Rollersnakes – Highlands
The original idea for this trip came about quite some time ago, although when my ex housemate Zeyad and I would talk about it, neither of us envisaged that it would ever happen or that we would do it together. We’d sit in our old front room and fantasise over the potential terrain that must be out there somewhere but Scotland’s highlands were nothing more than a pipe dream…
Fast forward days, weeks, months, years and Zeyad had left his old job and started work in the design department at Rollersnakes. We’d also gained another new employee in the form of team rider Nick Roberts. After his annual highland pilgrimage to visit his Dad, Nick returned to work with stories of bridges, ditches and endless stoke. It reinforced our belief in the terrain and reignited our desire to make the trip happen.
The only thing we’re missing was money. Cue Sidewalk and Mountain Dew’s ‘Store Wars’ competition. With a pot of £1,500 up for grabs for qualifying through the first round, we knew this was our golden opportunity. After a week of frantically directing, filming and editing endless fifteen second clips for the Sidewalk Facebook page in round one, we had managed to win our group.
Rollersnakes Highlands was go…
We decided to keep it tight for the mission: Zeyad, Nick and myself were joined by Rollersnakes team riders Daryl Dominguez and Matlok Bennett-Jones, with Sidewalk master lens man Chris Johnson along on photo duties.
With it being the first of our trip, there was a lot riding on this spot. Everyone was eager to skate and excited see what it had to offer. As we drove further into the hills and closer to our destination, we were struggling to pinpoint its exact location. After a quick conversation with a highland local and a steady creep up some questionable roads, we found the hydro dam.
Made up of three skateable parts – this thing was even better and rougher than we imagined. Off came the 53mm wheels and on went the big soft 57’s. After the setup tinkering was done, Daryl and Nick wasted no time getting to work on the first section. A massive wave like bank structure, with one of the most picturesque backdrops any of us had ever seen at a skate spot.
The banks ran straight into part two of this epic terrain. A massive hill bomb. Matlok hit the wall and took the grim pebbly route to the bottom. Needless to say, there wasn’t much of his wheels left after that. The third and final part of this spot puzzle was definitely the most exciting. We ended our hydro dam session on an over vert quarter pipe! A hell of a lot harder to skate than it looks, this man made gem came complete with a rough uphill run up and water drop. After initially losing his board to the water, Nick hoisted a huge kickflip over half way up.
The second day of our trip and we were in search of two ditches. Nick had skated one of them before on the aforementioned trip to his Dad’s. We had been tipped off about another, but we didn’t have a definite location. All we knew was that they we’re both in the same area. Driving towards the safer option we stumbled across the tip off ditch, simply sitting at the side of one of the main roads. We were stoked!
After a quick sweep and tidy up we spent most of the late morning and early afternoon riding it. It was definitely one of the most fun spots of the trip. You could waste hours of your life skating there. The whole crew threw down bangers on its walls, banks and steps. After a successful session we got back in the van and headed towards our next destination.
Our second spot of the day was just as good. More stairs, banks, ledges and a dirty water pit. It had all the key ditch elements. A lengthy session on the steep bank to ledge was followed by ollies over the stairs and rugged wallrides. At this point of our trip Daryl was 578 miles away from home. That’s quite some distance to document a kickflip.
Driving further north, the scenery became increasingly beautiful. Every twist in the road presented something new to admire. Hills, lochs, wildlife. Skateboarding or not, I would definitely recommend a trip to Scotland’s Highlands. It really is a one of a kind experience.
As we edged closer to our final destination we were presented with another dam. This was not one of the spots on our original list, but there was no way we weren’t going to get out and take a closer look. A simply massive structure made up of banks and spillways. We carefully lowered Matlok down into the dam and he proceeded to ride its walls while the heavens opened.
Nine and a half hours from our start point in Derby we’d finally arrived at the final spot of our journey. We’d known about the bridge for some time. Nick had been championing the idea of going there for a while, and was desperate to session it’s transitioned foundations. A breath taking structure, the sheer size of it blew us all away.
It didn’t take us long to get a session going, but like other spots on our trip, the bridge was a lot harder to skate than it appears. A good fifteen foot drop to the floor, with a solid wind blowing between the pillars. Pumping up and down its narrow transitions had me scared. Nick finished off the session and our highlands adventure with a signature ollie to fakie. I can only imagine how scary it must have been coming down backwards on that thing.
After years of dreaming it was amazing to see this trip come to fruition. Big up to Zeyad, Nick, Daryl, Matlok and Chris for making it happen. I’m more than confident there’s a host of untouched terrain and unseen gems scatted across our isles. You just need to get out there and find them!
You can watch the extended edit from our our Highland adventure here