It all started at our parents houses back in 1997 on a dodgy PC. We were fuelled by junk food and cheap Malaysian. In 2003 we started First Floor Publishing so we could have a home for all three of our magazines – Manual, Spoke and the now defunct Staple.
Manual is now New Zealand’s leading skateboarding and snowboarding magazine, featuring national and international coverage of skateboarding, snowboarding, music and art, with an emphasis on quality photography, illustration and graphic design.
If you want to contribute to Manual or have any questions (or insults), drop us a line here.
Manual costs NZ$10 (plus postage) a copy and is published four times a year – March, June, September and December. Check the stockists’ page for where to buy it. It is also available to purchase in digital form from Zinio.
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. Fifteen years ago David helped give birth to Manual on a wing and many prayers; he’s run it on fumes for 48 issues and counting, expects as much of his own work as his contributors and is consequently New Zealand’s most respected skateboard photographer. Davidreadphoto.com
Prior to Caleb’s arrival on the scene, local skate magazines were known to create their entire editorial on disposable cameras. Taking inspiration from American greats, Caleb set a new standard for skateboarding photography in New Zealand. His talents helped lay the foundations for Manual (along with other New Zealand publications) and although of late he has devoted much of his time to Spoke, the mountain bikers’ journal, he still finds time to do articles for Manual, as well as selling advertising for both magazines. Calebsmith.co.nz
White-knuckle rally driving skills and an ear for banging mix-tapes are not the only things that Johnny has to be proud of. Our resident designer has editorial credits around the world and some serious skill with a camera. Johnny builds strong relationships with the people he shoots, making it okay for him to yell abuse from the bottom of a rail, or maybe some helpful words of advice, “Cover shot! Money!” – anything to get the job done.
Jake is an up and coming photographer who is starting to make his mark in both the skateboard, and snowboard, scenes here in NZ. His polite and unassuming nature is infectious, and he continues to wow me with fresh images on the regular. | David Read
When I first heard about Pablo from the grommies I assumed that the name ‘Pablo’ was yet another one of their affectionate nicknames. So, you can imagine my surprise when a few weeks later I was introduced to an extremely polite guy who was twice my height and Chilean. He spent the season sharpening his teeth here in Wanaka before gallivanting around North America living the dream and blogging up a storm. Pablo’s background as a scientist has left him patient, attentive and exact, it’s these characteristics combined with his passion and determination (and an uncanny ability to get up very early every day) that have helped make him the talented photographer he is. | Haley Ashby
Mathew Hunkin was raised in the suburban wilds of West Auckland by a pack of kindly big block engines. Unable to keep up with his siblings, he instead set off to draw his way out of the ghetto. Often described by his friends as smarter than he looks, Mat’s approach to both his written and visual work is to spiral interestingly around the point like a Ford Capri doing doughnuts in the dunes.
His conceptual power-to-weight ratio is second to none, enabling him to convert even the most half-assed of drunken rants into pure gold. He can usually be found cursing his skateboarding, placating himself with beer, killing people online or yelling indignantly at the television. Mathunkin.co.nz
You may have seen this little park rat around Wanaka at one of her zillion part-time jobs. Right now she’s probably either “seeing a range” or fitting lingerie. When she’s not doing that she’ll be snapping up un-forced lifestyle hammers, putting together the Snow Park Yeahbook or kicking ass at online Scrabble. I’m gonna get a hiding for saying this, but I’m still trying to figure where you get mad skills like these growing up on a dairy farm in Te Puke?