Pommy and skater
Location: Horsham, UK
You have been visiting Sweden a few times right? What do you think about it?
Yeah, I really like it, it’s great that it’s so close and the flights are cheap. The best thing is that people are really friendly and welcoming and they speak such good english so it’s easy to fit in here.
What do you always bring when you’re travelling?
I always bring my skateboard and my favourite hat. And I can’t leave home without my phone.
We see that you have some tattoos, can you tell us about them?
I got my first one when I was 20, on my back that says ‘Skateboard’ haha. My favourite is my new one which is on my arm, it’s a graphic by Chris Bourke, an artist from the UK. He did this graphic for Lovenskate, the brand I ride for.
What’s going on in your life right now?
I’m about to start a new job at RSPCA, a national charity which helps to prevent cruelty to animals. The best thing about it is that I can bring my dog Penny to work. Another thing that I’m involved in is Skateboard England that supports and promotes skateboarding in the UK. We are developing a structure and an organization for skateboarding to help the sport grow.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
I like to walk my dog, she really likes the beach so we try to go there, I really enjoy that. And my wife does crossfit, she’s very good at it, and I’ve been trying to go and participate with her to strengthen myself and just to spend time with her.
When and how did you start skateboarding?
I used to swim at the local pool, and they started to build some ramps right next to it it that looked really interesting. I already had a pair of rollerskates that I skated in my garden and around the streets, so I went to the ramp on my skates. The boys that were skating there were really good and it looked magical, and they told me that I needed to get a skateboard instead. It was when I was 13.
If you weren’t a skateboarder, what do you think you would have done?
I wish I was able to do skateboarding full-time but that has never been the case, I have always had a full-time job. If it wasn’t skateboarding, I think it would have been another sport, since I’ve been into that since I was a child.
Where did you grow up? And where do you live now?
I grew up in a small town called Horsham in Sussex, which is quite close to London. I left to go to university in Manchester. After four years at university I moved back to Horsham and that’s where I live now.
What would you recommend someone visiting your hometown?
My favourite place where I usually go with my dog in the summer, is a place called Chesworth Farm, there’s a lot of fields and forests and a lot of wildlife.
When is your favourite time of the day and why?
Again, in the summer, I prefer the summer when it’s light outside. I like the summer mornings, being up early and get out with the dog before everyone else is up and it’s still quiet. I even like to go skateboarding early in the mornings.
If you could re-live one moment in your life, which one would it be?
I really enjoyed this special moment on our wedding day, it was after the ceremony and we went back to where we were having the party afterwards, there was only our families and some close friends there. That moment was really nice and then the other guests came and it was all very fun.
What are your biggest fears? Are you afraid of something?
Vinegar. I hate it! It’s my biggest fear in life, that people put it on my food. I also have a fear that someone might stick a pin in my eye and pulls my eyeball out.
How do you think people around you would describe you?
I think people describe me as calm. That’s a horrible question, it feels like a job interview!
What was it about Cheapo that made you want to join the team?
Generally the whole vibe of the brand, the way that it stands up for something. If you don’t stand for something, you fall for everything. I think that’s from a Katy Perry song… haha. It’s good to have something that you can be proud of, that not just looks good, but it has a message too.
Taking a strong social stance for equality and human rights are fundamental parts of Cheapo’s DNA. What social responsibility and/or charity is the most important to you?
It goes with my new job, I would like to stop the cruelty to animals.
You have a collab watch coming out with Cheapo and your board sponsor Lovenskate next season. Tell us about that!
I was really lucky to be offered the opportunity. I wanted to do this in collaboration with the brand that I skate for, Lovenskate, because it’s really different and have a unique selling point. The main message behind Lovenskate is a lot about tea, drink tea – get rad, and my thing is camouflage, I love camouflage print so the design needed both camo and tea. So the idea is that it looks like camo but if you look closely you can see a teapot, a tea stain and a teacup. And the strap is a woven olive strap with vegan leather which makes it look a bit smarter.
Cheapo runs a skate initiative together with Stockholm Skatepark called Stockholm Skate Nation, where we skate with refugee kids who have arrived to Sweden alone as a way to integrate them into the Swedish society. What do you think of skateboarding as a way to integrate people?
All of the things like that, like Skateistan and skate schools, that are targeting hard-to-reach groups, and doing it with the means of skateboarding are so good. There’s a different language to skateboarding but it’s the same all over the world. But it also provides with you with the tools to overcome challenges, skateboarding is obviously very physical but it’s always your mind that holds you back from trying something, and therefore the whole idea of that is what you need in life, that you need to take chances. And it’s a good way for young people that come from other countries and doesn’t feel like they belong to meet new friends.
What are your plans for the future?
I would like to travel to other small european events again. For the past two years I haven’t really gone to many other places for skateboarding other than Sweden. It would be good to do some events in France or Spain next year.
Last but not least, which animal would you be, and why?
I would probably be a bird, the peregrine falcon, which is my favourite. It’s ability to see and it’s speed makes it the most deadliest predator, I think. Not that I want to go out killing things! But it looks really beautiful.
Illustration by: Iñaki Azpiazu