What is your name, and how old are you?
My name is Geoff and I’m 31 years old
Do you have a skatename! And what do you do in skateboarding?
Some friends like like to call me Heffe as I often have a suspect looking Mexican moustache. I’ve been teaching skateboarding in schools all over England for 10 years. I also host a series of skate camps which last year were visited by 197 young people from 16 different countries.
How long have you been skateboarding?
I started when I was 13 which means I’ve been rolling 18 years. My body certainly shows it but for me it still feels like I only started yesterday. Always buzzing for the next skate.
How your work in skateboarding did start?
My local town council needed a skateboarder to help with an activity they were providing. I was doing some work experience at the local skate shop and they just rocked up and asked me. I was stoked despite I had no idea what I was doing.
Did skateboarding change your personality?
Hmm, that’s a tricky one. I’m sure it must of. I’m still loads more confident on a skateboard than I am off it. I’d rather jump off a roof than try and talk to a girl. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for skateboarders. My local skate scene has built me up to have what I have today so I owe it everything and hence will always put the new younger up and coming little shredders first. It really teaches you an element of family. It just gets me stoked constantly and I try and make sure that comes through into the rest of my life.
What do you say about children and youths interaction in your community with skateboarding?
I say the more the merrier. It’s a great activity for raising kids confidence, helping them make friends, helping them learn to get back up when they get knocked down. Just a range of benefits which I always imagine will help them in other parts of their life. It can give them focus and drive and basically skaters are always trying to achieve that next trick, push their limits to be one step better than they currently are, and that’s a worthy fight! If you approach every day, every task like this, you’ll be winning.
“Skateboarding Is not a crime” what can you say about this phrase?
Skateboarding isn’t a crime, unless you make it so. These days there’s so much red tape and fear of liability that everyone should take the odd moment to think about what their actually doing. Trespassing on property to skate a certain spot, damaging someones property as you do certain tricks, or creating an obstruction or distraction to others typical way of life. Are you putting someone else at risk even if indirectly. It’s not always the public we endanger by skating certain spots, but it could be a decent human being – the security guard who loses his job if he doesn’t do as he is asked by the bosses up stairs. They got to do their job and we got to do ours, not worth an incident over. There’s a whole planet to skate.
What are your views on skateboarding in next 5 years?
Well I hear skating made it into the Olympics so I’m hoping it will get a bit more credible, have a new stream of funding as more and better facilities are required. Hopefully skate schools worldwide continue to grow and deliver fantastic opportunities to people of all ages. Hopefully our skate camps continue to grow. Currently we’ve had visitors from about 20 countries so keen to expand on that. I hope the hardcore skaters in America continue to baffle me with how good people can get, and I hope the unknown skaters from the streets of everywhere just continue to love their skating.
What do you say about skateboarding at the park and street?
For me I enjoy watching street skating, every spot is unique with it’s own set of imperfections. Street spots have a certain authenticity about them. Doing a trick down a stair set in the streets can mean, bouncing over the drain, dodging the cracked paving slabs, sliding around a corner and jumping the stairs and making sure you don’t land in the wet patch. It can be a battle just too get a basic trick. Skate parks however are purpose built and hence are made as best they can. Usually smooth and straight run ups for a lot of basic obstacles. Great places to learn stuff though. If ya want a chilled skate, hit up ya local park, if you want to get hesh and hectic – go hit the streets!
Skateboarding in Africa grows as a mushroom does this happen also in your place?
Not really sure how mushrooms grow, but if you mean rapidly and all over the place, then I guess that kind of happens in England too. There’s always been a strong underground scene and every now and then there is a sudden burst of growth. Maybe because of a new computer game, or over summer when there are more tours and events on.
What advice can you give to young skateboarders?
I get asked this a lot and it’s difficult to answer as skateboarding can be done so many ways so you can almost always contradict yourself. My current go to vague response is something like this – 1) wide feet 2) don’t lean back 3) have fun 4) don’t worry if you fall, everyone falls, jump back up and have another go, and 5) don’t worry if you learn slow, it’s a hard sport and the first bits probably the hardest bit. Keep going cos it’s about to get so good!
What is your favorite skateboarding event and why?
I loved doing the Monster Skate Camps in Sydney Australia. They were really well organized and I had a load of fun with the kids that went. I also love the English National Adventure Sports Show. It’s basically a sports festival, skate, bmx, moto-x, dirt bikes, inline skates, music and parties. Just a good excuse to see old friends, have a shred and then let loose in the evenings. And any excuse to go to Barcalona, that place is wicked.
Skateboarding is a future, what can you tell Africa skaters?
If you look after skateboarding, it will look after you. Help local scenes develop, look after the youngsters, try and encourage it in schools and get new facilities built. In return you will have a wealth of achievement, new friends, a more active and happy community. It’s just all positive with skateboarding!
Well, lets close this with any funny experience you have on skateboarding.
Skateboarding has been one long funny experience. From messing around with your mates on the road outside your parents house, to tours abroad. Probably the dumbest I’ve been, I drove 4 hours to a contest, got out the car, fell over an broke my ankle, stumbled out of hospital, tripped on pavement and broke my wrist. Just a bad day all round I guess. Luck definitely wasn’t on my side that day.
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