Edinburgh uncovered: The Bristo Square skateboarders

‘Some girl came up to me at 3am once, she was steaming but she knew who I was. We’re famous’

bristo square Edinburgh Edinburgh University skateboarders

We’ve all seen them, we’ve all faced near collision with them, we’ve all sadistically enjoyed watching them attempt a trick which inevitably ends in failure.

But never before have we got to know the real Bristo Boarders.

So who are the people behind the infamously poorly executed jumps? I ventured down to what is widely known as “Edinburgh’s Unofficial Skatepark” to find out.


Jack, 19


Are you a student?

Yeah, I’m at Heriot-Watt, I study Brewing and Distilling.

Brewing and Distilling? Sounds like a student’s dream degree. So what will you do after uni?

I’ll brew.

Why do you chose Bristo Square? Is it because you enjoy the thought of one day ‘accidentally’ mowing down an unsuspecting fresher?

No, although one time I crashed into a guy and he pushed me over.

What is your biggest fear?

Belly buttons. They’re just not human, I can’t even touch my own belly button, I can’t look at it in the mirror.

Right. So what do you do when you’re not here?

I play guitar, I drink a lot, I brew stuff.

Finally, what is the meaning of life?

42, isn’t it?

Ben, 19


“Some girl came up to me outside Tesco the other night at 3am, she was steaming but she knew who I was, we’re famous”

What do you do? Are you a student?

I’m away to study in Glasgow soon.

So what are your opinions on Edinburgh students?

They’re cool, I have no problem with them, I respect what they’re trying to do.

Why Bristo Square?

I started skating here years ago, and met most of my friends here, its good, there’s loads of stuff to jump off, and we don’t get into that much trouble with the uni.

Have you ever crashed into someone?

Not here, no. But on Princes Street once I was skating and there’s this block you can jump off outside the museum. I mowed down an old lady, she didn’t seem that bothered though.

Is it worse to fail at something, such as one of your infamously bad tricks, or to never attempt it in the first place? (As I said this, fellow Bristo Boarder Jack crash landed in a spectacular fashion)

Uh, probably never to attempt it.

What makes you happy? What are you scared of?

Skating, and I fucking hate elevators.

So what do you think is the meaning of life? Is it a skateboard?

It’s Bristo Square.

Usual Bristo Square scenes

Usual Bristo Square scenes

Opinions on these guys seem to vary. Suranga, a monk who happened to be hanging round in Bristo Square,  approves of them “The local kids gotta do something.”

But generally, Edinburgh students seem to appreciate these guys solely for their comedic value.

Maddy, a 2nd year Zoology student said: “I find it funny when they mess up and fall off” and Erin, another 2nd year said “it’s hilarious when they have their little ramp that they try to do tricks over and fall off.”

Another 2nd year biology student, who declined to give her name said: “I wish I was a Bristo Boarder”. We’re not sure if she’s joking.