This interview originally appeared in Hangup Online Zine 11.
I’ve known Phillip Sangster aka Pip for about 7 or 8 years now – back then he was one of those ambi-dextrous little kids who could skate, scoot, BMX and everything in between. Having stuck with skateboarding, he’s turned into one of the raddest skateboarders to come out of Coventry, with a ton of style, tricks done at breakneck speed, and creativity across all terrain. When Hangup messaged me saying they wanted to find out more about what makes Pip tick, I understood why – he’s a chilled out dude who’s easy to get on with, and I am stoked that more people are hyped on what Pip is bringing to skateboarding. With that in mind, I posed some questions to him to give you an insight into the world of Pip.
I’ve always thought of you as one of the Cov lads, but you’re moving out to London soon, right?
London’s skate scene is absolutely massive, what areas of London skateboarding are you looking forward to getting involved with?
Well I’ll be I’ll be living in the south east, near New Cross. I’m gonna skate with the Esse London boys a lot. I skated with them quite a lot before, when I used to live in London.
London’s got some great skateparks as well, what are some of your favourites?
Crystal Palace is an amazing place. Probably one of the best skateparks I’ve ever been too. Stockwell’s good, too. I really like Mile End as well, so I’ll probably spend a lot of time there.
You’re always down for a trip – I know you’ve done some extensive bike trips and were out in Paris last year. What’s the gnarliest spot you’ve encountered on your travels?
Wooof… Probably have to say this spot we went to in Barca in 2016, when I went out there with the Keegan twins. It was spot I hadn’t seen anyone skate before, and we went out for a wander in the evening, and just came across this crazy hill bomb. It was just so steep and there was no run off at the bottom, and it just went off into a main road, like a motorway or something. For some reason I decided to try and bomb the hill, and immediately it was way too fast to try and powerslide or anything. I got near the bottom and just got mad speed wobbles, bailed and slid about 10 feet and landed underneath a car.
Any big trips on the horizon?
None planned, but I’m definitely dying to get on one. I really wanna go to Copenhagen, because they have some crazy parks. Europe’s just poppin’ at the minute, loads of great parks around.
Growing up in Coventry you’re probably familiar with just about every spot in the city. What are your favourite places to skate in and around Cov?
As far as skateparks go, Holbrooks Bowl is the best, as everyone knows. I really like Memorial Park Skatepark, aka Covpark, although I’m probably the only one who can say that. Everyone else hates it. Whenever I suggest going there I just get shot down immediately. I think there’s a good vibe down there… it’s just the location, it’s in the sun all the time, really nice surroundings, in a good part of town, and it’s near the city centre.
Any other places you like to skate in Cov?
As far as street spots go, Herbert (The Herbert Art Gallery) is obviously on the list, because that’s where 90% of the skaters in Cov go now. Natwest 5 is a good stair set, it’s just got an ideal run-up and landing.
Cov’s got an abundance of crazy bank spots as well I guess?
Of course, like Boy’s Club Banks and Madge’s Banks. Yeah they’re all good. Really provides if you want all of those different bank spots. You got Walsgrave Fountain as well for some street transition, but I’ve never really skated it properly.
You always seem to have a laugh involving multiple skateboards, or in some cases, combining extra props with skateboards like camping chairs or tyres. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done on a skateboard?
Ooof… The camping chair was pretty good. Definitely up there with the weirdest thing I’ve done with a skateboard. I mounted a camping chair on two skateboards and bombed down the Boys Club Banks on it. Tyres are also really good to skate as well, because the minute you ollie onto them you just bounce straight off, you don’t have to pop off them. I like to skate in ski stance a lot as well, just like riding down banks, trying to skate as fast as you can in ski stance, it’s all good.
Who are some of your favourite pro skateboarders at the minute, and which skateboarders influence you?
My all time favourite is Madars Apse. He’s so creative and he’s not scared to do tricks that aren’t perceived as cool. He doesn’t skate like anyone else. Grant Taylor is also a massive inspiration, because who wouldn’t want to just fly around like him. I used to watch loads of Kevin Romar was when I was younger, I used to have all of his parts downloaded on my iPod. Vincent Huhta is also great, the way he skates is so relaxed, he just skates like he just got out of bed. Like he doesn’t even care, and it just looks hilarious.
Finally, where do you think skateboarding is heading in the next few years? Do you think the Olympics will have a positive or negative effect on skateboarding? Do you think tiny wheels and freestyle will take off? Or do you think things will stay largely the same?
That’s kind of a big question, haha. Honestly, I have no idea. I’m in two minds about the Olympics, because I’m really not down for the whole contest thing. I don’t think it should be taken that seriously, because at the end of the day we’re riding around on a stupid toy. I wouldn’t consider it a sport. But, equally, it puts it out to a wider audience and portrays it in more of a positive light, rather than it being anti-social. It could lead to some many good skateparks and encourage councils to spend money on it. I guess I think skateboarding will split off, into contest skaters and to the hardcore true skaters who are just in it for fun. The divide will probably just get bigger as we get more stuff like the Olympics. So… about the freestyle thing, haha… I think there’ll always be that group of people who are into the mad, tech, flatground tricks and would never touch a ramp. You’ll probably see more people who will skate everything as well. The era of the ATV!
Anyone you want to give a shoutout to?
Shoutout to Ride Coventry, for always supporting me, and supporting Cov in general – the Cov OG’s. Shoutout to Tom from SUAS, as well, for supporting me and just being sick. Shoutout to you, Ade, aka The Terrible Company, as well, another Cov OG. Shoutout to the Herbert crew as well, the Herbert is pretty much the centre of the Cov scene at the minute, it’s the Cov Macba. Shoutout to the guys who took my photos as well, to Nich, Adrian and RB.