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Spot Check – Tolworth

April 3rd, 2009 by Crossfire

Photo’s by Zac
Video by Alan Christensen

Surrey has never really been famous for it’s skateparks but over the years it did have its fair share. Tolworth is not far from Worcester Park where the infamous Dorchester Park spine ramp was built in the early 90’s and then there’s the New Malden set up with a vert ramp and mini that was fun. This entire area has always had a very strong skate scene but it has never had a concrete bowl until now. Fortunately the guys at Wheelscape have now fixed that problem and left us all a bowl that is challenging to say the least.

The park is situated just off the A3 motorway that you can whizz down to from Hammersmith in 25 minutes if there’s no traffic. Embedded into a wonderfully laid out kids playground the bowl sits pretty next to the local bowls club in landscaped space that is rarely seen near any skate park. It’s a strange combination as you would think that the elderly peeps at the bowls club would have been up in arms about sharing their space with skaters, but somehow the old farts are cool as, and everyone respects the space around them.

The bowls main feature is the pool coping that glistens on top of the tight pocket that has zero flat bottom. It’s gnarly. Once you are in here it’s do or die as there’s no room to think. It’s certainly a challenge and on this particular session from the video we shot on the day we visited this spot, 5 people were taken out from a total of 10. The bowl itself comes equip with a slightly over-vert rainbow wall and a hip that leads to the chalice of doom. The pool coping makes the gnarliest noise you have ever heard, and made even better noises when Greg Nowik turned up and back smithed this all afternoon. It’s not deep, no more than 4ft, it’s fast, there’s no walls that are tweaked and overall there’s an element of feeling safe at this park compared to a lot of other skateparks that are dumped into the middle of crazy housing estates.

Death Skateboards Nick Zorlac has been shredding this place a lot since it was built. So, Nick, this seems to be your new home these days…

Yup, it’s a cool little spot.

For people that have not skated this bowl before, what exactly does Tolworth have to offer?

It’s like a bowled out concrete mini, but half of it has no flat bottom and fast pool coping. It’s in a park, nice surroundings. Bit sandy though.

What was the first impression you got from skating it?

That it was really fun but hard to skate the pool bit. Happy to have something like this in the London area.

Are designs like this more of a challenge than your average bowl?

Yeah, everything happens real quick. Pretty unique.

Good feeling riding pool coping again? Is there enough of this stuff in UK skateparks?

Yeah, nothing else like it. No where near enough of it in the UK.

What would you change about it if you had the chance?

If you want me to be picky.. Maybe make the metal coping stick out a tiny bit more, and the pool coping stick out a bit less in places. And have the bowled bit of metal coping so you could hit it easier.

Did that six-pack taste good on the day I didn’t hit the pool coping?

Haha of course it did! You can win one back next time though. Or lose another one..

And last but not least, are you partial for a spot of Green Bowls across the car park in the near future?

Well I might be, but I don’t think I’ve got a choice in the matter. I tried to go in there today to ask to borrow a broom.. they looked at us but wouldn’t buzz us in! Denied! I bought one from the hardware store down the road for £1.99. Good value!

The park can be found at King George’s Recreation Ground on Jubilee Way in Tolworth, Surrey. Click here for a map. It’s also close to Tolworth Station. Get down there now the sun is out!

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