“Front page news, man!”

Eventually an apologetic John arrives, we set off and get chatting. “Man, it’s the biggest pile-up the IOW’s ever seen – 3 cars, and the whole place is a total gridlock. People are gonna be talking about this for years to come!”, he says enthusiastically, “Front page news, man!” I look across at him to see if he’s joking. He’s not.

John is a self-confessed skateboard addict. He started shredding when he was 13, and he’s still rolling around on the floor 24 years later.

“We have a rich history of skateboarding on the Isle of Wight,” he boasts, “I recently saw some cine footage of a group of kids in the late 1960′s at Ventnor on makeshift (‘Back to the Future’ style) skate things! In the 80′s a new breed of ripper came about in the shapes of Ged Wells, Cary, Steve Jolliffe, Scott Wilson, Steve Pannell, Ian Reed and Martin Wager – who built the best mini ramp complex of the time, in Shide in Newport – that later hosted the Deathbox Comp of 1989 – anВ  infamous event of never before seen craziness that got international riders together to tear ramp skateboarding a new one. Ha ha!”

“I met Alex (Moul, who was 14), Greg (Nowik) and The Donz at this event. Alex was skating with his arm in a sling, Greg was doing half cab ollie blunts (unheard of at the time outside of the States), and Don Brider was doing the most stylist smith grinds I’d ever seen. Good times!”

Cattles first sponsor was ‘Offshore Sports’ based in Shanklin on the Island, and then Faze7 Distribution from Essex – who later formed Panic Skateboards, where he went on to become their Team Manager….

“After much bullshit, I left and the lovely human Nick Zorlac hooked me up on Death Skateboards….”

“In between times, I was always filming my friends. Then, in 1997 I (along with Tom Moore, Ben Powell and Alan Glass), produced the ‘Viewfinder#’ video series. This series is now up to the 5th issue….with a box set soon to be released later in the year (pluggity plug plug plug). This will include our hour-long Channel 4 documentary, ‘No War For Heavy Metal’.”

After a couple of hours of dodging stationary traffic, we arrive at what is affectionately known as the ‘Skate-Shack’ which is….well, it’s a shack used to store water sports equipment during the off-season but it provides the guys with some much needed cover from the rain and a few amusing props to dick around with. Cattle ollie-ing through a huge set of Shark jaws – sounds simple? It ain’t. “You got to get just enough pop to get over the bottom teeth, and you’ve got to keep squat enough to avoid your back being cut to ribbons by the razor sharp top set.”

See what I mean now? Quirky as fuck! Then we had Ash Gulliver, still suffering the effects from a broken back after a horrible snowboarding accident (the scar is hideous), who decides to 50-50 pole jam an upright vacuum cleaner leant up against a huge log….a Hoover Jam, if you please! Not to be outdone, young Jesse Pullin decides to throw himself off the 8ft mezzanine roof onto the floor, complete with a very cheeky popped indy.

Ash Gulliver Hoover Jam

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