Si Coburn has been skating for nearly 25 years, first as an aggressive skater, then taking those skills and adapting them to big wheel blading. Si is constantly evolving and pushing himself while showcasing his unique skating brand to the world through his Instagram page. Si partnered with Jan Welch to do a full interview for Episode 15 of the Then and Now Blading Podcast to coincide with his new full-length edit presented by Big Wheel Blading. The below discussion is a short excerpt from the podcast. Watch the full episode at the end of this article to find out about his history, Gloucester, the UK skate scene, traveling, Frazer Watson’s disaster ts topporn on San Dieguito High School, big wheel blading, his setups, his favorites, the making of his new edit, and much much more.
One major thing I noticed about this edit compared to your last is the grinds you are doing. Is grinding on 80mm something you’ve started doing more?
I’m just experimenting with it and seeing what is possible on that size wheel. You have to completely open your mind to everything, from what a trick is to what you can do on a spot now. So with this edit, it was how far can I grind on these, especially with a frontside on a rail. It’s a good mixture; I’m enjoying it, that’s for sure. I’m having so much fun going skating these days than ever before. It’s amazing.
In this edit, the first grind you do is a frontside on a low long curved rail, and you are just grinding on your wheels. What wheels were you using? Were you getting any wheel bite? Did you eat any shit? What was the process with that?
So with that stuff, there is a bit of a formula to it. The wheels I had were prototypes that I was testing with a very hard profile. And then it depends on the type of rail. Usually, you have to cover it in wax, and if it’s a nice hot day, the wax will slowly melt into it. Then there will be a thin layer of wax on top, and that’s when you usually can get the wheels to lose friction a little bit so you can grind. But there is that terrifying point of like the second you get any sort of wheel bite. There is no slowing down; it’s from the max end to an instant zero. Do you know what I mean? You’re going from really quick to boom; you’re on the floor. So it is a thin line, it’s a scary line to play at times, but you just have to go for it.
Did you have any bad falls filming this section?
Not too bad actually, it was alright. It was annoying because I didn’t start filming until around September. At that time, we were slowly coming towards the end of our good weather here in the UK, so I wish I had started filming at the beginning of the year. Luckily I didn’t get too many injuries during filming. That’s the thing with it now, the difference of when I used to film aggressive skating, I probably used to push myself a lot more. I felt there was a bit of pressure to try and do good stuff, whereas now, like with this edit I’ve just done, I’ve just thrown everything out of my head and am just going to do what I enjoy doing and what I find to be fun. I don’t care if it’s hard or not. I’ve had fun doing it, and I’m just enjoying it, and that’s kind of what this edit is. It’s not that I’ve gone all out for it. It was more like this could be cool, let’s film that, let’s get it done even if it’s not particularly hard. So, I think that’s what I like about big wheeling, you’ve got a choice on how far you want to push it if you want to cruise then, just cruise. If you want to do little jumps, do little jumps. If you’re going to do bigger jumps, so be it. So that’s kind of how I feel it is with me.
Portrait (left) – Tree Stall (Right) – Photos by Sam Cooper
My first impression after watching it is all the spots look really fun. But you were still doing some tricks that would be considered hammers. Some of the roll-ins were pretty gnarly. You did some gaps. There were a lot of things you could potentially eat shit on. I noticed for a couple of clips you wore a helmet. What made you decide to wear a helmet on some spots and not on others? When some of the others were pretty gnarly too?
I’ve always played around with the idea of wearing a helmet. I feel like this year I’m probably going to start wearing one more often, but with this, it was if I’m not 100% confident, not with what I’m doing, but if I don’t trust the spot, now I’m just going to chuck a helmet on, just because I can. It’s not that I doubt myself; it’s more I don’t trust the obstacle, really. In my head, I’m just like, put it on; it doesn’t matter. I feel better having it one because I was going so quickly towards the end of that big roll-in. If I had one little slip-up and whacked my head, that would be it.
That was a gnarly spot!
Yea, that’s an old-school roll-in from the England video, Volume, that Dustin Latimer initially did. He 180’ed it. So to me, that was always a spot I wanted to do something on. So I decided to roll it on big wheels so it would be nice and quick and fast, and it was. I remember standing at the top, being like, what am I doing. I think that’s the aggressive skater still in me. You feel like you have to push yourself, and you want to do bigger stuff, so it’s definitely still in me for sure.
What was your goal with this edit?
I think it was just because I’ve only been filming for Instagram clips pretty much. Personally, with Instagram, I’ll film something and completely forget about it, then move on to the next one. However, I haven’t dedicated time to filming an actual part in a few years. I miss that feeling of just going out, getting a clip, stacking them, and then building on it. I can then start watching them back and being like, yea; I want to get more. I guess it’s sort of like, not an addiction, but you want to keep adding to that storage of clips you have. So I think I miss that process of carefully selecting what I want to put in there. I think that’s what it was, to go back to the old-school ways of actually making a proper edit, I suppose.
I’m surprised that there are not more big wheel edits. You see a lot of clips on social media, but not actual edits. This section is a fusion between big wheel blading and aggressive skating; you combine the two. It is really cool, and it’s the evolution of the sport almost. You do similar tricks but with more speed, and you can skate terrain that you can’t skate with small wheels. Some of the spots you were skating you wouldn’t want to touch with a 60mm wheel.
It opens up a whole new range of spots pretty much. I think me and Sam Cooper did actually talk about that. We were like, there’s not actually that many proper big wheel edits like that so, that would be cool to try and do something a bit different.
Air – Photo by Sam Cooper
Were all those clips filmed in Bristol?
A good majority of them would have been. There were a few clips from Liverpool. I think it was Liverpool, Bristol, Cardiff, and Cheltenham, a town just over from me. And it was all filmed on an iPhone as well, which is pretty cool.
That’s rad. It is incredible what phones can do now!
Oh yeah, it is absolutely nuts. That was the other thing; these days, you don’t have dedicated filmers as you did back in the day. And I think I made an edit for Rollerblade that was for their Macroblades, and I did it on my phone. I remembered watching it back thinking these phones are actually decent for edits, which triggered the idea that I can film a proper edit, and that’s where the Big Wheel Blading one came from that we posted two years ago.
And who helped you film this edit?
It was my friends Oli Jones and Chris Hallam. Sam Cooper probably filmed some of it, and you know Silver Surfer? Brett Davis. He filmed the big roll-in in Liverpool.
And then you edited it together yourself?
Yes, so apologies if the editing is not too great. It is pretty basic, but it was quite fun to do that and dabble in it and have a g
Watch the full interview with Si Coburn on Episode 15 of the Then And Now Blading Podcast
Si Coburn Related Links
- Follow Si on Instagram
- Follow Si on TikTok
- Subscribe to Si on YouTube
- Visit www.samcooperphoto.co.uk and follow Sam Cooper on Instagram to see more of his photography.
- Read: The Evolution of Si Coburn: An Aggressive Skating Legend Turned Big Wheel Blading Powerhouse
- Read: Si Coburn of Gloucester, England on Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19.
- Contact Big Wheel Blading for any questions, suggestions, story ideas or to contribute content.
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