Putting The Work In - 10 years Of Waller BMX

"The shop has always and always will be a local meet up spot."

30 May 2022

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Photos Courtesy of WALLER BMX

The BMX shop game isn't easy so it's always great to see shops solidifying themselves into a long-term, necessary and valued piece of the local BMX community. Sheffield UK's WALLER BMX is just that, and after a decade of good times it doesn't seem to be slowing down one bit. We caught up with Waller's owner Jack to find out more about his hometown's rich street heritage, a planned anniversary jam, the shop's history, and where they're headed in the future.

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Congrats on reaching a decade with Waller BMX. Did you ever think back when you started that you’d reach 10 years?

I guess so yeah. I've always been BMX mad and I love business/creation so the two work hand in hand. However, I never envisioned what it would be like getting to 10 years which has been a lot of hard work and a boat load of good times!

Sheffield is pretty legendary city in BMX terms. Which riders from there have you been stoked on over the years?

I have to shout out to all the guys that I started to ride street with, I guess. They've always been my idols and were pushing the limits of BMX so hard when we started riding. A few still shred now which is amazing to see. The legendary spots on our doorstep mean most things have been done which shows the standard of Sheffield riders.

Tommy C, Shayne Steeles, Josh Bedford, Lloyd Jones, Tom Blyth, Joe and Dan Cox, Mainy, Tom Roberts, Liam Ernshaw to name a few.

Short Frame Joe Cox Hip Whip

The hugely influential Joe Cox riding a Standard TAO in Sheffield UK circa 2003. Originally published in DIG 42. Photo by Ricky Adam.

How has the shop changed over the years and what have you learnt in that time?

I guess we've started to sell more online which has been the biggest shift. When we first opened it was mainly in-store purchases. We get a lot of returning customers which as I learnt back in college that's the best customer you can have! The shop has always and always will be a local meet up spot. The shops got more cramped as we got busier and built up our stock.

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Jack switching it up - Home & Away.

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How have you seen BMX change in that time too?

BMX has changed a huge amount up to today. A lot of OG riders no longer ride which was always inevitable. Bikes are finally getting better too. I'm sure Sheffield and I say Liverpool because of Benny L had some of the crummiest bikes you'd ever see back in the day. Fiend did a hammer paint finish that had a real bumpy finish to it. Sheffield did it first with rusty bars. Parts also last longer now, tricks are getting more mental and the quality of riders are getting better.

Over the last decade, what have been your top 5 moments?

First has to be taking the Sunday team riding back in 2015. We showed Gary Young Park Hill flats and he grafted for his final banger clip on Sunday Grow Up. The whole crew were stoked and we finished with a nice meal at Wagamama's with the crew.

Second - Riding trips abroad to BCN and UK wide

Third - Fit bike shop tour

Fourth - Getting Arron (local youth) into BMX and seeing how stoked he was when progressing (he sent the biggest gap to date in the old Onboard Skatepark setup)

Fifth - Showing Magic Magid the Sheffield Major how to ride BMX in Doc Martens.

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Jack Waller

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"I'm sure Sheffield and I say Liverpool because of Benny L had some of the crummiest bikes you'd ever see back in the day."

Where do you see the shop going in the next ten years? Do you have any plans?

We would like to keep doing what we're doing but try to involve new people into the sport. We want to see new riders, maybe a Waller BMX academy, a bigger shop/warehouse and host more events.

Can you tell us more about the ten year anniversary jam you’ve got planned?

Yeah sure. We're going to be hosting a BMX Jam on Friday the 3rd of June thanks to the Queen. The plan is to meet at Devonshire green for 12.30pm and kick it off with some best trick, biggest send kind of thing. Then, we've got 5-6 street spots to hit with plenty of prizes for biggest senders. Finally, we'll finish up at the shop for an after party with music, food and drink. We're hyped for it!!!

If you could go back in time ten years and give yourself any advice, what would it be?

I'd probably tell myself to chill a little bit more. I worked my ass off to get to where we are today and I think that's why we're here. But, some days I went too hard. I'd also remind myself to just let it all come together as hard work always pays off.

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Crew at at the OG Waller Jam - 30th June 2012

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Dream Team - Smalley (L) and Jack.

"Smalley’s helped me since the opening day pretty much and has been my right hand man ever since. He’s like a second pair of hands and rides the same frequency as me which makes shop life much easier and of course enjoyable. We’ve been mates since we were 16 and have always been tight ever since. I want to say a huge thank you to Smalley for everything he does. He’s one of a kind and one of the best people I know! A legend for sure!" - Jack Waller

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