shipman tre 2

Carl Shipman is a true legend of UK skateboarding; emerging from the mighty Worksop on the South Yorkshire/Nottinghamshire border in the late 80's as an ATV ripper and picking up sponsorship from Vision within his first few years of skating. As time passed, Carl's reputation grew and he ended up as one of the original pro's for Flip skateboards, before being headhunted at Munster by Jason Lee himself to ride for the first incarnation of Stereo skateboards around 1994. Carl went on to take on the American Dream, as part of the Stereo team and earning a spot on Danny Way's original DC team. At a time when the industry was heavily focused on the US, and California in particular, the fact that a skater from Worksop came through with a savage Thrasher cover and some highly legit sponsors gave hope to every small town skate rat chucking themselves around their local streets on four wheels. Along the way he demonstrated a timeless steez which places him still as a benchmark of stylish, powerful shredding.

A few years off of the radar (before a reappearance in a Sidewalk 'Working Class Heroes' interview in 2008) means a sparsity of full sections - Carl comes from the pre Insta-blowout era, before every move that a pro skater made was documented in some way, and by the time the Internet became such a major force in skateboarding media he had stepped away from the industry. Because of this, much next level shredding probably went unseen by the majority as far as it appearing in videos and magazines is concerned but, between full sections and photo coverage, this post aims to educate you on Carl Shipman's place as one of the giants of UK skateboarding. If this doesn't have you out on the back street trying to hone your tre flips, nothing will!

Words by Jono Coote

Above photo: Andy Horsley

Grey skies, empty car parks, waxed curbs and rainy day indoor park sessions perfectly capture the vibe of UK skateboarding in the 90s - mixing footage from Nottingham's original Market Square, the long-gone indoor park at Bestwood near Nottingham and the mighty Payless curbs, he still manages to come through with a banging section. The tiny wheels and double flips which ruled the day are in evidence, but performed with more than enough power to set him apart from the crowd.

Miniramp lines for days! As the winter finally descends for real this section from the independent scene video Notts Landing will be the perfect hype to get you down to your local indoor park.

Shipman's first part in a US video sees him charging any spot put in front of him, from well known Californian locations to the as yet hardly touched Gonz Gap at Meanwhile 2. Style and power for miles are summed up perfectly by the kickflip catch at around 3:24.

Tincan Folklore is an all round classic and we can't recommend the whole video enough! Shipman's section is kicked off with a beast of a hill bombing line, a tall downhill back 50-50 then a pop heavy line at Nottingham's legendary Broadmarsh Banks. From then on its all steep pole jams, switch wallrides down stairs, stomped lines and confused businessmen coming together to bring the stoke! Way, way ahead of its time considering the flavour of street skating at the moment.

This brief but rad section from the first outing for British video magazine Viewfinder kicks off with a couple of bank hammers from Carl's older brother Lee Shipman (shuv tailgrab fingerflip if anyone cares to try it and not lose a finger?) before some killer grab tweakage from Carl and a blunt flip on a kinked-as-hell looking bank to jersey barrier set up in the infamous Rehab skatepark in Wakefield.

Dylan-scored hammers including a return to the Meanwhile Gonz gap, high speed Shell Centre lines and some night mission footage make this section from Blueprint's classic Waiting for the World a must see for anyone interested in UK skate history!

After a few years off the skateboarding map, a Working Class Heroes interview in 2008 spread the word to the wider skateboarding world that Shipman was back on it. Fast forward to 2012 and some footage was collected together in a section on the bonus disc for In Progress. Flowing miniramp lines at in Skegness topped off with a torqued out frontside 270 to nosepick fakie. Even better, this is all set to the folky guitar picking of similarly elusive Yorkshire skater, wallride destruction unit and all round good lad Jason Brown.

shipman fs air

Going frontal on a whole lotta vert wall, with proper tuck!

Photo: Wig Worland

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If you were going to get a photo at EMB it stood to reason that it should be as G'd out as possible - Shipman comes through with the kickflip equivalent of smoking a blunt with RBL Posse. Dick Van Dyke's caption is pretty shite though!

Photo: Chromeballincident

Carl shipman thrasher cover hubba front blunt

Holding the American Dream down and front blunting it in a crack den is a solid way to get on the cover of Thrasher, if you can step to it! Carl Shipman, not fucking about.

Photo: Bryce Kanights

shipman tre flip

That classic tre shape, seen here at a nicely steep looking bank. Note the foot placement kids, no yo's here!

Photo: Andy Horsley

shipman bs smith

Back smith photo taken from his 'Working Class Heroes' interview, always stoked on this one.

Photo: Andy Horsley

shipman bs tail shuv

There's no doubt the man can dig out a fun looking bank spot! This one gets a technical seeing too via a back tail shuv out in an idyllic autumnal council estate setting.

Photo: Andy Horsley

shipman broadmarsh banks

Shipman floats an ollie over a sadly demolished piece of this island's skate history.

Photo: Andy Horsley

shipman ollie bumps

Snapped ollie as a silver birch tries desperately to block out the tradesman's crack without success, at a weird and wonderful piece of partially-skateable looking architecture. I can't imagine the run up being a breeze for this one, inspiration to look for spots everywhere!

Photo: Andy Horsley