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Bro models, Bondo and billboards...

    Photography by
  • Wade McLaughlin



First things first Pat, How did this whole bro model thing with the Good Dudes come about? 

I’ve known those dudes for quite a few years now, just from skating Prahran Skatepark. I actually remember Micah from Blindside skateshop, he use to work there when I was real young I’d always see him in there. I guess I got to know him and Alex from Prahran skatepark where they’d have the IGDD (International Good Dudes Day) session every year… First Friday of daylight savings!

Season opener!

Yeah, a big session and a big BBQ, always the best time. From those nights and over the years I’ve gotten to know them even better. Recently they hit me up about the bro model, asked if I wanted to do it and I was just ‘SURE THING!’ It also gave me a new project to focus on and have some fun while filming for it.

 I assume a lot of the clip was filmed in around the roller coaster of Victoria’s lockdowns?

That was definietly a major ­part of it. Initially that was the challenge of the project, to try and film everything within mine and Tony’s (Woodward) 5km radius – but then restrictions lifted for a while and we got to venture out a bit further, then they kicked back in again and we were back to the 5km zone around Prahran. Most of it is from this area, but there’s a few other things mixed in there from all over the place. We actually got to get out a lot more than we originally thought we would. So that was a bonus.

 Did being confined to your local hood, turn up some new spots?

Yeah, there are actually heaps of spots in this area, but there are also a bunch that I’ve looked at but never really thought too much about skating – in a lot of cases they just needed work, sometimes alot of work to actually make them skateable. The other thing was just putting the time in to look for them, just cruising around on the bike and keeping an eye out. We found some real crusty spots, but a bit of bondo and a bit of work and they were good to go.

You mentioned meeting the Good Dude crew at Prahran, the meet up spot – but it’s no secret that their official headquarters is the Yellowbird bar on Chapel Street…

 [Laughs] That’s true.

 I was also told you and your crew refuse to drink anywhere else? Is this true?

Well, after work on a Friday and some beers down at the Park, the majority of places on Chapel Street aren’t really that accommodating to skateboarders and Yellowbird is just the best place to go – I’ve had so many good times there, and even when it does get a bit old, you just take a week off before getting dragged back there again. You always know that there will be crew you know there too, so it’s always good.

 Tell me about yesterday’s bro-cial distancing surprise party!

Well, I’d seen the design of the board a while back, and there’s been a few delays here and there, but I was not expecting what happened yesterday at all! With all the restrictions we obviously can’t have a premiere or a party to celebrate it or anything, so a bunch of my friends, the legends that they are decided to surprise me in the park. Me and Wade went to shoot a last minute photo, after that we went and got some beers to go drink in the sun. Then a few crew were like ‘let’s go to this park’ I think Niddy calls it ‘Shit ya-self park’ [Laughs] So, we went there, walk behind these bushes and everyone was there, I was like ‘What the fuck!’. It was definitely a complete surprise.

That must have been a huge highlight in an otherwise crazy year?

 Man, I was so stoked! It was great – and the weather was on! We had a good time…

It’s no secret Al (Wilson) is one of the biggest 90s skate-nerds on the planet – so while the graphic doesn’t come as a surprise how much were you involved in that side of things?

 There were a few ideas floating around. An old Alphonso Rawlz graphic amongst others, but in the end we decided to go with the Mullen design. When he showed me this one I really liked it. I also loved how they’d put Niddy’s head in the background, along with all the characters from previous bro-models; Jezza, Croker, Nate-Mate … It’s really cool that some of my friends are in there as well

Any idea what year that Rodney Mullen graphic was first released?

I’m not sure…

I know someone who will! [ *Texts Al ] – He’s claiming 1991. What year were you born?

I was born in 1992

There ya go – we got a ‘before you were born’ zinger!!! 

 Finally, there’s a fuckin’ mega billboard celebrating all of this! What a trip!

I know, right? I’m not sure if Al was meant to keep it a surprise or not but he came in to work a few weeks ago, said G’day and showed me one of the photos Wade had taken and said ‘This is the shot we’re gonna use on the billboard’ and I was ‘What? Billboard?’ and he was like ‘Yeah, I probably should have surprised you..’ but he was just too excited. He showed me what it looked like and when it would be up. Me and Wade went up there yesterday and got some photos, it’s so crazy, it’s such a massive billboard. After that I tried to drive along the freeway to get a photo of it, but it changes every 30 seconds or so, and every time me and my partner drove past, it would change to another ad. We did quite a few laps trying to get a glimpse, but it changed every damn time. Luckily Wade got the shots.

You can always count on Wade-os…

100% Wade is the man, he always handles business.

 So, the board is one thing, but as for the billboard, are you gonna try to pass yourself off as famous on the back of that, drop a few ‘Don’t you know who I ams’?

[Laughs] I don’t really want to start any rumours that aren’t true.

Maybe it will get you access in to some of those heinous Chapel Street bars…

Maybe!… Nah, that still wouldn’t work. Unless I put on some suit pants and slick my hair back. I’m just happy to claim that I was on a billboard, and that’s about it – that is definitely something I didn’t expect to happen in my life time, it’s amazing. When me and Wade were up on the roof we were talking about how a big skate company probably wouldn’t be able to do something like this, but it’s a skaters company and it’s just for fun and love, and that’s why they can do crazy stuff like this. Thanks to everyone who made it happen.