If the rose-tinted image of a skate video was like a cute mogwai in our eyes, the internet came along and threw the little thing we love and hold dear into an Olympic-sized outdoor pool with a finger buffet stacked heavily beneath the diving boards. Footage has literally flooded the internet and our retinas over the last few years and today you can quite easily spend an entire afternoon and evening watching pros, amateurs and oddballs flip, spin and launch themselves the world over in pixelated 3 minute bursts.
Without bashing the free perspective of this digital media, many filmers and cinematographers take this opportunity to put their hard work out there for our viewing pleasure and ask for nought in return. Unfortunately they are small fish in an ocean teeming with life, so we thought we could fish a few out for you to take notice. These deserve to be bookmarked and watched full screen so get the teas on and push play.
The Golden Triangle by Boris Proust
Boris Proust has unleashed a fantastic travel edit featuring himself, Peter Molec, Fabian Verhaeghe, Alexis Greusard, Joachim Fromant, Joseph Biais and Samuel Partaix skating through India’s wonderful terrain. Sit back and take in this short film feature titled The Golden Triangle.
Offset Skateboarding Film by Commune
Comune’s experimental short featuring Jordan Sanchez, Al Partenan, Nial Frederickson, Josh Murphy and Joseph Lopez is. Directed and Edited by Jordan Minardi and Noel Sinclair Boyt.
Color Your Memories by Ludovic Azémar
A French full-length feature focused on upcoming amateur skateboarders from Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon. Featuring Alex Richard, Valentin Bauer, Sylvain Tognelli, Guillaume Dulout, Sean Hanley and Remy Taveira.
Skateboard Cafe Promo ’12 by Rich Smith
A full length video from Bristol-based crew The Skateboard Cafe. Featuring Harry Ogilvie, Shaun Currie, Josh Arnott, Tom Gibbs, Louis Marshall, Pat Garrahy, Barney Page, The Cafe Family, Korahn Gayle, Andy Coleman, Ben Rowles, Nicky Howells and more! Filmed and edited by Rich Smith.
Canadian Studio Skateboards presents their team video in collaboration with Slap Magazine. Featuring Joey Larock, Wade Fyfe, Kyle Macdonald, Darrell Smith, Mike Fyfe, Jai Ball, Jean Mat Vincent, and Chris Melvin. Filmed by Dave Pelletier.
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More from the Couch Potato very soon…feel free to recommend yours to us here.
The scooter problem in the UK has forced the skateboard community of Midsomer Norton to make a short documentary on the problem they are facing at their local park. Remember the build up to the opening jam back in August 2010 and the elation this skatepark gave the locals? It seems that this sentiment has long passed and has now been replaced with the words Death of their local skate park instead from this recent docu put together by Lewis Jelley.
The question is, what problems do you have at your local park and how do you tackle them? Is this problem just discipline based? Is the obvious answer actually teaching kids how to respect others around you at a skate park instead of just shouting at them? Is it a case of they are so young they don’t actually listen? How long will it be until there are hundreds of skaters at your park instead once these kids realise skateboards are actually the way forward. Will you still get a run when this happens? By building so many concrete parks are skateboarders naturally enjoying being pushed back into the streets where skateboarding belongs?
Concrete skateparks take a lot of effort to build and the skaters who are behind this hard graft sometimes don’t get the chance to skate as much as they would want to. With that in mind it’s good to see Bristol’s Wheelscape grafters hitting up Hullen Edge, Weston Park and Bollington Skateparks up North on a recent trip whilst the weather was better than it is out there right now.
Dorchester’s concrete will have it’s annual roasting from locals this year on Saturday April 28th with cash money prizes for best tricks and free stuff from various sponsors. Get down to one of Maverick Skatepark’s best builds for a full day of it between 11 – 6pm. The park can be found at Weymouth Avenue, DT1 1QZ and the Facebook event page to join is here.
We have some really exciting news and information for you to take in today which may change the way indoor skateparks will be built in the future here in the UK. As you read this, the brand new Extreme Connexions Skatepark is under construction by the good guys at Freestyle Skateparks and looking at the new designed layout, it’s clear that they are working on a unique project so we decided to get an inside view on how this all came about.
The XC Skatepark is part of a development that has been backed by £5m of government money to build a safe environment for youth culture where kids will have access to: a teen health clinic, a recording studio for budding young musicians, an internet café, ‘chill out zone’ and counselling rooms under the same roof of the skatepark. Having access to a building that hosts all of these amazing opportunities under one roof is a dream for kids wanting to be part of their favourite cultures. However, for skateboarders in particular, the emergence of an indoor concrete park could set a precedent for more builds like this around the country and replicate the influx of activity that has been welcomed from the construction of many outdoor concrete plaza’s and bowls that have popped up throughout the UK over the last 8 years.
The funding for the project has come from the government’s ‘Myplace’ programme which creates safe places for young people to go and administered by the Big Lottery fund. The Dacorum Sports Trust (DST) beat hundreds of other applicants from across the country to win the funding, and hopes that the facility will be a social centre for 11 to 19 year olds. Just one look at the plan suggests they will be correct in their assumptions that people should come far and wide to visit. The skatepark will be the only UK skate park to have a concrete bowl and pool inside so it will definitely attract the more mature skater keen to slash some pool coping too.
We spoke to Steve Crawford from Freestyle this week to get the lowdown on how this came to light who explained that the initial contact from the DST came as far back as June 2009 to tender for the construction of the project. The final design was signed off after 6 sessions discussing the plans with user groups over late night pizza sessions. These brainstorms were followed by further feedback meetings with DST and interested stakeholders. From talking about the set up with Steve, the the actual design process, although long, was relatively straight forward.
So, did the user group meetings throw up any difficult decisions from the BMX and skate community in terms of what was to be built?
“The skatepark is designed for BMX, Blading and Skateboarding. Inevitably there were some interesting discussions because what is important to one discipline might not sit high on the agenda for another! Freestyle always start with a concept design and it’s developed from there. At the beginning we had two design meetings with Youth Connexions which included the Young Persons steering group, a group of young people formed specifically for this project as part of the Myplace funding conditions. This enabled a wide scope of young people’s views to be considered and encompassed before we discussed things further with the professional riders and associations. For this project, there was a wealth of experience involved; the initial user group team included James Hitchcox (Zeal BMX Distribution), Nick Zorlac (Death Skateboards), Dan Cates (Death Skateboards) and Nick Powley (UKSA) which made the process of prioritising forms / obstacles a little easier. Combined with John Flood’s knowledge and skills, it actually ran pretty smoothly.”
What about the pool and bowl sizes though, we heard that these were being discussed quite heavily?
“Deciding on the depth of the pool was a challenge. Nick Fitt, a dedicated Middle Age Shredder, brought to the table the idea of creating a flowing, deep pool which differed from its original intent which was shallow, fun and whippy. It gave everyone something to think about and after much discussion, the final design was agreed. Skatepark design is often about compromise – creating something that appeals to the majority, but it’s a fine balancing act to ensure that compromise doesn’t affect the individuality of a park. It’s part of our job to make sure it all works.”
It must be refreshing to be building a concrete park indoors rather than having to fight the elements of the great British weather. How different is the process of the build to an outdoor park?
“The big plus is that you don’t have to worry about the great British weather although with the current heatwave, the irony of building indoors is not lost on us! There’s more going on than usual with other contractors putting up lights, roofing, electricians, timber ramps etc. It’s a bit of a tight squeeze! Engineering has also been a challenge. The interface between the building and skatepark is complex that wouldn’t be present in an outdoor facility. However, it’s not just us who are building this, another perspective can be provided by our engineer Walter Smyth of JMP consulting:”
“The main challenge that Hemel offered from a typical external skatepark was the interface with the surrounding building envelope construction, both below and above ground. Ground conditions under the skatepark were poor and required improvement techniques to provide a suitable formation for the skatepark construction.
The building envelope was supported on piled foundations whereas the skatepark was ground bearing and this meant that careful detailing of the interface between the skatepark and the building foundations was required to avoid differential settlement taking place between the building and the skatepark. As the building was to be constructed in advance of the skatepark, careful liaison was required between the main contractor and the skatepark contractor to ensure that adequate construction access was maintained.”
Knowledge of just how much work goes into this process for a build of this stature is key, as most skaters are used to seeing designed plans on the web and steaming through the fence to skate what’s been built without even thinking how it became a reality. On this occasion, the doors will be shut tight until the opening session, so far we have been told that the park opening is scheduled for “sometime this summer” meaning we will have to wait and see if the user group’s design process actually works out on the build once it’s complete. Knowing that the concrete skate park construction companies who build parks do not have much history of building pools in the UK, our fingers are crossed that experts have been brought in to make this particular part of the project work to perfection. If it comes good then there will no doubt be daily queues from launch day.
Nick Zorlac can’t wait to get the park open. He lives 30 minutes from the site and knows how much this means to the local area. Talking to him this week about his take on this project from being involved with the initial planning stages he told us, “it was a long and thorough design process and if all goes to plan it’s gonna be pretty amazing. The street course looks killer, and it will be wood so can be changed whenever needed. The concrete vert bowl and pool should be insane and there’s lots of good stuff to skate in there, so it should be one of the best parks in the UK. To be able to skate an indoor pool in Hemel is a dream, I can’t wait to skate it!” We will bring you the news of that opening day once it is announced so keep an eye on our skate news section for daily updates.
Extreme Connexions is located 24 miles outside of London will boast an 8ft pool with pool coping and a bowl that at its deepest is 9ft with steel coping. It will also have a creative street section and a decent sized mini ramp that you can now see from the new, tweaked designs. Word has it that user group members have asked for a replica of the old, but never forgotten Uxbridge mini. As someone who skated there a lot I can safely say that having that back in my life would be very welcome. Pool coping is also said to be arriving soon, shipped in from the US so start getting hyped on what looks likely to be a fantastic new park for the UK scene.
Well done to all involved in this mammoth operation. Spread the word on this news via your facebook page today and take in the photos and short video clip here that have been kindly sent down by Steve and John from this weekend’s visit.
Freestyle are very grateful for everybody’s input and interest in this project and would like to thank GB Building Solutions, the user group and Dacorum Sports Trust for awarding them the contract to build such a prestigious facility.