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  • The Moon Jam 2017 + Think Culture's Clip of the Day!



    Blinky kicks things off with one of his signature Backside Ollies... | Photo: Jonny Long.

    Last Sunday (25th June) marked the second fundraiser jam we've held at The Moon in recent years, but this time not just in aid of the spot itself but also for the skateboarding charity SkatePAL, who I'll be travelling out to volunteer with for a while at the end of the summer.  

    Click here to read the rest of the article!

  • Don't Think, Just Do | Aimee Robinson

    Don’t Think, Just Do

    The prominence of females in the skate community has been steadily inclining for some years now, and is clearly growing in popularity. You only have to look at the likes of skaters such as US chicks Leticia Bufoni, Lacey Baker, Nora Vasconcellos and Vanessa Torres, or Brit gals Josie Millard, Lucy Adams and Stefani Nurding, to see the abundance of coverage ladies are receiving.

    Maybe it’s due to popular culture, with fashion brands continually lending inspiration from the skateboarding community’s trends; or social media, where anyone can post their own story for thousands of people to see - the landscape is changing. But, for me, it was still scary taking that first leap.

    Skateboarding has always been something that I kind of idolised. From being a kid I was fascinated by the culture, from the style and aesthetic right down to seeing the hard work and determination that goes into landing a trick. Yet, despite my interest, I was always too scared. Mostly because, at the end of the day, skateboarding is for boys, right?

    Sure, skateboarding has long been a sport dominated by men, but just because more men are doing it doesn’t mean that girls can’t altogether. I’m very lucky that some of my best guy friends skate, and they’re super passionate about what they do, and about sharing that passion with someone else - with anyone else!

    I spent a long time idolising everything they did. I was mesmerised every time they seemed to effortlessly grind a rail or drop in on a ramp. I just figured I couldn’t do that, ‘cause I was a girl. Because if I did do that I would be deemed as a “poser”, or an “attention seeker”. Being a female entering into a male dominated sport, especially one associated with some gnarly injuries, can be daunting. So, instead, I lived vicariously through the boys in my life.


    Photo: Stella Grob

    But then, I made a huge transition, and packed my shit up, and moved 3,600 miles across the ocean to Toronto, in a bid to tick off a list of things I want to do. Step one, move to Canada. Step two, start taking skating seriously and stop giving a fuck about what other people think.

    Only one week after my arrival I discovered the Babes Brigade, an all-girl skate crew made up of a range of abilities that welcomes new members. The group was set up in 2015 by Stephanie Battieste in a bid to tackle underrepresentation of women in the sport, and is growing by the day.

    Arriving in winter meant that the weather wasn’t exactly shred friendly, but luckily the group meet once a week in the East End of the city, at The Skate Loft.


    Youth Lessons | Photo: Stella Grob

    It’s a refreshing change to go into a space surrounded by chicks with similar goals and likes who are all super welcoming and encouraging. They also kick ass. Just ten minutes into my time there, I found myself attempting my first ever mini ramp, filled with trepidation and excitement. These gals don’t mess around.

    Sure, I was thrown into the deep end, but as I’ve learnt, it’s better not to over think. Don’t think about it, just do it. Even when your body continually rejects the whole concept. It’s harder if you think about it.

    Everyone was super friendly and supportive and no matter how many times I fell on my ass, or anyone did for that matter, it was all about getting back up and doing it again.

    I’ve likened the feeling to falling in love, wanting something so desperately that you just want to keep trying. It’s an adrenaline-charged roller coaster of excitement and fear. Hitting the ground and getting back up with more determination.

    The growing scene for girls is nothing but a positive one, just another push towards equality, and it’s rad. Skating can be intimidating for anyone, male or female, but just remember: don’t think, just do.

    By Aimee Robinson

    BABES BRIGADE FACEBOOK: facebook.com/babesbrigade

    BABES BRIGADE INSTAGRAM: @babes_brigade

    STELLA GROB INSTAGRAM: @stellagr0b

    AIMEE INSTAGRAM: @aimeerobbo

    Buy a copy of this in print in Hangup Zine Issue 3 here!

  • Hangup Zine 3: Seoul, South Korea | John Finucane and Ikbal Namani


    Nick Dudek, Frontside Ollie. | Photo: Ikbal Namani.

    Seoul is a giant metropolitan that spans over 605.21 km squared. It is inhabited by 10 million people and another 10 million in the surrounding areas. It is easy to get around due to the cheap and efficient transport system. The food is spicy and very meat based. The night life never ends here, word of advice be wary of Soju.

    The skate spots do not stop here. You will encounter the most incredible spots. Get off at any station and you are bound to discover another perfect virgin spot. The only thing that is lacking, is the absence of a good concrete park. Most of the parks here are pre-modular crap. The only park worth visiting is Cult in the Dongdaemun area.

    Overall, Seoul is a gem of a city for skateboarding. The spots vary from plazas, banks and natural transitions to the incredible skatepark-like Yeouniaru fountain. Book a ticket!

    John Finucane


    Dae Geun Ahn, Frontside Wallride Nollie. | Photo: John Finucane.


    Nick Dudek, Backside Wallride. | Photo: John Finucane.


    Daniel Hochman, Frontside Flip. | Photo: John Finucane.


    Ikbal Namani, Backside 180 Fakie Nosegrind. | Photo: John Finucane.


    Asher Stringer, Frontside 180 Fakie Nosegrind. | Photo: John Finucane.


    Nick Dudek, Front Blunt. | Photo: John Finucane.


    Ikbal Namani, Backside Ollie. | Photo: John Finucane


    Oleg Kondratenko, Backside Nollie. | Photo: Ikbal Namani.


    Josh Huewe, 360 Flip. | Photo: John Finucane.


    Oleg Kondratenko, Pole Jam. | Photo: John Finucane.


  • Scene's 20th Anniversary Jam


    Tom Cottam Smiths around the Observatory, miraculously while no kids were sat on it!


    I travelled up to Preston early Sunday, hoping the showers I drove through over the Pennines hadn't also dampened the park! Having last skated the park almost two years ago during the opening, I managed to get a session while the park was quiet before the jams - the "observatory" corner is so fun, but really hard to get a line frontside for goofy-footers!


    Adam Kay came down from Blackpool after work and Nollie Tailgrabbed on command! 


    The jams soon began, starting with the wallride, with standouts including Sam Mason's axle revert, Tom Cottam's Nosepick and Ollie up to Back Smith attempts, and fastest / loosest man award recipient Leigh Devine's hectic Footplants.

    Moving on to the hip jam and the phrase "Lemmings off a cliff" jumped into my head, although plenty of rad tricks did go down, including Danny Moor's Nollie Backside Flip Revert and Sam's 360 flip the wrong way!

    One of the strangest / gnarliest tricks of the day from Tom, Backside 180 off the platform and in!



    The most hotly contested jam of the day was definitely the bank to kerb jam, with every man and his dog getting involved in this one! Everything from 5050s and Boardslides to some serious Bluntslide variations - some guys were even Nollieflipping into tricks! Standouts from this one were Tom Cottam's 270 to switch pivot and Flip Backlip Revert, and eventual winner (I think) Ricky Davidson's Bluntslide Bigspin!


    Ricky Davidson mid-Bluntslide Revert during the hectic Kerb jam!


    The final jam proper was over in the bowl, with a small number of heads going in! Simo Johannes started things off with grinds on every bit, followed by Frosty with some solid lines including feeble grinds round the shallow and a Backside Ollie in the deep! Dave Morgan turned up and Front Rocked the deep end, before trying a couple of bonelesses into into, which didn't go particularly well... Sam Mason won this one with a fair few tricks, such as Ollie-ing in first go on demand, Tailblock in the deep, frontside feeble to front rock in the shallow and a load more!


    Tom's ridiculous transfer that closed the day out!

    The very final jam of the day was an inpromptu one on a box someone had brought down to the park, not sure who won this one but Tom Cottam ended it by transferring quarter to ledge! 

    The jam ended up being seriously packed out, not just with the skateboarders, but the graffiti guys, skate dads and their families and loads more besides. It shows how strong a scene Preston has, and I'm sure having such a good shop and now a great skatepark has just cemented this!

    We'll be dropping an edit of the day tomorrow! Keep you're eyes peeled!



    Dave Morgan Frontside Ollies shortly before ruining his wrist on a Backside One!

  • Dustbowl Retrospective

    Yesterday, the new broke that the Dustbowl DIY in Leeds was no more, here's a few edits / articles from the place! 

    A gallery of some of my favourite photos shot at the Dustbowl.

    An interview with Leeds' DIY spot builders.

    Josh Rose's edits from the first sessions on the original quarter and Clam respectively -

    Bastard from Josh Rose on Vimeo.

    Clhammers from Josh Rose on Vimeo.

    Our two clips from the spot, with a 3rd one to be released soon! -






    Sidewalk's Clam Jam coverage -



    Click the link below for Sidewalk's article from the Clam Jam, with photos from Josh Rose!

    Clam Jam 2015 | Sidewalk / Josh Rose

    Dean Greensmith | Frontside Noseslide | Photo: Josh Rose

    Sidewalk's Halloween Jam coverage -



    Click below for the Halloween Jam Sidewalk article with photos from Reece Leung!

    Dustbowl Halloween Jam 2016 | Sidewalk



    Blinky Liens | Photo: Reece Leung

  • You have to be Dressed When you're Born | Fashion and Skateboarding

     

    As skateboarding is becoming more popular, it’s seen the rise of female skateboarders, as well as a big growth in skateboarding ‘fashion’. There is a very cliché style that comes to mind when people think of skate fashion, however all skateboarders have their own unique way of dressing and interpreting skate fashion. Some don’t think about what they will wear that day; however there are some that take pride in the brands they wear and the outfits they put together.

    For girl skateboarders, we still have a few stereotypes linked to us, such as ‘she dresses like a girly girl, there is no way she is a skateboarder.’ Or ‘She dresses like a guy, she must like girls’. But neither of these things should be at the forefront of someone’s mind when they see a girl skateboarder, we should be seen as equal, showing our creativity through our clothing and our skills on the board.

    Here are some interviews on girl’s opinions of skate brands, their fashion style, and their thoughts on skateboarding becoming more mainstream and the brands involved in the new era of skateboarding. - Bryony Padwick

    Click the photo below to check out Bryony's full photo gallery!

     




    Photo: Bryony Padwick

     


    Stefani Nurding

    What came first for you skateboarding or fashion?

    I guess fashion because you have to be dressed when you are born but skateboarding always comes first for me :).

    How close have the two become for you now, or do you see them as totally separate?

    It is just who I am I love skateboarding and I love being creative and so it's just a natural part of my life.

    You seem to have a very unique style that you are applying to skateboarding with your clothes, as well as the products for sale on your website including griptape! Where does your inspiration for these things come from?

    My inspiration comes from everything I see, other people, exhibitions, anything where there is visual stimulation, so everywhere you look. I just get ideas pop to my mind and then have to do them for my sanity!

    What are some of your favourite brands and why? Any particular pieces that stand out?

      Polar have supported me for a long time and so I am really really grateful for that. I really happy to be part of Vans now too that is a dream come true for me. I have tons of designers I love, London is such an amazing place for that. A few of my favourites at the moment are Lydia Bolton and Molly Goddard.

    Why do you think skate clothing has seen more popularity in the wider fashion world recently?

    I think designers take some inspiration from the skate world and some of the prints are really nice. I'm my opinion at first it was probably just from an inspiration perspective but as more people have realized how fun skateboarding is and how exciting and fresh the female scene is they probably just got hyped off that and wanted to collaborate with it.

     

    Sian Michelle Williams


    Hey Sian, when did you first start to get into skate brands?

    Well there’s always been a slight interest as I used to play skateboarding games and wear brands like Vans and Nike sb, but skate fashion has never been my total sense of style. I use skateboard brands to mix in with my normal fashion to bring a bit of edge to my style. So I guess you could say I've just recently started really noticing skate brands properly and shooting skaters, but also shooting skaters in a more fashion / editorial environment as you see within my photographs.


    Photo: Sian Michelle Williams

    What are some of your favourite brands and why? Any particular pieces that stand out? 

    As I said I haven't been the biggest skate brand fan for the last few years, probably only the last year I've started taking more of an interest in skate brands. I used to wear Etnies and Vans shoes to school, Etnies because they were the most comfortable shoes in the world with lush amounts of padding and black Vans were very fashionable in my high school but I've always loved Vans etiquette and influences, also they support girls who skate a lot more than other skate brands which I love because skateboarding IS a unisex sport/hobby.

    True skateboarders and brand wearers might hate me for saying this but I love how Adidas and Nike are starting to bring out skate garments, I've always loved Nike, and Adidas specially. I'd love to see them bring out some more colourful and vibrant skate stuff which no doubt they will in future.

    What are some of your favourite brands outside of skateboarding? And do they relate at all to the skate brands you choose?

     As half the time I'm a real girly-girl and half the time I dress like a tom-boy, the brands I like are very varied. Adidas and Nike are in the forefront as I love sports luxe clothing so I try and mix like my sportswear with maybe more casual brands like River Island, H&M, New Look, Missguided to try and create a more original look. I love supporting little brands and startup clothing companies, so I'll often hunt down brands on Instagram and buy some of their stuff to try and mix it in with well known brands. Some of the companies I've been in contact with on Instagram relate I think, because its mostly streetwear, so skate brands are very vibrant in their research and inspiration so I do think they are connected on a certain level definitely.

     

     
    Photo: Sian Michelle Williams

    How closely does fashion and skateboarding go together in your view? 

     Very closely - I believe skaters think about the brands they wear when they go out to skate and how the brands look together. Like I mentioned briefly in the last question, more and more streetwear brands are appearing as start up brands on instagram, so people are being inspired by skate clothing, but escalating it to be worn by more than skaters. Just as an example I've started seeing 'Thrasher' hoodies and t-shirts being worn by normal people who don't skate because a very famous celebrity was caught wearing it or posted a photo on instagram and thats where the trend started. True skateboarders might not be happy with this but I believe it will continue happening with other brands too.

    Why do you think skate clothing has seen more popularity in the wider fashion world recently? 

    As again mentioned in the last question I believe celebrities are very much to blame, mostly people like the Kardashians who have been involved in the fashion world for a long time now, but now Kim is married to Kanye - He has an influence on what she wears, so her style has changed so it follows that her fans who idolise her, their style will change - it's a knock on effect. So its definitely more than what people seem to think the inspiration came from, Kanye's collection where he collaborated with Adidas was very much created with 'Sports-luxe' in mind which is including inspiration from Skate brands to some extent. Even girly celebrities are showing they're more 'Urban' style with Beyonce creating a sportswear range called 'Ivy Park' encouraging people to wear sportswear on the street like she does. This collection was sold in Topshop so it was almost encouraged to wear it normally with your normal day to day clothes and mix it up. Celebrity culture is much to blame for skate becoming more fashion led, and thats something I believe very much.

    Click Sian's photo below for her full gallery!

     




    Photo: Sian Michelle Williams

     

    Jennifer Kells

    Hi Jennifer, when did you first start to get into skate brands?

    Probably when I was about 14 ish when I'd hang around at the skate park with friends but when I was around 16 I spent more time and money going to my local shop Reefs (@reefsskate) buying bits which eventually got me a job there.

    What are some of your favourite brands and why? Any particular pieces that stand out?

    I have very simple tastes so I don't tend to like crazy designs. I like Thrasher, Emerica, Spitfire, Independent, Anti-hero etc. Logos on a shirt or jacket is good to me and these brands are classic with that. I was really into anything Altamont/Baker/Deathwish/Shake Junt for a while and the stuff was different to what I usually went for, but it was also different to what people were getting in Worcester and I was lucky to have a fair bit sent to me that no one else had which I loved. At this time I was always watching their videos so for me I was hyped by it and I'd be excited about certain guys releasing shoes etc. I also realise these are all pretty much American haha. 

    I'm a big fan of Beer Club (@beerclub4life) I really like their no bullshit approach to their designs. It's beer and skateboards what else do ya need? Also @sexskateboards for those reasons too ha. 

     




    Jennifer and Jake Phelps, doesn't get much better. Photo: James Brewer

    Have any of your views on skate clothing changed since working at Reefs?

    I guess so in ways. I am more aware of the passion of people that have spent their youth skating and how they feel towards the skate/fashion thing that has been developing over the years. I mean I used to get a lot of negative comments questioning why I wore skate clothing as I clearly don't skate much. The positive of being in the shop is that I have got to know people that get that I am into skateboarding and appreciate and support brands and friends. 

    Shout out to @gnargore.

     

    What are some of your favourite brands outside of skate? And do they relate at all to the skate brands you choose?

    I wouldn't really say I'm a brand person. I tend to stick to Tommy Hilfiger, Carhartt and Dickies. I guess the Dickies came from seeing my friends wear them and I tend to like boys clothing and they're easy to wear with skate brands too.

    Why do you think skate clothing has seen more popularity in the wider fashion world recently?

    I guess it's the whole social media scene that gets a lot of brands out there to people that usually wouldn't go into skate shops or parks. They see rappers, models and such in a Thrasher t and they want that "look" Also collaborations are getting bigger and the brands are reaching more people. The thing with fashion and trends is that things will come and go. Something different will be the next big thing soon enough


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  • Skater Owned Skateparks | Spit and Sawdust

    Hi guys, could you start off with a little history of your park?

    Spit and Sawdust has been running since April 2014, skatepark, cafe and art space. Nia has a background in the arts and myself (Christian) has been involved in one way or another with the skateboarding scene for over 20 years.

    Having been open for those couple of years, do you have any particular advice on keeping a park running for so long?

    As with all things these days, as with ANY space you HAVE to be multi functional! Keep an open mind. When push comes to shove all the bare bones of a skatepark are, is a big hollow box...fill the space with activity and grow the space organically via community projects, jams, comps, youth activity, gardening, art, the lot. As street skaters, we use objects not designed for such use, but adapt accordingly.


    Outdoor Mini | Photo: Sian Michelle Williams

    You guys seem to do things a little differently, with a particularly great looking cafe in the park, as well as offering studio spaces and exhibitions in the park. Is this something you've always wanted to do with the park or something it's grown into?

    I'm not sure why, but never has there been good food at skateparks (at least none of the parks I've visited over 20 years). Our café is an important hub where all the activity that goes on in our building comes together. We also make sure we use local suppliers and organic meat and make everything from scratch.

    We have artist studios upstairs which are offered to artists free of charge in exchange for helping to run the art programme at Spit & Sawdust. This encompases everything and anything from painting exhibitions, to sound art events, to workshops or artist talks. Our focus for the next year is to make sure there’s much more creative stuff going on that people can get involved with. We’ve just started a book club, for example.

    We also have lots of regular volunteers to help with keeping the place looking as tidy as possible who we pay in skate-time or through the local time credit scheme.

    This was always the plan. NEVER did we ever want a conventional space...that ain't our bag (sorry for over use of capitals).

    What would you say is the biggest challenge you've faced since running the park?

    Summer! That heated/boiling mistress! Any indoor space would agree i feel? Being consistent is always a must but easily overlooked, independent indoor venues the land over have the same issues, in these turbulent times we need to group together and form as a foundation. We have the knowledge after all!

    You've got some stiff competition in the local / wider area for indoor parks, how do you set yourself apart from these?

    Ashmore and Exist are our neighbours...never for a second would we class as competition, all have a rich history and investment in skateboarding, jams and comps are staggered purposely as not to conflict and all are engaged with exhibitions. Rampwold, even in the same city, cause no issue as background spawn from BMX and cater for scooter riders too (Smashing bowl there too!)


    You have some real unique obstacles in the park, particularly integrating the building strut into the bank in the corner, the San Hose bridge spot style, black ledge embedded in the bank and using the breezeblock wall as a ledge. Where did the inspiration come from for these pieces?

    Inspiration? Street skating! 100%! Not for a second would we punt at being the evolutionary venue for the next generation of extreme sports......if it's dry, hit the streets! ...we're here for the bad weather! Banks/blocks/rails a lot of space to PUSH, mates are brought in to aid with tweaks, as many curbs as we can fit in the better! As touched on earlier, adapt with what you have.

    Finally, what's the best thing about running a skatepark?

    Best thing about running a park is Monday...when i don't work & i can skate! Nia will have different reasons but mine is to provide a multi functional/creative space for EVERYONE, no stigmas, an environment which mixes art with wheeled activity. The possibilities are literally endless, Create.


    Lauren Thomas | Miniramp Slash | Photo: Sian Michelle Williams

    Visit the Spit and Sawdust website 

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    If you're involved with a skater-owned skatepark and would like to be featured, please get in touch at any of the below places!

  • Skater Owned Skateparks: Xsite Skatepark, Skegness

    Having localised a variety of West Yorkshire skateparks over the past 15 years, I've seen first hand the benefit of skater-owned skateparks. Increasingly becoming a rarity in the UK, even more so than Skater-owned Shops (!) and with the recent demise of Frontside Gardens and Empire, we decided to begin this series celebrating the rarity that is the skater-owned skatepark! 

    I got in contact with a couple of skatepark owners to discuss the ins and outs of running a skatepark in 2017. First up is a few questions with Lee from Xsite Skatepark, Skegness! 


    Footitt goes bank to wall the hard way!


    Hi guys, could you start off with a little history of your park?

    We set up in 2000 as a group of Skaters and BMXers who were fed up of having nowhere to skate.  We never dreamed of having anything like what we have now, we just wanted somewhere to skate without all of the hassle. We managed to get support from a couple of local councillors and the local development officer and it all snowballed from there. We set up Lincolnshire Extreme Sports Association, a registered Charity and non profit organisation and began applying for funding from Sport England and the like. Finally the funding came in and we were able to get the skatepark built. Massive mentions need to be made to Nick Bray who was part of the group from day one and without his drive and commitment none of this would be here now, hope you’re enjoying the Aussie sunshine now you’ve emigrated!!!  

    Having been open for just over 10 years, and seen multiple changes including the outdoor plaza being built, wind turbine going in to subsidise energy use, and the 2013 refit of the indoor park, what's been the most rewarding thing to get done?

    The most rewarding part was actually opening, and still being open today!  No one thought we would get a skatepark, never mind staying open for so long.

    How much of a pull for people has the miniramp been? For a long time it was (and still is) one of the best in the country! 

    The miniramp still is one of the best for sure and we still try to hold the UK Mini Ramp Champs here every year.  Due to a lack of financial support from sponsors last year we have had to have a year out, but we are planning to hold it again this year bigger and better.  If anyone is keen to support the event, get in touch!


    Ryan Hurt Backside Airs at the 2013 Miniramp Champs

     

    What would you say is the biggest challenge you've faced since running the park?

    The biggest challenge by far is keeping the doors open!  We rely on people coming through the door and paying to skate.  We are not backed by a big company or business man who bails us out.  We are a small group who have to pay bills and rents just to stay open.  We know the struggles of skater owned parks and stores and it’s never good to see one close. 

     

    Finally, what's the best thing about running a skatepark?

    The best thing is seeing everyone skate, whether just for a session in an afternoon or when everyone comes together for an event.  Seeing everyone  from a kid coming for the first time or a rad dad getting back into it after a few years out its all the same.


    Joe Howard Inverts at a Christmas Lock In where Blinky dressed as a snowman, and Jono Coote as a sexy elf...

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    If you're involved with a skater-owned skatepark and would like to be featured, please get in touch at any of the below places!

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