So, when did you first start skateboarding?
I started on curbs in Old Basford when I was fifteen. It instantly piqued my interest in photography, so not long after I got my first digital camera. I spent the next few years snapping around town and caught a brief glimpse of the Old Market Square sessions before they were lost to the 2005 redesign.
What was your first board?
It was an eighties-inspired fishtail deck that I bought in the early-nineties for £10 from the old Co-Op toy department on Upper Parliament Street. I still have it now.
What’s the Nottingham scene like now?
It’s really booming at the moment. There’s been a few new parks built recently, so there are more and more kids taking to it. Every corner of the city has its own facility, but people also travel and meet up at different ones so there’s a great sense of community as a whole. It’s come on a lot over the last few years; I was surprised to even meet another skater when I was a kid.
Where are the best legal places to skate around here?
Clifton skatepark is probably one of the best facilities in the country and people travel to it from all over. The same can be said for Flo skatepark, our new and much-needed indoor arena that was completed last winter. Maples Street and Arnold Bowls have been around a while now, but they are still big favourites.
Where’s good for street skating?
It’s always a grey area, but Sneinton Market quickly became the central meeting point in town after it was rebuilt, almost like the Market Square used to be. The powers that be, however, are very keen to enforce the fact that skating isn’t what it was built for. That’s a shame because, apart from the occasional market stalls, skateboarding is about the only creative thing you see there.
How does the Notts scene compare to other cities' in the UK?
I haven’t skated in a lot of other cities myself so can’t really compare, but we are definitely getting noticed around the country. The fact that we have one of only two Element stores in the UK is great. We also have two independent skate shops; Non Stop on St James’s Street (which has been going since 1988) and Forty Two on Victoria Street. They’ve all been good at helping support us all in national competitions.
What made you set up Varial?
I wanted to work with other photographers that were capturing these great images of Nottingham skateboarding, to see all our work together, rather than just in random places on the internet. There are only one or two mags that cover UK skateboarding, so putting out something where people recognise their friends and areas is exciting.
Where are you going to take it from here?
I’m looking at making it an East Midlands mag and getting it distributed around the country. It’s had loads of interest from all over the UK. It’ll be a shame not to just stick to Nottingham for content, but this way I’ll be able to showcase our scene to the whole of the country.
Anything else you want to say?
Huge thanks to all the photographers that have contributed so far for the first two issues. Please keep the great images coming.
Varial Magazine website