You Can Thank Louis Slater for Sex Skateboards
We spoke to the Sheffield native about skateboarding, art and his hometown.
The No Comply Network is a London-based, UK-wide network of artistically creative skateboarders, founded by Birmingham-born skater Jason Caines. Every week, we'll be profiling a new No Comply member.
Louis Slater, a skateboarder and designer from Sheffield, runs Sex Skateboards – that brand you might have seen with the lips logo and the capital-letter SEX emblazoned all over everything.
In the mid-90s, Louis lived in Huntington Beach, California at the infamous Warner Avenue skate house with the original Piss Drunx crew – Dustin Dollin, Ali Boulala, Elissa Steamer – an experience that changed his life and artistic outlook forever. I had a chat with him about all that, and this is what he said.
Lately, I've been painting a lot. I think the thing that keeps me painting is detaching my brain from the physical world that we see, and creating something that's in my head or channeled from another place that we know nothing about.
It's just you and the canvas. It's very similar to skateboarding – both are very personal to me. It's a feeling I couldn't describe in words .
I paint in silence most of the time – I don't want to be influenced by anything except my own thoughts and feelings. I usually only listen to music on my way to places, like skating or walking to work. At the moment it's a lot of Elvis .
Sex Skateboards has taken on a life of its own now, like AI.
What gets me hyped about skateboarding right now? Any time that I see a kid skating down the road is pretty cool to me. That's what gets me hyped about skateboarding.
The Sheffield skate scene is cool. People just skate, I guess; that’s all you need to do.
That time living with the Warner Ave crew in the 90s was a great time growing up. Those times shaped my life. Being there at that moment in time was great.
Slugger – the skate shop I started with Martin Kennelly – goes back to the Warner times.
Slugger wouldn't have happened without all the Bakerboys crew I met out in Huntington Beach. Erik Ellington gave me and Martin the opportunity to start Slugger Distribution, which was just like a Bakerboys dist in the early days, distributing Deathwish and Shake Junt when it started. Then, on the back of that, we opened Slugger skate store in Sheffield.
I'd just like to say thank you everyone who has ever supported Sex Skateboards, Slugger Distribution and Slugger Skate Store.