186: Wig Worland/On The Road Again

Wig by Leo Sharp

This week’s guest is photographer Wig Worland, one of the most respected and influential people in the history of UK skateboarding. I’ve known Wig on and off since the 90s. Looking back we were all a little bit in awe at his complete understanding of who he was as a person, and how single-mindedly he approached his craft and self-appointed task. Indeed, as my old pal Phil Young said, when I told him I’d finally persuaded Wig to come on the podcast, there’s an argument to be made that for a key period in the 90s and 2000s, Wig was THE most influential figure in UK skateboarding.

Wig on the job – Leeds, 1995.

It’s a big claim, but the evidence (and any measure of common sense) backs it up. In the dim, distant, pre-social media years, the role of surf, skate or snow photographer carried an enormous amount of clout and influence. Particularly in the UK, which at the time didn’t have the huge industry apparatus of the States underpinning the scene. In many ways, the early history of British skateboarding is really the history of a lot of talented and extremely driven people tirelessly documenting (and hence effectively creating) the scene as it rapidly evolved in real time. Wig was and remains a crucial and highly respected part of that brilliant tradition.

Wig by Chris Johnson

And Wig really has shot with absolutely everybody, as you’ll know if you follow him on Instagram, or are at all familiar with his work over the years. All of which means the man has tales and opinions galore on the history and uniqueness of UK and wider skateboarding history. Wig doesn’t do many of these, so to get the chance to hear his perspective on all things skateboarding and creativity is a privilege I don’t take lightly.

Thanks Leo Sharp, Chris Johnson and Andy Simmonds for these pics of Wig.

Hope you enjoy the episode – listen below:

Connect With Wig

Show Notes

  • England v Germany 5-1
  • Deciding to come on the podcast
  • Looking back at the archive
  • Finding new meanings
  • 2017
  • Slowing down
  • The style of stunts debate
  • How Wig branched out as a photographer 
  • The skateboard media aesthetic 
  • Originality vs the mainstream 
  • Experimenting with photography
  • The importance of coming back to your work with fresh eyes 
  • Different times and different behaviours 
  • Gatekeeping and self awareness 
  • Playing a part in the legacy of skateboarding 
  • Jim Peskett 
  • The evolution of the magazines 
  • BMX before skateboarding 
  • Windy Osborn
  • The hustle 
  • Sidewalk 
  • Wig’s standouts 
  • Re-framing the past
  • Discovering self-contained scenes
  • ‘..Representing British skateboarding in the best way that we could…’
  • America 
  • Lost material 
  • Recording media and lights
  • Neil’s book
  • Commercial and studio work 
  • Cycling
  • ‘ is solved by walking..’
  • Psychogeography by Will Self
  • Golden Hour
  • MK Skate
  • Playing it by ear 
  • Photographing modern skateboarding 
  • Skateboarding now
  • Everyone on Boards
  • ‘..keep trying to get away with it..’
  • Advice on breaking into the industry
  • Ignoring imposter syndrome
  • Experiment more!

People Mentioned

Places Mentioned

  • Euston
  • London
  • Camberwell
  • Southbank
  • Barcelona
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • Hull
  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh
  • Milton Keynes
  • LA
  • Islington
  • Bowling Green Lane
  • Spitalfields Market
  • Radlands Skatepark
  • Ipswich
  • America
  • California

Companies, Organisations and Brands Mentioned

  • Read and Destroy
  • Grove House Tavern
  • Mwadlands
  • Sidewalk
  • Flip Magazine
  • Deathbox
  • Transworld
  • Homeboy Magazine
  • BMX Action
  • Free Stylin’
  • The System
  • Whitelines
  • Snowboard World
  • Permanent
  • Instagram
  • Golden Hour
  • Somerset House