As we left, the cyclists became more frequent with a few close calls followed by a pretty intense collision. One guy was cruising along, not really doing anything out of the ordinary when a cyclist came tearing along the other way with no warning and no intentions of slowing down. Smashing into him, they were both sent sprawling across the tarmac and into the wire fence; the cyclist sliced his finger and the skater was pretty shaken up. They got up and dusted themselves off, Josh the skater, giving his shirt as a makeshift bandage before helping to fix the cyclists slightly buckled front wheel and a quick tighten of the brakes, in the hope that he might use them next time!
All that fun over with, we pushed off back down the path towards Shiner Hill at Lush HQ. Passing old station platforms, rolling down the hills after the slog up the other side, through a leaky wet tunnel, on to the last big straight push. We had been pre warned there was a little path on the left we had to look out for to get to the slide jam. Most managed it, the experienced lads knowing it by heart, some of the newer ones just by blind luck, but a few people went streaming past and missed it, skating another few miles (they claimed!) until they realised that they had gone too far and had to double back.
So we got to Shiner Hill for a freeride session, complete with kicker ramp for those with more exotic pleasures. After letting legs rest for a moment from the mammoth skate, the hill started to fill up and as more and more people turned up, the standard of slides just kept getting better and better. From just your average Coleman, to your toeside wobble-check 180 shuvits, 360’s and 720’s (Mark Short from Rayne Longboards was there!). It got even more mental as people were boosting some huge airs off the kicker, manualling down the hill on tech slide decks, chucking out blunt slides and railing round the corner at the bottom. With large volume of freeriders on the hill, the tarmac was rapidly laced with ‘thane lines.
The sun started to dip beyond the factory roofs, and the kicker came into its own, taking centre stage as huge airs, 180’s and all manner of grabs were among the artillery of tricks that were booted through the air. As dusk drew in, the freeride session began to wind down, with the main riders sitting in the last patch of sun leaning against the wall. Mark Short came back and spoke about how good the standard of slides had been and he was right, everyone was pulling out all the stops and it was a classy show. He called out the winners, judging on slide length, amount of slides, general epic-ness and daring, giving them each a new set of Cult wheels, apart from AJ Bonner, declared the winner who got two sets!
The photographers were still swarming up and down the ramp, like little mountain goats, snapping their colourful memories and capturing video to use later, reminding those that missed out this year through injury or other reason, that the scene is strong and growing. From looking at the group for the Board Meeting on Facebook, seeing the attitude of the riders on the route and the good spread of experience and youth, we’ve got to be happy the longboard scene around the country looks like it is in really good shape and growing.
One last thing, the most important thing, a huge thanks to Jo Coles and all the guys from Van Dem and also to everybody that helped in some way, however small, for organising such an amazing day out, not only for us riders and sliders, but to give us all a chance to give something back and raise an amazing amount of money for a brilliant cause, Macmillan Cancer Support. This years total was huge with £6277.42
Here’s to next year!
About Thrill Mag
Thrill Magazine is the only printed Longboarding magazine in the UK. The UK longboarding scene has been growing significantly over the past few years and we feel that Thrill Magazine will help to unify and strengthen the scene by providing both a physical and digital publication that will bridge the social gap between the various crews and individuals within the UK scene. We would like to expand our audience to the global community, primarily to put the UK scene on the map, but also to provide anyone who reads the magazine with an insight into the lives of the people within a longboarding community that struggle to find world-class hills and have very few internationally acclaimed riders to show them the way.
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