PRO DIARIES: CALLUM BOWRAN – INTERVIEW – FREESTYLE SKATEBOARDING

  • JUN 7, 2010
  • CATEGORY:
  • WRITTEN BY: Aaron Thomas

 

Name: Callum Bowran
Occupation: Freestyle Skateboarder
D.O.B: 08.11.1989
Honours: 2005 UK National Open 1st Place
2005 European Open 5th Place
2006 World Championship 9th Place
2007 Dutch Freestyle Open 3rd Place – 1st – Best Technical Trick
2007 Cyber Championships (Sponsored Am) 1st Place
2009 Dutch Freestyle Open (Am) 2nd Place

 

Callum Bowran

Hi Callum, thanks for talking to us today. So what exactly is Freestyle Skateboarding and what do the competitions consist of?

Freestyle skateboarding is just you and the board. You don’t need any obstacles or skate parks, just a skateboard and some flat ground – there is an ‘accepted’ view of what freestyle is, but the essence is do what you want. It’s one of the earliest forms of Skateboarding, and paved the foundations for modern street skating.

The competitions generally consist of two x 2 minute runs and getting judged against certain categories, such as style, technicality, consistency… but there are quite a few new formats being tried out lately.

What have you been up to in the Skateboarding world lately?

I was filming with Andy Evans fairly recently for Heel Toe Magic, but other than that just doing a few demos and getting ready for the events I hope to go to over summer.

What made you start and how old were you?

I’ve always had a skateboard since I was about 6 or 7 that I think was kept at my Aunt’s house for when I went into town, but it was only ever for riding around. It wasn’t until I was 12 that skateboarding became cool and a lot of my friends took it up, so I got my first proper skateboard and started trying to do tricks. Watching the 411vm videos of Rodney Mullen and stumbling across Bobs Trick Tips on the internet sparked my interest in freestyle.

What will the rest of 2010 hold for you?

I’m going to be doing a few visits to schools over the summer to do some coaching as part of Rubicon skate school and a demo at Paddle Round the Pier in Brighton, as well as a few others. I’m planning to go to Germany in August for a freestyle gathering and the Paderborn competition. I’ll also be making a guest appearance in Mpora’s new web show ‘Dr.Tech’ with Darran Nolan.

Excellent, sounds like you are going to be busy! Where in the UK would you say are the best places for Skateboarding & Freestyle Skateboarding?

The wonderful thing about freestyle is you don’t have to travel especially far to find a good spot. Somewhere flat, smooth and un-crowded is the best location. I’ve just come across a basketball court hidden in a park near me as it happens, so I can imagine that’s where I’ll be spending a lot of my time.

Having said that, it’s always good to be in nice places. Personally my favourite place to go at the moment is Brighton sea front. London’s always a nice buzz, and it’s awesome to go to south-bank and have a skate around.

Where are the best places in the world that you have been Skateboarding?

Amsterdam’s always been such a cool place to go and skate, the guys over there are great. They’re really friendly and there’s a strong scene vibe without being introvert. There are some really nice places to skate over there, and because it’s such a beautiful place it’s always inspiring.

What has been your best memory in the sport?

I think probably meeting most of the big name freestylers at the World Championships in 2006 is something that stuck out to me. Seeing these people on a screen for years, then getting a chance to meet them was incredible.

Have you ever been injured?

Thankfully, not seriously. With freestyle, you tend to only fall as high as you stand, so there’s mainly just a risk of grazes and bruises, perhaps a sprained ankle if you’re unlucky enough to land strangely. There are a few freestyle horror stories of people doing TV stands (pogo handstand) and getting speared in the chest with their board, or a guy I know who was doing a handstand flip in an underground carpark and got his feet caught on the pipes running along the ceiling so he fell straight on his head, but it’s rare that someone gets badly injured.

What is your best / favourite trick?

My favourite trick at the moment would have to be a rail impossible, the pop and the wrap just feel so satisfying.

Have there been any big developments in Skateboarding during your time, and do you see any coming in the future?

In terms of skateboarding as a whole there have been quite a few big developments, like the introduction of the mega ramp and different composite materials being used for equipment, but specifically within freestyle there haven’t been many significant ones.

What equipment do you recommend using at first for getting started in Skateboarding, and how much do you think it realistically costs to set up?

You can buy some pretty standard set ups that would be perfectly adequate for starting up, a few of which can be found on Back Yards Shop. For trying out freestyle, it’s generally a good idea to buy a slightly smaller board, but you can do it on any board.

If you know that you definitely want to freestyle, Never Enough make freestyle completes to get people started – Never Enough Sk8, or if you’re over in the states then Reverse Freestyle or Decomposed stock good gear.

What tips would you advise for people looking to get started?

Be patient. You’re not going to be able to do all the things you want to do straight away; it takes a lot of time and practice. Learn the basics before you try anything too complicated.

And what would you advise for learning and improving Freestyle techniques?

Try to learn a wide trick base; it’ll help you to become more a more rounded skater instead of focusing on a specific group of tricks.

Extreme Element will be offering exclusive days with Callum, where you can come and learn some of the tricks and flicks with the man himself.

– On this day Callum, what can people expect to learn and be doing with you?

Group tutoring followed by one on one help with various aspects, a demo, a few games of skate and other ‘challenges’ like add a trick.

Freestyle basics such as footwork, linking tricks together, setting up a board for freestyle, beginner freestyle tricks, help with balance and whatever people want to learn!
If you’d like to learn off Callum, check our packages page and make an enquiry.

Thanks for speaking today with us Callum!

No problems, looking forward to the exclusive days. I’d just like to say a quick thank you to Back Yards Shop, Reverse Freestyle, Never Enough Sk8 for all of their help down the years!


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