Dee Collins – Issue 36 Interview


Dee Collins absolutely killed it in The National Skateboard Co.’s new video ‘PRIZEFIGHT‘. Many of the tricks in his part featured in his Vague, Issue 36 interview so we thought we’d upload it to the web to supply you with yet more content of this ever productive man. Check it out in full below! If you wish to get hold of this interview in physical form you can order a copy of Issue 36 here.

Introduction by: Jono Coote

Words by: Dee Collins

Photography by: Reece Leung

Whilst conducting research for the following feature on Derry native Dee Collins – in the time honoured fashion of lurking in Welcome Skate Store and distracting their staff from serving paying customers – I learned from Fraser Doughty that, while his ensemble might suggest otherwise, Dee is in fact a top mosher with a taste for metal. This is evident in his clear willingness to hurl himself down stairs and over gaps, but a small part of me can’t help wishing that more of this was shot with him in a full zebra print outfit, with more

of the below text reminding us that “Heavy metal rules, all that punk shit belongs on Mars.” We can’t always get what we want, so you’ll have to settle for some well thought out captions from Dee describing the mental process behind his trick choices and some connoisseur level spot homages… You could, however, read it whilst playing Heavy Metal Parking Lot on a screen in the background, in a demented cultural counterpoint to what he actually wanted on paper. I know I will be.

Frontside 180 Fakie Nosegrind

We knew that planning a trip at the start of November was a risky one, but we did it anyway. Me, Rye [Gray], Reece [Leung] and Vinnie went to Manchester for what was supposed to be a dry day, it rained the whole time but it was more less the last day I had to get photos with Reece. We sat in Pret across the street from this spot, I was trying to figure out what to do and we talked about Joe Gavin doing a switch frontside 180 to 5-0 on the same bin. I asked Reece if he was down to shoot a frontside 180 fakie nosegrind and he said yeah, so we ventured into the rain again, propped up a slab and started trying it. I remember it working out pretty quick, we got a few photos and I was happy to use any of them, I love the way Reece shot this!

Backside 180 Kickflip

This was another day we decided to get out of Leeds. Me, Massimo [Cristofoletti] and Dale [Starkie] were skating the Wakey ledges, which was a spot from Welcome 2: Hell that stuck outto me. You can only really skate it going one way because some of the ledges are capped, butit’s still sick. After being at the spot for a bit I skated round the corner and saw this ledge to bin.I love shit like that, it just reminds me of people skating Love Park back in the day – everything was done over those trash cans, Kalis did a crazy backside flip over two of them off a proppedup tile. The session was sick, Baines and Ben Powell both showed up halfway through and that hyped me up to try something over the bin. I’m really stoked on how this one came out. I rarely do backside flips but it just felt right for this spot.

Full Cab

After getting kicked out of almost every spot in Leeds one week we decided to take a trip to Liverpool for the day. Just before we left I got a text from Tom Brown asking me to ride for Welcome Skate Store. I was so fucking hyped, I couldn’t reply quick enough. After meeting everyone involved with the shop I couldn’t ask for a better crew to be a part of! That just setthe day off right, so on the way down we were looking at spots and this double set came up. We started thinking about tricks and Rye mentioned Conhuir Lynn’s nollie frontside 360 down it in the Slave video Radio Television. I thought a cab would be cool to do as another nod to someone I grew up watching skate. Conhuir used to come and skate my local skate park in Derry years ago and he was kind of the first person we knew that was doing shit in skating; travelling, being in mags and videos. So now to be mates with him and for him to have a trick in my part is so sick! Also he’s got one of the best tre flips ever, I just have to say that.

Full Cab Heelflip

This spot had been in my mind since Welcome 2: Hell came out, but I think it took almost a year before we got to skate it. I asked a few heads who skated it what it was like and I got a different answer from everyone – some good, some bad – and I was still surprised when we got there. The roll up is slanted, one side of the hip is mellow and the landing is steep, so I had to rethink what I was going to try. Me, Massimo, Hilda [Quick] and Dale were skating it, so it was good to see how other people were approaching it. I did a full cab, then felt like the only thing I could do worth filming was a full cab heelflip. I started throwing some out and none of them looked promising. I can’t really remember but I feel like it happened quicker than I expected, all I remember is rolling away thinking, “Thank fuck I don’t have to try that anymore.” I’m hyped I got to skate it eventually because it’s such a sick looking spot.

Backside Nosebluntslide

This was a few hours after the frontside 180 nosegrind and this spot was fucking soaking. I’ve skated it before but never really liked it for some reason. I was trying backside noseblunts just before this trip and I thought that it would be a good spot for it. On the drive down I was looking at the Instagram account @manchestalgia and there was a photo of someone doing a switch front crook in the wet with a newspaper run up on the ground. Rye ran to the shop to buy some newspapers and we started trying to dry up the spot, but it was no use, the wind was blowing the papers everywhere. At this point it was nearly dark and I just decided to try it. The ground was so slippery that any time I landed on my board I felt like I was on ice. I couldn’t roll away without doing something stupid or going too slow trying not to slip out and just stopping dead. It was literally the last try, I said to Rye I just wanted one where I rolled away with speed and thankfully that was the one. This was technically the first one I’ve ever done too, so I’m stoked.

360 Flip

The first time I skated the Buchanan 11 in Glasgow was on the first Skateboarder’s Companion trip, which was basically just a Forecast trip because there were about 13 of them! It was gnarly seeing them boys skate transition. When I got there half cab heel and tre flip were the tricks in my head, but I decided on the half cab heel. This time we were on a little National trip with Rye, me, Massimo, Michal [Juras] and Dale, and I knew if I got the chance I wanted to tre flip it. This spot’s so busy with people walking up and down, you just have to wait for a chance to go. As soon as you try the first one people stop to see what you’re doing which just adds to the pressure, so you want to get it as quick as you can. Almost every attempt felt exactly the same. I just wasn’t putting it down. I could feel my heels starting to hurt so I knew I had to stick at least one, then out of nowhere the first one I put my feet on I rolled away from. I remember rolling down the street thinking, “What just happened?” I blacked out doing the trick.

Switch Heelflip

This was the first thing I shot in Leeds, from what I can remember we had a big crew of people about that day. It was kind of the first day meeting everyone from Welcome too; it’s such a good scene, they’re all legends! I knew a lot had been done down this set but when someone said that a switch heel hadn’t I was keen for that. It’s normally a go-to for me anyway. The spot is pretty much perfect apart from the rail you have to duck under on the roll up, so I can imagine some tricks being weird with having to bend down then stand straight back up before you pop. Reece said he was happy with it and I was hyped to just get a photo with him, I had no idea at that point that we would end up doing an interview off the back of it, so thank you lads, I really appreciate it!

Switch Frontside Noseslide

This was the last photo I shot for the interview and it was the last day I filmed for my part inThe National video. The first day I got to this spot I noticed the ledge straight away, I remember Tom Brown and Mark Baines having clips on it. I didn’t skate it that day because I was kindof intimidated by it, so I skated the stairs down from it, but I knew I would want to try to get something there. Me and Rye were talking about what to do on the ledge and he knows Baines is one of my favourite skaters, so that’s where the switch front noseslide came from. We were talking about how it’s been 20 odd years since Baines did the front nose, him wearing the yellow tee, where it was shot and filmed from, and I just had to do it as a nod to him. He’s the sickest, I’ve studied his footage for years trying to copy the way he skated and he is a big influence on my skating. This is probably my favourite photo just because of the back story and everything that went into it. I really want to thank Reece for everything, and for making me look good haha.

Watch Dee’s part in The National Skateboard Co. – ‘PRIZEFIGHT’

Filmed by: Ryan Gray, Marcin Jakiel, Josh Hallett, Harry Deane, Mike Ridout & Naoise McCarthy.