A couple of weeks ago was the annual NASS Festival, held at the Bath & West Showground, near Shepton Mallet. Every year UK and International action sports athletes and fans converge for 3 days of demo’s, competitions, and live music. I’ve covered NASS half a dozen times before now, and this year I was asked by Vision Nine (the Festival organisers and promoters) to be the official skate photographer. NASS 2015 promised to be immense, with Tony Hawk and the Birdhouse Skateboard team visiting on the only UK stop of their “European Vacation Tour”. I’ve selected a few images of the Birdhouse Vert team (below), I hope you enjoy them a tenth as much as I enjoyed shooting them…
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Above: This was one of the first images that I shot of Tony during a warm-up / press call on the morning of Saturday 11th, a few hours before the afternoon Demo. After confessing to me 5 minutes earlier that he felt ill, he proceeded to launch himself around the huge ramp like a teenager – at 47, this guy is still an incredibly nimble and agile athlete.
Above & Below: Also on the Birdhouse Tour was veteran team-rider Kevin Staab, who is a joy to watch and has a style all of his own.
Above: Joining Tony Hawk and Kevin Staab on vert duty was the sublime Lizzie Armanto. An X-Games Gold winner, Lizzie is arguably one of the finest female skateboarders on the planet, regularly competing directly against her male contemporaries. Here she is blasting a stalefish during warm-ups.
Above: During the Demo itself, the UK’s finest vert shredder Sam Beckett joined in the action, much to the delight of the huge crowds.
Above: MC (and UK Skate Legend) Sean Goff demonstrates just how high Kevin Staab is taking his Roast Beef grab.
Above: Tony Hawk, Stalefish above an appreciative NASS throng.
Above: Ben Raybourn doesn’t need pads or a helmet – just a cheap blue plastic mask and his trademark glasses. This wasn’t a scheduled part of the Demo, as Raybourn just burst out of nowhere and dropped into the ramp halfway through the session.
Above & Below: One of the original members of the infamous “Bones Brigade” Tony Hawk continues to make those familiar Birdman shapes.
Above: For a middle-aged guy who has achieved just about everything there is to achieve in the world of action sports, Tony Hawk continues to put on one hell of a show!
I will be posting more of my photographs from NASS in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned.