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I assume most people reading this have already seen Blueprint’s latest film offering Make Friends With the Colour Blue. If you have not then you really should – it’s great. Rather than write a straightforward review we thought we’d do something a little different: we asked each Blueprint rider to discuss a trick or line from his section with a particular story behind it. The aim was to give some insight into what goes on behind the scenes of such a production. Enjoy.
Having never been to Boston I was hyped when Magee told me we were going to stay there with Kevin Coakley. We arrived on Memorial Day and it looked as if the city was closed for business; everybody leaves Boston for the coast on this particular weekend and it seemed as if the only people left were the lunatics. Coakley took us to that spot where Puleo backside ollies in his La Luz part: really steep brick banks with a channel in the middle. Of course the spot was a hang out for homeless Vietnam veterans and other crazy characters; guys with ‘Fucking Die ” tattooed on their hands are not to be fucked with. You can imagine how much shit I got from them when I asked if one guy could move along the wall so I could get a better run up. I tried for so long to get this line with no joy.
Exhausted, and fearing we might get stabbed as night fell, we went across the street to a sports bar. All I wanted was a cold beer and the guy at the bar wouldn’t serve me or Shier without ID. Now as handsome as we both are Shier and I usually don’t pass for under 21! Paul took it upon himself to fuck this guy off and went to find another member of the bar staff, who promptly served us both. Our original bartender looked so pissed off! Propping up the bar for the rest of the night we watched the Celtics get beat by Detroit in the playoffs (yeah Cutty). Boston is sick and chock-full of amazing spots but if you’re going to go, make sure it’s not on Memorial Day weekend. Thanks to the whole crew in Boston for the good times.
- Dave Mackey
My last trick (feeble grind) was a milestone that came from nowhere really. Usually last tricks are ones you plan for, but I just happened upon this spot on a trip to Malmo. This trick took two attempts, the first time I was only grinding for a shorter distance and riding back into the bank. It was pretty slow and jolty and did not look too good, so I decided to try to start grinding to the end. It was coming pretty haphazard and the light was fading – I knew Magee was worrying about that although he was uncharacteristically hyped on the trick and I was going for it full pelt. We vowed to come back the next day. On one attempt I slammed my fingers into the sharp lip on the top and that evening the swelling in my hand was unbearable – I could barely sleep for the pain. Next day I was really feeling it and it just worked out within twenty or thirty tries. I pretty much knew that I had a last trick in the bag so it was quite a relief to do it. Pontus (Alv) turned up during these attempts and filmed the second angle. I saw him just last week and he insisted that his angle was better. His was the closer one – what do you think?
My last trick (crooked grind pop in to the bank in Majorca) ended up being such a quest for me that I had to get done. I can remember the first time I skated this spot was on a DVS trip. We were driving around a part of the island we had not really checked out before and while in a little seaside town Baines spotted the small plaza as we drove through tiny Spanish streets. We all skated the spot and people were ollieing and doing nose wheelies into the bank when I came to the realisation that it may be possible to grind and pop in. I was filming for Dudes Dudes Dudes at the time and this was going to be my last trick for that but unfortunately after trying it for a day or so I was unsuccessful.
Fast forward to another trip to Majorca with the Blueprint boys and there I was trying it again. At the time it was meant to be our last filming trip before the deadline so I felt it had to be then. I felt that it was going to happen. I got closer than on the previous trip but unfortunately again, it was not to be.
Third time’s a charm and there I was again boarding a plane to Majorca for yet another Blueprint trip. This was to be the definite final chance for me to get it done. After being on the island for about four days I decided it was time to go and have a look again. I rolled up to the spot and as always it was way steeper than I remembered, but I just wanted it over with. After a few feeble attempts I started to pop in and for the first time it I felt like it was actually going to happen. Next thing you know I take that slam you see in the video, which shook the entire life out of me, so I put my aching body back in the car and drove to the hotel.
The following day I found myself driving back to the spot for one last hurrah. My body hurt so badly and I could see rain clouds in the distance and prayed for it to rain so I would not have to try it again. I had grown to hate the spot. No luck with the rain and it was dry as a bone when we got there. Somehow I manage to get through the aches and pains and before I knew it I was riding down the bank and bombing the hill. I think the fact that my body hurt so much took away from what I was actually doing making it seem easier. I felt real triumphant when rolling away and was reminded why I do what I do. I was really happy the rain did not stop play.
- Paul Shier
If I had to pick something in my section it would be the line where I do the fifty fifty transfer into a bank, then sketchy 360 flip, then nollie backside heelflip. It was in July 2008 and it was my second time in Berlin; I came with my friend Paul just to film and hang around for a week. I had to wait for him at the airport for a few hours on the day we arrived, so I had a small nap on the grass in front of the airport and I think I caught a cold there. When I woke up the next morning I was feeling so ill I couldn’t walk or even stand up. I spent three days on my friend’s sofa having the weirdest dreams. On the fourth day I got a bit better so we went out skating. We found that spot and I got this line but I remember that my body was still shaking and it felt like grinding this bar was the hardest thing ever. During the line when I was pushing I thought I was going to pass out, but at this time I was such a hypochondriac the situation was almost normal for me.
- Sylvain Tognelli
I guess the trick I worked hardest for was the kickflip fifty fifty stall on the bank to ledge. This spot is not far from my house, is pretty crusty and you can only skate it on the weekend. I’d been there a few times already and managed to get up to a 5-0 and a smith but wanted to try and flip up on to it. Unfortunately it was now winter and the spot had a crust of mud and leaves caked on it so I had to give it a scrub on the Friday and pray for a dry weekend. In the end it took me a couple of weekends going back to it to finally get the trick.
- Danny Brady
The trick in my part that I was the most hyped on was the fakie 5-0 halfcab to backside nosegrind back to fakie. It was on the theatre ledge in Barcelona, the one that was in the Lakai video a bunch of times. I tried eight different times to do it: twice in Arizona, five times in Boston, and the one time in Barcelona. The trick was in my head for about a year, and I wanted to do it so badly. I remember in Boston getting kicked out of the spot by random mad people – not even cops – then having to jump into the car completely soaked in sweat thinking ‘man, I don’t know if this trick is ever going to work.’ I had put so much time and effort into it that I felt like I had to just keep trying until it worked out.
Finally I was on my way to Barcelona and I knew that metal ledge was there. I was thinking about trying the trick on it the whole plane ride there! We ended up going there the first day in Barcelona. I tried the trick for two hours before I figured out exactly what to do with my feet, then thirty minutes later – just before it was too dark – it finally worked. I asked my friend Travis who filmed it ‘dude does that one work?’ He said ‘yes’ but I felt like I couldn’t even believe it until I saw it for myself. We went straight back to Travis’ house where I fire wired the footage, and had him do the same just in case. Then we sent it to Magee right away before watching it over and over to make sure it looked good enough. It was the most I ever worked for one trick, which is crazy because it is my second trick in the section and it goes by really quickly, but still if I had to do it all over again I would. It was worth the work.
- Marty Murawski
I was trying to film a line with Magee in Shenzhen, China and it was really hot and humid; I was almost fainting from the heat. I did the line and asked Magee if I could have a look at it but he said that the camera was fucked and that looking might ruin the footage. I thought it was pretty good but Magee insisted we try it again and I tried and tried but couldn’t do it again and I had to stop because I was afraid I was going to die from the heat. When we were back at the hotel we watched the footage on the computer and it was perfect! I’ve never done a better switch backside bigspin on flat – I’m glad it made the movie. Cheers for trying to kill me Magee!
- Tuukka Korhonen
The stuff I like most in my part is the footage of the spots that I found myself. The nollie lipslide on the bank ledge thing (the one Shier crooked grinds too) is a good example. It was when I first moved to London; I had moved in with Brophy in Canary Wharf and we went on a spot hunt. Despite there being so many good marble spots around that area I managed to find one of the shittest spots in London! I like that, its like I brought a little bit of my hometown to the Big Smoke.
Another trick I like is the ollie over the barrier in Shoreditch, just because everyday whilst skating to Shoreditch blocks I would see it and think I’m going to do this, but there was always a car in the ride out. Then one day me and Morph bowled past and there was no car so we got right to work and made it happen.
- Chewy Canon
The wallie fifty fifty on the rainbow bar was pretty memorable. The slam in my part was actually only one of many slams that I took on that thing. The biggest problem was the landing because the brick surface was so bad. It was pretty much impossible to roll away from. Eventually after about ten goes where I could have landed it if not for the bricks, we decided to search for a piece of metal or wood of some sort to help me roll away. Unfortunately we only found a busted up piece of plastic that cracked every time I landed on it. This was the first day, first spot of the trip and I absolutely killed myself. I ended up rolling my ankle really badly on one of the steps but still proceeded to keep trying as long as it took to roll away. Then we ended up finding a piece of wood and sure enough next go was a make. I probably could have saved myself from so much pain if we had that wood in the first place. Oh well, I guess that’s how it is sometimes. You’ve got to put in the work but in the end it’s always worth it. In the video the trick itself didn’t look like it was too hard but at least it made for a good slam. It was easily one of the hardest tricks for me in my whole part.
- Kevin Coakley
This is tough. I guess the trick with a good story would be the nollie frontside heelflip on the bank in Barcelona. This whole trip was pretty memorable but one thing that has always stuck in my mind and that has constantly made me laugh was the spraying of a wet and almost naked Matt Hirst with a fire extinguisher. I thought water would come out but actually the substance that came out turned out to be this mental blue powder that sucks the oxygen out of the air and simultaneously coats everything in blue. The sheer shock on Matt’s face when he realised he looked like a Smurph and that he could no longer breathe was unreal. I remember turning to Magee who was stood on the other side of the room and watching him piss himself, which then obviously made me laugh. The whole situation lasted for about two minutes but has provided me with loads of giggles since. It might not be the most epic of stories but it is definitely up there for me.
- Jerome Campbell
The 5-0 down the Arsenal rail sticks out in my mind, because I’d found this rail and it was perfect apart from the blind bumps at the bottom. The first time I went there I fifty fiftied it then got booted out. The second time I went back to film the 5-0 but the filmer got it all wrong, plus as I landed it Ben Cundall ran straight in front of the camera, so Magee denied the footage. The third time I went back it went all to plan and I got the 5-0 pretty quick. I remember being petty stoked at the end of it all.
- Neil Smith
The last trick in my part (kickflip at Gasbanks) has an amusing story behind it. I had recently been taken to court for skating a new wheel chair ramp, so this time I was extra careful. I put duct tape over my car number plates and turned up with Magee and Dom late one cold Monday evening. I had done a check up on the spot the day before, so I brought an adjustable spanner to take the bolts out. When I checked out the front of the building I was gutted to see security. Magee and Dom suggested I skate past their line of vision towards the bank, and if they didn’t care then just start getting to work on fixing up the spot. The security guys didn’t seem to care, even with the generator. Weird. So I started removing the bolts that were holding this barrier in the way of the thing I wanted to jump over. The bolts were about ten inches long! I wished I had bought something better to take them out. I was so aware of the illegal nature of this, so I would stop and ask Dom and Magee – who at this point were marking my blind spots – if it was clear. We had amazing code language for different threats, all based on fast food. ‘Small fry’ meant nothing much, maybe just a loner or a piss head. A ‘bacon double cheeseburger’ would have been a police wagon if one had turned up. We got so lucky.
I was so tired by the time all the bolts were out that was struggling to flip it after making the ollie. Then this completely pissed Polish dude decides to turn up. He was so annoying, getting in the way, trying to engage me with mumbled conversation every time I tried to take a run up. We got firmer with him and that just made him worse. In the end we just pleaded with him to stay out the way and finally I landed it, put the bar back and drove off.
- Nick Jensen
The trick that caused me a lot of problems was the nollie switch crook Rick flip out. The one I do in the video was fourth or fifth try. I was shooting a sequence with Percy as well as filming with Matt Hirst. At first the footage looked fine but after closer inspection it was clearly filmed badly, not that it was Matt’s fault; more that there was a photographer there in the shot he was trying to cut out. Anyway, I tried a fair few times to re-film the trick but could never get it how I wanted it. Magee used it anyway but it’s a shame it wasn’t filmed to Hirst’s usual high standards. I gave up after a while, as it was not fun to keep trying a trick that I already had on film.
- Mark Baines