If you haven’t yet noticed, Vans recently released Geoff Rowley’s newest pro model shoe – the Vans Solos, with an accompanying apparel line. It seemed only fitting to celebrate the launch in Geoff’s hometown of Liverpool, so Breaks headed up to see our good friends at Lost Art shop and join in with the day’s events. Exploring Liverpool with the crew took us to New Bird Skatepark, the Dock Road Banks, a big three set by the docks, and the infamous Skaff Banks, with Liverpool legends Jimmy Boyes and John Dalton, Lost Art shop riders, and locals skating hard at every spot. Check the gallery above.
The evening saw a return to Lost Art for a screening of Propeller and Owain John’s local video ‘Grow up’. Plenty of cheers and even more beers helped us up the road to Bold Street Coffee for ‘A skateboarding retrospect’ – an exhibition of photos of Geoff; from his early years skating in Liverpool, right through to filming his section in Propeller. The exhibition was excellently curated and the work on display was a testament to Geoff’s incredible career, which continues to go from strength to strength. Thanks to Vans and Lost Art for putting a great day on for Geoff.
After the event I caught up with long time Breaks friend and owner of Lost Art, David Mackey, to talk about the Liverpool skate scene, the Rowley Solos, and his relationship with Geoff. I think Mackey’s words below sum up and tie together the whole feeling of the day, just how good the new Solos are and what an absolute legend Geoff is. It also means a whole lot more coming from him, than me. Stay rad Liverpool!
The launch of Geoff’s shoe was a great day! What struck me was how many people, of all ages, were there having a good time in a really relaxed environment. Is that something you personally have tried to create or do you think it just comes naturally?
That’s skateboarding in Liverpool. It’s always been that way, fun is the order of the day, after all that’s why we skate (well some of us), all the kids associated with the shop make every event we put on rad!!! I hope that the kids who show up and the brands go away thinking the same as you Will. Was great to have you along for the ride mate.
All the young skaters I spoke to throughout the day had nothing but praise, admiration and kind words for you. It’s no stretch at all to say you’re like the Godfather of skateboarding in Liverpool! Did you ever expect things to be the way they are now when you started 16 years ago? How does it compare?
Hahahaha I’m a skateboarder and have been for 28 years and I’ve been a part of the Liverpool skateboard scene for most of my life and I’m proud of that fact. I haven’t really got an answer for the question but I’m always humbled by the support skateboarders have shown for Lost Art for the past 16 years and I’m stoked they’re into it.
Are there any young skaters in Liverpool now who you think come close to having the same work ethic, drive and passion as Geoff did, and still does have?
There are plenty of kids now who kill it, some of them are incredibly talented and you’ll all hear their names soon enough. You can’t really compare any of them to Geoff and it would be unfair to try to do so. Geoff is one of the best skateboarders ever, he’s a legend, he has helped shape skateboarding and he is part of an elite group of skateboarders that are still able to produce incredible video parts after all these years. Thanks to Geoff we’ve all seen what’s possible on a skateboard. He along with Tom, Alex, Rune and Andy kicked down the door in the states and its been open ever since for skateboarders around the world to head there and make a living out of skateboarding if they really want to.
Speaking of the skaters, and the locals who are on the Lost Art team, it would be fair to say you’ve seen countless skateboarders grow up and do well over the years. Is that what drives you to keep Lost Art thriving?And also to keep skating?
Yes! and it’s thanks to them that Lost Art is there after all these years. How does the song go, “I get by with a little help from my friends’, too cheesy? hahahahahaha
What would you say about the Liverpool skate scene at the moment to those who have never been there?
When was the last time you saw Geoff? And how regularly do you speak with him?
I saw Geoff last month at the House of Vans in London, only briefly but it’s always rad to see him. We keep in touch but I haven’t skated the streets with Geoff in years though, that’s all going to change when we start working on this Lost Art video though 😉
What do you think about Geoff’s new shoe? How well does it stand up to your expectations?
This is hands down one of the best shoes Vans have ever made, it will go down as a classic in the same way his first shoe did. Geoff cares a lot about Vans, skateboarding and anything he puts his name on, he puts his everything into the design of his shoes, no half stepping whatsoever!
Did you manage to see Owain John’s ‘Grow Up’ – what did you think of the video?
I watched it that night when I got home, it’s just how I thought it was going to be, fucking rad!!!! Tons of new and untouched spots and sick line up of youngsters and older heads alike. Andy Johnson is the best!!!
Words & Photos: Will Sleigh