Photographer’s Stories – Reece Leung

Round two of this year’s Photographers’ Stories comes courtesy of Reece Leung, who has been on plenty of missions this past year and has sent us a killer selection of images featuring drunken double set sessions, tree wallrides, mirrored nosegrinds and more…

Harry Lintell - nollie heelflip with little room for error in Stoke-on-Trent.

Earlier this year in January we went on the Converse CONS Braving the Cold Tour. The name of the tour was certainly suited for the week we endured. We actually got quite lucky with the weather but then it decided to snow toward the back end of the week. We had arrived in Stoke still searching for places to skate despite the frosty conditions.

James Cruickshank remembered an old undercover car park they used to skate so we checked it out. Luckily parts of it were dry and there was this 9 stair with a very tight landing. Not much had been done down this before and I wasn’t surprised, I couldn’t think of anything worse to skate but Harry persisted and got on with it. He chucked a nollie down it to finish off a line then he went straight in and tried a nollie heel. While Shank was filming fisheye I searched for a long angle. Looking through the door seemed to work so I went with it. I was into the ‘looking in’ feel and it showed how ridiculously tight the spot was. The graffiti on the wall to the left is pretty amusing to read as well. After almost primo-ing and smacking his head on the wall, Harry managed to stick the nollie heel and we got out of there to proceed to more freezing cold spots of England.

Korahn Gayle - sunset switch backside flip in CPH.

Towards the end of last summer I ventured out to Copenhagen, Denmark to shoot the ‘Skateboard Cafe & Friends’ article. The crew was strong and we stayed out there for about 10 days, the weather was amazing throughout the whole week and we were really lucky. Everyday we were cycling around in a crew and wouldn’t get back until about midnight, it was pretty tiring but obviously super fun. It was getting towards the end of the trip and we hadn’t even checked out Copenhagen beach properly so we thought we’d bike down there and have a proper ’chill’ for the first time that week.

We got down to the beach and had a swim, then the beers were flowing. A very drunk Korahn started skating about and eyed up the double set right by the water. I’d recognised this stair set from previous photos I’d seen from Joel Peck and Sam Ashley and always loved the look of the spot with the wind turbines in the background. As soon as Korahn said he was keen to skate it I was hyped because it was during a lovely looking sunset. The landing for the set basically goes into the water so we made sure we had a barrier of people to act as board savers. We had just met some Norwegian local who also kindly helped out with the board barrier. Me and Rich Smith started setting up and Korahn instantly tried a switch backside flip (while very intoxicated). He landed on one perfect but his board shot out and went straight toward our new Norwegian friend, he didn’t move a muscle and I think he was maybe just as drunk as Korahn so the board flew straight into the water; we were all very confused as to why he didn’t try to save it. We grabbed the board out of the water and Korahn started throwing it about to dry it out. We then moved the Norwegian out of the landing and Bill Ness (Rich Smith’s brother) filled in for his poor performance. Korahn landed on yet another and the board flew out again, this time Bill Ness managed to save it while doing a selfie video and looking the wrong way which was hilarious and amazing. Korahn then continued to try the switch backside flip and landed it perfectly with a soaking wet board. I managed to get the photo I wanted and we were all stoked. The ‘chill’ beach session definitely wasn’t chill but it was a highly amusing evening.

Mike Arnold - Getting cosmopolitan with a Spanish Grind in France.

Its always a pleasure shooting with ‘Big Wave’ aka ‘Mad Mike’ aka ‘Highly Viral’ aka Mike Arnold. We were out in Paris this October and the tight crew consisted of Mike, Korahn Gayle, Jamie Platt, Phil Parker and Rich Smith, with Tyrone O’ Hanaran and Kyron Davis also making appearances.

The week was real fun, just like the Copenhagen trip, and everyone went in! We went to ‘Le Dome’; the well known spot with marble floor, hench hubbas and the famous double sets. Mike decided to skate a lesser hit obstacle, a tall block off a three. The ledge was really photogenic as you could see the dope sculpture in the background.

Mike started trying a few Spanish Grinds (180 fakie nosegrind back to regular) – the shapes on this trick are banging and it looked good photogenically as I had managed to frame him in between the windows. He eventually landed it and we were both pleased with the end result. He then shot a few more photos that same day (look out for the Paris article coming soon!) Little did he know that this Spanish Grind photo would get used as the cover for Sidewalk Magazine, Issue 224. We were both stoked!

Ever since I’ve met Mike he’s always been smashing it but this year he has fully caught peoples eyes and he is blowing up. This photo was definitely a favourite of mine from the past year as we’d always shoot photos in the past and joke about it being a cover…we’d say ‘Could be covers’ but this time it actually happened!

Neil Worthington - rad symmetrical shapes on this kicker-assisted nosegrind in the big smoke.

At the start of the year I ventured down to London to risk the weather and see what I could shoot. Myself, Ben Rowles and Neil Worthington travelled down and met up with the usual crew. We were cruising around central and just seeing what we could find, eyeing up drains dotted about so we could lift them up and create kickers to something new. We managed to find one just near St Pauls on a pretty busy street next to a rowdy pub.

We got on with it anyway and the kicker was a success. Neil Worthington, Dan West and a few others started sessioning it and it looked dope fisheye. Neil eventually got a nosegrind which I wanted to shoot long lens as I had already shot a fisheye trick with Dan West. I had a scout around and sat next to a closed shop, started shooting then noticed there was a potential reflection opportunity. I changed up my position and managed to find a dope angle so that the reflection worked and would create a basically symmetrical photo. After a short while it turned out just how I wanted it, stoked! Props to Neil for charging at this electric box multiple times!

Lee Rozee - muddy wallride at a classic Roz 'spot' in Leeds.

I always love shooting photos with Rozee; he’s powerful, has a really dope style and has been killing it forever. I’ve been lucky to know Roz for around 8 years now and we managed to shoot a Made of Stone article recently which I was stoked on. Despite being 40+ Rozee knows how to smash it on a board. During the summer he told me that he’d been walking through the Meanwood ridge and had discovered a potential spot. This is the ridge I walk through most days and never notice any sort of spot, but Roz has a great eye for spots and has noticed many which I’ve not clocked whatsoever.

He said he’d seen a bank and maybe a tree which he could wallride but the floor for the spot is basically dirt, so he wanted to wait for a week of solid sunny weather so that the ground would be ridable. After a banging week of weather passed we decided to check it out. The dirt bank wasn’t so good, the tree wallride was amazing but looked like the most awkward spot to skate. Roz was keen so he got on with it. The tree had a good run-up with a trail which went downhill into the tree, luckily Roz had some massive wheels on so it was just about skateable. He was charging down the trail at mach 10 speeds and just throwing himself into the wallride, taking a few hefty slams but just keeping going. He managed to get a few and I shot some photos. I knew Roz would take me to a photogenic spot and the scene looked dope, with the photo turning out way better than I could have imagined. Roz managed to shoot this a week before two gnarly operations on his foot. Luckily he’s slowly getting back on track and should be fully back on a board soon! I’m sure there will be more Rozee gems to follow in the future!

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