Tag: Theobalds Cap Co.

Remember a couple of weeks back we had this interview with Craig Jackson? If you do, then you might remember him mentioning something about the Theobalds Cap Co. going to Barcelona. Well, that moment has passed, the votes are in, and counted. Turns out when it all said and done Craig did not find his experience as Team Manager that easy. A lack of motivation, no food, no drinks, too much sun, or no sun at all, grounds for a skater not to skate or influence the spirit of the group. Being that Craig is a great person he was willing to list his 12 most crucial tips so that you don’t have to learn the hard way.

Intro Roland Hoogwater
Text Craig Jackson
All photos by Rafski

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In Barcelona, distractions and curveballs are everywhere, especially when you’re managing a group of skaters all with different personalities and habits. Highlights included being wet at some point at least three of the five days, losing riders on nights out, boards being snapped unnecessarily, The Kino stack breakfasts and Damm Lemons amongst everything else that stopped us from being at a skate spot before 14:00 hours every day. With that being said it was impressive watching these guys switch into tour mode and handle the many places we took them to as well as ones we would stumble across during our treks around the city.

I learnt a lot whilst playing this role for a week and thought it might be a good idea to take this time to produce a simple 12 step guide for anyone who might own and operate an up and coming brand who are about to embark on trip to ensure you maximise your experience and avoid any unnecessary hurdles. The team sheet consisted of Jake Bidmead, Josh Arnott, Jeremy Jones and Cam Barr who’s this was his first trip to Barcelona (You can only imagine how this went down) and were cheered on by our good friends Josh Brown and Phil Russell. Special shout out to Rafski for putting up with us all week, Amy Ram and Danny Wainwright for the grip tape and keeping everyone pumped. Now scroll down to learn how to “Team Manage” on a shoestring budget…

#1 – Get them on the plane.

Probably the scariest part of the whole trip. Ensure that no one has anything on them that they shouldn’t or anything that could raise a cause for concern. “What’s wrong with that?” was one of our riders response when I clocked that he was going to try and take his tobacco through in small clear baggy. I have no idea why.

#2 – Bring product.

One of our riders forgot all his Theos products. Luckily for me, I pre-packed a ton of stuff, so this did not turn into a problem. Anything that was left over was given out to the many friends we made along the way.

#3 –  S.U.N.C.R.E.A.M rules everything around me.

Jeremy was the only rider who packed some sun cream (his complexion demands him to). But we only found out the need for it when we were all the way out at the infamous beer banks spot. Luckily this also turned out to be the hottest day of the trip. Regardless of any UV damage, Jake threw down this backside nose blunt while we all stood around and got toasted, nicely toasted.

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Jake Bidmead, Backside Noseblunt.

#4 – Be the weatherman.

If you’ve been skating for long enough, you become pretty good at judging the weather. On one of our days, it turned out we only had a window of 3 hours of dryness in between the torrential rain. So, be spot savvy and don’t trek super far if you feel like the weather could easily change on you. When the weather started to turn, I ended up guiding the guys to this super fun bank spot around a lamp post that I first saw Vaughan Baker skate in “Lost & Found” years ago.

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Josh Arnott, Nollie Backside Heel.

#5 – Don’t be afraid to break up the jam.

This rule was one of the hardest for me to come to terms with. The thought that I’d have to tell someone to “not roll that up here, wait for the next spot” didn’t do my anxiety any favours whatsoever. Regardless, we had to keep moving and not get too lost in the sauce. Time is money.

#6 – The best things happen when you least expect it.

In a city like Barcelona, it is easy to forget that almost every place has spot potential, not just the official destinations. I.e. Cam spotting this considerable road gap which had a perfect downhill in front of it that guaranteed extra speed. “READY!?” was the last thing he screamed before flying over the gap. I felt like I was watching nitro circus. Love it! MVP.

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Cam Barr, Ollie.

#7 – Don’t be afraid to give your riders shit.

On one of the days, we were lucky enough to have Danny Wainwright come out with us for the day as guest TM. This was an eye-opener for sure. Danny and Josh Arnott go way back and that was noticeable in their communique. He pretty much gave Josh shit and called him a wussy at every skate spot he went to. He finally gave in and proceeded to half cab over a barrier into one of the crustiest banks I’ve seen.

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Josh Arnott, Half Cab.

#8 – Everyone’s different.

Jeremy Jones is a pretty quiet guy (until he hits the sauce) and compared to others, doesn’t show when he’s frustrated. Remember that everyone is different and sometimes you’ll have to check in and make sure that your guys aren’t burning themselves out at the first spot of the day. Jeremy had to battle for this photo in the heat of the midday sun, but he had his sunscreen on and eventually nailed one perfectly.

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Jeremy Jones, Wallride Nollie, Bank To Bank.

#9 – A team captain helps.

I’ve known Jake for a fair few years now (we partied pretty hard in Monolos when we properly met back in 2012) and since he’s the oldest person on the team, it was only natural that he assumed the team captain role. Jake knows the city like the back of his hand, so after one session was over, we’d catch 5 minutes to discuss where we’d be going next and who could hit certain spots. Jake also talks in his sleep. Cute.

#10 – The media crew will keep you sane.

Always the first texts you will wake up to every morning, your photographer and/or filmer will be your best friend on tour. I was lucky enough to have one of my favourite skate photographers Rafski join us. He kept us all on our toes throughout the trip making sure everyone was out of bed and at Macba in time every day. You’re the best, Rafski.

#11 – Party time, excellent.

Team nights out are essential, don’t be that guy who tries to keep everyone reigned in, let them live. One night we got chased out of Macba by police and ended up at Nevermind. Everyone got pretty ‘lit’, Cam snapped his board, and we lost Jeremy who I luckily found talking to one of those sketchy beer seller guys near our hostel several hours later. I managed to eventually pull him away and put him to bed, reluctantly.

#12 – Get them back on the plane

Maybe even scarier that step 1, ensure that everyone gets on that plane back home. Drag them out of bed if you need too. One last final bit of advice: Make sure everyone has budgeted enough money for that airport transfer…

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Jake Bidmead, Frontside Crooked Grind to Fakie.

It is still early spring when I call Craig on a chilly Sunday morning, outgoing Facetime call… He picks up. We talk about skateboarding for about 10 minutes until we both decide to start the interview,  Craig leads, I follow. Once the recorder is on you never know what is going to happen, some get nervous, stop talking, take long pauses or start speaking fast, none of this happens to Craig. Afterwards, we hang up and I start thinking about the many ways you could transcribe what just happened. Two people of similar age talking for over an hour about our passions, I end my train of thought by thinking “Hats or paper what is the difference? Both started with a skateboard.”  I flip open my laptop and start typing…

Interview by Roland Hoogwater.
Photos by Josh Brown.

Hey Craig nice to see you, how are you, how are things?

I’m good just super busy! We last saw each other at the Bright tradeshow in Berlin, and things went well out there, we got a few new customers and a distributor in South Korea. Besides that, I just came back from our first photo mission to Barcelona and gearing up for Summer releases.

Sounds good, how are things on the other side of the channel?

I feel like we’re in a bit of a unique place in the UK skate scene. I’ve been skating for a fair few years now, and right now it seems that there is a considerable gap in between the big UK brands and the smaller ones in terms of product and visual offerings. It’s hard to put your finger on us. I feel like we float in between this gap if that makes sense.

We’ve always been fans of Theobalds Cap Co. visual offerings.

Thanks! Henry did a fantastic job in creating a look and feel for our video projects that sit in line with the brand and my vision. He has always been super talented. I call it “Legit HD” and he’s good at it. We recently put out a Spring supplement that highlights our team riders as well as friends and family who we skate with regularly. We’ve released a fair few films since our inception to help establish ourselves, and we’ve decided to step away from these kinds of projects for the rest of the year while we all focus on different things.

 

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You recently went to BCN, how was it?

Barcelona was interesting. I don’t know how many trips I’ve been on over there, but I’ve never had to play TM before. It was the first time the majority of the team had been together for more than a few days, and we were on a mission every day to shoot photos with our good friends and one of my favourite photographers Rafski.
We had Josh Arnott, Jake Bidmead, Cam Barr and Jeremy Jones in the mix along with the homies Josh Brown, Phil Russel, Amy Ram and Danny Wainwright. It was a solid crew, and I have to admit, it stoked me out to see us all out there together as a brand rather than on a homie trip. That being said, I have a new found respect for team managers and was happy to be home at the end of the trip. Cam Barr and Damm Lemons can be a devilish mix, but I got everyone back in one piece. If that’s not CV worthy, then I don’t know what is.

Barcelona is famously good to get coverage. It is nice to see that you guys have been going places.

Things seem to be moving for us. I’ve been steadily working on a collaboration with a Soho based store, and without going into too much detail, it has allowed us to do things that may have been slightly trickier for us otherwise, i.e. pay for all these guys to go to Barcelona. The anxiety and sleepless nights are real with this one. We have collaborated before with PROV in Tokyo and Bored of Southsea in Portsmouth but every project is different, and this will be the most extensive collection yet. I’m super excited for you all to see it

 

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Exciting! Let’s talk a bit about the image of the brand what are the things you focus on?

To be honest, ever since I was young I always just wanted to create something that was simple, tight and recognisable. This is why we launched the brand with our T Caps which is the central pillar of our brand, and we release them in fresh colours a few times a year to maintain that consistency. Then the flip side I also like to focus on illustrative designs which are super fun to dream up and collab with different designers on. It is just a case of piecing together cohesive collections without it getting boring as well as expanding our products slowly…

In my opinion, the product does come from skateboard culture, but it is not a specific skate-related product. The designs, don’t exclude other audiences.

For me, a healthy balance is essential, in every aspect of life. Brand consistency is super important, especially at a time when there is so much being thrown at you via the internet. Let’s keep it real, we make hats and I need to have fun doing that. Inspiration can come from anywhere at any time. Whether it’s seeing something on the underground when I’m travelling home after work with my girlfriend or from the many hours of television and films I watch with my business partner Jonny. You can find inspiration most places if you want to.

A perfect example would be high flyer cap with an F16 fighter jet on the front that we released last year. That plane is the fighter Will Smith flies in Independence day, one of the best disaster movies of all time. We watched the film on a random Sunday night, and it all just made sense. I released the cap with the caption on Instagram saying ‘Welcome to earth!’ I don’t think anyone got it though (laughs).

So how was the brand received when it first came out?

I think when we launched it took a lot of people by surprise, but we’d been planning, sampling products and preparing everything for like ten months before we launch in stores. I wanted to try and do things properly. If you’re going to start some Instagram brand that’s cool, but that’s just not me. The term ‘start as you mean to go on’ comes to mind. We spent time talking to the skate shops, securing pre-orders and it helped us get a core base for our product straight out of the gate. At the same time doing it that way made us possibly seem more professional than we are (laughs).

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So you guys waited until the time is right.

Yes, I always try and wait until the time is right. Sometimes you feel a certain sense of pressure when you haven’t released any product or content for a while, but at the same time, if you rush things, you can end up blowing it. I guess it all comes down to what you’re setting out to achieve, just remember nothing ever goes to plan though…

I can imagine that helps to get second or third-time buyers.

I’ve noticed a lot of return buyers through our e-commerce. Some of our stockists make reorders quite regularly. At the same time, we get a lot of messages from people who have been collecting our product since we started. I collect things myself, so the thought that something we are producing is seen as a collectable is amazing. I think people like the idea of a solid headwear brand in the UK skate scene.

What about paper advertisement.

Is that a pitch? Haha. Ever since I was a kid I loved skate magazines, I don’t read them enough anymore. I don’t know why. In a time where the internet is entirely taking over everything, print magazines have never been so important. I rate anyone who tries to keep the dream alive whether it’s zines or full-blown skate mags. Back to your original question though, I can’t wait to get to a point where we can run regular ads, it’s the least I can do for our guys.

Right! So what are some of your favourite brands from the UK?

That is a hard one as, to be honest, I feel a lot of it is super stale. I’m a fan of Palace, I worked at Slam City when the brand started. It’s crazy to see where it is now! Yardsale and Skateboard Cafe also have amazing board graphics, and their teams are made up of some of the best. Regarding other UK based apparel brands that I’m into? Not a lot to report on there, unfortunately. I like a lot of stuff from outside of the UK, Carpet Company, POP, Sci-Fi Fantasy, Grand Collection and Swiss Bank are all great. At the end of the day, if you’re creating, having fun, and can afford to take your team on trips and tours, then you’ve made it really! In the end, it doesn’t matter what I think. But that has always been my goal anyway. Catch me at SB.

True! I agree with that, Cheers Craig!

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It is always nice to see a new collaborative video between Theobalds Cap Co. and Henry Edwards-Wood, they have their own strong aesthetics when it comes to Britannia.

Where most would complain about the English weather, Henry shows us the beauty of “The Idlings Of March.”  at a time when most of us are hoping for a sunny April. Enjoy!

The good people over at Theobalds Cap Co. hit us up with this Joel Banner remix video part. For some reason, seeing Joel skate makes us think about one of our favorites, the Polish pioneer Michael Juras.  And in our book that’s a very good thing. Filmed & edited by Henry Edwards-Wood.

Skateboarders commenting on things is one of the most important things about being a culture. Theobalds Cap Co. teamed up with Henry Edwards-Wood to give you just that some satirical commentary about the happenings in our beloved skateboarding.