Two vans, 16 people, multiple trips, ample passport stamps, and controlled chaos that was surprisingly productive, “7 Ball,” is the latest Nike SB full-length orchestrated by London-based videographer Will Miles. An international video inspired by overachieving and escaping the winter, Will and a double-digit crew traveled for close to two years to create “7 Ball."
The never-ending homie trip where everything mostly went broke for the best, the project slowly built over text chains, pin swapping, and bucket list locations, resulting in a surplus of clips, postcard moments, enders, and one of the hairiest ollies to land on the cover of Thrasher Magazine.
We spoke to Will, Jack O’Grady, Kyron Davis, and Eetu Toropainen about the non-stop missions, making friendships on the fly, pub-rules pool games, easter eggs, and the process of transforming hours of footage into a transcontinental highlight reel.
Will and all the Nike SB London people and even from around Europe were working on this video for a little bit and I think they went on some trips, but then last year I went to Copenhagen Open and then I ended up in London a little bit after that, and I was talking with Will and he just started working on the video and then he was like, “Oh, it'd be cool to get some stuff here and I was really hyped to be a part of it.” So we got some stuff in London and then they ended up doing this trip to Croatia not long after. From there I got to go on every trip going forward, which was great. After Croatia, Will and Ville (Wester) stayed with me in LA, then we went to Aguacatán in Mexico and then went to Sicily, and then we went to London a little after that for a couple of days and then our last trip recently was to Marseille, France.
It's crazy that you say that and I agree with you. It should be like that all the time, but I guess sometimes it's not. That's why Will and everyone have done such a good job on this because there are so many different types of people that ride for Nike, which is cool. They’ve never seen them all together like this so it’s really cool to be a part of. And just meeting everyone—there were a lot of really cool people and a lot of people I've met that I've obviously been big fans of, and then now a lot of them are my good friends.
I remember Will sent me a rough edit of all the footage from Croatia. Cyrus and Max were on that trip and I'm pretty sure I might have met one of them very briefly, but that was the first time properly meeting them and hanging out with them. There was a Cyrus clip and then I had a clip and then Max had a clip, and then I was like, ‘No way! I’m in a Cyrus and Max sandwich, that's pretty crazy!’
Yeah, there were two vans… so many people crashing at the Airbnbs, you know? The Australians and then there were Americans and then there were British… two people from France, two people from Sweden, and then one person from Finland. I remember we would be skating along in Croatia and then people would come up and be like, “Oh, where are you guys from?” and we'd all just look around for a second. It's like, “Wow, we're from everywhere.”
Personally, I get excited and I get hyped to do things if all my friends are around. I’m juiced, but yeah, civilian-wise, it just depends on the spot. If it's a massive group and then if it's like people start crowding around straight away before I sort of start getting into it, then I'm stressed. I don't really like it when you can see people filming on their iPhones at the bottom in plain sight, you know what I mean? They might be messing with your eyesight, just things like that. For example, that ollie into the bank in Marseille, I was just rolling up to it for a while and slowly more and more people gathered, but then when I did it, then everyone was really cool and they were clapping. It’s definitely cool if you don’t let it get to you.
We skated this rail in Sicily and Joe front boarded and Eetu front lipped it and then I noseslide that. I was really hyped to a big fat noseslide. I'm really hyped on the ollie I did in Croatia because that was actually the last day in Croatia. It was getting dark and I was like, “All right. It's like now or never. I'm not coming back here.” It was a bit of a mental battle. I started by ollieing to the flat and then riding down the bank going slower. I was so scared, but stuff like that you need to be switched on in your mind—you will do it. I knew if I got there I’d do it. I rolled up for about 45 minutes until I tried one and slipped out at the end—but I knew it was possible. The second time I tried it, I made it, but the thing with that spot is that from behind, you can't actually see where the bank is until you ollie, so I put two sticks at the top of the stairs making a lane, if that makes sense, so I could aim between the two things.
When I tried it the second time I out ollied and then I felt like I was about to land back smith on the bank. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I'm going to land on the edge!’ But I was in the air and it was too late to do anything, and then I just held on, and then yeah, I did it in one go.
I really like being part of the whole process, you know? Will asked me if I had any songs in mind and I did have one I thought about using for another project. It’s this song I got from my good friend Wade from Sydney who unfortunately passed away a little while ago, he was the best and used to make these little iPhone clips and he made an edit and used this song and would always play it at Taylor Square. I was playing this playlist with that song and thought it would be cool to skate to the song as an ode to him. Wade was always good at finding underground music. I’m excited and hyped to be able to use a song like that's really meaningful to me in a big Nike project.
I dislocated my ankle in Croatia So yeah. I was on a two-week trip before that that went really well, but right when I got to Croatia I got sick with the flu, so I was alone in the house while everyone was out skating. The first day when I got back to skating—I don't know, maybe my body wasn't really fully recovered or something—I just got too excited and tried this trick. I ended up just running downstairs wrong and then twisted my ankle and dislocated it. It took about four months to heal.
I met everyone for the first time in Mallorca, and we did a little tour video of that one also. And that was the first Nike trip I went on. Will asked me if I wanted to come to Mexico, which was the first trip for this video. It was a little intimidating in the beginning, but then we just skate and hang out for a few days, then it goes off. It can be hard constantly being with people, but everyone got along so well—everyone in the squad was so nice.
This is a good one. In Mexico, we went to a lucha libre wrestling match. It’s huge there. The locals are all wearing masks and everything and it’s super long—like two hours. Towards the end, Ky and I went outside just to sit and talk—just not to be in the stadium anymore. So we’re outside, waiting for the homie, people are pouring out of the stadium. Chris Jones put a mask on and they find this little grass area and start wrestling. Slowly a big crowd starts building around them and they’re totally playing it up—taking their shirts off, smashing each other to the ground. Someone in the crowd was like, ‘Bro, take my drink!’ So Chris takes it and pours it over Ky and the crowd starts cheering. It was almost a bigger show than the actual match inside. Everyone was clapping and we were all laughing so hard. It was amazing.
That's in Mexico in Aguascalientes. There was a photo of that in the group chat where we were looking at spots. I just showed it to Will like, ‘Let's check this out, it's on the way.’ I guess someone had dropped in, but not ollied so I just ollied it at first. It was pretty scary to be up there—it is pretty wide, like two meters on the top, but I didn’t want to be near the edge. When I'm up really high somewhere it definitely gets scary so I always held the bridge before I tried jumping into the bank. Then the hardest part was coming off the end because it doesn't go right to the ground—here’s a little drop, and you have to go from the side and then land. I slammed a few times—nothing crazy. Later on, I realized I lost my bracelet. I was like, ‘I think it's there. Can we go back and look for it?’ We went back but couldn’t find it. Will checked the clip and paused it and you can see the thing flying off. We never found it, but it was worth it for the clip.
That would be sick. [laughs]
It's really, really cool filming with Will. I didn't know it was going to be a big video where I played a big part in it, so that’s really great. Will’s always down and never complains. If I want to try something for three hours—which usually happens—he’s down for it. It’s the best.
It's nice to have everyone kind of all mashed up into one thing. It’s cool because we hang out all the time as well. All of us are pretty close by now. It's been two years of kind of getting to know some people and people I've already met. Nice little crew, man. Everyone was on point. Eetu and Jack…ridiculous on a skateboard. I’ve never seen anything like it, really.
Ha, yeah, I do feel like a veteran. I've been skating since I was six. And I guess I started going on a trip when I was like, 17. I’m not old, but I’m definitely gettin’ on a little bit, you know what I mean? You’re old when you’re 90, but I can feel it when I’m on trips when I’m with people who are a bit younger than me. Honestly, these Nike trips felt a lot like those Cliché trips because it never really felt like a planned thing. We had the budget to travel, but the trips really did have the vibes of those old trips—it was a bit more grounded… down to Earth. That’s the best way I could put it.
A bit of a bit of both. We suggest songs to each other and try and work something around that. Music is really important to a skate video because if you're not really engaged with the song or if you don’t find it particularly interesting you're not going to watch it again. Even if it's a great part, it’s hard to watch again if you're not feeling everything about it.
The wildest guy. He’s so wavy, man, he’s cool. I'd seen him on Instagram, but I first met him when he was on a Limosine trip to England about a year ago. We just got on instantly. We just clicked. It’s kind of nice to be on a trip with him to Mexico. It’s nice hanging out with him—he’s got a lot of good energy. It’s nice when you’re… you’re feeling low energy. He’s the guy who will lighten up your day.
I think it’s different because Will’s made this video and it really felt like a good excuse to get a bunch of people who really get along to get together. It’s quite interesting seeing different people and they treat a spot or how they kind of get in the zone. Whenever Jack’s in the zone he’s like a lion with his eyes on the prey. You try to talk to him but he’s just…he’s not there. He’s hyper-focused. It’s cool seeing that. If it was me, I’d be tripping out, saying weird stuff, running up and down the stairs. He’s just on it.
It’s funny, we’d be somewhere and people would be like, ‘What are you all doing here… you’re skateboarding?’ They couldn’t get their head around why we were in their town—all these different people from like, every country—skating. That’s quite funny to me.
That's good. I like that.
You’re right—you just can't not meet a good skateboarder these days. It’s ridiculous. I always loved videos that made me feel like, “Man, I wish I'd gone skating with those guys. That day looked so fun.” I just try and make sure that it feels like that. Even though the video snowballed from this small thing into quite a big thing where all of a sudden everybody was involved—Max and Cyrus were there, and Jack O'Grady filmed a full part. Every trip just felt like all the homies hanging out, so it wasn't difficult to show that side of it.
Originally, it was going to be the UK Nike SB guys, and Ville and Hugo would get involved. It was going to be quite a bit smaller. Then Colin Kennedy hit me up and was like, "I'd really like Noah and Eetu to get involved, if you think you're into it." And I said, ‘Well, I know they're both really good at skating, but I don't know them, kind of thing.’
He was like, "Well, why don't you do a trip with them and some of the younger guys who had got on over Covid." I never doubted how good they were at skating, but you just don't know what somebody's going to be like, so if we were going to plan to do a year and a half of hanging out you kind of want to know. Literally after a day, I knew they’d get on with everyone—they just were smashing it.
Jack O'Grady whenever he's in Europe, he always has stayed at my house. I knew he was coming back to Europe last summer, and I was like, ‘Jack, I’d be super stoked if you get some stuff for the video.’ When he was in London, we got quite a good amount and then I spoke to him after and was like, ‘If you want, I can try and get you on all of the rest of the trips—I think we could get a full part out of it,’ which we did in the end.
Then it just kind of snowballed. We did a trip to Croatia where everybody was on it. Two vans. 16 people. It was chaos. Cyrus and I were talking—he was just coming back from his knee surgery—and I was like, “We're doing a trip soon if your knee's feeling good.” Cyrus was down and I’d actually never met Max before that trip, funnily, even though we have a lot of mutual friends. Kyron and Chris, just one night were like, “Cyrus is coming. That's amazing, but that means we've got to bring Max for sure.” And I was like, “Well, all right. Give me his number. I'll text him, and see if he wants to go,” kind of thing.
The Croatia trip actually gave me a bit of a problem, because in my head I was like, ‘Yeah, obviously we're going to do pretty well and we'll get a good amount of footage, ‘but I came back from Croatia with a raw timeline of 45 minutes. I’ve never been on a trip like it. It was getting to this stage where we got 15 clips a day. I don't know what I'm going to do with this kind of thing. I originally thought it would be a few parts and some guest tricks. That was kind of the idea, but everybody was so on fire and the fire just caught. You'd see somebody do something and then as soon as they've landed it, everyone's like, "All right, sick." And then someone's like, "I found a spot just over there. Let's go.”
Because of that, I really wanted that whole Croatia section to be one piece, because it was just like no other trip I've ever been on. The fact that there were 14 or 16 people or whatever, and there was no hint of anyone having a bad time or being run down by everybody else or anything, which can happen on small skate trips even with good friends, I just wanted that to be its own piece.
And then the Deafheaven song… Axel would play it so often on drives home usually, and we were all just like, “Man, this song is so good.” And it feels like three songs in one because it has so many changes. It builds and then slows. Towards the end, I'm thinking, “Man, we've got a ridiculous amount of footage. What am I going to do with this?” And then I just was thinking, “Man, this song could be perfect as well.” It's connected to it, but then also it's an eight-minute song that feels like three sections. I could break all the footage up into three sections naturally, and it wouldn't look forced. It still was its own singular piece within the video kind of thing.
The first trip we had was in Guadalajara and the Airbnb was amazing. It was an Airbnb for 10 people that had an indoor fountain and a pool table. We didn't go out. I think we went to one bar in two weeks in Guadalajara because everyone was just like, ‘Should we buy beers and just play pool at home?’ A lot of us love playing pool anyway from being in pubs in London. There's this thing in pool where you “seven ball” somebody—it’s almost when you whitewash them at skate. They don't pop a single ball and you pop the black kind of thing. Everywhere has its own rules. It is meant to be like if you're in a pub and it happens to you, you got to take your pants down and walk around the table in your underwear. You just have to do it then and there. It's the unwritten rule or whatever and Korahn did it to three of us at that Airbnb.
We were talking about names and some of the guys kind of mentioned we could call it 7 Ball because Korahn kept seven-balling everyone. Then when I was breaking it down, the video is broken up into seven sections as well.
Those two especially. Some of the stuff Eetu has done in this video… the spots aren't spots. No one's skating like that for a reason. I think that did help because everyone knew we weren't coming back to Sicily or wherever. Jack got his ender on the last day in Marseilles—the last day to film anything. It was just like, ‘OK, let's go and have a look at it,’ and when we got there Jack's face just dropped. It was way bigger than he thought it was but he was like, ‘Ohhhh, OK… I’ll boardslide it.’
So he goes to boardslide it but he clipped his wheels on the way up and got away with it and it made my heart sink, but he was like, “I think I can lip slide it. What do you think?” I had to bite the bullet because if it'd gone badly I would've eaten my words, but I just was like, “I know you. If you go for it, you'll do it. That's just the kind of skating you do.” Korahn was standing next to me and was like, “Man, I can't believe you dared to say that. What if it goes wrong?” I was really hoping it didn’t. [laughs]
Maybe it's blind belief in them. Pretty much everybody in it has done stuff that I just never thought I would film. I got to a point where I just believed anyone in this lot could do any of this, you know? Korahn said it after Jack’s end, “Man, some crazy stuff happened in the last two years.”