Luke Russell - "Keep me in mind" Video part.
When I started skating in the early 90's vertical skateboarding was no longer cool. The hero's of the 80's like the Tony Hawks, Christian Hasoi etc were giving way to the wave of street skating that had taken over. However the videos I was watching still had "Vert sections" or guys that could skate street as well as they could skate transition (Phil Shao in Damage is still ingrained in my brain). So "the adult swing set" still was on my radar and I wished I could get involved. Unfortunately the only vert ramp anywhere near by was a indoor park, Vert X at Taren point, which was an hour away. Our crew and I started getting pads and trying to get up there once a month then just over night (or so it seemed to the 15yr on self) that the park shut down and that was that. Street skating it was from then on out.
Fast forward 20 odd years later I was more than stoked to connect with a Vert prodigy from the southern suburbs of Wollongong. Luke Russell is truly a throw back to those 80's vert gods mixed in with technical ability that any street dog would give their left nut for. I would see Luke around from time to time however without a vert ramp in Wollongong we didn't cross paths much. I would randomly see what he was up to and be blown away. He is one of the only people to do a 900 on a standard vert ramp in Australia.
Luke gently goes about his business without any fuss, whilst doing the most insane moves on a ramp, that makes me have vertigo when I stand near the edge of the platform. What I love is that Luke has stuck to his guns and still progresses on something not many people want to skate. He regularly has solo sessions and learns new things on the "Monster ramp" which is so insane to me with no one there. This part was so fun to film and work on with Luke as it connected to my inner "Vert guy". I was giggling whilst filming over head high kickflip Indys at Olympic park with absolutely no one around.