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.

Advertisements

Mild in the Streets. 42, Don’t Panic

Since I turned 40 I have tasked myself with getting a few skate photos together, with my birthday being the deadline. Perhaps one day I can stitch my face in each of them together into a time lapse, so you can see me turn into Voldemort from Billie Corgan.

Underwhelming as it is, I am ok with my skateboarding. I know where my level fits into the greater scheme of things and these are my limits to push. Is what it is.

Thank you to my old friend Duncan Ewington for his patience and for always coming through with excellent photographs. I’m sure going to miss our regular rolls and your stoke.

I work pretty hard to maintain my pop. I have a weird looking pre skate stretch routine. I try not to make eye contact during it. Ollie into some cool obstacle

Back boneless on a roof. “You should get higher” Yeah sure, you go skate it.

Arty tail block on a crusty spot

Slappy stand up. The best feeling trick ever. This was on a solid 8/10 hangover

I’ve seen some heavy stuff go down on this. This is just an ollie

You have to go super fast into this. I landed proper on both my shins going pretty quick so I was so stoked to roll away. Slappy fifty fifty onto the road

Kook Pool

Now I’m not about to enter into the name of the pool or any of that. That is what it was known as. Cheers to those that scoped it out and made it rideable.

Pools in Australia are usually small, bathtub sized transition and pretty difficult to skate. This one was indeed a harsh old matron of a thing. Rough, a bit slippery, tight as fuck… and Shane Macgowan teeth for coping. It was one of the best ones found in Melbourne though for the last decade.

The forecast was grim. Drizzle all day and little hope. As far as I knew it was a goner and we had one day to give it a crack. We gathered the crew and ignored the BOM radar and headed west.

The house was being demolished and was half done. There was no reason for a bunch of us to be filing inside. We aren’t really discrete even when we try! The older Vietnamese neighbours were standing in their front yard as our black vehicles pulled in and tattooed up skateboarders emerged.

Somehow, the newspapers did the job and we got some. The pool lasted a lot longer than expected. The workmen dropped in to say g’day a couple of times without any worries.

Precision drying tools

The drizzle ceased and the session commenced

Getting over the light was the first order of business. Chris

Jesse

There’s going to be a lot of frontside grind photographs. It is the best feeling trick and charging one in a backyard pool is one of the best feelings ever on a skateboard. Getting one in this pool is no joke. It was super tight and loads of vert. Bristol fought for it and won.

Tom Rees, full power

There are few that make skateboarding look as good as Anton Jeandet. Barging through three or four pavers.

Cunnaz is always going to give it a solid nudge

Pivot on a serious amount of vert

Threading a line through the top step and jagged pavers was super difficult. I had a street fight with it and got away with it, but it took me about a solid hour! It was steep rolling into the deep, which doesn’t really translate in the photos.

Bisho did it the fastest

Muddy had the goofy line dialed

Brighty went to war in the thing. Impossible lines constantly. Hefty ollie over the steps.

Rock and roll

I don’t understand how he did them, frontside grinds in the shallow.

R.I.P Kook Pool

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

Respect where due: Mudguts

Mudguts is a man of few words. Carefully chosen, but few. He will be the last one rolling the spot, trying to get that last trick. Long after everyone else has decided it is time to take a seat and heckle. On our recent camping trip he skated for a solid 12 hours…Yep 12. He might look life a ruff nut, but the truth is he is a cat loving softy. Nothing wrong with that! Mind you he will fire up if provoked in true ginger form.

It’s pretty hard to take a shite photo of Muddy. Everything is done clean and with speed. If you follow The Grim Creepers he gets a fair few photos featured. Stoked for more sessions in 2016

Mudguts, ladys man

mattripperhandsm

A noisy, lenghty feeble at The Ring Of Fire

matfeebsbssm

Smith at the cruel but fair Pearcedale

mattrippersmithpeardedalebwsm

Crail at Sommerton on the same day

mattrippercrailsm

Back D at Deer Park

mattripperbackd2sm

Frontside feeble through the corner at Lara

mattfsfeebssm

Slappy gap out yesterday at Citypark

muddyslappysm