Interview: Leeds' DIY Spot Builders

  • Leeds' DIY Spot Builders

    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.

    Bastard from Josh Rose on Vimeo.


    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