There was an error in this gadget

28 Feb 2011

The Wet Elephant and Somerset Skatepark.

Bristol this weekend.  What a lovely town.  What lovely people.  What a lot of opportunities to use the word "Lovely". A guy I work with once used that word to describe the Black Sabbath album "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath", he blamed his kids. Classy.

So Bristol, the UK's San Francisco, discuss.

How am I doing at ignoring the Elephant in the room? The "W" word. You know, the one that snuck in just in time to screw-up a potentially epic session at Midsomer Norton on Sunday.  The session that would have beem my first visit.  It still was my first visit, just no skating.

Here are pictures of Dave and Whip trying to pretend it's not raining.  Dave is doing a better job than Whip, I think you'll agree.


This also happened to be one of the few Sunday mornings I have ever had visiting Bristol that I got more than 3 hours sleep and woke up without a hangover.  In the past this sort of bad luck weather would have created a slowly smoldering rage deep in my stomach. I would have seen those tell tale first drops on the windshield and begged in pained desperation "No, please no!!" More drops would land, bigger, more plentiful with the added horror of a pitter patter soundtrack... (sorry, I've got to stop, it's bring back bad memories).

This time I was cool. Older, wiser maybe, now aware of the complete futility of wasting energy on this type of thing.  It's with us, it's always going to be with us,  if it bothered that much I'd have moved to Southern Europe, Australia or California by now.

All I need now is a silver lining to make this all OK. Well, I'm going to have to visit Bristol again soon to skate Midsomer, for the first time, again. I didn't have any potentially crippling collisions with any micro-scooterists and back-pain didn't make me walk like a constipated chimpanzee this morning. So sometimes not skating can be a positive experience.


25 Feb 2011

Thursday Night at the Spot, or, How I Learned to Love the Slime!

 By eight o'clock last night I calculated that so far this week Johners and I had collectively spent 4 hours drying the Spot for less that 5 minutes of total skating time. Between 8 and 10 o'clock last night we evened up the numbers a bit.

Even after  a day without rain Johners had arrived to find the two puddles still there, but with the usual elbow grease applied it was skatable, if a little damp.

It's only when skating it that you get an idea of just  how janky and tight what passes for the transition on this thing is. I was scraping my nose on the way up and my tail on the way down. Of course the best thing about skating stuff like this is, making a trick becomes a victory, at least it is for me.

The film of slimy mud that started to develop on the face of the transitions kept thing interesting but slowly we all started to get to grips with it.  Will was only walking home with his shopping, spotted people skating, realized it was us and after 5 minutes of spectating he ignored his ankle injury, went home to grab his board and joined the session.

I had a little digital compact camera in my bag, below are some of the shots that I managed to time the flash correctly.

Off to Bristol this weekend, so it's Dean Lane for me.


The slime

Johners, transfer to the micro-ramp

Toby getting to grips with the weird trannies

Blunt transfer into the wet

Back-D from Johners after transferring into the micro-section

Understandably sketchy front-pivot from Johners

Will with a Melon transfer

Will coming back the other way to flat

Johners loving tightness

Will rocking to fakie

Johners taking it to the flat

Toby pivots on the wet side

24 Feb 2011

Confusion Magazine, Sticker Heavy Happy Times

Sometimes you have days when you know that the world can be a good place.  The day that an envelope with a German post-mark arrived on my doorstep was one such day.  In contrast to how the weather has been of late, this little package brought some sun into my life in the shape of 3, count'em 3 copies of issue 2 of CONFUSION magazine.  Confusion is the latest project from Jonny Hay who had been one of the guys behind the long running but now sadly dead CONCUSSION magazine.

Which brings me to the stickers that were also chucked in the envelope. I got some nice Confusion stickers and a full colour selection of HOAX stickers, the clothing brand that Jonny is also involved with.  Stickers were a fully functioning currency when I was a kid and for that reason still seem overly important to me.  Getting a handful of stickers in with a mail order purchase makes a big difference to me.  There have been companies that I've bought stuff from and as a result of a stickerless package, never bought from them again.

Maybe it's me, maybe my thing with stickers juvenile and out-dated and to black-ball a mail-order company just because they didn't give me any free stickers is totally reactionary and unfair.  But I don't think so, and I think Jonny at Confusion would agree with me as would the guys at Deluxe and the guys at Low Card and if you ever order stuff from Shiner you'll even get a personalized box with a selection of customized insults and knob jokes (with illustrations) and of course a big grin from the post-man that hands it to you who's just spent the last 15 minutes reading the box.

The Magazine itself is brilliant.  Nicely printed, jam packed with articles and contributions from scenes all over Europe and the world, not all countries are represented in this one issue, that would just be mental.

Highlights for me were the interviews.  I love being British, it's the bollox frankly, but I also love being part of Europe, so hearing from people who have helped build scenes in places like France and Austria goes to show just how much we have in common. It also gives me itchy feet and makes a trip Basque country the only sane thing to do with a spare long weekend.

CONFUSION magazine is available in more countries than I can be bothered to list here but you can check out how to get you copy at the Mag's website, which has a ton more articles and features for you to check out.  There's a spot check on the awesome new Munich park up at the moment.

For UK types you can get CONFUSION from lovenskate for a measly £4, and I'll have two copies in my bag for the first two people to ask me, they'll be free though.(I'll be skating in South London tonight so if you see me remember to ask)


23 Feb 2011

Phone Shots from the Weekend

 I'd meant to post these the other day along with the crappy little edit.  If that didn't give you a feeling for just how miserable the weather was, these may just ram the point home.

We're keeping a close eye on the weather for the rest of this week in the hope that we can get up there one evening and get a proper skate in.

Looking out of the window now, I'm not overly confidant.  BUT I'm going to fight the depressive urges and hope for the best.  If the weather does behave then you can look forward to more blurred and badly exposed camera-phone photos like these ones.

Fingers X'd eh?


This is the stuff that makes spots like this. Some special effort is required, thankfully there is a skater with the skills willing to give his time and expertise.
It took over an hour to whipe that smile off Toby's face.  But eventually the weather transformed it into a smirk of resignation.

At this point we still thought we could win. Sometimes even a Mop can't save you.

22 Feb 2011

Mad dogs and Cornishmen.

There are people out there who talk the talk and others who walk the walk.  I fall firmly in the first camp, but a little band of dedicated skaters have been working away on this little creation and I finally got down to check it out this weekend.

I'm pretty sure that the whole of the UK was covered in a thick blanket of wetness this weekend.  A few of us were employing some Positive Mental Attitude that turned out to be boarding on the delusional.  Having spent the best part of an hour removing puddles and mopping up it became apparent that the moisture was never going to let us win.

When faced with this reality Johners and I decided that there was only one thing for it.  Skate it anyway.  Johners wound up covered in wet concrete dust and both our boards are looking pretty ropey as a result, but you've got to take it where you can get it.

Here's a crappy bit of film evidence of the site visit.

20 Feb 2011

A rainy DIY skate.

More to come on this one. Only got about two runs but had fun watching Johners fall over.