Watching Harry skate is next level. Most people get to a spot and know what they want to try and just try their best to get it. Harry sessions every trick, casually crushing dreams with his warm ups. There’s various times when I’ve literally had to just stop and watch as he bangs out every trick he can think of, as I’m sure you’ve all seen his skill level is truly crazy. This being said, me and Harry skate together quite a lot and over this year’s first lockdown, as I tried to get back on it after a heavy ankle injury, the thought of skating spots with him was a bit daunting. I soon remembered that he’s stoked to be out skating with anyone, his confidence is infectious and pushes everyone on the session which was exactly what I needed. I was also super stoked that he was down to ride for my hardware brand “Maybe”, and I look forward to skating and filming with this UK legend more and more! Big up Harry! Thanks for the inspiration.
I can’t remember the first time I met Harry but I remember the first time I roomed with him, which was in Scotland. I remember he was having a pretty rough time with other life shit… but that didn’t seem to reflect on his skating… there was a couple of us sessioning the triple in Edinburgh for what seemed like hours (what were we thinking?) maybe longer if you count the day before. But as we were done and about to leave fully clipped up, Harry was like, “ahh man, maybe I’m gonna try something.” He then proceeded to big flip it in like 5 goes or something silly. I don’t know, that’s just one of many stories of ‘leatherneck’… he brings a different kind of energy too. Like when we were in Milano recently… he’s giving, helpful, caring, rolls up at any given time, all that… just maybe don’t ask him to take a shower or it might turn into a negotiation.
Shooting with Harry is always a laugh, he’s learned how to wake up a bit earlier these days too which is always a bonus… maybe that’s because of his French Bulldog Dexter waking him up? Ha ha. If we’re out on the streets Harry usually has a solid idea of what spots he wants to hit, what trick he’d like to try and it’s more often than not that he will shoot at least one thing which is always a relief to us photographers/filmers. Productive to say the least. Once Harry films/shoots his shit he won’t just head home, he’ll stay out, get the crew hyped and get the beers in providing plenty of motivation. An all-round top fella! Keep an eye out for some fresh Harry footage soon, he’s been putting a shift in as per usual.
He is one of those people that can do pretty much whatever he wants on a skateboard without a second thought. He rarely hesitates when trying something gnarly, makes most stuff look way easier than it actually is and always has a smile on his face. I remember taking a trip down to visit Harry in his hometown of Ashford in the English county of Kent, I think in 2009. Harry lived with his mum at the time. She had a parrot that could swear. I, of course didn’t know this. My lasting memory from that trip is walking into the house and hearing this barrage of bad language coming from the front room. I thought there was some gnarly argument going on, but it turned out to just be a parrot!
Backside kickflip. Photo Reece Leung
Hi Harry, how are you mate? How is the lockdown part-two treating you? The UK went into lockdown again just a few days ago, right?
Hey ya Davide, yeah, things are good man can’t complain at the moment, well not too much anyways, ha ha. The lockdown has been Ok, boring at times for sure. We have just gone into a second one now for a month which I’m sure no skater is too excited about. Especially as winter is creeping in now. This one seems to be more chilled though.
We all know how this pandemic and lockdown sucks with all the social, psychological and economic effects we all have to face now and in the future. Looking at it from a different point of view, do you think there are also positive aspects to this whole situation? And if so, could you explain? After all, they say every crisis brings with it big changes and new opportunities.
Yeah, for sure there are going to be changes, I’m not sure if they are positive or not, personally I’m not a fan of these changes, but definitely not down to make anyone sick. I think the changes are going to be here for a while and we just have to adapt to them to skate and see our friends and just be normal!
2020 has been a crazy year for traveling and moving around, I know you have filmed a whole new part. How did you combine the filming process (which is always intense) with the limitations of traveling? In general, how was filming for this part?
Yeah, this year has been tough for traveling, but for the UK, some countries were open in the summer time so we traveled where we could, and I also have been skating Manchester more as I haven’t been traveling that much. It has been more challenging because of not traveling as much but it’s been nice actually, to skate British spots more! Definitely dying to travel again ASAP!!!
Switch kick flip. Photo Reece Leung.
Is that for the new Real video? When will it be released?
Hmmm, I’m not 100% sure to be honest. Covid made things crazy! But I do know the Real project that’s being worked on and have been filming for that too. I think there have been delays. Early next year it should be out. I’ve also been working on an all-English part with Sean Lomax who’s a good friend and filmer from Manchester.
Who filmed it?
Well, the Real project is mostly Mack Sarf for DLX and the British part is Sean, but both guys work together on footage and projects for DLX and our own idea and things.
For this part did you have an idea in mind about how you wanted it to look and the spots you wanted to skate, or did you just randomly collect clips in different places?
I did have some ideas for sure, like tricks I have been wanting to do at a spot and sometimes, well mostly it was just random clips and ideas that happened.
Which trick in the video gave you the most satisfaction, and which one made you sweat the most?
Mmmmm, not sure to be honest, ha ha. There were a few in there that I definitely had to work hard for or go back for because of weather and security. There are a few I have saved for the Real project that I’m buzzing off for sure!
How’s Manchester to live and skate?
It’s great man! It rains a lot which sucks, but the scene here is pretty dope and there’s a solid crew of skaters around most days. The spots can be tough and hard to skate at times and you just have to be creative and also willing to skate crust.
You have traveled the world, among all the places you’ve visited is there one in particular that’s impressed you more than the rest and why?
Man that is a tough question, ha ha! But I would have to say Italy for the food, weather, culture and spots, or SF for its spots, the vibes, the sun and the views! It’s tough, so I’d say it’s 50/50.
Switch ollie. Photo Reece Leung.
When you were small what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?
Oh man, I had loads of crazy ideas, like being a stunt man, a body builder, or Spiderman, ha ha ha. Nah, joking.
I’m not sure I wanted to be anything. I just wanted to skate a bunch and have fun. I did definitely want to be a ‘pro skater’ at some point for sure.
And now, what would you like to be when you grow up?
Now I still want to be skating for sure. It’s still just as amazing as when I started.
I’m really getting into traditional tattooing and learning about machines and painting flash sheets, or working in the skate world in one way or another. I guess I never made too many plans to be honest.
What would your dream skate session be like?
My dream skate session… would be with my friends Mack, Alex, Simon, Johnny, and more, it’s hard to name them all. But we would be at EMB and the island in San Fran, skating something we made out of crap or doing flat ground with beers and then hot a spot or something and get pizza after that.
What do you think about the state of today’s skateboarding?
It is sick! Skateboarding is just advancing forward and loads of new style and tricks and ideas being done! Some of it is intense to watch, and the edits and music can be crazy, but it’s cool!
Noseslide nollie flip out. Photo Reece Leung.
In an interview we published recently a skater said that nowadays it seems that brands give more attention to the image/look of skaters, than to the tricks they do. Do you agree?
Yeah, I do like that brands can both help cast an eye on a skater and can help people out too.
The world has changed really quickly in the last 10 years, what do you envy of the new generations and what do you think they’ve missed out on from the past?
Nah, I don’t feel like they missed out because they get hyped off the new stuff and style, and also there’s loads of young skaters out there that love the old school skating, it’s so reachable with internet that I kinda think they got it better than when I was a kid.
What hypes you when you go out skating?
To be honest anything can get me hyped to skate or motivate me to skate, like the littlest things (cheap coffee comes to mind, a fresh board, hitting a shit stone but not falling on the way to meet the crew) or a funny joke, or yeah, tricks and the season too, always.
Backside tailslide. Photo Reece Leung.
Your 3 favorite video parts, or 3 parts that get you hyped.
Damn!! Huh… that’s a tough one!
“Roll Forever”- Dennis and JT.
Polar’s “I’m happy here in my mind”, not sure I got that right, ha ha! (“I Like It Here Inside My Mind, Don’t Wake Me This Time.” – Ed)
Alien Workshop’s “Mind Field” – the whole video to be honest.
Beers at the spot or after the session?
Both for sure, ha ha ha. It depends on the crew and vibe but pretty much beers always.
Do you have other interests outside of skateboarding? What do you do when you’re not skating?
As I said, I am getting into tattooing and drawing, learning about machines too… but that’s just spending time at home drawing, ha ha. Lockdown vibes.
But I have a French bulldog called Dexter and he keeps me busy and entertained. I have a good circle of friends in Manchester that always seem to get me in funny drunk adventures that keep me busy, ha ha.
Three songs you’re listening to lately?
Recently I’ve been playing disco music.
Maxine Nightingale – Right Back Where We Started From.
Sea of Love by Phil Phillips.
Ultimate Spinach – Visions of Your Reality.
We are bombarded every day by hundreds of video clips on Instagram and social networks, and everything seems to get “old” the next day, even projects people work on for months. What do you think of that? Does this oversaturation of content make people not appreciate video projects for what they’re really worth?
True! That does happen on everyone’s feed I’m sure. I think it might calm down and people will savor the edits more. But yeah, totally get what you mean with the edits coming and going. I do find myself watching internet clips again though. If I’m hyped on the edit and that.
In a time and world where everyone is his own media thanks to Instagram, do you think it still makes sense for skate media and especially printed skate mags to exist? What’s the future of skate mags/media in your opinion?
Hmmmm, I never thought of it like that but nah, I don’t think Instagram and the self-image era will kill mags at all. I think people will just realize that mags are dope and it’s about everyone, not the edits on the ‘gram or the followers. I love going to the skate shop and seeing the new magazines!
After so many years out in the streets pushing, what’s the best thing about skateboarding?
Just rolling on the board itself and cruising, bombing hills, feeling cracks and bumps and just hanging out with your mates, learning things and tricks that are fun and challenging. Always push yourself and keep trying for sure.
Interview Davide Biondani.