Part 3 and final part of our showcase of the UK scene on Longboardism with the help of Thrill Mag. You’ve seen the London scene last week and now for the last part we head all the way south to Falmouth.
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At the crack of dawn we packed our bags, loaded up the trusty skate wagon and waved goodbye to our B&B in Exeter. The voyage to Falmouth was very Tolkienesque as we ventured through thick low lying fog and passed the dark and tortuous woodlands of Bodmin moor. After hours of rolling dual carriageway, we were hundreds of miles from home and it felt as though we would find the end of the earth. Eventually though, we arrived at Mark and Will’s Falmouth skatehouse, which was situated on a hill… of course.
On the way into the house we passed Will’s life size replica of the giant purple dildo from Saints Row, we got together and sat down over a particularly good cup of morning coffee to discuss possible shooting locations and slide hills. We knew that the weather was against us and that we would have to battle through the elements, but we were all hoping for the weather front to pass by midday. Scenic shots were well out of the window as the low clouds and misty rain massively reduced visibility and drained any colour saturation. It wasn’t long before Bodhi Keen and Jack Watson arrived and we waited for George Vincent to appear, but apparently this wasn’t unusual.
Once everyone had rallied up, we convoyed up to the chosen hill for the day with Will’s skate-stickered O.A.P’s car leading the way, which was the case until we saw it wheel-spinning backwards down the greasy hill towards us at the junction only a few metres from the house.
Fortunately we arrived at the hill in once piece, it was a little patchy to begin with but the weather forecast was looking good for the rest of the day and we killed some time waiting for the road to dry with a game of Hacky Sack, which was actually a really good way to warm-up and ‘free your mind’ before a day’s skate.
The riding kicked off as Bodhi and Joe spent a short while gambling with the randomly dispersed and invisible patches of wet road that made it incredibly difficult to break in their new sets of TFR wheels that Mark kindly donated to them to try. Before long though, Bodhi was laying down some long sliding shuvits and the riding began to flow.
After skating for about half an hour, the whereabouts of the wet patches were known well enough for a bit of a slide session to get underway, however to everyone’s frustration, the conditions meant that it simply wasn’t wise to go all-out and risk an injury. It was at this point that Sam Holding appeared, late to the session as he was being a good lad and attending college before he came out to play. Unfortunately Sam had not realised how unforgiving the road was and inevitably, on his first run he iced out and took a hefty slam.
Being the generous guy he is, Mark also lent Joe his setup for the day, a setup that hosted some prototype freeride wheels from Cult Wheels, we can’t say much about them other than they sound like a gear change from the fast and the furious when they go sideways, ‘PSCHEEEWWW’. Joe’s logic dictated that when in Falmouth, riding Mark’s setup you can’t leave without learning a 360, because of this he spent the majority of the day eating a mountain of shit.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Ben Rule, a local Faltown skater rode up the hill on his much loved bike (that I have forgotten the name of, oops) and just started ripping. If he wasn’t doing bare-footed blunt slides he had his shirt off and was one-footed nose manualling as far as he could. Ben was showcasing his raw style all day and it was really cool to watch, especially when he ollied over his beloved bike.
By this point, the attention had somewhat swayed away from Randal, Mark’s very well-trained and loved dog. He decided that he’d had enough of dodging out of the way of us riding and he made his way into the warmth and shelter of a jacket amongst the pile of skate gear to watch us from a very cosy vantage point. The weather didn’t improve as much as we had wished and it wasn’t until Jack and Bodhi took a trip to the shops that we realised Castle slide hill was the literally the only dry place in all of Cornwall, with its own microclimate somehow providing enough shelter from both wind and sideways rain to allow us to skate. Once we had got all the photos we could from the hill we decided that it was wise to pack up and retreat to the skatehouse for brie and crackers. It was only when everyone butt-boarded to the bottom of the hill, realised that it was impossible to stop and got wet trousers from the spray coming off our wheels that we realised how extreme the difference in weather was between our sheltered haven and the road where we had left the cars.
Once we had all sat down with a pint of water and Mark showed us the 2007 Faltown video that documented the rise of skateboard sliding in the UK. It was a real skateboarding history lesson for the majority of us, we saw oldschool footage of Cliff Coleman from when he came over to the UK, giving many Americanised motivational and inspirational speeches about skateboarding. Other characters in the video from about a decade ago included a young Pete Connolly and a sly teenage Will Edgecombe sliding their skateboards with only their chopping-board slide gloves for protection. We also saw Mark participate in the first two-man Coleman slide on a very long longboard. Back in the early ‘noughties’ it seemed that unless you were doing crazy hands down 1080 slides on super hard wheels at silly speeds, you didn’t know how to skate.
After our history lesson we roamed the house gawping at the size of the wheel cabinet in the lounge and the plethora of skateboards that Mark and Will had accumulated from across the decades that were mostly stored on board racks that seemed to be present in every room of the house. They held everything from dancers, oldschool downhill boards to the latest in Rayne longboards quiver. A special place was reserved on the lounge wall, alongside medals from slide comps for a skateboard signed by Batman, the guy who taught Sergio yuppie how to rip it up. The Falmouth skatehouse really is a longboarding goldmine.
It was quite late the afternoon before we left Falmouth so we said our goodbyes to the guys at the Falmouth skatehouse and decided to get some fish & battered sausage from the local chippy that Mark had suggested. It turns out that they were the greasiest (and most needed) chips we had ever eaten, it had been a long day and we were about to embark on a 300 mile mission back to the midlands, which took only 4 hours and 40 minutes despite a few navigational errors.
Regardless of how remote Falmouth is and how difficult it is to get to, it is truly an epic skate destination with awesome hills wherever you look and the guys that live there are not only the best, but the coolest you will ever have a chance to ride with. We loved Falmouth!
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