DVD Reviews

Jahlada presents The Learning Curve

If you’re privy to internet forums and UK magazines, you couldn’t have missed the relentless plugging that’s been going on for an independent video project entitled The Learning Curve.

The man behind the viewfinder is a chap named Phraeza, and he huddles together some of the Thames Valley’s finest skateboarders under the Jahlada banner to represent proper. The line-up includes Chris Peacock, James Edson, Paul Rimmer, Mike Sutcliffe, Leo Rhodes, Fred Albrow, Finn Andres, Carl Magalit, Chris Ault and a good handful of friends and guests that include Louie Barletta amongst others.

The show opens to Chris Peacock who opens the doors onto London’s endless array of spots. For those who don’t know, London is teeming with spots, but most of the best ones are off the beaten track, so it takes dedicated individuals like Chris to find them and enjoy them. In any case, Chris starts The Learning Curve off nicely with a part that opts for the simple but solid approach. Chris also boasts a mean backside flip.

Mike Sutcliffe rides in next and proliferates loads of South African steez on his choice of spots. Mike takes it all in his stride as he pops over massive dustbins, threads the needle down multiple flights of stairs and just cruises around smoother than a pair of Velcro cycling shorts.

The next couple of riders, James Edson and Leo Rhodes, are definite alumni of the Class of 94 back when Lockwood schoolyard and the LA Courthouse were the Sants and Macba of another generation. Today’s brainwashed yoot might find these two a little rusty on the picture perfect style standard that dominates many a contemporary release nowadays, but those in the know will appreciate the Souls of Mischief t-shirt and dangling belt more than any switch tre. Good to see some sick skating from a couple of South England’s workers and lurkers.

Paul Rimmer deserves your attention because he’s consistent and open to skate anything. This part seems pretty testosterone fuelled, but in a good way, not a gay way. Clean pop and flick have Paul laughing his way around ledges and banks alike, and that we like.

The trio that is Fred Albrow, Finn Andres and Carl Magalit embody the modern day mould for skateboarding. There’s flair and fine-tuning, much like there is emotional cool and city swagger. That’s a lot of superlative description to basically say that these three are safe as houses and a good look for future street skating. I must admit that I preferred Carl’s approach solely on his more eager stance to get the job done.

The Learning Curve ends with one of the Thames Valley’s finest graduates, Chris Ault. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Chris skates fast and hard. Not in a ragdoll way, but more of a Mike Ruszcyk way. Pop a block here, rip a rail there, tear into a transition and drive into a downhill. That’s Chris’ skating for you. This is a well-deserved last part for a small tyke that’s taking no prisoners.

Overall, Phraeza and co. can be proud of what’s been achieved with The Learning Curve. To represent the London scene is no easy task, but this signed and sealed documentation definitely cover s a lot of the groundwork. I can imagine if this DVD spreads it’s wings beyond the M25, then the capital can expect a whole new flock of faces coming down to skate some of those wicked spots.

Visit for podcasts and more. This DVD is in skater owned shops for £5 right now, go pick it up.

Ralph L-D