"UK18: The Antihero Confidential" Article

AHUK Grant Taylor FSA Header 2000

I was sittin’ with my feet propped up on my mahogany desk, rhubarb gin in my right hand, a letter for my next assignment in my left. I’m a private investigator, ya see. Got into this work after being dishonorably discharged from the army. I contracted a bad case of trench foot from a foxhole in an abandoned pool. Since I forfeited my pension, retirement was not an option. So here I am, working as a private dick—snooping on perps, tracking down deadbeats, catching cheaters in the act of doing the deed—you know the gig.

From the UK's crusty parks to its gritty streets, the evidence of the wreckage is irrefutable. See it all here

And that’s when he walked in—nose first, slowly lurching into my office. Under his trench coat-clad arm was a classified document. As he turned to face me, I realized it was an old war buddy of mine. “Frank, you son of a bitch! How in the hell are ya?” I bellowed. He grinned and replied, “Gordon, you dirty ol’ dog. Good to see ya!” We chewed the fat for a bit, catching up while he smoked some cartoonishly-large cigarettes filled with something he called “hashish.” Finally, I asked why he was paying me a visit. As he snubbed out his smoke, his mood shifted.

 DSC2785 kanfoush transfer 18 UK brook DZ 2000Kanfoush eyed up this Indy floater and it was one and done, son. Firington!

 DSC3666 gerwer wall of boards 18 UK brook DZ 2000 crop

AHUK Quotes Lawless crew 2000
 DSC1880 stu div 18 UK brook DZ CUT 2000
 DSC0142 finn pope bs smith transfer 18 UK brook DZ 2000Fresh off the plane, Finn Pope served up a Buck Fast-buzzed back Smith transfer in Edinburgh. You know Larry loved this

Turns out, Frank was also in the PI business, and he’d been hired to go on my next mission, too. “Gus, my boy, we’re going undercover. We’re heading to Europe to document a hard-hitting street gang of vagabonds known as ‘the Antiheros’. They’re a lawless crew, bound together by wooden planks with metal spacers and wheels. They fly through the air like wild eagles, completely disregarding the laws of physics and society’s norms.” “By God—sounds dangerous!” I replied. Frank slapped the classified doc down upon my desk and slid it towards me. “Read this and meet me at the airport tomorrow morning,” he said before exiting the room.

 DSC0209 albino ollie 18 UK brook DZ 2000GT and Yinzer framed up ’Bino’s ollie in Glasgow. Skating is art, mannnn

I poured myself another rhubarb gin and tore into the letter:

“Mr. Gordon, I hope this correspondence finds you well. You’ve been recommended by an esteemed colleague of mine, Mr. Gerwer. If you’re reading this, Frank has already paid you a visit and given you a brief rundown of the task ahead. You will be joining Mr. Gerwer and the Antiheros in Europe. Your main responsibility on this assignment is taking detailed notes and submitting an account of your escapades for a magazine called Thrasher, which celebrates unconventional, anti-authoritarian behavior. Frank mentioned you’re a master of disguise, so we thought you’d be a perfect fit to blend in with these miscreants. You’re going to need to be able to adapt to ANY situation which may present itself. Packing an extra lung and/or liver is advised. You need to BECOME an Antihero—find out what makes them tick and share your findings from the inside. We’re putting a lot of faith in you, Mr. Gordon. We trust you’ll take this undertaking seriously. Don’t fuck this up.

Agent John Alden

AHUK Quotes Locals Hollering 2000

 DSC2841 grant taylor bsa 18 UK brook DZ 2000GT went nuclear at the Dean Lane demo. He later told us it was his dad’s birthday. Tom would be proud that the park was left in cinders—head-high hip blast

I drained the remainder of my drink and began packing, chucking some clean undergarments, a few soft-collars and a notepad into my suitcase. I met Frank at the airport early the next morning and we began our journey. Our first checkpoint was in Livingston, Scotland. We followed the coordinates we’d been given and found ourselves at a gargantuan U-shaped concrete structure. Our instructions were to wait there for the arrival of the Antiheros. As I stood by, a local man handed me a bottle of sweet liquor he called “Buck Fast.” It got me plastered as fast as a buck alright. Then, slowly, a large crowd of excited yet menacing-looking residents began pouring into the area. “What’s all the commotion?” I asked. A young Scot with a Gaelic tongue replied, “Aye, Antiheros are showing up.” Then, breaching a nearby hill like a horde of Vikings with a reggae soundtrack, the gang we were there to meet came storming in. The locals began hollering like banshees as the Antiheros poured into the park. They were a large, derelict bunch and they came in all shapes and sizes—some big, some small, some drunken and some lurking in the shadows. As haggard as they were, there was an underlying tone of glamour to their vagrancy.

 DSC2757 gerwer fs board pop out 1 18 UK brook DZ 2000Always on the job, Gerwer investigates a front board in Leeds

 DSC3891 daan fs flip street gap 2 18 UK brook DZ cropDaanski frontside flips a street gap in Glasgow—you can’t fence in a pigeon

In between puffs and sips, the fellas began flying, spinning and flipping around the concrete course. It was chaotic and mesmerizing. I needed to start collecting intel, so I followed the smell of hashish and found Frank. Luckily, he’d already gotten the scoop on the squad. And although the Buck Fast was boiling my brain, I began feverishly taking notes as he debriefed me on each of the guys:

AHUK Quotes Be Careful 2000

 DSC3591 raney sparks 2 18 UK brook DZ 2000
“You see the scrappy one over there doing a one-armed handstand? That’s Raney Beres—one of their top henchmen. The stout, blue-collar fella with a body as strong as cast iron and arms like a crab, that’s Kanfoush. He’s one of the main land pirates. Just past them is the Euros: Daan, Doobie, Harry and Pfanner. Daan is the resident technician. There’s no code he can’t crack. Doobie is the man who could pass for a Dodo bird. He’s sporting an orange visor and drinking vodka out of a watermelon alongside his rosy-cheeked colleague Max. Harry’s the pigtailed Brit. Be careful if he offers you any reefer—it’ll put some hair on your lentils. And Pfanner is the dread-headed fella who appears to be spring loaded. You’re gonna want him in your corner if shit goes sideways. Then we’ve got Finn Pope, the young sprout. He’s the kid gracefully gliding across every bit of terrain in this damn facility. The stoic bloke with skills that rival the greats, that’s Nick Matthews. The tall, handsome one with tattoos is Brian Anderson. Legend says he wrestles with bears. The ringleader Julien is around here somewhere. I’ve heard you can only find him when you stop looking.”

 DSC2838 raney fs invert 18 UK brook DZ 2000Raney, frontside invert for the Livi Scum locs

div spam rum 18 UK DZ 2000
 DSC0700 joey thershay bs smith 18 UK brook DZ 2000R&D in Liverpool—Joey Tershay aces a back Smith

AHUK Quotes Double Stigmatas 2000
Binos Bloodbath subhead 2000 DSC32082 albino blood bath 5 18 UK brook DZ 2000
Albino eyed up a sketchy line at Edge Lane skatepark in Liverpool—out of the bowl, over a rail and into the crustiest bank I’d ever seen. There was a patch of grass at the bottom that kept grabbing his wheels and pitching him to the ashphalt. After a few slams he was sporting double stigmatas; blood was pouring out of both palms. Despite the crew ripping out the turf, he couldn’t make a clean roll away. He was losing more skin and blood with each attempt, and it got so gruesome I almost asked him to stop. Eventually, his legs started seizing up and he decided to tap out. We thought an ER visit was necessary, but Alan from Shiner Distribution went into triage mode and got ‘Bino cleaned up and bandaged. He looked like a boxer—a fitting look for someone who just went into battle. ‘Bino had to wear the wrappings for the rest of the trip and he never once complained about his injuries. Toughest. Dude. Ever.

 DSC1545 albino ollie over rail to blodd bath 18 UK brook DZ 2000‘Bino’s Hall of Meat, ollie to meat grinder

 DSC3351 albino bandaged up 18 UK brook DZ 2000
 DSC3244 albinos bloody shirt 2 18 UK Brook DZ WH BG 2000
Subhead line 2000

I heard a commotion nearby and turned my head in time to see a drunken, fiery, ginger-bearded Scot belly flop onto the concrete, crushing a tall can of beer beneath him. “Who in the hell is that?!” I asked. Frank replied, “Oh, that’s Lord Div. He’s the brains of the operation, and next to him is the muscle.” And there stood a white-haired, bright-eyed man with neck tattoos, standing seven feet tall with fists like anvils. He looked like a human polar bear, and he was smiling from ear to ear with a beer in each paw. “They call him Albino, but you might wanna play it safe and just call him Sir.” There were two members of the crew left, both highly skilled at defying gravity. The older of the two possessed a dynamite style and was appropriately named TNT. The other, a high-flying artist extraordinaire, went by the moniker GT, short for Grant Taylor. He wore a seersucker suit and emblazoned upon the tail flaps was the phrase “Maka Lassi Posse.” As I pondered what that meant, GT came screeching past me, snatching the bottle of Buck Fast out of my hand, quickly chugging the remaining liquid. Stunned, I looked at him and muttered the only thing I could think of, “What in the dickens is a Maka Lassi Posse?” With a thick Southern drawl and a big grin he said, “Why don’t ya fuck around and find out, slick!”

 DSC1327 daan fs blunt 18 UK brook DZ 2000Daan Van Der Blunten, full frontal assault in Livi

 DSC3993 wood hoist 18 UK brook DZ 2000
 DSC2316 grant taylor ollie into bank 18 UK brook DZ 2000Black Sabbath played the Wolverhampton Civic Center in ’94. Grant Taylor cracked an ollie into the bank in ’23. Both were best experienced live

 DSC2361 daan kickflip 1 18 UK brook DZ 2000Daan took a lower-flying route at W-hampton, but it was just as gnarly—kickflip with hella clearance. Thanks for showing us around, Jagger

AHUK Quotes Life Became A Blur 2000

 DSC3476 max mack 18 UK brook DZ 2000
 DSC3891 guss leg 4 18 UK brook DZ 2000
As the day wore down, Frank finagled a spot in the Antihero van for the two of us. They were reluctant to welcome us at first, but we said we’d buy them booze and they warmed up. Now, I know jack shit about skateboarding, but I tried to impress the fellas by jumping on a board, only to get sideswiped by an old jalopy. I blew out my leg and rinsed my head. The crew picked me up, dusted me off and threw me in the back of the van. My skate dreams were over before they even started, but at least I had more Buck Fast and hashish to numb the pain. That night we heard rumors that the van was heading south. Frank and I knew not to ask questions—we were just along for the ride. From skate course to skate spot we journeyed, plummeting through Glasgow, then hammering into Leeds. From hotel to motel we drank, laughed and fought. Life became a blur. Days felt like months. How long had we been on the road? Hard to say. Hotel-lobby tattoos, Lord Div’s rum Spam, ’Bino battling himself into a bloody mess, Kanfoush and Raney’s late-night, mushroom-riddled graffiti session with young Finn—this assignment was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. My life back home felt like a distant memory and I was unsure if I was still pretending to be an Antihero or if I’d actually become one. Who was I even investigating at this point? Myself?

 DSC2067 gus gordon bs grab 18 UK brook DZ 2000The author came in WAY TOO hot. A heavy slam on day two made his hip look like a Grimace shake, then he got hit by a damn car. He still revved it up at Sausage banks to get a photo in the mag, though. Gus Gordon, melon

 DSC1527 pfanner ollie over rail and curb 18 UK brook DZ 2000Pfan-Man eyed this spot from the van and put it in the can. Ollie over the bar, past the curb. Oh, snap!

 DSC7231 gerwer switch impossible street gap 18 UK brook DZ 2000Nothing’s impossible when Frank’s around—switch gap attack

No matter where we went or how much trouble we caused, the crew was adored. Sifting through stories, devouring drinks, starting fires in the streets, eating baguettes, sardines and cheese right off the concrete—had this life been here all along? People made pilgrimages, bringing with them gifts of booze and requesting autographs upon their babies and foreheads. Frank even seemed to be figuring out how to ride a skateboard. I heard he did a maneuver called an impossible—switch! He always was the better soldier.

AHUK Quotes Demo 2000

 DSC2385 doobie ollie out to hubba ride 18 UK brook DZ 2000Doobski’s last photo as an am—gap out to hubba ride before reeling in his pro plank

By the time we made it to Bristol, our brains had been smashed to a bazillion bits and felt permanently pickled. However, morale was at an all-time high—mainly because the gang was hiding a secret from the Dodo-bird man. Inside a cardboard box was a collection of wooden planks which would propel him into the professional ranks of skateboarding. I had to admit—he was one hell of a sportsman on the ol’ stick ’n’ wheels. Doobie had no idea what was in store for him. After a bit of finagling, his hot-off-the-press signature plank was attached to some fishing line, and the sucker was plopped into the drink. While Doob hit the doob, we yelled at him to come help us reel in a whopper. We handed him the fishing pole and the gang circled around him, snickering like hyenas. Then—bam! Doobie’s debut pro model came popping out of the water like a champagne cork. He looked at his board in awe—and then the emotions started pouring in. Tears of joy streamed down the beautiful bastard’s face. Hell, I might have even shed a few myself. We wished we could celebrate the moment forever, but we had to move the party to the Bristol skatepark where a demo was supposed to take place. I’m pretty sure demo is short for demolition.

 DSC2580 doobie fishing board 3 18 UK brook DZ 2000
 DSC2592 doobie fishing board 5 18 UK brook DZ 2000
 DSC2731 doobie board rip2 18 UK brook DZ 2000First rips with the new rod

AHUK Quotes Cath And Release 2000

Doobies Fishin Mission 2000
When night would fall, most of us would either head back to the hotel or venture out to the pubs. Not Doobie, though. He and his fellow anglers—Harry Lintell and Max Pack—would grab their fishing gear and go hunting for nearby waterways. One morning he told us a tale of trying to set sail on a canal using a refrigerator he found in the garbage. Later in the trip, he showed us a photo of his previous night’s conquest—the largest pike he’d ever landed. It was massive! Doobie’s a hippie at heart, so he’s all about that catch-and-release program. It’s cool he’s found another passion in life. Wonder what else that fool’s good at?

doobie fishing 2 18 UK DZ White BG cut 2000
Subhead line 2000

It was time to put the vodka down, or pick it back up—whatever was needed to get the levels up for the next Antihero clambake that the crowd was craving. Some of the crew was in wastoid mode, some half dead, a few limping along—but luckily we had Daan and GT there to satisfy the hungry attendee’s appetites. Faces were melted, pants were soiled and it was fascinating to watch grown men behave like flabbergasted children upon seeing their favorite rider in person. Hard to blame them when you consider the crew’s cumulative charisma: the enigmatic elusiveness of Julien, BA and Austin’s undeniable charm, Nick’s jaw-dropping power, TNT’s classic style and Lord Div’s delightful dance moves—and that’s just scratching the surface. I swear I saw a man tremble in awe after shaking one of Albino’s huge hands. I might have also seen the same guy huffing ether on the roof. Regardless, ‘Bino’s presence demands respect.

 DSC1770 harry lintell fs board 18 UK brook DZ 2000Guest shredder Harry Lintell keeps it REAL with a lengthy front board in Leeds

 DSC2403 raney fs thuster 18 UK brook DZ 2000A belly full of Indian food couldn’t stop Raney from getting tubed in the West Midlands. Frontside thruster before the boot got dropped

 DSC3915 BA 18 UK brook DZ 2000

AHUK Quotes Hangovers 2000

 DSC4898 daan ice 18 UK brook DZ 2000
 DSC3173 raney bs air 18 UK brook DZ 2000The Tottenham DIY is crusty as hell, but the locals are the fucking coolest. Raney kept the storm clouds at bay with a mean grasser. He was born for this shit

We kept the party going late into the night, skanking, grooving, hollering and getting thrown into pubs just to get thrown right back out. Hangovers weren’t even achievable at this point of the journey. My brain had entered a new vortex. As fate would have it, we entered London just in time for the legendary Notting Hill Carnival festival. Two of Grant’s esteemed Maka Lassi ATLiens joined our roster—Mr. Peyton and Mr. Kamal, giving us an action-packed, in-depth tutorial on how to get loose and boogie down anywhere on the map. We blazed through more terrain in London Town until the pirate ship eventually felt like it was splintering into different directions. Doobie and the boys kept the party going at Carnival, Raney and the gang polished off the Tottenham DIY like a big jug of rum and Nick and Frank were out terrorizing the streets. Yet even when apart, it felt like there was a telekinetic wave of camaraderie connecting each of our remaining brain cells. Unfortunately for me, my health was in decline.

32a matthews fs blunt 2023 brook DZ 2000Nick front blunts while the eagles wait in the wings

 DSC5498 nick matthews tower bridge 18 UK brook DZ 2000 Whatever

 DSC0522 nick matthews pole street ollie 18 UK brook DZ 2000Two women were being chased by the cops while Nick was ollieing this pole/street. After he landed it, one of them ran up to us and said, “Did you see the magic?!” We thought she was referring to Nick’s ollie, but then she picked up a bag of drugs she’d tossed and shoved it in her bra. Cool trick

 DSC4764 gratitude skate shop 18 UK brook DZ 2000
On our last leg of the trip, I fell ill. I hadn’t been this sick since my bout with the Spanish Flu during the war. Frank told me I had contracted something called COVID 19. Whatever the hell I was stricken with, I took it as a sign that it was time to ejector seat out of this assignment and get to work on compiling my notes. The rest of the crew was slowly departing in bitter waves as well—some went home to their families, some kept the fire burning by gallivanting off to other countries and some simply ended up wherever their boards took them. Regardless, a communal feeling of emptiness settled over all of us. Resuming any sort of routine felt quite un-swashbuckler like after this expedition. Pirates aren’t meant to set alarms.

 DSC2155 harry lintell boardslide 2 18 UK brook DZ 2000 cropSecurity booted us twice from the Elland Road stadium, but Harry still scored a goal—boardslide through the kinks

After recovering from my illness, I found myself once again back in my office, notes strewn across my mahogany desk, staring up at me accusingly. What in the hell do I tell Agent Alden? What exactly is the moral of this story? I had attempted to reach Frank numerous times but he’d gone dark. Perhaps he had turned in his PI badge and joined up with the Antiheros full time. Maybe I should have done so, too. The more I tried to make sense of this assignment, the more I realized it didn’t really matter. An uneasiness had descended upon me since departing from the AH gang. As I thought about my time with them, I realized that everything else in life was completely meaningless. Perhaps this was the lesson after all. Maybe this mission was all just a giant hoax. Could it have all just been a study in the beauty of fucking off?

AHUK Quotes Every Day Rules 2000 DSC5195 finn fish chips 18 UK brook DZ cut 2000
AH UK Subheads Quotes 2000
"I take crossing the street very seriously now”
Gus Gordon, after getting hit by a car

“Why carry a six-pack when you can carry a keg?”
Chris Pfanner

“I drank Div’s rum Spam, and now I’m a hot mess”
Gus Gordon

“I want to be in the cooler”
Raney Beres

“I get more of a kick out of laughing at you laughing at your own jokes”
Frank Gerwer, to Gus Gordon

“This long drive in the van gave me an injury”
Daan Van Der Linden

“I can’t wait to wake up pissed off tomorrow and have a great day again”
–Victor “Doobie” Pellegrin

“My flight is at 4:20”
Grant Taylor

“I thought I was sore so I did laundry and took a shower, then I felt like gold”
Daan Van Der Linden

“We were looking for a pub and we found fire at Turbo Island”
Finn Pope

“Waking up at 9 AM to go skate? You guys are crazy. I don’t love skating that much”
Victor “Doobie” Pellegrin, who would regularly fish until 4 AM

Subhead line 2000

 DSC2982 kanfoush tail block 18 UK brook DZ 2000Teetering on a tailblock, Kanfoush taps in at Tottenham. Good on yinz

 DSC4848 harry doobie sleeping 18 UK brook DZ 2000
What I came to realize is this: if you’re with the right crew, it really doesn’t matter what you’re doing. The rest of the world fades into the background and society as a whole begins to tarnish. Everyday rules become meaningless when you’re with your gang on the open road. Had my personal voyage become just another stereotypical cliché about the spiritual benefits of adventure? If so, then that’s fine with me because we’ve got the one thing that most people don’t have—a reason to fuck off! So I suppose I’ll sit here patiently sipping my rhubarb gin, waiting for the next confidential correspondence from Agent Alden asking me to jump back in the Antihero van. Until then, over and out.

—PI Gordon, October 4th, 5:41 PM

 DSC4534 albino grant div poster 2 18 UK brook DZ 2000
 DSC3407 trujillo transfer 18 UK brook DZ 2000Explosive backside transfer at the Tottenham DIY, TNT closes the damn case. Mission accomplished… for now
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