Behind The Cover - October 2011: Dan Cates

Ryan Gray Ryan Gray

The annual Big Push issue of the mag saw Dan Cates preempt this years “recreate a cover challenge” by paying homage to Simon Woodstock’s infamous Big Brother “fishtank” cover, taking Rob Shaw along for the journey and scoring him his second cover in three months!

Read on below to find out what Dan made of the whole fishtank mission and more…

No stranger the bizarre and challenging photo opportunity, you graced the cover back in October with this homage to the iconic Simon Woodstock Big Brother cover. Had you planned this to be a cover or were you just out for a good time trying something fun?
My initial thought was quite simply: “I have to do this”. It had always been in the back of my mind to try and do it, just because the original photo was so amazing to me. It was more of a tribute than anything else, I was trying to say “Hey this photo was incredible, here’s a reminder”. Rob and I had a great time shooting it and we were both pretty stunned at how similar to the original it ended up being.
When I saw the final shot on the computer it did occur to me that because it was originally a cover and because it had come out so well, that it had the potential to be a cover again, but I really didn’t expect anyone else to see it that way. I thought it would probably end up as a page in the mag or something, which would have been great, but I actually ended up with a best-case scenario!

When did you find out that it was going to be a cover and, did it turn out how you expected it to?
Rob Shaw and myself went to the premiere of the Sidewalk video and afterwards Rye and Horsley kind of hinted to Rob that he had got another cover shot, but he got so unbelievably drunk on the free booze at the afterparty that he couldn’t remember exactly what they had said to him. So we pretty much knew that the mag were going to run my cover, but because Rob is a terrible drunk and he’d somehow managed to get all confused, we couldn’t say for sure. At one point Rob thought he’d imagined the whole thing. I realised it was for real when Ben emailed me about it a few days later.

You’re obviously no stranger to magazine and video coverage; do you still get stoked on getting a cover?
Are you kidding me? It pretty much made my year! I seriously could not believe it. When I was a kid I used to look at skaters in the mags like they were gods, I honestly never once even dreamed that I would get a photo in a magazine, let alone the cover. Sidewalk has shown me a lot of love over the years; I’d do anything for those guys.

What’s next as far as the ‘wacky boards’ goes? Surely this is you pinnacle, right?
This one was pretty damn wacky, even by my standards. But I have to say, I still have a few tricks up my sleeve. I’m in the process of trying to get a skateboard made out of toughened glass and Zorlac is getting me these miniature ski’s that bolt onto your trucks instead of wheels so that you can basically ride on snow. I’m pretty excited about those. I also have a few more things lined up that I want to shoot with Rob. He’s good to work with because he is always down for doing something a little bit different and he doesn’t just laugh when you present him with a ridiculous idea for a photo that might never get run.

With your life in 2011 being as busy as ever due to university work, your role at Power Distribution, pro and sponsorship duties and an unquenchable thirst for travel, what have been some of the high points and what do you have lined up for 2012?
High points for me have been finishing my first year at university, going to Copenhagen with Monster energy (thank you James Vooght you are a true legend), taking my Mum on holiday to the Isle of Capri (I love you Mum), going on a trip to Croatia and Slovenia with Questions, Snelling and Jonathan Haye (the most insane crew ever – so much fun), skating my mini ramp, skating my friend Dick’s new bowl, hanging out with Rob Smith (not when he’s drunk), meeting my girlfriend, Skegness Mini Ramp Champs, Estonia, Stockwell, the fact that I’m still sponsored after all these years, getting a Sidewalk interview, and, of course, getting a Sidewalk cover.
Things that I have lined up for 2012 so far would be: Morocco for New Year, more uni, France, catching up with old friends, hopefully plenty of judging at all the contests and California with my new skate crew, Questions and Snelling. Hopefully I’ll see you guys along the way.
Keep buying skateboard magazines!!!

Check out Dan and his longboard at BaySixty6:

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