Age: 36 Year and age turned pro: I think it was end of 1986 which would have made me around 17-18 Year you stopped competing as a Pro: I think the last time I rode in a vert comp as a 'Pro' was around 1991-1992. It was at some outdoor event in Mansfield on the Invert Halfpipe. I suppose I considered riding at that time more for fun as it was difficult to see my self as a pro rider. Mainly because I wasn't relying on riding to support myself financially, my daughter had arrived by then and I needed a reliable source of income. I always felt the whole PRO rider thing was a bit premature and that the sport struggled because of the size of the industry here in the UK to justify fully supporting pro riders. Last Sponsors: I was getting some S&M bikes and parts flow from Ian Morris at 'Seventies' up till around 1998 for which I'm very grateful. Where you live now? and what are you doing?: I live in Newcastle. My current Job is with the Youth Offending Team in Newcastle. I'm a Drugs support worker responsible basically for helping young people who have become involved with the criminal justice system who also have issues with illicit drugs. Oh yeah and I still kid myself that I'm a bit of a rider......lol. As pioneers of competitive vert riding, how different is the scene now from in your hey day? What are the main differences?: Its a whole lot different in that the sport has really matured and almost been fully accepted by society throughout the world. I mean you just have to look at the variety of big comps/tours which are going on right now. Which brings with it all the media and TV coverage this brings in big companies who can inject money into the sport which make these Tours possible. I'm all for this providing the riders are the main benefactors of the investment. The thing is it now seems realistic to get to a skill level at say 17-18 years old and make a go at having a pro riding career which may be supported through sponsorship etc. This together with all the amazing riding facilities which exist around the world have to make a difference. For example Woodward seems to be a place where a lot of the pros today have spent some time training. The riding itself just seems to have really erupted in the last say 5 or 6 years. I believe that big transitioned ramps have had a lot to do with this as it has opened the doors for so much more variety in what's possible on a vert ramp. The thing is it's over twenty years since I rode my first ever half pipe and I can honestly say that watching all the top guys now excites me just as much, I mean it's just went fkn nuts lately. Respect! Back in the 80's there was a really strong British vert scene that definitely inspired the modern day Brits who ride vert! Who were the big influences then and what are some of the craziest and best memories that you have?: Hmm there were so many vert riders who made an impact back then I really have to say all the British riders who were pushing it. Mike Canning, Gerry Galley, Stephen Laidlaw, Lee Reynolds, Craig Campbell, Carlo Griggs, Jamie Bestwick Yourself (Simon Tabron) man the list could go on. I suppose the one person that no-one can deny had a huge impact on us all was Mat Hoffman. I saw everyone's style change almost immediately after that first time he was over for the worlds in '87. I know mine did. As far as crazy and best memories goes I can't really say because there are so many. I guess the best thing about being part of all that was the opportunity to meet so many different people from all over the world who have something in common..... a passion for riding. What was your biggest achievement back then? Either in terms of contests or tricks or experiences?: I suppose In terms of contests I have to say winning Pro ramps at the '87 Worlds however I thought the class below was a much more competitive class as there were the likes of Canning, Laidlaw, Reynolds, Galley etc. all coming up and pushing so hard it was a really exciting time. In terms of tricks I think I was one of the first UK riders to be pulling 540's consistently out of the top of the ramp. (There were a lot of riders doing them below coping which really pissed me off back then) How much, if at all do you still ride? and do you ever think about coming back out to ride a contest?: I've been riding a little lately but not really pushing it. The thing is I can't imagine ever not riding but when you're not doing it every day your fitness really suffers. It's not until you've had a longish break and you get back on a Vert ramp, drop in, blast a few airs and all of a sudden you're wiped out. I would really love to discipline myself to get on my bike everyday and get back to a reasonable level of fitness. Maybe then I would consider competing again. I have to admit though every time I watch you all riding the big comps I still get that feeling of hey I want to do that, it looks so much fun. Do you still follow Bmx. Vert especially? If so what do you think of what it's become, with the X-Games and all that. Yeah I've always tried to keep an eye on what's been going on. It's hard not to really. For me I've always been into bikes no matter what and when you've been involved in something for so long it's becomes part of who you are. It just seems normal to want to follow it. As I've already said I think it's great that the sport has matured and that so long as the riders are the main benefactors of all the investment, I'm all for it. What tricks have blown you away the most and did you ever think that they would be possible? Well the first thing that comes to mind when I read that was Jamie's 'double whip flair! erm... do I need to say anymore.........I mean Fkn hell man!!!!!!!!! Is there anything from those days that you would change? I don't really ever like to look back and say 'oh hey I wish I did this or did that. I guess it would have been nice not to have had so many injuries......LoL man my knees are totally fked. Thanks for the interview Simon.