Last month’s Big Three jam at Lloyds also had a meeting under the M32. Watch Jess Young, Shaun Currie, Owen Hopkins, Flynn Trotman, Ollie Lock, Frank The Tank and more geting down to some cheese on toast.
Matt Hunt spent a good deal of 2010 filming some of the UK’s finest, including Joe Gavin, Leo Smith, Jed Coldwell, Adam Moss, Joe Ventham, Isaac Blease, Jak Pietryga, Ali Drummond, Neil Worthington, Owen Hopkins and Pete Adams.
Here is a collection of unseen bangers thrown online for the benefit of your eyes. Go and look at it.
Behold readers, on the right of this page your eyes are currently focussed on the very first deck to come from Bristol’s The Highbrow Company, skater-owned and operated by self-proclaimed skateboarding/fartist, Mike O’Shea.
Only fifty of them have been made, probably because if the rumours are true that by simply carrying the deck a person is made instantly trendy then we could have an epidemic of trendy bastards across the UK on our hand if this wood was mass-produced.
Anyway, we think it looks great and you can pick one up for yourself here.
A very Highbrow video is currently in the making also. If you haven’t peeped the trailer that dropped earlier this year then have a gander below. It’s got Chris Jones, Owen Hopkins, Jason Lewer and plenty more awesome people involved.
The story of Cardiff getting its first proper outdoor skatepark is a long, tiresome one that has its roots in the first days people would get kicked out of the Welsh Offices. The idea would be knocked around and years would pass and there would still be essentially no where for skateboarders living in capital city to skate. Of course, the skateboarders of Cardiff were lucky to exist in a growing city that blossomed into a notorious street skaters haven. In a way, this in fact brought the skateboarding community of Wales even closer together, eventually spawning the hugely tight and unsurprisingly seminal Cardiff Skateboard Club that’s gained unofficial ‘members’ from across the UK. But with more street spots come more security guards, more angry pedestrians and a plethora of students getting in everyone’s way. Sessions would too frequently be cut short and it wasn’t until 2009 that the unanimous decision was to go to the council with years worth of evidence and support and demand a skatepark be built in this city.
In July of 2009, Nick Richards (of Nick The Bastard fame) organised a protest outside county hall that attracted local and regional newspapers and more importantly, the attention of Cardiff Council. In a well-planned protest, the skateboarders of Cardiff demonstrated the need for a skatepark in the way that anyone in a skate scene living in a currently neglected town can do. Patience (Cardiff had enough of that…) and genuine desire goes a long way. The Cardiff Barrage Plaza was swiftly becoming a realistic idea and the typical poorly designed council parks will likely be skated for the last time in the months that followed.
Just six months later and the skatepark was confirmed, with £140,000 in the pot for the beginning round of development. The CSC then liased with various skatepark designers so that the plans for the park followed something that the skaters of Cardiff actually wanted. Marc Churchill’s Gravity team got the contract with a design that not only made everyone wet their pants a little (and launch the CSC blog into the stratosphere of comment section tomfoolery) but made full use of the budget and space available. From having to rely on an increasingly cracked area of flatland with a flatbank that only five people in Wales can actually skate properly, the CSC and extended CSC fam would have one of the UK’s most innovative parks in one of the sexiest locations imaginable. Apparently we do like to be beside the seaside.
Below: Caradog Emanuel – F/S Bigspin Heel
After 8-10 weeks of solid graft from Gravity, the park was made and fences were to be hopped! Ahead of schedule, when the Ipath crew turned up expecting somewhere to skate, the fences came down and everyone could officially skate the park. Needless to say – you’ve seen the plans, the pictures and by now some videos too – from this point on, the collective CSC facebook wall-to-wall read nothing more than “plaza?”, “skating the plaza?”, “when are you getting to the plaza?” and “plaza today?” I can’t imagine this will change any time soon. Well… not until it rains at least. And it will rain. It’s Wales.
But for when its dry, the Cardiff Barrage Plaza is genuinely the most fun thing I’ve skated since I can remember. The design is lightyears ahead of its competitors in regards to both how well it flows and the sheer amount of people you can shove into the place without it turning into a game of human pinball. Even on the opening jam, where at least 200 attended in another one of UK skateboarding’s most infamous sausage fests, I didn’t collide with anyone. Not even a kid. It’s almost magic. Though, judging by how universally friendly Porno Paul’s lexical choices were when MCing the event, there must have been something in the atmosphere to make everything so…nice?
Rather than read superfluous descriptions on how rad the park is – see for yourself. Nick Richards has worked his arse off putting the building of the park in motion, but filming an absolutely banging edit, exclusively for Crossfire, of all the sessions that went down in the first month. LSP local Harry Deane also jumped in with his VX and shot another edit for us focussing on the locals and younger crew, you can see his edit here. Let this story be part of the motivation for you to get something similar done in your town. It CAN be done. And just look at the results…
Big up to Gravity, CSC, Crayon Skateboards and City Surf for working hard to make this happen for the capital of Wales. Dai iawn! If you’re stoked on this park and the edit then share it on Facebook and get your mates and plan a trip to Wales because great parks should be skated and not just talked about.
The plaza is located next to The Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre, Harbour Drive, Cardiff, CF10 4PA – or you can check the map.
Photo: Owen Hopkins – Nosegrind in Bristol by Trix.
After pressing play on the last DVD of the decade to be gracing the front of Sidewalk, Bristol’s Finest, I barely had time to pour milk on my cornflakes before Dan Wileman was 360 flipping out of lengthy manuals in a Crocodile Dundee get-up. This is a flick that sees no shame in premature gnar-jaculation, choosing to drop the heavy bassline into this visual mixtape instantly rather than faff around with any editing or HD foreplay. This is Bristol, remember? Or, more accurately, if all those subverted North Face logos are anything to go by, this is the South West, bitch.
So after briefly floating in a womb with names floating around that may as well serve as a loose metaphor for Bristol being pregnant with a spectacular skate scene, Dan Wileman rips from the umbilical cord and gets this bloodbath started. After another excuse to see that bigflip at the 2008 Meanwhile Jam, Dan doesn’t slow with unexpected rapid-fire bangers. Aside from the most legit frontboard on a ledge since the 90s, Dan gets high on the monster rail atop Cardiff Bay’s steep red banks and stays around to flip manual the pad at Sports Café that does not get nearly enough attention from visitors. Look out for more from this guy in the Crayon video which will undoubtedly drop sometime this year whenever Dykie comes up with a name and manages to spell it correctly in the title sequence. There was a wink in that sentence.
From now on, people have not-so-much sections, but a period of time in the unstoppable mix to drop bangers as though in a free association session with RZA and the Clan. Amongst the montages it’s not easy to keep up with the action but what’s going on is most definitely not easy, no way, not ever, no sir. Motive’s Paul Carter hooks up with Wainwright to hit some beautiful architecture and make it a little bit more grimy before Flynn Trotman flies in and skates walls like they’re flatbanks. Tom Gibbs deserves a note and immediate re-watch for catching everything proper and perfect.
Jess Young comes in next and if you weren’t satisfied with his photos from the Kill City Hobo Tour in the mag then you’re a fool, but will soon become a satisfied and hopefully impressed fool. There’s an on-going joke with anyone who skates with Jess Young, you could be standing on top of a ledge that someone has placed on Everest for some reason and it won’t be long before someone says ‘ah we should get Jess on this butt’. Sure, there’s some big drops in this, but you’ll be surprised at how versatile he is too. Dylan Hughes is next and shows that he hasn’t had so much as a nap after his Motive section, watch out for that double set frontside flip…
Andy Makepeace has a beautiful, optimistic name, and also boasts a beautiful nollie frontside heel that’s also as optimistic as a nollie frontside heel could be. After throwing it down Lloyds he whacks one into a mayday on those haggard banks that get a trashing throughout. Nicky Howells follows in traditional pisstake mode. Amongst technical ledge tomfoolery there’s a lazer flip that’ll become instant enemies with your rewind button. Be nice to that little guy now, you’re gonna need that little button again in a few minutes. Snaddon closes this segment in the usual top of the pops manner, half cabbing over a bench at college green and reclaiming that location for what’s truly important in Bristol. Fuck Skins!
The end is nigh, and yet it’s still not safe to breathe. The Big Hoppa Owen Hopkins puts that inevitable hardflip on hold (it comes after ten tricks! the wait was as tense as a Tarantino scene with no cuts!) but when it does you will shit where ever you are sitting. So if you have a portable DVD player then head to the lav then. Just a heads up.
New Crayon recruit Korahn Gayle finishes one of the finest (literally, I wasn’t shoehorning an awkward reference to the title in here I promise) videos to come from Bristol (that had absolutely nothing from The Deaner in I should add, not a bad thing) in the last decade, and who better to do so. If you’re not already convinced that Korahn isn’t one of the most important skaters to emerge from not just Bristol but the UK in the last ten years then do us a favour – go and do a switch back 360 down Lloyds in the fucking rain and let’s hear you make the same verdict. Hold tight Bristol.
If you missed out on the free DVD, put the kettle on and watch the full film right here: