Reminisce 20 Years of BAYSIXTY6 Skate Park

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Wow, time flies. BAYSIXTY6 Skate Park are celebrating 20 years in the game today and reminiscing on two decades of scene support, events and sessions since opening their doors for the very first time on the morning of Saturday, 24th of May 1997.

As most of you who have followed Crossfire over the last 16 years know, we hold a special relationship with this park following the events we hosted there and assisting with sponsorship and funding. It was a honour to have been there from the beginning too, as a skater, rolling on the initial layers of tarmac when only a couple of quarter pipes were sat in the middle of the now-known street course. It’s gone through so many changes and they have fought so hard to keep it alive and won. Owner, Paul McDermott and the many characters behind the scenes should be applauded for their commitment. We asked Paul this week what he thought on this achievement:

“What an amazing 20 years. 21 if you include the year of preparation before we opened. We’ve endured struggle, mistakes, a fire, hard work and fights for survival but it’s all been worth it! An enormous amount of incredible characters have passed through these gates, several generations of great skaters have come through here too. It’s been a great opportunity for British skaters to see most of the very best skaters in the world at one time or another, not to mention that it’s been a second home for many of London’s skaters, a place of constant mentoring for young people and a kind of super youth club where youth from all backgrounds come together on equal terms here in Ladbroke Grove.”

To celebrate this feat the park will host a special Wednesday night session, known as a legendary night at this park for so many years, on the evening of Wednesday 28th June where many of the heads that have graced this special spot will reunite for a night of reminiscing. On the walls will be a Xerox gallery show of your memories, so send photos for inclusion via email to 20Years@BAYSIXTY6.com or post your photos and footage on social media with the hashtag #20YearsatBAYSIXTY6

We will see you there but until then, spread the good word by sending this post to friends who have skated the park and enjoy these old images from when it all first started. Congrats to everyone involved!

BAYSIXTY6 Skate Park can be found after 20 years of service still at its same address:
Bay 66, Acklam Rd, Ladbroke Grove, London, W10 5YU. Telephone 020 8969 4669.

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Behind the blag of Blag Rock DIY

Photos: Rich West / Red Bull UK

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Brighton’s skate scene has a pirate mentality. It always felt like walking the plank dropping into the Level back in the late 80s, you never knew whether you would be eaten alive by the Pig City locals, or walk away stoned and happy. That usually depended on what you had in your locker, what you could put down and leave on their turf – if you could get a run, that is.

The Pig City legacy from 1986 is one of hard graft, it carries a never-say-die attitude like a warning flag still fluttering in the English Channel winds. This summer, David Wheatland and Justin ‘Pasty’ Ashbury‘s latest DIY crew were on a mission to build Brighton locals a new home. Blag Rock was born and now sits tightly against the the beach getting sessioned when weather allows. Wheatland has spent the last few months arguing online with local shops about bucket collections and DIY ethics but local vibes and opinions aside, these guys made it happen with whatever they had to hand and nailed it.

David, please spill the beans on your DIY past for those not in the know.

Pig City, as a lot of your readers will already know, is the name that relates to our city, the skate scene, the establishment and the skate company here in Brighton. We’ve been creating DIY places to skate since day one of the UK skate scene and our city has a mass of history spanning four decades. I’ve enjoyed many years of DIY experience starting back in the early 90’s helping the older guys make their DIY mini ramps in Shoreham-by-Sea but we have guys in our DIY crew like Justin Ashby who also made the Level vert ramp back in the day with the infamous Pig City boys.

DIY spots come and go sadly, but how do you fund them at this level?

Our last spot was amazing but sadly got taken down, so this year we really went for it to get a rad spot that we could secure from being ripped down early. Last year we took part in the Red Bull DIY build your own spot comp and we worked with a local shop that got us the concrete and tools for free. I manage the boys and make sure I get them stuff and I been getting all the donations for them with tools and supplies.

Ph: Nick Roberts nose bonks on the Blag.

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How did finding the land at Blag Rock take shape?

I went with Fay from the Level to check out this ‘Black Rock’ spot after a local council worker and friend Ricardo said the site was available to use for a temporary “exhibit space”, so Rick and Fay set up a meeting with the seafront officer. We drove there to meet the council at the spot and to my surprise and excitement, I spotted potential building materials we could ever need there. Tons and tons of sand and hard core, pallets, scaffolding, sheets and sheets of thick ply and piles of 2×4 long lengths of timber. Without saying a word, we discussed what was required to rent/lease this nearly 100m secure compound. The main thing we needed next was was insurance. We tried to get quotes but we knew we would run out of time as there was a few companies wanting to use this spot, namely the Brighton Marina building company who we later end up calling Hanson. Pretty much all of the boys were like “fuck this, we need to get building and can’t be arsed with going the legitimate route of building at this spot”, so we pretty much went rouge and got cracking.

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So you didn’t have to sign any paper work or actually rent the area then? How did they not notice what was occurring then?

They did, but the sea front office lady was nice and the building company site director turned out to be an old friend of Danny Wainwright. We had this imaginary scale that just went up and up, a chart of how much this spot had to give over the months of build time.

If in doubt just put it in Peter Hewitt’s name.

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Who designed the layout, or did you just build as you went along?

It naturally just came into shape. We first started with a test build to check out this type of sand we have never previously used, but first, we needed shelter from the wind to chill in and skin up. Actually, the main reason is that we needed to find somewhere for Pasty to sleep, so we started off by building Pasty’s shed.

Ah, good old Pasty eh, the skateboarder with a thousand stories. I’m sure you have a few…

Haha! I have a few for sure, but Ladislav Guzsela, the site manager, told me he got knock on the door on the morning of the caravan demolition. He’d been given a short amount of time to remove his stuff and tried to wake Pasty up. As he opened his eyes, he declared that “none of this shit is mine” and went back to sleep. When Ladi left, the demolition guy said, “I’d better go and make sure no one is in there before they put a JCB through it”. When the guy went in there check, Justin was still asleep under a cover. Close call.

Pasty: Yeah, I wasn’t gonna move until Ladi smashed the window on me where I was sleeping. I wasn’t happy. I started smashing shit up while Ladi was freaking out shouting: “Get up, the bailiffs are here!”

Ladislav: The council asked as to leave the place and we didn’t so they evicted us from the caravans and after 2 weeks they brought a machine in and destroyed the trailers, where I was living with Adam {Moog). At the time loads of traveler’s where set up the road so little pikies were destroying our ramps. I let the dog chase them out.

Get to know Blag Rock from this new edit featuring Stevie Thompson and more.

Usually these things come and go so quickly, have then been threats of losing it to other locals wanting the space?

We were at the spot building just three days in when we heard that it was going to be taken over by a building company, by a guy squaring up one of the two large caravans on site. The caravans had been there for just over a year, used by a sand sculpture guy who used this area for sand creations. This guy was really sound and gave use a spare key for the gate, giving us easy access door that opened up right onto our build. We asked the guy about using the caravan next door to him and after a few days getting to know us he give Moog. Ladi and Pasty the key. Really sick van, we were so stoked.

By this time we had three quarter pipes, a pump bump and a big bit of floor space completed and our tool shed was looking sweet. We were cracking on when two guys start walking over wearing high viz apparel looking all official. We chatted to them about who we are what we doing and he told us that the site director for the building company in the Marina and that he had a massive project on the go. They wanted this land for open storage, so we asked if it’s going effect our little corner, and he said it will in a month or so, until he gets the land. As an old friend of Wainwright’s, he wouldn’t do anything to our spot with chatting to us about it, which was nice. So we’ve had it since then and seen many sessions go down.

Were any of the obstacles given local names?

We have a corner curb stone that we put in the corner as a wally transfer, which we called the hernia affair.

Where is the spot at now in terms of build?

Black Rock has been used by graf artists all round the country for 20 years, also there have been many illegal raves here so building in this spot just felt right. This place is like a desert with a fort round it. The spot was hard work for sure, but it’s come together at last. It’s a great place to chill out by the beach.

To this day it’s constantly being modified and worked on every other week. It now has cobbled coping, a big wally gap and a new drain has been laid in the deep end. We had a amazing time on this spot and I was stoked to see so many skaters pro’s and bro’s come from all over to skate it. Some of them coming down and not even going to the new Level park, just us! Next year we will get a new spot somewhere rad in Pig City, watch this space.

Follow Pig City on Facebook and pick up their clothing from this online shop. Also be aware of the fund raiser that is currently running in Brighton to help fund a new indoor park, your donations will be gratefully received.

Skating in Cuba

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Ever visited Cuba? I saw 2 skaters on supermarket set ups there on my visit 15 years back but not much else. Their country is beautiful, stuck in time, preserved by the people who make it such a special place.

In this new edit by Ivan Olita for Nowness, Yojani Perez Rivera takes you round his local spots in the burbs of Havana and gives you an insight into what he feels skateboarding brings to his life.

Campus Pool edit

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So here it is, the first edit from the new Campus Pool down in Bristol with footage of Jess Young, Andy Coleman, and many more getting stuck into the fresh ‘crete laid and designed by the wizards at Canvas Spaces.

The park opens next Sunday 26th July so get down there, eat free BBQ food and celebrate a phenomenal feat that is now Bristol’s only indoor, concrete park.

Find it on the corner of Whitchurch Rd and Church Rd, Bishopsworth, Bristol, BS13 7RW. Map here.

CANVAS announce new skatepark plans for Liverpool

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The good folk at CANVAS are currently putting the finishing touches to the Campus Pool project in Bristol whilst also being up to their ears in concrete at the ongoing contruction on Bath’s new skatepark. They have found time though this week to send us an exclusive peep at their new project coming to Liverpool this autumn, so enjoy the first look at the final design plans.

Liverpool locals will be stoked on the news that this new build, funded by Liverpool City Council, is scheduled to be constructed in Newsham Park. The park itself was opened in 1868 and due to its status as grade 2 listed, this new spot will be made in buff coloured concrete due to its associated planning requirements. So yep, it’s going to be a very posh looking one.

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The skatepark will also feature the following treats:

4.5ft – 5.5ft bowl with roll over
Brick flat bank and a long mellow bank with a small ledge
3ft bowled corneR
Up block with manny pad
Long mellow ledge spanning 2 platform levels.
Long steep hipped bank with grindable lip grading to the floor (Barcelona Esq)
Wembley gap with large handrail and Hubba
Small low level Hubba and handrail
Small taco ¼ with grindable lip and bank transfer – Taco has been positioned to create snake run with adjacent long mellow 2ft ¼ with hip
Pier 7 style manny pad with banked edges
4.5ft bowled ¼ with hips
Flat bar, blocks and pole jam wedge

And…a 3m long US style granite parking lot kerb. The same kerb that CANVAS are installing in several parks over the summer – Victoria Park in Bath being the first.

This project has started already and if all goes to plan this new fun palace, found on Gardners Drive will be ready to skate at the end of September/early October. Get hyped and follow the updates at the CANVAS Facebook page.

If you are Liverpool based you may also get stoked on the plans for the city to host a new ‘glow in the dark’ skatepark, rumoured to be coming your way this summer. See the designs here.

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War of the Thistles 2015 footage

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This weekend’s romp in Scotland at both Transition Skatepark in Aberdeen and Kaos Skatepark in East Kilbride brought hammers from many who attended.

Rollersnakes came back with the video loot of Colin Adam, Alex Hallford, Adam Paris, Mark Burrows, Eddie Belvedere, Nick Roberts, Andy Scott, Rob Smith, Felix, and many more getting stuck into both parks. Looked like some good shit went down.

Flip Skateboards UK Demo, London

The last time Flip came to town back in 2008, some may remember that online cynics stated that their team of ‘little kids’ were never going to compete with the big boys. Here we are five years later and guess who is dominating every contest worldwide and has taken X-Games, Tampa Am and even the cherished prize of all that is Skater of the Year amongst others? Never, ever underestimate Flip Skateboards. They are Britain’s flagship skate co – the original, the most forward thinking, and the very best.

flipdemolondon2013_crossfireThis demo was announced only 2 weeks before they landed at Heathrow. David Gonzalez and Curren Caples could not be present due to family unforeseen commitments and they are both in our thoughts today as family alays comes first. As Flip take this family aspect of life so seriously, they pulled out every stop to make this demo as good as it could be for you without two of their finest team riders. With Ben Nordberg dislocating his elbow in the week proceeding the demo too (get well soon mate), demo monster Greyson Fletcher flew into London with very little notice as cover. He had just spent time in Europe smashing everything he skated to pieces, including taking the prestigious first place spot at the Prado Bowl in Marseille last week, and had flown back to California. All options were looked into to make ammends for these changes in the week leading up to this demo, so hats off to all involved for making a mammoth effort to appease the visitors who attended this one. I cannot express how much effort went into this.

As Alec Majerus was clearing customs at 4.30pm, a crowd was forming at BaySixty6. It’s the hottest day of the year by far with the temperature hitting 29/30′. BBQ smoke filled the skies all over the city, skate sessions turned into lazy drinking sessions and those who turned up to welcome this crew should be highly commended.

The legendary Arto Saari was in the mix and skating on British soil for the first time in years, alongside the masterful Louie Lopez whose trick ratio is filling the bag these days. His Minnesotan friend Majerus showed why he took Tampa with ease last year, and Fletcher, well, you have to see this bloke to believe. He flies like an eagle with absolutely no fear of anything in front of him. Shouts to upcoming UK ripper Charlie Birch too who was invited to join this crew today and once again impressed all.

Overall it was a roaster and these beautiful photos from Maksim Kalanep tell the story of Flip’s visit alongside Ryan Gray’s swift footage from Sidewalk. Many thanks to Ian and all at Flip, all of the Bay66 staff, Ben Powell for mic action, and all who spread the word for us in short notice on this exclusive London event.

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Flip Skateboards UK Demo 2013

We are proud to announce that Crossfire will host an exclusive UK demo for the Flip Skateboards team at Bay Sixty 6 skate park in London on the evening of Saturday 6th July in association with Mob Grip, Sidewalk Magazine and Pixels.

The demo will start at 5.30pm and run until 9pm with Arto Saari, Louie Lopez, Curren Caples, Ben Nordberg and Alec Majerus in attendance. Join the Facebook event page here.

As this is the only UK demo from the Flip team, plan well in advance and arrange your travel and accommodation now if necessary. The address is 66-67 Acklam Rd, London, W10 5YU

We will update you on additional information on this page in the build up to the event. Spread the good word by liking this page and get hyped on Flip coming home!

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Almost Impact Tour at BaySixty6

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Only the brave tour Europe in January but the Almost Skateboards team didn’t flinch when asked to hit the road across various countries that started in Berlin and ended here in London at the BaySixty6 skate park. It was not the easiest tour to be on. An hour before the team were scheduled to drop a demo at the Skatehalle in Berlin, news of Lewis Marnell’s rumoured passing had reached Chris Haslam, Youness Amrani, Daryl Dominguez and Willow who threw themselves into this tour the best way they could knowing they had just lost a brother.

The UK was absolutely freezing and by far the coldest day of the year but on arrival, London’s faithful were there ready and waiting for them despite news that the scheduled demo had been cancelled. Almost UK rider Daryl Dominguez and Bay shredder Kyron McGrath-Davis joined in with the fun to skate the Double Impact comp and like lemmings, those who couldn’t land tricks felt the cold, hard concrete across the small stair set and rail and the big 5 stair set and rail until a winner was announced. Best trick overall went to Nai Sukanant with a switch hardflip down the big five and he took it well.

Click play for short interviews with Daryl Dominguez and Chris Haslam on the night and grab yourself an Almost package in this month’s competition.

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Watch the highlights of the skating from the night from Tom Drake & Harry Garcia:

Watch the Almost Berlin demo at Skatehalle here:

Almost Demo – Skatehalle Berlin from skatehalle berlin on Vimeo.