Sam is a crazy talented UK skater, who does some mad freestyle tricks with sick flow. He tells us about how he got into skating, and some recent adventures he’s had abroad with the Original family. Enjoy
Hey Sam, how are you?
Hey man! I’m doing great, skating Norway is a dream!
Are they as gangster as they are portrayed?
Everyone is really sound! Such nice people.
Where are you from?
I was born in London, but bred in good ol’ Cornwall!
What’s cornish skating like?
The scene down here is great! Tight group of riders always down to skate. But where I live, the spots aren’t so great. 20 minute train ride gets me somewhere good.
Do you guys have a gang?
We like to think so, but we’re less of a gang and more of a un-organised group of dudes haha.
When did you start skating?
Two and a half years ago really. I skated a bit as a kid, but most of the basics I picked up from surfing. I came to Longboarding through surfing and got hooked!
What kind of stuff did you do in the early days?
My early days were a lot of flatland sessions. Just cruisin’. Learning the basics. But pretty quickly after a few months I discovered the thrill of hills!
How does your surf background influence your skating?
I like to think it’s complimented my skating, helped it flow much more. Even today I still feel the elements of surfing creeping in when skating on hills. Good feeling, just tearing it up.
Is there much to go fast on in Cornwall?
A lot of Cornwall is tight narrow lanes full of blind corners and crap pavement but if you look hard enough (Which we have!) there are some sweet long runs to be had!
Hang on, you’re from the same place as Master Short and Edgecombe?
Indeed! I live in liskeard, it’s about an hour train ride to the sweet, sweet roads of Falmouth. Last time we were skating together was for an article in Thrill Magazine! Good times.
Have you learnt anything from the local legends?
I’ve not yet had a master class from them but skating with them will teach anyone the meaning of Style!
What is the meaning of Style?
Realising that it doesn’t matter what slides or tricks you’re doing, making them flow and look steezy is what counts!
What is Thrill?
Thrill Magazine is a UK Longboarding Magazine based in Leicester run by some Rad guys! Keeping the UK Stoked with rad content year round. I’m stoked to be involved with them.
What’s your role in the family?
I’m a Team Rider at Thrill. I do a lot of freelance stuff with them including writing product reviews, doing photography, and filming. I took the photo for the Issue 3 cover and did some filming for them recently. We went on a trip to Wales a few weeks back to get some dope content! Video turned out sweet. Always rad to work with them.
What’s the UK community like?
Damn Awesome. Everyone knows everyone! UK events are always rad, meeting up with everyone again. All stoked to skate together. The community is definitely growing. Will be cool to see what the future holds for the UK scene!
When did you start working behind the lens?
I started as I began to get good at skating. I bought a point and shoot camera just to film my own riding, document the new runs & tricks I was getting down. Which developed into film making once I was shooting to try and get sponsored by Original Skateboards. After 2 years alot has changed!
How does your camera work impact your enjoyment of skateboarding?
It definitely enhances it. Film and Photography has brought about a lot of rad opportunities for me. Trips, sponsorships, and more. My passion for skating is definitely boosted by doing what I love and sharing that through videos.
What do you try to capture with your photography?
Capturing something unique and different is always the main goal. Whether it’s a different angle or technique it’s just fun to mess around, see what it comes out like! haha One of my favourite shots I’ve taken is on the cover of Thrill Issue #3. Capturing the pure stoke of Josh Monk and Joe Baldwin at The Crackling 2013!
What makes a good skate video?
Steezy skating, an epic track, and sweet filming! An inspiring, stoke filled edit goes a long way. Always think about what angle to shoot things from and have a lot of variety in shots to keep things interesting. Get a good mix between fixed and static shots. Most of all; keep the tricks clean and stylish!
What do you enjoy about learning tricks?
It’s always a great feeling. Expanding what I can do. It’s refreshing to have new slides and tricks to bust out at will while skating jams or just with friends. Sticking to what you know can get boring!
What did you get up to last season?
Last season was nowhere near as crazy as this season but it was a good one. Was my first season riding for Newton’s Shred! I spent all of it in the UK, no trips, just 100% skating with friends on local runs. Shooting videos with my buddy Jack Watson and others. Hit some local slide jams as well as Vandem Freeride 2012.
What is Newton’s shred?
Newton’s Shred is an awesome longboard shop run by skaters for skaters. The go-to for longboarding gear in the UK! Supporting just about everything that goes on. Rad Crew. Proud to be part of it.
Who is Jack?
Jack (aka JCWmedia) is a skate/film buddy and fellow Newton’s Shred rider! Been filming videos with him for over a year now.
How was Vandem?
Epic!….. Little Sleep, Junk food and mass’ of runs on a gorgeous hill is every skaters dream right?
Was that the year you spent trying to get on Original?
I made the Original Flow team at the beginning of 2012 so was 6 months after. Spent that summer skating hard to work up to a Team Rider spot. Which happened in 2013 after the Belgium/Netherlands trip!
Original was where longboarding started for me. Coming from surfing, I was naturally drawn to their videos & boards and loved the style of riding. Bought myself an Apex and got skating. Tried a lot of other brands over time but nothing stuck with me. Original was the brand for me.
Is there anyone on the team you were particularly stoked about skating with?
Skating with Andrei Churakov for the first time was dope. Such a creative skater. Inspired me to step up my game and start working on creative tricks of my own. Meeting and seshing Norway with Petter Reinem was also super rad! I look forward to hopefully skating with the rest of the crew in America!
What did you do to get on the team?
I spent around 4 months skating and collecting footage (Mostly self shot with a tripod). Edited it all together and emailed it to Original! After a bit of to and fro with the Team manager over at OS, Sean, I made the Flow Team.
Is it as good as you anticipated?
100%. Wouldn’t have it any other way. The family vibe surrounding the Team is awesome. So many opportunities have come about thanks to Original and the support has been insane. Been to Belgium, Norway, Wales and Netherlands on Skate Trips and much more.
Do you have a favourite trick?
It has to be Nollie 360 shuvs. It’s always been my reply to a classic “Do something cool” heckle haha I spent the best part of a month getting those down a billion different ways….out of nose manual….into manual….cross legged….one footed. Fun Trick!
(Click the image to see GIF animation)
Has it won you any competitions?
Sure has! Me and Andrei Churakov hit a competition in Netherlands while I was in Belgium. I bagged 1st place in Best Trick with a 360 shuv to Cross legged out of Nose Manual among other tricks. Was majorly stoked.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
College are the plans unfortunately. I’ll be hitting the Vandem Freeride 2013 and shooting a video for Orangatang if I have time then it’s back to studying. As well as enjoying weekend skates and planning next year’s skate trips! I’m thinking Belgium and America.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
I’m in my second year of college now which takes up most of my time. I study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Music. If I’m not in College and I’m not skating or filming then I’m most likely in the workshop building some outlandish rig for Filming. Currently working on my Cable Cam system which is shaping out pretty rad. Complete with remote control tilt & pan and wireless video monitoring!
What’s your film-making dream?
To tour America and film all over the place! New York, Grand Canyon etc. That’d be an epic experience.
Another skateboarding engineer?
We’ll see. I’ll hopefully be testing the latest version of the Cable Cam at Vandem Freeride 2013 so keep an eye out for that footage!
Where would you like to be in 3 years?
Realistically- Seshing some beautiful Californian roads with some rad people. Living the skate life.
Unrealistically- Flying….. being able to fly would be badass.
Pick 5 numbers between 1-40!
8, 16, 22,
8 – Do you have any recurring dreams?
It would be cool if I did, but sadly no. No recurring dreams, just randomness.
16 – Have you met anyone famous?
Just the Queen. No Biggie.
22 – Do you have any hidden talents?
I can cube root any number under 1000 in my head in under 5 seconds.
What’s the cube of 893?
Haha the answer has to be an integer else the system doesn’t work. There’s a rad system to do it. Actually works for any cube number where it’s cube root is 2 digits. Here’s the system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al7PllobwR4
Pick 2 more you lucky bugger!
YES! 30, 35.
30 – In a Zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice?
Hmmmm. Guns are out. Unless you’re in a movie you’re going to run out of bullets at some point. I’d go with something long, metal and blunt. Unlimited uses. But at the end of the day, if you can’t beat them, join them. Right?
35 Justus asks: Which world leader would have been the best downhill skater, and why?
I feel Obama would definitely slay it. No valid reason, just get that vibe from him.
It’s been really fun hearing your story bro! See you around.
It’s been awesome sharing! Later Gbemi!
Any thank yous?
Many thanks and big love to all my sponsors! Original Skateboards, Newton’s Shred, Orangatang, Vooray Apparel and Thrill Magazine!
Plus much love to all you Longboarders in the UK.
Lastly, many thanks to you Gbemi! It’s been great fun!