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