So then people, you may all think owning a skate shop brings in lots of money and we’re living the lifestyle of a true player sipping champagne every night but in fact it doesn’t. We’ve settled for Lambrini because the real reason The Black Sheep exists is for the love of skateboarding and giving back to Manchester’s powerful skate scene. That’s why we contacted the infamous Slugger Distribution to have our own boards made. Making a deck that’s really good quality but also affordable to all you shredders out there. Even better, you’ve now got a chance each month to win yourself a brand spanking new deck in the Black Sheep Deck Give Away Competition. This is how it works… Simply purchase one of our many beautiful decks from any brand such as Palace, Enjoi, Landscape, Death, Yes Fam, Primitive, Zoo York, Almost, Welcome, Cliche, Polar and many more and we’ll make a note of your name/contact details then on the last day of each month a winner will be chosen. It could be you so what’s too lose. Need a new deck, why not grab one then maybe your name will be picked out a hat leaving you with 2 sexy skateboards for the price of one. Got to be a player to be a slayer.
Rikk Fields Frontside Lipper HOV – Pic by James North.
So a few months back now we we’re fortunate enough to get a call from the good folk at Vans and got asked if we wanted to head down and hang out with Geoff Rowley and basically have a session followed by pizza’s and beers. Obviously not ones to turn down such an opportunity a few of the Black Sheep Family members boosted down to the big smoke on the old Virgin Pendolino and proceeded to have a grand old time.
With Black Sheep Family staff member and in house filmer Phil Harvey in tow the riders seized the opportunity to bang out the edit your about to watch below. For those who’ve never ventured into the tunnels that makes up the House Of Vans London your in for a pretty magical treat, not only is there the concrete skate park spread over three rooms they also house a bespoke night club, one amazing restaurant, cinema plus a private luxury pad style chill room complete with leather sofas, big screens and mini bar. We’ve had a few visits now down to this little piece of London heaven and obviously always get a warm welcome from O.G Black Sheep team rider Rob Smith who heads up all the skate-park happenings along with getting involved on the music event side as well.
As ever, massive thanks to the good folks at Vans for the invite and good times. Always a pleasure to be working with a brand that backs skateboarding to the fullest.
So remember the Element Make It Count qualifiers that where held in our very own rain city of Manchester? Also remember Black Sheep Family member Jiri Bulin absolutely smashing it and coming out in first and claiming his all expense paid trip out to Bilbao for the Element Make It Count 2015 finals?
Get your watch on below for what seemed to be the perfect setting and idea for the final. Basically Element Europe chose to use the amazing skate spots on there doorstep and judged the finals over 3 days worth of sessions rather than your set standard skate park run format. As you’ll see in the footage below along with getting to stay at the Element Skate house with BBQ’s, natural lake to swim at and private mini ramp to session the actual comp was a mellow affair which in turn produced some amazing footage.
Massive props to Jiri aka George for killing it on all three days and in our eyes thought he should of won with the footage he put out.
Also thanks to Element Skateboards for putting on another banging event and look out for the US finals to be held at the Berrics and also Nyjah’s private TF.
Gonz’father. Pic- Andy Horsley @Sidewalk Magazine.
So we we’re fortunate enough to get asked to attend the recent Adidas Skateboarding ‘Boost The Bar’ event along with the epic South Bank demo with pretty much the whole Global Adidas team in attendance.
Serious good times watching the Gonz, Busenitz, Benny Fairfax etc at the historical spot that is the South-bank under croft. Pretty much every inch of the old flag stones got utilized as the the team proceeded to tear it yet another new one. Obvious stand out’s was getting to witness Mark Gonzales just steady cruising but still killing it at a young age of 46, our whole journey down to the big smoke was pretty much focused on the legendary Gonz ‘Video Days’ section when he pretty much opened up Southbank to a whole new world of tricks.
So after a chilled yet power amped session at Southbank everyone headed over to Mile End Skate Park by various means of transport. The next leg of the fun and frolics in London was the official ‘Boost The Bar’ shop event by Adidas Skateboarding UK. After initial torrential down pours the good old Southern climate came through good and blessed us with a semi dry concrete park including the new obstacle provided especially for the afternoons proceedings.
The actual ‘competition’ was pretty much a chilled session with friends and the Black Sheep Family went through to the final against the host shop Parlour. Even then the banter was high and it proceeded to be general good vibes all round.
Massive thanks to Adidas Skateboarding and our Southern host Parlour Skate Store for the hospitality. No need to tell you the specifics but the booze flowed well into the early hours which left us trailing home Northwards the following morning/night… Big ups to all involved!
Black Sheep Family weekend in London- Filmed and Edited by Isaac Wilkinson.
I honestly don’t know why I’m sat here trying to write an introduction for Liverpudlian expat Geoff Rowley cause if you’ve known skateboarding in any shape or form over the past 25 years then you’ll obviously know his name and also know he’s firmly left a legacy of ‘stepping it up’ in this world of skateboarding we live in.
Geoff’s Liverpool roots are firmly set and still stand strong today with his Lost Art connection along with old friend and shop owner Mackie. For a sponsored skater from the age of 15 who’s spent as much time living Stateside as he did doing snap-backs at the police bank it’s truly stoke inspiring to see him representing his home town to the fullest. With all that said and his already well documented Liverpool and LA tales mostly been told I was angling some questions back to the early days of skate missions via the good old national rail and more specifically his jaunts into the Manchester skateboarding scene.
Northwest represent! – Photo by James North
- Firstly thanks for taking the time out to answer some questions for us, guessing it’s been pretty hectic for you and the Vans riders since the World Wide launch of Propeller. Have you managed to make it home now and just reflect on the video as a whole?
I’ve been home for 6 days in the last month, it’s been totally nuts. Super rad traveling with all those dudes though, Cab, Hosoi, TNT and the whole crew are full of amazing stories and guys that are seasoned road travelers. No video reflection yet…I’ll let that happen in its own time. Haha!
- I know it’s been well documented in the past with your history of street skating in Liverpool but at that time and era the L’pool crew was well known for it’s traveling/causing mayhem/general carnage of surrounding towns and cities, any fond memories from the likes of Shrewsbury, Barrow etc that spring to mind?
Oh man! Where do I start? Camping, sleeping in bushes, bins, roofs or wherever we could get our heads down. Barrow was a filthy set-up, basically sleeping in dirt and skating 24-7. Honestly loved every minute of those trips, especially the ones way out in the countryside, dealing with farmers and such.
- Whats spots of Manchester can you recall and do you remember skating with any of the locals from round here back then like Rick Cooper, Femi etc.. ?
I remember the first time I got off the train to skate Manchester, it felt like a foreign country to me, it stank like sewage and industrial waste. The exploration of every single skate able terrain commenced, I only skated the BBC curbs a few times, I saw Rick Cooper there and he was ripping and cool. Rick had a great style and did his tricks fast and solid. Femi was never cool to any kids from what I could see, in fact quite the opposite.
- Thanks for indulging an old man reminiscing from skate days gone by but to finish up and bring it back to present day what’s on the agenda for yourself now?
I’m working on a skatepark project locally right now, after that i’m going to start filming another video part. I had filmed a few things after deadline that got me all psyched for the next blast. Feeling good and strong, healthy knees and ankles…lets do this!
Massive props to Geoff for the words and also to Vans for making the House Of Vans reunion possible. And really this should go without saying but keep a look out next week for the European release of the next timeless classic Rowley Solos and apparel line.
Vans Rowley Solos and apparel line available at the black Sheep Store 15th June.
This Saturday (13/06/15) see’s the release of the Adidas Skateboarding Drake Jones Superstar which will be available in store and online. If anything like the release of the last Adidas ‘Respect Your Roots’ Kareem Campbell’s don’t be sleeping on these ones. Limited stock available on a first come first served basis.
As part of the brand wide celebration of the iconic Adidas Superstar, Adidas Skateboarding honors Kareem Campbell, Joey Bast, Richard Angelides and Drake Jones for its ‘Respect Your Roots’ tribute series. Each skateboarder has their own color way plus their own signature silhouette along with their name and the Stan Smith style portrait picture on them. There will also be limited edition t-shirts each with an iconic image of them reminding us of the legacy that they have given to the world of skateboarding!
Seen as a street skating pioneer, San Francisco’s Drake Jones was one of the most iconic skateboarders of the nineties, paving the way for how the modern day scene and street skating culture has come to evolve. Check out his section from Real Skateboards ‘Non Fiction’ from 1997, or even his small part in the Spitfire wheels video – Spitfire from 1993 and you can see that same style of skating street, whether its hitting a set of stairs or doing a technical line on blocks or ledges has surely been influenced by Drake. Although now retired you can still see his legacy within today’s skateboarding. Drake has still been involved with the skateboarding scene, from working at Black Box distribution, interviews in magazines, various web clips and now his latest work with Adidas skateboarding.
The switch tre-flip ender with a broken board, the very essence of the words ‘Style matters!’
That opening kick-flip is San Francisco skateboarding through and through.
We all know Eddie Belvedere has been around smashing it for some time now so it couldn’t be more perfect to see a match made in heaven as he now joins the Dickies Workwear European team. Obviously hyped for our Eddie and obviously looking forward to seeing more from one of Manchester’s most productive skater. Proper chuffed to see Eddie getting hooked up by a reputable company that’s been rocked by skaters for as long as I can remember and as mentioned this match up of rider and brand just works perfectly on all fronts.
Get watching below for the highly crafted Sam Bailey edit for Kingpin Magazine which was filmed over just two days down in good old London Town.
If you have never even been to Manchester on a skate mission, you probably would still have heard of the infamous ‘pumpcage’ . From humble wooden beginnings to a now extended concrete jungle with a heated waiting area and cafe facilities , the cage has been an established part of the Manchester skateboard scene for a good ten years, and like the pillars that hold up the Mancunian way above, the cage has become a pillar for the local community. Whether your young or old, a total beginner or would just like some coaching, Projekts Skatepark caters for everyone. Girls only nights, beginners sessions with different age groups, half term skateboard clubs and even group bookings are available. All the staff that work there are super friendly and a very helpful bunch, and in turn are the locals that use the park on a daily basis! There is always a welcoming atmosphere and anyone is encouraged to come and get involved in the session!
The cage has hosted some of the most memorable competitions, jams and demos. From the likes of Red Bulls Mani Mania, Elements Make It Count 2015 and the forthcoming NASS UK Skate North qualifier. The yearly jams like the summer, Easter, Halloween and Christmas events always go down a storm with not just locals coming down but attracting skateboarders from all over the country! But things are not just confined to the space in the skate park, the yearly Manchester ‘Weekend In The City’ video competition encourages the entire city and beyond to be skated. Teams such as Cliche, Supra and Emerica have come and done demos along with a host of British companies! ( How good was the Blueprint demo!) How can you forget seeing the likes of Chad Muska, Lizard King, Jerry Hsu and the boss Andrew Reynolds among’st a host of others shredding the cage! There has also been art / photography shows along with graffiti jams, with the actual pillars inside the park being used as a natural canvas. Expect more things like this going on in the near future.
Apart from the major holidays in the year, the cage is pretty much open seven days a week 364 days a year so there’s no excuse not go for a roll after school, work or even before heading into the glorious Manchester City center!
The skate park is there to used and enjoyed by all so support the scene and lets keep the cage going for the next generation.
The New Balance Numeric team along with Russell Houghton have just released a new three minute cinematography master piece called Sunland via The Berrics ! Once again it is eye catching and quite refreshing compared to your normal bog standard skate edit!
Like many of their previous New Balance Numeric videos Houghton uses his drone directing skills to give us an all rounded and different look at many of the well seen before spots that we are all familiar with. Filmed within a Californian schoolyard, the team all hit up the different spots and obstacles they have to skate one after each other. The Sunland edit features Arto Saari, PJ Ladd, Jack Curtin, Levi Brown, Jordan Trahan, Jordan Talir, Tom Karangelov, Tyler Surrey, Marquise Henry and the UK’s own Tom Knox.
A couple of Saturdays ago on the 9th of May, Manchester’s own pump cage was the place to host this years Element Make It Count competition. It’s a great competition that has been running for some years now and always seems to bring out the best in everybody that attends, from people helping out, to the entering process ( one canned food item was required for entry and all food items were donated to local food banks) and to the overall standard of skating! The competition is set out all over the world to see the latest talents that skateboarding has to offer and for Element it also spreads its word and belief of social awareness and positivity. Once again there was a superb turn out ( like there always is for events here in Manchester! ) and throughout the three different age categories the skating was just as impressive! A big shout out to everyone who turned up, took part, helped out and made the day as good as it was!
Biggest congratulations go to our very own Jiri “George” Bulin who smashed it all day and was crowned overall winner at the end! Bagging himself a trip to Italy and a spot in the European finals for the chance to go to California to compete for Element sponsorship at Nyjah’s park! Well done pal and good luck!