Joe Fleming Interview

No one I know skates harder or faster than Joe Fleming. Currently a firm staple of the scene in Nuneaton, I met Joe through Jamie “Chizel” Hamer, and instantly got on well with him. He’s a chilled out dude, and he’s always fun to skate with, and although absolutely amazing on a skateboard, he isn’t afraid to do the odd daft trick and just have fun with skateboarding. A couple of years ago, shortly after his closing part in my vid “Franchi$e”, he went MIA, but recently popped back up again and hasn’t lost his trademark flair for tearing up any and all terrain. I caught up with him to see how life has been treating him. 

Header Photo by Jim The Skin

First things first… What have you been up to for the last couple of years? 

It has been a while, almost two years actually… I needed a break, because grafting all day, then skating all evening just wore me down. I ended up getting side tracked and lazy getting back on board. In that time, Sarah and I bought and moved into a new house, and we have had a baby boy! I’m stoked as can be!

How is being a dad? 

At the start I was freaking out a bit, and this whole pandemic chaos had stirred me up a bit too, but I’m really excited and I still can’t believe there’s a mini version of me and Sarah. It’s awesome!

You gonna teach them to skate?

Yeah for sure, if they wanna learn I’ll teach it to them.

What drew you back to skateboarding? 

It was the boredom of lockdown. I was going pretty stir crazy and needed to sort my head out, so I started going to a local skatepark with a nice flat ledge. I’ve been skating there quite a bit recently. My friend Dave, from Australia, kept sending me old Slam magazine photos on Instagram, and it sparked the love back for skating too. 

David Blaine at the Boardroom – P: Owen Strachan

I know you lived out in Australia and occasionally go back out there to visit, what led to you living out there?

Yeah I lived there from the age of 10 until I was 23. My stepdad is an anaesthetist and he was offered jobs at a few different hospitals in Perth, so my Mum, stepdad and I moved out there for a better life. Miss it heaps, but love it here too. 

How does Australia’s skate scene compare to the UK? 

I’d say the weather is a big difference, and the amount of new parks being built in Australia is huge compared to here. But the skate scenes are similar wherever you go really.

Were there any skaters you met in Australia who absolutely killed it?

Yeah definitely – Zac Wilmore, Aaron Nannup, Jack Snow, Zepp Heyes, Dylan Tomlinson, Sam Bennett, Brett Margaritis, Harry Clark, Quayde Baker, Barry Mansfield, Morgan Campbelljust off the top of my head… 

Where did you learn to skate and what were your local parks growing up? 

Carine skatepark was my local, I love that place! Leederville was another park I skated heaps. And I loved skating Perth city too.

Japan in Australia – P: Sarah

How did you meet Chizel and the rest of the Nuneaton crew? 

I met Chizel and crew from Nunny at Bedworth skatepark. I always used to hang at my friend Fabio’s place, which was in throwing distance of the park, so met a lot of people through him. Thank you Fabio.

Were you involved much with Chizel’s “Doghouse Skateboards” output?

Yeah, they were some fun days man! 

Who are your favourite skateboarders?

Alltime? Or at the moment? There are too many to list! 

How about we go with favourites at the moment? 

Tiago Lemos, Oski, Ishod, Cody Chapman, Bobby Worrest, Stevie Williams, John Shanahan, Simon Bannerot and Lucas Healey. The DC Domino video was sick, their Brazilian team are mental.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an obstacle you can’t skate. Is there any spot out there you’ve had real trouble getting a trick on?

I like to try and skate everything, but I have trouble skating proper vert.

Similarly, your board selection is as versatile as your ability to actually skate. What kind of set up are you riding at the minute?

Mostly an 8.375 inch SUAS deck, 149 Indy trucks, Reds bearings and 50mm Spitfire Formula 4’s, but I’ve also been riding on a 8 inch 5boro cruiser, 129 Indy lows, Reds and 51mm Dualite wheels too.

Is it possible for you to skate any faster than you already do?

Haha – Maybe some swiss bearings might help! I do like skating fast, I think it looks better and feels better. 

Anyone you want to thank?

Friends and family, yourself, skateboarding itself, Jim at Ride, anyone who’s been there for me or helped me with anything, and Sarah.

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