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31 Dec 2011

NYE and the start of S.E.D.J.

Tonight it is New Years Eve and I'd like to wish you all the best for whatever you're doing tonight and for the whole of 2012.

2011 has been a great year for [LILAC] and 2012 is hopefuly going to start well with Skate Every Day in January getting things moving.

If you feel like helping me kick of S.E.D.J. 2012 then get down to Stockwell for about mid-day tomorrow.
Whatever happens have a great NYE and see you out there in 2012.


30 Dec 2011

Lunch-time Spot Check - S.E.D.J.

On the ride into the office this morning I wanted to check out a potential spot for some lunch-time S.E.D.J. sessions.

skateboarding street spot london SEDJ lizard in a lab coat
skateboarding street spot london SEDJ lizard in a lab coat

I'd ridden past it a couple of times and it's just as good as I thought and only a 5 minute skate from the office.  With time being my most precious resource it's nice to have options. I guess we'll soon see what the "bust" factor is soon enough.

29 Dec 2011

Getting Ready for S.E.D.J.

Starting to stock up on all the essentials. Curbs don't wax themselves y'know?

9 Dec 2011

A Challenge to the Winter!

We skateboarders like to think that we are somehow inherently creative people. Maybe that's why skateboarding chooses us and asks us to keep testing ourselves,forcing us to make decisions as to how we are going to use our boards to interact with the physical environment, in a way that challenges us and so bring us feelings of achievement and pleasure.

Creativity is just another word for the ability to have ideas.  But where do ideas come from? Maybe the idea is always there, it's just waiting for someone to tune into it so they can find it, you know, when your subconscious train of thought suddenly changes track and pulls into the station marked "Inspiration".

I suspect that my train of thought has been suffering at the hands of cerebral industrial action and severe delays thanks to unscheduled engineering works. Why do I say this? Because of my latest idea, that's why.

As a reaction to me getting less and less time on my board thanks to increased family, work and parenting commitments, I have come up with a winning idea... at least it felt like that at the time.

If you're not skating much, the answer is to skate more right?  The dream is to skate every day.  So to be realistic I figured I'd do it for a month.  I'm writing this in the start of December and December means Christmas and loads stuff that's going to make it impossible, so I settled on January. Bollox! So I'm going to... Skate Every Day In January!

lizard in a lab coat skateboarding every day in january

January is officially shit.  It's gonna be cold, probably wet too... but maybe, just maybe skating every day will somehow brighten things up in the depths of a British winter.

So I'm going to skate evenings, weekends, lunch breaks at work, before work and probably quite a few stolen late night sessions at a covered curb spot. Hopefully I'll have people to skate with and I'm going to try to keep people informed of what's going on via this here blog.

Will my body hold up (currently encountering knee problems from getting over excited at the Stockwell Winter Games)? Will I run out of boards? Who will turn up to skate at these stolen 20 minute sessions? Will it inspire me to skate every day for the rest of my life? These and many other questions, some yet unknown, Will surely be answered in what is historically one of the most depressing months of the year.

Well, I've said it now, roll on January 1st.

See you out there.


6 Dec 2011

Feverish, Damp and Unhinged - Welcome To Stockwell

I've said it before and no doubt I'll say it again and again and again, I fucking Love Stockwell Skatepark!

Don't worry, I'm not going to start with the reminiscences of the skateboarding day trips in to London as a spotty teenager, no-one needs to hear that again. What I will say is that one more time the locals of this rough jewel in London skateboarding's crown have proved how to have a full-on session come Competition/Jam on a wet December Sunday.

The Stockwell Winter Games 2011 - I'm sure there were those who thought the whole thing was a waste of time and effort and maybe they were right and we are all just a little unhinged. Yet by the time we left the park and headed for the pub, all the obstacle building and organizing and skating in the wet felt very much like effort well spent.

Having 80% of the park too wet to skate just focused everyone into what was left.  When you have a good 20 or so people all skating the same thing at a feverish pace what you get is bodies and boards flying everywhere and a really good time.

Full-on back slaps to Toby, Johners and Hariett for putting in the effort to make this all happen, also to Martyn, and Harrison for helping with the obstacle build a while back.

Here are a few grabbed snaps of the day and evening, they're not remotely representative of the skateboarding that went down but they make me feel like it's more of a valid blog post. 

Keep'em peeled for more Stockwell Games events soon.... (I have no-idea if that's true, it just feels like a nice way to end).


stockwell skateboarding in the wet

stockwell skateboarding in the wet

stockwell skateboarding in the wet

stockwell skateboarding in the wet

stockwell skateboarding in the wet

stockwell skateboarding in the wet
stockwell skateboarding in the wet

stockwell skateboarding in the wet

30 Nov 2011

Time For A Bit More Of The Good Shit!

This coming Sunday, 4th December, it's time for the second part of the Stockwell Games Series.

You can forget your Street League and your Dew Tour and your X-Factor Games, this is the real deal.  Home made skate obstacles, timed laps of the park, longest ollie competitions and your chance to have the entire park to yourself for a valuable couple of minutes (very rare at the weekend) if you enter the comp. Not bad for a Sunday in December eh?

Once the skating comes to an end we'll all be off to the Queen's Head for a few and to check out the latest installment in the Stockwell focused creative project "IN STOCK". If you didn't make it down to the original, "OUT OF STOCK" back in the summer, then you owe it to yourself make it along to this. 

So in this age of austerity, strikes and affirmative action don't you think it makes sense to get down to Brixton Beach for 12 noon this Sunday and enjoy some of the good shit that London Skateboarding has to offer? I knew you'd be down.

See you there!


15 Nov 2011

Kingston Skatepark... WTF!?

One of my wife's enduring turns of phrase is "People Ruin Everything".

This can apply to, the disappearance of the Burger King Bacon-Mushroom Double Swiss or the Milka bar with Daim bits to recasting seminal film roles like Inspector Clouseau with Steve friggin' Martin, I mean WTF?

But this all pales into insignificance  when compared with what Richmond Borough Council have done to King's Field (Kingston) Skatepark.

We all know that when a new park arrives it's going to be rammed at weekends with micro-scoot-kids and kids and BMXicans from any time after about 10am.  Your only tactic to avoid this injury laden rush-hour is to either go early or go late.

This Sunday morning I made my way down to King's Field Skatepark to avoid the mini-masses and skate with a mate in the quiet time from 9-11am.  Look at what greeted us on our arrival.

Kingston Skatepark skateboarding skateboarders signKingston Skatepark skateboarding skateboarders sign

Kingston Skatepark skateboarding skateboarders sign

Kingston Skatepark skateboarding skateboarders card form
Kingston Skatepark skateboarding skateboarders card form

Security Passes!!? again WTF? The fact they built the park and left the old tennis court fence around it was bad enough but this is ridiculous.  Then I saw the opening times.

So currently, if you are in full-time education or employment, of the possible 168 hours a week available to skate, Richmond Borough Council have decided that you only have 12 hours in which you can use the skatepark, and they are all at the weekend, in Peak hours.

12 out of a possible 168.

Stockwell, Meanwhile, Mile End, Ealing... I could go on.. they are available for all 168 hours in a week.

Having climbed the fence, obviously, we were soon joined by the park-warden guy, who explained that his job was on the line if we were found in there and that we could get arrested etc. etc.  So even with him there, key in hand, at 9am he was totally unwilling to just open the gate and let us skate.. "They'll all want to be in before 10am".. of course they f*cking will!!  What makes you think they don't already?

This was some of the worst "More than my job's worth" bullshit I've ever come across, with a good measure of "well people were selling drugs" and "What if someone has an accident" crap thrown in for good measure.

The upshot being that this Park has been built and then the council has gone to great lengths to make sure people can't use the damn thing.

The best bit was that while all this was going on, two guys were playing tennis in the court next door, having climbed over the fence as the courts don't open till 10am, of course Mr. Warden Guy wasn't giving them any shit was he?


10 Nov 2011

Chicken and Whips on a Plaza Extravagaaanza

Last weekend we made a little trip down to Cornwall and while there I was able to spend a day skateboarding in the company of Whip and Poulet.

I don't get to skate with these two enough so I was even more excited when they were both up for skating at Playing Place, legendary but weirdly bad yet fun 70's concrete in a semi-woodland setting in the heart of Cornwall (sorry no photo this time). Why? because it was too bloody wet to skate the place. So onward to Truro Plaza.

We jumped back into Poulet's toy car and trundle off to the Plaza. I almost forgot this place existed. I remember the hoo-ha when it opened and to be honest it's still pretty damn impressive. There's an awful lot of concrete in that park and there aren't too many councils willing to spend that kind of money any more.

One thing that wasn't so impressive was the transition on the concrete mini-ramp. Jesus, that thing is so mellow it freaks you out. It's like a vert ramp that's been cut down to 5 feet. I can imagine the local rippers were probably annoyed and thought it was unfair that they finally got a decent ramp but the transition was more like a saggy flat bank. Well, life isn't fair, the sooner we realise that the happier we'll all be. That transition made for a really fun skate, a uniquely British skate. A session characterized by a ramp with a training transition suitable for 3 year-old micro-scoot-kids and one platform completely covered by a puddle of rainwater.

The rest of the time was spent messing about over at the Wembley/Euro-Gap. When did it change from Wembley to Euro by the way? Who ever invented the Wembley Gap knew what they were doing didn't they (I'm sticking with Wembley Gap by the way)? I'm pretty sure the first one appeared at the Generation '97 Comp at Wembley, hence the name. Ever since, if I'm at a park that has one, it calls to me, with it's siren song of soft uphill landings and and easy-popping downhill ollies, two of the best feelings in skateboarding plus the fact it demands that you hit it with speed, and that's what it's all about. Anyway, we skated that for a bit then drove home to the pub to celebrate the arrival of Scumtash Pob's little baby boy Rhys. Good work Pob and Rach!

Oh, and I'm deliberately not mentioning the yellow t-shirts.


9 Nov 2011

Joxa & The Bear in Baby Hugging Shocker!!

Did you ever wonder what the Witchcraft riders get up to when they're not destroying a spot.  Hugging babies, that's what.

Who'd have thought these demonic shred overlords could be reduced to cuddly-skate-uncles simply by introducing them to a newly arrived human baby.  Well here's the evidence.

Joxa and Joe Habgood of Witchcraft Hardware with Baby

That photo was taken on Monday on the way back from Cornwall to London.  We  stopped off to say hello to the Bristol crew, which of course included  these two goons.  Joxa was in fine form enjoying his fairly recent relocation to Brizzle and Joe was suffering a bit from skate related smashed-up-body issues, some of which could probably be attributed to the recent HELLFEST jam at Prime Skatepark.

I missed the Jam but thankfully the guys at Prime put together great edit.  You'll spot both of these two in there along with more Witchcraft riders, see if you can spot them?

You should get down to skate Prime too, I've said it before, have you been there yet?  The Prime Website

You can keep a closer eye on what the Witchcraft team are up to here at the Coven's website.


2 Nov 2011

The Curse Of The Skate Dimension

It's happenned to all of us, thousands of times, it's a gift that only skateboarding can give you.  Either from a bus, a train, the back seat of a car.  That hint of a spot.  The angle of a wall, the top of a handrail that looks the perfect height, or the transitions at the bottom of a wall; all of which make our Skate-sense tingle and make our eyes dart around looking for land marks so we can figure out how the hell to find that place again, to see what it holds.

More often than not there are problems. Some can be overcome with a little ingenuity,others need a bit of heavy work and the rest are just not what they seemed in the first place.

This week I had one of the later versions.  I'd seen this giant flower-pot thing a couple of times, I'd google mapped it's location and the other day I finally got the chance to ride over for a look/skate.

Bollox to that then.  Oh well, I suppose I could always just saw the nose off my board.


Skateboarding Street Spot Transition London

25 Oct 2011

Earley Skatepark and the Ghosts of Teenage Regret.

When I think back to the time that I lived in this area, around '88 to '94, I can remember the slim pickings we had for places to skate. Wokingham was home and had Tesco Steps, the bank to wall across the road, the tiny little tranny-to- curb behind Iceland, the new building and the odd bench in a half decent position on a skateable surface. Of course we had various mini-ramps pop up for short spaces of time and then finally the long campaigned for Midi and miniramp at St. Crispins, those metal rareunit jobs that had the massive coping.

Had this park existed back then god knows what the locals could have developed into. It's a fact that what you skate and who you skate with will have huge impact on your speed and extent of learning on the board. So I'm super happy for the kid I met on Saturday who lives directly opposite this fun and varied park. My 16 year-old self is insanely jealous of him though.

Earley is about half way between Reading and Wokingham and within easy striking distance of my parents house, so I'm pretty stoked to have a decent park to skate when I come out this way. The park is pretty well thought out but does seem to be another park that has way to much ground NOT covered in concrete. I'm sure it's a cost consideration but it makes for collision heavy tracks instead of a flowing park with room for manoeuvre. It's a shame because this park has some nice touches, unfortunately to link them together your going to have to risk BMX shaped death from above.

The bowl got the most attention from me this visit and will definitely be seeing more of me. For now you can take a look at photos below and decide if It's worth a visit.


Earley Skatepark, Sol Joel Park

Earley Skatepark, Sol Joel Park

Earley Skatepark, Sol Joel Park

Earley Skatepark, Sol Joel Park

Earley Skatepark, Sol Joel Park

20 Oct 2011

Skaters, Splinters and the Art of Perfectionism.

It's a well known fact that if you want new stuff to skate the only guaranteed way to make it happen is to... well, make it happen.

So when you get a phone-call or an e-mail from Johners telling you that he's going to build some stuff at his place over the weekend you know where to be come Saturday morning.

Pouring concrete is one thing but Adam is all about being a multidisciplinarian so this weekend was all about carpentry.

Here's what happened.

Toby Renton Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
Toby came along too, and started to saw

Jamie Harrison Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
Harry arrived just in time to plan a masterpiece.

Toby Renton Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
Max protected the secret plans

Toby Renton and jamie harrison Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
Sometimes Essex muscle isn't quite enough.

Adam johners johns Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
Look at that... text book positioning.

Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
it begins to take shape.

adam johners johns Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
Is it me or has Johners got this shit down?

Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
You can never have enough struts.

Martyn thomas Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
Martyn was there for the tense part.
Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
This is a precision job this.

Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
Look at that finish.

Toby Renton Martyn thomas jamie harrison Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
"Down your end a bit"

Jamie Harrison Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
He had to be the first.

Building making constructing DIY skateboard obstacles
The day's production.

You'll be able to skate these beauties in the not too distant future, keep your ear to ground.