Words by Moose
Photos thanks to Ben Norton
Video thanks to Alan Christensen, Moose & Niall Kenny
Well another year had rolled around all too quickly, and before we knew it, our 6th birthday was upon us. Of course you can’t let a birthday slip you by and you should always celebrate it in some way, so naturally we organised a party for all our friends down in the concrete catacombs of Southbank. And with the help of friends and sponsors, as well as the rest of the UK’s skateboarding community, we had a blast!
Calling in some friends from the US, we managed to get the Darkstar team of Terell Robinson, Gailea Momolou, Marley and Adam Dyet to board a metal bird across the pond and attend our little soiree. Canadian ripper Paul Machnau was forced to pull out due to injury and didn’t make it over here, which was a shame for him because he missed out on another amazing turnout for British skateboarding. As well as the Darkstar crew in attendance, we had a visitors from across the country come down and bless us with their presence, including Kris Vile, Vaughan Baker, Craig Smedley, Neil Smith, Ben Grove, Boots, last years’ winner Adam Howe, Ben Raemers, Chris Ault, Danny Brady, and even Thrasher photographer Rhino amongst many many more.
So before we had even pitched up that Saturday morning, we had had a few technical problems in the organisation part of things. Namely, we had no permission to build anything this year which was a shame. The Southbank gets smaller but the crowds still show up.
The Mayor’s celebration along the Thames meant you couldn’t see who was a skater watching and who was a bog-standard member of the public coming down to watch “the kids doing stunts“. Literally thousands of people were wandering passed the hallowed banks and stairs as some ridiculous hammers got dropped.
After the warm-up lemmings got their legs ready to go on the stairs, proceedings started on the banks and cheeseblock, which got cut, crumbled, melted and turned into Welsh rarebit within half an hour. I have never seen so many tricks go down on the awkward haggard setup. Heroin’s Chris Ault went all out and knocked out about 10 tricks in a minute with axle stall 270s and frontside nosepicks. Local lad Robin Lambert blue-legginged his way through blunt 180s and a beautiful blunt bigspin back into the bank, Cramps t-shirt duly noted. But Blind’s own Kris Vile ended it with a kickflip blunt 180 to bag himself a fifty-sheet, and leaving the circus entertainers on stilts in sheer amazement. Props to Vaughan Baker as well as he bluntstall kickflip fakied the block o’fromage, which almost no-one saw. Vaughan (below right) is still one the UK’s sickest skaters.
A few more cans of Jamaican lubricant later, and things got underway with the main attraction. The 7-Set Jam. Anyone can step up to this set and put something down, and these jams have a reputation for kids spending all their time trying to land one trick, determined not to leave until they do it. Also going on at the same time was the ledge jam, which I think is much gnarlier than an old set of stairs. Point proven as no-one touched the ledge until near the end of the day.
Darkstar’s Adam Dyet threw down switch backside 180s, nollie cabs and finally a nollie cab heelflip down the old girl and won himself some cash. Terell Robinson spun his green dreadlocks though a massive backside 360 like the Incredible Hulk at a disco, whilst Marley switch tre flipped all day. Chris Ault and Robin got the crowds going with some double backside grab action at the speed of light, those guys seriously tank it! Craig Smedley quietly got on and did his ultra smooth thing with switch frontside kickflips like buttered icecubes. Whilst many a 360flip and hardflip was smacked into bare concrete by the assembled hammer heroes, Kris Vile blew everyone else away and barely hung onto his backside 360 kickflip to bag yet another 1st place and another cash splurge into his hands.
The ledge comp suddenly went off only after the arrival of Vans’ Ben Grove who rolled his way up, said hello, and put down a backside tailslide, followed by a backtail shuv on a cracked deck! Oh, amidst this, a naked man wearing nothing but a baseball cap took on the spirit of the jams fully and was having a go at tre flipping the stairs, all the time trying to avoid delamming his cock, while Czech schoolgirl sluts looked on and asked if we “had any presents for them”. Looks clean and wholsesome on the outside, but Crossfire jams are seedy, dirty and raw and you know it. Ledge action continued with Smedley using his butter to grease a salad grind to switch crooks, and frontside tail 270 along the ledge.
Blueprint’s Neil Smith rocked up and did switch nosebluntslides into the crowds, who went ballistic until Slayer were silenced on the Crossfire sound system. Smiffy also took a nasty slam that would have made your bollocks retract into your stomach trying to nollieflip crook the pirate’s plank, into a sea of piranha kids. Hobbling off to a round of applause, he’ll be back. But the top spot was nabbed by Adam Dyet who took home the 1st prize cash for his perfect kickflip frontside noseslide, which he got on so far out we all thought he’d overcooked it. But no, the money was pocketed and it was time for the kids to bite each other’s faces off for stickers, t-shirts and decks. All I have to say about the product toss was that the little squealing pig kid needed a punch in the neck, and don’t ever let kids know that there are free posters left in a box by your feet, otherwise you come away with bite marks on your ankles.
This Crossfire birthday was fucking mental, and we could not have done it without you lot turning up and supporting not only us, but skateboarding in Britain and yourselves.
A big thankyou to our friends and sponsors Stuart Kolokavic for a sick flyer design, Rich Holland for flyer layout love, Ben Norton for photography, Alan Christensen, Niall Kenny and Tim Mogridge for filming duties, Abjekt, Globe Shoes, Darkstar Skateboards, The Harmony, Heroin, Blueprint, Death, Independent, Creature, Karma, Creme, 50:50, Plan B, Landscape, Heathen, Casual, Document Skateboard Magazine and Sidewalk Skateboard Magazine and Kevin Parrott from the UKSA.