Ben Raemers interview

ben_raemers_skateThere was never any question that Ben Raemers would not go on to travel the world on a deck following the day he turned up aged 15 at one of our jams. He has repped every event, always left with dough, and also left most people’s jaws on the floor with his amazing skateboarding and his ability to see things differently to others.

Thrown in the back of the van and taught the hard way by his Essex buddies Mark Munson and Carl Wilson, the then miniature Raemers was taken to every jam, comp, bowl, vert ramp, bank, curb and pool that the trio could find – and flourished fast. Backed by the grit and determination of Munson’s take-no-prisoner’s personality, Ben grew into one of the finest skateboarders in the UK and graced the front cover of Thrasher in March 2011 (the first of his generation from the UK to do so), but his stupendous bag of tricks on all terrain has also been featured in many others, including that incredible Kingpin cover from Victoria Park. (Footage at the end of this)

Aside from his ability to skate everything like a fucking champ, his character is one of a kind. Kind being the operative word here too, as he is certainly one of the most caring, thoughtful and intrigueing skateboarders you are ever likely to meet – one who lives somewhat in his own world. This unique approach to life has made his whizzplanking skills something of a luxury to watch, and has gained him friends worldwide, so we are proud after all of these years, to finally catch up with him to chat about his life in what could possibly be his most memorable skateboarding year yet. – Zac

You living back in the UK now?

I’m not living anywhere really. I have just been injured so I was chilling in the UK whilst I healed up and now i’m back in the USA!

I guess it can be tempting to party when you have downtime right?

I stopped myself from partying a lot. If you drink on an injury it doesn’t heal good. I was taking it easy just hanging with my Mum and family. Getting surgery back then was so scary!

Did you see much of Mark Munson back in Essex?

Not as much as I would like to as he is very busy at the moment! I see home every now and then so it’s all good!

What was the most valuable piece of advice he gave you?

Have a good time and travel as much as possible!

Before we go any further, is there a particular song that defines the moment for you right now?

Probably ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet. Classic stuff right there!

Ha! Good choice mate. Hold on, let’s ask the viewers to listen to that song whilst they read the rest of this.

What countries did you see last year on the road then?

I visited America, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Paris, Poland, Spain and Germany! Good times!!

Does your Mum get postcards or emails?

I try to send postcards, she doesn’t have the internet so I just email my sister and she shows my Mum!

Any particular country that inspires you the most?

China is my favourite place! Just has the best time there and I can’t wait to go back! I went on a trip to Taiwan at the beginning of the year with enjoi which was the best trip of last year. Was amazing. Taiwan is just such a crazy place was such a great experience! And every trip with the enjoi geezers is a laugh!

Which country (outside the UK) has the tightest scene from your experiences so far?

Got to say America. San Jose is a really fun city. I’m happy I have a lot of friends there so I spend a lot of time there!

With so much traveling going on, you must get tired and confused. Tell us about the shark you saw from the plane on the way to Marseille?!

I was looking out of the plane window and the reflection literally looked like a shark! When I found out it was the shadow of the plane I felt like a right fool!! Hahahah!

That’s next levs Ben. What about skate flicks, do you watch much skating? Any that stood out for you recently?

I really liked the emerica ‘Made’ video! Brandon Westgate is beast! He is literally the definition of next level!!! I’m a massive fan!

Photo: Backside wallride anytime, shot by Dave Chami.

Any particular trick or a line that you saw that blew you away the most last year?

Cairo Foster did a trick in Taiwan that was insane, but you’ll have to wait for the enjoi video to see it!

What was the most satisfying battle you personally won lately?

It was in Taiwan again. It took ages and I broke my board! Then me and filmer and photographer went back there at 6am a few days later and it worked out!

Is there a trick that got away?

A lipslide down this rail! I slammed like a sack of potatoes on the ground that ended up wrecking my ankle for ages!! That was the worst slam from last year.

What was the best time hanging with Barney Page of late?

Probably the time we both got drunk and then got tattoos in San Jose! Was a funny time.

Photo: Stylin’ a sweet sugarcane shot by Seu Trinh.

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And the best part of being on enjoi?

The team are literally like my family!

Are you living with Jerry again now you are back in the US?

I am staying at Jerry’s apartment, but he lives in LA now. Me and my mate Carson rented his room.

Now Jerry has left enjoi, does this mean the brand will go through big changes?

I’m not too sure, we will have to wait and see! I’m gutted that Jerry left as he’s one of the funniest people in the world and one of the world’s most talented skateboarders, but I’m super excited to see his new footage as he is the best!

Is there a new enjoi video in the works to follow ‘Tweak The Beef’?

We are working on a full length video now! I’m super-stoked as it’s my first major project I have been involved in! The deadline is late August so until then I am just going to be traveling around and skating every day! I am super motivated and want to make it as good as I can. I feel so privileged to be in the same video as my favourite skaters!!

How is your part looking so far?

I am quite happy with how it’s looking but it still needs a lot of work!

Have you seen footage of other team riders for this so far?

I know a lot of the guys have some mind blowing footage!

Who do you think will blow everyone away?

Zack Wallin!

Who do you think should have the last part?

Hard to say, but I know Wieger has some ridiculous footage, so probably him!!

When is it likely to drop?

Not 100% sure, but at the earliest it will be at the end of this year.

If you had to pick one person, who would be your MVP of last year?

Caswell Berry should get it every year! He’s the best!

Did you conquer any new tricks for the bag lately?

Back in December I finally figured out the technique for straight no-complys on flat! They are so hard! After watching Pontus Alv skate it inspired me to learn them!

Photo: Louie Barletta & Ben Raemers ­Doubles (Backside Crailslide & Frontside Melongrab) by Dave Chami.

What skaters should we look out for, any upcomers on your radar?

Blue Turner is a beast! He’s been rolling with the enjoi crew recently! And in the England I’m going to have to say Tom Tanner from Liverpool and Sam heelflip from Mile End.

Are you looking forward to having a pro deck in the future?

That would be crazy!! I haven’t really thought about that to be honest as it doesn’t seem real! If that happened I would be the happiest geezer in the world!!!

Any ideas on what you would choose for your ideal first graphic if it happened?

Not really! I would love to have a bird of some sort! A penguin perhaps?!

Lastly, we hear you have a new video part filmed in the UK coming out soon, spill the beans.

Yeah, I have a shared part with Horsey that is going to be in a new video made by Ryan Gray and Kevin Parrott! Stoked! Always fun skating with Horsey. It will be out soon!

Thanks Ben, enjoi life geezer.

Ben rides for Indy, Ricta, Enjoi, Converse, Volcom and Lost Art skate shop.

Photo: Boneless of death! Shot by Dave Chami.

The Crossfire Xmas Jam 2012 feature

The weather reports in the lead up to this 10 Year celebration went from a possible fat dump of snow, to freezing frog, but the end result was perfect blues on the day. We were so lucky, because it was freezing from Monday to Wednesday but the weather went from 2′ to 10′ in two days.

Those thinking this is great news may not know that after a big freeze like that, the motorway over-hanging BaySixty6 skate park suddenly starts to sweat, meaning condensation fills the walls when a sudden change in the weather happens. The day before the jam, the park was soaked, so we all lucked out big time.

Before the event kicked off, I had the pleasure of dressing the park with banners and stickers as usual, and was stoked to have two kids ask if they could help. It was more of a surprise though when none other than Paul Weller asked if he could hang Ricta banners around the bowl. Crossfire would never have started if I had not have heard ‘Setting Sons’ by The Jam back in the early 80’s. This album has some seriously powerful lyrics. This happening was personally a lovely 10th Anniversary gift, so big ups to Mr Weller for making my day.

The un-sponsored jams commenced on the Grizzly Grip Tape ledges. Everything landed in this rapid fire 15 minute session came courtesy from our guest ams and pro’s warming up and so many tricks that were never actually made, so the vouchers were taken over to the small stair set.

Santa checks the park for booby traps ahead of doors. Explosive jam incoming. Ph: Richard West

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Like lemmings, people dropped all sorts of goodness on us. This included Tomas Monkevičius‘ kickflip fs board slide on the rail that took Stand Up‘s dough. Nai Sukanant’s switch hardflip on the small stair set was a banger, Craig Loveless pulled out a nollie hardflip, but it was Gytis Bluivas‘ switch bigspin heelflip that rocked the joint. He was so close to taking a fs smith flip out on the ledge before this too, like, really close, but this was just the beginning for Gytis as you will find out further down this page. Alex Tibble closed the un-sponsored procedures with a quick-as-you like, straight-out-of-the box switch fs flip over the small gap. If you blinked, you would have missed it.

Watch the official video edit filmed/edited by Andy Evans, additional filming from Danny Bulmer and Tom Gillespie.

The park was a mess by 2pm. Boards were being sprayed everywhere. There’s so much more room in the new Bay park, but during an open jam style event, it’s quite hard to find that space needed when it’s busy. People tend to sit on obstacles and get in the way, making it difficult for people to land tricks. That aside, we had no major collisions other than two blokes locking horns in the bowl, and the usual scrap in the product toss, so considering the chaos, nobody was seen limping into an ambulance.

Six people skating the bowl at once = carnage. Ph: Richard West

Gytis Bluivas takes the DGK jam with style. Ph: Tom Halliday

The DGK Hubba Jam was instantly set upon by Thomas Harrison whose tail slides didn’t connect for him, but out of nowhere came Aaron Neville‘s impossible 5-0 before Alex DeCuhna laid down a stealth fs smith and kick-flipped out. Dan Wileman pushed a fs blunt, Sox ollied onto it and pushed a nose manual down it, Shaun Currie took a sweet noseslide 270-out before that Lithuanian ripper Gytis Bluivas returned with a crook only to nollie flipped out. He took the honours, and the dough. We hear that on this display, Gytis may end up with a sponsor. Let’s hope so, he fully deserves it.

Alex DeCunha delivers a mansize FS smith flip out. Ph: Tom Halliday

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Sox had manny mania. Ph: Tom Halliday

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It was Tom Steel who came up with the idea of wrapping board boxes for the HUF high ollie jam. The choice of Xmas wrapping paper and overall job would have received thumbs up from Blue Peter I reckon.

Mark Radden killed it all day for Death. Ph: Tom Halliday

With the driveway prepped, and the boxes continuously stacked, it came down to three potential candidates for the win. Chris Oliver sneaked one over the top ninja style and rode out on two wheels. Mark Radden pushed the boundaries and popped what we thought would be the winner until Thomas Harrison took out six boxes and closed the account. Absolutely epic stuff.

Thomas Harrison ollies The National Skateboard Co into their first win. Ph: Tom Halliday.

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Balls of steel. Joe Habgood back-D’s the wall hole. Ph: Tom Halliday

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If the wall jam at this year’s Halloween Massacre was anything to go by, we were about to see even more NBD’s destroy its steep transitions. This wall is no joke and way steeper than the previous build. It didn’t bother Joe Habgood though, whose first trick was to fakie rock the high section. I can confirm that he is the first to lay that down for sure. His backside disaster in the wall hole and fs nosepick raised beers across the park too. The unicorn juice was certainly flowing today.

Jed Cullen takes a pivot fakie. Ph: Tom Halliday

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Ryan Price threw another fs nosepick into the mix, Sox pulled in off the coping to fakie and also left a one foot rock fakie behind. Again, another NBD went down. Jed Cullen took the honours though with a blunt fakie on the coping, and then on the high wall like Joe (just to rub it in!) and also took a pivot fakie home too. What a session.

Lloyd McLeggon had catch, bolts and steez. Watch him in 2013. Ph: Tom Halliday

The big rail sesh and stair set was quite a spectacle too. The rail was kept warm by John Howlett who made sure he feebled it and also left a backside smith for us to ponder on. Jess Young took a sick tailslide revert, Daryl Dominguez also saw his tail do the work right in front of Brum’s Luke Kindon, whose crook backside lipslide was deemed the winner.

John Howlett back smith’s the rail. Ph: Richard West

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The stairs got a serious workout. Oldham’s LLoyd Mcleggon was catching his board with steez as he kickflipped and hardflipped the 5. Bloke went down though and was helped out at the final whistle with a tweaked knee and a groin whack. This year’s I.D star Awahd Mohammed looked like he was walking away with the pounds with a sick bs 360 ollie, but in the very last second Liverpool’s Charlie Birch laid down a fs bigspin that had everyone on their feet. The place erupted and he took the lot. Ridiculousness.

A Third Foot’s Dave Pegg ripped all day long with hardlflips and more. Ph: Tom Halliday

Lloyd McLeggon recovered from this with a groin strain. Ph: Rich West

Ledge fiends then filled the quad with tailslides, nosegrinds and more on the Grizzly Grip ledge sesh. So many people skated, yet so little was taken away clean. Honorary mentions include Alex DeCunha‘s front smith kick flip out (that we didn’t manage to get on film or tape), Caradog Emmanuel‘s fs tail slide flip out and Thomas Harrison’s second winning trick on the day for the National Skateboard Co, a tailslide 270 out which again, didn’t make it to film due to people being in the way. This was a frustrating session for coverage but what went down in the chaos was ace.

Daryl Dominguez takes a fs kickflip over his local hole. Ph: Tom Halliday

Double D then pushes the boat out with a fs heelflip. Job done. Ph: Richard West

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Big tings were going down in the warm up for the Superdead Gap Jam. Clean ollies were beong thrown down as set ups for various other tricks, but with this gap being fucking huge, it eventually came down to three contenders. Vans rider Daryl Dominguez opened the proceedings with a kickflip which spurned on Lovenskate’s Ewen Bower to float an ollie over the beast and revert it right at the last millisecond. Whilst people were picking their jaws up from the floor from that, Death’s Mikey Patrick (who has returned from an injury) launched a few attempts to bs ollie fakie the channel, until he hit the sweet spot. A total meltdown was in place but this was just the beginning. Daryl then threw another kickflip across the beast and then started some heelflip assaults. Ewen upped the ante with a stalefish revert (yes, wtf!) and took the piss with a fully-cocked-leg benihana. Shut down. Every skater in that park went nuts and then started to chant Daryl’s name. You know he was going to have it, and then there it was. Bang! Electric session!

Benihana’s suck, but not when Ewen Bower floats them this high. Ph: Tom Halliday

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Ewen’s stalefish revert over the beast gap was pure class. Ph: Richard West

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How do you follow that mentalness? Only one way, and that’s to get stuck into a bowl sesh fueled by Ricta. It was a mess in there! 6 people at a time, full throttle. Sox had a bunch of tricks up his sleeve, Habgood was roaring through the place catching diving board gashes in his shins from the weak. He took a sick nosepick out of the bowl, so did Jed. Sick tricks. The hip jam was won by Greg Nowik, whose selection of fine xmas pickings warmed the cockles enough to hand him the dough. It was his fs shuv that really got tails tapping though. Carl Wilson’s hip work was sterling as ever, Ryan Price was bang up for it, Ewen Bower dropped some bangers. Too much, too many, too much again.

Joe Habgood nosepicks to glory. Ph: Tom Halliday

Nowik tried the double flip. Ph Tom Halliday

Stalefish action from Witchcraft’s secret weapon, Morph. Ph: Richard West

Jed Cullen takes his Blakey moustache to new levels in the bowl jam. Ph: Richard West

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‘Chav’ Dan Hill was the only person able to actually grind more than 10 feet. He managed only two thirds of the double pocket he laid down at the Halloween Massacre to win the longest grind comp. The carnage was so rife in that bowl that tricks were hard to come by, knowing that someone is about to smash you in the back of the head as you land a trick.

Max Roton needs no colour for his fs boneless steez. Ph: Richard west

Chroliver‘s head high kickflips would have been trick of the day if he had landed one, instead, he got his arse out for the transfer jam and mooned the platform like a slut. I’m amazed that nobody’s head got stuck up his harris from the amount of people flying over the barrier. Witchcraft’s New Zealand bomber Morph was in every run laying it down in camouflage attire. He was also busting out 360’s out of there, until he took the tail of his 8.5 on landing. Terrorist moves. Charlie Birch then drew blood from his head in the melee. There was also a serious head clash in the bowl before Habgood rolled out of there with some moolah for his nosepick and transfer prowess. The bear’s insides maybe fucked, but he’s tough on the outside and will battle anyone.

Jono Coote slams down a handplant. Ph: Richard West

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If you were not there on the platform to witness this and sat at home awaiting footage like a mong, then you will never understand what this frenzied session was like, ever. Thanks Ricta, you fucking rule. The skateboarding certainly didn’t let us down.

The after party saw Chroliver taking over the decks and a full house filled the Portobello Pop Up Cinema for the UK premiere screening of the banging new DGK video ‘Parental Advisory‘. A huge amount of work has been put into this production, the skating is ridiculous. Pure tech dream stuff. Go grab a copy of it this Xmas.

RESULTS:

UNSPONSORED BEST TRICK JAMS:

Tomas Monkevičius – Kickflip FS board slide on the small rail.

Nai Sukanant – Switch Hardflip on the small stair set.

Gytis Bluivas: Switch bigspin heelflip down the small stair set.

Craig Loveless: Nollie hardflip down the small stair set.

Alex Tibble: Switch fs flip over the small gap.

Jess Young takes a tailsilde revert for Kill City’s hit list. Ph: Richard West

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Greg Nowik’s front shuv was one of many. Standard solo show for Xmas. Ph: Tom Halliday

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SPONSORED BEST TRICK JAMS:

RICTA BOWL JAM:

Best Hip Trick: Greg Nowik: FS late shuv and many more.

Longest Grind: ‘Chav’ Dan Hill.

Best tricks out of the bowl/transfer: Joe Habgood – FS nosepick on the outer wall/ FS 180 to nosestall and backside 180 to rock fakie into the barrier out of the bowl.

Chav Dan whoops a big backside-D slide once the carnage clears. Ph: Tom Halliday

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DGK HUBBA JAM: Gytis Bluivas – Crook nollie flip out.

HUF HIGH OLLIE JAM (driveway): Thomas Harrison (6 boxes).

SUPERDEAD GAP JAM: Split winners – Daryl Dominguez – 2 x kickflips, heelflip. Ewen Bower – FS Ollie revert, FS Stalefish revert, Benihana.

GRIZZLY GRIP TAPE LEDGE JAM: Thomas Harrison – FS tailslide fs 270 shuv out, in and out of ledge.

WALLRIDE JAM: Jed Cullen – Blunt fakie, Pivot fakie, fakie rock (on high section).

RAIL JAM: Luke Kindon – Crook to back lip slide.

STAIR SESH: Charlie Birch – FS Bigspin.

‘The Spaniard’ Ivan Rodriguez sings Feliz Navidad to his well wishers over the hip. Ph: Tom Halliday.

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Huge thanks to Paul McDermott and everyone at BaySixty6 skate park, Ian Deacon at Ricta, Vicki and Alan at Shiner, Wes at Rocksolid, Maf and Ross at Out of Step, Tez and Harry at Superdead, Jane and Adam at I-Five, all at Slam City and at Stand Up Skate Shop.

Massive thanks to all of the UK guest team riders that made it into the big smoke from Death, Heroin, Kill City, Skateboard Cafe, Science, 50-50 crew, Fabric, HUF, DGK, Superdead, Lovenskate, Ricta, A Third Foot, Steak, Crayon The National Skateboard Co, The Harmony and Witchcraft.

Big ups to Mark Brewster, Rich West, Tom Halliday, Andy Evans, Danny Bulmer, Tom Gillespie, Marcroy Smith, Jim O’Raw, Paul Weller, the two kids who helped me dress the park, Ben Larthe, Ross McGouran and Kyron Davis.

Tight grip yo. Ph: Tom Halliday

Product toss mayhem. Ph: Richard West

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Bundles. Ph: Richard West

Super Brewster. Ph: Richard West

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Double D and Ewen Bower stole the show. Ph: Tom Halliday.

Unidentified flying object. Ph: Tom Halliday

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Liverpool’s Charlie Birch will be the UK’s most talked about skateboarder in years to come. Remember this. Ph: Tom Halliday

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Porno Paul and Nowik know. Ph: Tom Halliday

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Chav Dan tries out some Guerrero steez. Ph: Tom Halliday

You can hear the snap of Habgood’s nose on the coping. Merry Xmas all. Ph: Tom Halliday.

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Crossfire Xmas Jam 2012 results

Ph: Thomas Harrison ollies high to take the HUF jam.

Tomharrison_crossfirexmasjam2012What a day. The weather held, the atmosphere at BaySixty6 was electric and the people that mattered most traveled long distances to witness what went down at this year’s 10th Anniversary Xmas Jam event. It was absolutely amazing.

The level of skating was upped. All of the individual best trick jams were rife with NBD’s as predicted. The unsponsored comps seriously impressed.

The DGK video premiere worked a treat following the onslaught of skateboarding, so this day will be one that we never forget. HUGE thanks to the Bay staff, all of our filmers and photographers plus all who made the effort to be there. We are talking about everyone who traveled distances including so many UK pro teams and shops and didn’t just sit at home waiting for footage to drop. Those who repped know that you will never replace the energy that we witnessed on the internet. You cannot beat it live.

We are working on footage and gallery photos today and will drop a full feature as soon as we can. In the meantime here are the results. Look out for more visual treats rolling through our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Big thanks to all of our sponsors Ricta Wheels, DGK, Superdead Skateboards, Grizzly Griptape, HUF, Slam City, and Stand Up Skate Shop who helped form this event and celebrated 10 years of good times.

UNSPONSORED BEST TRICK JAMS:

Tomas Monkevičius – Kickflip FS board slide on the small rail.

Nai Sukanant – Switch Hardflip on the small stair set.

Gytis Bluivas: Switch bigspin heelflip down the small stair set.

Craig Loveless: Nollie hardflip down the small stair set.

Alex Tibble: Switch fs flip over the small gap.

SPONSORED BEST TRICK JAMS:

RICTA BOWL JAM:

Best Hip Trick: Greg Nowik: FS late shuv and many more.

Longest Gring: ‘Chav’ Dan Hill.

Best tricks out of the bowl/transfer: Joe Habgood – FS nosepick on the outer wall/ FS 180 to nosestall and backside 180 to rock fakie into the barrier out of the bowl.

DGK HUBBA JAM: Gytis Bluivas – Crook nollie flip out.

HUF HIGH OLLIE JAM (driveway): Thomas Harrison (6 boxes).

SUPERDEAD GAP JAM: Split winners – Daryl Dominguez – 2 x kickflips, heelflip. Ewen Bower – FS Ollie revert, FS Stalefish revert, Benihana.

GRIZZLY GRIP TAPE LEDGE JAM: Thomas Harrison – FS tailslide fs 270 shuv out, in and out of ledge.

WALLRIDE JAM: Jed Cullen – Blunt fakie, Pivot fakie, fakie rock (on high section).

RAIL JAM: Luke Kindon – Crook to back lip slide.

STAIR SESH: Charlie Birch – FS Bigspin.

It was very difficult judging the winners on the day so there will be many honorable mentions in the main feature as it was tough to judge due to the amount of amazing stuff that went down. Look out for that soon and until then, take in these photos from Tom Halliday.

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Gytis Bluivas ripped hard and killed the DGK Hubba and small stair set. Someone sponsor him please.

Witchcraft’s Joe Habgood ripped all day long, spotted here in the backside disaster pose with an upcoming ripper.

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Ewen Bower completes a hat trick over the Superdead Gap with a floating Benihana. Pisstaker.

More soon.

10th Anniversary Crossfire Xmas Jam 2012

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Invite friends at our Facebook event page. Scroll down for FREE DGK premiere/after party info.

We are proud to announce a jam celebrating a decade of Crossfire Xmas Jam events. This milestone will be heavily celebrated with one of the very best skate sessions you will ever attend on Saturday 15th December from 12-6pm at BaySixty6 skatepark in London. The address is 65-66 Acklam Road, London, W10 5YU. Map here.

Entry is £10 on the door and £7 in advance from Slam City Skates and Stand Up Skate Shop.

The 10th Anniversary Crossfire Xmas Jam 2012 is in association with Ricta Wheels, and sponsored by DGK, Superdead Skateboards, Grizzly Griptape, HUF, Sidewalk, Slam City Skates and Stand Up Skate Shop. All involved will have various best trick comps planned on the day in the street course. The Ricta Wheels bowl jam will kick off from 4pm, so expect absolute carnage throughout the day, with many NBD’s put down at the new park. £1000 cash prizes will be handed out on the day for guest pro’s and ams.

From midday, traditional unsponsored best trick jams will see £500 worth of shop vouchers from Slam City Skates and Stand Up Skate Shop up for grabs in the street course. Yep, it’s time to raise your game. We will also host two video premiere’s on the day via the big screen that will also be announced soon.

HUF BEST TRICK COMP: Highest ollie comp over the driveway.
DGK BEST TRICK COMP: Best Hubba trick
SUPERDEAD BEST TRICK COMP: Best gap trick across the entrance
GRIZZLY GRIPTAPE BEST TRICK COMP: Best tricks on the quad ledge

From 2pm, the pro jam will be the best you have ever witnessed due to the huge support from UK skateboard companies coming out to celebrate this one with us. Expect a huge turnout of guest team riders from the creme of UK skateboarding from Death, Heroin, Kill City, Skateboard Cafe, Drawing Boards, Science, Fabric. Superdead, Lovenskate, Ricta, A Third Foot, Steak, The National Skateboard Co, The Harmony, Witchcraft and Landscape Skateboards.

Confirmed team riders:

Kill City: Lee Dainton, Nicky Howells, Caradog, Jess Young, Sox and Kyle Howells.

Stand Up: Aaron Sweeney, Marcus Adams, Doug Parmiter, Jeremy Jones, Alex Lally, Casper Barnett, Hector Barnett, Jamal Bendriss, Ivan Marques, Evan Knight.

Death: Sam Murgatroyd, Dan Cates, Nick Zorlac, Mike Simons, Timmy Garbett, Moggins, Nick Anscombe, James Jones and Blinky.

The National Skateboard Co: Josh ‘Manhead’ Young and Tom Harrison

Volcom: Ben Raemers.

Slam City: Darius Trabalza

Science: Ben Cruickshank, Joe Sivell, Pete Buckley, Chris Morgan and Sam Taylor.

5050: Ollie Lock, Phil Parker, Tom Gibbs, Will Ainley and Justin Sydenham .

Skateboard Cafe: Korahn Gayle, Shaun Currie, Josh Arnott and Harry Ogilvie.

Witchcraft: Marc Churchill, Joe Habgood, Joxa, Mike Joyce, Arbel Samsenov, Max Roton, Jamie Morley, Vincent Coupeau, Romain Covolan, Josh Malphaus and French.

Landscape: Joey Pressey, Jin Shimizu.

Superdead Awadh Mohammed, Chris Oliver, Nick Remon, Harry Lintell, Ben Rowles.

Ricta: Neil Smith, Carl Wilson, Jess Young.

Heroin: Craig Questions, Rogie, Casper Brooker.

The Harmony: Jak Pietryga and Dom Henry.

HUF: Jak Tonge, Jed Cullen, Nikki Chappell.

Lovenskate: Ewen Bower, Alex Barton, ‘Chav’ Dan Hill, Liam Sproat, Matt Ransom, Lee Santa, Stuart Smith.

A Third Foot: Andy Coleman, Adam Keys, Dave Pegg, Ryan Price.

Vans: Greg Nowik, Shaun Currie, Nev, Salar Kooshki, Daryl Dominguez, Charlie Birch.

Steak: Rowan Murray, Danny Abel, Nic Hanson, Adam Collingburn, Mike Wright.

More to be announced soon.

Plan ahead and arrange your travel and accommodation. Look out for an announcement soon and cut and paste this flyer and post to share with others. It means so much to roll this jam out for you. Thanks for ten years of your fantastic support.

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After Party information:

The Xmas Jam will be followed by a warehouse party and the UK premiere of the much the highly anticipated DGK video ‘Parental Advisory‘ in association with I-Five Distribution.

This event will take place in the Pop Up Cinema on the same road at BaySixty6 skate park (near Portobello Rd) followed by a warehouse party in the same location from 7pm-1am.

FREE ENTRY: To get yourself on the guest list for the screening and party, email your full name to DGKparty@caughtinthecrossfire.com and you will be added.

Doors open from 7pm, after the jam, where you will be able to get food and drink from the bar. Please note that only over 18’s will be able to purchase alcohol. I.D will be required.

The film will screen from 8.30pm. Please Facebook and Tweet this post to spread the word, get yourself on the list and we will see you there for a 10th Anniversary night out.

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DGK – PARENTAL ADVISORY – TRAILER from KAYOTV on Vimeo.

The Crossfire Xmas Jam 2010

The official Crossfire Xmas Jam 2010 edit by Alan Christensen. Filmed by Alan Christensen, Nick Richards and Joe Moynihan.

Words: Stanley
Photography: Tom Halliday and Dom Marley

Over the past eight years a lot has happened within the cozy sphere of living we call skateboarding. Shiny discs with easter eggs came in and locked VHS up in the junk room only to be touched by the boney skeletal finger of the digital grim reaper a couple years later, we lost a couple magazines, we gained a few new ones, scooters are selling more than skateboards for the first time ever and yet skate companies are being born as if an entire generation of UK skateboarders missed out on the business studies lesson where they covered contraception. It’s all a little confusing and unsettling to be honest. So, at the end of another confusing year we decided that there was only one thing we could possibly do. Invite you all to Bay 66 and go skateboarding. What else?

There really wasn’t any alternative; for a start we do it every year, and every year we love it more than ever. But more importantly, a jam is still one of the most positive things one can involve themselves in for skateboarding regardless of whatever the economical climate currently looks like. A jam provides UK skateboarders of all ages with a place to meet like-minded creatives and explore the myriad of ways in which one can get rad on their wheely-board, which sounds awesome enough, but on top of that you will always meet new friends, witness amazing talent and be reminded just how rewarding skateboarding is. We’re sure most of you know this already, but given the sad circumstances that surrounded the park in which we always – with great pleasure – hold all of our annual festive jams, it feels appropriate to point out just how effective these events are at giving the young people of the UK something postive to focus their attention on. So, in another attempt to remind the youth that there’s a lot more to life than drugs, disrespecting women and riding shitty little scooters we invited you all to London’s beloved sheltered park (hopefully not for the last time) and you all came and smashed it. As in, totally, totally smashed it. Good work.

After some trouble with the sound system which led to myself, Zac and Brewster twiddling knobs like Dickfingers does whenever he has nothing better to do, we finally had Brewster’s charming vocal stylings flooding into the ears of the London yoof. Good thing too, as it was high time for them to start throwing themselves over the little driveway for the chance of a fresh Blueprint deck and fifty quids worth of Slam City Skates vouchers. And throw themselves they did, in a kind of bizarre mature manner. Sure there was havoc, but maybe the 100 little Alfies that normally walk in the way and cock things up spent this winter with the snaking scooter crews in concrete parks throughout the country, meaning that the havoc was kind of controlled. Orderly queues were formed and boards were flying everywhere and we more stoked and impressed with the standards of the unsponsored jam than ever before.

We weren’t too stoked on the theft of Alex Diss’ tapes from the unsponsored jam though. Zorlac compensates his loss by being rad. (Photo: Tom Halliday)

Below: Darius Trabalza is sick. Watch out for him. (Photo: Tom Halliday)

We genuinely had to ask most of the winners if they were sponsored or not, especially considering how many pros and ams were sneaking in runs before their time. Daryl Dominguez got up early as if he intended to eat the driveway for breakfast, but it was the young and very smiley Darius Trabalsza who got the worm with a positively monstrous hardflip over the box to flat in a way that would impress Daryl himself. Huge catch and caught proper bolts. Brewster and I had little trouble awarding Darius with the prize, he really got the idea of a competition going and he fully earned his deck and should also earn your attention in the future. Look out for that smiley dude.

Before we followed the schedule to the next spot, a couple of unashamed moshers were trying their hand at the ski jump to such ridiculous results that we almost contemplated throwing the entire schedule out the window and have a gnarliest backflip competition on the launch ramp. One backflip later though and our mosher tendencies were more than satisfied, permitting us to stop kidding ourselves and return to where all the good stuff was happening: BaySixty6’s new hip with the long jersey quarter on top of it. A perfect setting for some Busenitz grind action and maybe even some Cory Kennedy hip flip trick ridiculousness. Things were kicking off straight away as the obstacle was given its first Xmas Jam treatment, with Felipe Dalcin going in hard for a mighty kickflip noseslide sadly nailing it just after the whistle. With Brewster in charge Crossfire minutes are just 60 seconds long I’m afraid; Spanky runs a tight ship that’s for sure. A shame for Felipe as it was an early contender for trick of the day, but Jason Cloete’s stream of smooth technical wizardry (landing bigger flips cleaner than Marc Johnson) set the consistency level for the rest of the unsponsored comp, if you’re gonna win you’re going to have be better than this kid. It’s remarkable that he hasn’t landed a proper sponsor yet, though that fact might have something to do with how much of a sleazy bastard he was at the after party (props though, standard). Whatever you’ve heard about Jason Cloete, what you need to know is the little shitbag kills it.

Below: Jason Cloete prior to all the sleaze (Photo: Tom Halliday)

Indeed, the Cloete show continued as the jam took it to BaySixty6’s newer, gnarlier, Amazonian waterfall of a Wembley/Euro/Step Up gap. Backside 360 kickflips, triple kickflips and more first try bedwetters, probably before people learnt to get out the way of the landing area too. When it did though, Baystation 666 was subjected to technical madness at its very raddest. Drawing Boards’ Isaac Miller took his opportunity to front 360 and backside heel as fluidly and nonchalantly as one would nollie over a crack in the pavement. We originally had some doubts at how many unsponsored kids could tackle the new Euro beast but in just 20 minutes we had our uncertainties handed to us on a plate as Jamal Breniss tore the gap a new backside (this kid can also stick a mean sticker around; the decorations you see in these pictures before you are courtesy of myself, Jerome, Jamal and a couple of other helpful gents… next time you see them around, high five them for braving the cold. Except for me, I’m a scumbag and probably deserved it.). It was Harry King who took the biscuit though who with his solo late-flip fueled demonstration that left even Cloete’s head spinning.

In a year where ADHD ran riot over the Firefox generation we felt it right to conclude the unsponsored jam on whatever obstacle they wanted to skate, providing it was on the big driveway and me and Brewster could see it. So as we strained our eyes over the fog of fried chicken in the spectators stand many of you took it to the rail, manual pad and hubba ledge and we realised that judging this one could be a little difficult. Luckily Jamie ‘Arghhh’ Morley was saving his game changers for the pro comp and the unsponsored crowd stuck mostly to the rail like slippery glue. Though a few sneaky sponsored sorts tried to blag themselves a Blueprint deck it was John Howlett who impressed us with his consistency and extensive bag of tricks; no matter how many great feeble grinds were on display, no one trick wonder was walking away with this particularly awesome Nick Jensen deck. Look out for Howlett leaping out of a taco in a Mile End near you.

Below: New moves, same ol’ Smithy. (Seq: Dom Marley)

After a short breather (Brewster went out for some fresh tobacco scented air while I stayed in getting high off the fumes from the fried chicken boxes) it was time for the sponsored jam. First up, back to the mini-driveway and as the guestlist continued getting checked off it was those that got in early that were obviously warmed up enough to smash it. Daryl Dominguez went straight in and hammering down all the tricks he has on lock – 360 flip, lateflips, hardflip, all perfect. Isaac Miller was busy snaking all the unsponsored kids on the Wembley gap but his lofty heelflip to flat literally came out of no where, then dusted off like it was nothing. 2011 will be his year for sure. Now, this paragraph cannot be complete without mentioning Gav Coughlan, who sped through the park and landed on a monster frontside flip too many times without rolling away. When he finally conquered the beast we had already moved onto the next obstacle after drill sergeant Brewster announced time was up, but big up Gav for sticking to it. We were stoked on what the Irish powerhouse brought to the event. This obstacle was Daryl’s from the beginning however, he sleepwalked his way to the first batch of Crossfire pounds dished out.

By the time we hit up the hip again our massive guestlist was more or less fully checked off apart from a few notable names (Korahn Gayle probably thought he was supposed to get on a plane or something and missed it) so things were about to take a turn for the awesome. The entire spot got attacked from all angles; Crayon’s Paul ‘Barber’ Cooper got things going on top with that frontsmith of his that’s one of the finest in this country, Witchcraft’s Jamie ‘Arghhh’ Morley took a different route and boardslid his way into the jersey quarter the hard way (the only way the pirate knows) and Smithy shutdown the actual hip with that nollie bigger spin heelflip he was stoked on in his Reflections. The hip got a thorough seeing to but a face-off emerged between Kill City’s Jake Collins and Blind’s Chris Oliver. Chroliver could have shut the day down with his balls-out backtail and mach-ten kickflip 5-0 across the entire ledge (and if you haven’t got off your arse and seen Chris skate in person yet then sort it out, it’ll change your life) but Jake just kept pulling out bangers that we had no choice but to give him the Crossfire pounds. Crooks to regular, ninja finger backsmith, backtail, backlip and a ‘proper’ mayday in under twenty minutes? This guy is amazing.

Below: Dan ‘270’ Wileman getting paper. (Photo: Tom Halliday)

Now, originally our schedule was intent on taking a Delorean back to the 90s with a recession-friendly best trick over the smashed up bin but given how many gnar-hunters were on the scene we had a little re-arranging session and decided to conclude the sponsored jam on the behemoth that is Bay 66’s famous vert wall. Firstly though, we took it back to the ADHD-encouraging driveway and let the sponsored heads run riot. The rail was tackled by the Blueprint crew with ease as Nick Jensen cruised around, Tom Knox summoned up a hurricane and Smithy boardslide-shoved his way into a few high fives. Daryl got tech on the rail with a ninja-catch flip frontboard but took one for the team while trying a trick front shove boardslide. I couldn’t sleep for days after watching that unfortunate credit card disaster. Yowzers. Good thing Jamie Morley and Dan Wileman were on the scene to remedy pain with gnar. Jamie took a break from photographing the dead animals near Portobello Road to catch a ridiculous kickflip out of a perfect 50-50 down the hubba ledge. They don’t call him ‘Kickflip’ for nothing kids. Dan Wileman doesn’t have a nickname yet but considering how many times I’ve seen him earn money from these variations I’m gonna start calling him ‘270’. No one does it better. £50 each, now on to the vert wall.

As we hoped, shit got REAL on the vert wall. Luke Jarvis was obviously waiting for this moment to arrive and we’re already taking bets on whether he has some sort of telekinetic speed device in that green hat of his… no one can move that fast naturally. Before we could even set up flashes he was there killing it and setting the bar high. As high as the Westway would allow anyway. Amidst dogpissers aplenty, Alex Lally got some training in for the following mini ramp jam, Ewan Bower got amongst it and Daryl fucking Dominguez confirmed his position as the undisputable ruler of BaySixty6. After playing around with what looked like a potentially groundbreaking hardflip he stomped down a kickflip fakie from the quarter (serving under the bloody reign of a severed pig’s head courtesy of Lee Dainton) and grafted away towards and elusive but eventually rewarding alley-oopbackside flip straight into the gullet of the beast. To quote the editor of the official Crossfire Xmas Jam edit Alan Christensen “best trick of the day hands down”. Like all the hammers, it was just outside of time, plus who else could have taken the vert wall monies but the young Sam Beckett. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Sam is one of the best skaters in the UK right now and you should all recognise this. Floating a backside flip across the entire wall and not missing a single air in twenty minutes? Deny it if you can.

Daryl Dominguez shutting down BaySixty6’s vert wall. Utter madness. (Seq: Dom Marley)

Below: Nowick breaking the necks of observers. (Photo: Tom Halliday)

By this point and despite the cold we were all starting to get a little sweaty, so it could only mean one thing: time for one full hour of Slayer and bodies flying around in Baystation’s famous miniramp lovingly sponsored by Flip, Ricta and Mob Grip. And fly they did; an increasingly smashed Brewster called for high flyers and blunt 360 flips in, which combined resulted in a lot of smashed shins and tooth chippers. Or was that the product toss? Either way, shit was going down and the riffs were kicking off so there I was, standing on the corner with a notebook trying to make sense of what was going on while occasionally getting out the way of Jed Cullen’s nose-scratching airs. Judging by how illegible my notes are, it’s safe to say that everyone killed it.

Alex Lally got his post-Ben Nordberg miniramp moves on (bigspin back disasters, pop into sugarcane) and generally just ruled the liptricks, Sam Beckett continued his reign over all things transition, Barber got involved with some smooth operator lines and Kill City’s miniramp shredders Sam Pulley and Jake Collins more or less ran the ship for the first half hour with Jake getting the first ‘proper’ trick on the awkward extension (frontside disaster… mad!).

But once again, the miniramp jamp nearly turned into the Greg Nowick show, not that we’re complaining… that miniramp is absolutely his, but Jed Cullen avoided the snakes and and pulled some bonkers stuff out of his deep trick bag, all miles above the coping and so the MVP prize purse was split between the two. Best trick could only have gone to whoever first landed the elusive blunt 360 flip and since Daewon wasn’t around this took a little longer. Eventually Chris Coombs snuck a perfect one in between runs and walked away with £50. This year’s jam was the business!

Zac, Brewster and the miniramp rulers. (Photo: Tom Halliday)

Just gathering what I can recall from the day is getting the blood flowing again, what an absolutely terrific day for skateboarding in London. No matter how many kids were stuck inside playing Call of Duty or clogging up skatepark traffic on scooters the turnout for this year was nothing but skateboarders down for skateboarding and the atmosphere proved it. The good vibes flowed throughout the day and out of glasses at the unplanned and very messy afterparty. It was a great thing to be a part of. Big thanks to all of you that came down and had a good time with us, thanks to all the sponsors and support from the great companies that make this country so rad, all the riders they brought with them, Brewster for strong MCing, all the good folk at Bay 66, the friendly staff at Mau Mau’s, Tom Halliday and Dom Marley for capturing souls and Alan Christensen and Nick Richards for watching the entire event through a viewfinder. And of course, big thanks to Zac for not letting a gnarly spinal injury stop him throwing one of my favourite skate events of the year.

Try and spot the product they’re fighting over. (Photo: Tom Halliday)

Enjoy the rest of the photos not included above in the gallery below and stay tuned for the official edit coming VERY soon (little bit of technical trouble and logistical nightmares delviering it all thanks to that bitch Mother Nature). Oh, and if you thought you were safe after the night raids feature dropped last week, sorry, but Tom Halliday took a whole bunch more. Scroll further down for messiness and bring on Xmas 2011, but remember, if we don’t act now it might not be at Bay 66. Sign the petition here if you haven’t already and let’s keep our favourite park in London.

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Photos by Tom Halliday and Dom Marley. Double click to full-screen.

Win a Flip/Ricta/Mob Package!

Fresh from sponsoring our Xmas Jam Mini Ramp comp and shelling out hard cash for those that earned it (Greg Nowick, Jed Cullen, Craig Coombs), Flip, Mob Grip and Ricta Wheels stored some goodies aside that weren’t included in the mammoth product toss to give away in this great little package!

Simply answer the question below for a chance to win all you see above. That’s a Flip Gold Alchemy deck (7.75″), Flip Magic Mushroom griptape from Mob Grip, a magic mushroom hoody (size L) to go with it and a set of Ricta All Stars in 54mm. Hot damn!

This competition ends on January 21st.

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