A man who likes to make every session count, Will North always has something new up his sleeve when I see him riding his local park, Crystal Palace. Whatever the trick might be, you can guarantee he’ll max out the height gauge on every attempt. I caught up with him after he spent a few weekends roaming London to session some of the city’s best known concrete parks, to talk about tricks, terrain and sponsorship.
Words by Ryan Van Kesteren
Photos by Jay Tilney / Ryan Van Kesteren / Martin Grainger / Jamie Goodliffe
Name: Will North Age: 23 Years Riding: 11 Home Town: Hayes, Bromley Sponsors: S&M, Protec
Q&A with Will North
– You’ve been all over the London park scene lately. Which spots are you most stoked on?
I guess it’s just been all the good weather. My local is Crystal Palace so I have been sessioning there hard for the last couple years, seems there I gained a soft spot for concrete bowls, cannot get enough of that place! This year its local scene has massively grown which I’m guessing is due to COVID and the fact people wanted to get out of the house, it’s wicked to have a great bunch of people there shredding.
Other than that I never really ventured into London for many skateparks so it was nice to have a few mates of mine show me around a couple recently. Big fan of Clissold for its flow and current scene, all the locals are sound which makes it all the merrier. Also been enjoying some of the more ratty spots like The Spot, Hackney Bumps, Brixton and The Gym, such a challenge to ride but make for so much fun.
– Who are your biggest influences in BMX?
I mean if we are talking all time I’d definitely say Roey, Robbo and Mike Miller, just pure height and steez. I watched them all almost everyday when I was growing up so I guess I just became attached to that style of riding. More recently I’d say riders like Louie Mire, Tom Russell and to be honest, anyone who I ride with influences me regardless of style.
– What’s the best feeling on a bike?
A tabletop or turndown over a hip for sure, can’t beat the snap and hold feeling! I’d also say a wild flailed air where you feel like you might front wheel case and die, that gets the blood pumping!
– You’ve started wearing a helmet a lot more recently, tell us about that?
During my skatepark trips to London I bumped into Ian Morris who distributes Protec helmets through 4Down. After seeing me ride a few times he approached me and said he’d like me to ride for the new UK Protec team. At that point I was riding in a lid anyway as I was progressing rapidly, so obviously I said yes. Not long before that I wasn’t wearing a lid so it really was a blessing and incentive for me to continue wearing one, so shout-out to Mozza for that!
– You’ve also been hooked up by S&M since most of these shots were taken. What are you riding now?
I have indeed, it’s all pretty surreal to me right now. S&M’s a company I’ve always considered the most prestigious BMX company in the world and to be asked to ride for them is an honour. So the setup right now is based around an S&M M.O.D 21.25TT in Trans brown with a bunch of other S&M goodies and Profile Eites for the wheels. Only special mentions are that I’ve cut the forks/bars down a tad, stretched my grips out a bit longer and ballooned my tyres to 100PSI for speed purposes!
– Any plans for trips or filming with the 4 down crew?
I was actually going to pop along for the last part of the 4Down Postcode series but due to the horrific weather and me living just outside of London I chose to remain at home, haha! Luckily I saw the boys managed to get some quality bits and bobs in some classic sheltered spots close to their apartment.
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