Chewin the Fat with Rob at The House
Hooked: The House skatepark is a renowned Sheffield spot. Are you originally a Sheffield lad?
I was born in Rotherham, grew up in Dronfield, but have been hanging around in Sheffield since I was about 13 and moved here at 18.
Hooked: How long have you been skating and what do you like to skate the most - street, vert or a mix of everything?
I've been skating since I was 8. I've never really skated vert as we didn't have the facilities when I was young and it's not something you get into late, so I'd have to say street.
Hooked: What music are you into and have you got a favourite band? Does this influence the music that we all have to skate to at the House?
Too many to mention, but off the top of my head: The Smiths, The Cure, The Silver Jews, Cinerama, The Wedding present, The Beatles, Bjork, Eels...I could go on but it would take up too much space. As for what we play at the House, you've probably noticed most of that lot doesn't get played. That's because when you have to listen to the same stuff coming through the walls of the office for hours on end it destroys it for you. We tend to play artists who aren't too offensive but aren't worth saving!! Hope that doesn't offend too many of you.
Hooked: What upsets you?
Hooked: How long ago did you set up The House and what inspired you to do so?
It was about 12 years ago that we set out to do this thing. I wanted to work for myself and I knew how to make ramps so it seemed like a good idea.
Hooked: Is there one moment in time that you felt changed your life forever - changed your skating / lifestyle / outlook etc?
I was in a band and the drummer really pissed me off. So one day at practice I just packed up and walked out. After that my whole friend group was lost. I always skated but up until then I'd seen it as transport. A few people I knew were getting into the trick thing so I just started hanging out with them full time. Everyone I know these days, my wife included, I met because of skating.
Hooked: Do you have a favourite event that you've held at the House and what memories make it stand out?
The park's tenth birthday party last year was pretty good, from what I can remember.
Hooked: Is there someone famous you draw inspiration from when skating, or if you could skate like them, who would it be?
No not really. I just do what I do, usually very badly these days.
Hooked; If you could alter The House in anyway, what would you change?
Everything, I'd love to close for a month, rip the whole park out and start again. But we'll never be able to afford it.
Hooked: On that note, we've noticed the left hand side ramp section has been ripped out. What are you plans for that area?
It's going to be a big vert wall, facing a low driveway, heading down to a transition hip joined to the wall ride, which will have a kinked block on the other wall, finally hiting an inverted hip flat bank. Although I might change some or all of that before I'm done.
Hooked: Ha Ha...Sounds exciting
Hooked: As skateboarding is constantly evolving, parks change to be more versatile and encourage creativity in skating. Where do you pull inspiration from when refreshing the House?
I try to follow the cycle of skating. About every three years you get a large influx of younger skaters; that's when I build the lower and easier to use stuff. Then as these kids grow up I make the park a bit harder to use. After about three years most of the kids who started have stopped and your left with the ones who don't quit and become part of the scene. As for inspiration sometimes it's suggestions, sometimes it's some thing I've seen either in another park or on the streets, sometimes I just get a silly idea and try it.
Hooked: Who would you like to thank for the success of The House?
Everyone who has ever worked there, all the people who have been nice to us over the years, anyone who has come down, skated and supported what we do.
Hooked: Cool thats a rap, thanks Dude