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Rain, Trains and Ripping in London
Late last Summer, we made a detour on our way home CPH Pro, stopping in London for a week to track down the illusive Ben Raemers and link up with our local boys Kevin Parrott, Harry Lintell and Charlie Birch to get our shred on and see what the old country had to offer. The crew was pretty deep; we had Alec Majerus, Daan Van Der Linden, Axel Cruysberghs, Victor ‘Doobie’ Pellegrin and TWS’s Jaime Owens join the rest of the boys and even Dustin Dollin jumped on a quick train over from Paris where he was spending the Summer.
What set this trip apart from a typical skate tour was our mode of transportation. See, most skate tours consist of packing a van full dudes, driving directly from spot to spot and dealing with traffic all day, which can start to feel like Groundhogs Day. Not to mention the smell in the van gets more and more pungent, consistently filling it with sweaty dudes and accumulating half eaten snacks, fast food and empty beer bottles which start to stack up with each passing day. Don't play your speaker on the train though, there's some vigilantes out there who rather ride in silence, right Skankiee?
We were posted up right smack dab in Shoreditch which made it easy to utilize London’s metro system to get around and stay mobile. Each day we’d pick a different part of town or station and wander all around that specific zone for the day on our boards, skating every spot we passed and finding some new ones in the process. This allowed us to be nimble and keep our bodies warmed up. I think the only complaints came from the media crew who had to lug all their camera gear around all day. They were good sports about it though…
By using the public transportation, we experienced a lot of interesting characters which we might have missed if we were moving around by car. Most of which were entertaining, but some got a little hectic. One evening at the end of a long day of skating, we found out there were riots happening directly on our route back to the hotel which ensued after a young man was killed by a law enforcement officer at a corner store. The next day, we took the train out to skate a local DIY park and after the end of a successful session were confronted by a young woman who was clearly not in a good mental state, she targeted Daan and started throwing everyone’s skateboards at him while screaming some kind of jibberish. We got out of there quick and kept the day going, ending at a plaza a few miles away where local skaters would come and hang out, only to find our new ‘friend’ there who again was terrorizing the place. It wasn’t all bad though, on one of the last days of the trip Dustin’s faith in humanity was restored when a motorcycle courier stopped to watch Harry skating a street gap, Dustin approached him with some cash and asked him to go get some beers for the boys. After some time passed we all started heckling Dustin for trusting the man who seemingly took his money, but lo and behold he arrived about 30 mins later with a couple cases of beer to spark the session.
All in all the city of London treated us well. With just a week in the city and dodging London's unpredictable weather, we're stoked to have come out of it with almost 10 solid minutes of footage and memories to hold us over until the next one! Pick up issue 390 of Transworld Skateboarding to read and see more!
Words: Jacob Smith
Photos: Jaime Owens
Video Edited by Lannie Rhoades
Filmed by Lannie Rhoades, Ant Travis and Kevin Parrott