KODAK Film and Girl Skateboards have joined forces once again for a collaboration of skateboard decks & clothing apparel. To celebrate this momentary occasion, KODAK & 5 team members from Girl Skateboards were flying from California to London for a skate bowl session in Selfridges - and I got lucky enough to be emailed directly for an exclusive invitation to meet the pros earlier than the promoted time!
For a guy like me, this is a dream come true. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for skateboarding, and to meet some pros I always watched on YouTube… well, how could I say no to that?
See, that’s the thing. With this particular event, I nearly DID say no. Virtually the day before I received the email, I got myself a slipped disc. To give you a brief idea on the level of pain I dealt with - it was so excruciating that I couldn’t walk for 3 days. I really thought I was going to miss out… but I couldn’t let that happen to me. I had to persevere and get better. Or be able to walk at least. I had 7 days to push myself and get better, and in this case I was fortunate in the sense that being active and moving around would help me recover faster. By the time the launch arrived, I was able limp around & crouch down pain-free, and that was enough for me.
Given what I went through, these pictures have a particularly special meaning to me, as they taught me the importance of good health, and what you could miss out on if you don’t look after yourself properly.
So, who came down to Selfridges?
IN ORDER: Sean Malto, Rick McCrank, Simon Bannerot, Tyler “Manchild” Pacheco, and Niels Bennett.
To be able to shake hands with Malto, look him in the eye and tell him how inspirational it was to see him bounce back from his ankle roll from hell felt great. I could tell from his reaction that he appreciated it too.
Rick McCrank was awesome too. I asked him what the strangest question he’s ever been asked. He goes: "I have a daughter right, and I remember this one dude, he goes up to me and goes 'HEY MAN, D'YOU STILL HAVE A DAUGHTER?' - and I had never been so confused by such a question before in my life. But I told 'em 'yes, I do still have a daughter thank you for asking'." Gave me a good chuckle.
Bannerot skated like a man on a mission, and it was incredible to witness first-hand. The man literally tried to skate the ceiling. Boundaries mean nothing to him, and I know damn well he will go big in skating if he keeps pushing them.
Pacheco might be the most cheerful man I’ve ever met. I guess I’d be that cheerful too if I could skate as good as him. He made the bowl his own.
Bennett, there’s something about the way he skates & how he carries himself that’s so respectable. It goes for all of them truthfully, but this guy especially… he’s so humble. He told me how after his stay his London, he’s flying to Germany to visit his family and how it works out sweet for him. What stuck with me is how he was genuinely excited to see them after. I honestly wish I could’ve skated with him. Hopefully next time in the future if I meet him again.
Anyway, here’s some pictures of them doing what they do best.
And of course, some newly-traditional monochrome behind-the-scenes . Something about black & white which makes the scene so… powerful.