Supertoxic have been carving out their reputation for producing quality urethane since its inception back in July 2011. As a true skater owned company, it’s run from the heart and also very active, as opposed to one of those brands that launches, fades and becomes something that is just seen on the internet. This all takes time and hard graft of course and that’s why ST has grown more than you would imagine, leaving it’s homegrown mark on pavements and parks all over Europe right now.
Their first full length video, We’re Working On It, is pure British beef, made up of a team of reprobates living all over the UK who live for the skull and give owner Mike Crisp everything in return. This Exposed feature is made up of tales from everyone involved in doing what they love the most: skateboarding and enjoying life.
Watch Ross Zajac’s exclusive curtain closer part from the DVD premiering here today:
What influenced you to run a wheel company Mike?
I’ve been skating for years but studying at uni due to a badly broken ankle, beer, work and a girlfriend got in the way, so it took a back seat for longer than I care to think about. When I finished university I was left newly single with plenty of holiday savings in the bank and a good friend of mine, James Headford was running his own little board brand, Deadmen Skateboards. All the local kids in the Accrington/Clitheroe area were really backing it so it was interesting to watch. As a kid I’d always wanted to have a brand, painting my own decks and making stickers, so I thought this was the time to throw myself head-first back into the skate scene. With Headford already doing the local board brand thing I had a think about it and couldn’t really think of any wheel specific brands in the UK. There were plenty of board co’s with wheels but nothing that was all about the urethane only, so I just went for it.
How long does it take for the wheels to be moulded and ready to skate?
The wheels take around 4 weeks from finalising artwork to hitting the streets. The current duro I use is nice and hard to help with the prevention of flatspots but not too hard that they are too slippy, using nothing but great quality urethane. I am currently working on a few new things with different durometers, sizes, riding surfaces etc. They are all the in the early stages but prepare to see more variation throughout 2015.
Tell us how you managed to get this DVD project off the ground?
As an avid skate DVD collector it seemed an obvious step to start working on a video at some point. I guess it’s a good introduction to the brand and who we are, with a full team and a good group of mates with cameras. We were always naturally filming when we went out so one day I just decided “This is day 1, let’s make a video”.
Did Adam Todhunter naturally fit as the main man on filming duties?
Adam is one of team rider Ross Zajac’s best mates, he was always part of the crew on trips with the team and always down to film, and he’d helped me out a lot with photos and footage of Ross before filming for the video, so for me, he was the obvious choice.
Reading the various stories below from the riders, Berlin seemed to be a popular location for everyone.
Yeah, filming properly kicked off with a big team trip to Berlin. Most of us had never visited the city before and as it is well known for amazing spots we all agreed it should be first on the list. After that, most filming missions were dotted all over the UK, mainly to cities where team riders lived or where we had friends so we could pick up decent spot tour guides and have sofas and floors to crash on.
How long did it take until you were certain the DVD was complete?
It took about 2 years. The original plan was one year but as British weather and skateboarding don’t mix too well the project just continued until we were happy with what we had.
The title happened on its own really. We dropped a bunch of teaser trailers saying were working on a video, but at the time we had no idea of a name. Rye at Sidewalk posted them up one day with the title “We’re working on it” and from there it kind of just stuck. I liked it because as a smaller brand, that’s exactly what we were doing. We still have a long way to go and will always be working on new things and ways to push the brand and team.
Ross Zajac and I grew up skating together in the same small town in Cumbria. The majority of ‘We’re Working On It’ was filmed on weekend trips due to people working on other projects with their local filmers, or not having access to HD. At the time I wasn’t working on any solo projects and neither was Ross, so we were able to fully focus on putting all our effort into filming his part.
Before we even started filming for the video we were on a trip in Milton Keynes to film a weekend edit with Ross and Joey Hurst who rode for Supertoxic at the time. This was when Ross did the wallride that’s at the end of his part. I think it’s so funny and rad that the first trick we filmed ended up being the last trick in the video! So much for last minute hammers.
The Berlin trip we went on in Spring 2013 was the gnarliest! I originally intended just to be tagging along with the crew shooting some photos here and there. But as soon as we landed I found out that the filmer who was meant to be coming on the trip dropped out weeks ago! Luckily I had brought all my gear with me, so it ended up being one of the most intense weeks of my life trying to capture 9 dudes single handedly. Haha! Sometimes I was filming 3 or 4 lines at a time, so just as everyone landed their tricks and I thought I’d be able to sit down for half an hour or half a bit of a skate, someone else would start trying something and I couldn’t resist – followed by trying to get people hyped to do it again for a photo while all anyone wanted to do was leave the spot. I think after only the second day I was struggling to walk in the evenings.
Mostly we tried to film throughout the day and go back out in the evening for round two, just so I had the chance to recharge my batteries. While filming at the famous bench spot I had to run and buy a coffee from a café nearby and sweet talk them into letting me put my batteries on charge while we skated outside!
In just one week we managed to hit so many spots and everyone smashed it to their hardest. A few stand out tricks for me were Charlie’s big spin fs boardslide on an 8 stair rail while everyone else was sat still eating their breakfast! All of the tricks that went down at the fountain dish spot too. That thing is so gnarly! The gap in is big, the landing is rough as hell, there’s a spike in the middle of the dish (which looking back on footage people cover over with hoodys… I guess it never crossed our minds). Some guy even sat down at the roll up to clean his moped with baby wipes at one point! Oh and Radman’s switch pop drop into the huge Alexanderplatz banks mid being kicked out of the spot! Sorry for filming it badly Radderz, that trick deserved some drone action! Anyway, although it was one the most intense weeks of my life I felt privileged to spend it with the Supertoxic guys and be able to capture the whole week.
I’d never actually met any of these boys before this video. I’d only heard of most of them because of their radness on a skateboard. I was 17 at the time and was super stoked to be asked to come on a trip with these dudes. I boarded a flight from Gatwick to Berlin and was greeted by two northerners, Ross and Adam. They liked taking the piss out of me for being a ‘cockney’, therefore I was called Oliver Twist for the rest of trip! Ha! I still couldn’t believe I was skating with these guys. You can take these dudes to ANY spot and they will walk away with a trick in the bag. For example the drained out fountain that looks like a giant penny, (you know the spot) – you gotta pop in and pop out, like a second later…..that shit’s hard to skate. Yet these boys where chucking tricks out of it just like that – fingerflip, back 180, back foot flip, no complies. Charlie just kickflipping into it every go, then nollie biggies out – it was madness. I just sat down and appreciated the session going off. Not only do these geezers kill it on a skateboard but they know how to have fun. As I said I was 17 at the time so didn’t really have my club/rave virginity taken, so a few of them got some booze in me and took me some gnarly like techno/psychedelic garage rave! Haha! It was the funniest night watching German ravers chew their own faces off on high grade ecstasy and throwing some mad shapes with the crew. The next day felt super toxicated! Haha!
As you guessed, Berlin was our main trip filming for the video. The full team and homies were there and had all flown in from all over the UK so we all met up at the hostel. The main thing I always remember on this trip is on the second or third day in we set off to find a spot and we passed a handrail on the way there. We hadn’t even had breakfast yet but a couple of the lads got rolling up while I ran across to the bakers for some food. I got back and I hadn’t even had chance to finish a croissant before Charlie had thrown down two or three hammers and he didn’t slow down throughout the entire trip.
I’ve had so many funny and rad times hanging with this crew skating and traveling over the last few years. The spots, sessions and brews have always popped off. Everyone’s been shredding and seeing that myself first hand and the motivation and dedication of the filmers and the riders towards the video project really got me stoked to go skate. I think that is what it’s all about in the end – good times with the homies skateboarding.
This one time the whole gang came down to Harlow and I think I slept 14 people in my one bedroom flat up on the 13th floor! So dope that everyone was down to make the effort and get together to skate and make shit happen. I didn’t even have enough mugs to make all the heads a tea on wake up! Now that’s some next shit. (And 10 outta 10 for commitment for the bae’s who got no tea or coffee that day. Soldiers. much love). I’ve got a few good memories of heading out to Accrington too, the Pearl of the North, stuck in traffic. Six hours later, pints and flaming sambucca’s were out! Doing this before hitting street spots the next day is heavy speciality if you travel all that way there to hit the MEN ten rail, only to find that when you finally get there, the classy lass at maccy D’s has just washed the floor! That 4.5 hour drive home with no attempts is long but you gotta laugh!
One of the things that stood out for me was Danish breaking his bloody finger in Berlin, the tool! We were at a spot with a whole bunch of ledges that sloped up at the end (the ones that Charlie did the bs nosegrind along and up in the video). Danish was trying a nose manny along up, and then switch manual back along. However, this wasn’t working out all that well until he decided to take a slam and break his finger. The fool then lands the damn thing literally a couple tries after! So if you’re struggling with something…break a finger, apparently it helps. Haha!
As the official ‘Toxic taxi driver’ I have seen this company grow from nothing to what it is today and needless to say it’s been sick to watch it grow. All the lads on the team kill it and I’m glad to call them friends. Big man Ross is my fucking hero, always killing it! I still can’t get over that he went for that rail at the end of the video, just stupid. There have been loads of top times with the Toxic lads traveling all over the UK, Berlin, to Paris and I would love to go on for ages about how sick it all was, but I can’t, because we drank a lot and I can’t remember most of them. I hope Supertoxic and the lads keep killing it for years to come!
LIAM ‘DANISH’ PALMER
The Supertoxic crew has been a really rad buzz since the beginning! Everyone’s excitement to skate, friendly vibe, different backgrounds, positivity, sick designs and the chance to skate with some really rad dudes is what got me hyped in the first place. The lads fucking smash it and we’ve had some really rad times! Whilst filming for the flick we tripped to Berlin, I checked the spots out beforehand and got rare excited to go and do that place over. Haha! We stayed in the grottiest, minging hostel. The room stank of foot cheddar, gwuaarn smoke and mouldy beverages and I swear the water in the shower came out like wallpaper paste, but sod it, who needs a wash anyway!
One of my favourite sessions in Berlin was the spot in the middle of the road and tram tracks where there’s like 10 blocks or some shit – we got bare steamin’ and got money back from the beer bottles to buy more beer! I love that city, though the beer did manage to get the better of me. I threw my board in a paddy and hit the new crew member Danny ‘gammon clan’ Abel smack in the back of his head! Jeez, I felt like a dick, but we drank and smoked and skated ’til our legs were no more! Supertoxic is one of the most positive influences in my life! What a bunch of legends.
Another instance that springs to mind was way back on a trip to Barcelona filming for one of the first tings! We had skated our souls smooth, smoked and drank for a good percentage of the day, smashed a full English at some sound British food joint just round from Macba and then got on the jugs of Sangria! It was like 4 euro or something ridiculous for a baths worth of the stuff, so the bossman Mike Crisp and me took full advantage! We skated Macba for hours that night, I snapped my board and like two or three of the lads were doing nollie biggies off the Macba ledge next to the steps. Fucking amazing times.
So many different things that stand out whilst filming for the ‘Toxic video, mainly Berlin stuff traveling to spots we had seen in videos and other places that locals told us about. The entire trip was one long laugh, from getting to the airport (where Danish missed his fight) to stories about all night discothèques with Headford’s trench foot stinking out the one room we all shared the following day!
The raddest thing of that whole trip was watching Danny Abel heelflip bodyvarial the double set at the Berlin museum. Seeing that set in person to see actually how long it is gives me so much more respect for anyone who’s done a trick down it.
It’s always a good skate meeting up with the guys every now and then, even though everyone is spread pretty much around the country and rarely see each other, each time we meet up it’s like we only just saw each other yesterday. Big up’s to Adam Todhunter for the majority of the filming & editing the whole thing, because if everyone else is a pain in the arse for filming like me he’s handled it like a trooper!
Firstly, I would like to say the biggest thank you to Adam Todhunter, as without him the video wouldn’t be what it is. I’m stoked he was involved. He filmed and edited it better than I could’ve imagined. Skateboarders are a pain in the ass at the best of times, I include myself as one of the worst, but he was always motivated and got shit done. Also Isaac Wilkinson contributed a good chunk of the filming too, so thanks for being part of it! Then of course the whole team for contributing to some of the funniest times of my life so far as well as shredding on a daily basis. – Mike Crisp
Visit Supertoxicurethane.co.uk for the full monty. Thanks to Adam Todhunter for the footage and photos.