run while you can

Neil Smith: Like an unwavering wave.

For the British children. Photo: Sam Ashley.

Skateboard media, essentially two-fold*, consists of photography and filmography. Though both forms are extensive artistic outlets, skaters commonly debate which is superior. In short, are you a mag-dude or vid-dude, brah?
A matter of personal preference, this question has no correct answer. (Oddly enough, Like a Wave features photos yet expounds upon videos. This dichotomy best suits a skate-hound, hungry from everything.)

Switch front-thug. Photo: Sam Ashley.

Obviously photos and videos each have their merits. A still photo (not a sequence, mind you) captures only the pinnacle of a lengthier set of images. Raw footage on the other hand gives the viewer the entire story from dramatic roll-up to relieved roll-away.
Uninteresting nonsense aside, Neil Smith has kept a good thing going, sticking out tough times, still killing it. Often through the lens of Sam Ashley, Smithy can nail a photo. This is not to say that he can’t get radical on film. Because he can. And he has. For this reason, Blueprint of London deemed it appropriate to turn Neil pro… again**…

Frontside demolition derby. Photo: Sam Ashley.

Neil’s blend of speed and power make him a true street machine. Although he drops some serious hammers, his name is unlikely to come up in a discussion of gap and handrail killers. Perhaps it ought to. Evidence is available…
Neil’s first major part was in Blueprint’s Lost & Found, which debuted back in 2005. This video, a pillar in skate history, showcases classic, bricky British skate spots. Neil crushes at light speed, dishing some six minutes of destruction. (There might even be a ghetto bird fluttering about in this part).
Last year Blueprint released its newest video, Make Friends with the Colour Blue. Again, Neil proved a worthy cog in the machinery of British skateboarding. The editing in this part harkens back to Misled Youth, in which tricks rapidly appear and disappear, cut together without any interludes. Neil’s nollie heelflip hellride ender essentially sums up the entire part. Raw.

You guessed it, Photo: Sam Ashley.

Neil, so glad you’re back in pro-dom. Doubly deserved.
*Interviews and this website’s aimless prose don’t count.
**Back in 2008, Neil gracefully accepted a demotion to amateur status following Blueprint’s near collapse.

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