"100% BMX! No bullshit." - DEAD SAILOR, UK


28 Jan 2021

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Photos courtesy of Dead Sailor

BMX shops are key to uniting and growing their local scenes, let alone fixing everyone's broken parts, building wheels or giving valuable advice. Their importance can not be underestimated and that's why we support them. Next up in our series of interviews with DIG partner shops worldwide is Pete Wallwork's Dead Sailor shop in Cornwall, UK.

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How long have you been in business?

Dead Sailor as an idea started life back in 2012 when I was working in another bike shop but things got real in 2017 when I opened the store.

Can you explain how the idea for your store came to be?

I was lucky enough to have a job at my local bike shop, Clive Mitchell Cycles, who did a fair amount of BMX. I had the idea to brand that side of the business separately and the owner, Fred, let me run with it. 5 years later I had the opportunity to buy what I had created and jumped on it.

Why did you start a shop in your area?

Cornwall has always had a sick scene, but it’s so spread out in little villages and towns. A shop that could bring it all together seemed like a winner.

Who owns the shop? Who works there?

I’ve had a couple of rad dudes help me out at the shop since I opened but since the pandemic it’s just little old me. Shout out to Matt Dalley and Darren Rowe!

Are you primarily a BMX shop? If so, why?

100% BMX! No bullshit.

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Who's on the shop team?

Man, we’ve got a killer team! From north of the Tamar we’ve got Jamie Skinner, Isaac Lesser, Casson Downing, Joe Parry, Ollie Shields, Tom Milham and Tom Fitzsimmons. Locally we’ve got shredders Aaron Wilson, the Long brothers Charlie and Bobby, Sam Coleman and little dudes Rudy and Frazer. Along with those dudes there’s so many great friends that I consider part of the crew. Lewis Doubleday, Matt Dalley, D Rowe, Digger, Neil Waddington.. the list goes on!

Do you have any plans to produce any new team videos?

Once this lockdown shit is out the way we've got some plans to film with Neil Waddington of Ride On BMX and his killer editing skills.

What promotional events have you done at the shop since opening?

Every year we hold the Easter Jam at Mount Hawke Skatepark. It’s one of the longest running BMX jams in the country. Always a sick time. Along with that I try to get teams down to the shop as much as possible. It definitely gets people stoked!

Any plans for more?

Mount Hawke Easter Jam will never die!

How has COVID-19 affected the shop and local scene?

To be honest COVID-19 gave us the best year in ages sales wise. It was mental! When the first lockdown hit the online flood gates opened. I was blown away by the support as it was a shit scary time for any small business. Riding came to a pretty abrupt halt in lockdown but summer was a fun one. Seemed like everyone got the stoke back!

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Behind (almost) every great scene is a great local park. Pete showing his support at Mount Hawke.

What changes have you noticed in your local scene since the shop opened?

Nothing crazy but definitely a younger scene of kids seemed to emerged. Like the under 10s suddenly starting ripping.

How important is performing bike repairs and maintenance for your shop?

Essential part of the shop for sure. Got to be able to sort peoples bikes out otherwise why are you even there?

How have you been affected by the increase in people solely buying online and what have you done to combat that?

We’ve been lucky enough to ride the online wave pretty well. I jumped on the website pretty early when starting up so had plenty of time to get it dialled in. I try to treat every online sale as if its someone thats walked into the shop and give them the same service. Honestly, I get so buzzed every time an order comes through! We can’t compete with the big online retailers, but we can definitely give shit hot customer service.

What brands do you carry?

Only the best! I stock most legit brands but tend to focus on the ones that get me stoked like S&M, Fit, Cult, Relic, United, Shadow…

Which brands are doing well for you right now?

S&M is always a killer one for us along with Relic and Cult.

Ride On Interview

Pete Wallwork

Ride On Interview 1

Photos by Fooman

"It’s Cornwall man, every other request is weird."

What's something you never expected to happen after opening the shop?

Interviews like this!

What is the weirdest request you’ve ever had in the shop?

It’s Cornwall man, every other request is weird. Only messing, Cornwall rules. I’d say every week we get asked how much a tattoo is or do we do haircuts? Must just look like the type haha.

What’s the most commonly asked question?

“Can I borrow a 6mm?”

How many times have you had cheap bikes come in with the forks on backwards? What do you tell them?

Luckily not once! But we do get some shitters come through the door. I just treat them the same as anyone else. Hopefully they will get stoked and come back for a real BMX.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen happen out front?

Some dude's motorbike blew up just outside the shop. Proper went up in flames! Fridays also seems to be the day the loony bin gets emptied in Truro. Some special characters like to pop in with their cans of special brew and memories of when they bunny hopped a car or something.

Where do you want the shop to be in five years?

I’d be stoked to just keep doing what I’m doing but I’ve always wanted a shop ramp setup so let’s say that.

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