Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Copenhagen Pro Skateboarding Event 2017

This was my second visit to CPH. My first was back in 2013 with the UK's Milk Skateboards team on an exploratory 5 day trip. Milk's first foreign filming trip in fact.
We razzed around the streets on four small wheels and searched out some killer parks and spots. Yet missing out on some special, special places.
This time, I wasn't shooting for work, this was all for the sport!
A return to Copenhagen has been on the cards for a long time. I've missed out on witnessing the madness unfold during the CPH Open year after year due to poor organisation, lack of funds and various other mediocre excuses.
This year, three of my good friends were also very keen to experience the event. So back in March, we sorted an AirB&B apartment and booked the flights. It was all coming together nicely, and when June began we all were getting quite excited.
Then the apartment fell through.
I thought we were shafted at this point and were looking down the barrel of camping with all our gear completely unsecured. Not only boards and clothes, but my precious camera gear as well. Not an altogether pleasant thought! However, my concerns were completely unfounded.
We dumped our bags and sped off to the Faellenparken bowl jam scheduled for a 3pm start. It eventually kicked off around 6.
This did give us the time to find/bump into friends. Most of the Triple Sword/Essex crew were already partying on the coping and the place was packed!
I've not seen a crowd like that since the Bones Brigade demoed the old Leigh on Sea park back in '91. Honestly? Mind blown!
I wasn't able to get to the coping in the deep end with all the mag photographers, so I made sure I stood my ground by the flat wall with a clear view of the gigantic oververt wave to my left. If anything was going down this week it was me, getting some shots of the big guns on the wave!

As I stood, waiting for the comp to begin, greeting friendly newcomers and drinking many stubby cans of Turborg, I took to spotting some of the faces that have graced the pages of many a Thrasher edition. Frank Gerwer, Raven, GT, Ishod Wair, Nora Venconcello, Aarto Sahri, Rune Glifburg.

Dario Mattarollo - f/s grind 

Dario Matterello hucking it in from a f/s grizzler

Grant Taylor - fs grind

Ishod Wair - hip to f/s lip

Alex Sorgente - front tail revert

GT - b/s air (hitting an overexcited photographer on the way through)

GT. Read the shadow

Raven Tershy 

Raven Tershy - f/s grind along and down

Rune Glifberg - f/s tail slide

 The place went mental when Raven Tershy ollied in from the top of the wave into the deep end after a couple of dives into the crowd.
The comp wound up and people, lots and lots of people began leaving the park on 2 wheels. And after meeting Jordan as he turned up I wondered to the gate in the hope of finding my three travel companions, bumping into Tom Penny on the way!
It was way past shopping hours by now, so we agreed to hire bikes first thing in the morning.
I understand that the fashion is to steal bikes, but to be honest the cost of hiring bikes is minimal.

Drunk Raven

After some solid refreshment and whole load more beer, we walked to the metro and crossed the city to Christiania to check out the bowl. For some reason we didn't visit the bowl on my first trip. A mistake having now seen it, in my opinion. Tight corners and a really gnarly deep section. And the roll in. Jesus!
We watched some mellow (in comparison to later sessions) skating for a couple of hours before heading to the metro before maintenance work closed the line at midnight. We blagged the last train to what we thought was the closed stop to our apartment. An hours walk in light drizzle informed us otherwise. The rucksacks of beer helped pass the time. We finished off the lot before dribbling into our pillows.
I had earlier elected to take the sofa in the living room. Jon took the front bedroom while Andy and Jay top and tailed in the back bedroom.
Sleep was heavy and restful for me. I awoke with the sunrise as the living room had no window coverings and the patio doors leading to a small 2nd floor balcony opposite me, faced east.
After watching Richard Clark knock himself clean out trying to roll into the wonderland bowl sitting naked on his board going viral on Instagram and still feeling the effect of the last beers drunk, Andy and I headed to the nearest supermarket to pick up breakfast and once Jon had cooked it and we had gladly devoured every last crumb, the late morning and most of the afternoon was spent at Faellenparken only a couple of blocks away.
Three of us got our end in and skated the main bowl and surrounding park as Andy relaxed in the bright sun.
My feet had just about settled and began to feel good as I really smashed an axle end into my ankle. That was my skating done for the day! More beer.

We strolled back to the apartment and popped out to the closest bike shop and hired us some sweet rides!
The rest of Thursday is still a bit of a blur. After more beer, we headed out to join the hundreds of skaters riding from spot to spot on the city wide pop up comp day. We decided to head for the Meatpacking District and sniff out the session and as we neared the area, we started seeing more and more riders with boards hanging from the rear mudguard. Following the crowd, we rounded the corner into a large courtyard lined first with street food stalls and beyond that, butchery factories and delivery depots. One end of the square was occupied by the obstacles for the Independent Slappy Curb session. 
The party went on all night. The bar in the corner housing what we reckon was about 50 percent of the entire wealth of the skate industry. 
I met Koston and Mike Carroll and got a cold shoulder from Willis Kimble. 
I was standing with Harry, Alex Diss and lots of other Essex friends watching the skating as the MC suddenly said "Hey, Jordan Thackeray. We remember that kid from last year. Come skate." and he did. One trick. A classic backside boneless. And the crowd went wild as he rolled away!
We left the party as the rain began not in complete control of our bikes. On our return to the apartment after a really funny ride home with crashes & sketchy curb grinds across a very wet city, soaked through, but happy and pretty drunk, we drank on into the early morning.

Dario Mattarollo - back smith

Axel Cruysberghs - f/s grind

As I took this, there were two very excited Germans over my right shoulder exclaiming "Is das Skate Vine?! It's Skate Vine! Skate Vine!"

Dario Mattarollo - b/s lip slide

Dario Mattarollo - b/s nosegrind

Mattarollo grabbing one for the crowd

Mattarollo once again. R&R slide
(Poor quality) Jordan Thackeray - back boneless 

Rob Ayton - fakie front smith

Willis Kimble - front pivot

Friday it rained. All day. So no skating.
This didn't stop us from heading out on our bikes to meet with some friends from our hometown.
We waited for what looked like a break in the heavy rain and optimistically headed out. No sooner had we crossed the first intersection did it start pelting it down. By the time we got to the river, water had soaked through my trousers and was running down my legs and into my socks. All soaked through, we arrived at the tattoo shop that Jon's friend Elliott works in to find Luke & Sticks Golding with two friends standing in the street.
An ambulance had been called for Elliott and as it arrived, we all sloped off to the nearest bar and someone got the first round in as the rest of us removed the first layer of wet clothing and rang it out.
We gradually warmed and dried beside a small fireplace hanging from the ceiling next to our table and drank £60 rounds of beer. The rain eventually eased and quite drunk, the four of us on wheels headed a few blocks over to revisit the Wonderland bowl. The place was packed to the rafters. People practically hanging from said rafters. Jon and Jay disappeared with Andy through one entrance which was so packed out I decided to walk round to the large steps I'd noticed as we entered Christiania. I worked my way to the front to watch the mayhem. 
Soon after, Luke and Sticks rolled up with stories of a £120 Uber. Uber don't operate in Denmark. The rain began to fall outside as Jordan entered the fray. 

I've been so proud to have seen this ripper grow since our first meeting back in 2012. During his time with Milk Skateboards and following their demise, his move to Lovenskate and a spot on the UK Vans team he's taken the UK scene by storm and travelled in Europe to compete in various contests in France and Italy these last couple of years. And now the skating world knows who Jordan Thackeray is. 
This clip went viral and has the most views the Four Wheel Fools Instagram has every received. Over 10,000 in 12 hours and various skateboarding accounts picked it up too. 

Saturday day, our last with bikes was spent on one stretch of cycle path that has a number of famous spots and parks. First the Norrebro Skatepark, then the Superkilen area, the Den Sorte Plads, then the oval basketball court and finally the DIY under the bridge at Bispebjerg. 
We started at the basketball court, then to a supermarket back at Superkilen where we met Max Melwani and others. I wanted to skate the mini at the Skatepark across the road so we organised to meet later in the day.
Once I'd had my fill, we set off for the DIY at the end of the bike path. 
We all liked this one. we got a couple of good shots and watched 3 children crash a stolen scooter barely missing a lump of sharp concrete as they washed out and skidded to a halt on their sides.

Jon Bird

Jason Mills - wall ride

Me - back boneless tail (shot by Andy Jarvis)

Jon Bird - b/s R&R

Our final stop was the Hullet park. 
I visited this place on my first trip to CPH. It's been extended since then so there's not only a bowl, but a whole new park section to play on. We arrived to find two lone scooterists rolling around the park. As soon as they saw us they scarpered. Like they knew they shouldn't have been there. The locals presumably don't tolerate scootering enthusiast at their park. Not log after we sprung a beer each a load of the old Empire crew arrived and then, the Monkeyglove boys turned up and promptly lit a barbecue. A few minutes later, Steve rolled up with his boy Elijah. The session went off, with Lois de Rossa ripping in the bowl with Dave Meacock and a doubles no comply photo coming out pretty well over the big box in the middle of the park. 
We reluctantly prepared our bikes and left Hullet at 4 to ensure safe return of our passports on return of our sweet rides. We came up with a plan to try and keep the bikes for one more night, but the shop owner's son wasn't having a bit of it and we handed over the keys and skulked home in the knowledge we would have to get a cab across town later for the final event. A big party following the announcement of the overall winner of the CPH Pro at the Copenhagen indoor skatepark. We'd been told by someone inside the park that it was one in one out on the door around 7 in the evening but then got news that the queue wasn't too bad so we got a cab and stood in line for about 45 minutes before finally entering the big open courtyard the now closed park is next to. Ishod Wair claimed the overall top rank. And from what I saw over the week, thoroughly deserved it. Everyone was on one. With a big bump to bar setup in one corner and a Lloyds style stair set in another with big crowds goading the few skaters with legs left to perform. Once these stragglers eventually succumbed to the draw of beer and dancing the spots shut down and the DJ started.
I caught up with Jon around 2am as I wondered out of the site for a quite minute. As we sat on the roads grass central reservation, Jon commented on feeling like he had a wet sock. Looking down to find a big gash in his shin.
Once we'd got a good price in another illegal Uber with no taxis to be seen, we all bundled into a 3 door Fiesta and got home to find in the light of the flat, Jon had sustained a board to the shin, we can only imagine whilst watching the stair set get a beating earlier and just hadn't noticed! Andy did a great job of patching him up with strips of sticky plaster to stop his shin yawning at everyone. We polished off the remaining beer and crashed.
Morning came, along with hangovers and short tempers. Our flight wasn't till half nine in the evening and we should have checked out by 12 noon. Without bikes and heavy rain falling we opted to sit tight and hope our AirB&B host didn't come home. 
The usual return flight story. Delayed for a couple of hours which did give us time to have a good meal, the first food most of us had tasted all day and that torturous bus ride to Luton's long stay car park from the terminal building that seems to be in a constant state of flux.
If you haven't been to Copenhagen, put it on your serious list. It's a city built for skateboarding and the city's residents don't seem to mind it all that much. Worth mentioning we only saw ONE police car, all week!
Get there, hire a bike and skate. It's the only way.

Alex Diss & Rob Jones comply with each other 

Rob Jones - f/s smith

Rob Jones - hip to front 50-50

Dave Maddocks - b/s ollie

Dave Maddocks - b/s feeble

Dave Maddocks - f/s grizzle

Jono Coote - back boneless

Jed Jolly - good buddy

Philippe Da Rosa front crail

Rob Jones - f/s 50-50 pull in

Philippe Da Rosa - f/s smither

Philippe Da Rosa - f/s tail slide

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