Photography and Captions by Colin Sussingham
Colin Sussingham has been on the scene for years shooting photos. I had the pleasure of chilling over some slices of elaborate-ass pizza while he told me some of the more interesting stories behind some of the iller skate photos he’s taking. Join us, won’t you?
The image above is Queens. It’s Andrew Wilson’s kilty mcbagpipe. I don’t know who came up with that, I’ve heard that the Gonz always called it that. I don’t know. Max Palmer always called it that. That was the first time I saw someone do it in person. Max and Andrew were both trying it, there was a big squad of us there. Andrew was trying it for awhile, it kept hitting the rail and bumping around. He finally did it and everyone went fucking wild. I had two broken flashes there that day and John Choi grabbed them and started smashing my flashes on the ground. It was crazy. That was when Andrew, Johnny, Paul, Dylan and I lived together. ‘Guzzle Island’ was the name of the apartment. We had a backyard with cement quarter pipes and shit.
This is in Chinatown. The place had just closed and Johnny didn’t have a light at the time. So, as the store was closing, I went in and turned the lights back on. Then Dom Travis got caution tape and blocked the sidewalk off so Jason could try it. As the owner was coming to kick us out, Jason ollied up and did it. That was in Horny and you can see Dom yelling like crazy once he ollied it. Jason Byoun is just a liability to have on any skate session. We could be here eating lunch and he would just be sitting there rolling weed. That was a funny situation, we got to skate it and it was cool. It took a couple tries. The ground before it was wet, and he fell so hard two times in a row. Slid out on the wet pavement, and fell so hard.
This is Jed Anderson. The board slid this rail that so many people have looked at, right across from Blubba. You get kicked out instantly. We went earlier that day and the security guard told us he had a gun. I guess he was threatening us…he was definitely angry with us for trying to skate it. We had Alex Saad go into the plaza on the other side of the rail to skate these ledges to distract them. Jed did it first try to fakie and rode into one of those black poles you can see in the photo. He was bummed so he wanted to do another. Did it to regular, perfect, right through the poles. He’s like the gnarliest pro snowboarder. He does like 40-flat-40 handrails on a snowboard. So he was made to skate shit like that. It was amazing.
That was a Skate Jawn cover. This is John Gardner riding off a roof at Matt Lilly’s house, “Shred-Stuy.” It’s a crazy house. It’s two floors, they throw concerts on the roof in the summer, it’s cool. I shoot a lot of party photos of all my buddies and shit, so I’ll always have a fisheye and a flash, but very rarely do I plan to take a photo at a party. But John was like “Yo, I’m gonna ride off the roof. Go downstairs! Let’s get this photo!” Someone actually shot a photo from behind, I was lucky, there’s a back flash. Someone else’s flash went off at the exact same time and added to the photo a little bit. That was crazy because that roof is covered in soft tar, it was the middle of the summer. You can see all the people in the photo, there was probably beer all over it, they usually get kegs – but John just did it. That ramp is pretty cool. This was three or four summers ago.
This is Max Palmer doing a 180 one-foot at this sculpture at Pratt, where we both went to school. It was installed after we both graduated. Basically, through a back alley we hid these two pieces of plywood then put them through a fence. You can’t skate anywhere on campus. It was one lucky night where we went in and no one saw us. We went and got the pieces of wood, because you need wood to ride up to it–it’s surrounded by grass. It’s so loud, the thing shakes like crazy when you skate it. It was 11 at night and somehow no one said anything. We felt like bank robbers or something. Late at night, knowing we could get in a lot of trouble for it. It was super fun. It was just me and him. He did that and he did frontside flip first try. This is the better photo, I shot like 3 photos. I think this was the cooler, weirder. Max is such a photogenic skater anyway. You can see how loose his trucks are, midair, touching his board. It’s hard to skate because it’s super skinny. Every trick has to be a full 180, you can’t skate it like a bank. It’s slow going, but I’m actually shooting a project on skating and sculptures.
This is Paul Tucci in Richmond. Another Skate Jawn cover. They’re coming out with their 28th issue, it’s a photo issue. It’s gonna be cool. But anyway, this was in Richmond. We took a road trip down there with two cars, it was probably ten of us. This guy Clem Sausage showed us around. Paul pulled this one out of left field. He started doing it, I was shooting photos of other people’s tricks. This might have been the first one I shot of the no comply, and it was the one he landed. For me, this was the golden era of skating. I’d recently graduated from college and it was strictly hype. We still all lived together at this point and it was good vibes all around. He landed it and everyone was going crazy. It was the gnarliest no-comply. That spot is so crusty. People were skating it as a bank to ledge. Max did a back tail on it, a bunch of other tricks went down. This trick was so fun. It was the beginning of summer and we went camping. It was a big party the whole time. It was an exciting time in skating for all of us, I think.