Friday, 30 December 2011

Another Still

Danny Emerson. NBD ollie attempt. Shot by Will Greenfield

Some background info...

We were walking past this spot on Tuesday on the way to the three up down, and Dan mentioned in passing how he wanted to try these stairs one day. About ten seconds later he shouted that he was going to try it and skated off into the distance. Before me and Ed could get our cameras set up he hacked at the stairs and flew himself down them.
Dan gave them five good tries before saving it for another day. No doubt this will go down at some point

Note - Go stand at the top of these. They're about six times longer than you think.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Fuck The H8rz

Jake Snelling. Indy pull in. Photo by Rich West

Sunday, 25 December 2011

So Here It Is...

...Merry Christmas! Hope everybody's havin' fun.

The promise of Xmas viewings were well kept today. Well, all except for Ginge's, who once again I think might have died. If he is still alive, the Barratage will be around soon I'm sure.

Firstly Sirus Gahan absolutely smashed it with this edit of stuff filmed over this year.

Then Al Hodgson not only thanked him with this comedy banger of an edit...

...but has also whipped up this nuts full video. The postponed follow-up to Another Angle, with footage from 2008-10.

Part 1

Part 2

Huge props to all involved. Merry Christmas to all. Hope you all got what you wanted and hope all the scooter kids had boards under the tree.

End of year lookback post in a few days.

Sunday, 18 December 2011


I don't have the internet right now (again) so haven't been able to update. I've managed to post this off my phone somehow. It should be fixed soon, and promises of a wealth of edits have been made for Christmas, so there will be much to see in the near future. In the mean time, here's Barrat chilling in the apple store. That's all I can manage right now.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Some words with Matt Ransom

I've known Matt for nearly five years now. Shared many good sessions and had the pleasure of going on a trip or two, and filming a video part of him as well. He's been killing it more and more since I've met him, and has certainly lacked some the recognition he deserves. 
I wanted to approach Matt for some words about his joint-venture Push skate shop, but quickly realised that I'd already done that a few weeks earlier. But I know that Matt has some interesting things on many subjects, so I decided quiz him for a few skate related words. A fairly detailed read, which could have gone on and on...

Photos by Rich West, Mat Riley and Neil Sharp

When did you start skating, and what got you in to it?

Man I can't really remember exactly if I'm honest! I know I had an old orange plastic banana board thing that given to me by my dad, I think it was his from when he was young and foolish enough to skate. I got that gripped and proceeded to learn shuv-its on the patio in my garden... I must've been about 11 or 12 I think and was really into football at that time. Then a few months later the THPS game came out and that sealed the deal, I quit playing footy for the local team (sorry Dad!) and became an avid member of the Tony Hawk's generation, doing ollie norths and sex changes all day every day. I sometimes wonder if that game had never been released how different my life could've been...

It's funny how the 'Tony Hawks Generation' is legitimate now. Now we can give abuse to the Berrics generation

Haha yeah - at least our generation wasn't completely obsessed with being better than your friends and trying to beat everybody you meet in games of skate! Berra's corrupting many a young mind...

You grew up skating in Uckfield, which only got a park recently. How did you get by keeping the motivation up?

Well when I first started there was a massive crew of us, literally about 25 - 30 kids all with skateboards, plus some bladers, bmxers and general crusty types as well, who would all hang out at our local carpark for hours every day. We had a metal miniramp but that got taken down as it was really dangerous, someone took a hammer to it and made the coping look like a 12 foot Toblerone. So we'd skate the carpark mostly, some of the older guys would build flatbars and grindboxes, me and my mates could barely lift a hammer between us so our contribution would be occasionally stealing a bench or two from the local leisure centre or our school whenever we got the chance and dragging it down to the session, fridges from skips we're a good one too. It was a really healthy scene at one point especially for such a small town, then seemingly overnight everyone dropped off, leaving just me, Rich, Martyn, Mitch and a handful of others as the only guys skating for a good few years. I guess the quitters got bored or just grew out of it, but we were hooked, or at least I certainly was. It got to the point where all I thought about was skating, to the point where non-skating friends, girlfriends, schoolwork and everything else just took a back seat to getting baked and going skating with the crew. I'd have some Bernies jeans and a horribly oversized gangster-ass tee stashed in my school bag, walk out the front door wearing my uniform and make my mum think I was leaving for school, grab my skateboard on the way out the door then literally get changed in the street on the walk to school and tell my buddy Tom not to tell anyone that I'm gonna get the bus to Brighton or Tunbridge Wells to go skate, usually on my own - I was a total skate junkie! It got to the point where I was getting up super early every morning and raiding my parents morning post to eliminate any letters home from my school. Haha I was so dumb I actually thought I could get away with bunking on the regular so blatantly! Obviously they found out eventually and gave me a proper bollocking - definitely don't bunk off school kids! So yeah, if anything, keeping up my skate motivation wasn't really an issue as I loved it from the start. I think as I've got older I've slowly been learning that there's more to life than skating and kind of feel like I wasted the privilege of a free education.
Back 5-0 at a lesser touched spot in Brighton

What keeps you entertained outside of skating now then?

Well to tell you the truth, not a great deal! Sometimes I feel like my life is pretty one-dimensional at the moment, working in a skateshop, watching skate videos all day at work, chatting to everyone who comes in about various different aspects of skating, and then actually going skating on my days off... Skate skate skate blah blah blah - it can be a bit overkill at times. Don't get me wrong, I love it and I'm hyped on skating but the saying 'too much of a good thing' certainly rings true sometimes! To counteract this I've got myself a few books on teaching yourself Spanish and I've been brushing up on that, make the most of the dark winter days and the perpetual rain cloud hovering over us. Ever since I was about 17 I've been telling myself that I need to learn at least one other language and I learnt a bunch of the basic Spanish phrases, swearwords and that kinda thing from a Spanish ex-girlfriend so I've decided that after all these years of talking about it I'm going to knuckle down this year and actually do it. It's rad, but really hard and frustrating as a typical 2-hour session of reading and practising my pronunciation gives the illusion of 'learning it', but the next day rolls around and I've got to familiarise myself with everything I studied the day before as I've already forgotten half of it - hopefully it'll get easier the more I progress with it. I think unless you just take the plunge and move to Spain to fully immerse yourself in the culture and learn the language that way it's hard to stay motivated with it - who knows maybe I'll have to end up living in Spain for a decent amount of time, obviously that would suck compared to England!

A short collection of footage put together by Andy Evans

What's your view on the Brighton skate scene at present?

My view on this changes day to day, usually depending on whether the sun's out and how windy it is outside! On a sunny day with a few friends and no wind it's everything you need it to be... Warm up with good flatground on the seafront, head down to Hove Lagoon for a lazy cruise and a block sesh or Shoreham bowl if you wanna talk ABECs and do slash grinds... maybe even go street! Regardless of where you end up going you can just skate till dark and then go bomb NCP carpark or get some tinnies and grind some yellow painted curbs till sunrise - there really is something for everyone here. Plus there's literally hundreds of kids with skateboards. I'm reluctant to say that there's hundreds of skateboarders, as there's a difference between a kid with a board and a 'skater' y'know, but every day I see new faces with boards and so that's really encouraging for the future of things round here.

What's the difference?

I guess the difference is in their approach towards it - either doing it because it's fun and they love it or doing it just because their mates do and wanting to be part of the gang. For example one kid came in the shop recently and asked if we had any 'rasta coloured boards' I told him we didn't but that the graphic really doesn't matter too much and we've got plenty of non-rasta boards that are sick. He just looked at me as if to say 'Are you f**king serious?!' and left. Obviously if he was a true skate rat as opposed to some kid who just wants a rasta board to compliment his 'look' then he'd know that it's all about getting the right shape and everything else is kind of irrelevant - the true skate kids knows this, they just seem to be in the minority... Too many kids doing it for the wrong reasons, to the point where the actual rad kids you meet stick out like a sore thumb amongst the see of khaki-cord-wearing swoosh enthusiasts who just hang out at the parks and comp each other out.

What do you see in the local scene that gets you hyped?

Everyone's always filming for something or making a video with their friends and obviously that's a really important thing for any scene as it really brings people together and things like Youtube and Facebook encourage everyone to interact with each other that little bit more. Kids are going out with the intention of pushing themselves and, whilst I think maybe some of them don't really have fun and shouldn't take it quite as seriously as they do, it's rad to see all the youngsters going out street skating every day, not only showing up some of us older guys with their tricks but reminding some of the more negative older guys that there is actually shit loads of spots round here, you've just got to be motivated to go and skate them.

...and what gets you down?

Pivot fakie on the big one at Unit One
The state of the Level! I don't want to launch into another rant which everybody has already heard countless times but honestly, Brighton has had and always will have one of the healthiest skateboarding scenes in the country so to think that the once infamous Level is now a pile of rotting ramps mindlessly plonked onto some rough-as-fuck concrete is just a joke. A really, really bad joke. Sort it out Brighton and Hove City Council! With the abundance of fresh concrete parks popping up all over the place it is actually quite offensive to me that there isn't one in Brighton what with all the skateboarding history here - back in the day there used to be the Cage, and the Barn, plus the Level which used to look incredible (a bit before my time!) I know it had concrete ramps of all sizes and from old photos it looked amazing, so it's a bit depressing to see the state it's in now. Other than that just the usual problems affecting most skate scenes - the scooter epidemic, kids being absolutely obsessed with the idea of sponsorship before they've even learnt to carve, skate-stoppers, people that project their negativity onto others - all that shit really.

You're pretty involved with what's going on, what with the shop and getting involved with BHSA - Would you like to see more locals get involved with these things?

Well I think there's no a lot of point in sitting around complaining about the state of the Level and stuff if you're not going to try and do something about it. I'd encourage anybody that wants a shiny new concrete park at the Level to perhaps send an e-mail to the council letting them know how much you want a new skatepark, or come along to a BHSA (Brighton Hove Skateparks Association) meeting once a month, or just pop into the shop and ask us a few questions about what's going on with it. The more people involved the better really and, yes it has been going on for ages already, and yes it probably will take ages (as all things concerning the council do) but don't let that put you off - the more of us there are pushing this thing forward the quicker it will happen.

What do you have to say to the people who say "It's been going on for ages, nothing's ever going to happen, what's the point in trying?"

Thanks for the positive input and I look forward to seeing you crawl out of the woodwork demanding your involvement when we get to the design stage!

You travel a lot. Where are some better (and worse) places you've been to?

Frontside rock 'n roll slide on an interesting looking obstacle
Hmm that's a tough question as in the grand scheme of things I must've only been to about 1% of all the places on my hit-list... Belgium and Holland are amazing, not only for the weed, cheese and blonde girls but this thing called skating too haha! Such a healthy, tight-knit scene in Belgium with dudes like Bruno, Cookie and Ben and all the guys from Mechelen, Brussels and Antwerp building amazing concrete parks all over their country - definitely going to go back there soon and pay those beer-stealing hesh dogs another visit! Most recently I went to Copenhagen which was rad but quite expensive - me and Rupert ended up camping out there in the middle of October (don't ask!) as we somehow got invited to this Volcom contest out there, and even though we only went for 4 days it still cost me the best part of £300 - I've done 2 week trips on that budget in the past! Sweden is really sick, again quite similar price-wise to Denmark but don't let the Kroner's put you off going as Scandinavia in general is truly inspiring on so many levels. Spain, Portugal, France, Switzerland, Germany ... basically continental Europe in general is where it's at if you ask me - we're stuck on this stuffy little island, living in this bubble contentedly out of touch with the rest of the world really, so when you head onto the continent it like this whole other world - you're greeted by a more relaxed atmosphere, with the added bonus of finer girls and better spots. I'm all for getting out of your comfort zone and exploring new cities on a bike, a board or both and hopefully one day in the not-too-distant future I'm going to take a few years out of 'life' and do my dream cycle trip encompassing pretty much all of Europe. I've got it all roughly mapped out at about 6000 miles in total so far, it's a bit ambitious I know but fuck it aim high and all that, right?!

Flip in to the bank. Answers on a postcard if you know where this one is
You've just been added to the Lovenskate roster. What's the deal with them?

The deal with them is they are fucking RAD ! Stu is an absolute diamond and probably one of the most creatively motivated and hard-working people I've ever met. He screen-prints everything he sells with his own fair hands and his printing buddy happens to be an old school-friend of mine (hey Lilli!) What they do is really fresh and different to alot of other companies at the moment and so in that respect it's really exciting, being at the studio and watching those guys printing original stuff with nothing but inks, screens and their inky fingers really is a treat to watch and I feel lucky that I'm involved in it really! Basically Stu e-mailed me after everyone's favourite toe-nail collector Craig Questions left Lovenskate for Heroin and a spot on the team opened up - 'Would you like to ride for us?' ...Ermm let me think about that one quickly... 'YES!'. Thanks for that Stu! It's early days yet but he know's that I've been down for Lovenskate for ages, in fact the first time we met was at a Harrow Jam and I was wearing a Lovenskate tee, he was so hyped on that haha! I used to buy his stuff from Luke's old shop in Tunbridge Wells, South, and another one of the shop riders Ewen has been on Lovenskate for ages, so it's nice as I already know most of the people involved and it's a sick little team being built up... There's Lucy Adams repping down south as well as Alex Barton and we've also got Liam Sprout spreading some Lovenskate in Barcelona who I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet but Stu sings his praises. So yeah, so far so good mate... Cheers to all who Lovenskate!

Are you working on anything for them?

There's a video in the works as we speak which is cool - it's giving me something to work towards and whilst filming can be a ball ache it beats that feeling of being unproductive! I'm finding it hard to find the time to go out and film, what with working full time in the shop and recently moving house and stuff, but it's cool though, Stu takes a really relaxed approach to footage and filming and stuff and I think he's into the few bits and pieces I've sent him so far - quality over quantity and all that! I just want to make my part as good as I can and feel like I've earned a deserving spot on the team y'know... especially when you've got people like Alex and Ewen on there getting rad footage and killing it at events constantly. I'd like to attend more events and rep as much as possible too but most Saturday's I end up working and Sunday's I just feel like staying local and shredding Goon miniramp with AfroThunder, Rich or Stevie and the crew. I know I'm slacking a bit on the events front but hopefully that'll be remedied soon enough!

When's this video arriving?

I couldn't tell you! In the new year, I think... Keep your eyes peeled as I'm sure it'll get hyped up a bit before it's release

Are you keen on getting far down the sponsorship route, and the industry side that comes with it?

Good question. I don't see why not, I mean for the last few years I've tried my hardest to go on as many trips as possible, skate as much as I can and still try to hold down a job so I'd welcome any opportunity to carry on doing those things minus the 'real job' aspect any day! I've recently sorted out a little flow thing with the good guys over at Fourstar UK through the shop, and whilst it's not anything serious it's something which I'm fucking stoked on and really grateful for - thanks again Styley! In terms of the industry side, that goes hand in hand with it obviously and I guess it's important to remember that anything you pursue as a career will have aspects to it which you may dislike and skateboarding is no different - at least the skateboarding industry is predominantly made up of skateboarder's so regardless of the politics or factions within it you've always got that love for skateboarding connecting everyone if nothing else.

What importance do you think a core skate shop plays in a skate scene?

An independent skate shop is key to a healthy skateboard scene. Nowadays kids buy lots of stuff from mailorder companies and websites, which makes it a bit harder for local shops to keep on keeping on, but I guess you've got to show the youngsters why a local shop is so important by putting on events, running little competitions, helping people out as much as you can and basically make them realise that without a local shop a healthy skate scene can quickly become divided and dwindle. A lot of people think that by saying 'Support us, We're local' they instantly deserve people's custom but I'd argue that you needn't do that so much - it can sound a tad patronising. Bottom line is if you're friendly and helpful to all who walk through the door and try your hardest to get the entire scene involved in all different aspects of the store, be it premiers, hooking up younger kids on the come-up or even just sorting them out with free grip or a bearing when needed then you'll be pleasantly surprised by the return custom. Despite saying that though, it would be nice to not have to compete with a certain 'Tescos of the extreme sports market' 10 minutes walk away that can offer similar products at cheaper prices, but such is life. Independent shops are where it's at, not just skate stores but green-grocers, butchers, restaurants and everything else and it's a shame that nowadays people opt for convenience over community - I guess running an independent shop you've just got to make people feel like part of the community so that they realise why they shouldn't go down the road and buy their stuff from a faceless corporation.

Matt's part from 2009's Wet Sussex

You said that you often see skaters walking past the shop without so much as a second glance...

Yeah occasionally I'll hear the familiar sound of wheels on concrete and peer up expectantly to see who's popping in, only to see some kid with a Fracture snapback, backpack and probably the board to match just cruise on past without even checking us out. It's expected though, as Brighton was without an SOS for some time so I imagine that those kids have gotten used to buying their stuff from 'Tescos' so you can hardly blame them. I guess one day they'll realise that their misguided loyalty is pointless when they've popped a bearing or snapped a kingpin and the girl behind the counter in 'Tescos' doesn't know where to start with sorting out a broken board! Plus with the scooter craze kicking into overdrive it wouldn't surprise me if 'Tescos' slowly decreased their skateboard product in the never-ending search of profit increase in 'newer markets' or some such bullshit. We're happy to let them do their thing and cater for the younger lot happy in the knowledge that one day those younger kids will grow up and start working things out for themselves, like me and my mates did. Hopefully they'll realise that consciously supporting local industry helps benefit you as an individual and your community as a whole.

Finish us off with some words to younger skaters in the scene.
Don't get bogged down with the trends or worrying about what other people think about you, your skating or anything else for that matter - just do your own thing and squeeze the most fun out of every day. Oh and take your fucking headphones out, turn off your facebook app or better still turn off your iPhone or your Blackberry and actually interact with people around you, face to face, as conversation is a dying art form!

Standard thanks / shouts etc?

Thanks to everyone that pops in the shop and keeps me company, even bigger thanks to those of you that show your support and buy stuff - it's much appreciated! Everyone who's skated with me, given me rides in their car, let me sleep on their floor or made me cups of tea in the morning - you know who you are and you know that you're rulers! Teague for not only doing the gnarliest trick in Brighton in about 5 tries, but asking me some rad questions and doing what you're doing - keep it up mate. Mitch, Rich, Martyn and all my Uckfield mates. Luke, Matt, Ewen, Ali and all the South / Tunbridge Wells crew - long time no see! Stu Smith and everybody involved with Lovenskate, Styley and everyone at Form Distribution, Chris for the job, Max, Puller, Teague, Andy, Rich, Sirus, Pas, Ben, Hastings Joe and anybody else who's made going out filming or shooting photos fun. Dexter, Thunder, Stevie, Rupert, Louis, Gooners, Level Army and everybody else who I've met through this silly little thing called skating - Cheers!

Thanks a lot to Matt for the words. This was pretty fun to do, so anything similar you'd like to see let me know and I'll try and hook it up.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Well, due to my internet deciding to die for a couple days you've all already seen this, but it would be rude if I didn't post it up. Watch it again anyway -

Ginge's latest in the ALL Killer No Filler series, and it don't disappoint.

And here's something you may have not seen. Check out this sick little edit of Drawing Boards rider Jak Tonge he pieced together himself. Some people can just do bloody everything.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

A very special Christmas present.

Ginge has taken the initiative to do what I couldn't bring myself to do. He has stolen all my Andy Burrett footage past and present, and is mixing it with his to make a game changing Barrat montage. We have his word that it will be uploaded on Christmas day, to give you all something to talk about with Grandma at the dinner table. No matter how sad / weird you think we are, it's going to be good. As a start of the countdown, he's uploaded this hype clip, which is surely a contender for the Push comp.