Ben Rowles - Kickflip - Manchester
Whilst shooting for Ben's Haunts I decided to meet up with him in Manchester and see if we could find anything to shoot. It was during summer so we were out for most of the day. The day consisted of walking around a lot and struggling to find something new to skate, the weather was banging though so I wasn't too bothered if we didn't shoot anything. I think Ben felt like he wanted to shoot something as he had work later that evening and didn't want to feel like we wasted the day away. We ended up finding a new spot with help from Ben Grove and we managed to shoot something.
After this we had an hour to kill until Ben had work, luckily we remembered this roof spot, which we wanted to have a look at. So me, Ben and Foz set off and went to check it out. The spot was a car park with some sort of abandoned structure above it, which looked unfinished. There were a variety of roof gaps all over it. Ben wanted to check the gap that was at the very top and see if it looked skateable. We all got up there. Me and Foz were feeling sketched out but Ben wasn't phased and had a look. He thought it would be a good idea to ollie it for a photo, me and Foz thought he was insane because the run-up was pretty short and the floor on top of the roof was covered with stones.
Ben wanted to have a go so I made sure that the run-up was clear as it could be because I was terrified that he'd hit a stone and fall down. Ben kept leaping over the gap on his feet to test the distance and then out of nowhere he threw his board down and popped over it first go while Foz was squealing with fear watching. We checked out the photo and it looked good so I was ready to get out of there but Ben casually said he wouldn't mind trying to kickflip it. I've never been this scared for someone trying a trick so I made sure that he definitely wanted to try it and double check the run-up was clear of stones. Foz had enough and couldn't watch from the top so he went down to the bottom to watch. Ben attempted the flip and managed to do it first go, we were relieved, we checked out the photo and then Ben thought he could do a better one so he went at it again and did two in a row. The second photo was rad and I'd had enough trauma so I decided to get him down from that roof incase something bad happened. We made it out of there and in the end we shot a banging photo, Ben must have been feeling stoked when going to work, props for doing this madness mate! This was featured in Ben's 'Haunts', Sidewalk magazine, Issue 215.
Nick Remon - ollie first road gap to 360 flip the second - Leeds
While Nick was filming his 'Excursions' part for Vans he made a few trips upto Leeds. Nick and Rye were out filming one day and I joined them. Nick kills it and always has something for every spot so we decided to hit up this triple road gap, which has been around for decades. This was one of the first Leeds spots to be published it was featured in ‘Skateboard! Magazine’ around 1990 with an ollie photo over one of the road gaps and it was captioned ‘Rollie’ as in ‘Road Ollie’. The horrible looking building is an old car park which was considered ‘futuristic’ at the time because you drive you car into a lift and it takes you to your parking spot.
Anyway, this spot isn’t the nicest spot to skate, the floor is pretty rough and you have to be quick footed if you want to skate more than just the first road gap. Nick eyed it up and ollied all three of the road gaps first go, no sweat, as per usual. He then started trying to skate it a bit differently by ollieing the first gap then doing a flip trick over the second, this is where things started to get difficult.
It didn’t take Nick long to work out the spot and he started trying to 360 shuv the second road gap. I was shooting it as a fisheye sequence but it wasn’t really working out photowise so I decided to think where else I could shoot it. Eventually Nick landed the 360 shuv and then started trying a 360 flip over the second gap, I knew this would be a more photogenic trick, I remembered that Rory McKenzie once filmed from a different angle at this spot once before and it looked rad but only for certain tricks, so I thought I may as well go up there and have a look.
I got up there and it looked ideal for the 360 flip. I played around with different angles and then watched Nick battle with the trick. It was taking him longer than usual and I was hoping he would stick it. Eventually he landed it and the photo looked right from that angle. This photo ended up being my first Sidewalk cover and was used for Issue 209, I was stoked and Nick deserved it because he is such an underrated skater.
Dave Adlington - Full pipe carve - Yorkshire
During the Summer I met up with Myles Rushforth and Alex Bird in Barnsley. Some Sheffield heads said they were keen to check out Barnsley too (Jerome Campbell, Dave Adlington and James Cruickshank) so we all met up and drove to different spots. Barnsley surprisingly has loads of really dope stuff to skate. We had a pretty productive day of skating and then we came across this spot.
These bottle shaped silos were peculiar, you had to climb in head or foot first and then you were pretty much in a dusty, claustrophobic greenhouse. Dave was hyped to skate these silos so he jumped in and realised how hot it was in there because of the boiling hot weather. Dave skated a smaller silo at first and then we eventually found the biggest one there and he started to pump up and down the full pipe. The silos were made from some sort of plastic material so they were incredibly slippery, Dave took many slams and hacked the constant greenhouse heat. He kept coming out of the pipe to get a breather.
He then started trying to get a kickturn high up the pipe and kept slamming because of the slippery conditions, eventually he got the hang of it and then got as high as he could. I was shooting it fisheye from outside the pipe with my arms fully stretched into the bottle neck and it was pretty hard to get right but luckily I worked it out and the highest kickturn looked rad. Dave was stoked on the photo and he got out of there, he was drenched in sweat. Considering how boiling hot it was props to Dave for skating these for as long as he did. This was used in the Witness section of Sidewalk Magazine, Issue 215.
Manny Lopez - Kinky 5050 - Ilford
On a regular visit to London I met up with some people in Greenwich for the first spot of the day. There was a big crew out but the spot we wanted to skate in Greenwich was pretty much situated inside a wind tunnel so it was time for the next spot. No one had any ideas and then Manny mentioned ‘Ilford’. Rye and me were wondering what was there to skate, to which Manny casually said ‘Theres a double kink handrail which I wanna skate’.
After rounding up everyone we headed to Ilford to check out the spots. We all nearly skated past this double kink handrail because it was so ridiculous when Manny stopped us and pointed at the spot with an over the moon expression, he most likely thought this double kink was ‘so perfect’. This was technically the first spot of the day for Manny and this isn’t something I’d want to skate no matter how warmed up I was. The rail was awkwardly positioned against an angled wall so if you didn’t lock in properly it was game over. Everyone was keen to watch Manny tackle this horrid handrail and watched from the bottom of the stairs.
Manny started grafting straight away and jumped onto the rail to test it out, after a few attempts he hit the middle rail and shot out, everyone got pumped up and encouraged Manny to get on it. After a few more attempts Manny got to the last part of the rail and fell off. Manny was so stoked that he nearly landed it, he ran back up the stairs shouting ‘I’ve got this’, I’ve never seen someone so hyped to be skating a multi-kinked rail before, it was like he was skating a curb, he’s not scared of them one bit. A couple more attempts later he did the whole thing perfectly and rolled into the lads who were giving him props. I can’t believe how he managed to do this without messing himself up. This was used for the cover of Sidewalk Magazine, Issue 214. Once again, I was stoked to have shot another Sidewalk cover. Manny is a mentalist.
Daryl Dominguez - 360 flip - Leeds
The Man bank is such a horrible spot to skate in Leeds, the bank is fucked and there are big old cracks between each slab, not to mention the run-up on the wall which is just as bad because of the cracks and how thin it is. Daryl really wanted to skate this spot for some reason and every time he wanted to hit it up there was a car parked at the bottom of the bank.
So we decided to go skate it one Sunday morning before Daryl had to catch his train back to London. It was 8am when we met up and there were no cars in the landing. Daryl got on with it straight away despite us all being half asleep. He was getting close surprisingly quick and then stuck one out the blue, he rolled all the way down the bank and hit the flat but slowly fell off. We couldn’t understand why he fell off, we then looked and he had rode into a pile of dirt / moss which stopped his run-out. We were all gutted, he got back up there and kept trying but unfortunately we ran out of time and we had to take him to the station so he could catch his train back to London. This must have wound up Daryl because he would have landed it if it wasn’t for the dirt / moss run-out.
A few months later Daryl wanted to go back and do it so he ventured back to Leeds. We skated some different spots first and Daryl felt like he injured himself slightly. So then we decided we would leave it and just chill. Later on that day we skated through the University and Daryl thought we may as well have a look at the Man bank just incase there wasn’t a car in the run-out. Luckily the run-out was clear so Daryl thought he'd give it a go despite the slight injury. We were ready to go and it was deja-vu for Daryl. Daryl didn’t start off as well as last time and took some hefty slams, he was fine and kept battling for the trick. I remember seeing a woman looking out of the window behind him as he was getting closer, a few tries later he stuck a banging 360 flip into it and we were dreading the roll out incase he stopped on some dirt again but this time it was not the case and he stuck it perfectly. The woman watching out of the window must have been loving it. I was stoked on this photo because of the woman looking out of the window and Daryl socks matched the colour of the tree. Props to Daryl for going back to this treacherous spot! This was featured in the Contents of Sidewalk Magazine, Issue 217.