01. photo by Dan Sturt, 02. photo by Matt Sullivan
— I think my first memory of you is the shot of you doing a can can in an Airwalk ad, maybe on the inside front cover of GO. You had no pads on and the whole look of the ad was really stylish. Who shot that photo?
I would usually ride without pads unless I was trying new stuff… it just feels better!
Dan Sturt took the photo. I don’t think he shoots much BMX, so it was an honor. He stopped by the Enchanted Ramp on his way to go surfing in Mexico. He was only there for about half an hour, and shot very few pics; 12 I think, maybe 24. I thought I was going to land on him a couple of times! Airwalk had a hard time selecting for the ad; everyone of his photos were amazing. I’d love to see the whole set again someday… I just saw them once briefly.
— Maybe we need to do a Dan Sturt feature on Defgrip; perhaps he’d grace us with a retrospective on that shoot.
That would be amazing! Apparently he’s pretty elusive though. That was the only time I ever met him.
— Pardon my ignorance here, but were you around for any of the neon uniform era of freestyle? I seem to remember you being one of the guys who was ushering in the new wave of casual dress while riding. I also remember you with some crazy hairstyles!
I wore uniforms a few times when I first started riding for Hutch, and a few times when I rode for Haro. I fantasized about riding for both of those teams as a kid, so it didn’t bother me too much! Thankfully though most of the teams were switching to a more relaxed look at that time…. it’s too hot out here to ride in all that nylon!
As far as the hairstyles, I was a lot more flamboyant back then and wanted the attention I guess. I’m a lot mellower these days, not to mention grey and balding!
— Where in the UK did you grow up, and who did you ride with?
Born in Oxford, then a few years later moved to a small town called Monmouth, which is actually in Wales. That’s were I started riding around age 10. When I was 15 we moved to Stony Stratford (about 1 hour north of London), there was a good crew of riders and skaters there, and we built a nice little halfpipe. I started entering contests and spending a lot of time in London, and before long I was riding regularly with some of the UKs best; Greg Guillotte, Mike Canning, Andy Brown, Jason Hassel, John Povah, Phil Dolan, Jason Ellis, Graham Marfleet, Nick Elkan, Frasier Campbell, Aju Bubu, Jason Webb, Lincoln Blacksley, David Beveridge, Eric Steele… to name a few!