Gear Check: Joe Gavin

If ever there was a man in need of the ‘no intro needed’ treatment, it surely has to be Joe Gavin? Joe’s name is synonymous with Manchester skateboarding, owing to the fact he’s been a constant force within his hometown’s thriving scene for well over two decades. In addition to being one of the most active skateboarders in the country, Joe is also a dedicated documenter of Mancunian skateboarding, having only a few weeks ago released his latest full-length video New Normal for Note Skateshop – if you have yet to enjoy the whole 30 minute video, give that a watch here.

Anyway, we decided to catch up with Joe during a recent visit to Manchester, in order to see exactly what product has kept him charging through this gradually passing winter. Read on to find out…

Joe and Kyle Wilson in Madrid, for Thunder Trucks.

Following the Joe’s parting of ways with The Harmony in 2012, he quickly remerged as the driving force behind Landscape, where he continued to serve as a fully fledged professional, team manager, filmer, and pretty much everything else, until the company came to an unfortunate end in 2019. Last year, it was announced that Joe had in fact joined the ranks of The National Skateboard Co., giving their roster a serious Mancunian shot to the arm.

A lot of shops found that wide boards had decreased in popularity across the course of 2020, and Joe’s set up was one such casualty of this shift in trends. Having started out the year on 8.375” boards, Joe ended 2020 having shaved off 0.125” from his chosen width, favouring a slightly slimmer 8.25” plank to further explore the streets of his hometown on. The red wood-stained number you can see here answers to the name of Logo Whirl, and is offered on the steeper of the two concaves that The National Skateboard Co. produce. The substantial kick on both the nose and the tail are evidently perfect for kickflipping over logs, and locking into switch flip back tailing the Stockport ledges. Ever the consummate professional, Joe is also sporting a sizable sticker for popular clothing brand Carhartt, who have clothed his Mancunian form for many a year now. On the tail of Joe’s board can be located a sticker for Maybe Hardware – the Manchester based major player of the bolt world, which Joe in facts owns and operates…

Not since Shortys heyday back in the mid-to-late 1990s has a bolt company caused such a stir across the industry. Having launched in 2020, Maybe Hardware hit the ground running, with top tier artwork, on point garments, a family of representatives that stretches out far beyond the company’s Manchester roots, and a series of collaborations with good causes that Joe has chosen to support. And that’s without mentioning the bolts themselves, which, as the PR clearly states, are nothing short of ‘next level’. Here, you can see the first run of 1” allen key operated Maybe bolts firmly holding Joe’s natural polished 148 Thunder Trucks to his National plank. Thunder emerged out of Deluxe Distribution back in 1986, and over the course of the company’s 35-year history, their trucks have constantly evolved and progressed. Thunder 148s are perfectly suited to Joe’s chosen board width of 8.25”, and are positioned of something of a high truck, meaning you can roll with a larger wheel (roughly up to 60mm) without running the risk of wheelbite. The titanium construction of the axels also keeps the weight of the truck rather low, whilst ensuring both grinding performance and strength. Completing Joe’s undercarriage are the timeless choice of 53mm Spitfire Formula Four wheels. The straight cut profile and thin riding surface of Formula Fours, paired with the solid-as-you-like 99DU hardness, make these wheels ideal for blasting your way through the north-western winter.

What else would you expect to find on the feet of Joe Gavin, but some classic Nike SB Low Pro Dunks? These light cream Thunderstorm Dunks might gain you upwards of a £250 payout on StockX right now, but Joe doesn’t care for that nonsense, opting to religiously skate his Dunks instead. Dunks are an absolutely iconic shoe design for Nike, and the durable SB makeover has seen the silhouette become massively popular with skateboarders the world over since they first hit the marketplace back in 2003.

Simplicity is key with these vulcanised Thunderstorm Dunks – the suede and leather upper provides strength and protection, the padded lining and tongue offer comfort and protection, whilst the Zoom Air heel unit and innersole help absorb some of the shock of heavy impact. It doesn’t hurt that, whilst skating well, they look pretty damn dope, too.

So there you have it; you should now be able to go out an equip yourself with all of the kit you need to emulate Joe Gavin. Whether or not you’ll be able to impeccably frontside nollie switch crook orange barriers is another matter entirely…

Frontside nollie switch crook, Cottonopolis. Photo: Reece Leung.


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