Leo pushing in 2006. Photo by Kirsty
We are stoked to be able to bring you the third and final part of Leo Sharp’s 5000 Words. We picked another eight photos from his archives and received Leo’s insights into each one. We hope you have enjoyed looking and reading through these as much as we have. We are looking forward to working with Leo more on future projects so stay tuned…
Chewy Cannon – Backside Over Crook
I haven’t seen him in a good while, but Louis ‘Chewy’ Cannon is, for me, Europe’s undisputed king of speed and style on the street. It’s sometimes easy to forget how fast Chewy’s going as he tends to look so at ease. Always smiling and always stoked to be out skating, Chewy’s infectious grins get everyone amped. This photo was shot in 2006 on a UK Nike SB trip to Australia. This ‘swing out’ flat bar is located in Perth and due to it’s height from the floor comes with extremely high sack potential. Chewy went at his usual 2000 miles per hour and landed this bs over crook somewhere in the carpark, much to the delight of our Western Australia tour guide Morgan Campbell.
Danny Wainwright – Backside Fifty Fifty
Danny held the world record for ‘Highest Ollie’ for a good few years. Since retiring from his pro career, Danny has assumed the mantle of Vans Europe Team manager, calling the cities of Barcelona and Berlin home. Danny can skate random street paraphernalia way higher than your average – this backside 50-50 shot in a Barca alleyway in 2011 was no exception.
Rob Selley – Switch Tre Flip – Radlands
I grew up skating with Rob Selley. Rob always had a solid style and a talent for learning all the newest tricks within a day of having seen them on the latest skate video. He was part of Panic skateboards which eventually morphed into Blueprint, where his ‘01908’ model was one of the first (and smallest!) pro boards available. This switch 360 flip at Radlands skatepark is taken from a sequence printed in System magazine back in 1993. Selley used to rule Radlands in the early days, producing epic runs taking in the entire park full of the most tech skateboarding.
Matt Pritchard – Backside Flip – Milton Keynes
Matthew Pritchard has spent a lot of his life in some kind of media spotlight. After gaining notoriety in the early 90s era RAD magazine, Pritch went on to be sponsored by Faze 7 distribution and was part of the original Panic and Blueprint teams later in the 90s. After a sojourn as a pro for Rookie skateboards, Matt’s career took a turn into the realms of TV with his joint MTV show ‘Dirty Sanchez’ racking up the viewing figures. Pritchard may have been known for his rock and roll lifestyle, but more recently he has turned this stereotype somewhat on it’s head: These days he is more Usain Bolt than Insane Bastard. Indeed Matt’s attentions have turned towards endurance sports. One of the most notable being a John O’Groats to Lands End run (of which myself and Matthew ‘Dykey’ Ryan did with him).
This backside flip was shot in 1994 during a Faze 7 mission to Milton Keynes. The spot was dubbed ‘The Pritchard Gap’ as Matt was the first to ollie the steps and spiked concrete ‘skate stoppers’ (without even looking first!) before proceeding to destroy it with every possible trick variation.
Mike Manzoori – Noseslide
Following on from Mike’s Transfer photo in Part 2 of this 5000 words feature, this noseslide photo was shot in Milton Keynes around the same time (1993). No one had thought to try and skate the ledge down the entire double-set before. I remember Mike did this in the near dark and made the drop out and ride away look ridiculously easy.
Dave Mackey – Ollie
Dave Mackey has been an inspiration to many for a long time. Not only for his balls out, 100 miles an hour, land or slam (“Well that couldn’t have gone worse!”) skateboarding, but also for his nose to the grindstone work ethic. His Liverpool skate-scene-centric shop ‘Lost Art’ has only survived as long as it has through countless hours of graft, organisation of grass-roots skate events, art-shows, international shop team shenanigans and local loyal lurkers. Mackey’s own skate company ‘East Skateboards’ had a vibe all of it’s own, not least through it’s aesthetically different Kev Grey board graphics, but also due to a truly UK wide skate team.
This ollie over the Bold Street rail was shot in 1998 for Mackey’s ‘Haunts’ feature in Sidewalk magazine. Though it was 18 years ago, to date, very few others have matched this feat.
Flynn Trotman – Gap to Back Tail
‘Flynn Diesel’, ’Trot Bags’, ‘Finny Grotters’, ’Trotters Independent Traders’, ’The General’ – the list goes of Flynn Trotman’s nicknames is never ending. I first clapped eyes on this West Country skateboarding anomaly back in 1992. He entered the Milton Keynes Bus Station comp in the summer of that year (run by Chris Ince before Radlands opened it’s doors in October). I think he took his run right before mine, cruising about in an Australian outback style hat with all the consistency that was to be the hallmark of his UK career (for the record, I landed 1 trick in my run!). Flynn has skated for a number of board companies including Blueprint, Reaction, Creme and Wight Trash. I remember a ‘Board-X’ trade show in London years ago, the one where Tom Penny destroyed the midi-ramp wearing Timberland Boots. Myself, Flynn and a few other Blueprint types stayed up all night after the party, eventually getting about 2 hours sleep aboard a floating youth hostel. This didn’t seem to hamper the following day’s session at an indoor skatepark in Hayes. Flynn ollied off the vert ramp platform to the flat and so scored his first Blueprint ad.
This gap to back tail photo is from Flynn’s 2006 interview in Sidewalk magazine, and if memory serves was shot in Salisbury.
Mark Baines – Nollie over a postbox
Mark Baines has been at the top of his UK skateboarding game for longer than anyone else I can think of. Having been sponsored from the age of 14(?), Mark has consistently been in the skate media ever since. Whether this longevity is inherently grounded in Mark’s ability to maintain his fitness level is open to debate, but supplementing his skateboarding with copious amounts of road biking around the peak district has definitely helped. Mark’s particular brand of flatland and ledge skating is low impact enough to allow extended physicality, but I would defy anyone else to draw as much attention as he has due to the way in which he performs any trick with the word ‘nollie’ in front of it. I remember Wig Worland shooting Mark’s first Sidewalk magazine cover 360 flipping ‘The Biege’ stairs in Milton Keynes back in 1996. He landed it in a few tries and then proceeded to switch frontside flip them. My fellow MiltonKeynesians and I couldn’t believe the board control that he had.
This Nollie over a Royal Mail post receptacle was shot in Sheffield during 1998.
We hope you have enjoyed this 3 part series of 5000 Words which was full to the brim with amazing images of a varied cast, spanning many years. We would like to thank Leo Sharp for taking time out of his busy schedule to put these posts together for us, and for consistently beaming inspiration to our eyeballs.