Hangup Zine 1: Zach Riley on Head Injuries, Hometowns and Heroin

  • Hangup Zine 1: Zach Riley on Head Injuries, Hometowns and Heroin

    Who are ya, where ya from?

    My name is Zachariah Riley & I am from Grimsby town, a place nobody seems to know where it is. It’s just near Hull alright ha... I moved to manchester after I finished school mainly because I used to visit my sister and go skating there a lot. I just buzzed off the place... It was a good way of getting out of my little town and grow as a person. I was just skating a lot and going to college pretty standard while also doing some work at cage which was rad! 

    So you’re currently in London studying right? Whats going on there then?

    Always down for new adventures... So I moved to London because of knowing I still want to be doing art and I was just down to try something new so I am currently at UEL doing fine art while still skating as much as possible. 

    Rad! Getting any free clobber from any of the uk brands then?

    Forw4rd, a skateshop back in Cleethorpes, Heroin skateboards, Gary Woodward, thanks for the hook up of pairs of Emericas. 

    Zach Smiths deep in Lincolnshire. Photo: Dan Hutchinson

    How did Heroin come about? That's pretty recent right? I can remember having yourself, Tom day & Joe O’donnell round for a meal at Christmas and there being talk of what size board you skated and all that jazz, care to elaborate?

    Heroin came about around December thanks to Jim, Tom and Joe. Its rad! I’m really looking forward to getting on some trips with them... It came around I think when we went to Copenhagen. We had a very sick crew out there filming for final stuff for Jim Craven’s video Seven and just generally having good times! 

    You were flowed by Heathen?

    Always down for Heathen since I was skating with Ben Devine and Ryan Hurt in Skegness, so was rad meeting Lewis Threadgold and working with him at the cage he started getting me some boards sent out!. Yeah yeah well working at the cage helped me for sure just meeting the locals and working with cool people. Lewis Threadgold is where my hook up with Heathen came about which was rad! Thanks!

    Alrighty so, when I first met you. I’d just got to the pumpcage for a skate and you came in looking in a pretty bad way. What went on?

    Oh that day... Well I was just wanting to get some rad footage and photos! I’ve been eyeing up that plant pot ledge to big drop by the train station for a while. Unfortunately I had just one of them unlucky slams and I was getting nervous and each time started getting a little faster until the last go where I did that slip out of ledge but this was to like a 7 foot drop. All that comes to mind for me personally is when that girl in Matilda with the pig tails gets thrown over the fence but I was a bit more vertical than her and landing on to concrete! I was flying it was mad... Then boom I finally hit the floor in a sec getting straight on my feet and dashing away from the spot. I was in tonnes of pain but still sort of walking, managed to get to cage and ring an ambulance which took them a while to come because they didn’t think it was as serious as it actually was... I was just feeling numb and went in for scans but also got out the same night. All I can say to it is that i got stupidly lucky and I am stoked to still be skating. 

    So tranny?

    With the whole bowl skating thing I was just skating anything in Grimsby that was available and going to Hull on the bus got me keen on bowls because at the time we only had a little park which was just a mini ramp and some banks and stuff pretty basic, called kent street. We soon were lucky enough to get a rad bowl in Cleethorpes which wasn’t far at all right there at the beach too and I was just always stoked on going fast so it was a blessing really. So yeah I was basically just keeping up with that mentality and just trying to have it! 

    Zach Maydays at The House, Sheffield. Photo: Dan Hutchinson

    What was your first exposure to skateboarding? What made you want to start?

    My sisters being a little older than me knew skaters around Grimsby and there was skaters living all around us. Used to see them skating around my block and in the alley way by our houses where people used to play. Then it was me and my brother, we just started skating on the corner of the street waxing curbs, building ramps. 

    Driving through Grimsby, the place seems to live up to it’s name, pretty grim. Any good stories from growing up there?

    Grimsby was great for the fact that because there was only a small scene everyone was tight and always down to go out if that was skating the crusty docks or going down the sea front for some sunshine people would always be missioning.

    Zach goes where only Doug has gone before... but off the platform! Photo: Reece Leung

    Who have you been skating with in London? And where?

    I've been skating with a lot of rad people actually, so mad how many skaters there are here, but mainly been skating with a crew from Mile End.. Adam and Zach Delarue, Kyle Wilson, Jack Hamilton and load more rad dudes.. Just been hitting up everywhere really! Streets and parks one of my favourites has got to be Vicky Park it's too good! 

    Both London and Manchester have incredibly productive scenes when it comes to putting out footage, who’ve you been filming with in the past few years? Credit to them for keeping up with you!

    Manchester hype Lense men: Max Dos Santos, Issac Wilkinson, Armani Rochford, Nick Jones and Jim Craven. Thanks a lot boys! London folk - Jack Hamilton and Jordan Torres safety. Danny Hutchinson for photos and for being long time good friend! Andy Rayner for keeping Lincolnshire alive!

    Interview by Dave Morgan.