In this installment of Skaters Who Shaped Us, we have Dean Edwards and Ant Smith.
Dean Edwards is deeply ingrained in the Milton Keynes skate scene, and was recently involved in running the heritage fund supported exhibition documenting the skate scene in MK. As the mecca of UK Street skateboarding, hearing of the skaters who would influence a local to Milton Keynes helps us understand the scene that built around the town in the 90s.
Ant Smith is literally a skateboarding machine sent to Earth to destroy any and all terrain. One of the nicest blokes to grace the skateboarding world, and with a trick for any spot. As is the case with many of these entries, the person who influenced Ant makes complete sense even if it isn’t an entirely obvious choice, and includes a chance face to face meeting with the skater who shaped him.
Dean Edwards – Guy Mariano and Henry Sanchez
Growing up, I was very into Ronnie Bertino, Rick Howard, Brian Lotti and Chico Brenes. Another huge influence was Curtis McCann, who was by far the coolest skater I had seen in person. Watching him skate the Arches (London Bridge) in 1991 was something special. I was also lucky enough to witness the early Radlands years with Tom Penny, Carl Shipman, and of course my friend Rob Selley. However, my biggest influences were easily Guy Mariano, and Henry Sanchez.
I remember watching Guy’s Video Days part and being blown away by how such a small kid could be so good, skating a board that was too big for him. Then after watching his short two or three trick video parts in Blind’s Tim & Henry’s Pack of Lies, FTC’s Finally, Plan B’s Virtual Reality and even Girl’s Goldish, I spent the rest of the 90’s trying to emulate the clothes he wore, and the tricks he did. Because there was so little footage of him, it just fuelled the intrigue.
I could say the same for Henry Sanchez. His few tricks in Mike Carroll’s Plan B Questionable part, completely blew my mind. He skated so fast and with so much power, and yet was one of the most technical skaters.
Ant Smith – Ed Templeton
I was never that bothered about Ed Templeton at first. I mean, he obviously fucking kills it, but when you’re 16, you’re more wow’ed by the sort of high impact skaters flipping massive sets or skating big rails. A skater’s skater like Ed would sort of slip through the cracks a bit.
I went to the Toy Machine demo at epic/creation in Birmingham, and I remember waiting for the team to show up for ages. It was super hot outside, so I’d sort of given up hope of them showing up. Who would want to be indoors on that specific day, especially in England?
When they finally showed up, I remember seeing Ed skating for about 30 minutes and he barely missed a trick. He literally straight up killed it for the whole time he was on the board, it was the kind of shit you would expect to see from a US pro and he didn’t disappoint!
I asked for an autograph after the demo, and he stood and drew one of the characters (I think it’s called a sect). He asked me my name and then did like a little message. A lot more involved then a little squiggle and see you later. I was so fucking hyped on everything about him on that day, and left so stoked.
Side note: 3 months or so later there was an article of the tour in Sidewalk, and the sequence of him was in there noseblunt sliding along and down the grind box, and my best mate was in the sequence skating along in the background. He had skated the course during the demo with the pros because he said it was the quietest the skatepark has been since he got there!