Sean Holland is a lifer: a devout skate rat from a small Tasmanian town known as Ulverstone. In one of the countries' most isolated and under covered scenes Sean; alongside a select few others held the torch for the progression of skateboarding on the isle. Even though there was never a focus on Tasmania for potential sponsors to hunt for talent, Sean got hooked up soon enough. He lived in Hobart and rode for Emerica, Volcom and Censored a board brand from Sydney. He went on tour with the likes of Brett Margaritis, Skunkos, Dan Drehobl and Tony Alva. His effortless all terrain prowess alongside his bubbly personality made him the perfect team rider and traveling skater.
Before too long Sean moved yearned for more terrain and bigger cities. He moved to ‘The Mainland’ in 1999, to Sydney town to be exact. There he held it down on his board and behind the scenes. He worked at Juice during their early 2000’s domination. He would send me the best packages. I would have them couriered across town on the ASM (Australian Skateboarding Magazine) courier account. Inside there was usually some clothes, an ice-cold beverage and an ingenious random collage. It was usually a combination of a Jeff Williams or Cale Nuske body and the cranium of some kid of cultural icon like Kenny Echidna or Humphry B Bear. I was the editor of ASM at the time and from these humorous collages and Sean's general awesomeness I saw some serious editorial potential. As my time at the helm of the mag dwindled I enlisted Sean as the next editor. My bosses were dubious as he could barely type, and wasn’t super adept with computers, but I knew he could sure as hell tell a story. He had ‘the love’, and his enthusiasm was infectious. Sean went on to rule as the editor for around three years. His tether eventually came to a halt: Sean was over working for a massive profit hungry publishing house. He teamed up with his art director (Jack Tarlington) and started independently publishing The Skateboarder’s Journal: which is to this day one of the finest skate-based publications on the planet.
Ok so you are probably wondering what is going on in the photo above? Well I managed to contact Sean just today. It happened to be his birthday. (Happy Birthday Seanie). We had a wee chat about the circumstances that led to the Matt McGinley’s all time pivot fakie photo. Sean and a few other GSJ (Sole Tech Australia) riders missioned it up to the Goldy for this mini ramp demo. After a ten-hour drive they arrived beyond check out time and the TM (Darren Kaehne) had to somehow swindle ten people into two double rooms. After a series of Jedi mind tricks (that all good TM’s know) Darren managed to coerce the concierge into checking them in for a snooze. The demo was to be at two the following arvi. At two the troop of rippers heard that the ramp was still far from completed so they began to pummel bevies in despair. By 5pm they heard that the ramp wasn’t finished, but out of pure boredom they headed down to the beach.
The ramp was there. But the platforms weren’t. Sean remembers the rest of the posse bailing to the pub for a while, bumming that they were unable to do their demo due to not having a finished ramp. Sean explained that at the time he was still “Very Tasmanian: bright eyed and bushy tailed” and was stoked to have a ramp to skate on the beach, platforms or no platforms! American (and honorary Australian) Matt McGinley* was up with the crew and was in the process of cementing his position as one of the top Australian skate photographers. He snapped a few of these pivot fakies. Sean managed to get a few of them even closer to the edge: far enough out to almost grind back down the tranny upon re-entry. But it was this version with the fleeing beach bound youth, which made it to the 2000 Slam Photo Annual. Henri Cartier Bresson would be proud. It is true a embodiment of the term ‘decisive moment.’ Sean ended up being happy with the photo except he is gutted about his symmetrical sticker job! See, apparently he took a blank board up to the demo, and during their downtime the board copped a ‘guest sticker’ job from the bored crew at the hotel. Sean firmly believes if he could change one thing about that day he would not add platforms to the ramp he would ensure he had a blank board. “The board would have matched and created a synergy with the plywood of the ramp.” - MC
*Matt McGinley became the Think Team photographer after leaving Australia and now he works in New York as a professional photographer. Matt was kind enough to find some time in his day to send us this scan.