Homepage image by Tjeerd Derkink
Words and photo’s by Zac Slack
I really noticed that a weekend away from the UK was needed when I met Jamie Harrison at Liverpool St. Flights within Europe have become very cheap, it allows us skaters to save a bit of cash every month and plan a mission outside of this island.
My ticket cost £45, less than a train ride to Manchester, and within an hour, our boards were finally coming out on the baggage belt. Note that this was a surprise as Ryan Air has a reputation for losing skateboards, always wrap them up or put them in bags so staff can’t take just them home for their own kids use. This company also has a reputation for ignoring your complaint letters completely – if you can take an alternative airline, do it, I have lost 3 boards in 2 years of flying with this company , work out the disappointment at the other end when everyone else is sessioning and you’re sat there watching and borrowing someone else’s rig. Not fun.
But the boards arrived, so we jumped on a train to Utrecht and stayed there with Jamie’s mate Andrew Coles, a dude who had a cool apartment in this pretty town and who had lived there for a year so he knew the local scene well. This was a bonus as we were straight into the nightlife and the City is one of the most beautiful you will find in Europe.
But the best way to see all of it is not to hire a car, it’s all about hiring a bike out here to really get a taste of the scene and we had ’em. We cruised the streets of Utrecht eyeing up street spots and checked out the wonderful architecture on offer which is quite frankly stunning. Dutch buildings are tall and thin, simple yet beautiful, characterised by windows from floor to ceiling, the colours and textures are minimal but extremely elegant. We skidded into one street that reminded Colesey of Medal of Honour. It was a small square with a 1940’s built church at one side that fit the observation to perfection.
The hangover the next morning was 7 out of 10. You may think that these small beers that you down from bar to bar are nothing, until you realise you have cycled round town and nailed a bag load of them. We had to skate it off, so we caned the local brunch, unlocked the bikes and hit the road. The roads are busy, the cycle lanes are busy, but there’s a beautiful coffee shop stop on the way before we drop in and it welcomes us with open arms. We were now ready for a schralp.
Utrecht has a concrete park that is small, but fun. Hips and curves, filled the park, small transitions but much fun. It’s almost ruined though like Finsbury Park in London where the designers have chucked in ledges for no reason that can unsettle your run if you are not awake. We ran into them a few times in our state! But we met and skated with the locals who were all really friendly and welcomed us when we dropped in. This park is the local spot for a skater called Jennifer de Sera who rips as we found out when we reached Area 51…so much so she was in a sling by Monday! Get well soon madam…
This was the Globe Bowlbash Final, the big one. We cheekily took the bikes on the train to Eindhoven, which although was a pricey game to play on a Sunday, turned out well as we were joined at the seat with these things. The freedom you have in a cycle lane when it’s not pissing down with rain is amazing. It was the healthiest piss up ever!
Area 51 skate park has moved. It used to be in woodland out side of town, we went there to skate their amazing bowl 3 years ago and always dreamt of the return visit. As we entered the park, we realised that had walked straight into one the best in Europe. I mean this place is massive and the layout is impressive to say the least!
We were literally dreaming, it was the opening weekend, the wood was so fresh it hurt your eyes and at the other end of the park stood the same bowl as the last park once again being ripped up by Europe’s best Bowl slayers but this time DJ Roy Licher and his buddy (who were both dresses in drag) were dropping some of there best hardcore records of all time whilst the bowl got rinsed.
The top 5 battled it out to Minor Threat, Misfits, Naked Raygun and a whole host of fucktard hardcore whilst 5th place German bowl thrasher Anders Tellen hucked out trick after trick, his persistency got him past some heavy hitters. Another stylish flyer on this trip who stuck out was Swedish ripper John Magnusson (above). This guy was instrumental in the build of the Malmo park which is one of the most stylish parks in Europe, it seems the park fits the builder as this guy is a joy to watch skate. Lines a plenty, tricks by the dozen, no tranny is is left without a trick with this guy, i must admit he was my fave skater of the weekend.
Basque country plank slayer Alain Goikoetxea took transfers over these hips like he was sleeping with sweeping grinds across the fresh coping wherever possible not to mention his ‘set up’ frontisde airs that were head high from the deep – his relentless charging earnt him 3rd place, some thought he was robbed on the day.
Another Bilbao ripper we have seen skate a few times now around Europe also impressed in the finals. Ivan Rivado Alvarez has a mean streak about him, he never looks satisfied with any trick regardless of how gnarly it is and often will go through the pain barrier to get what he wants. This bulldog spirit earnt him 2nd place but it was not enough to win the big prize money that Andy Scott cashed when he finished his run.
Andy has been consistent for years and has a style that should be familiar with most British skaters. He is unique in the way that he lets his skateboarding do the talking. We heard that it was not just his runs in the final that landed him 1st place at this this prestigious annual affair but the fact that he turned up in Holland and set his stall out without any effort it seemed, he just naturally ripped this bowl a new arsehole from the second he dropped into it.
His runs included transfers over every hip, huge maydays round corner pockets, his trademark bs kickflips in the deep, tailslides and much more, he was on fire and his 360 over the hip at the final seconds of time made his success even sweeter.
As ever Scotty played down his success as he sprayed champagne all over the freshly built bowl whilst kids under 13 literally licked it off the fresh wood. Globe’s Bowlbash had finally come to an end after organising events all over Europe thoughout the year.
It was a treat to be able to skate Area 51 Skatepark and we reccommned you get off your lazy arses and book your flights now – i mean £45 to get there? No excuses.
Thanks to Area 51 staff and everyone at Globe Shoes for their hospitality. You can see videos of this event here at www.globebowlbash.com and the full event in the Xmas edition 2006 of Puzzle Video Magazine.
1. Andy Scott, England
2. Ivan Rivado, Basque Country
3. Alain Goikoetxea, Basque Country
4. John Magnusson, Sweden
5. Anders Tellen, Germany
6. Simon Stachon, Belgium
7. Roman Astleitner, Austria
8. Marc Haziza, France
9. Alex Giraud, France
10. Enrico Petralia, Sweden
11. Mattias Nylen, England
12. Nicky Cornell, England
13. Erwin Prent, The Netherlands
14. Jasper Tattersall, England
15. Chris Lord, England
16. Sam Beckett, England
17. Kevin McKeon, England
18. Sebastian Daurel, France
19. Noberto Mena, Basque Country
20. Jussi Korhonen, Finland
21. Martin Jurasek, Tjech republic
22. Bjorn Klotz, Germany
23. Daniel Beck, Germany
24. Per Magnusson, Sweden