Intro and Photos by Wade McLaughlin. Interview by Josh Sabini.
Consisting of Andrew Brophy, Dennis Durrant, Poppy Starr, Shanae Collins & Sam Atkins (minus Poppy this time because she was busy in the States turning pro, fair ‘nuff). In the quest for infrequently skated spots, the destination was Hobart. Though we didn’t realise until being there, new spots are rare as rocking horse shit and the weather can turn faster than a chook's neck. But with the help of Tas ex-pat, legendary lensman and professional Cascade drinker- James James, we were able to find a few gems that weren’t already rinsed.
As well as bonding, skateboarding, sightseeing and dragging the Dickies range through the trenches; other objectives of the voyage for some were drinking beers and catching fish. Dennis and Sammy brought their traveller rods in the chase of bust ups. But with DLS out the window, the days were short, so the majority of the time spent out with acceptable weather was spent exploring for spots to skate. Still, no excuse if you ask me.
Despite the dismal weather and lack of bust-ups, we managed to get some good skating in and all found a newly formed love for Hobart. Read on as we highlight some attractions and ask the crew to weigh in on the city that is Australia’s best-kept secret. Keep an eye out for the trip clip to come soon. – Wade Mclaughlin
SHEEZY, BONELESS - SAMMY ATKINS, FRONTSIDE 5050.
Andrew: Hobart is a very nice city; it’s really pleasing to the eye. We went up to the lookout but it was as windy as it gets and super foggy so we couldn’t see much but I’m sure it would have been amazing if you could. But the Mona was for sure the highlight for me, place was incredible to wander about in, it is something special.
Dennis: Yeah, it was a fun trip with a good crew! Hobart had a real chill vibe; I liked the fact that you don’t have to be in a car all day going from spot to spot because it’s a relatively small city and everything is close. It’s really nice, scenery wise too. That was my first time there, so I was pretty hyped just on seeing the place.
Sheezy: The wallabies were sick. They were everywhere, all times of the day, they’d be all over the road, you’d be driving then all of a sudden there’d be a wallaby coming at you. Loved the wildlife. I loved the cool scenery, every time you’re on top of a hill or driving around overlooking the bay, all of the beautiful trees, forests and big bodies of water it was like something out of a postcard.
Sam: Hobart is unreal! I think the best part is just how laid back it seems, no one is in a rush, everyone is super polite, it’s very refreshing.
DENNIS DURRANT, BACKSIDE NOSEBLUNT SLIDE.
Andrew: To be honest pubs are pubs [laughs], they’ve all got the same feeds. But it was cold out and they were warm, so each one was good in that respect. I had a couple wicked parmys, but the curry house that James took us to on the last night was the best spot.
Dennis: One pub comes to mind, I’m not sure what pub it was or anything, but it felt like I was in a different country even though it is Australia still, it kind of had like a snow mountain town pub vibe. There were a few good pubs we went to. I actually learnt the oldest licensed pub and also oldest brewery in Australia is in Hobart. They definitely don’t mind the grog down there!
Sheezy: We went to this one pub in the city that is one of the oldest pubs in Tassie. We went there one night and there was this guy playing acoustic guitar and he was playing covers of Johnny Cash and all this old country music. He was fucking ripping. His fingerpicking and his strumming was so sick. There was this fire burning with marshmallows on top of the fireplace and this dude playing this beautiful country music. It was a vibe, it was really fucking sick.
Sam: We went to a sick pub called the New Sydney it was super old with creaky floorboards and a roaring fireplace, just exactly what a pub should be in my opinion, Classic! And instead of chips with the Parmi’s, they did some crispy roast potatoes, too good.
Andrew: Not really, we kept to ourselves for the most part. Nothing strange to report there.
Dennis: Yeah, that place was a little rough around the edges for sure, but nothing too crazy that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. The one main person that comes to mind is this absolute ‘Karen’ at one of the skateparks we went to. She was just one of those mums that brings her little kids to the park and thinks she owns the joint, telling us off for kicking balls around and skating even. She was a real stinker, stinking up the good vibes.
Sheezy: Everyone was really cool, even random pedestrians in the street and stuff, they would be like ‘oh you don’t see this many people skating one thing at once’. It was cool.
Sam: Haha yeah there are definitely some wild characters out there, but I had a great experience in Glenorchy! I was skating a rail on the main street, and an old lady parked her car directly on the run up. I went up and told her she couldn’t park there because it was a taxi zone, she thanked me and moved on. Then about fifteen minutes later she walked past and gave me a massive bag of chocolates and said it was a thank you for saving her from getting a fine! I felt bad because that’s not why I did it, I just wanted her to move. I’m not actually even sure it really was a taxi zone.
Andrew: I don’t think I was there for long enough to have reasons to not live there. I mean it’s beautiful and seasonal, so it’d probably be rad to live there.
Dennis: A big downside is definitely the cold! I think that would be the main factor for me, and it wasn’t even winter! That place is a little too close to Antarctica for me to want to live there. That’s what happens though when you come from Queensland, I guess.
Sheezy: Yeah, it’s so cold. We went and it wasn’t even winter. It was that bone-chilling cold, makes your teeth feel like they’re going to break. Also, the sun doesn’t rise properly in winter, it stays really low, so you can’t see properly, and I can’t see as is [laughs].
Sam: Nah, I could definitely see myself living there, I’d love to do a four-wheel drive/fishing trip there and see a bit more of the scenery. Although George Simmonds lives there, that’s enough to keep anyone away from that joint.
Andrew: Paying the toll [Laughs]. Sam paid the toll at a spot, a big toll. Slamming or getting the box of beers is the toll.
Dennis: Yeah ya gotta pay the toll brotha! Sammy definitely paid the toll a couple times; he copped a couple good hidings at a few spots. Actually, Sheezy definitely paid the toll too at a skatepark one day, they definitely took one of the gnarliest slams I’ve seen in a while. They’re a beast, they got right back up and kept skating.
Sheezy: Sam paid the fucking toll. He was trying to ollie over a rail into this rock. He was stomping it every time, but his truck kept catching and pitching him forwards. Then he had this one where he was about to roll away and his back wheel got stuck in the gutter at the end of the bank. It pitched him and he hit the ground so hard I felt the ground move. He got so folded, everyone stopped because it looked like he could be really hurt. Then he lets out this scream and hobbles off. He paid the toll so hard.
I paid the toll really hard too. We were at this one skatepark and I was trying this frontside tailslide in a line, I got stuck on one of them and did a fatty to flatty straight to the left-hand side of my body, my elbow got hooked under me and went into my ribs and winded me. My phone went flying out of my pocket, I got smoked. In the video all you can hear is me wheezing. Then when I was on the ground Wade was like ‘what do you need?’ and I was like ‘I need my inhaler’. I was in so much pain I couldn’t breathe. Then after that all the boys started packing up, thinking we were done, and I was like there is no fucking way that I’m taking this slam and not getting this clip and another two attempts after that I landed it. That felt good for sure to land it.
Sam: Yeah, that became a part of our everyday vocab pretty quickly [laughs]. I hate to say it, but I think I might have paid the most tolls. Whacking the tool belt back on after the trip with a bruised back and hips wasn’t too pretty. I think Sheezy might take the cake for the gnarliest slam though, they almost broke the skatepark in half with their ribcage.
Andrew: James James has capped every spot and every pub ten years ago [laughs]. He did the hardest shit at every spot before anyone did and drank more beers in the process [laughs]. Don’t go to Hobart, it’s closed.
Dennis: I think the craziest thing is if you see him drinking water and not a beer, that’s a rare one [laughs]. James is a local legend out there! Everywhere we went we’d run into someone who knew him. I think he even got asked to sign a board at some point. I love James, he’s good quality for sure!
Sheezy: He is pretty famous down there. He is also a walking GPS in Tassie. He knew exactly where every single spot was, he knew all the street names, everything. It was really impressive. We didn’t even need to put pins in he was just like ‘yep, I know how to get there’. He had such good memory of every trick that had been done at every spot. He could just rattle off every trick so quickly.
Sam: Yeah, everyone seems to know James in Tassie for some reason! Maybe it’s because he lived there. One night we were out at a pub and we all took a group photo and asked a stranger to take it, as he took the photo he said, ‘on three, say RATSESH!’ which is James’ video series on YouTube, this guy was obviously a massive fan, it was so weird.