If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 15 years and aren’t privy to the work of Callun Loomes, what I can tell you is that his videos are arguably the best video output to come out of the UK Skateboarding scene. It’s incredibly polished, well made, authentic film making, which shines a light on some of the country’s best street skaters (as well as the occasional transition skater like Alex Hallford).
Through the Get Lesta name, Callun has produced a series of increasingly brilliant videos, and Darling is the latest – which received a physical USB release about 2 weeks ago, and today has launched on Youtube for digital streaming. This launch comes with an in depth interview about the video’s production over on The Skateboarder’s Companion website (which is where I nabbed all of the photos for this post, taken by Rob Whiston), so I suggest reading after watching the video and reading my badly typed thoughts on it.
Compared to the earlier days of Get Lesta, which were primarily tinged with the trappings of hip hop and “fresh” personas of the early 2010’s – Darling is a gentler video, but much more confident. Off the bat Darling isn’t high energy, but this definitely allows the skateboarding to stand out, setting the stage for the batshit insane skateboarding that crops up later in the video.
Our mate Jord Lightowler, and Kris Vile, take the opening section. Jord is always a pleasure to watch and notably brings some unique tricks to Coventry spots like the Yellows Loading Bay, as well as some crusty Devonshire transition (It’s the Crust Ramp, baby). Kris Vile has always been unbelievably good on a skateboard, and his section features tons of quick footed Birmingham shredding, hitting some crusty, unusual British spots in ways that most wouldn’t think possible.
Mark Stern is next, with the video’s first feature length section – cruising around Nottingham’s Sneinton Market Square with cruisy lines, dodging cars and flowing all day to a classy jazz number. Wallies, perfectly balanced grinds and manuals and quick footed bank tricks are on show, sometimes combining these in ways that were super cool to see. It shouldn’t go without saying that this video is filled with tons of Coventry spots, and as someone who spent years trying to talk about how good Cov was for skateboarding, it brought a smile to my face to see Stern tackle plenty of the city’s more interesting spots such as the Dorito and Warwick Uni’s Art Centre Handrail.
Karma’s latest pro Marcus Palmer is next, kicking things off with a perfect Tre Flip over a wall into a steep brick bank. This sets a precedent for a part full of flip tricks popped big over gnarly wall and fence gaps, and even off of the odd roof. If there was any doubt in your mind how Palmer got his name on an Karma board, this part will prove exactly why this dude is pro.
Buszy local James Bush follows this with a long part where he shows us exactly how to tackle Milton Keynes terrain. If you’ve seen any of the clips Bush puts out on Instagram, you’ll know he’s a technical wizard, who is equally skilled at skating in his normal and switch stance. You can expect to see plenty of dexterous use of flip tricks in and out of practically every trick, pieced together into some of the most technically complex lines ever seen on UK terrain. There are some bloody bangers casually dropped into lines here, including the best Hardflip Back Tail I have ever seen in my life.
Luke Humphries is up next, again putting Sneinton Market Square on the map as a go to hotspot for street plaza lines. So far everyone in this video has proven adept at putting down some solid lines, and Humphries is no different. There’s the occasional one off banger including a wild quick ollie onto a tiny round stool followed by a rapid fire flip over an adjacent stool, and a Back Tail hop over to Noseslide on two facing ledges.
Oliver Lawrence holds the halfway point section, changing things up with a bit of of a Garage number (it’s not my personal preference for music, but it works for this section). Lawrence drops big tricks into hill bombs, tackles rugged banks with ease, and drops the odd Bournbrook banger.
Lawrence’s part shifts directly into a mini-part from Jacob Eardley. Eardley eats gap to grinds for breakfast, and tackles some hefty hand rails. Joe Marks crops up for a mini part after this, with some old school hip hop accompanied by big popped Nollie Flips and a guest appearance from Get Lesta OG Shumba King. Josh Hay continues from Marks, hoisting himself over handrails and gaps with impossibles, inward heelflips and a Tre Flip on familiar Cov terrain.
After this selection of smaller mini-parts, Jason Cloete brings us back on track with some electronica, purposefully tackling some crusty terrain with some inventive moves – personal favourite was the Beanplant to Switch Nosegrind down a handrail on a bank. This part has Marc Johnson in Yeah Right vibes and I’m all over it, it’s definitely one of my favourites of the whole video. The Yellows Gap shows up again for the ender, with an incredible trick I never thought I’d seen thrown over the old Marks And Spencer loading bay.
If you thought this video was all street – think again. Callun was just saving up all of the gnarly transition skills for this beast of a part from Alex Hallford. The part begins with some doubles with Jordan Thackeray, as they hit up a jumpbox over a van at Flo, before launching into a masterclass in how you skate a transition. Mach-10 Mayday grinds, bonelesses on dirt jumps, huge one foot ollies off concrete coping, and even the odd street transition (yes Walsgrave fountain!) make this a hugely entertaining part.
Rianne Evans crops up after this to shred Bristol DIY spots, pole jams, crusty mini ramps and brick transitions. Alice Smith throws out a beanplant down the stairs at fastlands in a brief cameo which had me stoked, and Evans ends her part with a sick ride on 5050.
George Worthington holds the penultimate part, turning nose manualling up banks into your new favourite trick. Skating to a 90’s clubland banger, this part has some incredibly inventive and unique street skating: no bank is too steep, too rugged, too unusual for George to skate. A backside flip into the boys club banks in Cov was a personal favourite highlight, as well as a bigspin pivot on the huge brick banks in Worcester. I’d never heard of this dude before but this part definitely made it a new favourite – rad stuff.
Stop the fucking presses everyone – An esteemed member of the Terrible Company alumni has the last part in a Get Lesta video. Lucas Healey holds the curtains, proving once again that he is not only one of the best skateboarders to come out of Coventry, but probably the UK. Don’t get me wrong though, this guy always makes me bloody laugh, not only because his tricks are completely unreal, but his sense of humour (which often comes out in his skating and choice of tricks) is utterly unique. Callun knows this – with a cheeky shot of a jester statue signalling the start of Goose’s part.
Hitting Cov spots better than anyone else in the video, this whole part is a total evolution of anything you might have seen from Lucas before in either a Terrible Company video or even a Get Lesta video – it’s next level shit. When he leaves Coventry, his tricks get even better: I was blown away the duck-under-a-bar-to-early-grab-BS-180 down a stair set, and I really liked the indy bash piv fakie at the crust ramp where he pings his front truck off the guard rail.
Joe Fleming makes a guest appearance on some tight brick transitions, giving flashes of his gnarly wide board era, and Lucas spends a lot of time showing he can skate nasty tight transitions just as well. A front smith gap over to back krooked on two facing ledges was another trick I loved: literally every great trick shown so far in the video has a well aimed response from Goose in this part. There’s a fucking mental Nollie Back 360 he does off the ground, over one of the barrier rails at the Buszy, and for days after watching this video initially that was the single trick I remembered about this whole part.
The last tricks aren’t necessarily big shocker bangers – but that’s not the point. The WHOLE PART is an ender in itself, and it’s the technical dexterity Lucas exhibits which is why his part caps off the whole of Darling so well. There are no 15 stair stuntman hammers in his part, no Joe Hinson style 20 stair handrails, but what is in this part is pure progression of what you can do on a skateboard – it’s relatable, quirky, fun, technically impressive creativity that makes Lucas, and by extension Get Lesta, so authentic to what skateboarding is actually about.
There’s variety throughout the whole of Darling, but it’s carefully edited and curated, and there is absolutely nothing flashy about it – it’s honest, it’s humble, it’s confident and it’s never drags. It’s a video that will get you more stoked to skate our weird, crusty, horrible UK terrain than any other I can name, and it celebrates everything that British skateboarding is about. At the end of the day, I always saw a skate video’s purpose was to get people stoked to skate: Darling manages that ten times over.