Road Trippin’ with Dan Cates

Photo: Toby Batchelor

dancatesThere are lifers out there who have dedicated absolutely everything to skateboarding and Dan Cates sits at the top of the UK list. Working, living and breathing Death Skateboards plays a huge part of his life, alongside educating himself and hitting the road to discover so much more.

With that in mind, here’s Dan’s tips and tales from the open road.


I never go on any skate trip without a set of Ricta 54mm, 78A durometer, ‘Clouds’ cruiser wheels.These will enable you to handle extra rough spots and insane terrain.


When packing a back pack for a long skate trip, if you are going to treat yourself to one luxury item before you leave, make it a sleeping bag that folds down really small! You can save a lot of valuable space and weight by doing this, believe me you will be glad that you did. On the subject of space, another good tip is to never carry a towel. You barely ever really need one while away and the room that you save by leaving it at home can be used to carry extra socks which will prevent you getting athletes foot whilst on the road.


I went on a really shitty trip to Marseille with Martin Herrick and Ginger Steve once. Herrick totally ruined the trip by being super lame the whole time, to the point where Steve and I didn’t even want to skate. Steve managed to get through the trip by sitting under a tree each day reading James Brown’s autobiography. So I recommend this book if you know you are going away with some real lamo’s.

Always check holes like this for spiders….


On my first trip to Australia we managed to get directions to a long concrete spill-way pipe positioned under a road at the top of a deep ravine. It was on the outskirts of Sydney in a place called Roseville and after an hour or so of driving around looking under bridges, next to rivers and the like, we eventually spotted it from the road in a thicket of sub-tropical shrubs and palms. The thing looked really sick to skate, and from the road you could look down into it and see that it was bone dry, relatively smooth and probably 100 feet long.

I’m instantly beside myself with excitement as soon as I set eyes on the thing and already shouting for the rest of the crew to pull over. As soon as we stop I grab my board, jump over the fence and start clambering down the bank and through the trees to get the first ride in the pipe. In my haste I manage to run through two huge spiders webs, and when I say run through, I mean my face went through the webs and I could see a massive round black thing out of the corner of my eye as I stopped and realised what had just happened! I turned around and ran back up the bank screaming before the others had even got out of the car. I was running around the street ripping my shirt off and patting myself down to make sure there were no poisonous spiders on me for a full 5 minutes. I was in panic mode. The others just sat there laughing as I shouted SPIDERS! at the top of my voice and eventually stopped freaking out!

Later on we did eventually make it down to the pipe safely and she was a beauty, but remember the moral of the story here kids: “Less haste, more speed.”

Enjoy some footage of Cates in Kiev.