…Become a Southbank Legend;
Southbank is the home and heart and Avalon and Mecca of English skateboarding. Some dudes love it, some twats hate it. It sits all brutal-futuristic on the river in the middle of the town and it’s brought up every all-star and gutter waif in London who’s ever tumbled about in skating. It’s a gloomy concrete weed-fuggy derelict nut-bag magnet, a re-appropriated void of arty modernist space and bricks that look like wood and it’s been like that since the skate-stick got to Albion. Imagine how cool it would be to be a Southbank Legend. If you want to have a go at it, here’s the options; our A to G of how to be a G.
A: Why not try continuously dressing like Bill or Ted in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? Wear 80s hair-metal outfits (massive white high-tops, spray-on jeans, ripped Megadeath vest, aviators etc). You could, um, cave-man off the top of the phone box and do double flips on pink wheels and throw in a willy grind here and there for good measure. Cultivate a constantly-cider-drunk, hilarious party-animal attitude and paint the name of your band on the back of your leather biker jacket. If you sustain this convincingly for long enough, and back it up with classic life-enhancers like having an inverted cross and the word ‘Fuck’ tattooed on your wrist, you will be allowed to bring your electric guitar and a mini-amp down to Southbank and ROCK OUT. Yes! You are the coolest! (see; Gnarly Tom).
B: Try becoming so deeply engrained into the skate-spot’s concrete vortex mythology that you actually get the word ‘Southbank’ stuck permanently on the front of your name. This is not an easy thing to do but it’s possible. You could skate there so much and so ten-push fast that it’s like you own the whole spot completely. You need to be aiming for getting the sort of reputation where people say stuff about you like; “I seen him ollie out the big banks all hunched up and he scraped his shoulder on the ceiling”. When you tire of doing the biggest jumps that will actually fit in Southbank, you could be like the Peckham Tom Sawyer and bring your fishing rod to the Thames-side for a bit of grubby river Olly Twist S.B fishing. Catch a big eel. Go on. Reel it in on the sly. Put it in your mate’s rucksack. Wait for him to find it and FREAK OUT COMPLETELY and then crack up and tell us about it five years later. Do this sort of thing since way back when and you’ve got a ticket to ride around shining to Southbank Legendville. (Population: Southbank Sam).
C: Form a crew of three that shamelessly rips off the Californian Piss Drunks logo and calls itself something like ‘Lean Beans’. Make the focus of the crew based heavily around smoking weed but also all skate AMAZINGLY and have powerful style and man-it-up with tre flips over the block or 50-50 180-outs on the wooden beam off the stairs. Be from round here since day dot and veer towards the screwball end of the spectrum. Fashion tip; take a regular ‘look’ (like casual prog-rock mod or Clapham hip hop G who used to dress like Hendrix) and then take it to the power of 10. (see; Billy Bernard Baxter, Karim Ian Bakhtaoui, PNut).
D: If you’re a pint-sized pre-pubescent, you’d do well to look towards everyone’s favourite Chelsea-obsessed born-and-bred-in-Vauxhall little ladykiller for inspiration. Be willing to spend long summer afternoons of your adolescence crammed inside an old cardboard box and sporadically jumping out, wild-eyed-screaming, at terrified riverside strollers. Skate tip; pick one trick and do it all the time and better than anyone else could ever hope to do it. Be so cool in international cool-guy skateboarder circles that your name appears in the opening credits of Gnar Gnar, or some other similarly cool video (note; there are none). Oh and if you do choose this route to Southbank Legend-dom, don’t be afraid to cry like a baby sometimes when you fall off and hurt yourself. (see; Nugget, aka Gabriel Pluckrose) [other note; Nugget is no longer a pint-sized pre-pubescent]
E: For Australians, the options are few and challenging. If you show up to Southbank as an eager farm-raised sixteen year-old chain smoker with a body like Sylvester Stallone giving Hulk Hogan a piggy-back and the most powerful big ollie in the world, you’ll be bonza mate. The chances of you pulling this off are of course slim. So get good at being constantly mad-puppy-hungry to party like it’s nineteen ninety nine ninety nine ninety (see; Brophy).
F: Jewish? Don’t skate like the rest of the Goys. You might want to try having some one-off, massive-pop, arty city-hippy style. Writing graffiti back in the day and having seen stuff like, oh I don’t know; American Neill fall on the Tube tracks one time or something may help you attain S.B Legend status. (see; Toby Shuall. On Youtube. Like, NOW. Put this wretched rag down) [All hail Suburban Bliss. LSD: London Skates Dominate].
G: If you’re injured and don’t skate so much anymore, try to keep bunning it constantly, in the undercroft or out by the river, and have a murky world-class skate-glorious past. Maybe you’re from Manchester and you breezed to San Francisco as a boy and Danny Way put you on Blind in the early nineties. It could be like; your frontside heelflip at Pier 7 was in the Black Issue of Big Brother Magazine and it was the Best Thing Ever. If you do skate now, only do it in bare feet because you don’t want to scuff your SHOWERMAN Ralph Lauren brogue boots. Always wear the best-put together most gangsta-hobo outfits that London has ever seen. (see; Femi Bukunola).