We pick up our “Quick Pry” series of interviews with members of the UK skateboarding community with this recent conversation between LJ Leme and Bumpy (aka Arthur) Hales.
“Q: How has Lockdown been for you and what are your standing goals for 2021?
Lockdown for me involved the cancellations of my GCSEs. This meant an effective 6 month summer holiday, predominantly taken up by skating! As for goals in 2021, I’d love to go to my first Euro event and try to explore the UK more, be it for events or just to find new hills.
Q: What discipline of gravity sport are you part of and what inspires and frustrates you most about it?
I do a mix of downhill freeride longboarding and some dance and freestyle. For me, the creativity that is present throughout all forms of longboarding is super inspiring, with different riders mixing different styles and combos together. It really motivates me to skate. For me, failing to land a trick is frustrating but, personally, I love the process of it. The longer it takes, the better I feel at the end. Getting injured is never ideal. Luckily, I can say that my worst injury only put me out for like 4 weeks; even so, it really frustrated me.
Q: What has this sport given/taught you?
This sport has really helped me in lots of ways. For one, I love skating. It’s such a dope thing to do. It truly clears my mind. It’s always been my escape and has helped me mentally through some tough times. It has helped me in more ways than I can describe.
Q: You are a part of a company/crew, can you tell us a little bit about that?
So, what I’ve always loved the idea of is being part of a team. When I first started, there were very few people in Bristol skating so I spent a lot of time learning to skate alone. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I still get excited to skate with a group of people.
This year was a bit of a change for me, as I started working with a couple of companies, like Slide Perfect. I feel like this has just given me the motivation for really trying new stuff and pushing that cycle of progression.
Q: Where have you been recently?
Really just the spots local to me. I can’t drive anywhere myself so I haven’t really had the opportunity to explore anywhere other than mid Wales. There are many amazing spots there, so I’m definitely not complaining!
Q: Ultimate goal, longboarding idol, opinion on the whole ‘Pro’ thing?
I’d just love for everyone to find the same love for it as I do. All I want is to keep enjoying it and keep meeting new and amazing people through it. Becoming ‘pro’ always used to be my obsession but, as I skate with more people, I realise that all I want to do is skate and have fun. Obviously sponsorships are a massive help, and it’s a real motivating factor to ride for a company, but I don’t think that’s the sole reason I skate. Yes, it pushes me to land new combos but I would like to think that I would always skate and try to push myself regardless.
I love skating. It’s always been my escape and has helped me mentally through some tough times. It has helped me in more ways than I can describe.
As for a longboarding idol… it’s really tough. There are so many UK riders that I find incredible to watch as well as being amazing people and skaters. When I was younger, I used to watch all the old UKDH edits and always wanted to learn to skate like literally every UK skater – I still do!
I love the UKDH scene so much and how welcoming everyone is within it. As for other riders, I’d say that my stand up style has been massively influenced but Dominic Schenk and the rest of the Swiss Rocket team as they were the people who I saw skate and went ‘I wanna skate like them’.
Brandon DesJarlais opened my eyes to skating multiple disciplines and sorta mixing them together, for sure. There are a bunch of other riders that really inspire me, definitely a list too long for this, haha.
Q: How do you deal with fear?
Oooo that’s a tough one! For me, I balance up how f*cked off I’ll be if I don’t do something. The less I think, the more I get done. There are definitely some scary things for me that I’ve done, like hitting my first open road. I was absolutely bricking it top to bottom. On the other hand, the thrill I had from it was unreal and that is what sorta motivates me, I guess. That feeling of properly scaring yourself – and doing it again! I try to relax as much as possible but my skateface always gives me away, haha! But really, I love it. Properly bricking it to push myself, then getting to the top and doing it again. “
Massive thanks to Bumpy for taking the time to chat with our intrepid reporter, LJ Leme.