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Push: Dan 'Twiggy' Reeves

Interview and photos: Joseph ‘Ginge’ Piggott

Let’s start this easy. What’s your full name, and where are you from?

My full name is Daniel Reeves, and I am from Twickenham, really. That’s where I grew up, but I was born in West Middlesex Hospital (laughs), if that’s how deep you want to go?

What time were you born?

It was 14:05 and Man United were playing, on a bank holiday Monday (laughs). Is that specific enough for you?

That’s quite specific, yeah. Have you lived in London your whole life?

Greater London, yeah. I lived in the same house with my mum and dad for 23 years, and then I’ve lived in Kingston with my girlfriend Justine for seven years now… which is great.

How was it for you, growing up skating in the City?

Amazing. When we were kids we had our skatepark crew that would go every Saturday or Sunday to London, and skate around, all day. It was great, especially in the summer, because you would skate through the Square Mile and hit all of the spots you’d been watching in the old Blueprint and Death videos.

Who did you look up to in skating back then?

I mean, when I was a kid I was well into people like Corey Duffel, the Pig Wood Slaughterhouse video, and stuff like that. But locally we had a good scene, because we had people like Big Stu and Jake ‘Jaybear’ Schneider from Windsor skatepark, who used to do a thing called Plank Pushers. You could get a train from Twickenham straight to Windsor, and it was the only decent park really, at the time. We used to go there and skate their little contests, but they had a YouTube blog, and we’d watch it all of the time, and it was like watching local celebrities. I ended up skating with Big Stu for years after, which was amazing. I won my first ever contest at Windsor, in the under 16s, the year they got the concrete T-block there. I won a pair of Half Cabs, an Endemic t-shirt, some stickers, and a video, a spin-off of 411VM.

Where there’s a will, there’s a lad in shades figuring out how to take down a West Country ride-on tailslide.

Where does the nickname Twiggy come from? Who started that?

When we were kids we never had a skatepark, so we used to skate Heathfield Rec. It had a series of little ledges, and two metal benches in the play park, so we used to skate there all the time. It was one of the dudes who broke my mate’s mountain bike, bunny hopping it; I feel like his name was Joe, but I can’t be certain. Because I used to wear skinny drainpipe jeans and that, he was like, “you’re so skinny you’re a twig”. He kept at it, then my best mate Scuz who I was skating with latched onto it. That’s Aaron Bentley-Thoburn, who’s a street photographer; he’s a good dude. He made the name stick, now even my friends’ mums call me it. Not just their mums, their dads as well (laughs).

You always seem to be traveling to skate. Have you many good stories from the road? Where has been your favourite place visited so far?

I love Bristol, obviously, because there are loads of good spots and bad street transitions. Margate is good because it’s got Hartsdown Park, which is all banks. I love going to Margate, especially in the summer, because you can swim in the sea and all that. Cardiff has a great scene. Birmingham was good, actually. I went there with (Dan) Cates. That was funny because we basically didn’t stop skating for 48 hours. It was summer, and Rob (Whiston) let us stay at his. It isn’t always the skating that we travel for, you know what I mean? I used to be the designated driver for the boys, Slobheads, when they’d play their gigs. One time we drove to Newcastle, and Macey (Sherman), Jack (Moorhead) and Harry (Jarvis) drank 16 pint cans of Stella, and all the roads were closed so it ended up being a nine and a half hour drive. I was ready for bed by the end of it (laughs). As for good stories, we took you, Ginge, on your first ever skate trip to Cornwall, and it was crazy. We got to skate all of these cool spots, like that fucking insane downhill ditch. Being in his hometown (Adam) Moss showed us about, too. You woke me up at three in the morning when you’d had a few beers in the Surf Lodge bar, and asked me if you could have a sip of water, and I was not pleased about it (laughs). That trip was kind of like a baptism of fire for you, and now you’re a man of the road.

You’re filming quite a lot at the moment. How’s that going? What are you working on?

I’m filming a couple of bits for Death. Me and (Mark) Radman have been getting out on the weekends and skating some different spots. He’s filming a VX video, which is actually coming along sick. Loads of people have got really good clips. Apart from that, I’ve just been filming with the mates, with the crew, just getting clips, and that will probably go towards something… at some point (laughs). Recently, the longest battle I’ve had was a trick that I tried to film at the Parliament slappy ledge in Westminster. I had to go back six times, and I think it was about 18 hours of footage in total. To someone who is good at skating, that would probably be like, “what the fuck?” (Laughs). I got it in the end though, but it was a battle.

As The Trammps once infamously sang: “Burn, burn, burn. Tailblock inferno!”

Who’s the crew? Who do you mostly skate with at the moment?

I’ve been skating with Alex Garman a bit lately. He’s from Woking, but me and him have been skating the City a lot. You know I always skate with Mace, see Jack sometimes, Cates, I’ve been skating a lot with Ginge this year, funnily enough; yourself, sir. This year we’ve been sleeping in tents a lot more again, which has been tiring, but it’s been cool. Some nights sleeping in the rain, they’re gnarly, but it’s good to do. And it’s cheap.

You’re working for Vans a little bit as well; what have you been up to for them?

I sometimes help out at events. It’s only freelance stuff, I’m not on Vans’ payroll or anything like that, but I enjoy it. I don’t mind the humping and bumping…

The humping and bumping?

The lugging and juggling (laughs), walking and talking, I don’t mind a bit of that. It’s just putting up vinyl stickers, and helping build pre-made ramps that people like Trev (Johnson) and Manhead (Josh Young) have made. I’ll help move heavy stuff, put stuff together, or go up a ladder or something (laughs). I do it all. I’ll have a go (laughs).

This year we’ve been sleeping in tents a lot more again. Some nights sleeping in the rain, it’s gnarly, but it’s good to do. And it’s cheap.

You’ve been doing a bit of DIY as well; I saw you were involved with the Eggside crew. How’s that spot coming along?

That crew was rad. Drew (Newing) is the main guy for that, and Steve Gilbert needs to be mentioned for supplying all of the materials to build down there. It was a great spot until we ran a jam down there, and it then got blown out, so it had to get taken away. They did build another few quarterpipes, but they’re gone now, so I think Eggside might be done.

Is there anyone who’s under the radar that you’d like to shout out?

Drew's killing it, obviously not just with the DIY, but he skates all the time. Yourself, Ginge. You’re a great photographer but you’re also a gnarly bastard. It would be bad for me to just say my crew; I’m trying to to think of other people, but everyone is killing it, aren’t they?

Amanda is going to be disappointed at how tame Dan’s hair is in this interview. Rusty rock yank to fakie, Bristol.

Who are your sponsors? List them off…

(Laughing) I ride for Lariatt Skate Shop in St Albans, which is rad. Alex (Barton) does a great job there, he’s a legend, and I get to be on the team with Ginge; a 10 out of 10 geezer. I ride for Death Skateboards, which is amazing. Again, Nick (Zorlac) is a top geezer. I get helped out with Vans from Amanda (Perez) and the crew there, and sometimes Rob gives me the odd set of Sabbath Wheels to keep me rolling, which is always appreciated.

How did you get on Death?

Me and Nick have been skating together for a long time, especially since about 2018, which was when I really started traveling to skate more places to skate. I’d skate with him at Hemel, Pioneer, Friday nights at Harrow with everyone, then we’d get a Chinese after. Nick rung me up one day, in September - not that detail makes any difference - and said, “oh, I forgot to tell you, you’re on Death flow, and you have been for two weeks, I just forgot to tell you when we were skating together” (laughs). That was a rad feeling; that’s how I got on. But I’ve always skated Death boards, and always skated with those guys, so yeah… Death for life (laughs).

I think that’s pretty much it. Is there anyone you’d like to say thanks to?

I’d like to thank you, Ginge, for doing this. It’s been rad to actually go out and shoot a load of photos with you, and thanks to anyone else who’s down to shoot photos with me. Thanks to Amanda and the firm at Vans; Amanda has always had my back. Thanks to Nick and all of the boys at Death, because it’s rad, and it’s amazing to be part of it. Thanks to Alex at Lariatt. Thanks to Justine, because - to be honest - she’s like my full time manager (laughs), who keeps everything going; it gets hectic. And thank you for reading this, you little nutter (laughs). I don’t know what else to say.

One final question then: what’s your all time favourite Cates quote?

“You’ve got your whole life to be grown up; just you wait ’til you’re older”.

Follow Twiggy - @skatetwiggy

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