Where are they now? ‘Off Radar’ with Sean Smith.
If you were skating through the first decade of the millennium and paying attention to the skate media in the UK during that time, then you’ll have been more than familiar with the skateboarding of Sean Smith.
Hailing from Newport Pagnell, Milton Keynes, Sean was essentially the protégé of MK legend and Blueprint Skateboards OG Rob Selley. First appearing as part of the Karma Skateboards team back during their Chris Atherton-lead ‘Shit on the Lens’ years, Sean went on to help Rob establish Motive Skateboards in the early 2000s, whilst his own brand of technically minded and overly solid skating saw him rack up no shortage of coverage across the pages of both Sidewalk and Document. Video-wise, Sean is best remembered for his closing section in Motive’s first and last full length release ‘Dimensions’ (2009), and his part in Sidewalk’s 2011 DVD offering ‘In Progress’, both of which include some of the finest technical skateboarding that this country has ever seen, a lot of which is still referenced in conversation today.
As you’re about to learn, over the last few years of Sean’s tenure as a sponsored skater, he was spending an increasing amount of time residing in Barcelona. Despite the city’s reputation within skateboarding as one of the most productive destinations in Europe, over his time there, Sean gradually drifted off the coverage radar. There were a lot of questions being asked about where he was and what he was up to, but footage and photos became less forthcoming, then, around 2013, word started circulating that Sean was back living in Milton Keynes full time and no longer skating.
For the second of our ‘Off Radar’ interviews, we decided to catch up with Sean and find out what lead to him hanging up his ‘sponsored skateboarder’ hat, and what he’s being doing in the years since.
Interview by Ryan Gray, 2018 photography by Chris Johnson, archive photography by Leo Sharp.