Third in line for our 2015 Photographer's Stories is our own head lensman Andy Horsley - with photos and tales of 80s vert legends, modern vert prodigies, back tails on the path to head injury recovery, giant liquorice allsorts and Last of the Summer Wine-themed hillbombs amongst other things. Check out some killer photography below and via the other two photographic picks of the year so far online courtesy of Chris Johnson and Reece Leung.
This photo of Sam Beckett towering above Tony Hawk’s personal coping in Vista, CA featured in the last ever print ‘magazine’ that we produced, so it obviously has a place in my heart for that reason as well as reminding me of the first time that I ever visited the USA.
The first few times that I visited America back in 1995/96 I travelled with Ali Cairns so we spent a lot of time hanging around various Californian vert ramps - in fact Ali was skating for Birdhouse so we spent a lot of time at Hawk’s earlier ramp installations. Even the colours of this epic tailgrab remind me of photos that I shot with Ali and Rune back then.
Ryan and CJ were over there filming and shooting for Beckett’s Vans and Route One Excursion piece and I was over there for the Agenda Tradeshow for the purpose of hanging out/boozing with Alex Moul. CJ hadn’t turned up yet so I hooked up with Rye and shot this. Beckett was on fire that day; “getting real high air" and filming a few bangers on Mr Hawk’s U-Pipe.
Any time spent with Doug ‘The Slug’ McLaughlan is quality time consisting of constant laughs and bewilderment at his fluid and natural steez on the old bit of wheeled wood.
At this time we were working on an interview with Doug as he was finally able to tell the full story of his horrific axe encounter.
Doug is most at home these days at any DIY spot and this day we had The Dust Bowl in Leeds pencilled in for a session. This place is really well constructed and nicely hidden away from the general twats (unless they are on a double decker bus). This backside tailslide over the mini-channel was Doug just skating around as he does, but check that style - can’t fucking buy that!
The pathway made from broken boards also gives you an idea of how rad and well looked after this place is. Big up the Slazenger socks and smooth trannies. Shapes!
Well what can one say about this?
A classic Sidewalk retarded idea that actually came to be a reality. Rooney is from the Huddersfield neck of the woods which in turn is near ‘Last of The Sumer Wine’ country, so the idea for a portrait for his Haunts was to dress him up as Compo and push him down a hill in a tin bath at a countryside location.
Rooney was well up for the idea so that was the biggest problem out of the way, kind of. I managed to secure a tin bath on eBay, located on a farm in Bradford which I drove to from Nottingham. I bought the bath and then it was onto Holmfirth, where Last of The Summer Wine was filmed.
I then scouted out a correct location to get the shot; a downhill hairpin bend complete with constant tractor traffic. Ben, Ryan and Manhead accompanied Rooney to the spot, we wedged a cruiser under the bath and the Compo clone started one of many Mach 10 journeys down the hill. Hilarity followed by some incredible slams and near misses, footage will appear at some point believe you me...
It was a rad day full stopped by a quick pitch black session at a horrible ditch spot littered with holes, stones and melt spots. Even though this spot would be hard to session during full sunlight with normal gear on, Roon managed a fully poked welly one foot that will go down in history (footage of this awaits you as well at some point). Until then check out his haunts here.
This was a mission - getting from Nottingham through London and down to Caterham in order to meet Lucian and his two kids to go session Skaterham - but it was worth it.
Jono Coote made the second half of the journey easier by accompanying me. Jono’s thirst for skateboarding is second to none and thoroughly infectious as anyone who knows him will contest. He was looking forward to a vert session as it had been a while and it was fucking freezing outside.
We met Lucian at the train station and had to get two cabs as none of us had any idea where the park was. We were met with open arms and a rad atmosphere that reminded me of Radlands, which is always a pleasure.
Lucian and his kids padded up and got to work warming up alongside Jono inside the old church. Lucian had been told to take his own backyard vert ramp down by the NIMBY crew so it had been a while since he skated vert, but it didn’t take long to get back into the swing of things. My flashes were playing up (for a change) and only one fired on this particular sad plant but it turned out to be my favourite shot - just goes to show you don’t need the power of the sun in order to get the result you want.
It goes without saying that shooting with an 80’s vert legend such as Lucian was a pleasure - thanks for taking the time out to hook up. Check the fruits here.
Stoked on this one! This crazy obstacle/spot is located at a college campus in Nottingham that I used to drive past on a regular basis. There’s a bunch of different shapes that all look rad to skate but they are all located on grass, so I kind of wrote them off. But then I saw some footage of Will skating them so I enquired and it turns out that you can unbolt them from the grass and drag them onto the pathway around the gardens...so that’s what we did.
This particular liquorice allsort was the best one to use as you can do manny tricks on it as well as use it as a pop up/pop off kicker - which is what you see Will doing. Will has some of the fastest feet in the business so it wasn’t long before we had a boosted backside flip in the bag.
Ever since this was released in the witness section of 223 people have asked where the hell that spot is, so I guess there may well be a few more photos popping up soon. Keep a keen one open or get over to Notts for a session.