Scott Palmer has always been one of my favourite skateboarders, a footage machine. Picked up by the Panic/Blueprint camp after A Mixed Media came out, he became a staple in every classic British video since the Blueprint production Anthems. It always seemed evident to me that his skating mirrored what was going on across the pond, even down to Goldfish-esque lines in early 90's Hull videos. Palmer sections stand out, faster, burlier, well thought out. Scott bowed out of the professional skateboarding ranks a while back to focus on a new stage in his life, it was a pleasure to get this email back from him this morning. His last words are ones to live by...
Scott Palmer portrait - Sam Ashley
Yes Scott! How are things in Hull?
All good thank you
What does your daily routine consist of nowadays?
When I’m not at work everything pretty much revolves around my kids and when I get the chance I just relax and refuel ready for the next day.
Do you get zones in between working and being a husband/father to get out and skate?
Not really, I haven’t skated that much in the past 5 years and haven’t missed it purely because during this time our two children have been the focus of mine and my wife’s attention and pretty much all my energy and time is consumed by our family life.
I often take my kids to our local skate parks during the warmer months on their scooters, so I am slowly planting the seed for mad skate trips in the future when they are bit older.
I will always owe a great debt to skateboarding and everyone it brought me into contact with purely because I have learned life skills which are all encompassing and enabled me to build solid foundations from which to progress through life.
Do you still keep up to date with what's going on in skateboarding?
Yeah and always will. At the moment I pretty much keep up with what’s going on through the internet. Banksy always sends me links to rad skate stuff and sections.
It is crazy how it keeps progressing at such a rate, you see a section/vid and you're like thats it, it doesn’t get any better than that for whatever reasons, nbd’s, trick selection, style and than before you know it you see a new section/vid and its progressed to the next level. On reflection perpetual progression is the one constant with skating in all the years I have skated which for me is what makes it so rad, We are all forever searching for the unattainable, keeping it forever fresh.
I have just got to mention the sad demise of Blueprint. Blueprint had to overcome a lot of industry politics and bullshit to become the legitimate company it once was.
I believe this was achieved purely out of everyone’s determination through their love of British skateboarding to make it happen, especially Jo Burlo who bank rolled it blindly (or on reflection so it seems) raising the bench mark for what British skateboard companies could achieve, setting new precedents not previously known or possibly imaginable from companies exporting from these shores i.e all blueprint pros receiving salaries which I believe was higher than some of larger US companies, although US pro’s royalties will have more than compensated for that.
I am very proud of being part of this company and everything it stood for, especially on reflection when I realise how lucky I was to be part something special during its height. I would like to wish everyone the best luck with their new ventures keeping British skateboarding a highly desired export. Skate or die!
I remember when your shop (Four Down) opened a load of us from London drove to Hull and you had organised a demo attended by all the local kids in a big blue paddling pool. Is that a time in your life you remember fondly?
Yeah that was a great weekend, it was amazing to get a bunch of known skaters come to Hull from the big smoke and support our local scene by just skating and chilling with all the Hull locals. I remember all the locals coming to the shop for time after that commenting on everything that went down.
If you could go back in time would you still have opened the shop?
Absolutely, the experience I gained from that period of time is invaluable, and as one door closes, the experience gained opens others. Roll with the blows and try not to make the same mistake twice
How did the shop come about?
Skateboarding was a massive part of my life and I thought naively this would make me a decent living and keep me involved in one of my passions.
Did you notice it having a positive effect on the scene and new kids starting up? I remember you were like the pied piper at that opening jam…
Oh definitely, it was great for the scene. I think it really made everyone feel part of it and lots of friendships were forged.
Tell us a good story involving Eggy…
I remember a confused conversation between Eggy and Danny Way at radlands. Danny Way was just about to drop in for his comp run and Eggy accidently hit Danny Way on his leg with a Cadbury’s Crunchie bar. Danny Way with a confused look, looked down at Eggy saying "Huh?" Eggy proceeded to explain to Danny Way "it was me crunchy, you know? me crunchy" in a broad Hull accent. Danny Way then looked more confused than ever, it could have come to blows, you possibly had to be there but it was a classic.
You visited the US during the golden age. When was that and how did you find it?
I first went out with Jamie(friend from Hull) and Lee Rozee. We went to San Francisco and we had planned on staying out there for at least three months. Jamie managed to spend up in five weeks, living large on burger meal deals while me Rozee was living on boil in a bag noodles.
This was such an experience and it just makes me smile thinking about it. We stayed in this sketchy hostel close to the tenderloin which is a pretty sketchy part of SF.
The hostel was pretty much locals only and I remember the first night we got there this guy Arnie who worked in construction came back after being on the beers and threatened to take all three of us out in the street to settle a score with guns just because Jamie had left used dish water in the sink. The rad thing was that by the end of the stay we had almost become part of the furniture and the same dude, Arnie that had threatened to shoot us was taking us to bars where we could drink, we was all under 21 at the time. Skate wise we possibly didn’t make the most of it, we didn’t have a camera between us, although at that time cameras and skating weren't as hand in hand as it is today so it wasn’t a priority. On reflection it would have been good to have had some footage, raw Rozee footage at Fort Miley and on the hills would have been priceless. We skated Union square and Pier 7 a lot , Pier 7 had just been constructed when we were there and we saw a lot of known SF locals skate down there.
How and when did you meet Magee? Was it exciting around the time you got on Blueprint?
I remember Alvin from faze 7 left a message with the owner of RockCity skate park to ask me to give him a call. I wasn’t expecting this at all. When I called Alvin he told me about Blueprint and if I would like to try some boards out. I was stoked although, like most northerners at the time I had mocked Panic, more out of ignorance than anything else. Like I said earlier, legitimate British skateboard companies were not the norm back then and I know they took a lot of flack for standing up and being counted.
The first time I hooked up with everyone from Panic/Blueprint was at Rockcity in Nottingham at possibly the first ever skate jam they had there. All I remember about this jam was everyone skating the 2 flat banks and a kicker for about 10 hours, and I am sure all involved felt privileged at the time, ha ha.
I remember one of the first times going down to London and stopping with Dan and just going out skating all the spots.
I stopped with Dan at Hattie’s (Dan’s girlfriend) parents house and thought I was going to die from an allergic reaction I had to their fluffy cat which had crept into the room I was sleeping in, and fallen asleep under the bed. I remember my throat feeling like it had closed up but I didn’t want to go wake anyone up with not knowing them that well.
From there on I got more and more involved with Blueprint, getting involved and going on filming missions and skate tours, more importantly I got used to Dan’s evil tongue which could cut anyone down in a heartbeat, ha ha
There's a good lad convention before Scott's footage in First Broadcast at 1:56
You got to do a fair bit of travelling when Blueprint was at the height of it's powers. What was the craziest trip you can remember?
I reckon Athens was the craziest trip. It wasn’t very productive skate wise but the experiences shared by all on that trip were crazy which was topped off, and I am not exaggerating by some guy pulling a gun on us for skating. I remember everyone trying to reason with this guy to get a couple more attempts at a trick down a double set but eventually he obviously got so frustrated with us that he felt the only option he had to prevent us from skating was to draw a large calibre pistol on us. I remember running away swaying from side to side. He probably would have never used it but there’s always that chance which made it a very scary incident to be involved in.
The moral to this story is if you are ever in Greece skating expensive marble on a shop forecourt and the owner turns up in a blacked out Merc, wearing an expensive suit. It’s time to leave.
Do you miss the tour/filming mission aspect of professional skateboarding?
No, it was the best at the time going on tours/filming missions with everyone and getting to skate all the rad spots but I have different goals in life now, I would not want to spend any lengthy spells of time away from my family.
Scott, Tre Flip, Hull, 1998 - photo - Leo
Who was the best and worst in the van?
Magee was the best and worst depending on who his evil tongue was aimed at
Can we expect a new instalment in the Hull video series? I remember Mission ImpossibHULL was a good one…
I know everyone is working on a new video which is in the latter stages of completion. The only thing I will give away is that it will possibly have Hull in the title
Whenever I leaf through a new Sidewalk or Kingpin I always half expect to see a new photo of you. Is this a possibility?
Never say never, possibly if it’s a poor news week/month.
What would your advice be to a kid just starting to skate?
If it ever gets boring, take an extra push
Words - Jacob Sawyer