I liked it in the old days. Hanging out in Alpine Sports. It was much more mellow. It was a better scene in those days. I was just as bummed, but things were getting better, now it is better and I’m still bummed. I never bought anything from Alpine, but I used to go there all the time and hang out. There’s nothing like that in skating now. People just don’t hang out together any more. Except at South Bank.
I like to think about the good old times like the slalom competition at Meadowbank in Scotland. I was the smallest one there and the smallest always gets picked on. I woke up the day after the contest after what I thought then was a hectic night — I was only about 12 — and everyone was laughing at me. I felt really paranoid for about ten minutes, then I went to the bathroom and looked at my face. I was graffitied from head to foot. Iron Crosses, glasses, the lot. In indelible ink. I had to scrub at my face with a toothbrush for about an hour to get it off. That was a good time. I didn’t think so at the time, but everyone was just into just hanging out and having a laugh.
I can remember hanging out with Dan Adams and trying to be American, going to all the skate places and hanging out. When we were learning how to skate. Going to Romford and watching people like Winston May. Learning frontside airs in the half-pipe and landing them right at the bottom because I didn’t realise that you had to let go early to land on the top. Dobie and Winston were cracking up for hours. They just stood at the top of the half-pipe laughing at me.
They were good days because there was a good involved crowd, good skaters, all just wanting to have fun and session at the same time. Skating at Harrow with people like Colin Taylor: he used to do six foot frontside airs in the old days and make everything.
There’s been lots of good and bad things in the last ten years; more good than bad.