How does a core event like the Vans Downtown Showdown (where different skate teams were invited to design the obstacles the skaters rode) compare to a Street League stadium competition?
Apples and pears. The Downtown Showdown is just an open forum, y'know? Vans makes all the companies involved responsible for the nature of the obstacles the skaters ride, which means you end up with unique features to skate. There's no other contest like that.
Can you talk about why you are no longer competing in Street League?
It's not my type of skateboarding. I don't like going from A to B, I like going from A to Z to F.
During the past year it seems as if a lot of the big hitters from the late 90s have been making a bit of a comeback - Tom Penny, Jason Dill, etc.
Bit of a comeback? I don't think they ever left.
But, in terms of competitions, video parts and general visibility?
Oh they've been visible. You just needed to be in the right places to see them.
When you have particularly bad slams, what is it that makes you able to get back up and go for it again?
Just the drive to skateboard. I know a lot of guys who break an ankle playing football and never play again. Whereas I've broken my ankle three times, my arm, my hand, my collar bone, had stitches across my chin, my forehead, my hand and the top of my head. I've smashed my teeth out, had black eyes, black teeth, a whole leg go black, black balls, had blood coming out of my nose, my mouth and my ears. You really, really have to be into it to get through those kind of injuries.
Talk us through the process of jumping that massive gap at the start of your Really Sorry video part.
There's no mental preparation‚ it's just skateboarding.
So you didn't see that particular trick as different to anything else you've done?
Nah, it's just an ollie to a bank.
A massive one.
Yeah, I suppose.
What do you think of the current state of skateboarding?
It's getting better all the time. I think the industry side of it is still a little messy, but there's a lot of really good young kids emerging and I'm really looking forward to seeing those guys really push everything forward.
You live in California now, how often do you come back to the UK these days?
Usually it's between two and four times every year. I've been living there since 1994 – almost as long as I've lived in England, but I've been back every year. I usually just go to Liverpool and hang out with family and friends. I stay in touch with everybody I grew up skating with, whether they still skate or not. When I come back to England I feel comfortable, I love the humour, the bars, I love getting drunk.
Can't you do that anywhere in the world?
Yeah, but there's a difference – there's nothing like English humour. I still stay up all night watching Benny Hill when I'm back in America.
Enjoy that did you? Well why not have a read of this scintillating interview we did with P-Rod.
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Max was the head of digital content for Men's Fitness which worked alongside Coach between 2015 and 2019.