Jacob Bettinson ‘First Light’ interview from Sidewalk 207

From Sidewalk 207 – December 2013


Photography & questions by Horse


Summing up Jacob in a few words was pretty hard. Not only is he one of the most talented skateboarders I’ve ever met, but he’s also one of Nottingham’s most underrated. Every trip we’ve been on he’s impressed everyone with his skating, despite the hangover from the night before. I’m glad to see that he’s finally getting the coverage he deserves. Nice one Jimmy!
 Will Golding


Despite looking like a boy band on a board, this guy’s skating is buttery smooth. He’s a good chap to film with as well – he smashes stuff out so quickly and never gives up if it does get sticky. Search ‘Jacob Bettinson’ on YouTube as it’s hard to enjoy his buttery style from just one photo. The lad just rips.
– Dave Ford


So what are your stats Jacob? Name, age, X-Box tag, etc?
– Hi my name is Jacob Bettinson, also known on the street as “Jimmy Beans”.
I’m 22 years old but look about 16, and I’m from a little town called Ilkeston.
I have a job and a girlfriend and I skate so I’m sure most people can agree with me that I don’t have time to play my X-box.

What’s it like skating in Ilkeston? Is there a scene or do you have to travel?
– I never skate in Ilkeston, as there are no skateable spots anymore, which is annoying because we used to have so many that were legit. I don’t have to travel too far though as Ilkeston is bang in the middle of Nottingham and Derby so I stay in Notts the most. There are so many places to skate and apart from the new byelaw stopping skating in the city centre, it’s all good.

Ilkeston used to play host to those long hubba ledges that got merked around the late 90’s by the likes of Baines, Dylan and Joel Curtis back when you were 8 years old. Are they still there? Did you ever get to skate them?
– Yeah the church wall is still there but as per usual the council decided to knob each side with two-inch spikes. Total downer, as they were probably the only triple set hubba in the UK that was perfectly skateable. I didn’t get the chance to put anything decent down it, just a prepubescent nose slide, as I was only a young pube when it got skate-stopped, which I am still bitter about. We were skating there one day and the Chocolate team turned up. They didn’t touch the hubba for some reason just hung about on the empty market stalls but all was not lost as Gaz Jenkins showed them how it was done and smashed a front tail to fakie down it.
I still remember how sick it looked!

Where do you skate mostly and who with?
– Well I do the usual try to explore different towns and cities for spots at the weekend but in the week I spend most of my time at Longeaton skatepark as it’s the best park in my area and it’s also flood lit perfectly for those clear winter nights. I usually skate with all the Longeaton boys, the Hooked crew and now that Australia has given us Phil Long back, I’m sure that I’m going to be going on a lot more trips with the Elite boys.

Do you get any free shit off anyone?
– Yeah, I’ve been getting sorted out with wheels and boards for the past couple of years from Martin at Enuff. Scott and the rest of the Forty Two skate shop guys sort me out as well and I also skate for a Derby scene company called Hooked who are amazing as we are always out getting footage and they sort the whole team out with travel costs, which is perfect.

So I guess you see most of the locals around the Midlands? Who’s killing it
at the moment? Who should we keep and eye open for?
– Yeah the Midlands have so much talent it’s unbelievable and all of them have good attitudes towards everything, unlike some scenes, which have their resident bellends. There are so many people killing it at the moment and most of them have been doing so since I can remember such as Mr. Craig Smedley, his apprentice Will Golding, Bambi, Phil Long, Reese and the most well known couple, Monsieur Nicholas Hanson and his P.I.C Alex Halford. As far as people to keep your eyes open for: Josh Price, Luke Humphries, Conor “Big Bird” Andrews and Matt Vardy. They are all amazing people who are RIPPERS!

You come across like a mild mannered fellow, what’s with the mad collection of tats? Are you a secret maniac?
– (Laughing), I really do try to be but sometimes I do find it hard although I reckon there are a few people who would disagree with term «mild mannered”. As for my tattoos, I’ve always been fascinated by tattoos and the day I turned 18 I decided it would be a good idea to go get my first one done on a skate trip in Skegness and I’ve been hooked since. The most annoying thing though is once I finished my sleeve I started to notice all these Geordie Shore looking knobheads started getting them too, so now I get asked advice about tats from people who look like they could snap me in half.

What’s your favourite type of stuff to skate?
– I like skating everything really. I never used to but I guess you appreciate everything a lot more as all the spots around either get demolished, skate stopped or closed down. My favourite spot is Sneinton Square in Nottingham; it’s like our very own Love Park.

Have you been filming at all? Are you working on anything?
– Yeah I’ve been filming for the past two years for the “Concrete and Sky” video, which is going to be out in April 2014. The project has been led by Dave Ford and his wife Rebekah who weirdly is as hyped with skating as everyone in the crew. These two are the proud founders of Hooked who seem to be able to organize filming missions as well as their own wedding.
If you have a cool group of people and you go filming for random edits I advise you to try and film some sort of scene video as it’s the most fun I have ever had in my life and the laughs are endless.

What are your plans for the future as far as skateboarding is concerned?
– My plans are just keep having good times, try and make the most of every spot I skate and keep pushing myself really.
Also I am waiting to start filming for the third Hooked video as soon as Concrete and Sky is finished so Dave better start coming up with some ideas pretty quickly, (laughing).

What’s the deal with that crazy spot where the photo is taken?
– That is a good question. Joe Prusinski, one of my friends, is like a weird magnet for skate spots. He seems to text me most weeks with new information and photos of some of the best spots, which look like they have been around for years but have never been touched. I couldn’t believe it when he told us to meet him in the middle of nowhere one Sunday and pulled this beast out of his spot bag. He’s our personal spot guide, and the list seems to be endless. BRILLIANT!!

Is there anything that you want to get off your chest in the national press?
– Yeah, to the guy who was on the front of the Sun who did a shit down someone’s chimney…BRAVO!

Any last words?
– Just thanks to Horsley for giving me the First Light and for taking the time to come to the middle of nowhere and take this amazing shot. Peace.


Frontside 180 over the highest part of the rail he could find. 70’s schoolyard represent.
Photo: Horse.


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