Been putting writing this post off since Saturday night, because writing it would mean that the time I’ve spent with the new additions to my family is over. But all good things must come to an end, and the memories and new created these past few days will forever be precious… Ok enough of that rubbish. Let’s talk about some AWESOME SKATEBOARDING !!! More Moyano, more sunshine, more longboard girls, more sangria !!! Thursday was easily the best day in my longboarding life, then Friday was BETTER than Thursday, hard to believe. The rest of the weekend blew my mind. The scale of these events and the amount of planning that went into them is astounding.
After 2 days of staying in Spain, I was keenly aware of a phenomenon known as ‘Spanish time’, for instance - ”meet at Moyano at 10” in Spanish time usually meant we got to Moyano anytime between 10.30 and 11.30, which was helpful as there was supposed to be a cruise at 10am (normal time) for forresteros through the city. As this was Madrid, cruise meant all/most downhill unlike in London where cruise means pushing with a bit of pushing and pumping.
We had a hearty breakfast in casa de sonso cooked by Sanchez (below) of longboard stockholm and we were EN GORILLO from all the stoke of the night before. We skated to the meeting point and were greeted by about 50 new faces. Most had come over from outside madrid/spain, it was really great to see the effort people put into making it there.
The cruise was awesome, a bit tamer than skating the streets of London and it wasn’t as exciting as the taxi’s weren’t trying to run us down, also the lack of double decker buses really took away from the danger element I’m used to, but the WARM sunshine and happy girls skating around kept the stoke high. We took some really nice group pictures which I will be posting on here later. We kept picking longboarders along the way, so what was supposed to be a quiet cruise past some famous Madrid spots became a takeover of some famous madrid streets by 100+ very very stoked skaters, everyone was cheering and clapping and generally high on life. It was awesome. The best part was when there was a police car and in the middle of the road obviously trying to troll naughty drivers and we just bombed this MASSIVE hill past them and they must have been thinking ”gosh these people are so cool, I wonder if they will pose for a picture with me… or race my police car” We were supposed to cruise further downtown but (wait for it), all of a sudden we found ourselves by Moyano and we ALL just went up to it. That spot is like some sort of drug. Words cannot describe how nice it is to skate. Ok they can because I am writing some - ES LA MEJOR MIERDA ! Yeah my Spanish has really improved this weekend.
We grabbed some food, headed up past moyano into the park to eat and siesta in the shade of the trees then watch some awesome skating. The boys from Barcelona were skating that hill hard !! Ok so everybody who longboards knows that Madrid is the home to a special group of longboarders who we all love to watch skate - the longboard girls crew ! They had organised a meeting close to the spot we were - Palacio de cristal, that’s Spanish for Crystal Palace ! It’s funny because, in case you don’t know, we also have a great spot called crystal palace ! So anyway, yeah there were girls, on boards, skating, lots of them, it was great. The number was three times greater than the girls meet last year ! The organisers were very very happy. There’s a great picture from there by Juan Rayos, have a look around for it !
Had a lot of great conversations with some really really good people from all around Spain/Europe and it was great to see people who shared the same passion and vision for the future of our great love. What was also funny was talking to people who went to KnK longboard camp/Tuxient/Insul and seeing if they met anyone from the London crew there. I heard some funny stories. What happened in KnK did not stay in KnK. After about 7 hours of skating in the park, we went down to Moyano (again yay ! :-] ) and people were really going for it. It was great to chill a bit and watch some amazing freeride. The style, oh the style, there’s a guy out there called alberto, he makes such sick videos and it was hard to see that he was an even better skater. My definition of ‘freestyle’ is forever changed. I always thought freestyle/dancing = an aversion to downhill, but the way these guys gracefully shred hills on their Bhangras blew my mind, Mowgli and Tana as well. I’d never seen a girl kickflip a bhangra before. I had to wipe the drool off my chin. Alas as happens when people are really having fun, nobody was recording any of this madness. You’ll just have to come to Madrid next time to see them. I reckon there could have been 5 videos just of people riding moyano. Either of the tallest longboarder I’ve ever seen riding a penny, or Jorge and his super complicated tiger claws, or of the girls bombing the hill and pulling off massive co LE mans (as they say here).
So after 12 hours of riding, the main event was about to start ! We skated down moyano toward a HUGE bowl/park it was huge, it was awesome. The assembly started at 10pm and Ra said thanks to everyone for coming and the rest was in Spanish. Then we got our tshirts ! Alas from afar all you can see on them is NEGRO in big black letters, so I will not be wearing it to work anytime soon.
Then the cruise ! The mighty cruise, I stood up after 400 shirts were given out and looked around and just gaped, there was a shitload of people. An actual shitload. we skated to the first meeting point, under a bridge and juan (again) got a really nice picture from the top. The roads we took along the river were beautiful, and for some reason - really deserted, so it was just us. We take the first group picture at this stadium looking place and then it really starts to hit me, just how many of us there are there ! there were 6/7 rows of around a hundred each. It was stupid, the cheers, the laughs, it was awesome. We skated towards the city centre and took some more pictures and then lo and behold we ended up at everyone’s favourite spot (if you don’t know what the next word I’m about to write is - give yourself a knock on the head) - Moyano !!
And here begins the highlight of my night, for the first time in all 3 days of my stay there I really really pushed myself down that puta hill and WOW was it good ! Using my amazing super ability I pretty much knew everyone who had been there since Thursday and I was really starting to feel like one of the family. We skated down the hill in packs and I pushed up the hill (to remind myself of happy London times) and I must have done between 20 and 200000 runs of the hill. I did my first pendy !! and again and again ! Damn I was stoked. So bloody stoked. Made friends with a crew of 5 guys from valencia who fashioned themselves after mario puzo’s Godfather - the Longfamily and their crew logo is the puppeteer stick controlling a longboard, yeah they are cool puta madres ! It was so so SO good. Everyone, absolutely everyone was there and just laying down the ‘thane, it was beautiful. Then it got interesting. The 5 people with Penny skateboards started doing Penny runs, then the Bhangras, then the Spartaco (not his real name, but he is awesome) and the hill bombers, then a little 5 year old kid - he/she got the biggest applause. Then Puto Toti and his 540 shuvits then the girls, then these crazy freerides doing STUPID 5 foot heelside slides. Oh and the future of longboarding - this little kid called tasio ! He is a beast. Sadly for you, not a lot of this is on tape and I’ll stop now because I can hear you coming. Maybe next time you won’t miss out on THE BEST WEEKEND OF YOUR LIFE !
I had such a good time. Made friends for life, I was genuinely sad to leave the next day. So erm… well I sort of missed my flight, and 2 hours later the group from Sweden missed theirs. This was a coincidence. Another night in Madrid ! Whoop. Spent the next 24 hours with my new longboard family the dutch ones, the spanish ones, the CRAZY one, the wonderful frostys (and Chus) and the canadian one. It was good to rest after so much hard skating. Spoke a lot about longboarding and Tool and Rage against Machine, bacon, the right liquid to clean your bearings, next year, films, venezuela and Trent Reznor.
And wonder of wonders I started to miss London ! Maybe I was missing the feeling of exhaustion after pushing from marble arch to waterloo or maybe I’m just mad. Anyway I left with lots of new special people in my heart and a london shaped hole
I’ll just use this oppurtunity to thank the Madrid Longboard Crew for opening their homes and hearts to a group of weird londoners and showing us the best time in London. And Ra. You beautiful bearded man! Thanks for making the weekend happen. Sonsoles et loco !! You’re the best.
First of all, you haven’t partied till you’ve partied with the Spanish ! We’re used to going clubbing around 10 and leaving the club at 2/3. But no, not in Madrid, these crazy people do things very VERY differently. So the itinerary was - Longboard Europe assembly: 5-7, video projections of the trailer from the new Juan rayos of the longboard girls crew summer tour and perropro videos (they were está loco!!) 9-11. Then clubbing from 0:00 to 6:00. Yeah 6 in the morning ! Bear in mind that from 5pm we had been in La Tabacalera (a beautiful space, converted tobacco factory, got some wonderful pictures of beautiful graffiti there).
So the LE assembly went really well, crew organisers from Sweden, holland and of course loads of Spanish and the longboard girls crew were all there and it really was exciting to hear from everyone. Skateboarding had the 70s, Longboarding has NOW, people will look back to 2010-2020 and talk about the guys that made things happen and helped facilitate the boom in longboarding that has only just begun.
The future of longboarding is bright. So so excited for what this weekend’s event means. As of yesterday there were over 600 people registered on the La Noche en Negro website to come. Conservative estimates show that a SHITLOAD of people will turn up for the madness today. Easily the biggest European session ever, and it’s just a start ! Anyway back to the party !! So nobody told me that the Spanish LOVE drum n bass (and some dubstep). The atmosphere in la Tabacalera was magic. So many good vibes.
DJ was pumping out some Marley and chill reggae for about an hour and there were some old school skate videos playing, really really sick hard wheel sliding, I was getting so stoked for sliding! So we are all there watching with these giant glasses of beer and getting excited for the features, then disaster! The videos stopped playing! Probably some inline demon spirit interfered with the computer. At this point, everyone makes this face - :-| then the DJ turns the music up and drops a filthy filthy dubstep track, then another, then another, then people make this face - :-)
Everyone is jumping around doing special faces (ok only the English are actually being retarded at this point… And this Ginger girl who attached herself to us… I mean redhead !) An hour into this as I’m starting to get speed wobble from jumping too fast - the screen goes black and the Juan rayos intro comes on and everyone starts cheering, we sit down and watch the best 30 minutes of skate cinema I’ve ever witnessed. Alberto (perropro) is a monster. If you’ve never seen one of his videos - slap yourself and then get on YouTube. He does silly things on a Bhangra, not sure if he’s named all the tricks he was landing (yes he skates, films and edits ) de puto madre !! And he’s such a nice man with a nice beard :) The longboard girls film was a 2 minute trailer of their summer adventures. I will definitely be a girl - just for next summer though. It was great to see all my new friends (yes MY friends, bet you wish you came to madrid now huh? Haha) skating so hard. Can’t wait to screen the whole film in London :)
There was a video of the Spanish downhillers in tuxtient & insul (IGSA) and I spent most of the time looking for UK riders. Kind of hard to tell who they are, unless of course they have bright yellow leathers and board ! Yeah I spotted one UK luge rider and got dry excited. No not like that. My favourite video was the footage from la Noche en blanco last year.
So many people taking over the streets but I’ve been informed that was only half the number compared to what we are expecting today. Nuts. Understandably, after watching all this, everyone wanted to skate - en gorillo as they say here ! So we went to moyano. ”Only” about 100 of us. Haha ONLY. Sick sick sick skating. Everyone was really pushing themselves. Someone set up a hippy jump and this dude ollied it - on a rayne nemesis looking thing. This was the level of madness we were dealing with. The video will blow your mind. We left at 2am. There was a session at 7am (haha) The longboard europe house has just cooked breakfast. Aiming for the 12.30 session. Looking forward to another truly special day.
23 degrees at 11pm in Madrid ! That’s warmer than a summer day in London. First of 3 nights and I’ve already had the best skate in all my life. (till tonight) Started out at moyano at 8pm. Absolutely mental slide spot, I recognised it from the videos. My wheels were purring all night. Spanish skaters are so so good. They have awesome style. And oh my gosh ! The girls ! The girls ! Bombing the hill on bhangras, toeside and heelside 180s, switch shuvits and all manners of sickness. These people ride hard ! That spot in itself was enough to make a good session. Then shit got REAL. 10pm (yes things here start that late).
We set off to *insert Spanish word* (la something el somewhere ?) a local spot for a quiet skate. Sort of like the London critical mass but on acid. Theme - water fight ! All of us were in black or White tshirts, hence the two teams.
We took over the road and bombed many many sick streets, more footbraking than pushing so so good. Then we got to the starting point - filled our guns up then the black team set off. We then set off after a mini war council and devised a plan to avoid the obvious ambush. We went on the street parallel to theirs to circumvent them and avoid the obvious ambush, another sick 10 minutes of downhill cruising and cutting into side streets and BOOM the cheeky fuckers were upon us ! They had anticipated our evasive action and hidden along the road we were on, one of them burst in from the middle, we all started spraying him then the rest of them came out and it got crazy ! Some of them had used their extra time to fashion shields out of cardboard boxes, while the rest of us only had boards as shields, the pub goers were all laughing and taking pictures the whole time and I was shooting everyone in black on a board. The battle felt like an hour but probably lasted 3 minutes.
We then headed to this cool square to chill and have some beers, but the square had a water fountain ! Everyone refuelled and the madness went on for another 20 minutes. Water bombs were made, some onlookers may have been attacked. Not saying it was me. I was erm…. Elsewhere Got some great footage, the vibe was awesome, spoke to loads of people. Then around 1am we started skating back to moyano. Got back to the longboard pad around 3, shared war stories for about an hour and I’m up 4 hours later for another day of mind blowing with el puta madres of Madrid !! So so stoked.
Going to madrid this weekend to skate with the Madrid longboard crew, longboard girls crew, longboard Sweden, Dutch riders, Malaga, Zaragoza, Portugal… Pretty much every crew in europe will be represented. This will be the biggest weekend of longboarding europe has seen. Downhill, slalom, MASSIVE night cruise, warehouse parties, GIRLS!! Pretty much going to be the best weekend since Fred flintstone first put wheels on wooden planks.
Watch out for epic videos next week.
The best summer of longbording...until next summer.
Though in truth it’s actually my first summer of longboarding, because I bought my trusty, and now rather battered Battle Axe (I’m giving her a viking burial when she meets her inevitable demise) at the end of last october…but as summers go it was pretty damn epic.
So what have I been doing with my time…well skating. Lots and lots of skating. In the 5 months since I started skating with the XSS guys, I’ve not only made some truly awesome friends, I’ve also pushed myself to the point where you might just mistake me for someone who knows what she’s doing on a longboard…though the thought of doing over 40mph is still just a little bit nerve wracking. My skating adventures have also taken me all over the country and I’ve skated with, drunk cider with and generally just hung out with some of the most amazing people in the country…if you’re reading this you blatantly know who you are so I won’t embarrass you by publicly naming you. Hee hee.
Interlude: I’m having issues writing this as Kitty…my lovable if slightly needy cat, keeps trampling over my keyboard…apparently my lap is only to be used as a comfortable place for her to lie down, not for resting my laptop on. Sigh.
So this summer of amazing skating is now slowly drawing to a close…there are just a few events left and then the weather will close in and it’s back to perving over longboard porn on the internet and waiting for the sun to come back so I can get skating again. Speaking of big events, one of the last events of the year will be the Hogtoberfest freeride at Hog Hill in october. This will be awesome…for a number of reasons not including the fact I’m hoping to run a girls only DH skills workshop. So all you longboarding ladies, sign up, pad up and come skate a hill with me!