Paul - blindside flip, Hull.
Interview by Scott Palmer.
Photography by Ash Wilson unless otherwise stated.
Now then, Paul. Whilst watching your newest Parallel Skateboards video Land of the Rose, your pride for the local area really shines through. Why are Hull and Yorkshire so special and inspiring to you?
Easy Scott. Yeah, we have a fair bit of footage in the local and surrounding areas! I guess with the brand being based here it’s always good to have footage of the skate spots from the brands roots. For myself, this is where I was born and started skateboarding, so Yorkshire will always be a big part of my life, and Hull is where I really first started skating street properly.
Scott Palmer - kickflip fakie, Hull, 2017. Photo: Horse.
There is a huge amount of spots in the Hull area, but where else in Yorkshire did you and the team travel on your missions to skate and film?
There definitely is! We went to a lot of the nuts and crannies in and around the Hull area: Willerby, Beverley, Hornsea etc. to search for spots and to see what we could find. We also ventured to other places in Yorkshire like Bradford, Leeds, Huddersfield and Wakefield.
Bradford is great for spots, however it was a bit sketchy where we went! We were filming outside the courthouse where James Potts does a gap to lip in his part, and we had a group of dodgy looking lads walking around us, and eyeing up all the camera gear, asking us if we can film music videos for them. They looked proper shifty though, there must have been about 15 of them, they were on their phones and more lads just kept arriving, so once we got James’ trick we bailed as we thought it was going to kick off.
Paul - narrow 360 flip to fakie, Hull.
Did you go on missions outside the Yorkshire region, or was it a conscious effort to film within Yorkshire for this video?
We went to Oxford, Cambridge, London, Sheffield, Wakefield, Huddersfield, York, Liverpool, Bridlington, Scarborough to name a few places, as well as some other cities and towns which I mentioned above, and obviously in and around the Hull area. We tried to skate spots that hadn’t really had much coverage in the U.K., obviously there are some known spots in there, but we tried to search out some more of the lesser-seen spots.
What is the process for filming Parallel videos? Do you all have an idea of tricks and spots that you go out to try and film, or is it just a case of going out skating and filming what happens?
Well, our last video was Heart of England, which was just based in Yorkshire, so for this one we wanted to venture further afield, work our way outwards from where the brand is based; that is why we travelled across England for this next video, hence the name Land of the Rose. With it being a British brand I want it to have some kind of substance to it, or relevance to its heritage, so we’re running with this theme or style. In terms of the skater, we do search for spots before going to them, as you do, and see who’d be up for it, and then we just go places and find spots too, which is always fun, and I guess if someone is feeling it ,we’ll get the camera out and try get something filmed.
Paul - backside noseblunt, not Hull (Liverpool).
You have a lot of different characters on the team who express themselves differently through their skating and trick selection. Is it a conscious effort for Parallel to represent all these different styles, or has it been more of an organic process with riders getting on Parallel who happen to represent their own style?
Obviously style counts, and we wanted to pick people who do their own thing or in their own way. When we started the brand - Josh (O'Connor), Mike (Chudley) and myself – we had the idea with the name ‘Parallel’ to represent skateboarding for what it could symbolise. Everyone on the team is different, but they have parallels within skateboarding. For example, we all enjoy skating for what it is, all get along and appreciate each others style, however we all do our own thing. So, with that being said, skateboarders are all parallel in that respect.
James Potts - noseblunt pull-in, Hull. Photo: Regan.
Ben Fox - backside disaster, Hull. Photo: Regan.
We all know how frustrating skating can be when you are so close to landing a trick but just can’t ride it out, or just struggling to pull the trigger and give it a go. Who on the team stresses the most when filming and trying to rack up footage?
(Laughing) Definitely Josh. Ben (Fox) used to at times. He would just get super stressed then bail, we’d not see him for a couple months, then he’d come back out and kill it! I think when you have pressure on you to film to a decent level, it can get to you at times for sure. I know I have had some moments, like we all do I guess (laughs).
Now this video is complete and out there, when can we expect another video release and premiere from Parallel?
If you managed to watch the full video right to the end, you’ll see the teaser for the next video! It’s a smaller tour style edit, then we want to do something across the whole of the U.K. We’re hoping to do a trip away to one of the countries with in the Commonwealth at some point, again, going back to the theme with relating the videos to heritage and geography.
Paul - Spanish grind, Hull.
What’s next for you and Parallel?
Working on the next video and pushing the brand in its new direction. I’m running it fully myself now so I’ve been re-branding the image over the past year and half, starting with the new video and deck release. Josh and Mike aren’t involved anymore due to other commitments. Mike moved away to Essex and is fully concentrating on his photography, and Josh runs a full time vintage clothing business, he also doesn’t want to be a sponsored skateboarder anymore due to the stress facts mentioned above, as well as just not having the time. But yeah, we’re working with skater owned stores, supporting events where we can with products, working with the mags, we have just started advertising with The Skateboarder's Companion which we’re stoked on - thanks to Rye and Leo for letting us be involved - hopefully get some adverts in a couple more mags this year too. I’d like to have a UK distribution for the brand too. I’m not super keen on the sales side, more into the creative bits, so hopefully we can work something out with a U.K. distribution soon. Apart from that, I’m just try to do things properly as stated above, which is support skateboarding and up and coming skateboarders.
Yeah, always! Thanks to the riders on the brand, old and new - they’ve all had a part to play and made it what it is, hopefully moving towards a new direction and image now with the new video released and decks. Thanks to all the shops that stock the brand around the U.K., we have 30 stores nationwide supporting and stocking the brand, also anyone who has supported myself along the way, as well as the the development of the company.
(Mark) Baines for flowing me some New Balance crepes and always having an interest in the brand, helping me make good decisions with it. Toby (Batchelor) at Rollersnakes for giving me some shop discount when I order, and getting the brand in store - much appreciated boss! Rye & Leo for letting us do an interview on the site and advertising with the mag, I’m really stoked to be involved with it - as well as Graham (Tait) at North for the same reasons! Rad to be advertising in the mag mate, thank you. Ash Wilson for taking multiple photos of myself for this, as well as adverts for Parallel with the other riders - legend. Sean Rodwell, the illustrator I’ve brought on board to help with the brand moving forward, he did our latest graphics, The Union series, he has some amazing work, check him out on Instagram.
Finally yourself Scott, always been a good inspiration for me growing up and helping me where you can, just like now with the questions; much respect. Cheers!