The emergence of several accounts which serve as accessible little archives of various niches has been one benefit of Instagram’s rise to prominence within skateboarding.
There’s the nostalgic gold of Science Versus Lifeand the deifying Cult of Tom. Spot Drought‘s gallery of abominations to raise your optimistism about the worst spots your city has to offer. Drop In On Thisis a melting pot of downright ridiculous transition whereas The Skrelly Banditois a top shelf magazine for those with a thirst for East Coast crust and yearn for the day they have their own opportunity to “Beat this goddamned street cleaner.”
And amongst all of this and much more, there’s the internet’s favourite skateboarding critic, Ted Barrow – better known as @Feedback_TS.
In an interview with TransWorld, Ted explained the idea to critique skateboarding began as a joke after he offered his two cents about a friend’s Instagram clip. “The notion that skateboarding needs a critic is, of course, absurd. Skateboarding speaks for itself, and doesn’t need a commentator. With Instagram, however, when we post skateboarding clips, we are, even if subconsciously, looking for feedback, or approval. That’s why comments exist. I figured I would follow this condition to its logical conclusion, and nominate myself the critic. It’s something I am uniquely qualified to do. I’m very good at bullshit,” he elaborates, in the same interview.
So, with an eclectic selection of Welcome affiliates of different ages, backgrounds, trick selections, styles and job roles, we reached out to Ted to hear what he had to say about us…
Liam Hobson, 29 – Shop Rider
“Wow, when I think about it there’s almost nothing better than being a windswept world traveller with a beer belly and a mean switch heel. But I guess the only thing better than what I just mentioned is being a windswept world traveller, without a beer belly, and a mean switch inward heel.”
Tom Brown, 42 – Co-Owner
“Owning a shop is a financial burden that I woudn’t wish on my worst enemy so you’ve made your fucking bed and I can’t help you there. But the one perk, I suppose, is that your all of your shop employees kiss your ass and they will never be honest with you.
But I’m never going to go to Leeds so I can tell you that your line was way too long and consisted of far too many basic ledge tricks, dude. Those guys have to clap at your half-cab boardslide on the flat bar but not me, dude. That was fucking filler.”
Tom Van Den Hoeven, 23 – Shop Worker
“Mate, if you’re curious as to why, despite the fact that you’ve lived in Leeds for quite some time now, you’re still in the back room doing the stock while everyone else is out on the floor talking to birds – it’s for two reasons.
The first is that your manual tricks are a little more technically proficient than the owner and he’s jealous.
And the second is that you speak English with a fucking weird accent, dude. You’re from the Netherlands…”
Farran Golding, 23 – Blogger
“Having never been north of Godalming, I don’t know much about Leeds. But I’ve heard Leeds is kind of tough – a working class, rugged, industrial part of England.
So it comes as some surprise to me that there would be a skateboarder in Leeds that so closely adheres to the Austyn Gillette/Dylan Rieder model of skateboarding. You’ve got a flowy, poppy style – you should be proud of it – but I’m going to christen you Austyn Mullett.”
Dale Starkie, 24 – Shop Rider
“That’s weird. I always thought that Lacey Baker was from Costa Mesa but I guess she’s from Leeds.”