28th June 2008
Words by Kyle Green
Photos by Jerome Loughran
Filming Andy Evans & Alan Christensen, editing Andy Evans
The mighty Flip Skateboards team came to London to bless us with a demo this month. Luckily the sun was shining down on England for once as an eager crowd awaited for the crew to arrive.
I was about to throw in the towel and go find myself a cup of coffee when I heard from a distance a pre-pubescent voice squeal, “they’re here, they’re here!“. I turned just in time to see a few sticker hungry children rush out of the park to chase after two large white vans going down the street. You see, the Flip team never do anything by halves. There are 20 people on this leg of the tour and the schedule is meticulously organised. For the record they are the only team to arrive at this park on time in a year’s worth of pro team visits and they stuck to the schedule.
An extra hundred people showed up in the span of about five minutes (god bless text messages) and right away, a couple of Flip’s new ams mingled about the course with some of the more die-hard skaters who refused to acknowledge that they weren’t a part of the demo. The course was cleared and soon enough the full team minus the UK’s flagship Flip legends Geoff Rowley who rolled an ankle 2 days before the trip and Tom Penny who stayed in Argentina due to US visa problems.
Apparently the guys flew straight in from California the day before which was really quite confusing for me seeing as when I fly here from California all I can manage for the first week is to lay on the floor in the fetal position at the “house of doom” and feel really sorry for myself. I guess these boys are a little more tough than I am considering they completely destroyed the park for the next two hours straight!
Now I don’t want to give away too many details because the video on this page will tell the story but Mark Appleyard floated around the park as if he had little butterfly wings hiding under his t-shirt. He was doing massive kickflip fakies on the vert wall and destroying the ledge with a smile on his face whilst two mums standing next to me were commenting on how fit he was, i thought that was neat.
German street machine Willow hung tight to the pyramid and and was stoked to finally land in London and meet Crossfire peeps after his interview on this site was beamed all over the world last year. We heard from Sidewalk’s crew that he was battering a set of stairs at 2am the morning of the demo, footage sure to be headed for the forthcoming Flip flick. His video part should be stuffed full of bangers.
Seeing Luan De Oliviera skate was a highlight for me. He was the first one to start skating and the last one to quit, making his legs go all sorts of absurd directions whilst flipping his board. He also managed the most majestic nollie inward heel flip I have ever seen…what a treat. Luan is a demo machine and rarely misses a trick. Very impressive. Now usually I’m not really a fan of the way little kids skate, but Flip have managed to really nail it whilst picking out all the newer members of the team. To say that they are the future is an understatement because they are already miles better than a lot of people that have their names on shoes, sunglasses, fanny packs, spot cream and whatever else you can think of. It was a bit shocking seeing a demo that consisted mostly of kids under 18 but at the same time, it was completely awesome.
Curren Caples loves the big stuff, Louis Lopez flies with tech steez, Belgian ripper Axel Cruysberghs has got the rock ‘n’ roll skills and David Gonzales, well, he just turned pro for Flip and Globe and if you have not seen him skate yet then you are missing out. Overall it’s exciting to know that the next wave of skateboarding has a great future, especially as it will be plastered all over the in the next Flip video for us. If this demo is any indication for what’s in store then I can safely say that it’s going to be on another level.
Despite the absence of Rowley and Penny the day turned into a treat for everyone. The product toss made a mosh pit at a Slayer concert look like a joke; I must give credit to the the boys as they put in an hour of autograph work after the demo then headed for the Ladbroke Grove rail. The future looks bright, the future looks Extremely Sorry.
Thanks to all at All at Flip, Shiner, Sidewalk, Bay Sixty 6, Jerome Loughran, Alan Christensen and Andy Evans and of course, you if you came down to support this Crossfire event.