Photos and interview by Danny Bulmer
Right, who are you?
I’m Alfie Mills, and I am 19.
When did you get into skating?
I was about five or six, and I lived on a block, kind of like an estate, and my godparents lived on that estate as well; we used to go there quite a lot. My godsister, her boyfriend had a skateboard, and he left it there. I started rolling about on that, then kind of took it home because he didn’t come back to get it, and it just started from there. My mum didn’t have that good balance because she had a head injury when she was really young, so when she was teaching me how to skate, it gave her a lot more confidence, and helped her through some stuff, so it was really sick. My dad would take me around quite a few local skateparks, too, like Baiter skatepark, Kings, and there’s an underpass skatepark called Fleetsbridge round near where I live.
Who did you look up to when you started?
Talking about Kings again, I went to Kings and saw Bummer (Danny Bulmer) and all that lot when I was probably about six or seven, and it was really surreal to me because I didn’t know – or hadn’t seen - anything like that. The first videos I saw were Bummer’s local scene videos, too. I still watch them to this day.
Who do you look up to now, now you’ve been skating a while?
In the U.K., I would say Jordan Thackeray, Sam Pulley, Jake Collins, I’d say Bear (Myles) as well - Bear’s killing it in Bristol - and loads of the Bristol heads. I’ve been going up to Bristol quite a lot and meeting up with Tom Leigh as well. I really like skating with Tom Leigh. I look up to a broad selection of people, not just the same old shit. I like to watch a variety of people.
Mr Mills incorporate a solid bluntslide into his journey from rooftop to carpark.
What’s the best trip you’ve been on, in all the years you’ve been skating?
OK, I’m going to mention two. My dad surprised me when I got home one day; he was like, “alright, we’re going to get in the van, I’ve set it all up, we’re going to go all the way down the south coast”. We went to Portland first, and then loads of other parks. I was probably about six or seven at this time, again, so I didn’t know any of these skateparks, I’d never been to any of them before, we went to loads of different places. I was blown away by this experience. When I was younger, my dad just helped me out. Like, every single skatepark opening, jam, anything… He’s given me so much of his time, and put so much of his energy towards it.
The second one is when we were filming for Dark Side of the Moose; we went to so many different skateparks. We went to Portland one day - this is quite a funny story - and we went to a boatyard, and they had loads of different outlines for boats. People have skated there years ago, but they’re not the same boat outlines that were there before, there were loads of different ones. We had fireworks with us, so we were like, “do we let these fireworks off?” We didn’t shoot the fireworks off, luckily, and then a few minutes later security came and said we had to leave.
Wasn’t this on a military base, and you had to hop over a fence to get there?
It was on a military base, but there were loads of outlines for boats, like little different boats. It was really weird, but it was sick though. We skated there for a good 15 minutes.
Tell us about your local skateshops.
We have Moose, and 608 Skate Shop. 608 is one of the oldest shops in the U.K. It was a hardware shop, and my dad got his first board from there, and I got my first board from there.
I got my first board from there.
It used to be called The Skate Shop, but now it’s changed to 608 Skate Shop. The there’s Moose in Boscombe that has been around since 2016, 2017 I would say. They’ve moved three times within the space of about 100 steps; each shop has been within those steps, in a little triangle, and they’ve been bigger every time… it’s a good shop.
What do you do for a living?
I am a carpenter, full time; I work 40 hours a week. I’ve been working on loads of sites in Weymouth. My dad always kind of brought me up on that, building your own shit, doing DIY, not buying things packed; you have to do everything your own way. He’s taught me a lot. I work with him and I work with somebody else, but I’m self-employed. It’s really good.
Is that how you got into carpentry, the old man?
The old man, yeah. He gave me an apprenticeship, but I didn’t go to college or anything. I went straight from school to working on a site, and I’ve been working for four or five years now.
Kicker to backside smith grind, performed in the dead of the Jurassic Coast night.
What are your interests outside of skateboarding?
I really like records. I have quite a few of my dads, and I’ve bought quite a few over the years.
Give us your top three favourite records.
It’s a bit all over the place is my music, because my dad’s shown me most of it.
Bauhaus The Bela Session, that’s my top top.
Full Clip by Gang Starr. I’ve got that, the whole fucking thing. It cost me about £120; it’s the first release and all of that. I love first releases, I can’t get any newer vinyl.
MGMT Oracular Spectacular, that’s such an amazing album.
I could list off about 10, but that’s the top three records that I’ve got.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on a new Clown part for a little video that’s coming out for the end of summer I think, so that should be good, and anything else that the Dorset crew is doing, like Moose, All Aboard and all of that.
Where do you see yourself in 2028?
2028? That’s mental. I’d say I’ll have definitely moved out of my parents’ place (laughs), probably moved up to Bristol or somewhere like that, so I’m kind of more in a scene where there’s a lot of stuff going on. I think I might enjoy that a lot more. Still doing carpentry, I want to make a career in that. I would like to make my own business and have people working for me, so I’m not working for somebody else.
What is your favourite skatepark or spot?
OK, Kings is the skatepark. I’ve been skating there since I started skating, and that’s the park where I’ve seen so much stuff go down. King of Kings, everything there is just so good, all the time the atmosphere is so good, and it’s always been such a home for everyone. Then there’s square as well, square is really good. That’s in the centre of Bournemouth; quite a lot of street heads skate there. I’m going to shout out Baiter as well; shout out the Baiter crew. Leo Warren taught me how to drop in, so that’s the spot.
If you could only skate one obstacle for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Only one obstacle? Just a mini ramp in the middle of a forest, mate. That’s all I need (laughs). Trees hanging down, a three-foot mini ramp, real wide, a hundred thousand foot long.
Alfie ollies over the stairs and prepares to plant his worn urethane on the infamous transition of Portsmouth’s Law Courts.
Have you got any psychological, mental rituals that you have to go through when you’re attempting gnarly shit?
I have to pull my socks up and tap my board on the floor 10 times. I have to keep on tapping it until the tap is right and my board feels nice, then I just go. I twiddle with my shirt, with my hands… I don’t know, but in the moment, something can work, and if a trick is taking me a long, long time, then I need that touch, or feeling. That distraction.
Who are your sponsors?
My sponsors? Clown, Moose, Concrete Killers and Dorset Mush.
Any thanks or shout outs?
Shout out to (Charlie) Gush, the big man! Danny Bulmer, my mum and my dad, Jimmy (P. Moose) as well, everybody in the Dorset crew, just everyone that supports me and everyone that’s given me their time to talk to me and help me through shit. Everyone is lovely round Bournemouth.
Follow Alfie - @_alfiemillss