Online now is an interview with Matt Beer, covering everything from travelling, piecing together insane ramp lines and favourite video parts. Originally seen in Hangup Zine Issue 3.
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Online now is an interview with Matt Beer, covering everything from travelling, piecing together insane ramp lines and favourite video parts. Originally seen in Hangup Zine Issue 3.
Backside Boneless for Gav and the other assembled light holders. | Photo: Craig Dodds.
Hi Rob, can you give us your vital info? Where'd you grow up skateboarding, who do you normally skate with?
Hi my name is Rob Jones, I'm ginger in case you can't tell in the photos and I've grown up the majority of my life in and around the Newquay area. When I first started skating I used to live in a village and was too young to go into Newquay by myself skating so to start with I learnt in my driveway with a plastic Argos ramp my parents got me that used to slide all over the place when I tried to ride up it! When I started getting more into skateboarding my parents would drop me at Mount Hawke skatepark which was super lucky because we struggle to get there now when it’s wet, the main hours I've put in skating are definitely at Wooden Waves though skating with all the local PORKAHONTIS crew our skate gang hahaha.
I've seen some heavy photos of you from around Newquay, particularly Wooden Waves. How much did you localise the park before you moved away, and what are some of the best things about the place?
I would like to say 'we' localised the place as there would be no point going there if the crew wasn't there in full force, the same heads there from the crack of dawn until after dark every day. A lot of time has been spent down there skating and having a good time. My favourite things about the place are the heavy crew for sure, the energy of all your friends tanked up on beers and joints being rowdy and screaming, gets the sessions going full tilt even though the place is falling apart!
A jersey with 'crete thrown at it gets slashed. | Photo: Danny Parker.
How did the affiliation with the Hell Yeah Son crew come about?
Maybe 5 years ago I went up to Essex for the Lords of the Swords event and had the best fucking time in Essex skating all around the county. The whole Essex crew seems real tight and everyone from each town seemed to be mates with each other which was different to Cornwall as with shit transport we don't often go and skate with crews in other towns. On every trip to Essex Harry Wilson and the Empire crew hooked it up and let us stay in the skatepark which was always good times and where I met Dirty Diss, Mikey Joyce and the crew skating, filming and getting pissed up leading onto some haggard clubs around Colchester, with a baby Thackeray also tearing the park to bits being forced to wear his helmet, and just recently Diss has been out to Barcelona a couple times with various heads and good times were had by all!
So you've recently moved to Barcelona, it may be a silly question, but why the move, and how's life been treating you out there compared to back home?
I was in a full time job back in Newquay screenprinting which is what I enjoy doing for work and the hours were good for skating 8am - 4pm with weekends off were sick, but my boss was a total prick and after 3 years working there and falling out with him right before a 2 week holiday I just didn’t bother getting my flight back. It was sick though because Adam Moss was already there and let me crash his sofa for 2 weeks and I already knew the Sentfields Boys from previous trips to Copenhagen who are super sick to skate with so it was a no brainer really! Comparing it to life back home it’s pretty different and more hectic being in a foreign country and a busy city, as Newquay is a ghost town half the year and something is always going on in the city. I like that though and the climate allows for a lot more skating in the winter months than back at home!
Vertical Frontside Crailblock! | Photo: Dodds.
How long have you been / do you intend to live out there?
I first moved to Barcelona at the start of January 2016 and have mostly been there ever since with a month in Copenhagen and a month back home selling some of my skateboard collection to get money to stay there. I guess now it’s indefinite how long I'm staying there as I would like to become fluent in Spanish although I have been pretty slack learning over the last year!
You're involved in a bit of DIY out there, are you new to it or have you been involved with anything back in Newquay?
I can't remember what year it was but on the same trip to Essex we skated Urbside which I loved and we came back and built some DIY in Wooden Waves which pissed the council right off but is still somehow standing. This was our first build and we bit off a bit more than we could chew with this bowl corner we poured which is kinda fucked as we didn't set the forms up properly because no one had a clue. A lot of good sessions have gone down though! We also had our DIY called the Secret Spot which had a crazy view overlooking the beach in the rich part of Newquay but unfortunately was short lived and got shut down. Also a sketchy barrier that me, Jake Sparham and Jak Foster basically just threw concrete at in a rush so we didn't get caught.
When was the last time you saw a DIY Smith Melon? Photo: Dodds.
Any current projects on the go?
The Spotter is always an on-going project and is getting gnarlier and expanding pretty much every week thanks to Richi, Nanaqui and everyone else involved. Caribu DIY is becoming sick as well and being out there mixing Crete and helping pour the ramps with the old locals of the Premia park that sadly got torn down. The project Tibidabowl which is currently being built in the garden of a giant mansion squatted by some super chilled hippies is going to be insane! It is kind of the brainchild of my French friend Max who has volunteered on a couple DIY builds in Palestine and Ethiopia, so it’s good to watch and learn from him as well. But he is super mellow and everyone involved has had their ideas and tweaked the bowl’s design as we have been digging. If you search Tibidabowl online there is a go fund me as we are going to need to raise a lot for Crete and supplys to finish the whole bowl, so I'm excited for the creation of this as I've only ever built obstacles at pre-existing spots prior to this!
Favourite UK and International parks and why?
My favourite U.K parks are Wooden Waves for obvious local reasons, Empire skatepark (R.I.P.) most welcoming crew and the best skate parties and I really like Stockwell in Brixton as well. As for out of the U.K Spotter has to be my favourite place as it’s an escape from the city and also a super heavy crew to skate with and get you hyped, I'm actually not a huge fan of skateparks a lot of the time because they are always so full and whippy ramps with pool coping is more fun haha so my favourite place can be anywhere really with a good crew, pool coping and maybe a BBQ!
Top 3 video parts and why?
I will have to say the whole Sentfields Da Boig video you can watch in full on YouTube.
And I also really like Mark Gonzales Krooked Kronicles it’s pretty hard to come up with just 3 though so I have been a bit vague haha.
Ben Cook, Bluntslide over the doorway. | Photo: Adam Todhunter.
Hey Ben, good to see the spot still going strong nearly two years after we last spoke, is the situation with the spot still relatively safe?
Hi mate! As far as we know, yeah. We've really been lucky to have had the spot for so long, especially with it being relatively open unlike most other spots. It ain't been a great year for UK DIY really with the sad news of Needleside, Dustbowl and more recently Nottingham DIY being knocked down - RIP! We did have a scare one day late last year when we were driving up towards the spot and saw a load of building materials and diggers but it turned out there was an Aldi being built over the road. Less of a trek for beers and food now though so happy days. I guess it's ours until the B&Q next door who own the land decide to sell it. They do make a fair bit of cash out of us being there though so hopefully that's keeping them sweet for now.
Early spine build. | Photo: Tom Cruickshanks.
What have you built over the last couple of years?
There's been a fair bit since the last time we spoke really. A couple of little things like the nipple hump, slappy curb and small hip on the side of the funbox. The main projects last year though were the flatbank and doorway quarter. The quarter was started in the dead of winter so naturally took ages, but as I'd just got out of a cast from breaking my leg around the same time it was rad to have something to focus on. It's about 5ft high and 12ft across, it turned out and skates so well. The flatbank was already there but was terrible really as it had a slight bit of tranny to it but in a bad way so that was levelled out and is perfect now. More recently we've been working on a 4-5ft spine that should be finished before the jam next month. Can't wait to skate that!
Flatbank directly after being de-trannied. | Photo: Ben Cook.
The place must have seen some heavy sessions recently, with Red Bull coming up etc, what's the best thing you've seen go down so far?
Aw man there's always rad stuff going down there, especially now the sun has returned. Yeah the Red Bull lads smashed it, Sharkey, Daryl and Korahn putting down endless lines. They seemed super stoked on the place which was good to hear. I'd say recently though, Wakey local turned honorary Mackem, Frank Helder, has been killing it there on a daily basis. I've been filming a lot with him there the past couple months and he's forever coming up with new lines. Barely even get to skate myself when I go there with him these days.
George Redhead transfers quarter to bank. | Photo: Ben Livesey.
With you and the Newcastle DIY within 10 miles of each other, and it being such a tight-knit scene up there, how much crossover between the two crews is there?
Well the two crews have known and skated with each other long before either spot was around so we're all pretty tight. Both crews are happy to lend a hand to the other if asked. I've spoke to Sean Tracey who's involved with the Newcastle spot a few times about trying to organise some kind of joint skate jam at both spots over the space of a weekend but we've never really got round to it. Hopefully that's something we could sort out sometime after The Moon jam next month, maybe at the end of the summer.
You guys are having your second jam next month, can you tell us a little about that?
Yeah it is only our second one, the first being just before we last spoke in 2015. That one was to raise money for the spots building fund but this year's jam will also be to help raise money for the skateboarding charity SkatePAL. For anyone that hasn't heard of them, basically they're a British charity based in Palestine who help and support the lives of the young people there through skateboarding. I'll be volunteering with them for a while at the end of the summer, helping teach skateboarding and maintaining the skatepark they built there in 2015. Hopefully we'll see a good turn out on the day, see some rad skating and raise some decent cash for the charity. Native Skate Store as usual are hooking up all the product for the comps and there'll be a BBQ and beers on sale to keep everyone going.
Richie Mann matches Ben's Blunt Frontside! | Photo: Danny Jones.
What's next on the agenda? Is there more interest from the guys to build street obstacles?
Well our first priority is to get this spine finished. As we speak it only now needs the coping attached and final layer of crete putting on so it's not far off done. There's also a new up ledge/manny pad half done too. As well as the jam we're involved in this year's Red Bull DIY comp again so we'll just be focusing on getting as much rad shit built as we can before end of July when that finishes and hopefullywin some more materials/tools like last year. In terms of what to build there's actually an abundance of street shit so I'd love to see more tranny popping up, it'll really help with the flow of the spot too.
Good chatting mate - hopefully see ya at the jam!
I recently interviewed the guys behind the newest DIY spot in Leeds, covering a wide range of different topics around the spot. With the first jam at the spot happening this Saturday (17/10/15) read on for insights on the development of the spot, ideas for future builds, the security of the spot and a load more.
Blinky Backside Ollies on the OG quarter, photo by Laurie O'Hara
You recently got the first skate in on the Clam, how was it? Front feeble would be a good trick…
Laurie O’Hara - Dean nearly did that first go, I was like yeah do that and he was all “Uh yeah maybe when its like dryer”
Paul - Would be rad for a photo as well wouldn’t it
Laurie - I asked to take a photo of it but he said –
Paul - “Oh I dunno man, not really feeling it today” – Classic Dean…
Laurie - He did an Indy to fakie.
Blinky - Josh got footage of it – Deans the first one to grind right round the top of it – just like little slash grinds feel so good on it.
Paul - You gonna try do another edit then? (After Bastard)
Josh Rose - Yeah just another little 2 minute edit of the clam or something.
Joe Howard and Dean Greensmith come in from the shop
Dean - Aw no I broke one of the naan breads
Joe - Think I’m gonna have sugar on toast for tea
Paul - Just been talking about the clam have you skated it? Aw no you won’t have with your injury (JH just gone in for ankle surgery)
Joe - Been focused on building it though – you seen it finished yet?
Paul – Just about, went up just after you’d put the coping on.
Joe - Ah now it’s got sides on and coping down to the floor.
Dean - yeah you can ride up to grind and stuff.
Laurie - Roll in could be possible but would be really tight, but the coping’s lacquered so much so don’t suppose it would matter.
Dean - It’s amazing.
Paul - Putting loads of lacquer on I guess it’ll wear in with the weather wont it
Dean - Yeah yeah
The Clam before the last layer of concrete and last coping blocks were added, photo by Paul Graham
Joe - I’m about to start pouring my own coping, made a mould – shows photos
Paul - Have you designed it yourself?
Joe - I have yeah – 2.7 inch
Paul - Have you just kind of guessed?
Joe - Yeah well Saffron’s like 3 inches and that’s big, so I did it to 2.7 – which is the only sized pipe I could find anyway…
Joe's Self Poured Concrete Block, photo by Joe Howard
Joe and Laurie show me the original sketch plans of the spot
Paul - Pretty accurate really isn’t it, for a sketch? You’ve even got the different lengths of the “two” quarters (separated by a hole) in there haven’t you, dunno if that’s by chance? The taco is a thing of beauty, pretty unique isn’t it, it makes sense to go with the quarter so you can whip round to get speed for it.
Blinky - It can actually whip you back into the quarter once you’ve come from the quarter too, as it’s so whippy, you’ll see what I mean when you skate it.
Paul - Yeah you’ve kind of built it a lot differently to how I thought when someone first mentioned a taco, like the taco at TBS is really small and you sort of pump it, whereas this one you’re sort of whipping round upside down, I imagine.
Joe – It did start off small though…
Laurie - Yeah started off small then we went to Copenhagen and were like, this is pussy this what are we doing? So we just built it up more and more.
Josh – There’s something a bit similar at Hullet
Paul - Yeah was going to say did you go over there and get inspired?I mean that bowl is gnarly as fuck, I’m kind of glad they’ve built the little fun bit there now as there’s something for everyone, when we went when Joe did the Frontside Invert, there was no coping or platform, metal rods sticking out everywhere, it looks much easier to skate now.
Joe - They’ve painted it loads so its really slippy, I found it really hard to skate this time.
Paul - You were saying the taco cost about 125 quid to build right?
Joe - Well was £125 from DLX / Welcome, but we’d already started it by then, so we spent all that on this plus a bit for Garry’s bit too
Blinky – Probably put in about 20 quid each as well
Paul - Was just going to say imagine how much that bloody bowl has cost to make in comparison! What you going to be building next?
Laurie – We already started on the extension for the main quarter, also going to start on the flatbank where all the boards are now – maybe do a little tranny up the wall from that too.
Paul - Ah yeah so the line would be roll in the flatbank, whip round the taco then to the quarter. (To Joe) Laurie was just saying you’re gonna build a tranny up the wall off the flatbank, I guess like Needle but easier to skate?
Martyn Hill Backside Smiths over the doorway, photo by Laurie O'Hara
Dean - I really want to (at needle) wallride into the tranny at the top of the quarter and then down.
Joe - Someone’s done something like that was it Doug(McClaughlin)?
Paul - Doug did out the quarter to backside wallride into the wall quarter - on the cover of Curbsnot zine, Jake Collins did something on that bit but can’t remember what…
Dean - I once ollied over from the flatbank into the wall quarter.
Paul - You flat bottomed it yeah?
Dean - Probably half and half.
Joe - Here is that thing you showed me from The Moon legit? The Moon DIY Skatepark coming up on google maps?
Blinky - Yeah that’s legit, dunno how it’s happened though.
Dean - Must be google going round in the vans but don’t how they got the name.
Laurie - Ben C was researching online about who owns the land and finds that… “oh it’s us”…
Paul - It must be pretty secure, I mean it’s been there at least ten years, Kurt (Mitchell) had footage there feebling an up rail in Bishcam and that was 2006
(Actually not in that part, if anyone knows where that footage is from let us know).
Joe - Yeah that’s rad, I want it to be like that at our spot, when someone discovers it they need to be like this is some next level shit
Paul - Ah so you want to build Burnside
Joe - Everyone that’s talked to us about it seems stoked though, like that mechanic who works over the wall, he walked over the other day and had been watching us, he just said you guys have been putting in some serious graft here, said he could use his water for mixing and that.
Paul - People used to walk through the old joint spot walking there dogs all the time and were stoked.
Joe - Some kiddy came down the other day, just appeared out of nowhere just “alright boys, I’m the reason this spot is here, I burnt down the factory that was here before,” bragging about it, “there could have been someone in it you know, could have got done for manslaughter.”
Blinky - Probably bullshit that though, Roz says that’s been there ever since he moved to Leeds eighteen years ago.
Paul – No I don’t think Roz has lived in Leeds eighteen years…
Joe - I think he’s been here just over ten year.
Josh - Well that guy looked about twenty-ish so could have done it when he was two I suppose.
Paul - You made much money off the zine yet josh?
Josh - No, it costs quite a lot to print doesn’t it, I got a bit of money from The Prince’s Trust to do it – hundred and fifty quid, plus there’s this printing charity attached to them where I can get a thousand pounds funding for it. If I sold all the zines I’d get a couple of hundred quid for the spot, but that seems unlikely.
Zine by Josh Rose
Paul - How many you do?
Josh - I did fifty but when they arrived ten had got damaged by the mail company, so I asked the printers if they’d send me another ten – they ended up sending me another fifty for free! I’m not even close to making my money back yet.
Paul – It’s difficult to sell them, I struggled to sell all mine, you’ve just got to get them in as many places as you can, just send them all off… So what’s the name of the spot then now?
Dean - It’s anything you want it to be…
Paul - Ah is that why it’s called Bastard and the Dust Bowl?
Josh - Bastard was just the edit, Dust Bowl is the zine’s name.
Blinky - Because the spots well dusty.
Joe - Bastard coz of Sean Bean.
Paul - What? “Bastard” (in broad Yorkshire accent)
Blinky - “French bastards in these mountains”
Paul - From sharpe?
Joe - From allsorts, couple of films as well, there’s a clip on youtube of him just saying it.
Joe - “You bastard”
The conversation then descended into reviews of Jurgen Teller’s Berlin exhibition, Joe’s year of injury woes, vert ramp prospects now Beast Rampz has closed, tales of ex-skaters from Sunderland and Blinky telling one of his unending, no punchline stories.
In progress shot of the first quarter (I think), photo by Josh Rose