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21 May 2003
Up for a grind - the Middle Aged Shredders
By Rino Mazzafiore
Carl Arnfield and other shredders
Middle Aged Shredders

They're not the quickest, they're not the best, and they're certainly not the youngest skateboarders around. They are 'Middle Age Shredders', all told there's over 40 of them and most of them are over 30.
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"You had to rely on your mum and dad taking you everywhere. We just get in the car and turn up now."
Carl Arnfield
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Carl Arnfield, Tim Walker and Simon (Sack) Mackereth are three of the Shredders who first skated in the 70's before the Ollie was invented and the main trick round these parts was the slalom.

Tim Walker
Tim catches a bit of air - but does he end up on the deck? Watch the video. 56K/ISDN or

The inevitable question is why do they do it? They're not exactly at the peak of fitness, the most supple or fearless. Tim broke his wrist on a concrete park in Huddersfield and says, " Nine weeks in plaster does put you off but as soon as the plaster came off I just drove straight round the corner to the skatepark and got straight back on again."

So why? It's simple, these guys just love to skate, it doesn't matter to them how good they are or how much air they get. But when one of them does there's a punch in the air sense of achievement from skater and spectators alike.

Carl Arnfield
Watch Carl skate the half pipe. 56K/ISDN or

They skate skateparks all over the country, not necessarily looking for the best one but just because they can. Unlike when they were kids, these days they don't need to ask permission from parents, most of them drive, they can afford the entrance fee and a decent board. Carl says, "There weren't the facilities and you couldn't get to these places, you had to rely on your mum and dad taking you everywhere. We just get in the car and turn up now."

Simon 'Sack' Mackereth
Take a look at Sack sweating like a dog.
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These guys even look the part, long baggy shorts, vest top or T shirt, pads and the odd bit of facial hair along with the obligatory tattoo. Sack says, "Yes a lot of it has got to do with fashion, but at the end of the day it's comfort more than anything else."

When you see these guys the question is always going to be, why? Whether that question is answered matters not. The fact that it's being asked in the first place means someone is doing something that isn't quite the norm and that's what skateboarding started as and still lives on as today.

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