This time, we have Jim Langran and Joxa.
Jim Langran is part of the small but dedicated vert scene in the UK, with some of the most inventive and wild tricks seen on vert. As something some consider a niche part of skateboarding, I was curious to see who Jim would cite as his biggest influence – the answer was decidedly closer to home than I would’ve imagined.
Stephen “Joxa” Delves is one of my oldest friends in the skateboard world, and admittedly has influenced the way I skate in many ways. Many moons ago we were housemates and we’ve been on countless skate trips together, so I would like to say I know him pretty well, and could guess exactly who he pick as an influence in skateboarding. Even still, the story behind the skater who shaped him is a classic example of why these people can have such a profound effect on us.
Jim Langran – Sean Goff, Dave Allen and Jim The Skin
I was really lucky when I started skating as the vert ramp in Birmingham was a focal point for the vert scene in the UK, so from the beginning I was riding with Sean Goff, Dave Allen and Jim The Skin from the get go. The main takeaway I think I’ve had from these guys is the sense of community that they provided. I think vert lends itself to this, given that it’s a bit niche within skating, and just the plain reality that there are only so many ramps in the UK, and even fewer indoors, so it’s a necessity that we’re all able to get on.
I’ve watched Sean, Dave and Jim host comps, run shops, sponsor riders, and encourage any newcomers to the scene, and I feel super lucky to have grown up riding with them.
Steve “Joxa” Delves – Chopper
2020 marks almost 19 years of skateboarding for myself. Throughout that time I’ve seen a LOT of skateboarding and plenty of skateboarders that it’s actually difficult for me to mark down one skateboarder who has really influenced my skateboarding. When I first started I was a massive fan of Rodney Mullen and I’m not afraid to admit, was a complete Mullen clone imitating not only his fancy freestyle footwork but his love for beige combat trousers. There was a basketball court across the road from my house and nobody would ever be using it so I’d often spend hours practising my pogo and trying to land every trick back in primo.
After a few months of this I started venturing into the town with some schoolmates and ultimately skating with the bigger boys in Barrow. These guys were not so into the techy flippery of Mullen instead thrashing around, going fast, hitting long grinds, listening to punk, eating shit and getting right back up to do it again. For me this was something totally different to the planned clean routine of freestyle and when they handed me a copy of Heroin Skateboards ‘Everythings going to be alright’ skateboarding was going to change, the main reason being Chopper.
If I could pinpoint one professional skater that truly influenced my style and understanding of skateboarding, it would be Chopper. The whole part was something I had never seen before. Set to Crass’ ‘I aint thick it’s just a trick’ – Chopper skids, slides and smashes through the streets of Osaka and London with speed and crazy style. The first line is some sort of backside nose blunt power slide 360 he then pushes like a maniac only to ollie to a complete stop on a bench to front rock out. I was hooked from the first line.
Chopper continues with quirky lines landing tricks that break all the supposed rules of skateboarding; kickflip manual ON FLAT to wall ride crail out?! Backside wallride hands down shuffle?! Slappy grinds with sparks flying!? And the line I was obsessed with: nose manual to weird little back lip skid on a curb, the Backside 360 comply (which for a long time i had no idea what that was) ending with a massive wall ride from a tiny bank all going mach ten, with Steve Ignorant spitting his anarcho punk in the background.
Chopper’s part was the first time I’d seen anyone wallride down stairs, which also blew my tiny mind. After the video had finished I kept rewinding and watching Chopper’s part over and over, obsessing over the tiniest detail. And that’s when it hit me. There are no rules, no real spots – you can skateboard anywhere, even walls aren’t safe! The beige combats were gone in their place were some tattered jeans splattered with green paint leftover from my Warhammer days.
No insane tech. No massive gaps. Just speed, style, having fun and doing your own thing! And really that’s what skateboarding is all about, right?