Skateboard pair spark phenomenon
Faltown Skateboards demonstrate their 'sliding' technique
using specialist skateboards
Two former art students who have sparked off a skateboard
phenomenon from a spare bedroom are to launch their own online
Chris Humphris, 23, and Alex Brinnen, 25, graduated last
year from Falmouth College of Arts, now University College
Falmouth, in Graphic Design and 3D Design and Sustainability
While studying their degrees the pair spent a lot of their
time 'sliding', or downhill freestyling, a skateboarding technique
that, rather than jumps, involves spectacular slides and turns
using gloves. They began filming themselves and loading the
films onto a website, which has become massively popular,
particularly in the USA and Brazil.
In 2003 they formed a skateboarding team which has drawn
international attraction as the only Downhill Freestyle specific
team in the world. The team has appeared on the Extreme Sports
channel and recently in California. Last year the six riders
were awarded the best 'sliders' in the country and are acclaimed
by aficionados as being among the best in the world.
And with the help of Objective One investment, they have
begun their own business which looks set to boom. Faltown
Skateboards is the only skateboard company in Cornwall and
the first company in the UK to bring out specialist boards
and equipment for this market.
"The Americans think it's really cool that we have
had financial help from the EU," said Alex. "It
really began in 2003 when we started to think that this could
be a real company as opposed to just making a few boards for
While still at college the pair convinced Random Rides, in
Falmouth, to take some of the boards, which are longer than
normal skateboards, and it quickly ran out of stock. They
started a business plan, with help of West Cornwall Enterprise
Trust and the Prince's Trust, and then approached SWIG (South
West Investment Group).
With the help of SWIG, which has received Objective One investment
to offer interest free loans to eligible businesses, the pair
designed four boards along with a whole range of hardwearing
leisurewear. The online shop, www.faltownskateboards.com will
be launched on May 3. All this has been done from a spare
bedroom in Chris' parents' house.
John Peters, SWIG spokesman, said: "I am very impressed
by what Chris and Alex have achieved in such a short space
of time, in addition to graduating. This is a very exciting,
dynamic multi-media venture. Faltown is spreading the word
that Cornwall is the place to be and the place to go."
The first short film was of the pair slide skating around
Falmouth. Once it was put onto their website hits jumped from
about 2,000 a month to 30,000. Five films later, including
the latest where the team visited San Francisco and Berkeley
California, the website receives an average of 66,000 hits
They have also been helped by meeting slide skate expert
Cliff Coleman, who lives in Berkeley and has put the team
forward as one of the best. He has also agreed to use their
"The response to our films was insane," said
Chris. "It got to a point where people were having
online discussions about whether the films were real."
Alex added: "Since going to America the people we
met over there are making makeshift Faltown logos because
they can't wait for our range to come out. That is exactly
what we want for others to get involved in what we are doing.
We already use other students to put music and graphics on
our website and for the films."
The website encourages involvement and also has interactive
lessons on sliding, showing many moves invented by the team.
For further information contact Clare Morgan at the Objective
One Partnership on 01872 223439 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles
of Scilly has invested in the South West Investment Group
(SWIG) through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Chris and Alex are available for interview or to supply other
photographs on 01326 212017 or e mail email@example.com.
Downhill Freestyle, also known as 'sliding', is a new style
of skateboarding that is beginning to become very popular.
Faltown Skateboards is the only skateboard company in Cornwall
and the first company in the UK to bring out specialist boards
and equipment for this market.
SWIG (South West Investment Group): was set up in 1989 and
offers interest free loans to eligible businesses. It manages
an Objective One gateway scheme, Cornwall Business Development
Funds, which offers three levels of start ups. In the first
part of the scheme 180 Cornish small and medium sized enterprises
(SMEs) were supported. The second phase of the scheme, worth
more than £2 million, began early in 2005.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439
back to top