Robert Woodward ‘First Light’ interview from Sidewalk 213

Sidewalk 213 – June 2014

Name: Robert Woodward

 Age: Sixteen

 Location: Huddersfield

 Skating: 6 years





My fondest memory of Roon is when he did work experience at Endemic and took it upon himself to clean the toilet with fabric antibacterial wipes. Now our toilet has a pump and basically blocks if you put more than two sheets of bog roll down it. So he’s flushing away trying to get rid of the twenty wet wipes and the pump jams and floods the upstairs of the shop with shitty water!

We had to close the store to deal with the situation.
I sent him out for rubber gloves and made him stand there with a bin liner open whilst I fished out all the shit and wet wipes from the pump. Anyway now he’s a plumber. I think I inspired him! All joking aside, Roon’s been part of our scene since he was only nine years old. He’s 16 now and skates like a man and has done for a couple of years. We’re stoked he rides for us and we can support him. Keep your eyes on The Roon he’s a lunatic!

Andy Wood


Rooney has come a long way since building Lego houses and playing with tech decks. From a young age you could see his ambition within skat- ing: gnarliness mixed with no common sense has proven to be a deadly combination when hitting the cobbled streets of Huddersfield. Little Roon- ey skates like a tank, destroying everything spot he hits, with no hesitation towards the terrain he finds himself in. Keep it up bro – you’re doing Hudds proud.

Josh Whitehead


Over a high one to backside lipslide. Soap it! Seq: Reece


Vital stats first – who are you, how old are you, where do you live and how long have you been skating for?

– I’m Robert Woodward, but most people know me as Rooney.
I’m 16 and I live in a little village outside of Huddersfield called Meltham. I started skateboarding at 9 or 10 after I fell off a shed, cracked my head open and found out that parkour wasn’t for me.

When did you first get the nickname ‘Rooney’ and who came up with it?
– I’ve had it since primary school, as I was the spitting image of him apparently. (Laughing). It was my next-door neighbour who gave me it, and it’s stuck ever since! I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing…

You’ve been skating since you were really young – I can remember stories of you ollieing the big Playhouse stairs in Leeds with a helmet on back when you were 10 or something. Is that true and if so, is there any footage of you skating street in your helmet?
– Yeah that’s true – I ollied Playhouse when I was pretty young with a massive helmet on, (laughs). I think there might be some footage lost in Vimeo somewhere with my helmet and me…

When did you retire the helmet?
– I retired the helmet when I was like 12-13, I guess I just realised it was pretty wack!

Tell us about the scene in Huddersfield – what goes on there?
– The Huddersfield scene is pretty good! Everyone is always keen for a skate.
We have these Tuesday night skates, they’re sick! We just meet at the shop (Endemic) and drive to local towns and skate! It’s really productive!

So you’re only 16 but you’ve already left school and are currently doing your apprenticeship in plumbing – tell us about that.
– I thought about plumbing because it’s a trade that everyone needs, I can do it anywhere I go and I’d heard that there was money in it. Everyone wants money!

Have you got to see inside any grim houses or been to any weird places yet through work?
– You get the odd crack head and messy house, but overall it’s sound! No funny stories to tell yet really, which is a bit off a let down.

There’s a skatepark near your house that you were involved in raising the money for, right? How often do you train it up there and is it true that you can see the park from your bedroom window?
– Yeah, the skatepark took like 4 years to get! I didn’t really do any of the money raising though, I left that to the council. It’s just across the village, literally two minutes from my house, and from my bedroom you can see it, it’s hidden behind some trees but you can still get a glimpse of it. I go up there every night if it’s dry after a good old street skate.

Where did you skate before that? Where did you learn your shit back when you were a nipper?
– I just skated street or went to Greenhead skatepark in town with all the older guys, as they where the only people who skated street.

You and Charlie Birch and pretty tight – are you two competitive with each other? Who would win in a fight?
– I wouldn’t say competitive; we just kind of push each other I think. I’d definitely ‘av him in a fight though as I’ve got those grafter hands, (laughing). The only competition Charlie and I have is for Instagram followers and he’s winning at the moment, (laughing).

Who’s your favourite skater at the moment?
– It’s difficult because I can’t pick one skater, I’d say a combination of Dylan Rieder, Austyn Gillette, Leo Romero and Jeremy Leabres.

Which skate videos do you watch to get pumped to go out and jump down stuff?
– I watch ‘Cherry’ – Supreme hit the nail on the head with that video! It’s so good!

You were getting Alien Workshop boards from Shiner until recently – did you keep any, and if not, do you wish you had now that it’s gone?
– I was so gutted when I found out that they went under because I was on my last board. For sure I wish I kept some! Their stuff was amazing!!

Alan Glass has just hooked you up again too I hear – what’s the story there?
– I was up at the skatepark skating, and I got a message asking if I wanted to ride for 3D, and being a fan of the company, I was like “yeah for sure!” I was so stoked!

Do you think he picked 3D for you because you’ve switched up your trouser game since Cherry came out?
– (Laughing), I rolled my pants up well before Cherry came out…

What else should people know about The Roon?
– What else would people want to know? All I do is skateboard and work.

Anything else that you want to say, or people that you want to give a shout out to?
– Got to give Andy from Endemic a massive thanks for everything! Alan Glass at Shiner for hooking me up with 3D! Percy and Garry for hooking me up with emerica shoes and a massive shout out to the homies and family!


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