Phew, well what a week! It’s taken me until Friday afternoon to get the time to sit down and tell you about my awesome day in London at the DC The Taking skate jam on Saturday 4th August. I was invited down by Andrea and the team at Boardriders, so a big thanks has to go to them first and foremost (Free bar! Whoop Whoop!). But apart from that they looked after me really well and gave me an opportunity to get some great footage of both the team riders and the locals who attended for the ‘Cash for Tricks’ comp.
The DC Shoes Park
I have to start by making some comments on the awesome park they built in the middle of Brick Lane (Well maybe not exactly there but I’m from Newcastle so it’s close enough for me). The park consisted of two run-in ramps and a huge kicker over the top of a branded London taxi (More on that later). They also managed to fit in a rail section with a kicker and a double box on the other side, packing loads into the park without making it too cluttered to go big. It really was an awesome piece of design and I hope it wasn’t taken down too quickly.
So the day started with a long long train ride down from Durham, arriving in London at about 1pm and having all the memories of living down there come flooding back. The traffic, the tubes (which feel more like ovens in mid-summer) and the constant noise. Let’s just say I’m personally happier up a mountain or by the sea than in a big city. However, it had been years since I had eaten curry goat so I had a mission as well as attending the event (If you want to know there is an awesome place just up the road from Clapham station which makes the best, blow your head off hot, curry which is the perfect after beers meal!).
After a joyful tube ride I got to Brick Lane just after 1:30 and bam, there it was, DC had literally taken over the whole courtyard with bars, great food vans and the awesome skate park. A special mention has to also be made of the superb street art and sculptures which really gave the venue an excellent and kind of surreal feel. After saying hello to the Boardriders team and getting my wristband (Did I mention free bar?) it was time to go check out the riding.
The early part of the day was taken up by the locals who had turned up early for a bit of practice for the ‘Cash for Tricks’ jam and you could tell they were pushing the boundaries a bit early on to get a feel for the park before the real riding took place. Thinking it couldn’t get much better they were then joined by Tristan Funkhouser (What a name!) and John Shanahan from the DC team and that was when things really got interesting. You could tell the team guys weren’t really pushing at that point but it really made the locals ramp things up because, hey, when else are you going to get to jam with team riders like that!
As the team riders started to jam we started seeing some awesome lines. Watching guys knolly over the roof of a black cab was just awesome, damn that car took a beating throughout the day! As the rest of the team riders filtered on to the park we started to get a real feel for what was possible.
As things calmed down and the riders started to take a little break to get ready for the main event I thought it was a great time to go get some lunch, did I mention there was a free bar? It was great to have a few beers, sit down in the sun and catch my breath for what was about to come. Let’s just say, during the ‘Cash for Tricks’ event it was hard to keep up with everything, there was so much going on and everyone was pushing themselves so hard there were more bails than tricks landed, but I think that had everything to do with everyone hitting the park as hard as they could rather than any lack of skill. It was very much a go big or go home kind of day.
Once all the money had gone it was then time to see the DC lads in action. Some of the lines they took I didn’t know how they made possible. Watching Tristan trying to manual the windscreen of the taxi was superb, watching his wheels go through the screen and him being fired off the other side was also pretty damn cool, as well as enjoying a bit of wanton destruction as he stuck his deck through the window after just to complete the look.
As the beers flowed and the day wore on it was just mouth opening trick after mouth opening trick and since I had already got a chunk of footage I decided to put the camera down and just enjoy watching some real masters of the art having a play.
Unfortunately, due to needing to get back for my train (and pick up my curry goat), I couldn’t stay for the bands but at the end of today I feel privileged to have been invited down to such an awesome event and feel privileged to have seen just what is capable on a board 1st hand, and that goes as much for the locals as the team riders!
Looking forward to next year!