Slam City Skates Interviews Skateboarding OG & Supreme London Manager Dan "Jagger" Ball
Discussing everything from the mid-80s and skating to traveling around America.
The interview, which was conducted via email throughout 2019 by Ben Powell, Jacob Sawyer and Oliver Payne, was produced to replicate the level of conversation that you would indulge in when at a pub. It spans Jagger’s life, from growing up in Wolverhampton — something he goes into when discussing the cultural differences between his home town and nearby Birmingham — to his early days skateboarding all around the UK, being in a breakdance crew, moving to America and much more.
A highlight from the interview is when Jagger recalls his first photo feature in a magazine, which captured him at Birmingham Wheels. He says, “Birmingham Wheels was everything to us then, a converted rubbish dump in Bordesley Green next to the Birmingham City ground. At first, it was just a vert ramp but progressed to a street area and then the indoor mini bowl in an old factory building called Dickers. The advent of the mini ramp was a big thing for our generation, we were skating street and dabbling with getting padded up to skate vert, which was fun but terrifying and quite serious with all the gear and the scene/getting heckled.”
Other anecdotes include Jagger being around 15-years-old and going to clubs and after-hours Jamaican parties in Birmingham, immersing himself in wider cultures even further before he pursued traveling. He looks back on living all around America, staying with the likes of Chicago pro skater Jesse Neuhaus and many more from state to state.
When he came back to London, he dabbled in plenty of worlds. Jagger was the DJ at the American Embassy under Obama’s administration, worked at Mo’ Wax and for Honest Jons’ record store in London, and eventually became the store manager for Supreme’s Soho outpost. Speaking on how he got his job at Supreme, Jagger says, “I always knew a fair few people from NY that are involved over the years, but probably Gio Estevez was the person that helped the most when the opportunity came up. I don’t want it to sound like nepotism though — it’s hard work.”
He adds, “Supreme was a new level of hard work and dedication from the start, but very rewarding at the same time. It keeps me in touch with skating and the young crew at the shop keep me in touch with things whilst being an old fart that goes straight home every night.” All this and more can be read in the full interview, which can be found on the Slam City Skates website.
In other news, watch Chris Joslin sign boxes of his signature Etnies Joslin 2 at The Berrics.