London Longboards Sun, Sea & Skate
All the big sessions we had last year were firsts. Big firsts. Naturally this year is the year of the 2nd edition. The first of the epic summer events was Sun, Sea and Skate.
London is beautiful, in a concrete & glass foliage sort of way. We love it here. But down the road there is a beautiful city, with huge hills all leading to a beautiful (jellyfish free) beach.
A Brighton trip is always popular with us big city dwellers. The response this year was hugely positive, our biggest event so far – over 100 people! Actually scratch that – the biggest event in the UK had seen this year.
We met up bright and early and had a jolly train ride down to Brighton.
On the carriage of Gnar
As I have alluded to earlier, Brighton is a quite small compared to our city, and our skating styles and mentalities are also disparate.
Aside from the huge core contingent from London, the local longboarders were all out in force, people came from as far away as Reading, Cambridge, Blackwater, Plymouth, Southampton and Southend! It felt really good to have the extended family come out to play.
Some of the Southampton Scallywags
The first course on this gnarly banquet was a street skate. In London, a street skate means a big push through taxis, cyclists, buses and unwary pedestrians. I am not aware of any other group in the UK which enjoys pushing through traffic like we do. So of course the guys were happy to start with something familiar. A bunch of us LL guys were in front, navigating through the traffic – thinking just how chill this was. The others were SO pumped! ”It’s just like the Broadway Bomb” they said. It made my little heart smile. Looking back and seeing a sea of riders was definitely one of the highlights of the day for me.
We turned off and made our way towards the seafront for some scenic dancing – but not before taking a group photo with the backdrop.
Seafront group shot
Many of the locals were waiting at the spot, AND latecomers also reared their heads. The gang just got bigger.
We had a lot of fun skating to the beat of the live band that just happened to turn up and play some funky music for us.
Awesome live skating music
There was a lot of flat land magic with lots of really different styles – people pumping on Penny boards, riding 6 foot monsters or the popular Komodos and Bhangras. Some silly pedestrians decided to walk through the throng, so it was human slalom time. We skated the spot for an hour or so then made a move.
Thane Magazine panorama shot
The seafront mass
Chris and Joe from Longboard Brighton had promised to take us to a new hill that was a bit out of town but with something for everyone. We made the trek to Falmer and it was GLORIOUS!
Skating to the hill
The hill was on a university campus, it had a STEEP top section with 2 offshoots – first on the right, a nice S curve which led to a more mellow section ending in some flat second (if you chose to go straight down) it just kept up with the nice gradient. There was a stair set just begging to be early grabbed, and lots of grass surrounding for spectating/tending wounds.
Jorge McFly easing over the steps
Mike showing the juniors how it’s done
Everyone really had a good time going sideways. There were LOTS of gromlings from far away and they made a good account of themselves. The future of UK longboarding is safe!
It was fun to see everyone’s eye pop out as Ant destroyed the hill on his tiny penny board. (get well soon buddy). Lots of steeze from the locals, big standeez from the Jorge & Zac combo.
When I grow up, I want to be this guy.
We tried to put on a hippy jump contest – it failed! Nobody broke their teeth. But I guess people were too tired. Lots of the locals disappeared and in the end it was just us, the usual suspects left on the hill – having 1 more run. After an hour we made our way back to civilisation. Quite a lot of people had a thirst for fish & chips or a pint, so the train journey back was rather more serene. Lots of chocolate was consumed on the way back, all the strangers who had taken the train with us to Brighton were now our friends, it was great. Alas it was the last time we got to skate with Clara from Barcelona, BUT we had a new girl from Madrid called Clara turn up that day – so the balance was restored.
Stoke. You can’t hide that shit.
Girls Over Wheels’ Clara.
Next time we do this trip, we are definitely going straight to the hill. It’s that good. Falmer Slide Jam. August 2012. Brace yourselves.
Hats off to the photographers who captured all the magic of this wonderful day