Jamie Manning - a skateboarder with his eyes fixed on the future

Jamie Manning - SkatePro skateboard team rider, 14 years old, already talks like a pro, and, most definitely, not the average teenager. In his spare time, he skates, and skates. He doesn't have time for video games because he needs to practice tricks. And he can do this at home too.

How did he get to be that good? We are about to reveal his secret. He might be young but he knows what he wants, and, most importantly works for it. He dreams of becoming a pro skater but is yet humble when we ask him if he is going to be a world-famous one day:

"I don't know. Hopefully!", is his simple answer.

But apart from being humble, he shows a lot of determination and devotion towards skating and becoming better and better. Moving from Sydney, Australia to a small town in the UK definitely affects his choice of spots to practice, so Jamie and his dad took it to the next level:

"Basically, there are no skate parks in the town I live, at all. Overall, there are a couple of small parks, which are not that good, and I have to travel over an hour to get there. And my dad was nice and said: “We can build a small skate park in the garage”, so I can skate after school and before school, and all the time basically", says Jamie with a huge smile on his face.

Jamie doing a FS board slide at Area 51 Skatepark, Eindhoven, Holland during the SkatePro team rider tour at the end of April 2018

We get suspicious though, we know teenagers. Is it really all the time?

"Yeah! I skate every day! Depends on what day it is. On the weekends: all day on Saturday and hopefully Sunday, and then I stay after school for a couple of hours during the week", he proudly and assertively confirms.

Ok, a skate park in the garage. If this doesn't show determination, what else? But it is not that simple. To perfect a trick, Jamie has a whole process built up that he follows strictly:

"I learn all my tricks on my rail and stairs because I mainly skate rail and gaps. The gaps are sort of hard to skate because there’s a wall there and I’m a bit scared of it. But I always learn my tricks on the rail, and then from there take it to the bigger rails at skate parks, and then in the streets after that. So it is like a process from small, to big, and to bigger".

On our question, if he has an advantage because of the garage skate park, Jamie answers confidently:

"I guess I do have an advantage with rail because around, where we live, aren’t many small rails to learn on. So I guess it is easier for me to go for stuff on the small rail, and then take it to the bigger rails".

And a BS tailslide in the skate park in his garage

It really feels like we are taking an interview with a grown-up, pro rider. We try to ask all the funny, not so serious questions but then Jamie comes up with the most cool-headed and well-articulated answers. We try asking him what is his soundtrack when he rides, and he answers:

"I don’t listen to music when I skate because I can’t concentrate. I don’t know why. Sometimes, when I have my friends around I have music in the background but when I am seriously trying a trick, or having a session, I don’t have music because it distracts me".

So we decide to keep it serious because Jamie is dead serious about skateboarding. And if you want to close gaps like a flying Superteen, Jamie's advice is quite straightforward:

"Just skate - it’s fun. If you get into it, you won’t stop. It will take most of your time but it can be your career, it can be anything you want it to be. So just go do it".

360 flip still at Area 51 Skatepark, Eindhoven, Holland

Just so we don't get to that cliche end of an interview, loaded with pathos, we shoot the last question at Jamie, a practical one, namely, what is his set up:

"I switch my set up most of the time with whatever is there, whatever is available. For example, I like Baker boards and I had a couple of those. At the moment I am riding Real skateboard with Thunder trucks but a month ago I was riding Independent trucks and have been riding Vector wheels.", answers Jamie and we can feel that he is eager to go to the skate hall and show us how it's all done.

So he gives us a solid handshake, grabs his board and storms out towards the Omega skate hall. Looking at his back, we all know that this kid is going to be big one day. As for today, he'll give us a lesson on how far determination and passion can take you, and show us his three favorite tricks, of course.

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