Snaddon, Smith and King talk DC's Big Push 2011!

Ryan Gray Ryan Gray

MPORA Action Sports

All this week CJ will be bringing you interviews with each of the teams from the 2011 Big Push, starting this morning with last years winners, DC!

Get reading below to find out what Dave Snaddon, Jody Smith and Steve King made of last years mission, then check back tomorrow for more…

Dave Snaddon – Kickflip. Photo: Leo

Dave Snaddon

Never one to shy away from a bit of travel and well in tune with how to cope with the intensity of something like the Big Push, how did you find the spots this year and was there anything that you didn’t get to skate and want to head back to?
This year’s Big Push was my favourite one so far by miles. There wasn’t as much travelling involved which gave us more time to skate. Other years, especially the one when we were in London, we were in the van a lot travelling or stuck in traffic. This year we were missioning around Wales, Bristol and Cornwall so most of the spots were only thirty minutes to an hour away. The spots we skated were amazing!! There are some seriously dope spots in the Welsh towns we visited.
This one spot for example was so different and looked amazing, the run out literally went into the sea! There were a lot of wicked spots that hadn’t been super rinsed either.
I would like to go back to most of the spots we visited like the gap into a bank then drop off into rough as fuck ride out in Swansea.

How did you find the challenges this year? For me, recreating the covers was brilliant and in the case of DC, you guys actually managed to get the original cover man, Flynn Trotman, out to re-shoot the photo. How was that, did it get the group hyped to see history being remade?
The challenges are always good fun, this year there were some wicked ones in there I liked the “make a spot that’s unskateable skateable”, that was so funny trying to glue that piece of angle iron onto a ledge or something, in the end we just duck taped ours to a hubba and we got John “keeeeeeen as f**k” Bell to hop straight on it in the morning ha-ha. Personally, the last thing I want for breakfast is to try and grind down a grizzly old wall with a bit of metal duck taped to it flapping about in the wind! Fair play Bell!
It was wicked to see Flynn killing it again, we used to skate together quite a bit but don’t see him that much these days, he was on it that day too, got straight out of the car couple of flat land tricks then hopped straight on the rail! The photo looked pretty much exactly the same but the new photo was a bit steezier! Sick!

Just looking through the article now and checking out your 360 flip over the rail into the bank at the Newport Uni. How was it trying to skate that thing with the dodgy wooden run up? I hear you guys might have had a little bit of trouble with the police too?
I’ve wanted to skate this spot for ages after seeing all the photos and footage. I had a few ideas in my head and was nagging everyone saying “when we hitting the Newport uni spot up?”. Sam “Pulldog” Pulley was saying how the week of the Big Push was probably going to be the last chance to skate it cuz the sites getting knocked down any day! We were obviously well keen to hit it before it’s gone!
When we got there, the run up as u said, was absolutely gash! Bits of ply wood and road signs taped together round a corner and it was slippery as fuck as well!
After ten minutes, everyone had ollied over it and the session was on! It was sick when everyone got their tricks, John’s 5-0 into the bank was amazing and Steve King’s front shuv and Varial heel were ridiculous. I defiantly had to work for the tre!
When everyone was done there was one more thing that Pulldog was eye-ing up. He wanted to ollie through this window out of the bank, which would look sick but obviously there was a window in the way. We got stuck in and smashed the window and tried to get the frame out so he would have enough room, obviously that created quite a lot of noise as the smashing probably echoed out quite a bit. Someone shouted “Police!”. We all shat ourselves and ran to the bags trying to pack everything up and before I knew it we were out of the fence into a big open field, so we ducked into the bushes to try find a way out. Whilst everyone was getting out of there I was busy slipping into thorn bushes trying to keep quite and George Nevin had stumbled on a wasp nest and was getting stung all over! I got up and tried getting the wasps off him but we freaked out and needed to get into the open but there were Police walking round so we had to be super careful. Once we were in the open we George was yelling “awe, f**k, get em off me” and I was swinging his t-shirt around him to get them off.
Later we found out that the Police were about fifty yards away from us but couldn’t see us because there was a slope. George and me now had to find a way out but couldn’t bump into the Police, as we would get fucked. We snuck round like mission impossible trying not to be seen only to find Sean Smith hiding behind this barrel. It was so funny cuz we thought everyone got out.
After sitting in the bush sweating for fifteen minutes with someone’s dog barking at us blowing our cover we missioned out through the back gate and onto the main and phoned everyone to see where they were only to find out whilst we were in a bush sweating, hiding from the Police they were in Le Pub having a pint!

Some of the spots that you guys visited looked like they’re in the middle of nowhere and well off the beaten ‘skate tour track’. Where was that spot you kickflipped into the bank near the beach and how did you guys skating there go down with the locals?
The towns we visited were definitely off the beaten track a bit, but there were some gems! That spot was on the sea front in Porthcawl, there’s a new bowl complex there, which is savage so we checked that after. Again, that spot just looked amazing even though it was rough as fuck, it was sick to skate.
There was that and a little drive down was the manny pad, sick! There were some wicked spots in Cornwall too, the Bodmin double set was sick, defiantly go back those ways and Newquay was cool. Always walked past the spots but never skated them, the ollie John did over the hubba was so sick and Dylan’s overcook down the Church rail was insane! We also visited some massive bowls were we met up with Sam Bosworth which was rad. Pulley and Stenty cruised the bowls and racked up the bowl footage.

Jody Smith – switch ollie. Photo: Leo

Jody Smith

This was your first year on the Big Push, right? Your twin brother Leo had been on the previous two DC ones, did he let you know what you were in for and was it everything that you expected?
Yeah this was my first Big Push with DC, I’ve been gagging to get involved for a couple of years but it’s always clashed with a DC European tour so I could never do it. I made sure this year that I was definitely going to get involved even if it meant leaving early from another trip. Leo hadn’t really said to much to me about the Big Push trips, I guess just watching last years edit gave me an insight on what it might be like.

You had a pretty heavy hitting and varied crew this year, what were some of the stand out skate and non-skate comedy moments?
Yep we had the full squad this year and some help from Steve King who absolutely smashed it! It’s hard to think of a standout moment because to be quite honest I was laughing all the time, but I think without question one the funniest moment for me was Pulley’s T-pain song titled “Poo in Donalds”. Basically we’d all been making these funny auto tune songs with this iPhone app, Snadz created an upbeat love song about Dykie which had me in stitches but then Pulley blew us all away with his song! I’m pretty sure the first time I heard it I laughed so hard a little bit of piss came out!

This was the last year that your team-managing predecessor James ‘Stenty’ Stentiford would be in charge. Were you keeping a keen eye on how he was dealing with any problems, as it’ll be you in the driving seat next year?
I suppose knowing that it would be me taking charge next year made me analyse his TM steez and techniques, and I’d be lying if i said I’m not slightly nervous about the next one, but, at the same time, we have such a rad team at the moment I’m excited also. I’m sure I’ll be ringing up Stenty for his advice and some words of encouragement! Ha-ha

We all saw the shocking news about John Bell’s leg and that he nearly lost it due to injury and then infection. Didn’t it all start on the Big Push, and how was it when you found out how serious it had gotten?
Well I bumped into John a few weeks after the trip down my way; he’d tagged along with the Crayon team and was skating some Cornish spots. He was saying to me, with a big smile, about his hip and how it was giving him some discomfort and that he was getting it checked out that day while he was down in Cornwall. Not sure if it was later that day or the next, but Sharpy (Leo Sharp) sent me a horrific picture message of Johns leg! Words can’t describe how bad it looked and it reminded me of that disgusting footage of Charlie Wilkins squeezing all that crap out of this hip from the 1998 Transit promo!
It has definitely made me think about the next time i get a hipper that’s for sure! Get well soon John.

Steve King – Backside 360 ollie. Photo: Leo.

Steve King

Having been recently added to the DC crew listings, this was your first official trip with the main guys. How did you find the Big Push and was it a good introduction for yourself to the rest of the team and the wider skate community?
Hell yeah! I had a great time, saw loads of new places and I can’t think of a better way to get exposure in the UK. Everyone watches the Big Bush!

Did you find that you had to prove yourself on and off your board to a certain respect?
Yeah man, most of them are Pros so there was definitely some pressure. I met Sean Smith and straight away he does a switch backside smith on Welsh Office blocks when I was still trying warm up with kickflips on the flat. But every session was good and chilled out.

Known mainly around the Cardiff and South Wales scenes, how was it for you being able to branch out and skate a bunch of rad new spots all over the country?
Getting out of Cardiff was the best thing about the trip! Most of the spots round here are sketchy and f**ked so it was good to skate some decent things for a change. Even just going to Swansea with the team meant I got to skate spots I never would have known about otherwise. Especially that gap to bank where I stepped in a wasps nest and got stung like 30 times. Ha-ha!

In the edit, you guys skate that manny pad into a bank heading directly down to the sea via some pretty sketchy looking rocks. Where is that, how did you guys find it and what did the local fishermen think of you lot skating there?
That manny pad in Porthcawl was awesome. My mate found it and he wasn’t sure that it was even skateable. When we got there were two old ladies sitting right in the way, but they moved when we asked them to. You wouldn’t get that in Cardiff!

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Photographers Stories 2011 - Chris Johnson