Visuals: Will Miles

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Be sure to check out this Visuals interview with London-based lensman Will Miles. Will has been out in the streets for over a decade and has filmed many seminal moments that have captured our collective imagination. We checked in with him to see which visuals have impacted him and he came back with an interesting selection filled with his friends…

Will Miles showing Jack O'Grady the latest visuals captured shot by James Griffiths

words and interview by Jacob Sawyer. Will Miles with Jack O’Grady. PH: James Griffiths


Will Miles started skating when he was ten, getting to grips with it at Victoria Park skatepark in Leicester. The board-killing tarmac, rusty manual pad, and seasonal flat bar were not enough to derail him. Learning was a baptism of fire, and he made the most of this training ground before venturing out further afield. He would first pick up a video camera to film with his friends when he was sixteen following a six-month VX1000 loan from his friend Luke Walker. This informed the direction of his further education and he moved to London when he was 18 to study Digital Media.

It was while studying in London that opportunities arose that would steer Will’s life course. It was where his first VX1000 would make its way to him, an affordable purchase from the ever-generous Ben Raemers which found him with a whole kit, fisheye and all. On his first outing with the new camera, Kyron Davis got a call from Colin Kennedy asking him to put together a part for Grey Skate Mag and suggested that Will could film it. That fisheye had a purpose before it had even been plucked from the camera bag, and the next three months were filled with missions six times a week. He has maintained that energy and excitement ever since.

Will Miles has now been putting in work behind the lens on the London streets and far beyond for over a decade. His most recent video offering for Nike SB is called 7 Ball, this is the result of almost two of those years and it’s a masterpiece full of memorable moments. This video contains the Jack O’Grady ollie in Croatia which became a Thrasher cover, something which captured the imagination of the skateboarding community at large. It was double impact. We had all seen, discussed, and wondered at that James Griffiths photo before getting to see the video, making it one of the most recent, and vivid pieces of folklore embedded in our brains. We thought it would be interesting to see what visuals have made an impact on Will’s psyche, someone who has very recently affected our own. Enjoy reading about his selection which includes the output of Nik Stain, Kyle Wilson, Mike Arnold, and Casper Brooker…

Nik Stain in the Skate Jawn 'Bruns' Video by Kevin Winters. Will Miles' favourite part for this Visuals Interview

Nik Stain – Skate Jawn: BRUNS (2013)


When this came out, I really feel like UK videos and videos in general became very weird, and very samey. It just wasn’t the most inspiring period of time. I feel it was like that throughout the industry, I wasn’t inspired by anything that was coming out at the time. Then Johnny Wilson started making those New York VX videos and I thought that was the sickest shit, that’s what I felt videos should be like. Everyone was skating every spot, and there was a huge crew. Through that I got obsessed and was looking at all the Skate Jawn shit. It was raw, and exciting, but it felt like they were just a bunch of friends. When this Bruns video came out I feel like I had only seen a few bits of Nik before.

It showed that you can go fast, do simple tricks, and produce something that’s way better than anything else coming out. Not even just simple tricks, because Nik does that backside flip fakie manny half cab, but it’s all fast and some of the spots look shit. I watched this and knew that was the kind of thing I wanted to make. I wasn’t really getting anything from other videos at the time but I was so into this. When you consider a good manual skater at this time it’s Red Bull Manny Mania territory. Things were segregated, guys do handrails, guys do manuals, guys do gaps. Watching this showed that manuals can be interesting if they’re really fast and there’s some danger involved, it looks so much better. This part is one of the blueprints or building blocks for where we have kind of ended up I think.

When it comes to the filming it doesn’t seem like Kevin Winters is overthinking it in a way, he’s not trying to be too clever with it. It feels like they’re just out there having fun. There’s that line where Nik is skating across the road and ollieing into banks, it’s not the hardest thing in the world but it looks so good, that’s the main thing. Can we bomb this hill and get a clip? Cool, let’s do it then. Nik Stain is the one who is putting lots of thought into what he does. I hadn’t met Nik at this time and now he is a good friend of mine. I liked this part so much at the time, I almost like it for a different reason now having filmed with him.


“I watched this and knew that was the kind of thing I wanted to make. I wasn’t really getting anything from other videos at the time but I was so into this”


I love the opening line, that first backside bigspin on flat is just so good, I don’t know how he rolls away from that. The backside flip fakie manny I mentioned in the middle of the road is great too. There’s another double manny line, a manual that drops down six stairs, and a kickflip nose manual that drops down four, I just loved that clip. Finishing a line with a fast kickflip nosewheelie looks amazing. I think the filming in the subway tunnels stands out too, the homage to Ricky Oyola. I already loved those lines there in Eastern Exposure 3. Watching Nik skate there has a similar vibe, it looks amazing watching him go fast through those tunnels. I like any clip like that, there’s a line Jake Harris filmed Chris Jones do near Marble Arch where he’s power sliding down before doing a backside flip. Anything like that just looks so good. It’s so fun to watch because you know they’ve filmed at a time when nobody is walking by and they’re going full speed to get those underground lines. There’s a point where he does a kickflip and water flicks all over the lens, it just seems authentic. There’s also the back tail to fake manual at Love Park, I love to see bits like that. Nik [Stain] and Hjalte [Halberg] definitely took that simple idea and ran with it, now it’s unthinkable that you wouldn’t entertain that as a possibility when skating something.


“This part is one of the blueprints or building blocks for where we have kind of ended up I think”


When Nik came to the UK I was surprised at how much he knew about London skateboarding, he was super into Eleventh Hour. When he flew here he wasn’t on Nike SB at the time. Kyron [Davis] had been on a Supreme trip to Paris that he was on. Nik [Stain] was talking about how he had always wanted to come to London and Kyron said they had to make that happen. Eventually Kyron spoke to Colin [Kennedy] and Arthur [Derrien] from Free Skate Mag. This was when I was making regular edits for Nike SB. Kyron was explaining that everyone loved Nik, we were all the biggest fans of his skating, and we needed to get him in the next video, Ky really pushed for it. Colin fully backed it and just flew Nik and Hugo Boserup out. I had never met him and then he came and spent two weeks in London which was great, Kyron’s campaign worked. That’s why the article that appeared in Free was called The Nik Stain Campaign.

It was so much fun, I love filming with Nik because you don’t know what’s going to happen. He’s either going to do something amazingly or take the worst slam you’ve ever seen. Everything he does is done at a million miles an hour, it’s so great. Two clips we filmed together really stand out to me. The nosewheelie he did at Wandsworth roundabout, where he manuals up and through the poles. We got there on the last day, he had taken so many slams at that point and his hip was killing him. We went to B&Q and Nik got bolt cutters so he could cut some bolts and run through a gate. On the first go his nose touched and pitched him straight onto his hip. He could barely walk but he was all in and carried on until he did it, I was so stoked when he made that. I filmed another clip of him at Southbank I really like when we filmed that Supreme Gato shoe thing with Casper, Kyron, and him. He frontside reverts out of the top of the bank to fakie manual around a pillar and back into the bank. I feel like we tried that for three days, he kept getting so close but the angle was a nightmare. The anticipation of that was so fun, he could fly back at any point and almost hit the camera, or get so close to almost putting it down. I enjoyed the whole process. His skating fits with the way a lot of people from London skate, it’s a way you have to skate in London almost, things are crusty, you have to go fast to make them work. You see that in people like Casper Brooker and Tom Knox, they’re always pushing to keep the momentum going.

Kyle Wilson's switch heelflip at Southbank from the Palace Skateboards

Kyle Wilson – Palace: Beyond the 3rd Wave (2021)


This was honestly the first trick I thought of, it is such an anomaly. I filmed him doing this before he did this one but he put his hands down and slid out. That was maybe two months before he did it. We had gone there a few times and he had been there a few times with Jack Brooks. If he was down there and felt like trying it he would hit us up. It’s amazing watching something like this, I don’t know how many people in the world would even be capable of doing that trick. To be able to perform that trick and do it the way he did, it looks like something he just does every day, it’s like the drop doesn’t even exist. I was in Paris a while ago and somebody there asked if Kyle Wilson was with us. I remember them saying that they couldn’t wait to see him skate and that “he has more seconds in the air than anyone else”. He is given more seconds, that is exactly right, you can really see that in this clip. This is how you picture a switch heelflip feeling in your mind, that’s how I want one to feel on flat every time I try one.

I’ve seen a lot of people who are very good at skateboarding and have a lot of pop, they can ollie this but it’s not comfortable. Every time we went there he would switch ollie it every single go, I never saw him bail a switch ollie or even kick it out. It was just an amazing experience watching Kyle approaching this and it felt like such a privilege watching him try it. I wasn’t there when he did this, I was on another trip. [Jack] Brooks is a legend, he messaged me and said he had to show me something because he knew I’d been there on this journey too. He sent me the clip when I was in Athens and I was blown away. It was a really nice touch from Brooks, he wanted to make sure I had seen it before it was out there. It was such a big deal, I was just hoping he did it no matter when and who with. He has the black and yellow board and shoes combo too, I wonder if he planned that or it was a happy accident? I’d like to ask.

I feel like this being at an established spot really gets across just how good he is. Kyle [Wilson] often doesn’t skate the most famous spots, that’s amazing, he’s not trying to just go and skate what everyone else has skated. Even saying that, he probably could skate many places very differently to anyone else. But there is something I quite like about the fact that you will never quite do him justice. To watch him skate in the flesh will always be better than anything, that’s a beautiful thing because it’s not always the case. It’s better that way round in many ways, especially if people already love what you’re doing, for them to see that in real life is just shocking, and that is Kyle. I don’t think any of us will ever really do how good he is justice, that speaks volumes about how amazing it is to watch him. What Kyle has is a technique that can’t be taught.


“I don’t think any of us will ever really do how good he is justice, that speaks volumes about how amazing it is to watch him. What Kyle has is a technique that can’t be taught”


This video is a point where how good Kyle is really started to come across. He ollies from platform to platform in the tube just before this clip. I filmed that which was so exciting, but also super scary. You’re saying go and really hoping a DLR train doesn’t come out of nowhere. On the first go his board didn’t really come with him and he jumped down onto the track and grabbed his board like it was nothing. I was filming the clip but didn’t get that because I was so scared by what he was doing that I stopped. This video showed people what Kyle is about, and tricks like that go some way to translating his talent. Every clip in that part is amazing in one way or another, whether it’s a ledge line, or he’s nollie heelflipping straight over a bin. It’s all very special. I helped Lev [Tanju] and Adam Todhunter finish it because they were both super busy. I spent about two days, cleaned it up for them and made it all fit where it was meant to fit. I remember sitting in that room with them and just saying ‘this Kyle part though, what the hell?” I had filmed half of it basically but was still just in awe of it.

In the lead up to this Kyle had put a few clips out that showed him operating on another level. There was a week where he posted a few things at Mile End which were all just incredible. There was that switch ollie he did at that adidas x Slam Keep LDN Clean event too. Things like that show a certain confidence that because Kyle is a quiet guy you may think he doesn’t have. Watching him do that was pretty stunning, to just dominate that moment. That happened a week before we went to Lisbon. That was the trip with that clip at the plaza where you see him saying that he is going to the barrier. He was meant to do a switch backside 180 and then a nollie back tail or something. He did the switch 180 and then felt comfortable doing the nollie nosegrind revert, there was no plan after that. He switch frontside ollied that barrier afterwards and backside flipped the gap completely first go. I think that line is one of my favourite things I have ever filmed to be honest, the complete unknown, my mouth was open wide as we were filming. It was all first go, so good.

Mike Arnold hippy jumps in Taiwan. PH: Alex Pires. Will Miles's fav photo for his Slam City Skates Visuals interview

Mike Arnold hippy jump. Free Issue 19. PH: Alex Pires (2018)


I settled on this photograph as a favourite quite quickly, it encapsulates everything I wanted to talk about. I love a lot of the skateboard photography out there at the minute that doesn’t give you everything on a plate. With this photo, when I look at it I still don’t quite know what’s happening even though I’ve seen the clip. It’s difficult to believe what is happening. This is something Alex Pires is really good at, and Griff [James Griffith] is really good at it too. They don’t give you everything. As much as I love an obvious fisheye photo of someone going over a bin or whatever it is, I also really like photos like this that are less traditional. There is something to be said about being able to shoot a photo that makes sense but also makes you guess, and question what is happening. That’s a difficult thing to do, you are fully engaging your audience. In this day and age that’s quite a valuable thing. With skate photos and magazines a lot of the footage makes it’s way out there. Often lots of people will have seen the footage before they see the photo. It’s nice to be able to build that anticipation for something even more. If that’s the cover then I have to see the clip. You know he has landed this but you need to see how, you need this fully explained. This plays with your imagination, you’re envisioning Mike doing that and picturing how he did it. It seems like he’s too big to go under that gap basically.

I saw the cover of this before I had seen the footage in that Taipei Stuck Inside a Film edit and it had that complete effect, I had no idea of how he was going to roll away from that. Is he going to slide on his back underneath it? There doesn’t appear to be enough space. Before seeing this I had already heard from someone else that Mike [Arnold] had done a crazy hippy jump in Taiwan so the seed had been planted and I love watching Jake [Harris]’s clips so I was excited to see it. I remember seeing this photo and asking people exactly what I was seeing, questioning whether he’d gone around the thing. It sums up what Mike is about and what he is capable of, he is the only person I know who would ever try that, and happens to be the biggest man who will be closest to hitting his head. When you see the footage you can see from his back that it hasn’t been the easiest of rides doing it too. How many times are you going over that thing and what happens if you don’t duck under?


“I remember seeing this photo and asking people exactly what I was seeing”


I love Mike, and how he sees the world differently. He can do things like this but can also switch backside 360 flip Big Ben road gap. That’s still seeing things differently, not many people could even consider trying that. As much as this photo is baffling it’s completely within his capabilities. I haven’t had a moment with Mike where I have feared for his safety skateboarding wise. We are good friends but we haven’t filmed together that much, so there weren’t so many instances for me to be worried for him in that regard. But there have been some times when he’s just jumping off something massive. In Copenhagen recently he jumped off this huge blue tower into the water. It was so big but you’re always trusting that he’s going to be completely fine. This photo of Mike conveys a lot of things. I think Alex [Pires] is one of the best photographers out there, I love everything he does. He has both sides to him, he can shoot a classic skate photo, and also shoot something like this which has some mystique to it.

The iconic Baker Skateboards logo board. Will Miles's fav graphic for his Slam City Skates Visuals interview

Baker skateboards brand logo deck (2000)


I picked this board graphic because it was something I always wanted when I was a kid. Whenever I played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater my character had a Baker board forever. I would go to Casino skate shop when I was younger and buy the South Star blanks. I skated those for the longest time, when you’re a kid it’s down to whatever is in the bargain bin. The surface of my local skate park wasn’t so forgiving and you’ll skate anything that’s cheap enough because you’re always broke basically. So as much as I always wanted a Baker board, I never had one. Then I moved to London and got to know more people who were sponsored so you end up getting boards from them. It was possible to get boards from Kyron and many other people so I wasn’t buying boards from the shop. I ended up skating whatever boards people had.

Then Casper [Brooker] got on Baker and hit me up about filming him, he told me he had an idea, and wanted to film something to post on Instagram. He wanted to do a back smith and pop out of it, he asked me if he thought I could get underneath the board even more. I actually had a sprained wrist at the time so I had a wristguard on while I was filming it. I agreed straight away and said we could figure it out, how much could it hurt? Casper set that board up because it was the only one he had with that original red, black, and white graphic. It was the wrong shape for him though. He got used to doing back smiths on that board so we could work it out. We must have filmed about twenty of them, I was just trying to get underneath the board as much as I could. We looked back at the footage and saw we got the clip we were trying to achieve. Then he took his trucks and wheels off that board and set up one which was the right shape for him. As he was about to leave he asked me if I wanted that one. I had a real kid moment where I was looking at that logo and recognised that after all these years I finally got myself a Baker board. For things to come around full circle in those circumstances was so lovely.

Casper Brooker's back smith from his welcome to Baker clip. Will Miles's pick for favourite board graphic in his Slam City Skates Visuals interview

“I had a real kid moment where I was looking at that logo and recognised that after all these years I finally got myself a Baker board”


It’s such a surreal thing. If you told me at thirteen when I desperately wanted that board that the reason I would eventually get it was because one of my best friends had just got on Baker I would have tripped out. I remember cycling back home from filming with the board tucked in my bag wondering at how this had happened. Filming that clip was a repetitive blast of that logo, trying to fit that graphic into the whole screen almost. Having that board as an adult, it feels like it came from the very same company I wanted it from in the first place. That’s a testament to them, to be able to do that for so long, go through so many changes and people, and still retain that same identity. I have kept it, it’s under my bed with boards from all of my friends. Korahn [Gayle]’s, Hugo [Boserup]’s, Jack O’Grady’s, Ville [Wester]’s, and more. I’ll get a house one day to put them all up. I think Casper is getting sent some more boards soon including his first pro board, hopefully I’ll be able to add one of those to my collection.



Nike SB | 7 Ball by Will Miles



We would like to thank Will Miles for taking the time to share these visuals and what they mean to him. We hope you enjoyed the interview and set aside a moment to take in the incredible 7 Ball video he just put out there. Read more about Nike SB | 7 Ball.

We want to thank James Griffiths for the portrait. Thanks also to Sam Ashley at Free Skate Mag for the cover scan.

Previous Visuals Interviews: Kevin Marks, Joe Gavin, Chewy Cannon