Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and has gradually become a secular celebration of Irish culture in general. To celebrate this special day here this year, we decided to treat you to a feast of culture seen through the lens of Irish skateboard photographer and Shiner’s main man in the trenches, Jerome Loughran.
JL: Growing up in Northern Ireland and then later re-rooting myself to Wales allowed me to meet people along the journey that have left an impression. During that time, I have never forgotten those that helped me shape who I am today, so I could have easily added another 20 photos in this feature. These 5 photos are just some of the amazing skateboarders that made an impact on this man behind the lens. Enjoy.
Only fitting that any St.Patrick’s day photo article would be kicked off by none other than Jay Dords. Dords is the guy has held the scene together in Ireland together for years. He is a true skate legend. He’s one of those rare skateboarders who has not only kept the scene going in the dark days, but he’s never seen a penny from all his hard work and crazy ideas either. You know what though? It never breaks that big smile on his face! This photo was shot after a weekend of Jay building this DIY block in Derry, Northern Ireland. Jay built it, consumed some Harp lager and then proceeded to shred it. What is more Irish that Thin Lizzy and Harp Lager? (besides the stereotypes!!) Dords influenced me to get out there and get involved, and now all those years of him asking me questions about f-stops has unleashed a mean photographer in him too. Watch that space.
This is Mark Munson. Meeting Munson is like meeting a brick wall at 50mph, you won’t forget it! The man knows what’s what and won’t ever be afraid to tell you so! I’ve learnt so much from this guy over the years. His team management skills are basically made up of “stop crying and do it you wanker!” His approach usually works as well! I’ve been on many rad trips with Mark and would always be glad to have him in the van or at the park shouting abuse at me. There’s a slight Irish link in this photo as it was shot in Greystones, just outside of Dublin.
Less of an Irish link here but I went on a skate trip to Ireland with Marc Churchill once so hopefully that counts! Everyone knows Marc. If you don’t, where have you been hiding?! Weird that that the guy I used to watch on Channel 5’s Rad TV show is now the guy that constantly calls me and keeps me in stitches with one of his many comedy personas. Marc is constant entertainment and also knows how to do a good sticker job! If I had to only shoot with one guy for the rest of my life it would be Marc, basically because it’s like shooting with 12 different guys! This photo was shot in Oregon. If you have not seen the Punch An Eagle In Flight tour edit yet, do it.
For those that don’t know this guy, this is Darran ‘Grim’ Ward skating the Chepstow park. Grim is best known for running Freestyle Skateshop in Newport, Wales. Grim has been my landlord and housemate for nearly 10 years and I have been through so much with this guy, it’s unreal. This photo should have seen light of day much sooner, as he has always had my back and gets hyped on my photos, so this should stoke him out. Not only is he the biggest and gnarliest vegan I have ever met, he is officially the only person I know that has punched himself out in anger at leaving the house without his wallet! He was driving at the time and I was in the passenger seat!
This is a photo of Caradog Emanuel with an ollie up and out to crooks. He is another Welsh skater that I have had the pleasure of traveling with over the years. ‘Dog’ is like Churchill- a stand up comedian. Put the two of them together and you have an ultimate double act! Caradog has a fresh approach to skateboarding, something that sets him apart from others. If you haven’t seen his section in Kill City’s Rookies video yet then, damn, get yourself a copy and break open a Guinness!
Kill City have become one of the most active UK skate companies over the last year. Here’s another edit of the team that including footage of Caradog, Jess Young, Nicky Howells and guest, Barney Page in a session at Filton skatepark down in Bristol.
The Kill City team are always on the road. This month, Dainton’s rippers feature in a new edit shot from Plymouth’s Prime Skatepark.
Watch some sick footage of Jess Young, Caradog, Jake Collins and Sam Pulley with a guest trick from the UK’s gnarliest bear right here.
Photography: Mike Ridout
Right: Gareth Leak – Front 5-0 Fakie
The story of Cardiff getting its first proper outdoor skatepark is a long, tiresome one that has its roots in the first days people would get kicked out of the Welsh Offices. The idea would be knocked around and years would pass and there would still be essentially no where for skateboarders living in capital city to skate. Of course, the skateboarders of Cardiff were lucky to exist in a growing city that blossomed into a notorious street skaters haven. In a way, this in fact brought the skateboarding community of Wales even closer together, eventually spawning the hugely tight and unsurprisingly seminal Cardiff Skateboard Club that’s gained unofficial ‘members’ from across the UK. But with more street spots come more security guards, more angry pedestrians and a plethora of students getting in everyone’s way. Sessions would too frequently be cut short and it wasn’t until 2009 that the unanimous decision was to go to the council with years worth of evidence and support and demand a skatepark be built in this city.
In July of 2009, Nick Richards (of Nick The Bastard fame) organised a protest outside county hall that attracted local and regional newspapers and more importantly, the attention of Cardiff Council. In a well-planned protest, the skateboarders of Cardiff demonstrated the need for a skatepark in the way that anyone in a skate scene living in a currently neglected town can do. Patience (Cardiff had enough of that…) and genuine desire goes a long way. The Cardiff Barrage Plaza was swiftly becoming a realistic idea and the typical poorly designed council parks will likely be skated for the last time in the months that followed.
Just six months later and the skatepark was confirmed, with £140,000 in the pot for the beginning round of development. The CSC then liased with various skatepark designers so that the plans for the park followed something that the skaters of Cardiff actually wanted. Marc Churchill’s Gravity team got the contract with a design that not only made everyone wet their pants a little (and launch the CSC blog into the stratosphere of comment section tomfoolery) but made full use of the budget and space available. From having to rely on an increasingly cracked area of flatland with a flatbank that only five people in Wales can actually skate properly, the CSC and extended CSC fam would have one of the UK’s most innovative parks in one of the sexiest locations imaginable. Apparently we do like to be beside the seaside.
Below: Caradog Emanuel – F/S Bigspin Heel
After 8-10 weeks of solid graft from Gravity, the park was made and fences were to be hopped! Ahead of schedule, when the Ipath crew turned up expecting somewhere to skate, the fences came down and everyone could officially skate the park. Needless to say – you’ve seen the plans, the pictures and by now some videos too – from this point on, the collective CSC facebook wall-to-wall read nothing more than “plaza?”, “skating the plaza?”, “when are you getting to the plaza?” and “plaza today?” I can’t imagine this will change any time soon. Well… not until it rains at least. And it will rain. It’s Wales.
But for when its dry, the Cardiff Barrage Plaza is genuinely the most fun thing I’ve skated since I can remember. The design is lightyears ahead of its competitors in regards to both how well it flows and the sheer amount of people you can shove into the place without it turning into a game of human pinball. Even on the opening jam, where at least 200 attended in another one of UK skateboarding’s most infamous sausage fests, I didn’t collide with anyone. Not even a kid. It’s almost magic. Though, judging by how universally friendly Porno Paul’s lexical choices were when MCing the event, there must have been something in the atmosphere to make everything so…nice?
Rather than read superfluous descriptions on how rad the park is – see for yourself. Nick Richards has worked his arse off putting the building of the park in motion, but filming an absolutely banging edit, exclusively for Crossfire, of all the sessions that went down in the first month. LSP local Harry Deane also jumped in with his VX and shot another edit for us focussing on the locals and younger crew, you can see his edit here. Let this story be part of the motivation for you to get something similar done in your town. It CAN be done. And just look at the results…
Big up to Gravity, CSC, Crayon Skateboards and City Surf for working hard to make this happen for the capital of Wales. Dai iawn! If you’re stoked on this park and the edit then share it on Facebook and get your mates and plan a trip to Wales because great parks should be skated and not just talked about.
The plaza is located next to The Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre, Harbour Drive, Cardiff, CF10 4PA – or you can check the map.
A walk through Cardiff’s St Mary’s Street on a Friday night may land you into some pretty surreal situations. If you’re lucky you won’t be glassed outside one of the more unfriendly bars and perhaps you’ll find your way to Dempsey’s, the warm location for tonight’s premiere of Christian ‘Pirate Man’ Hart’s latest inexplicable audio/visual creation and the first ‘proper’ CSC video ‘Join Us‘.
No one throws a premiere quite like the Welsh. Tom Hobson put on his finest dog outfit for his role as DJ. That’s if you call putting on a track and then twenty seconds later changing it and then leaving an album on for a bit and then skipping through songs so the 150+ attending heard five second clips for a couple minutes DJing, I know I bloody do. Everyone was so out of their minds at this point anyway, getting increasingly paranoid as the boxman surrounded them. A couple had to double check themselves as the junior CSC were in attendance and the balloons that were scattered everywhere caused a few people to wonder if they’d accidentally entered a very illegal brothel.
Drunks and children aside, tonight was defined by one of the most out-there yet entirely compelling scene videos I’ve ever seen. Pirate Man has regularly shunned conventions in the past; the Hi-8 cut and paste bonanzas Labyrinth and First Blood mix skating with clips of films, adverts and other things even he isn’t too sure about. But ‘Join Us’ takes these ideas and compounds them into something that’s not only weird and funny, but very watchable. The skating summons both the weird and the gnarly too, resulting for a must see for not just those interested in the constantly growing and forever friendly Welsh skate scene, but those interested into how far the boundaries of a skate video can be pushed…into the gutter. Expect a proper review when a DVD arrives and I can remember what happened because I don’t think anyone there could accurately recall what happened, if it even did happen. The pictures taken say the dream was real…
The skate video pre-drinkathon at Chateau Ridout
Boxman’s house was raided! By Wham?
CSC heads bringing the hype
Tom Hobson moonlighting as DJ iDog
A packed Dempsey’s was blown away by Christian’s collection of weird shit
Gibbsy congratulates the director while Rhys Whaley and Chris Jones get better acquainted.
Nick and Stanley descend into a media circlejerk.
My totem kept spinning as I saw Gibbsy show off his dream sponsor…
The lost boys had no intention of being found tonight.
Show me your dirty face.