Paul Silvester switch mayday Reece

Above: Switch mayday at the Uni Banks. Photo by Reece Leung

"I think I preferred it when random members of the public would punch you in the face for skateboarding" - one of the best Sidewalk cover quotes ever, courtesy of Paul Silvester's 'Flexible Heads' interview in Issue 199. Growing up in Huddersfield before moving to Leeds once he had exhausted the smaller town's stair set potential, Man was part of the OG Unabomber team, recipient of the first ever Sidewalk 'Haunts' interview and proponent of switch skateboarding whenever possible.

Paul Silvester switch frontside wallride

Above photo: CJ

Later moving to Scotland to work with youth organisations and promote skateboarding amongst the youth, before emigrating to Canada (his last UK interview produced the opening quote to this text) to fly the white rose flag, Paul played an integral part in showing that UK skateboarding stood up to what was happening in the US at the time - and almost all on the crustiest spots Yorkshire could throw at him...

Man and Rob Burn session the ghosts of Leeds' spots past, many of which are now long since skate-stopped, in Viewfinder's first outing circa 1998. Good to see Rob back and ripping Hyde Park on the last few visits north!

Unabomber's opening salvo on UK skateboarding 'Unapromo' saw Man's knee crunching spot assault taken beyond the streets of West Yorkshire into the wider world...all to the classic 2-Tone sounds of The Beat's 'Too Nice to Talk To' for those of you thinking "what is song?".

Alongside Viewfinder and Unapromo, Paul's street skating around this period was also captured by Toby Batchelor for his scene video Sub C-Y. Rugged streets, raw style, flatground lines past the back of Halo nightclub? Leeds as fuck!

Paul Silvester, Lee Rozee, Doug Mclaughlan, Schooly, Tom Brown and more make Wisdom Skateshop's Pulling Teeth essential viewing if raw northern street skating floats your boat. The sounds of wheels rolling on cracked slabs haunts my dreams and nightmares in equal measure and almost overwhelms Jean-Jaques Burnel's snarl on 'No More Heroes', while the ender/slam is impressively grim.

Too many heads to mention, golden era hip hop and the infamous 'snap a paving slab with a foot' scenario to finish.

One of the best sections from one of the best videos to come out of the UK - a piece of skate history, fingers crossed that one day a DVD release will be forthcoming! In the meantime, watch it online and cross those fingers...

A shared section with Ali Cairns means both vert and street destruction (don't sleep on Man's vert skating though).

Uni bank lines, fakie ollies down double sets and a line which starts with a primo slide and ends at a handrail, this section is rad - and only enhanced by Harry Bastard and Tom Brown cameos! Witness some unused clips amongst this;

Paul's section from The Harmony's 'Once Upon a Time' hasn't been uploaded as a stand alone, but skipping to 8:57 will take you to where you need to be for this article...or get the teas on and watch the whole thing, its a corker!

Once again Paul's section can only be found online as part of the whole, but set the video to 23:53 to witness switch gnarliness on a wide range of street spots and transitions as well as mad heads appearing in cameos.

Paul Silvester and Ben Grove brutalize themselves down Sheffield's Odeon stairs.

Just before Paul emigrated to Canada, he collected almost every bit of footage he had in his archives and made a video called 'Not for Sale' which was premiered in his (almost) home town of Leeds a couple of weeks before he left these shores.

The video was not available to buy, nor has it ever been online before.

This is Paul's section from said video comprising footage from the last 5 - 10 years or so, filmed by all manner of people.

Paul Silvester front shuv

Photo: CJ

Paul Silvester switch crook

Photo: CJ

Paul Silvester switch wallie

Photo: CJ