Nice chat with a young talented Irish rider. He tells us about the longboard scene in Dublin, his first IGSA race and his plans for the future.
Hello Pearse, where are you from?
Good evening, I’m from just outside Dublin city in Ireland.
When did you start skating?
I started about 2 years ago on a traditional skateboard. Stayed on that for about 3 months and then converted.
How were you converted?
I was converted much the same way as I started. My good friend Nathan who got me into skateboarding bought a longboard and I followed suit after a few weeks. I was over in Koln in Germany on a school trip and I saw a longboard in a sports shop for 100 euros and I went and bought it.
Does anyone else in Dublin skate aside from yourself and Nathan?
Yeah we have a couple hundred skaters over all. About 30 who actively meet up every week or so. The rest turn up to meet-ups now and then. We have a crew over here called Dublin Longboard Crew and we organise events and meet ups through our Facebook group.
Where do you guys skate?
We usually skate in either the Dublin mountains or in the Phoenix Park which is a gigantic park in the heart of Dublin city centre.
Who organises events?
Loads of riders in the crew, myself included. If someone has an itch to skate or race then they simply make an events page and everyone trys to help out however they can. If there is no event on then a few of the more regular riders can be found in the park every weekend. Recently we’ve had a race in the mountains which I organised along with another couple lads. We got some sweet prizes and some horrible weather. We ended up racing in the rain but it turned out to be a great event that everyone enjoyed.
When was the group started?
The group was started about two years ago by three awesome and dedicated skaters, two of which still ride week in and week out.
What race did you organise?
I helped organise the Kells Longboard race. It was supposed to be an offical race with a closed off road in Kells but the council pulled out on us. So we relocated to the mountains for an outlaw. It was a pretty short course, only 600m with speeds of about 60-70km/h depending on the rider. Short, intense two man heats. The rain made it a bit more tricky as well.
How did it go?
It was awesome man! We got a couple of riders to ride in the rain and some sick prizes donated by the local companies. I managed to place first as well which I was pretty stoked on.
What did you ride?
Got myself a Landyachtz Evo after my first pintail which I stayed true to and loved for many many months. That board was really the turning point which got me into downhill skating.
What sort of riding do the people in the crew do?
Oh we do pretty much everything except for slalom and distance pushing. We have some hardcore downhillers in Dublin and some sick freeriders down in Wexford. Mostly a tonne of cruising is done all around the country. When we have meet ups everyone just does whatever they like and everyone helps everyone with something that they can’t really do.
You have mountains?
Hell yeah we’ve got mountains man! We are getting up there more and more but it’s basically some sick fast pavement with a couple of corners here and there. As I said we raced up there and some of the faster dudes go up there to train. The roads are empty up there and you can see forever so it’s not too sketchy. We hit around 90km/h tops. I mean it’s not crazy fast but it’s good enough for a reasonably new scene.
How come nobody does slalom?
Yeah it’s a bit of a weird one alright. Just no one has a slalom board and no one has much interest in it as a sport. It does look like it could emerge to our scene someday soon though.
Where do you guys get your boards from?
Well most people get there boards from Kahuna Skate Supply who are a sick shop who support the whole Irish scene and some riders. People also get Irish made boards from Touched Longboards, Fall Longboards and Huku Boards.
What are the boards like?
There’s nothing like riding a board made by a friend of yours. The boards coming out of those guys are all of a pretty high standard. I ride for Touched and can say that their boards in particular are solid bits of wood.
You ride a D’Arcy?
Yes I do! and it’s a sick, heavy and green plank! I helped design it for my specific (and rather small needs). It’s a dropped topmount race board made from bamboo and fiberglass. It’s 39’’ long and 10’’ wide. It has a 26’’ foot platform with some sick pockets. It also has a 1 and a quarter inch drop. It has my name on it which makes it 10% faster. At Bo Peep it weighed in a 4.5kg’s so it’s VERY heavy.
Who are the hardcore downhillers there?
Well when we refine it it’s more or less my good buddy and bombing partner Mark Moore and I. The two of us search out hills and try and go as fast as we possibly can. We then have a fair few other riders who take downhill less seriously and come along for a bit of craic.
Are there any other crews in Ireland?
We have our boys down in Wexford, Old Hospital Films. These guys are some badass freeriders. Up north we have the Northern Irish boys who are some great riders (More British but we still consider them potato eaters).
Do all the crews ever get together for fun?
Yeah we basically all go under Dublin Longboard Crew. We all use that page to communicate and we meet up regularly to spread some stoke and to learn from each other.
What are you DLC people planning for this summer?
We try to skate as much as possible. It looks like there will be another race in a month or so down in Cork which I’m looking forward to. We will just be meeting up every week to skate and have some craic.
How is the season going for you?
It’s pretty good. Got to my first IGSA sanctioned event at the start of June: Bo Peep Crash&Burn over in England for the opening of the 2012 European Series. Placed 5th in the Juniors there and had tonnes of fun. Met some awesome people and made many friends. Unfortunately my funds have completely run out so that’s it for me internationally this year. Next year I plan on doing as many races all over Europe as possible as I will have finished school. Back home I’m doing really well just racing and chilling. As I mentioned I won Kells and before that won at Loughshinny so I couldn’t be happier right now.
What was the highlight of your time at Bo Peep?
Meeting you bro! Nah I had a blast. The whole thing was amazing fun but my personal highlight was my last heat with Toby Newman where we both raced super hard and both had an awesome run. He ended up winning and continuing on but after we crossed that finish line we had about 10 minutes of pure euphoria which we shared with each other! Just that crazy track and the awesome riders and organisers made it such an enjoyable event.
Where’s your favourite place to skate so far?
Well back home in the mountains is probably my favorite, but Bo Peep is a very close second. That track is just insanely fun to ride.
How will you get ready for even gnarlier Euro races next year?
I’m going to practice, practice and practice. I’m hoping to make it to Perygudes and Kosakov to name but a few. So I have a fair bit of work to do before I’m at the level to compete with all the other awesome younger European riders out there.
Anything going on in Ireland Europe can come to?
For this year I would have to say no. But next year we will be holding many races and events, hopefully some of them will attract some of the European and international riders. If there is an event worth travelling here for I’ll make sure the whole world knows about it. Apart from actual events everyone should come over here to ride with us and have some craic. As most people know, us Irish are a mad bunch of lads.
By events you mean skate and party?
Of course man! If there is one stereotype you can stick by it’s that us Irish know how to party! In fact when we do have a big enough event I’d say our parties will challenge those famous ones like Kosakov etc.
Can we expect to see more Irish people on the mainland racing and such?
Yeah absolutely! I already know of several riders who are planning on racing next year. So next time you see me at a race you’ll hopefully see a few other Irish riders as well!
Where would you like to see your crew in the next 2 years?
That’s a very good question. I’d like to see the crew as an internationally known large crew with hopefully a couple thousand members. I want to see big events and lots of talent. I’d also love to start seeing prizes coming back to Ireland. The scene is growing more and more each day with people picking up their new first board day in day out.
Do you find it hard to get outside sponsorship for events?
Nah it’s ok. We had Original and Orangatang on board for an event up in Donegal at the start of June. Also SkateFirst over in the USA help with some prizes along with sponsoring a few Irish riders. For the race in Cork it looks as if there will be a few international sponsors as well. Obviously as the scene grows and we become more known then we’ll see more sponsors and stuff come into the country. For the moment anyway most people are happy having our events sponsored by Irish companies and some international sponsors to a lesser extent.
Who are the other Irish people to watch out for?
Well my good buddy and team mate Mark Moore is a great Downhiller and Freerider. Also the Wexford boys Aaron, Dean, Keelan and Rory are all great freeriders.
Do you have any downhill idols?
Yeah of course. My number one man is Dalua. He inspires me to keep pushing to achieve my goals in the sport. Mischo is also a massive idol of mine as he is just so fast (as you may have noticed I love going fast). Other riders I love are K-Rimes, Switzer and Alex Tongue.
Is there any pressure on you to perform after your recent exploits?
Absolutely man. I was one of the first Irish riders to get sponsorship. I now ride for three teams and more than anything I do get a lot of pressure from other riders in the crew. Most people are so awesome but there is always someone who loves getting on your nerves. I try and put that away from me and stick to skating with friends who I can just go out and have fun.
How soon after you started skating did you get sponsored?
I got my first sponsor after about a year and a bit.
Who are your sponsors?
Kahuna Skate Supply, Touched Longboards and SkateFirst LLC. All these guys are amazing. Kahuna is a small shop in Navan that sell loads of skate gear. They were my first sponsors and helped me tonnes with my gear etc.
Touched are a board company based in Dublin. They make sick boards that many Irish skaters ride. Both these companies are heavily involved in the scene and skate with the rest of us every week as well as donating prizes for some of our events.
SkateFirst are a skate clothing company over in Santa Cruz that make some great T-shirts and hats and stuff and also help getting skateboarding to as many places as possible. All these companies have helped me so much developing as a skater. Big shout out to all these dudes as they’ve done so much for me!
What sort of skating do you enjoy?
I am a downhill freak. I try go as fast as I can go on whatever hills I can find. I also enjoy doing a bit of dancing and freeriding.
Any advice for young people out there skating in small cities?
Yeah. Many young people get into skating and soon loose interest. I found that the internet can help prevent people losing interest quickly. If you just go out and look for other people to skate with the whole experience can be made so much more enjoyable. Skating with others is just better, plain and simple.
Is there anything else you wanted to share with the world?
Emm all I can think of right now is watch out. The Irish will be coming to a town near you in the near future and we will show you a good time in both skating and partying. If you have never visited Ireland then join the Dublin Longboard Crew group on Facebook and get your skate on over on the Green Isles (and be ready for some rain).
Choose 3 numbers between 1-35.
16, 13 and 27.
16 – Do you have a blog/twitter?
Nope, I’m on Facebook only so search my name and you will find me.
13 – Do you have a pet?
I sure do! My cat Kiora.
27- What did you do last weekend?
I sat at home with my girlfriend and waited for my face to heal after a bad longboard crash during the week.
Take it easy Mr D’Arcy. It’s been great to finally having this conversation. Hope to hear more from the emerald isle soon.
No bother at all man. It’s been great! Yeah we will try to keep pumping out some green stoke!
Any thank yous?
Yes actually I’d like to thank Mark Moore, Nathan Joyce, Jeff and Aidan from Touched, David at Kahuna, Martin Willis the main man in DLC and Eoin Kavangh for driving my and many other skaters fat asses up hills every week! Last but not least I just want to thank yourself and all the other dudes that I met over in England for a great time!