Tour videos are a tough product to flog because they usually entail lots of skatepark footage, plenty of documented traveling boredom, and a limited time slot to produce top quality skateboarding. Somehow the pristine, finely edited, three years in the making, big budget video causes more of a stir.
That said, the Vans UK skateboard Tour that traveled up and down the country during one of the wettest summer seasons to date, 2007, managed to assemble a massive team of rippers, lots of good humour and plenty of sick skating. The line-up runs as follows: Marc Churchill, Ben Grove, Kris Vile, Hugo Liard, Gorgeous Dave, Howard Cooke, Chris Pfanner, James Gardner, Olly Tyreman, Kev Mackeon, Lois Pendlebury, Manhead, Pete King, Ben Nordberg, Chris Oliver, Tom Knox, Ross McGouran, Danny Wainwright, Sam Bruce and Rogie. Phew! Add Nic Powley as Dad, Andy Evans behind the viewfinder and a very old school bus painted black, and you have the recipe for a good time rolling.
With so many riders and spots documented during this trip, I’ll simply mention the major highlights. First of all Marc Churchill is British skateboarding’s comedy central with a voice bite every time he opens his chops. Kris Vile could be a strong contender for British skater of the year if ever the award existed over here. James Gardner was suffering from a very gnarly groin injury but still managed to stick a sick frontside bluntslide down some Bristol rails. Hugo Liard and Chris Pfanner are good sports for putting up with British humour in the dingy confines of the old bus, and shred every spot to bits regardless. Ben Grove bagged the cash for facing the epic double set and riding away. And finally Howard Cooke has probably one of the gnarliest axle stalls ever in this video. 15 feet and rising…
One thing did stick out like a sore thumb though in this road documentary. Despite the UK having some of the best skate plazas in Europe, and a good handful of abundant indoor parks, the average turnout to these sheltered venues was poor. I can understand that turning up 2 days late to a demo might make a dent in the crowd attendance, but on several occasions you find it hard to spot more than a few faces smiling at the stellar show the UK Vans team put on. Rant over.
So, to conclude this commentary, the Vans UK team plus two Euros put in the effort to support a scene that sometimes forgets that they are willing to travel hundreds of miles in a mobile tin can just so Marc Churchill and Nic Powley can spread the gay bandito craze. Next time they roll through your town, don’t miss it!