Andy Clare’s Top 5 UK Skateboarders

Front Rock / Photo by Paul Lane

There was something weird going on at the Odeon Cinema in Coventry in the mid-2000’s. The shop floor started getting overrun with skateboarders. Working in that cinema is where I first met Andy Clare. A phenomenal artist, who has contributed greatly in equal measure to both the skateboarding and graffiti scenes in the city, Andy is one of the most dedicated skateboarders I know, and is probably out there doing 360 flips better than people half his age right now. He’s provided a Top 5 list of skateboarders, but with a homegrown twist. – Ade

When I was asked to do my Top 5 skaters I thought it would be an impossible task. I love Skateboarding, and there are so many amazing skaters now I could never whittle it all down to just 5. My favourite skater is whoever I happen to be watching at the moment, so I decided to focus on the UK and the skateboarders I looked to when I was growing up for inspiration and one up and coming skater who always gets me hyped. Thanks for reading, and here’s my Top 5. – Andy

5. Alex Moul

When I first started skating in the late 80’s, the skate mags and videos were filled with athletic looking, suntanned dudes blasting 10ft acrobatic airs out of massive half pipes or shredding some perfect Californian ditch spot or backyard pool. Not much that I could relate to as a skinny kid living in the suburbs of Cov, if it wasn’t for Alex Moul.

Here was a kid from Oxford, that was close to my age, and seemed to be lightyears ahead of everyone else. Alex was, and is, a master manipulator of his skateboard, and has many great achievements and contributions to skateboarding. To my knowledge Alex was the first professional Street Skater in the UK. I believe he showed a generation of British Skateboarders that it was possible for someone outside of the US to have a professional career as a Skateboarder. Alex paved the way to all who followed and he is an absolute legend. Thank you Alex. 

4. Tom Penny

The second skater on this list from Oxford – Tom Penny should need no introduction. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s your favourite skater’s favourite skater. What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this English Rose? Well, I was fortunate enough to have witnessed Tom’s skating first hand on numerous occasions, and I can confirm that any stories you’ve heard about his unnatural ability on a skateboard are all true. 

The first time I saw Tom skate I had already been skating for a year or two, so must have been 1990-ish. I was 15 years old, and I’m not sure how old Tom was, but he looked at least a few years younger. He was tiny but looked like he had lived his entire life on his skateboard. Until that day I had never seen anyone so in control of their board as “that little kid with the bowl haircut”, that showed up with Sean Goff to skate a mini ramp in Leamington Spa. 

3. Danny Wainwright

Born in Gloucestershire 1975, Bristol based Danny Wainwright started skating in 1987, and started getting coverage in the mags within just a couple of years. Danny’s skating stood out in those years: when everyone was wearing big pants and skating small wheels, rolling at 2mph and trying to flip their board in some crazy new way. Danny was blasting huge ollies, grinding tall ass UK handrails, and catching kickflips at head height. 

He was soon sponsored by Powell Peralta, and has consistently appeared in videos too numerous to mention over the last 20+ years. Danny used his success to co-found Fifty-Fifty Skate Shop in Bristol, to support his local scene, and he continues to work there to this day, as well as being TM for Vans, a sponsor Danny has remained loyal to for over 20 years with 3 Pro shoe models to his name. 

Danny is possibly best known for holding the official World Record for the highest flatland ollie. But a little known fact about Danny, is that before he got into skateboarding he spent some of his early formative years living in Coventry break-dancing to electro music: a fact which only makes me even more of a fan.

2. Matt Pritchard 

Very few Pro Skateboarders are able to transcend into mainstream culture and the world of the celebrity like Matt Pritchard. Matt began skateboarding at age 15, rose to fame with MTV’s Dirty Sanchez, and is now a Celebrity Chef with his own Cookery Show The Dirty Vegan on the BBC. However, it’s Matt’s parts in the Panic and Blueprint videos Mixed Media & Anthems that made him one of my Top 5.

Skating at Busenitz-like speed, Pritchard performed Stunts, rather than tricks, on his Skateboard. He would go on to make a career as a Stunt Performer fulfilling a childhood dream. Pritchard worked at Globe Shoes for 6 years designing his very own signature “Sleep When You’re Dead” model, based on his motto for life. 

1. Lucas Healey 

OK, I know I may be a bit biased here, as he is the good home, but it’s my top 5 and for all of us here in Coventry Lucas is that guy. We have seen him grow from a boy to a man, and become an absolute savage on a skateboard. In my opinion he belongs on this list as much as any of the other more well known names. If you’ve ever skated with Lucas you would know what I mean. If you have skated with him and you disagree, then you must have shit in your eyes! 

Not only does he have crazy snaps, he can literally do every trick and usually first try. He’s an all terrain vehicle, he’s not afraid to go big, and he can take a slam like a champ. Not just a Hometown hero, Lucas’s skating caught the attention of Callun Loomes, and Lucas became affiliated with Midlands Skateboarding collective Get Lesta, as well as picking up sponsors including local shop Ride, Lovenskate and Lakai. Lucas displays a rare talent on his Skateboard and I look forward to seeing his continued growth as a skateboarder and all round good dude for many years to come. 

Check out Lucas in Get Lesta’s Video ‘Three Lions’ 

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