Push: Alex Waynforth
Photos: Jamie 'Swampy' Harold
Interview by Callum 'Big Gaffa' Edwards
Introduce yourself, mate.
I’m Alex, I’m 28, and I’m from the city of Milton Keynes.
Aren’t you from Paulerspury, near Towcester?
I’m actually from Haywards Heath mate, near Brighton, but I live in Deanshanger now, in Milton Keynes.
I guess even though the bus station is the mecca of skating in Milton Keynes, it’s probably not where you first started skateboarding…
I first started skating in my local area with my mate Jarred Bateman, who I still skate with today. I was 12, maybe, and we just used to skate the kerbs. We got into it because of his older brother Caleb, he skated and he was fucking sick; he used to wrap his impossibles.
Was the station the closest place to skate from there?
Pretty much. There was Towcester skatepark, I went there a few times, and there was a halfpipe behind Towcester Leisure Centre, but I never skated that. I used to get dropped off in (James) Bush’s village, and we’d skate together; we must’ve been 13 then. After that, I started getting lifts to the bus station.
So when you first started skating down the station, it would have been the mid-2000s, there were probably a few big names down there at the time. Who do you remember seeing?
When I first started going down the bus station, I didn’t know anything about U.K. skating; I was watching DGK videos, Fully Flared, Wade Desarmo. Going to the bus station, I’d be seeing the EGC (Elder Gate Crew) lot, really. Sean Smith, John Doe (Aldritch), Jay Bancroft, all them boys. Gangster style, skating switch, big pop and baggy tees.
So not long after you started skating in Milton Keynes, you seemed to disappear for quite a while.
To be fair, when I finished school at 16, I stopped skating completely. I was doing other shit, playing football; football was always my main thing.
Kieran Wilcox: Did you play for a team?
Brackley FC. Football used to take up my weekends, then when I got a bit older and I was going out and partying, I packed everything in. I quit skating at 16, then got back on it when I was 19, 20, and that’s when I moved to Australia. I lost my job when I was 19, and my uncle who lives in Australia was like, “you can come live with me rent free and have your cousin’s job down at the bar because he’s gone travelling”. So I lived it up rent free in Australia, and that’s where I started skating again. I thought, “what the fuck am I going to do? I’m in Australia on my own”, so I bought a board.
Kieran: Who were the guys you’d be skating with in Australia?
Because I was in Brisbane and I was central, I used to go down to the skate shop, and I met some of the local dudes. Tommy Fynn, Dennis Durrant, Joel Mcilroy…I saw those guys skating at the park a couple of times, but I mainly skated with locals.
Properly switch nosegrind in Milton Keynes city centre.
So then you moved back to England when you were how old?
21. I was there for nearly two years.
And that’s when you started rinsing the station again?
I wouldn’t call it ‘rinsing the station’ (laughs). Bush was off doing Get Lesta stuff at that time, so I was skating with Jarred, Jamie Staples, all of the local lads that I grew up skating with.
How is it possible that you’re as good as you are, but people outside of Milton Keynes don’t really know of you?
I’ve never really been involved with anything. Before Station Grip was a thing, I only ever filmed fucking about with my mates, and then Kieran and Bush hit me up saying, “do you want to ride for Station? We’re filming a video”, I was keen, but I was 25 by that point. Plus there are loads of good skateboarders who aren’t hooked up. Just because you’re good at skating doesn’t mean that you’re going to get hooked up.
Your section in the Station Grip video Pillars was your first serious part in skateboarding; how was it filming that? Did you feel much pressure?
I only put pressure on myself, because I’ll film something and then be like, “ahh, I can do that better” (laughs). It really helped me to focus on something outside of work; I was always thinking of things to do, and you have good sessions and shit sessions, but I enjoyed it for sure. I’ve never really had someone willingly want to point a camera at me before either.
Bush: I can confirm that you’ve filmed everything you’ve ever done more than once, but is it true that you once re-filmed a line because you didn’t like the clothes you were wearing?
(Laughing) This is the thing, we filmed Pillars over two and a half, three years, so a lot of the shit that I first filmed, I think my style changed a little bit…not my style, really, but the clothes probably weren’t baggy enough or something (laughs).
Is there any particular session that stands out to you from filming Pillars, or any trick that you’re proud of?
(Laughing) Proud of? I quite like the manual clip in Northampton, at the kayak place that was drained throughout COVID.
Kieran: Was that the nosemanny revert switch manny, revert nosemanny, pop out?
Bush: That spot will probably never be skated again.
That’s a hard question, but that’s the trick that sticks out the most. It’s hard to choose because I hate a lot of the shit that I’ve done (laughs).
Now you’re currently filming towards the next currently untitled Station Grip project. How does it feel this time around? Is there any difference between filming for this one and filming for Pillars?
I’d say the difference is, with Pillars I knew that it was a full video - a half hour long, full part, full song sort of thing - so I was comparing myself to all of my favourite skate parts…well, I couldn’t compare myself to them, because I don’t skate like that, but the way that a skate part is set out, a full five minute part; I knew I needed to try break up my skateboarding a bit more. This time around, it’s going to be a bit more of a fluid video where I don’t have to try to fill up a song, so I can just focus on doing my best tricks on spots that I enjoy skating. I don’t want to go somewhere and stress out trying to do something; if I’m feeling it that day, then I’m happy to try it, but I’m not going to force myself. I’d rather just enjoy it, and do the shit I’m good at. Also, we’re getting out of Milton Keynes more for the next video.
I'd imagine this one left a ringing in poor Swampy's ears - bike shed to bike shed 360 flip.
One thing we all learnt is that you are an early riser. You’re always skateboarding before 9am, dragging Kieran out to get clips before 10am. Why do you think you’re most productive at that time on a morning?
That’s because of work. In the week, I’ve always gotten up early - 5:30am, 6am - so when it comes to the weekend, my body clock is the same. I’m a carpenter, building houses on site on price, so as soon as I get to work, I’m trying to figure out in my mind how I’m earning my money that day. When I get to the afternoon, I’m a little bit more chilled out, but in the mornings, I’m on it, and that’s carried over to my skating. A lot of the clips I filmed for Pillars were early in the morning.
Kieran: It would be 11am and we’d have already got two clips.
Then you get nothing all afternoon (laughs).
Any young Milton Keynes skaters you’ve got on your radar at the moment that you’d like to talk about?
Well, I’ve got to shout out my boy Felix Redman. He’s been filming for the next video with Station; he’s got a good style and a good selection of tricks. Felix’s friendship group, they’re kind of the MK youngsters; they’re the South Row boys, they skate up at New Plaza.
Any shout outs and thanks you want to give?
Shout out you three - Gaffa, Kieran, Bush. Station Grip, Marc Rollinson for everything that he’s hooked me up with, and everything he does for the MK scene. Swampy for the photos, Ryan Gray and The Skateboarder’s Companion for the interview. Shout out Trav at Illicit, Leonard, my dog, and my missus as well, Rosie.
Lastly, have you got any other sponsors apart from Station Grip?
Nah, not at the moment.
Someone fucking hook him up!
Follow Alex - @alex.wf