Jay Lentern Up interview

06.12.2021 Exclusive, Interviews

Portrait: Griffiths
Interview: Kingsford

Who are your sponsors?
Skateboard Cafe flow, Rock Solid and Converse.

Tell us about growing up in Newquay.
It was good when I was really young, then when I got to 15 or 16 I realised I wasn’t into surfing much and I wanted to live in a city, so there was definitely a period when I was more excited to leave. Now I’ve rekindled my love for it a little bit.

How was the skate scene in Newquay?
They have got a really good skatepark. I think there’s a bit of a scene down there but the skate scene in Cornwall is definitely different to in a city. It’s quieter and more spread out. You need a car. I used to drive to Truro all the time and skate Plaza instead.

You moved to Bristol last year. What made you choose that city?
When I was like 15 I started watching loads of skating from Bristol and from then I always wanted to live there. So when I finished school I did whatever I could do in college to get into Bristol Uni. I already had it kind of mapped out and my mum was like: “If you do this you can go to uni and then you can go to Bristol.”

Crooked grind, Millenium Square, Griffiths

What sort of Bristol footage inspired your plan to move there?
I think it was just watching Lloyds footage; there was something about it. Mike (Arnold)’s part definitely and obviously Korahn (Gayle) skating Lloyds is just insane. I remember watching some Stalker (Matt Keal) footage and Lloyds looked so varied. It looked like there was a lot to do. It reminded me a little bit of Plaza as well, because there wasn’t a perfect ledge – you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. I watched a lot of Cafe videos too. They definitely made me want to come to Bristol.

Have you watched the older Fifty Fifty videos like Jus Foolin and Format?
Yeah I’ve done my education. All of the old Fifty videos… Danny Wainwright absolutely smashing it, Dan Wileman… There’s something about Stalker; the way he skates is sick. I’ve got a print of his switch back smith (off the top block at Lloyds), which is just like… you go there now and it’s absolutely fucked.

What are you studying in Bristol?
I do Film and TV at Bristol Uni. I’m just going into my second year now.

Are you interested in making skate films?
I try to keep it quite separate, film being one thing and skating being a different thing, but Lucien (Parsons) definitely makes a pretty cool connection between film and skating.

Backside bigspin, Lloyds, Sharp

I really liked the two Bear Myles films he made for Grey. It seems like you are part of a close group of friends in Bristol. Were you in touch with anyone before you moved there?
No, I wasn’t. I didn’t really know anyone before I moved except for Bear, who I spoke to on my phone every now and then. We ended up getting chatting on Instagram and when I moved up he was like: “Let’s go for a skate,” and then it just went from there.

Lucien told me you landed a backside 360 down Lloyds the day he met you.
That was two days in. That was such a wild day. That was the day I met Luce and Bear. After I managed to do that trick we walked to Dean (Lane) and we were all messing about, then my now-girlfriend texted me back for the first time and we all celebrated. I felt like I’d found my new friendship group from that day really.

Had you been to Bristol before moving there?
I came up once with my friend and we had nowhere to stay and we ended up just bumping into Dobby (Luis Kelk) from Nottingham – who’s now my mate – and he let us stay at his house. So that gave me the impression that Bristol was really nice and everyone was lovely.

Switch ride-on crooked grind, water steps, Sharp

It sounds like that ended up being the case.
Yeah it’s the best place. I got really lucky. I’ve got a lot of really nice friends and everyone I work with (at Fifty Fifty) is lovely.

I don’t want to dwell on anything negative but I heard there was some trouble at Lloyds this summer and skaters couldn’t really go there for a while.
I think in lockdown people found Lloyds as somewhere to chill. That brought along a lot of people and it started getting a bit gnarly. Some gnarly things have gone on there since I’ve been here. Nothing too heavy, just some gnarly dudes hanging out there every now and again, robbing people and shit. Sometimes the dudes won’t do anything and other times they’re pulling a knife on you and it’s just like: “Fuck.” It puts a dampener on it but people are still going there. You just have to be selective with when and where you go really. There were a few periods where people were like: “I’m not going to come and meet you there,” and you’d be there, like: “Oh shit I probably shouldn’t be here.”

Is Lloyds your go-to spot? It seems like skating there was a big part of why you moved to Bristol.
It kind of is, but I haven’t had it as my go-to for that long because of what went on. Me and Arthur (Myhill) skated it loads at one point and then all that started happening. And if you don’t go there enough you start… it’s one of the places you’ve got to go to every now and again to remind yourself how to skate it, because it’s that weird.

Switch ride-on backside tailslide, Lloyds, Griffiths

That makes sense. Who are some of your favourite skaters to watch in Bristol?
Bear Myles, Lucien Parsons – he smashes it, Arthur Myhill – he’s on it, George Hill – when his leg is better he’ll be the best. There are loads of good people. Pete Gronau – he’s definitely one of my favourites, Layth (Sami), (Josh) Arnott, all of the Cafe lot, they’re all amazing.

Who are some younger up-and-coming skaters people should look out for?
Two dudes I grew up with: Billy Munden and Teo Palfreyman-Gaze. They are actually the best. They’re still skating (Truro) Plaza right now but soon they’ll probably move away.

I have been told to ask you about your obsession with badgers.
Ah the badgers. I’m two or three years into that now. I don’t really know where it started. I remember thinking: “There’s nothing to be afraid of when you’re in Cornwall at night. There are no animals that can attack you,” then thinking: “No, there’s got to be something,” and realising there are badgers obviously. I remember thinking: “I’m 17 years old and I’ve never seen this animal,” and apparently they’re gnarly, so I decided I needed to try and find one. I’d go on little missions to try and find one and from there it just became an obsession. I remember going to college one day and I had some trousers with a badger pin, a badger T-shirt, a badger hat… It just morphed into a thing. Now I’ve seen them quite a few times.

Push 50-50, St Michael’s Hill, Griffiths

Tell us about these missions.
In lockdown I fed a clan of badgers every night for two weeks. It was fully messing with my sleep but I was still doing it. I saw them every single night. They’re massive. I got really close to them. I threw one of them my T-shirt so it knew what I smelled like and didn’t run away.

How did you find them?
One night I went wandering aimlessly around and one ran out in front of me. I couldn’t believe it had happened. From then on I’d sit at this little viewpoint with a cup of tea at 10.30pm, just waiting. It escalated from there. I ended up seeing four or five in one night.

What are your longer-term plans for the future? Do you see yourself staying in Bristol?
I think I will definitely stay in Bristol for a long time. I’ve got a lot of time to put in at Lloyds still. I think the only thing that will change is how many weekends we go to London. As soon as we start breaking that seal I think we’ll go to London a lot more.