So, Kris Vile and myself went on a little mission a few weeks back to go and check out the Brussels stop of the Volcom Wild in the Parks tour whilst also getting the street missions on in the few other free days we had.
We had some local knowledge in that one of their team riders – Fabien Verhaeghe – and also their returning ex-pat TM Hans Claessens we’re locals.
So was their other Euro rider – who has recently been made into Flip’s newest Am – Axel Cruysberghs, although at twelve years old his street knowledge wasn’t quite as built up as the Rain Man memory recall Hans was capable of.
The spots were so good – the city stuff was a treat, but like most great skate scenes, it is the suburbs which hold the true delights. This goes not just for the golden session spots, but also for what’s new, too. Having people speak the local lingo aided us no end – especially having the local contacts. This never came truer than in getting the lowdown on the new park in a little town called Namur located in the French speaking part of Belgium.
The hot tip off of this new park just seemed to work so well even though skatepark sessions on a weekend are usually busier than their street counterpart. I think a couple of days skating hard for twelve hours a day pushed us this way. A cold beer and a few laps catching our back trucks on coping worked a treat, too. After the hour drive out to what isn’t the largest park I’d even seen (Think Borehamwood size) we wasted no time, rolling until the sun set.
The park is pretty unique. It’s not a street park, although it has street stuff. It’s not a bowl park, even though there are bowled parts and it’s not a driveway sort of place, even though there are driveways.
If you can imagine, the park is sort of Q shaped. Or maybe not. I guess the only word which could adequately describe it is organic. The mini ramp flows into the flat hip, which curves around into the hubba which…you get the idea, right? It’s cruisy. You can go at it Stockwell style and just pump about all day or you can up your game and throw down some manoeuvres. I’d leave the grinds over the deathbox on the vert wall to the likes of Axel, though. That thing is just plain scary.
Check out the video clip of the Volcom crew in action during the afternoon – and then get yourself on a cheap flight across the English channel and go check it out for yourself. Tin heap skateparks are a thing of the past.
Words and video by Kevin Parrott
The Namur skatepark is situated at the following address thanks to Ralph LD’s local spot skills:
Avenue Baron de Lhoneux 8 (Right at the end of the street)
Jambes (South of Namur)
To get there from Namur central station. Exit the station and cross the road. Take buses 2/ or 9 to Plage d’Amée, Jambes.