Barney Page Interview

Noseslide pop-out to hubba ride, Barcelona. Ph. Gerard Riera

‘Live life with no excuses, travel with no regret.’ That’s a quote from Oscar Wilde and when I read it, Barney Page comes to mind. In the vein of Kenny Reed, Michi Mackrodt, Madars Apse, Nestor Judkins and others Barney is a great traveller, a nomad if you will. At 29 years old he’s never signed a lease for an apartment, but he’s lived a truly fruitful life. The guy has been all over: he’s skated in countries no one has skated before, swam in every ocean (and blagged his way into the Marina Bay Sands pool – you’ll wanna Google this place), he’s been accosted by AK-47 wielding police, sustained life-threatening injuries 10,000kms from home, he’s dined on crocodile and scorpions and met lifelong friends along the way… Because if you’re going to get paid to skate, why not skate the world? He’s a hard man to pin down, but in between trips I managed to speak to Barney about a few tales from his life so far… A life with no regrets. 

Interview by Will Harmon

Where are you at right now?
Barney Page: Barcelona…

So what were you doing this time last year, in January 2020?
I was in Melbourne, Australia this time last year. I was there until the middle of February or something and then I got back to the UK and two weeks later it was a full lockdown, ‘don’t leave your house!’ and I was stuck down at my parent’s house in Exeter. So I had been in Australia for 5-6 months and I had planned to come back as I was planning to do a road trip with my friend (Ryan) Sherman. We were planning to do an 8000-mile loop around Europe.

Yeah I remember you told me about this…
Yeah so I came back to buy a van and convert it and so that it would give me 2-3 months to do that and be ready for the trip at the beginning of summer and then obviously… I actually got the van before lockdown and I worked on converting it during… The first month everything was closed, so I couldn’t get any materials, but then things opened and that whole thing kept me busy.

Yeah you showed me the map with the proposed loop and it looked like an amazing trip…
I still want to do it, but it might not even happen this year.

Frontside feeble grind, London. Ph. Sam Ashley

Maybe for 2022…
Quite possibly… It’s looking that way. Everything is so uncertain.

So you mentioned you were back in Exeter, and that’s where you grew up and started skating right?
Yeah, Devon, Exeter.

Yeah I watched this little Etnies documentary about you that Ryan Sherman did.
Yeah all the guys came to Exeter…

And in that it shows your grandparents, who seem to be great world travellers…
Yeah, even now, I mean if it wasn’t for the pandemic they’d still be travelling around. It’s quite inspiring really as they’re elderly, but they’re motivated to do as much as they can.

You’ve been to so many places yourself. Do you guys talk about your travels and compare stories?
Oh yeah of course. My granddad’s two main topics are: travelling and investments. I’m down for the travel part, but then he forces me to hear about investing and banks, stock shares and stuff…. You know it’s a good idea but it’s just like not for me.

Kickflip to fakie, Melbourne. Ph. Patrik Wallner

And then I remember the first time I heard of you was from the Motive video. Was Motive Skateboards your first sponsor?
Yeah it was. I don’t know why, but my friendship group that I grew up skating in Exeter with, we went up to Milton Keynes once, and then we made it a thing and we just went up there every month or two. I don’t know why we didn’t go to London, as we had to pass it on the way to MK, but we never chose to do that. I didn’t go to London for so long. So we just went up to MK and became friends with a lot of people there, many of whom I’m still friends with to this day. And so I met Rob Selley and Sean Smith there and we would all skate together, so that’s how I got on Motive.

I asked Sami (Seppala) how he got you onto enjoi flow but he can’t remember…
Of course he doesn’t, that’s all been drowned in the bottom of a bottle! (Laughs) I actually don’t remember…

Ha ha ha…
I only remember getting the call, ‘who the fuck is that?’, it was from some weird sounding guy and then he obviously introduced himself. ‘Yeah I kinda want to hook you up with enjoi boards if you’re down?’ Sami said and then he told me about this Gran Canaria trip. At that time Motive was starting to slow down and fade out. I can’t remember the reasons why, but it made sense to jump ship at that moment. One of my favourite videos when I was younger was Bag of Suck, so I was really hyped to get enjoi boards.

Yeah that’s where we first met on that Hot Knives Gran Canaria trip.
To this day that was one of my favourite trips of all time.

‘Let’s get some fucking steaks!’
Ha ha, Sami was legendary on that trip! Every morning he’d be in the sea drinking a bottle of Cava.

Ha ha, best TM! And then a little later on you went out to America right and met all the enjoi dudes?
Well there were a few things with enjoi I did first, I was skating with Ben (Raemers) a load and then there was the Vans Downtown Showdown (in London) and I went to that. Then Sami invited me on this enjoi trip to Scandinavia and then on to Saint Petersburg in Russia. Then I think I decided to try and go out to the US. So my first trip out to the US was with Ben and I stayed with him out there for three months.

Backside smith grind, London. Ph. Sam Ashley

So was Ben trying to get you on as a full am or were you still just flow?
I never really knew what was going on with that; it seemed like I was going to become an am at some point, but they just couldn’t handle me I think. I was a bit wild at that moment. I think me just being young and experimenting with alcohol and not really giving a shit about people – they just couldn’t handle it. I just went out there for the experience; Ben wasn’t trying to push me. I was just out there to have fun. I never really had it in my mind that I was specifically trying to get somewhere within the company.

Ok I’ve heard a story about you around this time in San Jose. It’s about when Mark Suciu focused your board. So I hit up Mark to hear his side of the story.
Did he tell you the truth? Wait! Tell me what he said! I’ve heard so many different sides to this story it’s actually hilarious. Every time someone comes up to me and asks me about this I ask them what they’ve heard and it’s so wrong and so hilarious how wrong it is…

The whole story is quite long, but basically I’ll try and sum it up. You guys were skating the San Jose City Hall, and there was some line where you did a trick on this bench, I think a halfcab to 5-0 then back to fakie, and then a fakie flip down the block afterwards. And so apparently Mark had already done a backside 180 fakie 5-0 on the bench and fakie flip off the block afterwards. So the fakie flip was the same ending trick, even though the rest of the line was different. So he said he asked you to try to do another trick at the end, ‘can you not do a fakie flip? Because I just filmed a line here recently with a fakie flip.’ And then he said you said, ‘no’ so he said he was going to focus your board if you carried on doing it. He said you kinda laughed and then went on to do the line, you got it, and then he came over and focused your board. Is this true?
It’s on the right lines of how it went down, but he’s making himself sound better than it was.

Backside lipslide, Melbourne. Ph. Wade Mclaughlin

He did say he felt real bad about the whole thing.
Well you know what I felt bad about is that we went to a house party the night after and then also the weeks after and everyone would be giving him so much shit about it. I felt bad for him then, because he looked like such a tit.

It doesn’t really sound like him. Like it would be something he’d do…
Pretty much what it comes down to is that I was filming with Carson Lee, who was the dude filming for enjoi at the time, bearing in mind I thought the line was really shit and I was just fucking around, but then Carson was just like, ‘let’s film it,’ so I was like, ‘alright.’ It was a fakie flip off a step! And I think he must have said, ‘ah I did a fakie flip’, he didn’t ask me to not do it, and he didn’t tell me he was gonna focus my board. So I’m skating and in his head he’s obviously getting wound up watching me do it. So I just land this fakie flip off the step and he comes over and gets really angry, to the point where it looked like his eyes were bleeding. So he ran over to me and he looked like honestly he’d lost his fucking mind and I let him take my board, he snapped it, and I watched him throwing my two halves of board around. Like just chucking them as hard as he could to the ground…

Ha ha…
I was like, ‘what the fuck are you doing!?’ So I went over and was like, ‘mate if you want to fight, let’s fucking go…’ and I just ripped his board out of his hands and I focused his board back. I was like, ‘let’s fucking do it!’ and then he just sort of walked away and went and calmed down across the road.

Nollie backside 180 kickflip, Barcelona. Ph. Gerard Riera

Then he told me you guys had to ride in the same car together when you left, ha ha.
Yeah… I was never even angry, even when I said, ‘do you wanna fight?’ I wasn’t like screaming at him in an aggressive way. I just said: ‘I’ve done nothing wrong at all. You just came and snapped my board and threw it around like a maniac.’

Well he says he felt bad about it and that he was really influenced a lot by the whole ABD thing as he’d been skating in Philly loads at that time and that’s a sacred thing there. So I kinda want to ask you how you feel about ABDs and that kind of thing?
If a fakie flip off a step counts as an ABD I think the skate world is pretty fucked innit! (Laughs) I don’t know I don’t really care about the ABD stuff to be honest. Obviously you get more pumped to do something if it’s an NBD. If it’s a famous spot it’s kinda weird to do an ABD, but it still doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make it less of a trick just because it’s already been done, that’s what I hate. If the dude skating is a different person doing it… Obviously with photos, you don’t want to see the same photo twice. So I understand both sides of it, but I don’t think it should be such an issue. At the end of the day, they’re just skating and if they want do a trick, whether it’s a fakie flip off a step or a back noseblunt down a rail someone else has already done I don’t think it really matters.

Nose manual, St Ives. Ph. Leo Sharp

Ok I want to talk about some of the trips you went on with Patrik Wallner and some of the Red Bull trips you went on. You went to a lot of places that are close to impossible to go back to, due to political situations and whatnot. Patrik told me to ask you about taking your shirt off in Senegal…
That one was fucking terrifying! We were cruising spot to spot in the city and the spot we were pulling up to I noticed a Jersey barrier a couple of minutes down the street. It was really hot there and we had no AC in the van so I had my t-shirt off, just sweating. So we pull up to the spot and I cruised down the road and checked that spot out while everyone was skating the spot we went to. So I’m cruising down through the cars checking out this Jersey barrier, I had my t-shirt in my hand, completely oblivious to what was going on and not thinking about it at all. It’s not everything you’re used to in your everyday life…

In the Western world…
Exactly, in the Western world you don’t have to think about it at all. So I’m cruising down and looking at this spot, I was walking backwards and as I was about to turn my head around I felt this thump on the back of my head! I look back and there’s this fucking military police officer screaming at me, it wasn’t French, they speak French and Wolof is their native language so he was definitely screaming at me in that language for sure, spoke no English, pointing a gun… AK-47 in my face! Screaming at me and it actually felt like he was about to shoot me! I think that country is 95% Muslim so it’s not acceptable to have your skin showing, especially as a western guy with your t-shirt off and I’ve got quite a lot of tattoos now. It’s extremely disrespectful to them and I just didn’t think about that. He was really offended and he was screaming at me, pushing me with the gun… Then we got to this little tin hut at the side of the road where he stands. He sits me on the ground in the dusty mud and I can see all the boys skating about 20 metres away. I tried to scream for the local guy called Jonathan showing us around. I screamed ‘Jonathan!’… No one heard and the officer lost his fucking shit. In my head I was panicking, so nervous I felt like I was about to piss myself man, thinking I was going to go to some Senegalese jail or something. I was getting madly paranoid.

This whole time did you not know it’s because you had your shirt off?
I had figured out the context of the situation at that point and I had put my shirt back on, praying with my hands saying sorry. Even though he got so aggressive the first time, I knew I had to call for Jonathan again.
I stood up and screamed as loud as I could, again no one looked around and the guy lost his shit. But as he was shouting Jonathan locked eyes with me as the officer pushed me back down. Jonathan’s face was fucking shocked and he started sprinting towards me. I guess the officer was waiting for backup to take me away but Jonathan started speaking to him and fortunately they let me go.

Frontside grind yank-out, London. Ph. James Griffiths

Fuck man, you got so lucky!
Apparently he was saying ‘you’re not in America anymore, you can’t come over here and do this shit…’ He was saying I would go to prison or some shit.

Ah man that is gnarly!
Mate, it was fucking terrifying! Trying to skate that spot afterwards my adrenaline was pumping through the fucking roof man… ha ha! That was one for the memory bank.

Ha ha… I guess the next one is when you hit your arm sliding down a bank in China and it was really gnarly?
Actually that whole day was fucked… I was on an Etnies trip and we were filming at that time for this AB&A part for me, Albert Nyberg and Axel Cruysberghs. I was skating at this spot in Shenzhen; it’s quite famous. A load of people have done tricks into it but it’s a big triple stair set with a narrow bike path in the centre of the stairs so it’s a triple bank and people do flip tricks in. The steps are in a narrow gully and the edges are all pointed on the corner of the steps; I tried a trick and got wheel bite and I slid face first on my chest with one of my arms stuck on my chest and my left arm was stuck behind me on my back, and all my legs are dead sliding forward really fast. I slid into one of the corners of the sharp steps and gashed my arm open. It was pissing out with blood! I feel like I got kind of lucky because if my arm wasn’t trapped there it would have sliced my chest open!

Ah I see…
I was lying on my chest so it would have been my chest going directly into the corner of that step otherwise. I slid into it and at that moment I didn’t really know what was happening, I stopped moving and looked up and there was blood just spraying out my arm.

Sam McGuire said that down the bank you could see all this blood and they thought you hit a packet of ketchup or something. They couldn’t actually believe it.
Yeah it was nuts man, there was a channel of blood coming from almost the centre of the bank and following my body from where I hit it and continued sliding after. I got up and saw this blood pouring out of my arm and I was like ‘fuck!’ I immediately took my t-shirt off and wrapped it around my arm and I just held it up and I was like, ‘let’s get to the fucking hospital.’ You know I’m freaking out because there’s so much blood! In those moments you’re going to start to get paranoid.

Yeah yeah, if you see loads of blood like that!
I thought I was bleeding out and going to die of blood loss or some shit… I didn’t know if I had hit an artery or something.

Frontside crooked grind to fakie, Barcelona. Ph. Gerard Riera

What happened when you got to the hospital?
Well, we had a driver and he didn’t speak any English. The driver we were with was from Guangzhou but we took a day trip to Shenzhen, so he doesn’t know that city. So he didn’t speak English and he was a really nice dude and he took care of me and a couple of people came to the hospital with me. We were in the van but he doesn’t know where the hospital is.

Oh shit…
So we’re like ‘fuck’, we’re looping around and obviously the traffic is fucking hectic as fuck in China because there are so many people. So we’re driving around 30 minutes and he finds a hospital. We go in there and it’s a children’s hospital so they couldn’t treat me.

Ha ha, you’re too old now.
I was like ‘no! You’re serious?’ We get back in the van and fortunately 10-15 minutes later we arrive at some hospital. We walked in there and I’m standing out like a sore thumb obviously, it wasn’t a private hospital it was a public hospital so there were no tourists at all. And I walk in there with ginger hair…

T-shirt off, wrapped around your arm…
Yeah, t-shirt off, tattoos, blood all over my chest and a t-shirt wrapped around my arm, and I get in there and I look pathetic man honestly. In that waiting room I have never seen people in such a state in all my life. It looked like the people were half dead man, bleeding out their fucking heads. There wasn’t even a seat, it was insanely over-packed. I walked in and the state of it and the hygiene of the place and everything, I was just like, ‘fuck!’

Frontside bluntslide, Melbourne. Ph. Wade Mclaughlin

So that made you more worried?
Yeah I was worried and I was like, ‘this place is fucking nuts’. Anyway we had to go up to the main desk and you have to pay for your treatment before you get seen. I had to buy the jabs, the needles, the stitches and everything to have the documents ready to give to a doctor so they know it’s been paid for before they see you. Maybe because I was a western person in that hospital, I got pushed forward and I was seen in like ten minutes. I went through to one of the main rooms and it was just so dirty! There was a bed with used tools on it where they had been stitching someone up with blood all over the bed. I can’t even describe the filth that was in this room; it was so unhygienic. I had this open wound and I’m freaking the fuck out! I wouldn’t let the doctor come near me I was like, ‘nah fuck that, you’re not touching me; look at all of these used tools!’ They were all contaminated and there was no chance they were touching me. I was freaking out, and I was like, ‘no no no!’ They tied my arm, to elevate it, to a steel rod they put the drip bags on and I was just sat on a bed with my arm tied to this fucking thing. I was like, ‘this is fucked I can’t get it done here!’

Ha ha yeah…
There was no way. They can’t touch me. I could die from some disease or infection. Anyway, he calms me down and he goes to get another doctor that can speak a couple of words in English and they take me through to another room but in the end, because I wasn’t having any of it, the next room they took me to was very similar to the first. So I was still panicking and not letting them touch me. So they took me through to the actual surgery clinic where they have main operations and stuff. So I had to put this full gown on so I couldn’t contaminate this zone, then an actual surgeon came and stitched my arm up.

That made you feel a bit better?
Yeah! Because I was freaking out that much and I got a bit happier and content in that environment, everything felt hygienic and the guy can speak a little bit of English so I was good to go, and I could trust this now. But I was fucking freaking the fuck out beforehand.

Frontside boardslide transfer, London. Ph. Wig Worland

Were you in there the whole time by yourself or were you with the Etnies people?
I was with a couple of people, actually Cairo Foster was with me and I can’t remember I think Jameson the TM was with me. I think it was them two, I’m pretty sure it was. Then afterwards, when I was all stitched up I had to get a course of two injections. I get one, in my wrist, in this tiny little room with all these Chinese people lining up with their medicine and needles in their hands to get their injections. They’re all just pushing through into this tiny room and this one nurse is taking care of everyone, and I’m in a sling with one arm, and our driver just pushes me through in front of all of these people who are queuing up and then I get my first jab in my wrist. Then they said come back in 20 minutes if you have any side effects and then you get your second jab, then I was free to go. I waited 20 minutes and went back and the same thing, he pushed me through everyone. Honestly in this room they weren’t just one at a time everyone was in there in this tiny little room probably like 5m squared with one nurse at a table injecting all these people.

Yeah, there was no order whatsoever. So he pushes me through again and the nurse is getting the needle and then the syringe sucks up the medicine… I’m just standing there expecting it to be my arm or something… Out of nowhere the driver just pulls my trousers down to my ankles with my dick out…

Ha ha…
Dick out! I can’t pull my fucking trousers up because I got one arm and then the nurse comes behind me and jabs me in the ass. With no warning and I’m trying to pull my trousers up with one hand then I had a needle hanging out my ass cheek… I was like, ‘what the fuck is going on!?’

Ha ha, oh man!
Then there are all these Chinese people staring at my dick man. I was like, ‘this is insane’ and I left like, ‘what the fuck just happened?’ What a fucking day!

Were you just out for the rest of the trip or did you try to skate after that?
Well, fortunately we only had like four more days or something so I’d got a good bit of skating in so I just chilled. I was really scared I was going to get some sort of infection but randomly it healed really quick. They gave me some Chinese remedy or some sort of medicine, some balm or don’t know what it was, some herbal stuff to rub on the wound after it dried and it healed so quick and I just took the stitches out myself when I got back home.

50-50 grind, Copenhagen. Ph. Jim Craven

Heavy one… Can you tell me about one of the best trips you’ve ever had? Patrik (Wallner) thinks he knows which one this is…
He’s for sure going to say Madagascar, eh? That’s gotta be number one on there man. That experience was just wild man, and it was so third world where we were travelling around that island and it was just nuts. I have never seen anything quite like it, like the mix of cultures and going from the main city, the capital Antananarivo and just experiencing that and the poverty there… There’s such a divide of business class and poverty that was colonised by the French. So you see these rich French businessmen, you see them blatantly dragging these hookers off the street; I dunno it’s just wild man! They’ve got these old taxis, cobbled street roads through the city and everything about it… We met up with so many local skaters and cruised around in the streets. It was just an easy trip, and there was fuck all to skate but every day was so unreal and we had such a good crew of people so it just all worked out.

Nestor (Judkins) was with you on the trip and he was saying you were hanging out with Lemurs and also teaching the locals how to skate?
When we were teaching the kids it was actually nuts because we went down, I think it was the west coast of the island, so we flew from the city, Morondava the place was called, it’s where you go to see this famous dirt road with all the baobab trees. So we went there for a sunrise one morning, it was so mystical, this fog hanging over this lake with these huge baobab trees and tribal people living under these trees in a community. We just had our boards because we thought maybe the mud could be compact and hard enough to push down the street to get a shot. We get there and the boards come out and all these tribal people in their communities obviously notice what we’re doing. They probably have never seen a skateboard in their life and they’re so excited from the elderly people to the young children and we were pushing them down this mud road. It was one of the most nuts experiences. A friend Wilko sadly passed away soon after and he had this instrument called a hang, it’s this big metal bell drum thing with a really unique sound and it sounds incredible. He was just playing that by the lake at sunrise with all these kids playing around on our boards and the sun rising through the baobab trees. It was a magical, unbelievable trip!

Also, Sam McGuire and [Ryan] Sherman were telling me that a lot of time you get into difficult situations but you’re really good at charming your way out of it with like, some Jedi mind tricks… You use your accent and whatnot to get out of it?
I’m not sure about that…

Backside nosegrind revert, Melbourne. Ph. Wade Mclaughlin

What do you think about that? Are you good at getting yourself out of difficult situations?
I definitely have been learning and definitely getting better at getting myself out of sticky situations but I would say I’ve got better at not getting in those situations so I don’t have to get myself out of them. That’s more the point, ha ha. Often it’s not even your fault you just find yourself in a predicament, some shit just happens sometimes. I definitely got out of some weird situations, fortunately.

Do you think your behaviour has changed a bit? Do you feel more mature in the way that you handle difficult situations?
Oh yeah absolutely! Of course, I mean that’s just growing up isn’t it? You just become aware of a lot more of what’s going on and become less naive. I think travelling definitely changes you as well because you see so many things going on in the world that you’re not really aware of when you’re stuck in your bubble at home where you’re comfortable. Your eyes get opened to so many situations and you just sort of learn to handle it better and you always know how much worse it could be; I just stay positive and try not to get angry because it never works or never helps the situation when you start raising your voice to start to get aggressive. That’s what I’ve learnt, even though sometimes it’s hard not to be because a lot of people suck you know, I’m not saying I don’t, but a lot of people fucking suck so it’s hard to stay calm at times.

I wanted to figure out how you got on Sweet. I remember when we did the article in Kingpin of Sweet turning to Sour you had the cover because you were on a Sweet trip before that. How did you start hanging out with these guys? I asked Björn (Holmenäs) and he didn’t remember either. How did that work out, how did you link with all these Scandinavians?
Barcelona. I’d be skating out here, just hanging out with a few friends living here at the time. So I had been skating here at Macba or the bar and whatever partying and then started skating with them and that shit just sort of fell into place. I don’t know, it just happened organically I guess.

Yeah solid crew of dudes for sure… Ok I wanted to talk about Red Bull who you rode for and went on loads of trips with, but they did make you wear the hat and stuff… How did you feel about that?
Uh… That was my least favourite part about riding for Red Bull that’s for sure. It’s not even just the logo or the hat itself that pissed me off, it was that you had to wear it and sometimes you don’t want to wear a hat. Also the hat fit disgustingly and it just didn’t fit my head and it felt stupid and they look daft quite frankly, that’s what I thought. If it was a hat that you thought was a pretty sick shape and it looked cool then I would be like, ‘yeah I don’t give shit, I wear it all the time’, but it wasn’t like that and being told to wear a hat, it’s such a small thing to do but it’s still just annoying. I definitely got told off quite a lot for not wearing it.

So what happened with you and Red Bull, I know in the past couple of years you guys have parted ways?
Yeah it was never anything to do with me misbehaving or not agreeing to do stuff, because everything they asked of me I would go and do. It was more to do with the hat, not posting enough for them on social media and the contest aspect and I don’t enjoy contests; I don’t like competitive skating. They would ask me to go to different contests and I’d go but I just wouldn’t skate. Like I literally wouldn’t skate. They would call my name out and I wouldn’t even get up, which is terrible; it’s such a terrible thing to do. But you know the trips I got asked to go on, that’s what I wanted to do. I would go and I would skate as hard as I could on those trips and try to make a good video clip and whatnot. They’re obviously more a contests orientated company.

I’m sure the big bosses couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t be in a contest.
Yeah, exactly, or doing more… I would probably have to do that a lot on top of what I was already doing. They didn’t kick me off but they just didn’t resign my contract. I’m surprised it wasn’t the year before that to be honest.

Backside tailslide, London. Ph. Sam Ashley

Since then how have you felt about it? Are you bummed on that or is that cool?
Not bummed, in a weird way it was a relief and then I didn’t have to worry about going to contests and having to put this fucking hat on my head every day.

Put particular shit on your Instagram…
Yeah, then I didn’t have to worry anymore, which was kind of nice. Obviously the perks of it, they do have your back and they treat you really well, I got to travel a lot, and go to so many incredible places all paid for. They also paid me pretty good so I’m obviously going to miss the money. Anything you needed they pretty much had your back so it definitely sucked losing that but you gain some sort of street credibility back when you stop wearing a Red Bull hat you know.

That’s for sure. I know that you have such a nomadic lifestyle, so have you had a lot of girlfriends in the past ten years or has it been hard because you travel so much?
Well yeah, it’s definitely hard. I’ve had two serious relationships, one of them just ended actually about five days ago.

Oh, I’m sorry about that.
It is kind of what you said, the nomadic lifestyle and Covid it’s been out of our hands to get back together when we’re 10,000 miles apart and all this other shit so it’s just kind of like, whatever. Then my previous one was kind of hard, we were together for five years but I would try and plan it out and we would travel together between trips, say if I had a trip in Asia, I would extend my flights so that we would travel a bit after. It was difficult, because you don’t have a place or home permanently.

I wanted to ask about that; I know you lived in the Sour cave for a bit and Sherman said you lived in his garage for a few months. How much rent have you paid in the last ten years, have you ever signed a lease?
I paid rent for the first time last year!

That’s amazing, and how old are you now?
Uh, 29. I paid five months of rent and I fucking hated it.

Where was this?
I was in Melbourne; I did actually love it because I had my own space. It was sick, for the first time in my life I felt like I was living somewhere legit, you know? I have paid money on and off staying at a palace or a friend’s place every now and then, but how I see it is if I’m going on a trip it’s a waste of money if I do pay rent and I am constantly trying to travel somewhere. That rent money, I could just fly somewhere and live off that money for that month, rather than staying put in one place. I’ll try and figure that out at some point and try to get a more permanent place, I’ve been thinking that for years ha ha… I just don’t know when to pull the trigger and do it. It’s kind of scary, now I’m a little older and I feel like I should try to settle in some place but I still don’t know where that place should be. It’s quite nerve-racking; it’s a lot of pressure when I start thinking about it. It’s something obviously I need to do at some point and I’m just scared of feeling trapped or stuck somewhere.

Yeah, yeah. And paying rent you’re almost obliged?
I don’t really care about the rent side of it because everyone has to do that but then again why would I want to pay someone else’s mortgage and give them money? It’s like, why don’t I just get a mortgage myself?

What about your parents and your family, what do they think about that, do they want you to settle down?
As you know my grandparents travelled around quite a bit and they just want me to experience as much as I can whilst I still have the opportunity. They are really supportive… It’s nice to have that.

Sami told me you’re quite into carpentry as well, is that something you’d want to get into a bit after your pro skate career?
Possibly. I would like to do something creative, something that is physical with my hands, absolutely. I’ve been thinking lately, all these charity builds for skateparks… I kind of want to learn how to build parks and maybe I won’t do that in the future but just to have that knowledge would be really cool!

Yeah, I agree.
So, if I could travel around doing that it would be a great thing to do as well.

Barney Page, Barcelona, 2021. Ph. Gerard Riera

So, finishing up, what do you have planned for 2021?
Right now, I’m going to start to focus on sorting shit out in my life. I want to try and get this residency thing for Spain so I can stay in the Schengen region for over 90 days.

I got you…
So I’m currently trying to sort that out, fortunately I’ve got a friend who is helping me out with all the paperwork because it’s hard to do so if you don’t speak Spanish. Sorting that, and trying to skate really right now… Sour is working on a new video, there is also something with Etnies coming out, a small video with me, Nick Garcia and Eetu Toropainen. Maybe I’ll start trying to work on some personal projects, see how that van thing goes… I kinda want to go to Mexico too.

Yeah well you got no shortage of things going on it seems… Nice one Barney, have a good one.
Cheers Will. Safe man.