Growing up in Birmingham, how did you first come in contact with skateboarding? – I always used to play the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series when I was a little ‘un. Skating didn’t really hit me as a thing though until one day I was about 7 or so; I just saw a guy pop an ollie up a curb in the cul-de-sac and I was so gassed.
I managed to get myself a board soon after that but I fell off when I was learning to push and my board went under a car so I kinda left it alone and went back to the Tony Hawk games, (laughs).
With the City Centre being either skate-stopped or security heavy, where did you first learn to skate, and who with? – It wasn’t until some years later when I was about 14 or so, some of my homies I went to school with – Indie and Dan Welsh – had boards, so I gave it another go and thought it was fun. I got myself a board from Argos and started to learn how to ride the ting. These times I was mostly chilling in Pigeon Park.
Dan Welsh ended up telling us there was a skate shop in town called Ideal so we went down, and I guess that’s where things got started; meeting Kris, Zippy and of course our Bob! We got called ‘The Dark Lords’ and I think it stuck, (laughs).
You’d always catch us at places like the Wesleyan, Fastlands or our demo spot.
With the Ideal ramp popping up several years ago now, how important do you think it was for the scene to have that a central meeting spot and hassle free place to skate? – When Ideal got that ramp those years ago…I didn’t know it then, but it was only the best thing ever! I think the scene boomed because of that. I want to say I speak for everyone in Brum when I say it was like that second home. It brought together a sense of community for bunches of homies from every neck of the woods, and we met a lot of heads too. The vibes were big, man.
You get boards from Tommy D’s Spread Eagle Skateboards which is based in Birmingham. How did that come about, and how important is it for you to be involved in something local? – Well I was chilling at the Ideal ramp one time and I met Emma Richardson; she’s a real nice girl. We got talking for a bit, she explained how she was working with Tommy D and that I had meet him, and he pretty much hooked it up. It feels great to be a part of something, and I want to say it’s better knowing that the thing is based in your city. It’s one of those things that puts a smile on my face whenever I think about it
Whilst shooting for this First Light the good guys over at Sole Tech UK have been flowing you some Emerica shoes. What did you think when a box full of shoes first showed up, and has it changed your perspective and focus on your skating at all? – Yoooo, (laughs). I rolled up in the shop and I think Kris was like, “yeah man, there’s something for you over there”. I nearly didn’t believe him when I saw them. I was completely beside myself just thinking, “this is the best thing ever”.
I can’t say it has changed my view on skating to be honest. I’m still smiling something like I did when I first started, so if anything, it’s just enabled me to do it more and given me more drive.
You attended a fair few events over the winter months. What are your thoughts on travelling around to such events and what importance do you think they hold for the greater scene? – Skate events are always fun. I like the travelling part of it and getting to be in another place, skating different things, and it’s great getting to see and feed off of other people and meeting new homies.
They are good for inspiration, and they spread awareness; just by being there you can learn so much.
Talking of events, I noticed that you were at Glastonbury this year doing demos at the Greenpeace skatepark. What was the experience like? – Ahh…Glastonbury was a truly unique experience. In between trudging in the rain to see Motorhead and skating the ramp with a fish suit on, it was so good. You know it’s blessed when the Dalai Llama shows up in the Greenpeace fields (laughs). I’m so stoked I got to skate there too; it feels like an honour to have done it.
The crowds there were quite supportive though. I don’t think they quite knew what we were doing, but it’s all good! I think we all enjoyed that one, (laughs).
What’s it like day to day at present when trying to skate street in Brum? Is there much of a scene, and what’s the gnarliest scenario you’re gotten into with the swarms of overzealous security guards in the City Centre? – We’re just trying to make the best out of what we have I suppose. It’s like there are ‘almost spots’ and then there are ‘bust spots’. Everything else is either skate-stopped already or DIY. There is definitely a scene here but I think it just needs a little motivation, you know?
There was one time I was hill bombing the Bull Ring hill; this security guard – I didn’t even see him man, he came out of nowhere – he clothes-lined me down. I was so shocked that it happened that I didn’t even respond
Getting off the subject of skateboarding now, what do you do when you’re not skating? Are you at college, do you work, or both? – I work. I’m a chef by trade. I went to college for it because I really like cake. I love jammin’ on the guitar as well. Other than that I’m pretty chilling, really.
What are your plans with skateboarding over the next few years? Is there anything like a Brum scene video underway, or are you and the crew going to travel about and make other things happen? – I mainly want to travel and skate. I haven’t left the UK yet so over the next few years the homies and me are going to have a go at skating in the rest of Europe. I’m having fun working with Tommy and Spread Eagle so I’d like to see where that could go over the next few years too. We are currently filming my part for Spread’s next video which is kinda taking most of my thoughts, but aside from that I’m seeing a lot of people shredding around here. Some of these kids are hungry as hell and are pushing for it already so a new Brum scene video getting made will only be a matter of time I think.