Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Barrier Session Down The Local

After a full day of skating I got the camera out to shoot these two, Harley Miller & Fuller messing about  at Bury St. Edmunds, my local park, yesterday.
The pair ended up trying transfers from the deep end of the bowl to the Jersey barrier in various fashions. 

I was told that they never cast a shadow...
Fuller - boneless transfer
Fuller - b/s feeble transfer 1
Fuller - b/s feeble transfer 2
Fuller - b/s feeble transfer 3
Harley Miller - fastplant transfer
Harley Miller - b/s feeble
Harley Miller - b/s ollie
Harley Miller - bowl to b/s wallride transfer 1
Harley Miller - bowl to b/s wallride transfer 2
Harley Miller - transfer wallride board swap 

#uk #skateboarding #skating #photograph #new #skatepark #outdoors #milkskateboards #voxfootwear #dickies 

Monday, 26 May 2014

A Little Something From The Weekend?

Last Sunday saw another trip into London with some of the Milk Skateboards crew, Dan, Fuller & Jasper.
We hit a couple of spots and got a few bits of footage and some photos. Most of these are being held back for promotional material, so I only have one photo I can share with you now. 
Walking down Oxford Street I never imagined a quiet ledge with ample room to be anywhere near the hustle and bustle of this extremely busy street. But down a long set of narrow steps, there it was. A collection of obscure asterisk shaped, black composite seats, one of which had obviously been skated before.
A little while after we started skating a family sat down on the seat we were skating. Dan approached and asked if they wouldn't mind moving to another seat so we could carry on. To my surprise, they immediately agreed with the condition that we gave them a show. A glance between Dan & I (holding camera & VX close to the ledge) confirmed we both got the juvenile comedy of the comment.
The boys got on it with many clips gathered. All going towards the full length Milk Skateboards video which will be available later in the year.    

Sam Hayter - f/s crook 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Nous Sommes Allés à la Planche à Roulettes Gay Paris

Oui garçon, We went to Paris a few weeks back and did some danger planking.
It was Jasper's great idea to fly to the French capital over Easter week and get some film & photos and generally fool around. So after a bit of haggling with employers, Fuller, Jasper Pegg, Harley Miller, Charlie Munro and I had booked flights from Luton and all congregated at my house the evening before flying and after about 40 minutes sleep we loaded up and moved out. 

Let's get this straight from the start, Paris stinks. Usually of stale urine. Every enclosed public space, every stairway, every Metro entrance tunnel, all you smell is putrid stale piss. It really was something I had a lot of trouble with to start with, but as I found after many hours of traipsing around the city I found any quiet corner a great comfort myself!
As we'd travelled very early in the day, we were out and searching for spots soon after 10 in the morning. The realisation that travel costs were going to be higher than on other trips was a blow, but as we skated from the Metro station to the first spot along the Seine in the spring sunshine expectations grew and the others skated off leaving the camera guy to catch up! 

The first stop was Le Dome, The Palais de Tokyo modern and contemporary art museum. A well skated spot by the river in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and as we played around on the heavily cracked marble I noticed heavy rain clouds approaching from across the river and within half an hour large raindrops were falling making the marble very interesting. And so it was, a cycle of half an hour of sun followed by five minutes rain for the next 3 hours. 

This presented an opportunity to meet and skate with the locals in the more confined covered area at the top of the steps. Harley had a game of SKATE with some Parisian boys while Charlie skated the bike rail secured on one side of a set of steps. Much hilarity was had as at the bottom was a metal frame which he had to jump through once he was rolling away. 
Suddenly, George Braham appeared in front of me, board under foot. I knew he'd been in Holland earlier in the week but had no idea he'd ended up in gay Paris at the same time as us! After a fag and a chat he got in on the action trying the biggest hubba he's ever skated. Beast! 
George Braham - f/s 50-50
After further exploration of the steps by both Harley and Charlie with some pretty crazy stunts being recorded. These particular photos are being held back to be used for promotion of the new Milk Skateboards full length video expected late this year. 
Patience padawan.

Jasper however, did get a couple of bits on the ledge at the front of the spot. But after rolling his ankle a number of times on the bottom step attempting to better an already landed trick the skating came to a painful end for him.

Jasper Pegg - nollie f/s tailslide biggy
 After a guided tour to a supermarket by one of the locals, we ate, drank and planned our next move and made it towards the Eiffel Tower leaving George until the next morning.
Paris pavements as a whole are as smooth as I could have wished for and skating from spot to spot on my Slimeballs was an absolute pleasure.
Approaching the Tower it became evident that we had to this point well avoided the tourist spots. The base of the tower was packed with hundreds of people patiently waiting to climb, so we stopped for the obligatory photo and moved on up the Trocadero. 

'appy bunch

This shot was taken as we reached the top of the steps. After taking it we walked to the centre of the very large crowd and as we turned to face the tower it lit up with thousands of white sparkling lights. Everyone around us oooooohhhhhed and aaaahhhhhed and as the crowd quietened Harley said loudly "I don't get it, mine does that." and walked off.
With heavy feet we followed and made our way back to the hotel to check in and wash up before dinner. It was at this point that we found out we had a triple room... and a double. So, Fuller and I agreed to take the double room. Not an issue, just not how I thought sleeping arrangements would be. And Fuller suffered from my snoring, not me.  
We eventually found a reasonable looking restaurant and ate and drunk well, accompanied by talk of the past day and plans for the next. 

Up early with great expectations of the free breakfast we were met with a modest (but fresh) croissant and small white crusty roll, accompanied by jam sachets and as much sweetened orange juice as a man can drink. Enough to get us to the first shop we could find. 
Our first stop was Place de la Republique to meet George. Charlie & Harley went to find tobacco and further breakfast. On their return about half an hour later with both requirements filled, they were full of "the french are so ***king rude" and "wish we'd stayed at home" and other such angry statements. Jasper & I were the next to go searching, this time for a good cup of coffee. We walked down 2 streets and found a nice, but quite expensive cafe with two very pleasant gents serving. At the end of our transaction one of them smiled & laughed at the other, and they explained that they were having a competition to sell the most cake and the three slices we had just purchased were going to put him in a strong lead!
We walked back very pleased with our purchases and I got down to business with the camera while Jasper rested his shot ankle.

Harley Miller - b/s smith
Charlie Munro - nose blunt slide
George Braham - f/s 50-50

Once the boys had had their fill we headed off to spot number two, La Défense.
Using the Metro had become very straightforward by now so a trip across the city took no time at all. 

La Défense is Europe's largest purpose built business district and so was filled with ledges (mostly stopped), rails (mostly stopped) and a few stair sets and wall ride opportunities. 
We sat in the shadow of the Grande Arche, took some photos and hatched a plan.
Skating down in the direction of Arc de Triomphe through the crowds of tourists we looked left and right for options. a group of skater in the distance drew our attentions.
After a quick chat we headed to a tall building that looked like the Starship Enterprise had crashed into it. A long set of steps with a wall across each end fronted the building. 
George immediately charged the steps and despite a ruined ankle, Jasper proceeded to throw himself at one wall at the top of the steps. After a number of further rollings of the already rolled ankle he gave it up and lay in a crumpled heap at the foot of the steps.
After nursing him to his feet I noticed Fuller teetering on the edge of a high ledge and ended up with one of my favourite photos I've taken of him to date. I used a 15mm fisheye as a long lens. Worked quite well.

Jasper Pegg
Fuller - ollie hang-up nose manual
Moving down the hill once more we took a left to look at a temporary tarmac ramp over a large set of steps with a rough hubba down one side. This led to both Charlie & Harley throwing nose and tail slides down it.


Setting up for these shots I noticed an concrete arch at the base of an adjacent building and went to look at the spot from the other side. While I sat there on the edge of a planter with my feet in a shrub numerous groups and single people passed and greeted me. Some even stopped to watch for a while. One of these passers by was a tramp. One side of his dirty, weathered face covered with some kind of green paint carrying nothing but the filthy trench coat on his back. I don't know what possessed me to but suddenly I heard myself saying "Bonjour, monsieur". What I rightly received as a reaction was a loud growl in my face and a tirade of what I can only assume was abuse. I tried to ignore him by setting my camera up again. As he  moved on I looked over at Fuller sitting at the top of the spot. He was shaking his grinning head. 
The boys were starting to get there so I concentrated half on them and half on the bystanders to avoid any intrusions into frame. A few minutes later a tiny security van pulled up a few yards away, but to my surprise the two guards within exited the vehicle and stood watching for a moment, turned and walked in the opposite direction. Safe! 

Harley Miller - nose slide
Charlie Munro - tail slide (fakie?)
On the other side of the concrete hubba you can just make out in Charlie's photo an angled glass roof making this spot much more dangerous than it looks. 
Onward, and back on to the main street and further down the hill to a double stair set. Charlie proceeded to destroy the stairs and photos were taken, but Charlie want's to save the footage for another project so they may get posted at a later date.
On the way back to the hotel that evening we took a detour across town to The Cage.
The pact states that what happens in the cage, stays in the cage. We skated home on the pavements which luckily was all down hill! On our return a good meal was eaten and a relaxing evening was had.  

Day three began in the same fashion as day two.
Across town to the banks of a small river where a bank that Jasper wanted to skate was situated. Having seen this spot on videos, nothing prepared us for how rough the cobbled floor was. Jasper, still nursing a pretty fat ankle proceeded to spin around on the lip of the bank. I walked up onto a bridge over the river and tried something different before coming back down and shooting some closer shots of Jasper, Fuller and Harley.
This was Easter Monday, so there were a lot of runners and walkers on the cobbled walkway along the river, but again they just passed by or stopped and watched from a reasonable distance. 

Jasper Pegg - switch f/s nose grind
Fuller - b/s crook
Jasper Pegg - f/s 5-0
Harley Miller - f/s tail slide revert
Harley Miller - f/s 5-0 fakie
We skated from this spot, over the river and up the road about a quarter of a mile to another spot which we found to be under reconstruction and completely fenced off. So back on the Metro and on to another spot to meet one of Jasper's Stephen Malet now living in Paris. 
On the way, Harley did something cool which is again to be kept for promo use at a later date. 
Stephen took us to a couple of spots including a bank to high bar with a stair set down on end of the bank where Instagram clips were captured. And a circular bowl with a large vert wall on one side. Not great to skate, but we chilled, drank beer and messed about as the sun went down.

Day four was my last day due to work commitments but the others would stay another day.
It began quite late. We arrived at the first spot of the day and what would be my last at around midday.
Not a spot I recognised but the others seemed to know it. Again the clouds were elsewhere and hot spring sunshine reflected off all horizontal surfaces forcing all behind shades. This would not last as I found later as I boarded the plane home.
I got to shoot a few photos without a flash of everyone skating a long, sloped marble ledge before being forced to pack up and say my goodbyes to the rest of the group. I skated back to the station and made my way back to the hotel to pack.
You don't want to read about my journey home so I'll leave you with these last shots and needless to say, a very enjoyable and successful trip.

Charlie Munro - b/s crook
Fuller - f/s 50-50
Harley Miller - f/s 5-0

#milkskateboards #skateboarding #paris #france #europe #photography #outdoors

Monday, 12 May 2014

Bury St. Edmunds Official Opening Jam

Sunday saw the official opening of my new local skatepark in Bury St. Edmunds. The event was organised by Simon Pickering, Council Youth Officer and Hardcore Hobbies, BSE's rider owned BMX, Skate & Scooter shop.
The day started for me at 10am after a very late night at a party at local rider Stoney's Flat and the evening turned into a impromptu celebration of my birthday by some. 
As I dragged my body to upright, I was unsurprised by the wet weather that greeted me at the window and as I drove to Olding Road the rain started again.
The park was awash and amenities were still being installed at the entrance, so a group of us prepared for the day by having breakfast in Asda's Cafe, where we met Aaron Clapham.
At the party the night before he's asked me if I was going to join him for an early skate at 7am on Sunday morning. I laughed and dismissed the suggestion as we had both indulged and it was already quite late, but he had in fact got to the park at 7am. It was raining.

ON return to the park, the toilets and the P.A. were in there respective places and vans of banners, tents and prizes were being unloaded. Along with the usual advertising boards and sponsor's banners fixed to  the fences Simon had been busy and had ordered a long banner printed with a huge range of photos documenting the life of the park since its beginnings in the mid nineties through to the build of the current park. Some I hadn't seen before and some I remember taking, but don't remember circulating them!
In the chaos of the day, I forgot to take any photos of the banner so if anyone reading this did, please let me see them!

Proceedings began with the usual small town pomp with Councillor Terry Buckle, The Worshipful Mayor of Bury St. Edmunds making a speech and cutting the red ribbon to mark the official opening. Flowers were presented to major contributors to the project but the Mayor's speech was not heard by many as the mic was turned off. So Jason Mills took the helm with help from long distance local Dom Tinkler making a quick detour on his journey from Andorra to Austrailia. The park quickly became full of riders, skaters and scooterists with the threat of rain on everyones mind. Things started going off straight away.

MC Millsibub
MC Tinklecore 

The Jam was, as always a relaxed affair and at the end of the day Jay and Dom gave prizes to the best ten skaters, BMXers and scooter enthusiasts throughout the jam.

Luke Jarvis
After a heavy shower at the beginning of the jam things quickly dried up. at this point things stepped up. An announcement that a rider was going to attempt a never been done transfer from the high Jersey barrier into the shallow end of the bowl. One became two and both riders landed an attempt but unfortunately, when repeating the trick to better the landing, one rider, wearing a helmet ended up head-butting his handlebars as his bike slipped from under him. The paramedics on standby were called in and eventually an ambulance was called and the rider was lifted out of the bowl on a back board.
We were given the good news at the end of the day that he had come away with only serious bruising and expected to be back on the pedals very soon.   

Joe Embrey

Ashley Finn

Tom Bird

Edd Pooley - kickflip

 After a session on the rail, a highest air comp went down in the bowl. This became a game between two riders, Ashley Finn and Joe Embery with Joe eventually winning.

Ashley Finn
Joe Embery
Luke Jarvis - body jar

The sun finally made an appearance after a few short showers and the rail and stairs got another pounding.
John Howlett - b/s feeble to smith (feeble bit) 
John Howlett - b/s feeble to smith (smith bit)
Jake Royal

Charlie Munro - f/s board slide
John Howlett - hurricane 
Sticker tosses are always a laugh to watch. All the mayhem for a few stickers. I was exactly the same when I was as short!

George, very happy with his haul
Harley impersonating George
Louis doing Harley doing George
George Braham - f/s 5-0

A few years back, during a jam at the old park there was a transfer comp from the 4 foot mini to the pump track. This comp was repeated this year. This time the challenge was to clear the platform between the park and one of the large burns on the pump track. Skaters only.
After a number of ollie makes, both Charlie and Jarvis attempted and made a kickflip transfer.

After prizes had been awarded and the main event had ended the park slowly began to get a little quieter and a short session went down in the bowl.
Fuller, Harley and John tried stuff as Aaron attempted to grab peoples boards mid air. This resulted in a couple of near misses and Ron managing to spin Harley's back wheel mid ollie!

Until next year.

Harley - f/s ollie with wheel spin
John Howlett - b/s smith

Harley - f/s crail air (Aaron - tail grab)