old from Nottingham.
How did you end up getting into skating?
When I was a kid my brother rollerbladed so I used to push around with him on my Pokémon board. I got more into it from there. I skated the driveway of my house for a few months before I dared go to a skatepark because I was too scared of being shit and getting in the way. My dad bought me a grind rail for Christmas and I learnt everything I could on that: I used to watch trick tips all day at school on YouTube.
Who influenced you growing up? I heard you had a motivational poster next to your bed….
(Laughing), you bastard. Okay. Well it was a Will Golding poster. I drew a speech bubble out of his mouth that said, ‘get up and go skating’. I was basically his stalker.
He’s a few years older than me and grew up skating my local park so he influenced me a lot. He was the first really good skater that I ever saw so I wanted to be like him.
He would be out at 8am and I was always lazy and slept in, so I had the poster to motivate me to get stuff done. It didn’t work. My mate Elliot also pushed me.
He taught me how to do tre flips, the day I first did one was the happiest day of my life! Arnold Park was a good place to grow up because there were always good skaters around and it encouraged me to get into transition as well as street stuff.
How has the Nottingham skate scene changed since you started?
The spots in the city centre are definitely way better now than when I started, what with Sneinton, Trinity Square and the DIY projects that have been going on.
I’ve become pickier though now that I have more choice. I feel like back when I started there were more spots generally because I was happy to skate absolutely anything. Any crusty, unskateable carpark wall drop or whatever would get skated for weeks back then.
The skaters have definitely come together more over recent years too, now that we have better city centre spots. Everybody knows each other. Fortytwo skate shop have done a good job of bringing people together through events and giving people a place to meet and lurk.
What’s the gnarliest thing you’ve seen go down in Notts?
That’s a tough one. Golding’s weird tech stuff is always good. Hallford destroying Flo skatepark is impressive to watch. Oh yeah, the time when Alex dropped in on
a high, skinny, transitioned wall and dived head first into a brick wall at full speed was pretty memorable as well. It wasn’t a make but it was so gnarly. I thought he was a dead man.
Do you follow skate media?
Yep, a lot. Mostly through YouTube and Instagram. Instagram’s a good way of discovering new skaters and scenes. I pay attention to the blobby crew on Insta, they always put out the best photos and clips. I like Polar stuff too. You can’t go wrong with back smiths and no complies, those guys have style.
Does filming and photography influence your skating?
I guess so because if I didn’t go out filming I’d probably be way more slack and lazy. I’d just go to the skatepark and do 5050’s all day. Filming pushes me for sure.
You don’t want to film the same thing 300 times so you end up trying to learn new things. I like filming lines, it’s an effort but it feels more rewarding to me.
It’s not much fun when I can’t land a trick though. Or when you take me to shit spots.
What do you think of comps?
They’re okay. I’ve done a few, but not many. I don’t really like travelling long distance to them because I hype it in my head too much. I like it when the atmosphere is relaxed. Sometimes when it’s hectic and there are a load of rippers I find it a bit intimidating. Mostly I’m not bothered and I enjoy it though. The shop riot ones are good because they’re mellow and a group effort. I got the opportunity to go to Portugal for a comp once through winning an Element competition. That was rad experience: different scene, nice weather and friendly skaters. Shame I didn’t have longer over there to skate street with some locals.
Who is the miracle kid?
Ha! Oh I’d forgotten about that. When I was eleven my friends and I started a grime crew called ‘Lethal Soldiers’. My name was miracle kid.
Yep. We had bandanas. We walked around spittin’ bars and thought we were going to get signed. We thought it was serious until we walked past another group of kids who lived up the hill from us. They looked like they could be a rival gang so we shat ourselves and decided to leave the gangsta life behind us.
You kill it on the dance floor right?
I love it. I drink a lot of vodka and get into the middle of the action. I don’t really know what happens from there, videos tend to crop up the next day.
What are your favourite moves?
I like to move around really fast so it looks like I’m doing stuff but really I’m not.
I do enjoy the one where you drop forward really far and move your arms
like you’re rowing. Oh yeah, gunfingers too, when you shoot the air. Gunfingers is probably the best because you can do it to anything and it works really well.
Ok, cheers for the tips. Any shout outs?
Shout out to Nonstop (RIP). I got my first board from there and they hooked me up for a bit. It’s sad to see them go, they did a lot for the scene and it won’t be the same without them.
Fortytwo shop and all those involved, Mum and Dad, Floyd, Paulie, Adam, Neil, Rob, Scotty, Elliot, Connor, Lollywax Jake, Bomber. All my friends, and my girlfriend Molly.
Did you forget to mention Will Golding?
(Laughs) yeah, props to him. I’ve gotten rid of the poster now though…