Last weekend was by far the busiest so far this year for skateboard events in the UK. The Manny Mania final was held at Bay 66 with Manchester’s UK Lloyd McLeggon taking the wedge, War of the Thistles attracted the bowl riders in Scotland, “The Heart Of Skateboarding” memorial jam for Bingo saw locals session hard at R-Kade Skatepark in Redcar and The Obstacle comp from Adidas was a highlight for many down South at the Central Foundation Boys School over in East London. Unfortunately it was also the same day as Crossfire’s Barfly curation at the Camden Crawl so David Woolley headed East to report on what went down in that schoolyard.
This get together was kept pretty much on the quiet with the location announced only a week before kick off but as word spread through the web, select shop teams were planning their journeys for a memorable jam session whilst the Obstacles that were designed by Mark Gonzales, were being primed by Rodney Clarke, Dave Chesson and friends at the Pioneer park in St Albans.
Boots nails a blunt
After a warm up sesh a pro demo kicked off proceedings featuring Adidas team riders and of course, the one and only Mark Gonzales who has been spotted more times than Animal Chin skating London’s parks and street spots over the last 3 weeks. Not only will the Gonz be 43 years young exactly a month after this very event, but he’s still got the steez that he is famous for as he hucked out super smooth 5.0’s, trademark fs board slides, bonelesses and classic knee boarding tomfoolery! To have such a legendary skateboarder turn up to our country weeks before a comp to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy British culture is nothing but an honour and as usual he was the gentleman everyone has admired for so many years.
Lucas Puig tames the schoolyard
Nestor Judkins had front tail’s on lock, Pete Eldridge took a box of tricks home from the session alongside the impressive Lucas Puig whose tech skills just have to be seen live. The UK contingent was led by the gifted Chewy Cannon and Stereo’s smooth operator Benny Fairfax whose huge backside flip over the barrel backed up the hype on why he’s one of the most talked about UK skaters in the US right now. It’s funny to think that he walked away a winner at one of Crossfire’s very first skate events 8 years ago but no surprise that he’s up there with the best of them thesedays.
Death Skateboards pro Boots was also on form and on third try took a sick backside noseblunt whilst Karim Bakhtaoui‘s massive shuv’s over a thigh high barrier made palms come together from around the school yard. It was an impressive session with fun in mind and that’s exactly what came from it, thankfully there was more to come.
Benny Fairfax takes Three Stripes over the bin
After the pro demo a shop team competition kicked off featuring many team riders from independent skate shops from around the UK. 10 minute jam sessions were organised for 3 shop teams to skate together with 2 riders representing each shop. Skaters from Note, Exist, 50:50, Natterjacks, Detour and Slide impressed amongst many others before a best trick jam ended the day on a high with the soon-to-be Fresh Blood ripper Manuel Lopez taking the free trip to Barcelona as the main prize with a 5-0 Varial Flip out. Watch that in Harry Garcia’s edit and more from the day in Tidy Mike’s clip on this page. It was a great day out and unique to the London event calendar so well done to everyone involved.