Questions by Sven Boekhorst Answers by Steve Swain Portraits by Holger Thalmann Sequences by Dominic Swagemakers
Tell us a little bit about the scene in Manchester, England, and how you started skating?
I started skating when i was about 7 – 8 years old on the road outside my house, i didn’t realise there was such thing as Aggressive Rollerblading until i met a few people that went to a skatepark a few miles from my house, it was called the Rehab skatepark, in Wakefield. I skated there with my brother for a few years until unfortunately the local council shut it down, so we had to find other places to go. After about 4 years my brother moved away to join the Royal Navy, so i skated on my own and with other people i knew for a while. When i moved school i almost quit skating as i didnt know anybody that skated near me, but thankfully i started to travel and meet new people and new places to skate. Peterborough’s Y2SK8 was a local park of mine for a while, i have good memories from that place, i used to get the train every Friday night after work there and stay with my friends, come home on the Sunday ready for work again on Monday. I did that for quite a few years until again sadly Y2SK8 closed down for pretty much the same reasons as the Rehab. So now quite a few years later i live in Manchester with a few friends, and i manage the Ukskate Park with a good friend. The scene in Manchester as far as i know is full of good people that im happy to know. Ive met alot of friends since i have been there and im really thankful to be in the situation that im in. I skate as much as i can, and travel as much as i can too.
Do you prefer street or park?
I prefer park skating, i always have, i dont really know why, its just my opinion. i do enjoy to go out in the sun and skate street with my friends in the Summer. but ive always preferred going to a skatepark.
Any new tricks your working on?
eeeerrrrrrmmmmmmmmm, theres never really anything im working on, i just try whatever comes in to my head when im skating. Usually if i try to plan a trick, it goes wrong, so i just go with the flow and have fun, the best way to do it in my opinion.
Disaster 360 topsoul
What do you think about contests?
I enjoy being at contests, its one of the only things keeping rollerblading going, its good for everyone to be in one place and skate together, it beings good memories and good times. Without contests i can easily say i wouldnt know half the people i know now. They bring people together, thats never a bad thing.
Do your parents support you in skating?
My parents support me more than anyone, they always have and im sure they always will, they are my inspiration, they are always happy to watch the edits im in. Its kind of funny in a way because they still dont really know the names of any tricks, and it still scares my mum to see me doing a big trick, but they respect it and they have helped me so much to be where i am today, im sure there proud and im more than proud to be there son.
Any favourite skater?
Stephane Alfano has always been my favourite skater, he is one of the reasons i learnt alot of the tricks i can do today. I think Ryan Googins is amazing too, theres not much footage out there of him, but ive seen enough to know he’s SICK.
Do you consider yourself as a good role model?
I would like to think so. If i didnt think i was a good role model, then why am i sponsored and in this situation today?? haha. I think you have to have a good mind about what you are doing. If you dont think youre a good role model, then how can you expect to be one. Alot of the things i do as a rollerblader are effected by my opinion on myself.
Best experience until now?
Probably a mix between meeting Aaron Feinberg at the LG world finals in Dallas 2006 and being in the final of Winterclash 2009 against Brian Aragon. I remember when i was young the first time i heard of him i saw a clip on the internet of him doing a topsoul 900 out, it made me want to buy his Able Pro frame (the grey and black one). so to go from that to actually skating head to head against him in a contest was a pretty good feeling, i didnt even care to win, i was just really happy to be a big part of it.