Crossfire Xmas Jam 2008

Sequences by Matt Clarke

It was 11am when we entered the park and met our worst nightmare – rain. Bay 66 skate park have never learned from this major problem across the 11 years the park has been in London as when it rains here and is wind assisted, one side of the park gets super damp and becomes unskateable. This was the only day that week the rains had come to London but it didn’t stop us and we had to keep our heads up.

The midi ramp was our main concern though as the extension was soaked. Our European guests from EmericaEniz Fazliov and Ricardo Fonseca were testament to the slip slide nightmare so it was a game of wait to see if this would dry out as our Ricta Mini Ramp Jam would have to be moved to the little mini instead.

The queue got smaller as the doors opened and within 30 minutes the park was awash with people flying everywhere. Some people on forums annually post that they may not come because it gets too busy but they forget this is a celebration, a gathering, staying at home fingering your board and watching a skate DVD instead as the rain pours on your windows is the lamest choice ever. This is all about bringing people together and only the best will attend. Luckily there was over 650 of the best here today and they kept coming.

With that in mind the unsponsored comps were underway with MC Mark Brewster on the mic ripping the piss out of anyone he could see. He was armed with Sidewalk Magazine subscriptions and Emerica shoe vouchers for the winners and by watching the standard of this years comp his work was fully cut out. The Spanish chap in the brown shirt laid down some hammers and took home his winnings alongside 6 others who carved out winning tricks.

As the rain fell the pro jam kicked in. It was carnage this year due to us not clearing the street course of rabid kids but it didn’t stop Blueprint’s Vaughan Baker from flipping the wall and knocking out tre flip fakies.

Darryl Dominguez knows this wall well as a local and his tre flip fakies blew the house down. He finally got his trick much to the delight of the crowd. It was massive!

Carl Wilson won the wallride comp in 2007 so his confidence was high as he managed to frontside ollie on vert over the quarter. Steak let his arse do the skating on the wall once again whilst Ben Raemers banished the cold with an ice plant, followed by an alley oop grab from the quarter into the wall finishing with Wilson’s winning Trick of 2007 – the nose blunt on the sidewall. It was sick and Raemers felt £100 better off for it.

The ledge pulled out some tasty tech skills too. Raemers got some fast salad whilst Wilson nose blunted the entire length. Jess Young and Adam Moss got amongst it and laid down a bunch of bangers on this ledge. Dylan Hughes and Matt Davies also got amongst it. Baker tre flip nose slid whilst Nicky Howells tried his best to knock out a perfect tailslide flip to fakie. He took the £100 but Danny Brady was getting warmed up and took his money on the brand new Altamont Block.

This year we were fortunate enough to be able to raise £1000 for best trick prizes and the same amount again to build this block. We left this again to Fos – remember The Whale back in 2006? This year he fancied something he had seen on a recent art trip to China so he brought back the plans for this jam and the builders did the rest.

We would like to say a big thank you to Pete King, Willis and Rodney Clarke at King Ramps for completing the build this block to perfection for us at super late notice. If you need to hire a mini ramp or build something bespoke, don’t go anywhere else.

The Altamont Block tested the best. Sean Smith came all the way from Milton Keynes to backside nose blunt slide the entire thing and came close. The boy skates at speed and is a pleasure to watch. Dan Cates nonchalantly attacked the coping from left to right leaving Danny Brady to sweep £200 in £50 notes with more tricks than the rest that included a fakie blunt and a frontside 180 fakie nosegrind to revert. Smashed it.

It was freezing but the rail comp always seems to warm the coldest every year. The session took off with Casper laying down the openers alongside Neil Smith who really does pack em. Sharpey threw in his double rail trouble, Boots and Adam Moss represented for Death and Mike Wright destroyed the place.

We asked many skaters on the day who their Skater of 2008 was and Mikey’s name came up time and time again. His 270′ on the rail was one of many to scream about but it was his blunt flip out that got the headlines. It’s not in our edit as one of our camera men was filming through gaffer tape and it was flamed but this was the trick of the day so far and Mikey took £100 back to Yorkshire hands down.

We had prepared a monster 6 ft wall for the midi ramp comp this year but due the weather the extension was dubious to say the least. The riders decided to skate the ramp anyway as 4 sheets were dry, but if you veered off the the side of the extension it was disastrous! An ice rink seemed safer but regardless the Ricta Mini Ramp Jam got underway and the hammers came out instantly.

It’s about the right time to state that when Marc Churchill arrived and viewed the wet ramp he was almost in tears. If there was an award for the most traveled skater in the UK and down for the cause, it would definitely be either him or Zorlac and you could see the anger in his eyes on entry, but it didn’t stop anything. Marc churned out feebles, smiths and a combination of gnar as the session rolled to the sounds of Iron Maiden. Rob Smith brought every combination of finger flip known to man, even at one point trying a sal flip nose blunt not seen for years. That even impressed Niall Neeson!

Ben Nordberg hucked out one of the best tricks of the day with a carefree bigspin backside lipslide that earned him £100.Jake Collings sneaked into the session for Kill City with consistency. His frontside stalefish to tail slaps, frontside flip grabs and flip stalefish’s on the mini were sick. He took an equal amount as the clock ticked down and this is where the fun started in the last 2 minutes. It’s like a football match at 1-1 where all of a sudden, you have to score. Trevor Johnson beat the clock by 2 seconds with a flip frontside blunt to assist a bag of tricks on the day such as backside boneless to fakie and switch fs grinds. Carl Wilson managed to get his flip backside lipslide in 5 seconds after the clock but Jake and Trevor took the loot.

The vert wall had to be sessioned so we split the loot on the 2 mini ramps. Best trick on this vert wall took £200 and it took seconds to get the place rocking. It was packed out on there with boards flying everywhere! A dreaded skater came close to getting his trucks over the coping but Joshua ‘Manhead’ Young was the only one in the end to defeat the beast on that front with a rock and roll. This then turned into the Ben Raemers show and he took the loot with a variety of tricks including a cheeky dogpisser, noseblunt on the side and a sick backside wallride 180 out.

Raemers left the park with £300 in his pocket and the Man of the Match Award and we all went home with smiles glued to our faces. Most people went home with free stuff and others with full blown flu as it was FREEZING!

Big thanks to all who attended this years event, Emerica, Altamont, Ricta, Death, Blueprint, Landscape , Heroin, Cliché, Kill City, The Gyppo Army, Jart, The Harmony, Plan B, DGK, Karma, Crayon, Science, Drawing Boards and Sidewalk Magazine. Also big thanks to all at Bay 66, Horsely, Alan Christensen, Fos, Moose, Claire Wilson. Andy Evans, Ryan Gray, Ben Powell, Brooks, Henry, Sam May and Matt Clarke.

We also have to thank all of you who supported our stance to dedicate this skate event to raising awareness of the problems of Knife Crime in the UK alongside the It Doesn’t Have To Happen campaign. You should know by now that if you carry a knife you are more likely to be stabbed yourself. Spread this message as too many people are getting hurt in the UK right now because of this mindless violence. It has to stop.

The video to this jam can be found at the top right hand side of this page, feel free to right click and download it for keeps on your computer.

From all of us at Crossfire, we wish you a Merry Xmas and will bring you more events in 2009. Thanks for your support.