In this edition of OMOS, we take a minute (okay, a few minutes) to chat with UK Pro vert skater and personal trainer, Rich Parker. You’re in for a treat as he shows us his way around the local halfpipe in this One Minute One Spot video for Be-Mag.
Tell us a bit about yourself Rich.
I’m in the Southwest of the UK. I’m 34 years old. I was on the UK Roces (then Valo) team between the age of 16 and 25. I moved to K2 until they stopped making aggressive skates a year or so ago.
How did you get into vert skating?
I started skating aged 10 with my brother. We used to skate everything. Pretty quickly tho, I got fixated on vert. I first remember seeing vert in the old Australian video ‘Krangk.’ It featured legends the likes of Cesar Mora, Scott Crawford, Manuel Billirus. From that point on, [vert] it’s all I really wanted to skate. There was no vert in our town. My brother Rob and I used to travel 50 miles to our closest ramp in Bristol. We used to do that five times a week after school.* (Editor’s note: That is some serious commitment!)
As we have all experienced, skating makes you part of a family. That is one of my favourite things about the sport. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of my time traveling all over the world, competing with my friends and was fortunate enough to win a few things here and there too.
How does your personal training work influence your blade life?
Regarding personal training, I got into the cross-training side of things when I was 18, just looking for a way to help improve what I could do on the ramp. Since then, training in the gym has became one of my hobbies in its own right. As I started to learn more and qualified as a physical therapist, I was able to not only put things in place to help my skating, but also hopefully keep me fit and healthy as I age. I don’t want to get to the point where I feel broken from skating, so now a lot of the work I do in the gym is to keep strong and (hopefully) prevent future injuries.
As well as the PT work, I also run skate classes in schools, it’s great to see them progress and enjoy the sport that has given me so much.