Emma Richardson, AKA ‘Red Again’ (on account of her permanent red skate face) or ‘Tinyhands’ (so called after all her towering uni housemates realised quite how undersized her hands were) first picked up a board one summer holiday when all her school friends started skating; at the time she was 15. When they stopped she carried on. The talent she showed on her board was quickly recognised by Quicksilver and not long after by Rogue who promptly hooked her up.
It is the creativity of skating that Emma most appreciates; the way everyone approaches an object with their own personal style and attitude. It is that, she cites, which has kept her interest there. ‘When I get stressed I can just jump on my ‘plank’ and every worry in the world goes away.' She has an incredibly solid and enviable style on her board, but her talent doesn’t stop there. Emma has recently completed a degree in Textile Design at Falmouth University. As with her philosophy of skating, her artwork she also believes is a way of mind, set to push the boundaries every day. After finishing her course and moving back to her hometown of Birmingham Emma has recently been hooked up on new skate company ‘Spread Eagle’ - a Brummy based team looked set to do great things.
So Emma, how did the idea for Spread Eagle come about? Spread Eagle is the brainchild of Tommy Davis and Dave Glover - “The eggs of the Eagles have been incubating for innumerous years, though it’s only now that the conditions have aliened in such a manner to allow the bird to sour. Global recession, geological catastrophes and riots presented itself as a perfect time to start"
What is the concept behind SE? It’s a board company - we work closely with the Birmingham skateboarding community helping with local competitions giving prizes away getting kids hyped and generally stickering anything we come across. Doing something we all love oh and generally making havoc!
When and how did your involvement with the team come about? The guy Tommy who runs it, I've been friends with him for years and skated and partied with him a lot. I was back from university about a year ago – at the time I needed to ask him about manual print processing in the industry for my dissertation, because I was studying printed textile design at University. Anyway a few beers down and he was like are you interested in been apart of this company that I'm setting up? Nothing was set in stone until the end of this summer really when I had to make a really had decision to leave Rogue.
How many other team riders are there...and any special Top Trump powers going on there? There are currently 3 other riders on the team they are Jake Smith, aka=Stezee to Please! Effortless skating, he can do the biggest knarlleyest thing and make it look like it was nothing! Neil Bailey, aka Attack Dog! Fast hesh skating and lots of flow! And finally Marcus Palmer aka Crazy Style and Go Big!
Keeping it British, why was the decision made to choose A Third Foot to produce SE boards rather than go down the Chinese root as so many brands have done? Well firstly A Third Foot is a Birmingham born company; totally grass routes. It’s important to keep your local scene alive otherwise there won’t be a future in [Birmingham] skateboarding. Ken at A Third Foot is also working with new shapes for us ‘cause it’s good to have individuality in a company.
Why is it so good to be part of a hometown team? I think it’s rad because I’m from Birmingham and apart from the last three years spent at Uni I’ve always been here; I've grown up here. To be given the opportunity to represent a company that is 100% Brummy makes me feel proud! All the other skaters on the team are well respected in Birmingham, not just for been rad skaters but like the loveliest bunch of lads ever.
You've just finished your first tour with SE…dare I ask… Well we went to Ireland for a week (North and South) Dublin, Belfast, Giants Causeway, Gorey, Derry and Ennis Killen. All about spreading the word about The Eagle and getting some filming done. It was amazing - as well as skating we went tomb stoning and clay pigeon shooting. I've never shot a gun before so was a bit nervous about that one and of course we had to drink Guinness!
What’s next on the agenda for SE? I think number one is make sure everyone is having fun! Ha-ha, but I think the team will expand in time and not just be Birmingham skaters on it, I think that this is the most exciting thing ‘cause getting to be apart of something from the very start is exciting! There’s also gonna be a ‘Bonfire Jam’ coming up in Brum – we want to get all the locals more hyped about the team. We want to work with more local comps that are run by skaters for skaters. I’ve got a direct input into Spread Eagle and get to help promote the cause as well as hopefully influencing other girls and boys to skate at the same time.
Any last thoughts? ‘Err, shred till your feet are red!’
Check out Emma’s artwork here: http://tinyhandstextiles.blogspot.com/
Words and main photos - Jenna Selby