Full-size half-pipe, in the bedroom.

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The location was Bristol, UK. A university house my best friends and I rented was about to become the scene of a masterpiece. And it all started with our roommate, Mike.

Mike was a very particular guy, you know the type––a three showers a day, OCD, creature of regimented conformity. Mike had pulled the short straw on the first half of the year and got the smallest room, which also happened to be the one above the kitchen and lounge––which, on regular occasion, became our own homage to the great rock ‘n rollers we adored at the time (and still do today).

Unfortunately, Mike didn't share the same artistic vision that the rest of us had, of using the front lounge as a gig and party space for whichever degenerates we chose to entertain on any given weekend. So, he was going on holiday for a week, and by the time he was back we were to have moved all of his stuff into his new room, and away from the "band room." A stern but fair request.

But what was to come next would be one for the books––and one of my proudest moments. After Mike left, we mustered up a plan that would surely make him the proudest person to ever be our friend and accomplice. Not only would we move his things for him, but we would do one better––we’d transform his new enormous room into an actual usable, full-size half-pipe.

With very little planning, we all jumped into action, sourcing free wood and materials, borrowing basic tools. And not 12 hours after Mike left in a huff, we had acquired everything we needed to make him the most awesome present any university undergrad had ever seen.

The weekend was a long one, not having any idea how to go about the task, but after lots of research and questions––and of course, lots of mistakes––we managed to complete the project. Here, in Mike's new room, sat a fully functioning, five-foot half pipe! No fancy mirrors or books or clothes or any of those home comforts he once thought he needed. Instead, Mike had a piece of art in his room––one skated by our friends. A film was even made about the whole scenario, and we gained mega points on the cool charts from all the local pro skaters.

Mike returned a few days later, and instead of being angry, he was amazed at the feat of engineering and dedication involved in creating this "masterpiece." That moment was a proud one, and made me realize that doing something you love doesn't feel like work, but like the sense of achievement––of something not done before. It made me realize the fact that anything is possible.

Now I work with and around people that inspire me, that like to push things forward, and for me, the greatest sense of progress is when your peers are right there with you. After working relentlessly in London, with the highest quality photography and film studios on set design and production, or refurbing castles in Cornwall, my wife and I (she’s the clever one that does design, branding and general awesomeness) are lucky enough be a part of the journey with Matchbook Distilling Company and their premier facility. The innovative vision, collection of the like-minded, and the urge to succeed is what inspires me every day.


Author: Josh Duffy