It’s Saturday morning, 11.00 am, the morning after a Friday night out in the town celebrating the beginning of the weekend. Newquay is a town in Cornwall, England. This is the town where memories are made; the reckless ones, the wild ones, and the ones that leave you beaten and bruised by the power of the hill.
Gathered today at the bottom of our favorite hill, located just off the main street in town, are the fellow longboarders living amongst the concrete waves of Newquay. As hills go, the one looming over us could be described as more of a gentle bimble; lush terrain, a sloping decline leading into a sweeping car park, a hill accommodating for all abilities.
Newquay is simply an incredible venue to hold a skate event. The sun shines at least once in the 2 months of our ‘supposed’ summer and today, is the chosen day for some ‘half decent’ weather! With the lack of breeze, speed wobbles will be simply carried out without the wind helping to throw us aboard and thane lines appear easily with the heated concrete. Sweat builds and the heat of the event rises.
As we reach midday, the adrenalin begins to bubble and the rise of the longboarders slowly takes place. To my right, is one of my closest friends and to my left, is the designated camera man of the day, complete with bubble wrap from head to toe and a hip flask of JD to calm his nerves as he watches us zoom down the hill. He’s also got a helmet of his own to protect his livelihood from us fellow adrenalin junkies flying off our boards and straight at him. Dotted here and there, are the many skaters in their personal domains, giving themselves individual pep talks, some clutching their boards, most likely giving them a one to one, asking for their wood to look after them and some distracting themselves by laughing off the nerves in the pits of their stomachs, man’ing up nicely!
With all the usual accompaniments that follow a downhill skating event; at least 30 cans of Monster Energy, 6 packs of cookies from the local Londis and various other necessities, we’re finally ready to begin the downhill spiral. Slide gloves, leathers and pads fitted securely, complete set ups at the ready, numerous skate tools lying at the side of the hill and spare wheels rolling around in the boots of cars.
Skaters are shredding in their very own individual way demonstrating their own styles. The down low, soulful, floor touching Zephyr wanna’be’s, the sketchy, quick speed freaks simply attacking the road and the calm collected, wary skaters obtaining levels of control as oppose to the few adrenalin junkies creating havoc on the hill. Ryan Beer, one of Newquay most talented boarders, begins to set the pace as his board violates the hill, speed ever increasing. Ryan throws in a stand up pendulum, thane lines appearing behind him, a trace of pure remaining stoke. ‘The outlines of adrenalin, the remainders of a successful shred!’ Shortly behind Ryan is Alf Underwood, another of Newquay’s talented downhill skaters.
Alf has his own unique style and his aggressive pumping and his striking skate stance sends him souring around the bottom corner, with an incorporated sit down slide to end his shred. Matt Houlton, fellow conformed short boarder to long boarder, a changed man as we say, tears up the tarmac shortly behind; leaving little, if any time at all for the camera man to switch from preview image, to take a shot. Matt simply cares about the road ahead, the free ride, the pure gnar and simply rides for the freedom. Matt skates a Hybrid board, combining short and long board into one. Matt adds a whole new element to the event.
All downhill events aren’t complete without their very own complimentary blood bath and you’re sure to leave with a few souvenirs! Plenty of scars, bruises and grazes left on your skin for you to brag about your battle damage to the ladies later on. Road rash smeared like crunchy peanut butter from head to toe, leathers holy and torn, wheels beginning to bite popped bearings and sweat dripping. It may all sound rather gory and unappetizing, yet that is what longboarding events are all about. They’re a breed of their own. They’re not glorified, they’re real!
As the day sweeps subtly to an end, all skaters gather at the foot of the hill, some beaten and bruised by concrete kisses and some just so simply full of stoke, all memories of road rash are erased and replaced with pure gnar. The sun is slowly setting and the tummies of fellow tarmac temptress’s rumble, so it’s a call to the local pizza joint, order placed, beers chilling in the fridge and boards safely tucked away in the boots of our cars.
We all know the drills, prizes are awarded and the trophies are handed out. Some more amusingly labeled than others and the faces of sweaty skaters show the pure enjoyment and adrenalin that was endured throughout the day.
‘Until next time…’
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