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Hold On: The Bradley Sterritt Story, Part 2

Hold On: The Bradley Sterritt Story, Part 2


okay this ones gonna be a story about me I’m a little bit lost, never thought I’d be here two and a half thousand K’s 5
years of trying to work out where I am and what’s gone
on what’s eventuated what’s happend and there’s no sense to it I’ve never worked
it out he was really protective with Karl and has
been all his life every year I was one year younger and had the same toy as Brad
did so it always made us very very competitive I couldn’t tell you what year it was a long time ago I met Brad through level two skate park on the central coast of New South Wales Brad was basically running the whole
show that I rocked up for a skate and just got talking and next thing you know
we formed a great friendship from that from that one meet It was a very localized scene level 2 pretty
much the same group of guys nearly every day
skating they’re just skating skating and more skating I guess you could say the influence I
got from Brad was that Brad Brad was a really diverse skateboarder he didn’t
just stick to one thing he liked to you know he liked to try everything as a person Brad always struck me as
highly motivated and driven he was always pushing his skateboarding to
another level and as a person in general he was extremely professional with the
way he conducted himself at the skatepark it didn’t matter who came in
he treated them with the same courtesy as everybody else didn’t matter who you
were what you did once he walked inside level two you were part of level two and
Brad made you feel welcome and plus he had an exceptionally large back tattoo
which I hadn’t had any tattoos at the time and you know back in those days I
was a bit younger and anyone with a giant tattoo I thought was pretty cool I met Brad nineties so at a little indoor skate park upstairs at Toukley that
a surf shop owner was running neither of us really knew him at the
time but we yeah so we started hanging around and giving him ideas and helping
him out a little bit and eventually it moved and he asked me to come and run
the place for him and we opened up in Tuggerah in a 500 square meter shed and
Brad was always involved on a I think first up like a volunteer level but then
one of the staff left and Brad moved in and basically it was me and him running
as a team and that you know some great times so yeah and you know he was I
think few years younger than me maybe seven or eight years younger than me but
we still have that you know surfing skating background so we could relate because he was a good surfer when he’s younger apparently before I met him and
and it was a bit of a reintroduction to skateboarding for him I think he’d
missed out a little bit and it was it was good for him to get back on it yeah
Brad and me got on really well as a team that worked together to get things done
and we didn’t realize till probably 18 months after we’ve been working together
that we actually shared the same birthday so even though we where a few years
apart it’s still yeah same birthday 27th of July and we’re just oh your birthday
yeah the party well it’s my birthday too so we had a skate party or whatever we
just thought it was always you know working together to put the comps and keep things changing and moving with live bands and building the ramps and
you know Brad used to travel a long way from Kurri to get to level two and spend
you know we used to live there it close at ten leave at 11:30 you know we might
have had a skate after work or whatever and and then he’d head home and he’d be
back the next day you know at, ready to open at 10 o’clock with me and all that
sort of stuff that oh yeah it moved through some you know it
was only there for two and half years I mean it seemed like a long time but it
was really a short time and you know we were always trying to make improvements
and money was always ya know building ramps is an expensive thing and you know just
being able to do what we thought the place needed to do because the owner was
not a skateboarder and we used to try and direct things the way we wanted to
run them which was pretty loose we used to get away with a lot of stuff but you
know we didn’t have a entertainment license in those days but we used to put
you know three or four bands on and have demos and hundreds of people showing up
and the police and Old School jam, Bands on the roof
that’s Brian Jacobsen, Queenslander Funny, The old days yeah, the it sort of went to be the funny ending
the owner disappeared for a while and so we were sort of running it skeleton
sort of wise because he was sort of off doing whatever mid life crisis sort
of stuff so and it actually got dragged that the the business got dragged into
receivership with a that was tied to a surf shop and unfortunately it got a
little bit scary because you know we weren’t going to get paid we weren’t
going to get that holiday pay that was owed to us and all this sort of stuff
but we battled through that and it eventually got sort of sorted out and
out on its own yeah and so yeah everything was going on well until the
sort of decided do things his way which he thought was a better way than what we
or I was sort of maintaining and so I sort of got the flick from there and
things went downhill quite quick without the actual staff members knowing what
was going on rent didn’t get paid locks were changed
all of a sudden there was no level two skatepark so
overnight it sort of disappeared you know what after it’s all said and done I
don’t think level two would have been level two without Bradley Sterritt, that
guy he just put in endless hours of work you know just he opened he closed he
cleaned he served he maintained he built boards
for customers he was he done it all he’s yeah I take my hat off to Brad and
what he did for level two and……. When my Dad died it was shock, and happened
so quick he was there one minute not and I seen him the next minute he was gone
it was just one of those things just left school thought I was gonna start a
new job and then yeah instantly that all changed dad passed away when we were
around the 18 years old, it affected me very very very hard my dad was my hero
and to have you hero taken when you just sort of coming into the man stage of
life very hard to deal with, it took me a long time to go over it yeah a lot of
struggles a lot of struggles when you’re a kid and that happens Brad seemed to take it a little bit better than what I did Brad being the
older brother he’s always looked after me so a lot of the time he’s taken the pain
where I’ve just missed it so that has been good yeah Brad’s the type of person
that’s always been the first one there to help people first want to do things
for everybody and then at the end of the day he seems to end up with nothing
we’ve both been that like that our whole lives, we’ve been helpers which is
good for your satisfaction but not good for getting things done because you
always seem to get everyone else’s stuff done and there’s no time for your stuff this place seems to be really good for Brad it’s a bit of a calmig
environment not a lot of people here doesn’t get a real good the people
anymore made him focus on a bit more on what he needs to focus on which is him
and not everyone else Mate, when he moved to Cairns, I just thought you
know what only Brad could do things like that you know like at the drop of a
hat Brad would do what Brad wanted to do and yeah I really didn’t think what I
knew of Brad I didn’t think he would ever move to that part of Australia you
know I I always thought Brad would be someone it would be close to concrete
for the rest of his life so he could ride a skateboard every single day not
living in a rainforest at the top end of Australia ya know a bit chilly in the water hole but beautiful, a bit deeper than what it looks here there a lot deeper patience thank you ladies this mountain holds a lot of gold, but a lot
of it got taken out back in the day and a lot of it is very unaccessible one of
the locals came down here and walked over the path there coming down for
swim and found a nug the size of your thumbnail sitting right there on the
corner So there every now and again you’ll get a piece it’ll just float down the
river and wash up here and wash in there but back in the day there was a 17 foot
thick reef of gold found on this mountain So its still up there somewhere just a matter
of getting up there and getting it out and I didn’t see Brad for a while he was
because you guys were into you’d built the off-road we’ve got into the off-road
boards a little bit and you build an off road luge, I remember that, I thought that was crazy
but Brad actually took that on board a little bit further and went into the
racing scene with the luge which I didn’t really know what he’d gone off
and done that because I’d sort of lost contact with him after the park closed
down and I just tried to family and I was just trying to work out what I was
going to do again and got back into my drafting and designing and got into
skatepark design but also I took the offroad direction and got into a bit of
mountain boarding and off-road boarding we had a park built up here at San Remo
with jumps and big air stuff and a board across track so we used to race that and
have events people come from all over not a big crew quite underground and
Brad was off doing the, the downhill and a bit of downhill, but mainly luge, and for a
guy he size as he was really good at it he got yeah
he just had the brain for it for racing and knowing where to be on the track in
the how to maximize his speed and all that So yeah after the skatepark closed
that was sort of it for the skating for a little while kept it underground still
kept riding the off-road boards we ride these off-road boards of big chunky
wheels and a lot of fun you can ride him on BMX parks and skate and down grass hills
and over rocks and while we’ve been up the bush motor bike riding, we’ve
been looking for some good spots to jump on these off-road boards and go for a
run when Brad started racing that to me that was something that completely came out of the blue like I had no idea Brad was
so passionate about downhill racing and luge and and being, myself being pretty
much, at the time predominantly just a street skater the closest thing I got to
go in fast was bombing the occasional hill so I found it quite exciting that
Brad wanted to pursue you know Down Hill racing and luging and you know once
again that was another thing that made me look at the wider world of what
skateboarding was and not just street skating I met Brad at the slalom events every time
we went to a slalom event Brad was there so you know I met all the street lugers
there they we didn’t have any Street luging or downhill racing then it was
just all slalom racing so you know every time we went to one of those event he
would show up and you know we became good mates you know every time we saw
each other we’d have a hug, a high-five and you know talk about the last time we met
yeah well you know he was always there he he’s older school than me and
he knew more stuff about old school stuff and you know he was always
tricking his skateboard around and you know whereas I just had had good a good
set up and I just go and try and race OH everyone knew Brad you know Brad
was big in the street luge scene so you know there was no that there was no
separation in the beginning between downhill and and street luge everyone
was just we all gelled together and then it was only after the first Newton’s
that a lot of the slalom guys saw what was going on in the downhill scene and
they wanted to be part of it and a lot of them chose Downhill skating you know
Brad did his street luge but he did do compete in a few of the downhill the smaller events he’s been
around since day one as far as I’m concerned you know since I started
racing he’s he’s always been there and always looked forward to catching up
with him he has a lot of knowledge in in the street luge scene and you know when
I was just playing around at certain events he he gave me a few tips and I
you know they weren’t big events but got me on the podium you know so I was
pretty happy and I’m grateful towards you know he’s helped in in that in that
area the first luge we ever rode is a
story in itself we were big fans of the 411 video series and after
seeing Lance mountain do an intro on a wooden Street luge riding down the
street I had to build one I made one in a bit of a hurry it was screwed together it
was twisted it was terrible I surprised Brad with it when he came and
saw me in Sydney. We went and tested it at Surry Hills grass skipark and
when the handle came off Brad took the skin off his knuckles but it inspired us
to build a better one and within a couple of weeks version 2.0 was up and
running and it was pretty good I took it back to Adelaide with me and we’ve got
some footage from an old video camera strapped to the back of a bike Brad came
down to Adelaide for a couple of tattoo shows and after riding that one it
wasn’t long before he went home to Newcastle and he was building proper
aircraft aluminium luges and racing with the best in Australia while most of
us is sleeping in on weekends thrill-seeker Craig Mears and his mates
go looking for their next adrenaline fix here in Australia we get up to anything
up to about 110 hundred, 120 at the most I’d say not insane at all
quite quite sane DAN: so as a racer as a rider was there anything that made Brad stand out oh Brads riding style was very
unique and he was very competitive very very talented competent rider I don’t know
how he is in the recent years because I haven’t ridden I haven’t ridden competitively
or even socially for a long time just had other priorities in my life I’ve
still got all me gear, won’t give that up no way it’s very big part of my life there’s nothing nothing that gives you the shot of adrenaline that this does getting back to the question Brad was a
very competent rider he was you know talented up there in at least the top 20 DAN: racing against, he said he was once ranked 5th in the world?
CRAIG: well yeah one stage he was fifth I was ninth that was only for a very short
short time while the rest of the racing season went on and we didn’t get two
races to accumulate the points being stuck in Australia most of the points were
accumulated overseas by other riders knocked us out of the rankings pretty
quick once other races got going but yeah there’s been high achievements
definitely DAN:you think he would have done really well if he’d have got to race overseas? oh definitely yeah definitely he would race
yeah very proficiently against international riders when international
riders came to Australia and kicked their arse pure and simple I think he wanted to go but I think
there were too many negatives in his way like the consequences of your actions
how things start out so simply and easily and in so badly and never
recovered he lost his life essentially skating hardest phone call I’ve ever had to take in me life barr none sorry I’m gonna have to stop the interview for a sec you

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