Wellingtonian David Read is an anomaly somewhere between AV club nerd and bogan. He’s a self-disciplined perfectionist who prefers the company of Upper Hutt metal refugees to Welliwood glitterati, though his chameleonic charm ensures he can tete-a-tete happily with either. David helped give birth to Manual over fifteen years ago on a wing and many prayers; he’s nurtured it for 50 issues and counting, expects as much of his own work as his contributors and is consequently New Zealand’s most respected skateboard photographer. His creative direction is reflected in the design of Manual’s print publication, website, videos and social media presence. He also brews a mean coffee and looks good on crutches.
Caleb rides bikes and skateboards. If he could afford it or had the time he’d be found out in front of the Spoke office perfecting his track bike skids. For now, he somehow manages (although at times not very well) to juggle his duties as a father of three, a husband, a top level mountain bike photographer and one of the top-four table-tennis players at First Floor. His talents helped lay the foundations for Manual, and besides that admirable accomplishment, his photography has been and continues to be a defining element of the look and feel of Spoke, which is why he’s counted among the best mountain bike shooters on the planet.
Jake is an up and coming photographer who is starting to make his mark in both the skateboard and snowboard scenes in NZ. His polite and unassuming nature is infectious, and he continues to wow us with fresh images on the regular. His hair and beards seem to take on a life of their own and keep us guessing as to what configuration they will be this week.
Australian-born Brett Kennedy isn’t exactly a newcomer around here. As a kid, he made annual trips to New Zealand to visit family; in recent years, his passion for mountain biking has kept him coming back. The pull must have become stronger with time, seeing that he’s never actually made it ‘home’ to stay. It’s not hard to get a handle on what he looks forward to in life: good riding, good people, good music and good beer. It would seem the Capital satisfies these needs on all counts; he’s become one of the usual suspects at shenanigans both on and off the trails.
Fred’s career as an amateur hair stylist never really took off because unfortunately his skateboarding took priority and no one would trust his skills with a pair of scissors; this certainly didn’t stop him from trying. By using himself as a test subject Fred has fashioned some of the most impressive haircuts with little more than nail clippers, a razor and a bowl. He has gone through skinhead, bowl cut and rat’s tail phases, stopping just short of getting dreadlocks. Although he has stated on numerous occasions that he doesn’t like any excess trinkets or jewellery it’s clear he treats his hair as some twisted form of self-expression. His design, unlike his haircuts, is far less questionable, but equally as striking. Fred is also a mildly obsessed angler.