Respect Where Due: Josh “Morph” Malthus

Over the many years I have known Morph he has always held the throttle wide open. Full speed, one hundred percent committed and head first. There is no hesitation of caution about his skateboarding, and he is not intimidated by brutal terrain. He will cop a beating on a trick that will make your eyes water, he won’t stop until he rolls away in his trademark crouched style.

All these photographs were taken over a couple of days on the road in the South Island of New Zealand. He was nursing an injury, I had seen him a couple of months before with a full cast on his ankle to his knee and a cane. That didn’t stop him rolling into Lynfield bowl!

He may look like a Warlock’s understudy, but he is a kind hearted, considered bloke and loyal to his friends.

Hope to roll with you again soon mate

Textbook boosted boneless

Then a 270 boneless one

Stalefish in Grom Boy’s front yard

A very loud layback smith

Layback five 0 on a brutal vert wall.

Flapped out frontside air

Respect Where Due Revisited: Tim “Cunnaz” Cunneen

I reckon it’s about time I did a few more of these. The last one on Cunnaz was 5 years ago. Has old mate slowed down? No chance. Sure, he has a spawn now, but fatherhood has not taken the fizz out of his Fanta fuelled veins. It is rad to see him embrace his new role as well.

The “Respect Where Due” articles were really about giving a nod to the underground rippers. Those skaters that everyone respects, that throw it down during the session, time after time. Most of these photographs are from our recent New Zealand trip you can check out here.

Cunnaz absolutely slayed it. Ten days on the road, ripping it up every single spot. Damn good road company too, keeping the yarns and vibes rolling along as we chalked up the kilometres.

I’ll let the images do the talking, and endeavour to keep these going.

This hip was a really harsh blend, old crusty west coast battered concrete. Steep as. Blasting after ten days straight.

Hucking a solid melon in Wanaka, before cooling off in the river. Les Hiddins attire.

It took me a million goes to chicken scratch here. Go there, it’s fucked. Back tail that would have to be an NBD

Back d’s on lock. How’s the serenity?

This think is jacked. No idea how he got into that bit. Pitted.

Mild in the streets: 41.

Since I turned the big four zero last year I thought a good way to motivate my self was to try and get a few skateboarding photographs every year. Now my age has clicked over it has come time to share a few.

So behold, bask in my underwhelming lameness. As time goes onwards these pissweak skateboarding feats will become progressively worse. It will be a timelapse where I slowly morph from a pirate into a wizard. So, unfortunately, this is as good as it is going to get.

Thank you to Duncan Ewington aka @ewingram for the photos. Us grown man grommets help each other to keep the stoke alive. You can call shotgun anytime mate.

A hazard plant on an overnighter to Kerang. Sleeping next to the park with a belly full of beer and BBQ is as good as it gets.

Lexi’s ramp is insane. Seeing him hit it is superhuman shit. The transition to vert ratio is wild.

This is just a go to trick. However, it’s on my backyard ramp and there is nuclear stuff coming out of my arse. Every time I look at my backyard I am reminded that I have awesome mates and that I am still a child. I think this white t shirt phase lasted a week max.

Bucket list stuff. Carving a cake in a backyard pool. This doesn’t look like much but I would say it took a good hour. The struggle is real.

My favourite ramp at Mat’s shed in Kyneton. Rare front feeble.

Slappies are the best. I have wanted to have a crack at this for ages. I’m sure a little bit of wee came out.

Well bugger me I’m 40: Mild in the streets

Why would you do a blog post on your own skateboarding? Well lets face it no one else is going to run these photos. There are vast grades of skateboarding that ranges from pissweak to mind blowing. I am under no illusion to which end of the scale my “skill” lies. But that is largely irrelevant.

Skateboarding is difficult. It doesn’t get easier as the teeth marks of time leave their scars. I have been finding myself staying in second gear a fair bit. I thought with the milestone of 40 hovering on the horizon I should try and get some photos together to push my skateboarding. Enough of second gear, every now and then you have to dump the clutch and sink the boot in.

Thank you to Duncan Ewington (@ewingram) for his patience and for all the photographs. It’s rad to have mates like you keeping the stoke alive.

Same goes for all my extended skate family, particularly the Grim Creepers and NSC crew. Y’all bring the juice to a session. I appreciate it immensely. Nothing better than to hit the road with you lot.

Shout out to my younger brother, and also mentor, Hugh. We share the same birthday. I’ll do a Respect Where Due on him when his broken wrist mends.

I have to thank my gorgeous wife Jo. As I rapidly accelerate through my mid life crisis into old age I couldn’t hope for a better person to share the experience with.

“Skateboarding doesn’t make you a skateboarder; not being able to stop skateboarding makes you a skateboarder.” Lance Mountain

No Comply in Collingwood

Josh_no comply to tail_Ewington Photosm

Dodging Friday night St Kilda pedestrains and an awful run up. Slappy

Josh_slappie grind_Ewington Photosm

Pole schloop

Josh_slappie rainbow grind_Ewington Photosm

Why do I look so terrified? Wall ride under the rail line

Josh_wall ridel_Ewington Photosm

This bowl is very difficult. So much fun though! Slash at Bowlriders HQ

Josh_slash grind at bowl riders_Ewington Photosm

Country Creepin’ part three : Tamworth Country Music

The weather was going to shite, so there was no point camping another night in the Blue Mountains. After studying the forecasts and the radar I thought I could boot through to Tamworth and miss it. Last time I headed to Tamworth I got caught in one hell of a hailstorm. I wasn’t keen to end up in the same predicament. It wasn’t easy convincing my insurer that the matte black finish on my car was factory and I didn’t want to roll that dice again.

The Putty Road is epic. Hairpin corners, 100km/h limited and beautiful Dapto forest. It is in the top ten roads in the country. There are a bunch of car graveyards in peoples front yards so it a photographers dream. I didn’t have much luck, and the storm hit a few hours earlier than forecast. It was pretty severe! A road that was meant to be a highlight was a bit of a nightmare. Putty Road has it’s own memorial site, it is a stretch of tarmac to be respected.

The storm front. I had to head right up the guts of it.

storm

I pulled in here and had a rest. It was well played, I dodged the hailstorm front by fifteen minutes.

car

I ended up making it to Tamworth after a very stressful drive. It was where I was raised, it is always a bit nostalgic. Country Music Week sees the town double in size. I reckon the council and hoteliers have become a bit greedy. They are price gouging for accommodation and stalls. The buskers have to pay to audition, then pay if they pass the audition to busk. The crap buskers are part of the appeal and there was hardly any buskers at all. If the main clientelle of the event are grey nomads on a pension, then price hikes will have a detrimental impact.

Anyhow, we saw some great bands. I always go and see Uncle Bob’s Jug Band. Hillbilly AC>DC covers and the like.

bob4

bob3sm

bobthis

People drank out of a leg, and I had a beer with a one armed bloke named Wingy

legdrink

Murphy’s Pigs were my favourite.

murphies

murphies2

I can’t believe a didn’t get a photo of my old man. Blowing it. I took a photo of Cam though

dog

It is always a pleasure to catch up with my old mates Troy and Ricky. I’ve known them since I was in early high school. They are fortunate to have great families and it is great to see them. I was chuffed that they made the effort to throw a BBQ and we had a rad afternoon.

picnicsm

picnic2sm

After the temperature dropped below 40 we got stuck in. Anaky has got the fire for it and has improved heaps since last year. Shredding!

anakiesmith2sm

anakiebssm

Troy was ripping. Sweeper

troysweepersm

Texas plants

troythistexas2sm

troyfootplant2sm

Getting the speed for the sketchy extension was really hard!

troy5050sm

Ricky manhandled the thing

rickyslashsm

rockyextensionsm

His boneless ones into the extension were rad

rickybonelesssunsm

rickyboneless2

Then the fire came out!

rickyfiresm

anakiefire6sm

I’ve been fortunate to shoot some incredible skaters doing some heavy moves in my time. I reckon this is one of my favourite photos though. Ricky’s daughter Mat challenging herself and overcoming her fears!

matthissm

Thanks to Dad, Robin, Troy, Ricky, Tina, Maire, Anaky, Mat and Joey. See you next time!

Country Creepin’ part two: The Blue Mountains

I pointed the trusty WRX at the Kiama mountain pass and fanged it toward Katoomba. I lived in Katoomba for a year. I was at a real crisis point in my life, and I was kinda loosing it. Katoomba let me retreat and rebuild myself. It was a very dark period and a healing period at the same time. Healing? Mainly healing from my own stupidity and shithouse choices if I’m honest.

I perhaps needed to spend more time there to properly asses the place. It is always captivating and beautiful, however it had lost a little of its bohemian charm. The ice age had hit the place, and burnt out hippies and shabby lad dickheads gronked up the vibe. Again, I needed to spend more time in the place, and take my nose out of my book or glass of wine and get to know the current locals better. I’ll reserve my judgement at this point.

Terrain? Oh hell yeah! There is so much stuff to skate. Weird, fun and challenging stuff.

Lawson is my favourite. I would love to hit here with the crew. I had a fun dork around on my lonesome

lawsonsm

The best warm up spot ever? Katoomba mini bowl thingie

katoombaminism

Katoomba park was always pretty crappy. The DIY style makeover is total fun

katoombasm

katoomba2parksm

I set up camp at Ingar Billabong

lakekatoomba

The road in got quite challenging at times

wrxsm

The food is always spectacular. The bush is the highlight though. I awoke at dawn to have the mountains to myself. Aboriginal people from far and wide brought their sick here to heal. The eucalypt trees fill the air with an invigorating scent, intensified by the mist.

The mist rolled in through the valleys

fog4sm

katoomba7sm

katoomba4sm

bluemountainssm

The rocks opals as the sun hits

bluemountains3sm

3sisterssm

katoomba7sm

rock2sm

The stairs

steps2sm

stepssm

And the blue

katoomba3sm

katoomba6sm

bluesm

And the Eucalyptus

treessm

leavessm

Country Creepin’ part one: Jugiong and Wollongong

Am I an angry fellow? I think not. With the weight of making small talk with people I don’t know, or care to learn about, I get a little feisty. I spend a lot of hours a week doing this. It’s a part of my life I am rectifying mind you. I’m not about to unleash and start beating people about the head, but internally the scenario does play out.

I’m ok…Really I am.

It is remedied by hitting the road. Once the car is packed I exhale, feel a little lighter. I turn over the ignition and head north. I’ve got 3000kms of well chosen back roads and destinations in a capable beast. It is always a lonesome feeling kissing the wife goodbye, but she isn’t fond of spending the days at skateparks and then sleeping by the river. I sure am. Solitude is good for the conciousness anyhow.

I booted through to Jugiong, to camp by the Murrumbidgee.

IMG_1931

IMG_1927

I met Col, and he showed my his travelling companion. He has owned this vehicle for 35 years. It was no show car, but i couldn’t see a ding or imperfection.

campersm

campersidesm

I drifted off to sleep due to a mixture of Hank Williams and good shiraz. Swags are the way to travel. You can still see the stars before you drift off.

campsm

I headed towards Wollongong via the Macquarie Pass

maqpass111 copy

I caught up with one of my oldest and best mates Tim. We first rode skateboards together in an abandoned metal halfpipe made for industrial forming of concrete. We were 12. We turn 40 this year. It’s always so good to heckle each other and have a schralp. We meet up at Berkley

lakesm

holbrooksm

It is a fun park, but overrun by ratty scooter kids. I ended up having a run in with a bogan mum after trying to teach her kid some etiquette. It is killing skateparks, the culture has outlived them and is under threat. It ruined our skate a little, but we still had fun. Tim on the trigger

meholbrookthissm

Front feebs

frontfeeb

It was so hard to get four wheels on this thing. Tim got some

timholbrookthissm

Tim’s wife Clem cooked up great food for us and I lurked the beach. We then hit Helensburg. It was a early 2000’s park, super fun lines. There ended up being quite the session. The Witchcraft team rocked up and destroyed it. So much stuff went down on the big vert wall to bank, I wasn’t going to poach photos

helensburgcrewsm

I got a tail block before the rain on the steep roll in.

tailblocksm

And this chap did effortless textbook front rocks. I’ll find out who he is! He was from Spain

fsrocksm