Dom West

Top 5: Leon Humphries

I’ve been here for an hour already, trying to write this intro but everything so far doesn’t seem good enough. I don’t want it to sound like a love letter, too stereotypical, but how do I express my appreciation for OG London shredder Leon Humphries without sounding too cheesy and like a fan boy? Well, since Leon’s Top 5 answers are nothing but honest and well thought out, I figured I might as well be honest. I am a fan, I don’t want his video sections to end, I love his timeless blading and even though we’ve never had crazy long conversations I feel like I know him well.

I know, I shouldn’t take sides and my text should be based on facts. Why don’t you just click HERE, download the latest BHC video, check out Leon’s section and read his insightful Top 5? I think you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

Photo: Jamie Harris
Photo: Jamie Harris

Text: Johannes Jacobi
Photos: Dom West, Jamie Harris, Gareth Morton

Top 5 things people don’t know about you
– I am a qualified mental health nurse and work in that profession currently.
– I nearly died in a rock climbing accident two years ago.
– I am of a mixed heritage, predominantly West Indian on my mother’s side – Trinidad and – Tobago. I am also of Welsh and Portuguese Indian heritage.
– I lived in Trinidad for two years.
– After 8 years together, me and my girlfriend finally went abroad with each other this year!

Top 5 ways to annoy you
– Trying to grab my hair, or putting your fingers in or through my hair, I don’t know where those grubby mits have been!
– Play awful music at a jam / people with an awful taste in music telling you what you are playing is ‘shit’ with no alternative or critical explanation.
– At an already packed show, you get these people who try and make space where there is no space – right in front of you. Then proceed to have a conversation or use their i-pad to take photos. Fuck off!!
– Be inconsiderate.
– Getting booted from the spot burns my insides.

Top 5 on the bucket list?
– To experience free fall.
– To become adept and learn more of yogic practices.
– To keep exploring the world with my close friends and family.
– To feel free of the obligatory anxiety and stress of life.
– To let go.

Photo: Gareth Morton
Photo: Gareth Morton

Top 5 things about London
– One of the most amazing places to skate in the world.
– All top artists and musicians will play in London.
– Racism is rejected by most aspects of our community. We embrace multiculturalism, freedom of speech and religious tolerance.
– The London slang and humour is fucking ridiculous. So many ways of communicating that are hilarious and inventive and so many words that are amazing to say.
– My family are here and I love them.

Top 5 reasons to yell “FUCK!”
– Bag piping, body piping or splitting a rail. Yelling fuck is a good strategy to manage pain while simultaneously scolding yourself for the error in the first place.
– When someone clearly inferior at FIFA is smashing you.
– At an Electric Wizard show.
– Receiving a parking ticket or any kind of fine can bring on that intense urge to yell ‘’FUCK!’’
– When you have forgotten something crucial and remember it too late.

Top 5 things to do besides blading
– Yoga.
– Playing with my nephews.
– Any time spent with my girlfriend.
– Reading .
– Discovering new music.

Top 5 worst things about traveling
– Red eye, early morning flight after 2 hours sleep because you were too excited to sleep and thought you would ‘extend’ the holiday by partying the night before.
– Getting hurt or sick when you don’t have your own bed to go and die in.
– Your shotgun passenger falling asleep when you have skated and partied just as hard.
– Shit can get grimy.
– For whatever reason, no access to money is a total bummer.

Photo: Gareth Morton
Photo: Gareth Morton

Top 5 video sections of all time
– T.J Webber – Wasteland.
– T.J Webber and Dustin Latimer joint section – Evolution.
– VG5 – Forward section.
– Alex Broskow – KCMO.
– Oliver Short – Face the Music.

Top 5 bladers of all time
– Dustin Latimer.
– T.J Webber.
– Alex Broskow.
– Chiaki Ito.
– Kevin Kai Yee.

Top 5 favorite bladers when you were 13
– Rawlinson Rivera
– Ryan Jacklone
– Erik Burke
– Roadhouse
– T.J Webber.

Top 5 places to visit before you die
– Japan.
– Bhutan.
– Kurdistan.
– The continent of Africa.
– Colombia, Brazil or Uruguay – I have friends from these south American countries who tell me so much about them.

Top 5 worst things about blading
– Pain can be so sudden and terrifying.
– People have very negative perceptions of skating, it is a disappointment when they share this energy with you.
– We are all individuals, and do not have to like each other because we skate. However, there is a culture of disrespect on the online forums that leaves a bad taste for those who are focused on the positive and beautiful.
– There are people ‘concerned’ about blading and what it needs who don’t know their arse from their elbows.
– Blading can bring out some of the more sinister aspects of your nature – anger, anxiety, frustration, ego and fear.

Top 5 things about blading
– Alongside any of the great arts or activities that have captured the imagination of humans – skating runs parallel with these in how much inspiration and joy it provides.
– A feeling between a massive group of people that transcends friendship, into something far more binding and beautiful. I have that feeling now with the homies.
– Improvisation seems to be one of the most fun and explorative aspects of skating. Going with the flow, playing with carving or exaggerating a style – there is usually a brilliant reaction to improvisation which is generally laughter.
– It is a gateway to understanding yourself.
– Blade history is ridiculous, you couldn’t write that shit.

Photo: Dom West
Photo: Dom West

Top 5 most played on your iTunes?
– Electric Wizard – DoomMantia.
– Earth – The Bees made Honey in the Lions Skull.
– Brian Jonestown Massacre – Amenone.
– Bardo Pond – Rumination.
– Bassekou Kouyate and N’Goni Ba – Bambugu Blues.

Top 5 movies
– Searching for Sugar Man.
– They Live.
– Strange Days.
– The Fisher King.
– Samsara.

Top 5 websites
– Arsenal Newsnow
– BBC Weather.
– Piratebay
– Be-Mag
– EasyJet

Top 5 blading photos on your wall as a kid
– I never desecrated any of my magazines and still have them all in pristine condition. Looking through magazines with cutouts makes me feel ill.
– However, I did have the iconic Dustin Latimer parallel AO fish in California on my wall.
– I had a Kahuna advert with Matt King on my wall at my parents’ house.
– I displayed a 5050 advert card of Josh Petty – the other side was a photo of Dustin.
– I considered putting up various pictures of TJ Webber but did not want to spoil my magazines. He is the most high who I pray to and give thanks for!

Top 5 ways to spent 5$
– Air Tickets.
– It feels good to spend money on people you love, buying gifts and things that may help them out.
– Obvious, but treating yourself or others to imaginative food you have bought and prepared.
– Music Shows.
– The vices.

Top 5 things to worry about
– Disease.
– Money.
– Barbaric events of global inhumanity and inequality that affect the marginalized, vulnerable and oppressed.
– The Global Elite and the way the general populous is influenced by grandiose social control and conditioning methods.
– Mother nature’s resilience of our cancerous nature.

Top 5 people
– My most beautiful person and partner Jo.
– My Blood – my small and loving family.
– My brothers know who they are.
– Hermann Hesse.
– Sasha Shulgin.

Top 5 items to take on tour
– Video camera.
– Yoga mat
– Shin Guards
– Knife
– Literature.

Top 5 tours you’ve been on
– 2004 Be-Mag poor tour.
– 2014 Los Balas Perdidas in Northern Spain.
– Bloodspill Barcelona trip 2013
– Bloodspill California trip – 2013
– Singapore 2010 X-mini tour.

Top 5 worst jobs
– ASDA – anyone in the UK may know why I say this. I was there for four years!!
– Waitrose – Another supermarket, Nazi style managers.
– First ever paper round – my fault, didn’t really know where I was going in my local area and just threw all the papers away. Was not invited back!
– Golf Caddy – no explanation needed! Carrying sticks for wankers!
– Blockbuster Video.

Top 5 best jobs
– My current job as a community mental health nurse.
– Representative job for a CD distribution company – claimed free fuel and dossed for 2 years!
– Blockbuster Video! Me my girlfriend, her brother and a few of our other friends were all working in Blockbuster stores in the local area. Free DVDs, Free Ice Cream and pop corn, free games, high jacked the store and played my own music and films across the video and sound system. Totally took the piss.
– X – mini trip to Singapore to promote the brand and jam with Chiaki Ito, Warapoj and Oli Benet for a week.
– Potentially, the Street is Culture project based in London that me Oli Short and Joe Atkinson are working on.